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DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?

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Lois Carr
DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?
on Jan 2, 2014 at 10:55:12 pm

I'm starting uni in September and I'm doing film production. I have no idea what camera to get, as far as I can tell there is no specifications from the uni either. I'm considering a DSLR because of what people have said about them. I have a very limited budget.
I'm thinking of:
 - Panasonic DMCLZ30EBK
 - GE X600
 But I'm open to reviews about them and any other suggestions. I just don't know what to get... And I can't exactly go into an expensive camera shop and ask to be able to, for lack of a better word, mess around with an expensive camera and my uncle has one but he won't let me test it because it cost about £1000 and it doesn't have video anyway... :/
So any suggestions, reviews or anything would be helpful.


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Roger Martin
Re: DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?
on Jan 3, 2014 at 6:02:35 am

What is uni?

If you want to go "cheap", consider the D5300.
I like it better than my D800 for Video.
That is because the D800 can not do 1080P 60.
You might be shooting at 24fps, I do not know.
But at 1/4 the cost, it leaves a lot of money for Lens (and DX lens are cheaper and lighter too).
A good TriPod and computer are a must and that is just the start.


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Lois Carr
Re: DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?
on Jan 3, 2014 at 10:26:59 am

Uni, university.
I'll have a look at it. Thanks.
Computer, got and the university have a lot of industry standard software on their computers.


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Lois Carr
Re: DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?
on Jan 3, 2014 at 10:29:18 am

That camera is very expensive! I've been looking at ones priced between £110 and £280!


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Roger Martin
Re: DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?
on Jan 3, 2014 at 2:20:21 pm
Last Edited By Roger Martin on Jan 3, 2014 at 2:57:40 pm

Then start with a used Nikon1 V1 kit.
Mine works great up to ISO 3200.
Great DOF
The Power Zoom Lens works great for Video.
I like it better than any camcorder under $5k
They make cheap, light weight stabilizers for them
although I have succesfully hand held mine.
The trick is little or no movement of your feet.


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Mike Smith
Re: DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?
on Jan 3, 2014 at 11:56:19 am
Last Edited By Mike Smith on Jan 3, 2014 at 12:44:02 pm

Have you talked to your college tutors about what they might think?

Pro kit is pricey, and even mid-range dslr / csc camera systems for video are going to be way out of your indicated price range.

To learn video, though, incorporates learning storytelling (script) and editing as well as photography / motion photography, sound, and, arguably, graphics and effects. Your tutors may have a view as to where to direct any spare time, effort and money in advance of starting.

Maybe writing a few scripts (free with OpenOffice) would offer a different starting point.

Maybe even sketching out simple animatics with a drawing app or something like http://motionartist.smithmicro.com/tour.html#features if you have a drawing app. Even a demo of something like Anime Studio might tell you something worthwhile ... http://anime.smithmicro.com/anime-pro.html

I'm guessing you must have studied on a film-related course already ...?

If your focus is on photography / image production, the best kit you can afford (or can nearly afford, with help) could be your target. You'll want decent movie quality, and as much control of the camera (manual control) as you can afford.

If your interest is in the storytelling and you are going to be working with a small group of contacts or friends to explore narrative or other film making approaches, then any decent cheap camcorder that will let you get motion pictures easily (pictures your computer can edit) might server you well enough. That way, you could make short, experimental films with the emphasis on story or style rather than tech quality, and could try out your ideas and learn a bit through doing, before you start your course, ... and have a few shorts to show too.

At the extremely limited but possible end while likely to be still useful later, something like the GoPro Hero might bave an interest. No zoom though, very tricky sound ... hmmm. http://www.jessops.com/online.store/products/89562/Show.html?utm_source=goo...


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Steve Crow
Re: DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?
on Jan 3, 2014 at 2:51:09 pm

I would recommend getting a USED DSLR and not a camcorder due to lack of full manual controls and other issues Your budget is very tight so I would say wait until your second or third semester to buy a camera, you probably won't be filming much at all at the start anyways as your classes will be concentrating more on theory and history before getting hugely into camera operation

Check out the Canon Rebel Series (T2i to T5i) but the brand doesn't matter as much so long as it has full manual control in video mode (shutter speed, aperture, iso), detachable lenses and an option to attach an external microphone. So long as you have those features most everything else can be worked around. The school will no doubt have cameras for you to use but it would be a great aid to your learning the basics of capturing image with sound to have some limited gear of your own.

I would buy just the body and then get a used 50mm lens separately - the "kit" lens that comes with entry level cameras are going to be challenging. For instance, as you zoom in you will find the image getting darker. (technically you could make adjustments to your camera settings to compensate but it's best just to avoid the problem in the first place if you have the option) With a 50mm lens, it won't have zoom besides your feet but you won't have to deal with the darkening image issue

I wouldn't go with the GE model just because it's not a brand any one else is likely to have so finding specific help on it will be very challenging indeed.

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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Lois Carr
Re: DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?
on Jan 3, 2014 at 6:10:19 pm

Okay, thanks. I've done a search on Amazon and I'm not sure if this is what you mean.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B004MPQXZA


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Steve Crow
Re: DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?
on Jan 3, 2014 at 6:32:33 pm

Actually something more like this but used not new:


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Canon-EOS-600D-Rebel-KISS/dp/B005CHEDIG/ref=sr_1_4?...

is what I'm thinking....but again you can wait a few months, save up some additional money, and that will give you some expanded options as I know you are on a tight budget right now

Steve

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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Lois Carr
Re: DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?
on Jan 3, 2014 at 7:03:55 pm

My dad's already ordered that camera... It seems to be almost the same, apart from a few differences but the one that concerns me the most is the lack of the external mic jack... That's not that much of a problem, is it? If you just record sound on a different device and layer it over it... :/


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Steve Crow
Re: DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?
on Jan 3, 2014 at 7:26:29 pm

Not having an external mic jack is a problem that can be worked around. You'll have to rely on the built in mic which frankly is terrible but it could be good enough in most cases to sync another higher quality audio source to it just as you mentioned. Having a mic jack would simply give you the ability to greatly improve the sound quality captured within the camera giving you a better source to sync to but you would probably still record on another device (like the Zoom H4N or similar) anyways your "real" audio.

Your first camera is really just to teach you how to film in manual mode, understanding exposure and composition and how to work with pictures and audio together. Don't worry about picture too much....in fact sound is much more important than pictures. Did you know that the people most in demand on professional productions are the women and men capturing and editing sound???

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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Bill Bruner
Re: DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?
on Jan 3, 2014 at 7:49:43 pm

Hi Lois - sadly, in addition to the lack of a microphone input, the 1100D's maximum resolution is only 720p, which is short of the 1080p High Definition standard.

And even used, it is going to be a challenge to find a 600D body for less than £300.

If you want a camera with a microphone input, a viewfinder that actually works while shooting video (DSLR viewfinders blank out when you shoot video) and true 1080p high definition for less than £300, you may want to return the 1100D and take a look at a £270 new or £250 used Nikon 1 V1
.

Here is what this camera can do:










Good luck at University!

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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Chris Wright
Re: DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?
on Jan 4, 2014 at 3:12:24 am

im throwing in another camera into the mix. Samsung NX1000.
For one very important reason. For the same price as a Nikon 1v1,
you'll get a vastly larger sensor size. This means that you won't have to spend any money on a f/.95 lens to get extreme shallow depth of field, and that is the real secret to cinema.

it also has a 20.3mp for photography. The camera also has 11 stops for latitude and the sky won't blow out. You can get it for around $300. It's actual value is more around $1500 but due to marketing newer products, its value has been reduced by more than 3x.







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Bill Bruner
Re: DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?
on Jan 4, 2014 at 12:53:14 pm

Good suggestion, Chris - except the NX1000 doesn't have either a mic input or a viewfinder, which can be a problem in bright sunlight without the additional expense of a loupe or external EVF.

That said, for those who don't mind shooting without a viewfinder, the Samsung NX1100 would be a better choice for video because of its 3.5mm external mic input.

You can find them for £245 and up on eBay UK - there is even a deal for a brand new NX1100 with a free Samsung Galaxy 2 tablet for a total of £299.9....

Cheers,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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Chris Wright
Re: DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?
on Jan 4, 2014 at 3:23:51 pm
Last Edited By Chris Wright on Jan 9, 2014 at 1:49:27 am

Good find Bill, same sensor too!

they both support a hot shoe EVF, and a hot shoe Samsung EM10 mic which has a 3.5mm headphone monitor. The mic also has a built in electronic analog to digital converter and volume control.

Now if you wanted a boompole shotgun mic with an xlr cable, you'd need an external sound recorder, but if you were going for professional sound, you'd do this anyway. have you had any luck with audio good enough from in camera?


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Bill Bruner
Re: DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?
on Jan 4, 2014 at 5:32:45 pm
Last Edited By Bill Bruner on Jan 4, 2014 at 5:35:29 pm

I can't vouch for any other camera - but here's a test video I shot comparing a consumer mic to the Audio Technica AT835b straight into the Panasonic GH3:



Here's the blog post I did on this test:

http://hybridcamerarevolution.blogspot.com/2013/02/audio-technica-at835-and...

With a pro mic, I find this camera's internal preamps to be good enough for interviews and b-roll.

Cheers,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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Roger Martin
Re: DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?
on Jan 4, 2014 at 7:42:38 pm

I just ordered a GH3 and will be using one of my Azden SMX-10 mics on it.
We will see how this setup compares for Video with my D5300 at 1080P 60.
My main reason for getting the Panasonic is to extend in camera recording past 10 minutes.
The image quality of the Nikon is exemplary!


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Bill Bruner
Re: DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?
on Jan 6, 2014 at 12:02:16 pm

Congrats on the new camera, Roger! Look forward to hearing what you think of it.

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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Kannan Raghavan
Re: DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?
on Jan 7, 2014 at 3:32:48 am

Good buy mate. Would like to read your thoughts on GH3 vs 5300:) What lens did you get for the GH3?Cheers
Kannan

Kannan Raghavan
The Big Toad Films Pte. Ltd.


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Roger Martin
Re: DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?
on Jan 7, 2014 at 4:52:37 am

$850 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3K 16.05 MP Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera with 3-Inch OLED -
Body Only (Black) Sold by alwaysAdeal Condition: Refurbished

$499 Adorama. Panasonic 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 OIS Video Optimized Micro Four Thirds Lens for Panasonic Digital SLR Cameras.

I am hoping that I made a good investment, This more than I paid for my Nikon.

$1096.55 B&Hphotovideo, D5300 DSLR Camera (Black) with AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens.

The GH3 is supposed to arrive between January 9 and 14th.
I've had the D5300 since the 1st of December and I am still finding things I like.

The big difference should be in shooting 1080P 60 Video.
Continuous shooting and much better FullTime AutoFocus with the Panasonic.


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Kannan Raghavan
Re: DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?
on Jan 7, 2014 at 10:56:50 am

Cheers mate. I was looking at the Panasonic 12-35m f2.8 for the GH3. It's expensive, but just great.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/865111-REG/Panasonic_H_HS12035_Lumix_...
Should decide soon:(

Kannan Raghavan
The Big Toad Films Pte. Ltd.


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Roger Martin
Re: DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?
on Sep 12, 2014 at 8:04:19 am

I got the GH3 with 14-140 and the D5300 went on the shelf although I think the Video quality was slightly better and High ISO much better on the Nikon.

I then bought the SpeedBooster to use my Nikkors and sent it back because of the lack of AutoFocus.
I applied that money towards a Lumix 12-35 f2.8 lens and that was enough to allow shooting indoors in poor light.

Next, I bought the new GH4 because of the much improved stills shooting.
Turns out that everything works better, so I sold the GH3 with 14-140 and got a Lumix 35-100 F/2.8.

For my use, even the new Panasonic HC-X1000 does not beat out the GH4 for Video.


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jean-robert perreault
Re: DSLR or camcorder? Any reviews or recommendations?
on Jan 8, 2014 at 5:37:06 pm

vous avez à choisir, dslr=photo
ou camcorder = video
pour ma part j'ai un D90 de Nikon pour mes photos
et un JVC HD pour mes vidéos, le prix est bien vous pouvez en trouver pour moins de $400.00.

you have to make a choice pictures or vidéo for my selft i have a Nikon DSLR D90 for my pic, and for my vidéo i use JVC HD camcorder, you find some under $400.00 here is one at Amazone http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BG2PS2Q/ref=asc_df_B00BG2PS2Q2929298?smid=A23M3...
hope i help


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