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I need Professional Advice

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Adam Alonge
I need Professional Advice
on Feb 27, 2015 at 8:23:04 am

Hi. My name is Adam and this is my first post here as you all seem to be knowledgable. I shoot comedy sketches on Youtube. I currently have a canon vixia hfg10 and am looking for the more crisp video you get from a DSLR. I was looking at getting a 5d Mark iii and now people are telling me to get the 7d mark ii because of its AF.

I guess it comes down to how I shoot. The majority of my videos are filmed in my house with soft box lighting. I am a one man crew so I cant depend on someone behind the camera manually focusing, which to me makes the 7d Mark ii is the camera for me. But I would like a professional's opinion.

The Mark iii lens would be the 24- 105mm F/4 L

The 7d Mark ii lens would be 18-135mm STM

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Tero Ahlfors
Re: I need Professional Advice
on Feb 27, 2015 at 9:20:08 am

The thing about autofocus is that it doesn't know what should be in focus because it's a computer going beep boop. If you move closer to the camera it might pick you up. If a cat accidentally goes in front of the camera it'll probably think that should be in focus. If you're in the dark or there's a sudden lighting change it might start pumping the focus all over the place until it can get something in focus. I don't know if the 7D has a face recognizing AF, that might work. It might also think a vase in your background is a face...

You might not even need autofocus if you just focus the scene with a deep enough depth of field. You can find DOF calculators on the interwebs.

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Adam Alonge
Re: I need Professional Advice
on Feb 27, 2015 at 10:43:36 am

I believe the 7d does have face recognition. I never really thought about the depth of field at all. I am a complete newbie when it comes to dslr's.

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Blaise Douros
Re: I need Professional Advice
on Feb 28, 2015 at 12:57:32 am

The video from a Canon HF-G10 will be sharper out of the box than a DSLR. DSLR footage tends to need some post processing to sharpen it up.

If by "crisp" you mean "more cinematic," then shallow depth of field is what's going to do it--that's what DSLRs are good at. Unfortunately, this means you need a real live person pulling focus for you--even the 70D and 7DII's autofocus is going to be MUCH slower and probably less accurate than your G10.

Everyone bags on small sensor camcorders, but their autofocus is fast and they have a ton of depth of field, so everything is in focus.

I would re-evaluate what you really need in order to improve your image. Better/more lighting and good audio are going to go way farther than a new camera. The HF-G10 is fine for what you describe.

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Bill Bruner
Re: I need Professional Advice
on Feb 28, 2015 at 2:18:39 pm
Last Edited By Bill Bruner on Feb 28, 2015 at 2:23:52 pm

Hi Adam - I recommend against either of those cameras for solo shooting. With these cameras, the things you'd miss most from your camcorder would be:

- the flip forward LCD - both the 5D III and the 7D II have fixed LCDs, so you would find it difficult to frame your shots from in front of the camera

- a viewfinder that actually works while you're shooting video - DSLR mirrors block their viewfinders when they are recording video. If you're ever behind the camera and shooting outdoors, you would be forced to use the LCD, which can be hard to see in bright sunlight.

- long recording times - although camcorders can record for hours continuously, DSLRs are limited to 30 minutes of continuous recording. If you tried to record an event that lasted for more than 30 minutes, your DSLR would shut down and have to be restarted

- the power zoom for rapidly reframing your shots - the least expensive power zoom for Canon EF mount cameras costs $30,000.

Instead of the $1799 7D Mark II, you may want to consider a $1698 Panasonic GH4. If you want:

- sharper video, the GH4 has 4 times the resolution of the Canons

- autofocus, it has fast, face tracking autofocus and a smaller sensor for deeper depth of field

- to see yourself while you're shooting, it has a flip-forward LCD

- to shoot outdoors in bright sunlight, it has a viewfinder that actually works while you're shooting video

- to record a play or event, it can record for hours continuously

- to use a power zoom, you can buy a native power zoom for a little over $300 rather than over $30,000

- to use slow motion in your comedies, you can record at up to 96fps in full 1080p HD with the GH4, while 7D Mark II is limited to 60fps.

Here are a couple of narratives shot by solo actor/writer/director/DPs with this camera:

Writer's Block

Out of Time

In my view, the GH4 will give you the image quality upgrade you're looking for without forcing you to give up the advantages of shooting with a camcorder - and it will cost you less than either a 7D Mark II or a 5D Mark III.

Hope this is helpful and good luck with your channel!

Hybrid Camera Revolution

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Adam Alonge
Re: I need Professional Advice
on Mar 2, 2015 at 1:35:56 am

Thanks for your input. I definitely will be looking into that camera now

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