Like many others I'm trying to decide whether my next camera should be a DSLR. Richard & Robbie's podcast is very helpful and now I'd like some opinions on my specific situation. See present shooting
and production description at bottom.
I shoot mostly close-up insect and spider video. Here is an example:
Light is usually not a problem as I often shoot in full sun.
Things I have pondered - 1) depth of field seems to be a factor with DSLR
2) loss of magnification (I believe there is a 7x jump when I put the Canon
100mm on my XLH1?).
So . . . my interest in making the switch is motivated by reducing the overall weight
I have to carry in the field (lots of walking sometimes up steep hills . . groan),
reduced cost when I buy my next camera, and overall portability - as when travelling
by commercial air carriers.
Poster Richard is right, on a small camera the crop factor is huge. But if your 100mm gives you as 700mm field of view and you are looking at matching that you may want to look into the Panasonic GH2, it has a 2x crop factor so if you used a 300mm lens you are at least at 600mm field of view. You maybe able to find a f5.6 400mm lens but you are getting really up there price wise.
Don't know your budget but a better 3/4" video camera might be the way to go.
But spider videos are SO CREEPY. Do see how you stay in focus with those things jumping around.
"my interest in making the switch is motivated by reducing the overall weight I have to carry in the field"
I can not comment on the other aspects of the post, but this one, I can. You are going to be SHOCKED at the weight and overall size difference between carrying your Canon and a DSLR set up. I went from a pair of DVX100Bs, each in their own Kata bag, to a pair of GH1s. The camera bag that fit both cams and lens, SD cards, batteries etc that I needed was half the size of ONE DVX and Kata bag, and probably half the weight as well. I have Manfrotto 3246s that are fantasitc tripods and handled the DVXs with no problems, but are such OVERKILL for the GH models, I am seriously looking at something less "industrial strength" now.
The tech aspects of your decision I don't know about. But this aspect, been here and done this and love it, love it, LOOOOOOVVVE ITTTTTTTT !!! :-)
"You are going to be SHOCKED at the weight and overall size difference between carrying your Canon and a DSLR set up."
I shoot weddings, and I work with a guy who also has his own video production company and is used to the size of "real" video gear. The first time I handed him a GH1 it reminded me of the scene in Men In Black in which Will Smith gets his first (very small but powerful) weapon. At the end of the day his back was thanking us, though!
There are tons of old manual focus lenses out there that can be mounted to the micro 4/3 mount. My current favorite on the GH1 is an old Pentax screw mount 50/1.4. For your application there are a lot of macro options, extension tubes, and adapters to reverse-mount lenses. It should be said that I came into DSLR video mostly from still photography (although I did own an XL1 for a few years), so I'm comfortable with the form factor and basic operation of these cameras.
If you already own Canon lenses and use an adapter with your video camera, just add a 60D and see if it works with your shooting style! If you already have the lenses your investment is small and you will always have a great still camera if you prefer shooting with a traditional video camera.
I think the DSLR/video camera combination is the best way to go, you have the flexibility of choosing the right rig for the job.