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DSLR companion camera

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Marc Lucas
DSLR companion camera
on Sep 30, 2011 at 8:36:59 pm

Hi

What would be a suitable and affordable camera to use with a DSLR (D3 or 5D) I'm looking to go into the DSLR route for primarily weddings and want a small video type camera to use in the services as a cut aways and lock off camera. I know there will be differences in quality and style using a none DSLR camera but what suggestions for possible to work with the DSLR. Would I have to go for something like a Canon XA10 I know that records AVCHD at 24mbps and would possibly be near the quality needed?

I'm looking for a video camera solution so it can also be left running if it's a one man shoot so I don't have to worry about recording times aswell.

Thanks for any replies


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Steve Crow
Re: DSLR companion camera
on Oct 1, 2011 at 1:58:28 am

Wow something like that is going to put you in the upper end of the camcorder market, something like the AF100 I would think. Matching that look isn't going to be cheap but excellent question.

As far as these upper end camcorders go I don't think they are a set it and forget it type of experience plus it's an expensive camera to just walk away from and leave filming, what if some drunk guest knocks down your tripod and ooops, there goes your camera????

Before I purchased a DSLR I was trying to go the route of the standard camcorder with a Depth of Field adapter...on Vimeo there used to lots of fantastic footage of cheap camcorders like the Canon HV20 with a DOF adapter attached that got some really cinematic images going. However, the Canon T2i was the solution for me, cheaper than a camcorder and no DOF adapter. Still you can't use something like a T2i/T3i the way you are talking about; 12 minute clips, overheating, etc etc


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Jason Jenkins
Re: DSLR companion camera
on Oct 1, 2011 at 4:54:27 am

[Marc Lucas] "I'm looking for a video camera solution so it can also be left running if it's a one man shoot so I don't have to worry about recording times aswell."

I feel like a broken record... the Panasonic GH2! No record time limitations, no overheating, no moire –$900 body.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


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Marc Lucas
Re: DSLR companion camera
on Oct 1, 2011 at 12:26:32 pm

I'm sorry you feel like a broken record....

Thanks for the advice though.

Marc


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Jason Jenkins
Re: DSLR companion camera
on Oct 1, 2011 at 7:10:53 pm

[Marc Lucas] "I'm sorry you feel like a broken record....

Thanks for the advice though."


No problem. It's worth repeating :)

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


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Danny Grizzle
Re: DSLR companion camera
on Oct 6, 2011 at 3:06:22 am

I know this is not what you were looking for, but I just bought a Sony HX9V for $319, and I think it is the best money I have ever spent. I splurged an extra $12 and added a "hand tripod" -- aka a pistol grip because the camera is so tiny. $6 additional for an extra Zacuto glue on frame, and now my Zacuto finder fits perfect. The video off this thing is too good to be true. With an excellent lens and image stabilizer, most people would have no need for a Steadicam type rig. And yes, the HX9V works great on a mic boom pole. I adapted mine to a Rode boom pole using a $12 Giotos ball head. The smallest ballnhead made, and plenty sturdy enough. Finally, I added a Manfrotto Magic Arm w/camera mount, used to hold my SmallHD monitor, which works great cabled via HDMI while operating the HX9V on the mic pole. Fantastic rig - highly recommended in both handheld and pole mount configurations.


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Steve Crow
Re: DSLR companion camera
on Oct 6, 2011 at 3:08:21 am

Interesting rig, would love to see a few pictures and maybe a clip or two from the camera.


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Danny Grizzle
Re: DSLR companion camera
on Oct 6, 2011 at 3:18:11 am

BTW - one limitation is low light. Auto focus is good while recording. There are a lot of pro reviews of the HX9V on Vimeo.


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Danny Grizzle
Re: DSLR companion camera
on Oct 6, 2011 at 3:36:05 am

P.S. - 1080p 60fps does not display on the SmallHD. Reviews pan the audio, and how can they not given stereo mics on top deck of camera. Nevertheless, if you use this in wide angle in-your-face angles like I do, that puts the mic very close to the subject and yields better audio than you might expect. The built-in lens is phenomenal, 24mm -300mm equivalent. One downside - almost no manual controls. I can confirm that it tends to overexpose, and I routinely set auto exposure -2/3 stop when outside in daylight. The battery does not last too long when shooting video, and it must charge inside the camera. I bought a spare, but you can't charge while shooting. I agree with one review that "the HX9V is the Canon 5D Mk II" of compact cameras for video.


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