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Im thinking about buying a new DSLR

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Peter Groom
Im thinking about buying a new DSLR
on Jun 25, 2012 at 2:39:55 pm

Hi Everyone. Im new here, but a regular over on the Pro audio forum.

I'm thinking about buying myself a new DSLR camera that shoots video too, and I'm looking for recommendations for product. I'm presuming that the picture recording issues are pretty well sorted so my issues revolve around audio.
My 100 nailed on requirements are as follows.

Frame rate. Must shoot at 25fps in full HD.

Audio. MUST have
input metering, always available on screen

headphone monitoring output

The ability to switch off any Automatic Gain Controls.

preferably XLR inputs (or at least be able to be interfaced with a beachtek XLR- jack adapter box.

Any suitable recommendations would be much appreciated.
Cheers
Peter

(Dubbing Mixer)

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Noah Kadner
Re: Im thinking about buying a new DSLR
on Jun 25, 2012 at 4:56:21 pm

The only thing I don't see happening is XLR inputs- that simply not a feature on any camera called DSLR in 2012. Most folks are going double system sound- say into a Zoom Handy for that. I think you'd be interested in the Canon T3i/60D/5D Mark III or possibly the Nikon D800. Really comes down to your budget, which optics you want to work with and your specific shooting needs.

Noah

Call Box Training.
Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Panasonic AC160/130.


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Phil Balsdon
Re: Im thinking about buying a new DSLR
on Jun 25, 2012 at 8:29:03 pm

Sounds like audio quality is of prime importance to you, in which case you should record audio as double system on an external device. The pre-amps on DSLRs are not perfect tending to leave a bit of background hiss.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://philming.com.au
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Peter Groom
Re: Im thinking about buying a new DSLR
on Jun 27, 2012 at 9:14:20 am

Hi Phil and Noah
Yes youre right , audio is of high importance to me - Im a dubbing mixer.
(But it should be to everyone in film making)

I presume that most cameras of this calibre are capable of making decent picture recordings, and i also understand that audio is the 1 area they prefer to ignore, and that ignoring it makes the pictures poor!!!!

I have a zoom already but theres obvious double recording operational issues to deal with, on a handheld rig which is a pain (for no good reason) and then the pluralayes added layer of process.
If the cameras are really high end, they should be able to make a decent audio recording INHO.

Is there any restriction on recording length on DSLR. I heard it was something daft like 12 mins???
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Phil Balsdon
Re: Im thinking about buying a new DSLR
on Jun 27, 2012 at 10:40:23 am

Hi Peter,
We all need to keep in mind DSLRs are primarily still photography cameras that have a video feature added at the request of press organisations so their still shooters could record a bit of video for their online news outlets. For this reason I've always excused the compromises I've had to make to shoot the great video pics you get from these cameras, especially with the double system audio.

For general sit down interviews, when you can use a tripod, attaching a digital recorder to camera hot shoe (or some other kind of bracket) it is not to bigger deal, just roll audio first then the camera. Yes pre the Canon 5D Mk3 Canon DSLRs were limiter to about 12mins record time per file, the 5D Mk3 will create files without a drop frame of up to 29mins and 59 seconds. For cameras with a short 12 minute record time all you need to do is leave the audio run and quickly button off the camera and then on again during a question, you can add B roll to cover the edit if necessary and PluralEyes will still sync the audio and video files.

For run and gun I use a monopod which helps support the extra Zoom, radio mike receiver, etc etc. Using a stabilised lens such as the Canon 24-105L also helps, but it is f4 and a stop slower than other Canon L series zooms.

Once you get used to the workflow (it's very similar to shooting film) it's worth the extra effort to get the better audio and the video style from the large format CMOS chip cameras, it just requires a little more patience, effort and time in post to sync the audio. All that said I make my living primarily from shooting video and now shoot with a Canon C300 that overcomes all these workflow compromises.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://philming.com.au
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Peter Groom
Re: Im thinking about buying a new DSLR
on Jun 27, 2012 at 11:07:10 am

Thanks for that Phil.
Seems its all compromise. Poor audio or the need for double recording.
Limited recording lengths and re synching.

I dont think its really attractive to me in the way id thought it would be. I think Ill have to stay with a video camera rather than a stills camera with the video strap on afterthought.

What i would say (to any camera manufacturer) is video is an audio-visual medium. TWO words.(and the audio comes before the visual!!)
Cheers
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Noah Kadner
Re: Im thinking about buying a new DSLR
on Jun 28, 2012 at 10:51:20 pm

Not so fast- not only is double-system sound really a piece of cake especially if you have Pluraleyes or an NLE with auto audio syncing built in such as FCP X. But it's pretty much the 'pro' way to do it and has been for decades with film cameras which don't record sound at all. I don't see it as a compromise one bit. I see it as the way to do it if you care about both picture *and* sound quality.

Check out this footage- this is literally shot and acted and sound recorded by me (no one else in the room). Canon 7D + Canon T2i + Zoom H1- It doesn't get any simpler than that:



Noah

Call Box Training.
Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Panasonic AC160/130.


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Peter Groom
Re: Im thinking about buying a new DSLR
on Jun 29, 2012 at 6:48:59 am

Hi Noah
I have no problem with complexity. (my background) Im a studio dubbing mixer in film and tv and rarely have a mix with less than 200 tracks, 50 busses etc, 8.1 surround etc, so im a lover of complexity.
my use is for my private domestic use not pro shooting. I mix for pro film makers, not shoot.
This is home video use. having a double shootibg rig for that seems overkill (but i can cope)
I just wanted a new dslr and didnt want a terrible handycam to get video too.
peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Phil Balsdon
Re: Im thinking about buying a new DSLR
on Jun 29, 2012 at 10:45:39 pm

If it's for home use the audio quality of an HDSLR should be fine. You are not going to have much control of acoustics at the shooting location anyway, so not to worry about the cameras slightly noisy pre-amps.

Just buy a reasonable camera mountable mic, the Rode Video Mic Pro or the Sennheiser MKE400 (very compact) are pretty good.

This is a doco I shot with a Canon 7D recording sound single system directly into the camera (it's the only time I've ever done this but it was a necessary decision).
Camera mic is a Rode Video Mic Pro, interview mic a Rode NTG-2 into a Sennheiser G2 Wireless system with plug on transmitter. Camera was fitted with a Beachtek DXA-SLR to over ride the AGC, (the 7D is the only Canon camera you need this for, but new firmware is on the way to give manual control in the camera). A little bit of work was done in Soundtrack Pro to reduce background noise.

http://www.engineeringaid.org/

The Canon 5D Mk111 is capable of shooting a continuous 29.59 take. (It'll break into a number of files that can be edited together without losing a frame).

HDSLRs are normally much better in low light than an equivalent priced video camera due to the larger CMOS sensor.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://philming.com.au
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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