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Adam Leonard
DSLRs from list
on Jul 27, 2012 at 7:18:32 am

Hi Everyone,

Although I'm mostly a video guy, I recently started working on a cruise ship and they have been making me do much more photography than anything else. And now I have to buy my own DSLR, so naturally I'm thinking that I'll go with one that would be good for shooting video with when my contract with this company is up. Cost is something of a factor here, but I'm not flat broke or anything. Something that would be less than $1100 including the lens and flash would be preferable. Below is the list of approved cameras. Any suggestions?

Cannon EOS 1D MK II, III, IV
Cannon EOS 1DS MK II, III, IV
Cannon EOS 30D/ 40D/ 50D / 60D
Cannon EOS 7D
FujiFilm S3 / S5 Pro
Leica S2
Nikon D200
Nikon D2H / D2X / D2X / D2Hs
Nikon D3 / D3X / D3S
Nikon D300 / D300s
D700/D800/D800E
Nikon D7000
Nikon D90
Olympus E-3 / E-30
Olympus E-5
Olympus E-600 / E-620
Sigma SD1
Sony A-380
Sony A-500 / A-550
Sony A-560 / A-580
Sony A-700
Sony A-900 / A-850


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Bill Bruner
Re: DSLRs from list
on Jul 27, 2012 at 12:32:01 pm

Adam - although it's somewhat above your $1100 budget, the $3000 Nikon D800 is the best hybrid still/video camera on your list. With its amazing 36MP sensor, it is a class-leading full-frame still camera - and with its clean HDMI out, manual audio level control and headphone jack, it is a world class video camera. Add a soon-to-be-available VAF-D800 anti-moire filter from Mosaic Engineering, and you'll have a moire-free, near-broadcast quality video camera after your cruise job is done.

See Philip Bloom's full frame shootout between the D800, Canon 5D MkIII (which is not on your list) and the Nikon D4 to see what the D800 can do in video mode with the anti-moire filter:

Hope this is helpful,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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Steve Crow
Re: DSLRs from list
on Jul 27, 2012 at 1:33:11 pm

I think the Canon 7D would be a terrific option, the same video capabilities as the Canon 5D MII at a much lower price and a very very capable camera for stills too. It's what I would buy.

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


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Casey Petersen
Re: DSLRs from list
on Jul 27, 2012 at 2:46:28 pm

I used a 7D before purchasing the 60D, and with the articulating screen, as well as being able to use Magic Lantern, I LOVE the 60D, and avoid using the 7D whenever possible.



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Bill Bruner
Re: DSLRs from list
on Jul 28, 2012 at 1:27:09 pm

Adam - I don't know what kind of videos you shoot (event? narrative?), but if you're considering the $1530 7D or the $890 60D for video, you should be aware that the Canons have a 12 minute video clip duration limit and no headphone jacks. The $3500 5D MkIII takes the clip length limit up to 30 minutes, has a headphone jack and gets rid of the Canon moire problem, but, sadly, it wasn't on your list.

And none of the Canons have clean, uncompressed, recordable HDMI out. The Nikon does.

With the anti-aliasing filter, the D800 is probably the best large sensor, interchangeable lens video-still hybrid camera you can buy between $1000 and the $8000 Sony NEX-FS700 (which, at 8MP, is not much of a still camera :)).

Cheers,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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Adam Leonard
Re: DSLRs from list
on Jul 28, 2012 at 7:41:03 pm

Ah, I should have mentioned that earlier. I'd really like to use it for narrative, but I'm more likely to be using it for events more often. I'd really like one with a longer record time, but I need this camera fairly soon for this photography job. I also have a real video camera for events, as long as the client doesn't require a DSLR.


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Adam Leonard
Re: DSLRs from list
on Jul 28, 2012 at 7:43:47 pm

So after consulting with a friend and reading these posts, I'm leaning toward either the 7d or the 60d. Any more thoughts on one over the other?


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Rob Manning
Re: DSLRs from list
on Jul 28, 2012 at 8:17:21 pm

Any work you will be doing in post? IE. Green screen or other manipulated animations (After Effects in Adobe, or other?) then the codec capture, becomes a consideration.

ProRes or AVID DNxHD on a Ninja, or the BMD Hyperdeck 2 is fairly economical if just shooting a static series but, if using AE etc. the step up to AVID has better use (according to my DP friends) over ProRes. The read out in Adobe for the DNxHD (maxed) files from the HD2 is 10 bit, 4.2.2 from the D800.

The Nikon D800 which as noted above, is the only HD enabled DSLR with a direct out other than the Nikon D4. Canon offers this but starting at the $15,000 price point.

Consider the output needs, and ignore the fan folk and peer pissing contests.

Will you have expectations for commercial level work in post? If so the Nikon would be a decent choice bang for buck. (TV Spots, short clips, shooting script, set lighting, heavy animations for post etc.)

Otherwise, for average h.264 (average means vast majority of for hire work out there) sure the Canon took Nikon's D90 ball from the end zone and ran it back to the fifty yard line, but the game isn't over and might be escalating when Nikon moves the service center to Hollywood near term.

Joe Marine, at No Film School did a great job when the marketing hype dust settled comparing end results from the MK2/3 and D800:http://vimeo.com/42381520

HTH's

Rob


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Mike Drew
Re: DSLRs from list
on Jul 30, 2012 at 1:10:36 pm

I think it's pretty clear that if your budget is around $1100 things like clean hdmi output and the endless debate on which codecs are best aren't very high on your priority list. These arguments are blown way out of proportion anyway.
Sorry, I don't mean to impugn your abilities or future desires but it just sounds to me like your needs are fairly basic.
I shoot news and short docs pretty much exclusively with the 7D and the 60D, both stills and video, and I love them both. The 60D with it's swing-out screen and free Magic Lantern firmware is spectacular and my go-to camera for about 80 percent of my work. The 7D will also have new firmware from Canon in August that will vastly increase its video capabilities as well.
The 12-minute limit is a pain for some things but it's pretty easy to stop the camera at a natural pause in whatever you're shooting and then just hit record again. Takes about three seconds. Definitely not a deal-breaker.
Should you find you need anything more in the future, well, cameras just keep getting better and better. Get your basic needs covered now and worry about higher bitrates and codecs and all that other armchair video-geek stuff later. Get a 60D or a 7D and get shooting.


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Casey Petersen
Re: DSLRs from list
on Jul 30, 2012 at 3:35:03 pm

For me, not being able to use Magic Lantern on the 7D is a deal breaker.

On my 60D, Magic Lantern gives me the ability to have the camera automatically restart recording after the 12 minute limit has been reached. It also gives me the ability to monitor the audio while recording, as well as showing peaking levels (for super-easy focusing), zebra levels, and the ability to zoom on the screen while recording...and dozens of other extremely helpful and creative features.

Casey



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Mike Drew
Re: DSLRs from list
on Jul 30, 2012 at 3:38:01 pm

I completely agree. The new firmware for the 7D will add a lot of features but there's no doubt that the 60D with ML is the way to go for video.


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Rob Manning
Re: DSLRs from list
on Jul 31, 2012 at 7:29:39 pm

Hey Mike,

I missed the part about $1,100 budget.

Point made indeed, in that range either the Panasonic GH2 or Canon as discussed are the best choices.

RM


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Adam Leonard
Re: DSLRs from list
on Aug 4, 2012 at 6:52:31 pm

Thanks everyone. I think I'll get the 60D. Now for the lens.

I'm leaning towards the EF-S 18 135 or 200 mm lens, which B&H packages along with the camera. Any thoughts?


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Steve Crow
Re: DSLRs from list
on Aug 4, 2012 at 7:17:54 pm

Neither, not right away in any case. Remember that with the less expensive zoom and kit lenses that the aperture changes as you zoom in...in other words they are not constant aperture lenses. What this means is that your image will darken as you zoom in unless you simultaneously raise the iso or change the shutter speed which you wouldn't want to do (I lock mine at 1/50th a second and basically keep it there locked) (If you follow the advice never to film while you are actually zooming in or out this becomes less of an issue)

What I would be tempted to get instead would be the Tamron 28-75mm 2.8 for $499

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/284399-REG/Tamron_AF09C700_28_75mm_f_...

which is going to get you a a tad wider than a standard 50mm lens on a camera with a full frame sensor all the way up to about a 120mm equivalent for the short telephoto range - and all at a constant aperture. It's got great reviews and a very competitive price. So I'd start looking there.

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


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Adam Leonard
Re: DSLRs from list
on Aug 4, 2012 at 7:29:59 pm

I'll have to check the requirement list again, but I think it has a minimum size of 115 mm for lenses.


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Malcolm Matusky
Re: DSLRs from list
on Aug 12, 2012 at 1:02:44 am

I bought the 7D when it came out (didn't want the vista-vision sized sensor of the 5DII) I just bought a 60D and would buy 2 60D's at this point if I did not already own the 7D. Magic Lanern is worth buying the 60D over the 7D, even thought the 7D is a "better built camera" so what, it will be functionally obsolete before I wear it out!

Don't show up on a "paying job" with just one body. I'm shooting dual cameras now, as the "zoom" capability of the Canon lenses is not anything like a TV or Cinema lens, I use them as "variable primes" and shoot a CU & MS at the same time for cutting.

My $0.02

Malcolm

Malcolm
http://www.malcolmproductions.com


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