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Old 11-12-2011, 05:12 PM
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telemarker (Keith)
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Updating video equipment

Its time to dump the aging Hi8 and move on to HD video but looking at the prices of full HD video cameras, it might be more cost effective to upgrade my 20D at the same time and kill 2 birds with the 1 stone. So who here can can offer advice on using Canon DSLRs for general video, with the odd corporate training video and stop motion (my son has a few more brick movie ideas he wants to pursue). Also, I realize that the 5D Mk2 is generally considered the gold standard, how do the lesser models perform in comparison? Any advice on these models word be appreciated.

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Keith

Last edited by telemarker; 11-12-2011 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:11 PM
Poita (Peter)
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I use the 5D MKII and the D7000 for video and unless you are planning to spend an extra fortune on them for rigs, screens etc. they are not really suited for general video work at all.

For studio work, where you have a dedicated focus puller, they are a great adjunct to traditional gear with their (relatively) low cost and shallow depth of field allowing traditional looking cinematic close ups etc. but are an absolute pain for general work.

A canon HD video camera is cheap as chips and will do a far far better and way faster job in 99% of corporate/general work. I'd only look at a DSLR as a second camera for some of those cinematic beauty shots.

Honestly, they are too unwieldy for general work, just like an Arri would be. For dedicated work on a film set, or artistic expressionistic short films they are great, but for most work a dedicated HD video camera will eat them alive.

And HD video cameras are cheap, you can get a 2nd hand high quality canon HDV camera for under $500
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:53 PM
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acropolite (Phil)
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Quote:
unless you are planning to spend an extra fortune on them for rigs, screens etc. they are not really suited for general video work at all.
I would tend to disagree, there are many people using the 5DII to shoot motion pictures, produce TV commercials, and training videos.
You generally don't hear much about it because the people doing this sort of work don't frequent forums and are simply busy getting on with the job.
The reason behind a preference for DSLR's is mostly the lens choice, high quality lenses are readily available at a fraction of the cost of top of the line cinema video gear and also the low noise capabilities allow shooting in natural and low light.
The Cinema 5D forum has a wealth of information on the use of DSLR for video.

My son Zac runs a company (Pointman) specialising in video production and has 2 full length cinema productions on the go using 5DII's, he uses a 60D for a backup camera and claims the video quality from the 60D isn't far behind the 5DII and the flip out screen is a bonus in some situations.

FWIW some episodes of the TV series House were shot on 5DII.
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:31 PM
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telemarker (Keith)
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Hmmm.... One for, one against. Some more googling I think. Thanks guys. Just one thing though, most video I do is from a tripod, if that helps.
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Old 13-12-2011, 12:18 AM
Poita (Peter)
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Originally Posted by acropolite View Post
I would tend to disagree, there are many people using the 5DII to shoot motion pictures, produce TV commercials, and training videos.
You generally don't hear much about it because the people doing this sort of work don't frequent forums and are simply busy getting on with the job.
The reason behind a preference for DSLR's is mostly the lens choice, high quality lenses are readily available at a fraction of the cost of top of the line cinema video gear and also the low noise capabilities allow shooting in natural and low light.
The Cinema 5D forum has a wealth of information on the use of DSLR for video.

My son Zac runs a company (Pointman) specialising in video production and has 2 full length cinema productions on the go using 5DII's, he uses a 60D for a backup camera and claims the video quality from the 60D isn't far behind the 5DII and the flip out screen is a bonus in some situations.

FWIW some episodes of the TV series House were shot on 5DII.
This is my point exactly, we use DSLRs for video all the time, but it is more suited to professional cinema/TV work. Some movies and TV shows have been shot using DSLRs, but take a look at the rigs they use to make it usable to do so.
http://hddslrworkshops.com/wp-conten..._Promo_D02.jpg
Focus is a pain unless you add focusing gear to them that can cost far more than the camera. For efficient work you really want to use an external screen.
Powerzoom doesn't exist on most models without another expensive add-on.
The few DSLRs that allow auto-focus to work during video capture, don't work very well. If you currently use manual focus for everything, this won't bug you. If you use autofocus at all, it will, and trying to focus a DSLR for video without a focus rig is an exercise in frustration.

We use these: http://www.redrockmicro.com/redrock_dslr.html
and they are great, but it isn't cheap.
And to get the filmic looking shots, you need to buy the lenses to suit, and that is more $$ again. You get to use them for photography too, but you have to budget for them.

Productivity wise, without the add-on gear DSLRs are clunky and a headache. The upside is great quality lenses at cheap (compared to cine-cameras) prices. If you are an experienced cinematographer, used to using cine-cameras in full manual mode, and have a focus rig you can get stunning results. If you don't have that experience, the learning curve is incredibly steep, and the form-factor of a DSLR is completely wrong for video - meaning more $$ for add-ons to make it handle like a video camera.

If you can afford the full rig to go with the DSLR, then go for it, but it comes to a pretty high price and is difficult to use if you are not use to it.

My advice would be get the DSLR you want for photography work, grab a HD video camera for your video work (they are so cheap) and use the DSLR as an adjunct to your video, for the few shots that take advantage of it and don't need the camera to move.
If you like I can send you my Canon HDV camera to play with for a month, so you can get a feel for using an affordable HD Video camera and see what you think. Just PM me your address and I'll post it on down.

Last edited by Poita; 13-12-2011 at 12:52 AM.
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Old 14-12-2011, 03:29 PM
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telemarker (Keith)
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Thanks for the offer Peter. I'll hold off any further upgrades for the moment til I find whats going on with the work side of things. I'll see if I can get their communications area to invest in a camera. Thanks for your input.
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