Saturday, 16 June 2012

DSLR for Videography? Rant

I met a lot of people asking around whether to choose a particular model of stills camera for its video capabilities. I find this rather interesting. I'm not a person of like years of experience but I love to read about these camera stuff.

I own a Canon 600D, one of the best crop sensor camera from Canon for video recording as it comes with a mic input, manual audio level adjustments, manual video exposure settings and much fine details on picture style options. It has the ability to record 1080p full HD at 30fps and 24fps. When you come down to HD or 720p the frame rate can go up to 60fps.

a still image captured in video mode to see the exposure if I'd set for the video is correct. here I did f/11 ISO 400 1/60s. Nice large DOF
If you want you can see the snowboarding video here

I did some mistake in the exposure for the walking scene. And camera shake that can make you vomit blood. LOL.

The DSLR can record good quality videos, the same coatings on the lenses yadada and all those stuff that made stills imaging look so good helped a lot in making motion pictures look good too. But should it be used for motion pictures? Movies like The Avengers and Act of Valor did use a lot of Canon 5D Mark II camera. It has its own benefits such as a small form factor that allows more ridiculous shots to be taken from ridiculous angles and more. 
5D Mark II on location with dedicated motion picture lenses from Panavision and Zeiss.
Although my Canon 600D is great, it still has some problems. First moire or aliasing effect, it is when the sensor cant cope with the fine detail in the scene and forms some kind of waves on it. Then there's the jello effect or the rolling shutter effect where when we pan the camera fast enough the upper part of the frame goes to the pan direction first and the lower part goes later, making straight lines curved and bend. Well, obviously it is caused by the camera scanning info from up to bottom in one frame.

And let's go to CMOS sensor heating. On DSLRs it is large, and heats up quite good. My 600D can record up to 12 minutes before it locks down because of the sensor heating up. Sure, you won't be able to record the whole football match like you used to do in camcorder times. Plus with the inability to autofocus, although not true for some DSLRs, it is true for my 600D. Focusing are done manually. Which is a hassle if I'm dealing with shallow depth of field.

These are some of the famous limiting factors in DSLR videography. Well I'd say, don't choose a DSLR on a feature that it 'can do'. Choose a DSLR because it is meant to do, stills. Then for video? Using DSLRs for those short shots is fine but try to get hold of some video dedicated cameras for much more cooler features and less gear limitations for video. Look how in professional hands in this case, Phillip Bloom can get on a professional grade video camera. Just mundane everyday things, he made it look so cool.

Well, you just can't beat the expert on the field it excels in. A DSLR will always be a stills camera, although it can record video, but it won't exceed a video dedicated camera. Wait till you see how 4K resolution camera works. While full HD is 1920 x 1080 resolution, movie grade camera records three times bigger on 4K, or 4096 x 3072 resolution. There you have it. Want ultimate video? Buy a video camera.

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