Cinematography : Dslr? by Aaron Dawkins

Aaron Dawkins

Dslr?

I'm looking to invest in a DSLR, which camera gives you the best options?

Adrian Sierkowski

You should look at which one will get you your money back fastest, based on what the clients you're servicing seem to be asking for. Keep in mind, any camera investment is very likely to be outdated within about a year or so; so try to make your money back on the system after just a few shoots.

Erika Christie

Hi Aaron. I run a DSLR video group and we have a couple cameras that we use. I don't know their exact specs off the top of my head but our most consistent cameras are the Canon C100 and Canon 6D. They both have their advantages and both put out a pretty good product.

Sherie Suter

You'll get the most bang for your buck if you by a used one as the next model comes out as Adrian said the camera will be out dated in a year . That's becuase they are always coming out with something new and a lot of people sell there cameras to get the next model. I'm still shooting my Nikon D200 that I paid $1100. for new I could pick that camera up for $500. easily now. But it's still a perfectly good camera. It does not do video and I will upgrade soon but rather then buy new I will get someone's pass off Pro camera and get a better one then I could afford if I bought new. If I had it to do over I'd go with cannon chose your brand carefully once you start buying good len's you are pretty much locked in. Cannon has a better processor but I already was shooting nikon from film days.

Christopher Peoples

If you're looking strictly for video, I would highly recommend the Panasonic GH2 or the newer GH3. Being Micro 4/3, you can adapt almost any lens, Canon, Nikon, PL Mount etc. A hacked GH2 created one of the best images out of any DSLR, no question. The advantage to the GH3 would be that it adds 1080p 60fps for great slow motion. I find most productions still ask for Canons though, but if you can get them to look at the GH2's image, I doubt they would still choose the Canon.

Adrian Sierkowski

Yeah; I got screwed on Nikon as well since I came from an F3, FM, and F4, so I had tons of Nikon glass around and then... nothing from them worthwhile in the DSLR realm for video work and I don't shoot enough stills to upgrade to digital for that (plus the suck, says me. I much prefer shooting 36 good exposures than 360 chimped). For DSLR I went with a GH2 but only after thing settled down in the market. I went because it was cheap and I can use an adapter on the MFT mount to get to Nikon glass, which I already had. Sensor size is a slight issue; but everything is a trade off. Were I going to buy one now, I'd go with whatever I could get for the moment, keeping my eye out for when the BMD Pocket Camera drops. It's not really a DSLR, but it's much better for video in terms of quality than you could hope for out of a 5D. And, as I come out of film in the first place, i'm not scared of the S16mm sensor size.... which everyone makes a big deal out of because of some made up thing called a "crop factor," which confuses more people than it helps.

Adrian Sierkowski

Going off of Christopher's comment, the Feature i'm on next month up in Colorado originally wanted Canons, and we may carry a few 5DMKIIIs for night shooting, but we did a test and the GH2 came out much better for 99% of the filming we're doing, hence it's our "hero," camera. Though as the film is a take on the movie "The Bay," In style, we're also using quite a bit of gopros as well as Canon XA20s for IR shooting.

Mark Schaefer

what's ur budget? 500 bux... t3i... 1,200 bux... nikon d7100... 2,000 bux,... d600. just my 0.02... oh, then there's the glass.... ewww wheee....

Aaron Dawkins

Thanks, everyone for the advice. Mark, at the moment my budget is $6000. I primarily want to shoot films with this camera, so I'll probably get 3 lenses. I like Cannon lenses for video shooting, but when I was shooting motion picture film I liked Zeiss and Angenieux lenses.

Aaron Dawkins

I think it sucks that cameras will be obsolete a year after, but I'm not really concerned with that so much, unless the codecs change. Visually, I'm a very stylized filmmaker, so having a camera that will let me create various looks is the most important thing. Kind of like having certain film stocks that you like and always go to.

Brian A. McGee

If you are still raising funds, don't forget to create a profile on KICKSTARTER and on INDIE GO GO

Brian A. McGee

You might want to consider a NIKON 800D DSLR Camera with a Focus Kit for that Camera. I have hear lots of good things about that camera. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=D800&N=4291315846+4288586280 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=885303&Q=&is=REG&...

Mark Schaefer

don't forget your other stuff you might need like lights, computer, editing software, tripods, stands, etc. easy to kill ur budget! but, have fun! I still use my old mac with fce, from 6 years ago. it still works, so I'm happy with that. no need to upgrade for me... for now.

Adrian Sierkowski

Those friction focus kits blow. Much better to look into lens gears and a proper follow focus.

Aaron Star

Blackmagic 2k or 4k body, and rent a the lenses you need when you need them. Shooting straight to CinemaDNG 12-bit, DNx 4:2:2, or ProRes 4:2:2 would be a better workflow over AVC 4:2:0 conversion, and it comes with Davinci CC software and scope software.

Andrew Sobkovich

BlackMagic says they are now shipping the Pocket Cinema Camera. 1920 x 1080 sensor, Since it is natively made as a motion camera it may avoid the myriad pitfalls of DSLRs, which, are very nice still cameras but the moving images they make are in the "good enough" category, which many of us eschew. Now that the Pocket Camera Thingy is available it will be worth testing in the near future to see what it actually does. First things first will be testing resolution, colour, and latitude with specific attention to fleshtones. If you like how it looks and the ergonomics, then you have another camera option. At this price point an HD image is fine but remember that the industry is rushing to 4K capture, which will limit its potential technical lifespan to a couple of years. Make sure you test since buying a camera that you've not tested is a sure way to be surprised and not happily.

Aaron Dawkins

Thanks. This DSLR thing is very tricky. Stepping outside the DSLR area, has anyone heard anything about the Sony NEX- FS100UK Super 35 Camcorder?

Adrian Sierkowski

It's a little old of a system, and the FS700 is much better for slow motion. Still much better than a DSLR for video. However the BMC cameras are MUCH better and comperable price. In fact the just dropped the price for the slightly poorly named "cinema camera"

Aaron Dawkins

Thanks, good info.

Ryan Atkins

Depends on the features you want in it and how much you're willing to spend

Aaron Dawkins

Great. What are the standout options of the Redcam he mentioned?

Adrian Sierkowski

Any good DoP honestly wouldn't speak in absolutes. Even with the argument of Red, you can say, well that's all well and good, but what about an Alexa-- since that's really cornered the market on higher-end productions, or the Sony F series, such as the F65 which outresolves all the aforementioned while still maintaining high ISO (look @ Oblivion, for example), or even an Arricam, which of course runs motion picture stock and is in many ways "updateable" with new stocks as they come out. But any and all camera choices can work, it's just a question then of how well they'll work for the specific application you're going for. For example, with a 5D I can steal shots all through downtown LA without people really noticing, but I'm pretty sure if I pulled out my SR3, I might have some problems. I can still do it, of course, but even beyond the lookiloos, there's be an issue with granularity and the need to light a bit even on the fastest film stocks.

Adrian Sierkowski

I didn't, but you shouldn't just make unilateral statements on what camera to go with. Anyone who doesn't understand that, well, I"m sorry.

Christopher Peoples

To bring this back on topic, let's address price. For cinema outside of DSLR's, the Black Magic Camera will do quite well for the price. Similar in looks to the Arri Alexa and for 1/20th of the cost, but you need accessories. Any RED camera, including the RED ONE MX used now, will cost between $15-35K before lenses. They are true cinema cameras and bring along the cost, weight and accessories needed to make them run properly. The advantage to a DSLR like the GH2 or 5Dmkii or iii is exactly that, cost, weight and accessories. Now, if you're shooting feature films with a budget, the RED or Alexa would be no issue to rent and would be the ideal cameras, but most of us are on a smaller budget if any at all. With this in mind, the GH2, Black Magic Pocket Cam and the 5D series works wonders. My choice for the quick and inexpensive, GH2 with the new Lumix Vario 12-35 f2.8(24-70 equivalent) and the 35-100 f2.8(70-200 equivalent). That kit will take care of your needs for any event and most cinema applications IMHO and you're still less than $3000.

Aaron Dawkins

Noted.

Adrian Sierkowski

Don't forget the basics of support/follow focus/mattebox with whatever camera you're looking @. And some cards/batts. That's a few hundred many people forget to budget for.

Andrew Sobkovich

It is neither the cost nor the age of the camera, it is the qualities of the image. Image qualities are subject to personal interpretation, so regardless of anyone's opinions, it is what it looks like to you that is important. If it gives you images you like in your deliverables, the FS100 would be a good choice. Including the 11:1 zoom (an ok lens) which many came with, it should be in the low to mid $3K price range. Pay attention to the limitations of the on-board recorded image, but if you can work within them. the camera is a good consideration and gets you away from still cameras. This leaves you some $$ for other stuff. As for the distractions; An F65 within a $6K budget? An unknown third party recommendation of one of the products from RED? RED MX bodies currently sell for around $5K or less and the price is dropping, no comment on what they are actually worth. The Blackmagic Cinema Camera image is nothing like the Alexa images in terns of noise, colour, and resolution.

Adrian Sierkowski

I agree with you on it not being the age nor cost but the images, as a Director of Photography. But, if you're looking for a camera which you'll turn a profit on, hype of system matters a lot more. You have to look at what the market in your area is asking for, and go with that. That's a lesson I learned the hard way many many years ago when I went with an SR3 because it's a better camera -v- a BL3 (talking film here). Had I gone BL3 I would still be shooting film since S16mm production has really cratered, but 35mm keeps chugging along.

Andrew Sobkovich

The SR3 is a different camera than the BL3 but it is not better. Certainly both are good cameras in their respective arenas, but those arenas are utterly different. The demise of 16mm in LA had nothing to do with hype but everything to do with image and workflow. Historically, 16mm only accounted for a fraction of the production in Los Angeles . The 35mm infrastructure was so well entrenched and functioned so well that there was little incentive to change to generally lesser quality images for savings that were a very small percentage of the total production budget. That was before the current "cheaper is good enough" mentality and those who sell themselves in that fashion. Hype is only important if the producer is listening to the intern fan-boy sitting behind the copying machine instead of the DP. If they don't pay attention when you say what you want to do the shoot with and why, then you aren't making the movie even if you take the job.

Kathi Carey

I'm going to go against the flow here and say maybe you shouldn't invest in ANY camera -- the technology changes so rapidly and anything you buy is going to be old technology in just a couple of years. I did just what you're doing -- bought a camera to shoot my first film -- and yes, I've used it since...but never to shoot another film. The technology just grew up too fast and my DP recommended other, better options since then. I recommend renting your camera for shooting anything professionally. If you just want to buy a camera for fun, that's a different story.

Andrew Sobkovich

Roman Thank you, that was informative. Very revealing when he said, "don't buy a DSLR camera to use for video" when discussing rolling shutter problems. I completely agree, DSLRs are very nice still cameras.

Andrew Sobkovich

Kathi Suggesting renting equipment is not going against the flow, it was simply not within the original question. I completely agree with you since I rent a lot. Your points are perfectly valid, with a few exceptions. If the project is long enough that the equipment can pay for itself, or even if the cost of the camera is less than the rate the project will pay plus the resale value. Series will often end up paying the full cost of the camera, and features will usually have enough rental billing to make buying the camera worthwhile after reselling. This works out well for everyone involved. The biggest benefit of renting is that I can choose the best equipment for the project as opposed to an equipment owner who says that the XXX camera is the best for everything. No camera made is the best at everything. I make the choices based on the images I will create, not on when my next loan payment is. The old saying, "to someone with a hammer, all problems look like a nail" is very applicable. A major consideration is that contingency plans must be firmly in place in case of technical problems, ie a camera case is run over by a production truck. With the rental companies I normally choose i have had replacement bits on set within 24 hours all over the world. Not a big problem, but always ask what the contingency plans are in the event of major equipment failure. This approach has worked for a very long time but is somewhat threatened by the "cheaper is gooder" prevailing philosophy of some "producers".

Grace Pisula

If you're a true cinematographer, the best camera for you to use is still the one that you've got. With that said, you don't need to dish out a load of money to "get the shot". Be creative and develop your own style. That's what it's all about. I bought the Canon 7D for its value. Good camera, very durable, multiple focus points. I keep editing this, but I believe if you're really wanting to invest in something it should be the lens.

Andrew Sobkovich

"If you're a true cinematographer…" Really?? wow well, I've been properly chastened Camera system selection should never be based on what you own, but upon what tool will most effectively bring your imagination to the screen. Choosing specific image characteristics of different cameras and how they fit into the visual telling of the movie. The specified camera system will be on the set because it was decided upon days, weeks, or months before the shoot ever starts. The camera is there because I as DP wanted it there as part of my planned visual flow of the movie and is based on my knowledge and experience to do what is best for the movie. Visual style is dictated by the story, just as story dictates everything in creating a movie. If we only used personal style, DPs could only shoot one movie. Or more likely, no movie. I find this all quite humorous at a time when everyone alleges they are a DP, apparently I am not a DP since I do not choose to shoot moving images with a 7D. Perhaps I should get a refund of all those decades of union dues?

Kathi Carey

Thank YOU, Andrew!! Said like a cinematographer that I would, no, WILL hire!! This is the way my cinematographer thinks. You choose the camera that best tells the story. Period. From me, the director, to my cinematographer, to everyone else on the set -- this is the way good movies are made. In service of the story and the emotional impact it will have on the audience.

Grace Pisula

Whoa! Please take no offense Andrew. My message was directed to Aaron, the initial user who posted. That quote was taken directly from DP Philip Bloom speaking on the topic of "what is the best camera to use.. " All that it means is that you should not worry so much about the tools that you have as much as your technique. Do not feel limited. Instead use those limitations to challenge yourself. Aaron - it's an exciting thing to start investing in your own equipment, but don't believe for a second that buying a more expensive camera makes you a better DP. Many effects are achievable through color and editing. Good luck!

Randall Roffe

as a former op, I'm perplexed by the constant changes. I just have to trust my DP nowadays

Rachael Saltzman

Depends on your market. I have no interest in owning a red, as they're dirt cheap to rent, and a PITA if you're flying with a skeleton crew. The MK III is my new baby, as a still photog and filmmaker, that was the best bang for my personal buck. I am interested in driving the BMs to see if I want to pick one of those up as well. If money is no object with the production, I like the F65 and the Alexa. But for something in my home, that doesn't require a lot of upkeep and I can run and gun at a moment's notice, DSLRs are great.

Igor Andreevski

try Blackmagic Cinema camera, it is almost the same price, but can have uncompressed video...

Mario Roberto

Check out this guide, It's great for DSLR cinematography. It wouldn't hurt to check out Blackmagic Cinema camera, they got a great discount going on atm.

Don Riemer

Take a very serious look at the Panasonic Lumix GH3. The recent film "Upstream Color" was shot with the older version of this camera, the GH2. Far less expensive than comparable offerings from Canon and Nikon. Google some reviews and you'll see raves. Here's the product page at B&H Photo: Panasonic HG3

Frank A Rybicki

Best to test before invest. Try http://thelensdepot.com/, they have very reasonable pricing and carry a great variety of gear. If you test Blackmagic, make sure you get a complete kit.

Hank Isaac

I'm with Frank. I would definitely suggest renting different cameras before committing a large bag of cash to one. I've had excellent success with http://lensrentals.com - they rent cameras (still and video) and lenses (duh!) and accessories. Shipped right to your door. And they really take good care of their equipment. Their website has tons of info on each item as well as reviews from their staff regarding suitability, etc.

Danielle Turner

I love my Canon 5D Mark ii. Just remember to be as diligent shopping for your lens(s) too. Oh, and the 5D sucks when it comes to sound. The picture is like nothing I've ever seen and it captures in low light very well. But use a different devise for capturing sound. I use the Zoom H4N for my sound and it works beautifully.

Mark Preston

for tripod work or controlled focus situations, I would recommend a Canon 5D mklll or a Canon 7D for a cinematic feel. For "run & gun" or sports the Sony NEX VG900 or a used Sony EX1

David Reynolds

've been a Nikon owner for years. Nikons have one advantage over Canons, but only if you have older lenses: the lens mount on the digital and 35mm models is the same. Beyond that, spend the dough on the full-frame DSLRs. The smaller frame versions (Nikon refers to its models as "DX") use a 2/3 frame when compared to a 35mm frame of 24 mm by 36 mm. The smaller frame means all lenses have greater magnification, which is ideal for long shot because it turns a 200mm into a 300mm. The downside, though, is it drastically impacts wide angle lens coverage. Spend the extra dough, regardless of which brand you get, and get a full frame model.

Aaron Dawkins

thanks, great info. All the posts help greatly.

Ralph Barnette

Aaron, I use a Canon T3i w/Nikon classic ('70's vintage) manual lenses equipped with adapters. Quality is great; small sensor is no problem if you have very wide lenses such as 15mm and 20mm (15mm=full frame 23mm; 20mm= full frame 34mm). New lenses have good quality overall, less distorion in some respects, but tend to be less well made as they use a lot of plastic and motors that burn out. The last thing you want is for a lens to die while shooting; go full manual and learn to manually focus and expose. Another camera option to check out depending on your budget is the BMPCC, not a DSLR but will probably be my next camera.

Aaron Dawkins

Thanks, Ralph. A number of posts mention the Black Magic Pocket Camera.

Jeffrey Akers

I think what Mark said above is important. I would only recommend a DSLR if the majority of your shooting is going to be from a tripod or dolly. If so, though, and you really want to invest six grand, I would consider a used 7D for eight or nine hundred dollars and put the other five grand into a Canon 24mm Cine lens. In a few years when you can afford a C300 or C500 level camera, you'll have a beautiful lens waiting for it. Think of it in terms of home audio- you don't want to spend thousands on a high end CD player if you're going to be listening to it through $300 speakers.

Aaron Dawkins

Great point!

Omar Brown

You would also want to make sure that your HDMI outputs provides a clean output for live preview and recording. Make sure whatever camera you decide to get is DTE friendly with companies like: Atomos (http://www.atomos.com/) and AJA (http://aja.com/en/ to name a few.

Kathi Carey

Oh, and another point to consider: we were editing a little "behind the scenes" video for a kickstarter campaign (which successfully funded, btw) and we combined dslr "behind the scenes" footage with footage shot for the film on the RED Epic. And my editor is sitting in the chair, pointing at the monitor and going, "Look at that artifacting on the dslr footage -- not clean AT ALL compared to the Epic stuff." And we were down-ressed on the Epic stuff into FCP7 so it was compressed WAY down from the 4k we shot in, but were straight in on the dslr footage (no compression). Now I'm not a DP or an editor -- just a director -- but food for thought, eh?

Adrian Sierkowski

vDSLRs all have to do some kind of sub-sampling from the overall sensor, which way out-resolves even a red (for stills). And it has to do this in real time, downscaling ect, then throws it all into a lossy codec like h.264 or AVCHD at rather substandard bit-rates and bit-depth (typically 8 bit). It'll never match an Epic; but of course it also won't cost you upwards of 60K to buy and it rather small in terms of media needs/hard drive space.

Rachael Saltzman

@Kathi - which lens systems were they both using? What kind of media? These both make a HUGE difference. Slower media cards make a mess out of everything.

Sidmar Holloman

Look into the blackmagic pocket cinema camera or blackmagic design's other cameras

Deanna Scott

definately don't go with Pentax. I've had problems with the sensor since day one

Kathi Carey

Rachel, not a DP, didn't shoot either one. Just the director, so I can't answer your question. I just know that the output from the RED was far superior. Yes, it's a much more expensive camera. But like I said earlier in this thread, I ALWAYS rent my cameras for my film projects -- preferring not to have a camera become obsolete after the first project I would "buy" it for (actually I'm not renting -- the production is). And my DP is proficient with every conceivable camera because he works all the time. And I'm in LA where you can GET every conceivable camera.

Adrian Sierkowski

I haven't yet seen any ikonscopics out here for their digital; but the point stands; this is camera la la land.

Omar Brown

The best way to use a HDSLR is to bypass the encoder chip in the first place. The HDMI signal comes off the sensor bypassing the compressor chip. The color sampling is 422 8bit or 10bit depending on the camera. Codecs like H.264, AVCHD or MP4 are the worst formats to do any kind film editing. DTE (direct to edit) devices are the best way to go when filming. Not all SDXC media cards are not equal. You need a card that is at lease a class 10 and 64gb. Red cameras are great to film with, but the question was what was is the best DSLR to get for filming. Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, black magic, and Sony all have DSLR cameras with pros and cons. Look for a camera that will provide clean HDMI output and an audio input to use with a beachtek or juicedlink audio adapters. If you are trying to achieve a cinematic depth of field look, get a camera with a large sensor.

Rachael Saltzman

... Kathi, have you ever BEEN to NY? Anyone with the scratch can put their hands on anything within an hour. I worked with the RED one enough to see it blow up and crash in every conceivable way (which is why I hate the thing). The Epic is a much better build. It also depends upon your final output goals. Are you shooting to project? TV? Web? News? It matters. While storage is cheap, processing 4k footage takes a LOT more time.

Simon © Simon

I have been reading for about 6 months on that....A DSLR is a cheaper way to get a less compressed file to edit with. To keep it simple. Great for shooting a scene you are going to track in Mocha and attach assets to. Other then that...? Matter of what you really see and how far you are going to compress for delivery. http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/142/874122 The CMOS chip on most of them will give a 422 out which is still compressed as opposed to an 8x8 direct to storage. 444 Like a Panny or Sony True HD Camera $6000 range. http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/video/videoChannelSearchResults.do?submit.x=0&s... http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/video/videoChannelSearchResults.do?submit.x=0&s... <--- if any links to check out in here, are these ones and start from the beginning. Although every link I posted will save you money! The higher rating storage allows for faster write time. IE: Burst shooting. Anything higher then 6 will get you there for video. However with the price 10 is, cheap enough. 64 Gb is pretty good. Anything bigger and you are wondering about return. Do you fill a short scene with 64GB? As a flash drive only can be written on and erases so many times. http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/show-highend/resource.solutions.bbsccms-ass... The Glass/lenses I would say are the most important part of a DSLR's option. Since the CMOS is pretty standard across the board. At their respective price breaks. MPEG 4 is the new MPEG 2 those codecs are used by some very expensive and true HD cameras that shoot with little compression. Mpeg is simply a codec, or container, not to be confused with say MTS.compression. Compression is NOT necessarily a bad thing either. No matter how you slice it non film is always going to have rolling shutter challenges. http://pro.sony.com/bbsccms/assets/files/micro/xdcam/solutions/MPEG-2_Lo... So to me spending 3500 for a DSLR rig to make a movie on is kinda crazy. Unless you are, as stated; going to track a lot of scenes, or do the ole' in & out of focus camera tampering for the back n forth shots ( I hate that personally) But whatever you like, it is your movie. My eyes do not go out of focus that much, when talking to someone so I do not care for it. You might want to check out Sony's Hd rigs or Canons rigs, The new G series camcorder will shoot some pretty sweet stuff. Heck even the Canon M series (older model) was used to shoot some of the scenes in Jason Stathem's Crank. And that is MTS codec with a 1/2 CMOS split R,G,B which is very low compared to what you are considering. My two cents. http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/cat-broadcastcameras/tab_menu2 Budget? I'm not a big fan of Sony... Here are a couple of inexpensive cameras hi to low below. By the time you rig sound on to a DSLR, if not shooting DSLR style...Then don't pay for it. Pick it up in editing. Like Depth of field, Zoom, Pan, etc. http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/support/consumer/camcorders/professional_c... http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/HC-X920K?t=overview

Adrian Sierkowski

there's more than one ting a little off in your understanding of DSLRs in the above, as well as basics of MPEG and color sampling ect. I would go into it here, but I get the feeling most of the people here don't really understand it nor want to learn. I will say for anyone who wants to know, yourself too Simon, feel free to PM me or e mail me or whatever and I'll try my best to explain DSLR things.

Ernest J. Schweit

Aaron, first thing to consider is how you are gonna use the camera. What are your needs? Its very easy to over buy, so I'd suggest making a list of what you need and how you plan to use the camera. I went through a similar process when I bought my last dslr. I ended up with a Nikon D700 because it produces fabulous images in low light conditions. I shoot a lot of theater and concerts and flash can be disruptive. So I needed the full frame sensor, high ISO capabilities, a fast glass (f/2.8 or faster) lenses. That was three years ago and the camera works perfectly. Good luck!

Aaron Dawkins

Thanks Ernest, I will use the camera prmarily for shooting films. Since I will primarily using low budgets I need a versatile camera with good low light capabilities and lattitude. I light to create low key high contrast images often.

Andrew Sobkovich

Adrian DSLRs shooting video do not oversample and then comform down to 1920x1080 since this would take a lot of processing power to do it at 24fps. Instead they drop rows and columns of photosites to come down to 1920x1080. This allows the processors to keep up and the information can be efficiently recorded due to the lower bandwidth. The working photosites are spread across the sensor, which maintains the physical dimensions of the sensor, and thus depth of field. This does also create unpleasant image artifacts like aliasing moire, etc.. As the 1920x1080 is a RAW Bayer pattern, the actual resolution will be significantly less which also effects the moving image quality. There may be some that do oversample, but I am not aware of them.

Andrew Sobkovich

Omar The HDMI signal cannot come off of the sensor since it is a processed digital signal. the output of the sensor is analog, which then goes to an A to D (Analog to Digital) converter and from there to a processor. I completely agree with your point of taking the HDMI signal to an off-board recorder.

Andrew Sobkovich

Simon There are lots of professional electronic cameras without "rolling shutter issues". The Sony F65 uses a mechanical shutter to affect a global exposure of the frame and the Sony F55 has an electronic Global shutter. Neither camera has any rolling shutter artifacts if you do not want them. Furthermore, most CCD imager cameras do not have rolling shutter issues, so all of the ENG style and studio cameras are not inflicted with the problem. The very nice forgotten cameras in this group are the Panavision Genesis, and Sony F35. Lovely over-sampled striped sensor, wonderful colour, decent latitude and, since our industry is now soooo trendy, they are relatively cheap since they are not in vogue. These are not DSLRs but actual motion picture cameras that were made for that purpose. As a DP. rolling shutters are a very important consideration in camera choice for projects The reason we change focus is not to play with you, but to lead you by the nose. We are shifting your attention to where we wish it to be with lighting, framing, movement and yes, selective focus.

Andrew Sobkovich

Kathi The lesser quality of the DSLR images is always apparent in such circumstances. Does it help to differentiate the behind the scenes material from the main unit? With their form factor and the much narrower depth of field, DSLRs are often not the best choice when shooting in a relatively uncontrolled situation. capturing action as it happens, documentary style. Yes it can be done but there are generally better suited camera systems for that purpose. There are some places where the lessened quality and artifacts from movement play a decreased role in the image. Interviews are a fine choice for a DSLR, since te decreased resolution is actually a benefit and there is usually not enough movement for artifacts to be readily visible. making the choices based on knowledge is kinda important.

Adrian Sierkowski

I don't think I mentioned oversampling in terms of vDSLRs. They do downscale the sensor; but this is not oversampling. Please stop misquoting me in what I say. This is the 2nd time.

Andrew Sobkovich

Adrian There was neither a quote nor misquote of your post, which I agree with, but a statement of additional information about how the data for the smaller image is gathered which has an effect on the image. Creating the smaller HD image from the larger sensor size can be described from either direction. Undersampling the available data to achieve the smaller result or oversampling in terms of the amount of data needed for the smaller result from the larger source.

Vasco Phillip de Sousa

It really depends what you're doing with the video. If it's just web video for youtube, then something like the 1100D is light, low cost, and good enough for most work. It only shoots at 720p, but then, most people don't watch Internet video at any higher than that. And it crops the view, but then so do the 500d, 550d, 600d, 650 etc. If you are planning to screen things in the cinema, or you'll be doing a lot of stills work for print, and you want to shoot indoors, it might be worth looking at a full frame option like the 5D MKIII. Nikon also has some pretty good cameras. But make sure not to spend the whole budget on the camera, most of them record terrible sound, so you'll need some money for a recording device, lighting, and lenses. The lenses you get can last and be transfered to other cameras of the same fitting. (As the lenses last longer than the camera, it might make sense to invest more in the lenses.) If it's for broadcast, and you're only shooting video (not stills), it might be worth looking at something other than a DSLR.

Omar Brown

Also subscribe to this magazine "digital video". Their website is www.creativeplanetneywork.com/DV.

Aaron Dawkins

Yeah, I am a subscriber. I order gear for my job, but it is broadcast gear. We shoot with HVX500s

Aaron Dawkins

HPX500s

Jeffrey Akers

Problem solved then: don't buy- borrow from work! :)

Aaron Dawkins

I wish...fireable offense. They stress that big time.

E.B. Laird

I love the 5d, it's affordable and the lenses are limitless. It's good for shorts, docs etc. A lot depends on exactly what you are using the camera for. People speak highly of the Black Magic Cinema Camera but how many have actually been using them?

Mark Preston

I think your facing the same issues with Black Magic, as the 5D and 7D......focus control.

Jaap Ruurd Feitsma

well.. I absolutely love the EOS 5DMIII :) Easy to get used to and good quality. Series have been shot with it and TV commercials as well, apart from a lot of shorts. In any case; invest in lenses!

E.B. Laird

Lenses are the game changers!

Dslr Video Studio

It depends on your budget and production use and it will depend on your project. For example The 5DMKIII will allow you record just under 30mins straight, as headphone output and volume monitoring as well as assignable timecode. The Samsung NX300 will allow you to shoot video in 3D. Work out what you need it to do then you can isolate the best options.

Mark Preston

It's news to me......my 5D mklll can only record for 12 minutes at a time. How do you make it record for 30 minutes?

Omar Brown

I thought 12 to 15 minutes max was the standard for all HDSLRs because of the chips could overheat nor where they designed for long form recording.

Rachael Saltzman

The actual reason for the limitation was the way FAT 32 files operate, and they work with another format now. You can also use an external capture device, and record for as much time as you have space.

Ralph Barnette

Options with DSLRs go several different ways. There are lens mounts that lock you in to a manufacturer's lenses to get full feature usability, then there is also the need or not for full manual operation if you prefer to work that way (as I do). A big consideration is the loss of an aperture ring on most contemporary auto lenses, focal 'breathing' and touch screen features. Many touchscreen camera interfaces can send you through many layers of menu items to make a simple change while shooting, while manual features can allow you to quickly reach almost all critical functions with a single button, switch, ring or dial. Decide on how you want to work then carefully compare features. Also, before purchasing, contact owners of cameras you are looking at to get their opinions and try to rent for a day or so the cameras you are seriously considering purchasing.

Attila Kaldy

Hi Aaron. I was caught in a dilemma between cameras when I found that a lot of high end stuff have been shot using 5D Mark II. I've opted for the Mark III (instead of the PMW EX3), which has a number of fine improvements from the Mark II. A lot of guys out there have chosen the Mark III as it can be easily customized. At the end of the day, it depends on what you want to achieve. Give it a good Google search and read up on forums and see what accomplished film makers have to say.

Ralph Barnette

DSLRs are delicate and most connections are not up to the wear and tear of a movie set. Especially problematic with the 5D Mark II and III are finicky HDMI connectors that can break without notice and you can be stuck. Have a backup available or at least a backup plan. The image, especially with the Magic Lantern (warranty deleted) software hack produces a great image with excellent glass, but professional refers to much more than image. Getting your film finished makes you professional, so get a camera that will get you to the finish line.

Nikita Masojidkova

It's quite funny to see so many different answer to a simple question, I think all DSLR have their strengths and weaknesses, like every human and it is not a matter of reference, but use and sensitivity. Everything depends on where a woman at the restaurant is taken away, the taste of the dish does not depend on the price or the content of the menu but who will be in front of you and what atmosphere around you.

Helen Pritchard

Hello there Mark. Thanks for the invite.

Ralph Barnette

Thumbs up "Rom". Your comments are so true. I've seen horrendous results from Red cams, then turn around to see some stuff shot on 16mm and digitized to 720 or 1080 with fab results. So much depends on context, the knowledge and research that goes in before the shooting gets going, the skill of the crew and of course the set atmosphere.

Brian Berneker

Unless you are shooting 30 minute continuous, the time limit is moot. Even when i shoot bands live i stop and restart between songs so i've never seen the time limit as an issue. I recently had an opportunity to put my friend's mk ii up against my 70d and i have to say i was pleased how well the 70d performs. Even though it's a crop sensor the dynamic range is great, and the features of the newer generation bodies seem to make the 5d look a little antiquated. 70d is the first canon dslr that has an actually good auto focus that follows your subject either by face detection or by touching the screen to tell it where to focus to. Also it may be little known but the aps-c sensor is closer in size to classic 35mm cinema than a full frame, so your focal lengths will more closely match "real" movies. Only thing i miss is not having magic lantern available for it... Yet.

Brian Berneker

Ultimately it will to some degree come down to what tour budget is. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the black magic cinema camera, which i've been eyeing myself. 13 stops dynamic range, raw shooting to ssd, canon mount available. Pretty much a dream really...

Ralph Barnette

Brian, good points you make. Aaron specifically asked about DSLRs so I didn't mention the BMCC option as it's a different animal and not a DSLR in many ways. With cost a prime consideration, the BMCC's need for a package of attachments to become fully functional takes the cost beyond the $2-$3000 price point. Then there are other issues such as the hard-to-view screen in sunlight or anywhere except a studio; this necessitates a auxiliary viewing screen to be really effective in many situations such as specialty shots. Then there is the added weight of the attachments; supporting the camera requires a tripod package that will handle 15 or more pounds to be safe, a not to insignificant cost at $700-$1500 depending on the route one takes. Nothing like getting what you think is that great take only to find out in post that the 25-250 zoom you rented to save money and time from renting a set of primes turned out to be too much for the support. I think the camera is a great deal at it's price point, but tailoring it for use comes with costs that may not be considerations for a DSLR, though there are definite advantages to the BMCC camera(s). I've rented a BMCC package and have a BM 4K on order. If BM finally delivers them it will be a great deal IMHO - even with a few things to work out. These days a 4K setup can pay for itself in a matter of months.

Ralph Barnette

As long as we are on the BMCC, may as well go further. As good as the BMCC 4K will probably be, there are a lot of options available in the BMCC 4K's class once you consider needed add-ons. A big one is post workflow if you intend to work in 4K, or even 2.5K if one goes with the original BMCC camera. This is an area where BM is far behind competitors. Sony has a great workflow with options for managing color matching between cameras. If you are combining BMCC footage with DSLR full/crop-sensor footage, good luck with that. You will need it. Then there is storage; you will need up to 4x as much as HD and faster pipes to pump it through for editing, spelled $$$. Another area is power; a workable battery solution could cost you $300 - $600 or more. Ouch! Again, other manufacturers like Sony have this well in-hand and tied into industry standard v-mount systems and it's own brand batteries available as cheaper knockoffs. Great benefits include the access to a huge dynamic range without a hack, the definition of 4K, a super 35 sensor that deletes the cropped-sensor problem with many DSLRs, and the use of a global shutter for the 4K (why I'm holding out).

Aaron Dawkins

Thanks Ralph and Brian, has anyone used the Cannon C100?

Andre Hunt

The thing is, which camera gives you more options to keep spending money on peripherals...matte box, rack mounts, monitor....that Zeiss EF lens... A faster card for reading Raw video, which Magic Lantern has made available on the Mark III, and now I hear the 5D Mark II....and will your computer's power and software be able to work on Raw...or maybe h.264 will be ok for you. One thing you'll want, is a retina display on your monitor. I hear some new stuff is coming in the 2014 spring. I'd start reading camera forums outside stage 32 for the knowledge...at least LED lights can be found very cheaply now....

Aaron Dawkins

Thanks Andre

Ralph Barnette

LED lights are great in a lot of ways, low to no heat and low power requirements, but the inexpensive lights don't have much 'throw' and basically work well for interviews and close-in work. The long-throw LEDs tend to cost a grand or more. I've found a combination of LEDs and tungsten lights works well for economy.

Andre Hunt

I agree. My "money shots" we're done with tungsten lighting, and those were fixed sources. LED's were great close-in fills, especially handy in exteriors using only batteries. By the way, my film was shot using a Mark II and for quick moving camera shots, ( the fight scene) I used a Canon Elph 310. It's constant focus and depth of field was invaluable, and I could not have achieved that footage with my Mark II.

Diane Knaus

Try a Canon Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 … rated 4.5 out of 5 stars price out at approximately $ 600.00 online.

Ralph Barnette

Aaron, the best options depend on what you are trying to do or want to be able to do. I own two Canon T3i cameras, along with an analogue Panasonic news-style camera, a Canon GL-1 and several still cameras. If you want to shoot stills and HD video, the T3i is great but has it's limitations and drawbacks. One large drawback is the cropped sensor, meaning you get a 1.6x magnification factor with regular 35mm lenses; the lenses made for cropped-sensor cameras will not cover the sensor on full sensor cameras like the 5D Mark II or III, so you have to upgrade to full frame lenses if you by a higher quality full frame camera. I use full frame lenses on my cropped sensor T3i's for that reason. For photos and video, 18MP is not going to give you the 'polished' look of a full frame camera but it still looks great when handled properly. There is a lot more info available online. Just google something like 'best cameras for _____________ (whatever you want to do) and go for it.

Ralph Barnette

That 'crop factor' thing is usually about 1.6x when you are working with full frame lenses, which I use. As long as you have a very wide lens (15-20mm) you will be covered on the wide end as your other glass moves up about 1-lens in a set as a 24mm becomes a 37mm, etc.

Nicolás Fernández

Why DSLR, the future now is DSLM!!

Andre Hunt

Etch-A-Sketch blows DSLM away.....

Nicolás Fernández

Why DSLR, DSLM is future NOW.

Ralph Barnette

DSLM is where I'm going with the GH4, but the more entry-level-price entries in the category have a large crop factor to consider with the 4/3 format of the Lumix (except the super 35 GH4). Sony does a lot better and I'm impressed with the A7 image and price but not the form factor. So if 1700 bucks is a starting point to avoid the crop factor so as not to be stuck down the line with obsolete lenses, I say go for it.

Ralph Barnette

BTW, A7 is through-the-lens (mirror) which has it's own advantages over mirror-less. DSLR will still be around for a while.

Brian Berneker

As an alternative suggestion (not a DSLR) but the Blackmagic pocket cinema camera is only $1000 and has exceptional quality, including raw recording and 13 stops dynamic range. It also allows you to use interchangeable MFT lenses. I'm getting the blackmagic 4K production camera myself, so that's a bit out of range, but the BMPCC is decent, or you could go for the regular blackmagic 2.5K for about $2000 and have an EF lens mount option.

Alan Welch

Blackmagic is the TRUTH! I keep my eyes locked on this vimeo channel that features prominent examples of works shot on it. Some of the stuff is off the charts stunning! Have a look! https://vimeo.com/channels/bmdcc

Ralph Barnette

Which BM camera are you speaking of? I just finished a production with the BMCC 2.5K; it's a good instrument with pluses and minuses, probably the largest minus being the crop factor of the M4/3 format. But the screen and battery situation are probably more important as they limit how you can work with the camera. No camera is the absolute 'truth,' otherwise I would still be shooting my once best-of-the-bunch BetacamSP. The science and mechanics are mostly in the camera, leaving the awesome creativity and execution to the filmmaker.

Brian Berneker

The one I'm getting is the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K: http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagicproductioncamera4k But the pocket is only $1000: http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagicpocketcinemacamera And of course the 2.5K in between at $1995: http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagiccinemacamera It's possible to get a speed booster for the MFT version of the pocket or 2.5K versions that also addresses crop factor: http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/12/03/metabones-now-available-for-blac...

Brian Berneker

I'm also getting the Switronix battery pack to address the power concern: http://www.switronix.com/products?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flyp...

Brian Berneker

Also, the 4K camera uses a Super 35 sensor, which is just slightly larger than APS-C. Basically the same size sensor as most of the films you've seen at the cinema.

Brian Berneker

...but at that point we're outside the range of DSLR.

Roberto DePalo

The Canon 7D has worked wonderfully for me and many others

Brian Berneker

Speed boosting APS-C to full frame with Metabones: http://www.eoshd.com/comments/topic/1871-aps-c-and-super-35mm-just-went-...

Ralph Barnette

The 7D and 5D are great cameras for what they are good for but better options are available for the money depending on what one needs to do. For instance, the BMCC Pocket camera in many instances performs as well as the 7D for about the same money with better sound; if you want a small package it is certainly a way to consider. Then, there are larger options - http://www.creativeplanetnetwork.com/digital-cinematography/news/sony-f5...

Brian Berneker

It always comes down to application and budget. There are a lot of options that can make it confusing for some people, but that's really a good thing, because more options are finally becoming accessible for a reasonable price.

Charles Tentindo

I'd like to throw my hat in on this one... I've used a LOT of cams, but I am a Panasonic guy. I love my cams: https://vimeo.com/51416194 Panasonic AF-100 The first DSLR hybrid and my brilliant little Panasonic Lumix GH2'S. Lot of love and value in these cams and won't break the bank. Check this piece out shot on Panny AF-100

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