Cinematography : Good DSLR for HD video? by Tom Williamson

Tom Williamson

Good DSLR for HD video?

I'm using a consumer HD camcorder right now, and I want to step up but I also want to spend my money wisely. I'm looking for advice on a HD-capable DSLR (or "mirrorless" camera like this Sony: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/891514-REG/Sony_nex6_Alpha_NEX_6_D...) Obviously, if I had $50,000 to spend, I'd just call up RED and say "hey, ship one of those Epics over here." But, er, I don't. I'm looking for something that can do full HD and preferably have: - Interchangeable lenses - Manual focus/exposure/shutter/white balance controls - Zebra for exposure and focus - Audio inputs/outputs Of course, every manufacturer claims their cameras are absolutely the best, so I thought I'd ask some people that had some experience with them - anyone know of an affordable camera like this?

B&H Photo Video Digital Cameras, Photography, Camcorders
B&H Photo Video Digital Cameras, Photography, Camcorders
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Gil Tabasa

Can't go wrong with MarkIII 5-D Canon, plus check out Magic Lantern firmware upgrade. You get a lot creative power using it.

Matthew MacLean

Anything Canon is good. For Canon I would recommend the 6D would be great. It's got a full-frame sensor and cheaper than the 5D Mk3. Heard good things about Panasonic GH cameras. The GH 4 is about 2 grand and shoots 4K so that's pretty cool. Micro 4/3 sensor though so you need to take that in account when buying lenses. Then there is also the blackmagic pocket which can shoot raw, though it does horrible on low-light and I personally don't like it at all. All in all, lenses are more important than the camera. Invest in lenses.

Tom Williamson

Thanks!

Royce Allen Dudley

The Metabones EF Speedbooster just released makes the GH4 a viable tool, with true HD and 4K options, and the ability to utilize Canon or canon -mount glass ( the Canons are not HD, regardless of what anyone tells you, they are sub-HD delivered in an h264 1920x1080 package.... very soft image, weak color space.. but people who have never used proper cinema cameras like them a bunch so if you need to have the camera people ask for, you buy a 5D mkIII .. great for stills, weak for video). I know , heresy, Shane Hurlbut likes 'em so it must be true :)

Tom Williamson

I was wondering about the H.264 myself - I mean, that's what my consumer camcorder delivers - it looks OK but if I'm going to drop a bunch of coin I would rather step up to something that delivers a higher bitrate.

Nick Belial

Nikon will likely be releasing the new D7200 this fall. That means the price of the D7100 will drop considerably-- probably around $600 for the body. It's no RED, but it's a solid step up. You could also go with a Black Magic 2.5K for under $2,000 or the 4K for around $3,000.

Royce Allen Dudley

Bit rate is a wee part of it. Color space, exposure latitude and resolution combined create the image qualities we perceive, and the Canon DSLRs do not have it ( but damn they look good on your smartphone. I own and use them constantly as they are popular. A 60D feature I shot, KILL KAPONE, was screened at AMC theaters this week in L.A. people love it and said it looked amazing. OK... :/ Canon DSLRs are not good cameras for video. The BM cameras are ergonmically very strange. AN exiting HD camera that is superb for the price is the Sony FS100... and also, for the money, Canon XF300. They both deliver in very different ways for different uses.

Tom Williamson

@Alle Segretti - not unless I win the lottery...

Paul Kepner

Canon and Nikon are great cameras but I prefer the GH series of cameras that Panasonic makes .With those caneras you can use basically any lens ever made so it opens a huge world up to you. They have focus peaking except for the GH2. They all record 1080p and the GH4 also records 4K and UHD internally. I hope this helps some. Cheers, Paul

Tom Williamson

I really wanted the GH4 but my budget said "Get the Canon t5i." So I picked that up in a package deal with two lenses and two adapters. Thanks to everyone who gave advice!

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