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  1. #1

    Great HD (with film depth) with DSLRs instead

    Recently I watched some great HD video shot on the likes of Canon 5D Mk II and Nikon D90 and I wonder if anyone on MC have had the same crazy idea as me: Make a short film with it. Well this is certainly not a new idea, but the prospect of getting beautiful depth of field is just too tempting...

    I will attempt to borrow a D90 for my next trip to Beijing perhaps.. shoot something on the forbidden city and the great wall.. would love to try the 5D Mk II but unfortunately it will be easier to get the Nikon.

    Anybody who have done any shoot with the above mentioned, feel free to share them with the good people at MC.
    There's no bad camera, just a bad user
    Loong . Singapore

  2. #2
    Hi Nagar

    The 5D actually produces awesome HD video but you do need to get a firmware update for the camera. I even saw a 5D mounted on a stedicam!!!

    The only restriction with the Canon at the moment is you can only shoot 30mins per card for some reason. I'd like to know exactly how the camera can cope with capturing moving HD video and stay in my case like a bride walking down the aisle!! A Video camera's auto focus handles that easily but with the Canon that ain't going to work especially if you use the DOF facility that you have which makes focus even more critical.

    There are plenty of on-line samples and they look good!! Panasonic's new still cameras also shoot HD video


  3. #3
    I'm looking for a DSLR that will do movie clips, preferably HD clip.

    I’m seeing / reading some good things about the new Canon VIXIA HFS10 HD Dual Flash Memory with 32 GB Internal Memory and 10x Optical Zoom video camera that takes HD stills.

    In the past I’ve not been a huge fan of multi-function devices because the quality of one of the functions probably suffers. However, technology keeps improving and electronic device convergence is a trend that’s here to stay.

    Also based on feedback about Canon cameras / lenses in general … HD footage I've seen online that was shot from the 5D Mark II, it seems the 5D Mark II phenomenally excels at both photography and video.

    But there's not enough budget for a Canon 5D Mark II anyway. Most in video production whom I ask for feedback on this very topic and for their recommendations, for video go with a true video camera (not video on a DSLR).

    Also the heavier/bulkier/more technical side of any option, the worse it is for my spouse, who will also use the camera; any device must be basic / user-friendly enough for others in my household to use the traditional auto-program capabilities, etc. (She leans to photography ... I lean to the video side.)

    Two devices that have caught my eye:
    1. Canon EOS Rebel T1i 15.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3-Inch LCD and EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens Also brand new from Canon, it seems to have much of the same electronics as the VIXIA HFS10 video camera above, so I knew I wanted to check this one out. (1920x1080 including Cinema-quality mode which I think shoots up to 60fps)
    2. Nikon D5000 12.3MP DX Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR and 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR Lenses and 2.7 inch Vari-angle LCD

    After seeing / holding both in a store recently, all around I found myself liking the Nikon D5000 the best. In the Nikon line for capability / features, I think it’s D40, D60, D5000, then the D90. (nagar references the D90 most likely to be his test device due to availablility ... as compared to the 5D Mark II)

    Would any MC Forum members care to comment on their understanding, opinions, or experience with any of the above 3 linked dual function (video + stills) video / still cameras? Are there other choices I should consider in the $900-$1200 price range that on the photography side hopefully includes the 55-200mm telephoto lens option?

    What I thought about the D5000 after the side-by-side comparison in the store:
    1. Nikon has a FULLY ADJUSTABLE Tilt-Out Viewing Screen… to see shots you’re taking without having to be “behind” the camera or view-finder.
    2. Style/Ergonomics/Feature accessibility:
    a. D5000 seemed to be a better variety of auto-program modes that’s also more easily manipulated by your thumb.
    b. D5000 seemed to have better overall placement of all controls/buttons.
    c. D5000 felt lighter & less bulky.
    3. D5000 HD video (not quite full motion 30fps, it produces to AVI (Motion JPEG) up to 1280 x 720 at 24 fps
    4. D5000 storage medium is SD/SDHC card (like it/use it); I think the Rebel T1i was Compact Flash.
    5. NEGATIVE for D5000 video: mono sound (internal mic only), manual focus only (I think T1i was also internal mic only)

    So if I compare video on:
    (a) Canon VIXIA HFS10 video is full 1920x1280 HD (cinema quality @ 60fps) for ~$1300 that takes 8MP stills using similar chip technology as the Rebel T1i
    (b) Nikon D5000 … great 12MP DSLR pics and 24fps HD 1280x720 … including 55-200mm 2-lens kit for ~$1000.

    For HD video, some feedback on other forums suggests other more pro video camera would be worth it if money allows (panasonic hmc150, sony fx7, etc.), but that's more than a 5D Mark II.

    Due to my spouse's interest, it must be true dual-function ... and budget around $900-$1200 USD.

    As HD web video becomes more standard, device convergence (quality video and still shot from the same device) continues, technology improves, prices lower, and knowing we’re wanting more of a still camera right now anyway, I think I can learn to “make do” with something less than full size HD video from a great DSLR still camera (like the D5000). Then ... get the experience shooting, editing and producing HD footage to web video. (knowing I've still got my Pana AG-DVC20P camera for regular SD footage/shoots)

    Later when I want a more traditional pro or prosumer video camera to continue on with HD video work, my equipment choices then in theory HD equipment options should be more plentiful and more cost effective. (“In theory” ... as you never know about the technology advances yet to occur; there could be another new online medium or video recording / production technology we’re all eagerly anticipating then … just like the 5D Mark II being highly anticipated for bringing very high-quality HD video to a DSLR still camera.)

    PPS: As it pertains to a DSLR with only an internal mic / mono sound … it should work fine for raw footage. For the times when I want/need better original audio, it’s a small pain but easy enough, to just record actual audio with a better mic (& stereo connected to the external mic jack of a secondary recording device and then sync/swap audio tracks later during editing.

  4. #4
    Hi Gary

    I have a mate with a Canon 500D (That's the Rebel T1i) and he ran this video test at night!!

    The quality and DOF is awesome!!! Funnily he is using a Nikon lens!! Dunno about where you are but a 500D body alone here costs over $1000 (about $1700 with a lens!!!)

    It an interesting concept and one that's getting better all the time!! The issues for now are :
    (1) Pathetic audio!!! You really need to shoot your audio with a DVR as the camera audio is very poor!!!!
    (2) No autofocus!!! Great for carefully scheduled shots that are within the camera's DOF range but I do weddings!!! so keeping focus with a bride walking down the aisle would be a nightmare as would any sort of action like sports where the subject distance is constantly changing
    (3) Limited storage...Dunno about the Nikon but even the Canon 5D can only record 29 minutes of video before you have to change a card. That might be a problem with stuff like events where you need to film more than 30 mins at a time.

    Actually the only REAL issue that would be a problem would be keeping focus!!!! Plenty of people have mentioned this and I honestly thought that with these sort of cameras, one could set it to "continuous focus" and it would keep focus all the time???

    I'm watching these developments with great interest too!!! Who knows my next HD camcorder just might be a DSLR!!! (Guys are using them on Stedicams too!!!!)


  5. #5
    I found this guy (user "smpfilms) on YouTube the other day; Three of his recent videos (info / description say they were shot with the 5D Mark II)

    Obama Kung-Fu:
    When Life Gets Down:
    The Balloon Cam (start and end - obviously the stuff in the air is from the Flip camera he tied to the balloons):

    I'm a member of another community/forum where I also seem to recall as you've reported ... people are using the HD video equipped DSLRs on stedicam devices. (This is also the same forum where I saw my first bit of 5D Mark II footage ... someone embedded this video as a sample - shot from a 5DMark II):

  6. #6
    Quote: ChrisHarding
    View Post
    I have a mate with a Canon 500D (That's the Rebel T1i) and he ran this video test at night!!

    The quality and DOF is awesome!!! Funnily he is using a Nikon lens!! Dunno about where you are but a 500D body alone here costs over $1000 (about $1700 with a lens!!!)
    I agree on Quality and DOF. Similar to the sharpness I see in the four clips I link to in the separate thread reply above.

    Was the non-music portions of the audio in your friend's test footage from the camera? Or external DVR? If on camera, the audio's not too bad. I heard the car door creak, the ambient traffic noise (which adds to the authenticity in a way ... after all he just got done driving and is just off the main street at a gas station talking on the cell phone), and the hum of the motor in "his car" as he's driving slowly past the gas pump at the end of the clip.)

    Quote: ChrisHarding
    View Post
    The issues for now are :
    (1) Pathetic audio!!!
    (2) No autofocus!!!
    (3) Limited storage...
    FYI - 500D Body tonight on is $755 USD (new)

    The 100% Manual Focus (after recording is started) concerned me the moment I read it.

    At present, nothing I plan to shoot HD video of is 29min+. But I can see how that's not at all an option in the middle of a wedding ceremony/event ... where a number of parts are generally a one-take opportunities; you'd definitely not want to run out of room at a some key moment.

    Moreso a concern for me is
    (a) HD footage taking up so much hard drive space
    (I don't have it and would probably need to get a 1TB or 2TB storage device ... and constantly be discarding bad/unneeded footage that'd surely eat up too much space.)
    (b) The two PCs I own, from what I've read about HD, are probably not cut out well enough for HD editing/rendering.

    It's pretty much a given we're moving up from point-n-shoot to a DSLR; if with HD video is a nice bonus feature for now. (Not another video camera that does stills.) As stated previously, something like a Nikon D5000 gets my feet wet learning HD while producing great pics.

    I read a good review on where the user contrasted the D5000 against both the D60 and the D90. HERE IT IS. (Maybe you'd find it as informative as I did.)

  7. #7
    Hey Gary

    Just for interest the D5000 Nikon review at Steve's Digicams says that the Nikon is restricted to only 5 minutes of video!!! Better check that one out??? The Canon's can do a max of 30mins


  8. #8
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    hi..D5000 seemed to be a better variety of auto-program modes that’s also more easily manipulated by your thumb.

  9. #9

    DSLR With HD Video or DSLR and

    I can't give you much technical info on those choices, but after working in camera retail I can tell you that a lot of decisions are made or broken based on what the missus wants to hold.......

    So what would your wife prefer to hold? I assume she's going to want to use it too. Would she want a traditional video camera to hold, or would she be ok with the type of holding that a SLR requires?

    If she isn't familiar with holding either, then maybe take her to a camera store and get her to hold both and see what she likes...

  10. #10
    Unless you're into taking a sequence that lasts right down to 30 min, otherwise VDSLR is a great option. Chris, VDSLR technology is an excellent for indie film makers who want the DOF of film but doesn't have a deep pocket to rent ARRI or Varicams. Usually a take will not last more than 5 min, so time is not a factor. Also, if my shots are usually more than 30min per take, I'd go straight for a DV cam. It will survive what it is made for: shooting videos. Lastly the reason for many VDSLR (canon) users for using Nikkors is because they needed a lens with a physical aperture ring (unfortunately Canon doesn't have them). Anyway this is fixed and many are returning to their EF/EF-S lenses.

    Oh one last point, the quality of video on the 550D, 7D and 5D Mk II are the same, so the only issue is with your budget.
    There's no bad camera, just a bad user
    Loong . Singapore


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