Digital Video Forum

Digital Video Forum Discuss camcorders, HD video, HD DSLRs, video editing, DV software, and video techniques. Your DV forum moderator is Skyman.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007

    canon 5D Mark II video mode

    Hi, I have looked at video footage from a canon 5D mark ii and it is stunning; I am wondering if these cameras can film such clean, color balanced, 1080p video with good gamma, brightness, and contrast, why do people still opt for 2/3 in triple CCD cameras that cost in the five digit range (and have to re purchase accessories that each cost as much as a high end digital SLR to achieve the same short DOF that the 5D Mark II can easily achieve)?

    thank you for your help!

  2. #2
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

    Re: canon 5D Mark II video mode

    I'm not a video expert, although I do shoot a fair amount of video these days. I think there are two main reasons you would choose a traditional camcorder over a video DSLR.

    1) Ergonomics - traditional camcorders are designed for comfortable, steady video recording. DSLRs can capture excellent quality video but they're designed for shooting still photos.

    2) Convenience - the huge zoom lenses on a traditional camcorders are a lot more convenient than changeable lenses on a digital SLR. The smaller sensors on camcorders mean more depth-of-field. That, along with continuous auto focus (only just now appearing in DSLRs) makes spontaneous and action shooting a lot easier.

    It's not all about shallow depth-of-field either. I shoot action and I am usually looking for *more* depth-of-field to pad my focus and ensure I get a sharp subject. Try shooting action with a digital SLR and you'll find it's a hell of a lot of work and requires a lot of planning. Spontaneous video shooting is very difficult with a digital SLR.

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  3. #3
    Moderator Skyman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

    Re: canon 5D Mark II video mode

    the biggest one is ergonomics, as well as the ability to plug in all manner of accessories that really don't fit well on digital slrs (have a look at the thread where I have posted pics of all the bits I had to hang off the 550d to get it working like a pro camcorder. not exactly user friendly when you need to pic it up and be shooting in seconds. There are rigs out there that are starting to cater to the dslr as a camcorder, but they are still cumbersome compared to a shoulder mount cam. Most good camera operators can hold a shoulder mount pretty steady for a long time, this is really not the case with the dslr and forget trying to use the screen in bright conditions.

    What it comes down to is sacrifice. There are solid reasons video cameras evolved with their current designs. just as there are reasons slr's evolved the way they did. because a good dslr can produce video of comparable quality to a broadcast camera doesn't mean it is the right tool for the job, however since it can do it cheaper than a traditional 3ccd broadcast camera, many filmakers are happy to work with their limitations, myself included.

    also remember that at the moment you couldn't shoot a live broadcast with a 5d nor a live multicam event, and the extra information from a 3ccd camera is very important when colour grading a multicam shoot.
    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur

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