amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; Every so often, I hear other film shooters talk about using their DSLR to digitize their negatives and how they are choosing it over using a flatbed. Set White Balance to Automatic: Do this only as a safety precaution. Conversely, the leverage of holding a DSLR in your hand is hardly ergonomic. And indeed, the 5D itself weighs more than a small and light micro four thirds camera like the GH4 or GH3. Newer cameras like the Sony A7S may have a more limited selection of lenses, while Canon’s camera lenses might be more expensive than micro four thirds lenses (like the Panasonic GH3/4 use) which are made by a wide variety of lens manufacturers. Delivers high-resolution … amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0"; amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "documecamera_dc-inline-20"; It’s on the back of many cameras, as opposed to the shutter button, which is on top. We're here to help you find the best documentary camera for your documentary film. We've looked at all the available documentary video cameras on the market today from DSLRs to traditional video cameras and made our recommendations. Not ergonomic: Because it’s designed for shooting stills, the DSLR is not as comfortable to hold for making movies. The DSLR clearly requires some finesse, but when everything is properly set, it can reap some amazing results that include. Note however that unlike many other DSLRs, this camera is a Micro Four Thirds camera, meaning it uses M4/3 lenses made by a variety of manufacturers. Camcorder vs DSLR mirrorless Cinema Cameras which one is best for Filming Wildlife More expensive pro camcordershave good built-in microphones and professional XLR audio inputs. … We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Combine that with a lack of control over audio levels and XLR cable connectivity and the situation worsens. Another benefit is that they don’t have to be mounted to the camera, you can get an extension cable and mount them on a boom pole or tripod to get the mic closer to your subject. amzn_assoc_title = "Related Products:"; (UPDATE: also thumbs-up for Canon’s step-up models, the EOS 80D and EOS 90D) Buy: Amazon. In fact, this reflex design is the primary difference between DSLR cameras and other digital cameras. Here are some of today’s top DSLRs for documentary filmmaking: Holy cow, this is quite a camera. Canon C300 Mark II. 00 How to Share Your Digital Film on YouTube, How to Plan Ahead for Your DSLR Film Edits, Software Options for Your Digital Film Edits. On-camera shotgun microphones are an easy way to up your audio quality when recording with a DSLR video camera. Just slide your hand through its strap and your thumb naturally sits on the button. amzn_assoc_region = "US"; Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration but the results with the a7s II’s S-Log 3 are nothing short of bananas. Neither is the Record button, which differs on each camera. DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras are specific because they combine the optics and the mechanisms of a single-lens reflex camera with a digital imaging sensor. Just slide your hand through its strap and your thumb naturally sits on the button. Mirrorless camera makers can indeed demonstrate that their camera bodies are a lot smaller than their DSLR counterparts, but the same can’t be said for their lenses. amzn_assoc_linkid = "4bfd86fb3dea0b64b699150701f9fd78"; Black & White 4 x 5" and 6 x 7 negatives photographed with a Nikon D800 and AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8GIF-ED Lens. The difference is that on a camcorder, the functions pertain solely to video capture. Camcorder: Sensor Size The biggest difference between DSLRs and camcorders is that DSLRs have much larger sensors than camcorders, at least at the same price point. Why Use Panasonic GH4/GH3 Cameras for Documentary Filmmaking? It takes interchangeable lenses. Best for: Ease of use, rugged… Compatibility for YouTube Videos and Vlogging (Weight, Size) The first element you should look at … How expensive are the lenses this camera uses? Even though this is a relatively new camera, we predict there will be a lot of great documentaries (and great looking documentaries) shot with it. While 8K will eventually become the norm, it remains well beyond the needs of today’s videographers. At the end of the day, it comes down to the quality… Camcorder: That really bad JVC hm100u I showed you earlier. Larger image sensors, pixel size, superior ISO and shutter speeds, and an enviable depth of field makes the DSLR king of the world of image quality. Panasonic started making really solid and respected DSLRs for video with the GH2, and with this highly anticipated iteration they added 4K video recording (more than twice the resolution of 1080p), better quality image processing, and an optional (but pricey) XLR interface that plugs into the bottom of the camera, allowing you to connect professional microphones. How large is this DSLR? You can render tack-sharp elements in the scene using a wide depth of field. Beautiful image quality: With a sensor many times bigger than ones found in a dedicated camcorder — and combined with sharp optics — you’ll capture the best possible image. Okay not really but it will give you a big cinematic boost in your productions just from the depth of field alone. It’s not surprising that this small and light camera is turning a lot of heads in the documentary filmmaking community. The predecessor to the GH4 listed above, the Panasonic GH3 is still a great DSLR for documentary filmmaking, and it’s certainly cheaper than the GH4 is. You will not be charged extra by purchasing through these links. Currently, John is an entertainment news producer for Associated Press Television. Single sensor: This is not really a con as much as a tradeoff. I’m not telling you what camera to get as much as I’m suggesting you really nail down what kind of … The Leica Q2 is an impressively capable fixed-lens, full-frame camera with a 47MP sensor and a sharp, stabilized 28mm F1.7 Summilux lens. Full frame lenses, like the 5D uses, weigh more. Generally if you want to work in front of the camera (like most YouTubers) you want a camcorder. It can turn poop into gold. You can get camcorders with larger sensors, but these are the high-end models that will cost a few thousand dollars, while you can easily find a DSLR for under a grand. Note however that unlike many other DSLRs, this camera is a Micro Four Thirds camera, meaning it uses M4/3 lenses made by a variety of manufacturers. Both devices can both take pictures and shoot video, but the DSLR is way, way better at video than the camcorder is at taking pictures. Many DSLR models offer little control over exposure while shooting. You can see in my video below. Viewing 5 reply threads Author Posts October 1, 2014 at 2:51 AM […] Because the DSLR menu system focuses more on the still photography, not many functions are relevant to moviemaking. Full frame cameras like the 5D are fairly large but smaller micro four thirds cameras like the Panasonic GH series may be a bit less comfortable for folks with larger hands. If you’re planning to do some heavy post processing for color correction after you shoot, the Sony a7s II will provide you with an insane amount of color information to push lighter or darker, meaning your work may even come out looking more like a Hollywood film than a documentary. However, the camera does offer a mini-plug for adding an external microphone as well as a line mixer with XLR inputs. By John Carucci By and large, clutching a video camcorder feels more comfortable than filming with a DSLR. This matters most for people with particularly large hands. Fast lenses allow you render more detail in the image than the average camcorder. Use manual settings: When exposure is set to Manual, you can tweak in Live View to your exact needs. The ergonomics of the camcorder really make it fun to use and are especially good for beginners and kids. He has written books on nighttime and creative photography and articles for American Photo, Popular Photography, and PC Photo magazines. amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "search"; And if the camera allows, set on the proper frame rate. So when you shoot video with it, you have to u… Of course, it still records 1080p video with H.264 or AVC High Profile at a variety of frame rates and bitrates. Although color rendition is good, it’s not as good as that of dedicated camcorders. Yeah, I am going to disagree with MichaelJames here, and say get a video camcorder, not a DSLR. Check out our recent article titled Why Use Panasonic GH4/GH3 Cameras for Documentary Filmmaking? One thing to note is that the 5DMIII is heavier than, say, a Micro Four Thirds camera like the GH4. Rolling shutter: Although it sounds like a retractable accessory for your bedroom window, rolling shutter is actually a common imaging defect that occurs when the camera moves too fast. Many DSLR cameras have high-definition video capabilities and can produce high-quality video when used correctly. It also offers S-Log 3, an undeniably impressive professional grade color mode which allows you to shoot footage quite flat, preserving absurd amounts of detail for later color correction. amzn_assoc_default_category = "All"; Cover yourself on Automatic until you can take a manual reading of the scene. A camcorder lens allows you to zoom all the way in to focus, so the focus is exact. Top 10 Books About Documentary Filmmaking, List: Top Shotgun Microphones for Documentary Filmmaking. The 5D Mark III is a worthy successor, building upon the strengths of the II, and adding a headphone jack for audio monitoring, manual audio levels, and superior video recording quality. It also offers 120 frames per second shooting in 1080p. Anything short form, a dslr is much more artistic for and a better fit for cinematic stuff. When it comes to filmmaking, camera size doesn’t typically matter. Movie controls are nested in the menu, much like a camcorder. It’s hard to get precise focus with the camera’s live LCD screen. So I started doing some research and gathered information to form my own strategy. DSLRs have many potential advantages for documentary filmmaking. Camera lenses provide little leeway due to the short ratio between focal length. Some aspects of DSLR moviemaking are rough around the edges, like these: Focus issue: DSLR’s are more difficult to focus than a camcorder. There are lots of kinds of docs, some are a fast action follow the moving story type and others will have a more cinematic feel to them. By and large, clutching a video camcorder feels more comfortable than filming with a DSLR. Hobbyist: Get it – you are going to love every shot you ever film with this thing. Nothing is worse than shooting an outdoor scene with the white balance set to Tungsten and making everything blue. It accepts E-Mount lenses and combines them with three axis video stabilization (key in a DSLR where camera shake is inevitable) and great autofocus for a DSLR. Limited recording time: Some cameras limit capture to 12 minutes at a time in the full HD mode. It’s not surprising that this small and light camera is turning a lot of heads in the documentary filmmaking community. First off lets describe a cinematic look. This would mainly be used for short sports documentary work, although I would ideally like something that would lend itself to longer form documentary and short film stuff. for more information. Impressive depth of field control: Still camera lenses offer a clear advantage over the level of focus in the scene. They’re very light: they can be carried around all day and the media cards they record on are cheap and small. The 5DMIII also features a full frame sensor, making it very easy to achieve buttery shallow depth of field images with lenses from Canon’s EOS line. Temperamental to temperature: DSLR cameras are notorious for overheating and can stop recording without warning. Like the GH4, the GH3 records on cheap SDHC or SDXC cards and you can also buy additional batteries cheaply. Sony Alpha a6000. Camera's now-a-days are built as hybrids so if you want the best of both and can afford it (you need it for work) then do that, but as far as hobbies go, you can't beat $400 for a t3i. amzn_assoc_search_bar = "false"; What is the Best Cheap Documentary Camera for Filmmaking? There is many reasons why someone would choose a camcorder over a mobile phone or DSLR, but the way we see it, it gives you the filmmaking or vlogging experience. They also can produce quite pleasing video and you can even blend into a crowd like a tourist wearing one around your neck. They aren’t great for still photography. Our pick for the best traditional video camera for documentary filmmakers is the Sony PCW-FS5. Have a plan for shooting. The GH4 records on cheap SDHC or SDXC cards and you can also buy additional batteries cheaply. It's styled like a traditional Leica M rangefinder and brings a host of updates to the hugely popular original Leica Q (Typ 116) that was launched in 2015. DSLR is a term that’s become synonymous with digital cameras, but a digital single-lens reflex camera (notable for allowing interchangeable lenses on the same camera body) is just one type of digital camera. A mirror reflects the image up to the viewfinder, and flips up – blacking out the eyepiece – when you take a photo. We may participate in other affiliate programs as well. Make sure sound recording is on: Many first timers have done their best D. W. Griffith impersonation, unintentionally, of course. I will also add my answer and agree with the consensus that overall the DSLR would be the way to go. How a DSLR camera works. A DSLR(digital SLR) is mainly designed for still photography. amzn_assoc_rows = "1"; The Canon 5DMIII was the camera that started the DSLR video revolution back in 2008. DSLR Camera (and its Pros) DSLR cameras are optimized for taking still photos, but they can be used for videography as well. Lens versatility: Whether you go with the funky fisheye to creatively frame the subject or decide on a long telephoto lens to bring the action closer, suddenly, the idea of giving up the power zoom ubiquitous on camcorders is not that big of a deal. Digitizing Film Negatives with a DSLR. What is the best video tripod for filmmaking? How heavy is this camera? Also the more range of lens options you will probably have access to. Viewing the scene is ergonomic thanks to a flip-out screen, and the controls are easily accessible. Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Cameras and Camcorders › Consumer Camcorders › DSLR vs Camcorder for sports filming This topic has 1 reply, 6 voices, and was last updated 2 years, 11 months ago by KostasPlatis. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; Weight often matters when it comes to documentary filmmaking, especially because you may find yourself shooting events for hours on end and when you add in the weight of a stabilization rig that you may need to use, things can get heavy fast. To be fair, all of the cameras listed in this article have at least two lens manufactures making lenses for their mount systems but it’s worth considering the price and availability of the lenses that your DSLR will use. The Sony a7s II offers both 1080p and 4K video recording and incredible low light performance in a compact DSLR body. Planning the shooting is not to be confused for planning the documentary. Total: $1500 for camera alone . If you want to work behind the camera and have an experienced hand, then you want a … You won’t get any 4K recording with the GH3 but it does record good quality 1080p video in a variety of frame rates and high bitrates. No, but a DSLR isn’t made for documentary work without several costly rigging attachments etc. Remarkable low-light capture: One advantage of the bigger sensor size is that it significantly reduces the noise usually associated with low-light capture. I get more in-depth on my blog: The predecessor to the GH4 listed above, the Panasonic GH3 is still a great DSLR for documentary filmmaking, and it’s certainly cheaper than the GH4 is. 91% 88% Rugged and durable design. 10 Accessories Your Documentary Film Camera Kit Needs, 5 Things to Consider Before Buying A Documentary Film Camera, Lavaliere Microphones for Documentary Film, List: Top DSLRs for Documentary Filmmaking, Best Documentary Filmmaking Cameras in 2019. John Carucci is a writer and photographer/videographer. If you want the best photographs possible, the DSLR is for you. DSLR cameras can be both mirrored and non-mirrored, with mirrored-versions weighing a bit more. 6635 San Pedro Avenue San Antonio , TX 78216 Mon – Fri (10am- 5pm) Saturdays (10am- 5pm) A camcorder is designed specifically for shooting video. Consider getting a full frame camera like the Sony A7S or 5D if you’ve got larger hands. Lack of sufficient controls: DSLR cameras can capture high-quality movies, but because the camera’s first function is to take still images, it has fewer controls for moviemaking. It may not shoot 8K, but the full-frame Sony A7S III is the best video camera you can buy. Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera Bundle with Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 is II Lens + 2pc SanDisk 32GB Memory Cards + Accessory Kit 4.8 out of 5 stars 1,179 $549.00 $ 549 . With the 24p frame rate option you can give your footage a cinematic look. Moving up the price scale, Canon’s C300 mk II has quickly become an industry … That’s just weird. How about with its lenses? amzn_assoc_default_search_phrase = "dslr video camera"; These settings make good sense for staying ready: Capture in HD: Be sure to set at 1920×1080. Explore more about what makes DSLR cameras so popular and find out if they’re the right choice for you. In terms of quality of image, the DSLR isn’t just the best type of camera for traveling, it’s the best type of camera, period. Usually this a shot that is lit and framed very carefully. Sony's new FE 135mm f/1.8 G Master lens demonstrates that lens size doesn't depend on DSLR vs mirrorless designs and that the best lenses are often big and bulky regardless. The bigger sensor is clearly superior under low-light conditions. Not kind to audio: A DSLR does not offer great audio capture. Using Cinema-Looks Filters you can boost that film look with multiple built-in adjustable filters. Viewing the scene is ergonomic thanks to a flip-out screen, and the controls are easily accessible. One key advantage of the Panasonic GH series has over some of Canon’s cameras is it has a headphone jack and adjustable audio input instead of auto-only audio levels. The built-in microphone that was put there for voice notes are for still photos. Before delving into the comparison, I first wanted to give a breakdown of the process I used for photographing my film with the DSLR, along with the steps I took to convert my out-of-the-camera files to usable images. Increased functionality: Remote triggering devices, rack systems, wireless transmitters, viewfinder adapters, and numerous other toys help carry out your moviemaking dreams. This limit shouldn’t present a problem because you would rarely need to have such a long continuous take for a film you will edit. Most of them have built-in zoom lenses and tilt-and-swivel screens. Inexpensive price. One key advantage of the Panasonic GH series has over some of Canon’s cameras is it has a headphone jack and adjustable audio input instead of auto-only audio levels. The Canon 32GB VIXIA HF G20 Full HD Camcorder (Refurbished) shoots 1920 x 1080 Full HD video at 60i, in native 24p and 30p. Conversely, you can also create a narrow area of focus for an effect often seen in feature films. Generally speaking, the more manufacturers making lenses for a particular lens mount, the cheaper they will be because competition drives prices down. Like the GH4, the GH3 records on cheap SDHC or SDXC cards and you can also buy additional batteries cheaply. Then there’s ISO capability that allows you to control the sensitivity of the sensor. It offers 4K resolution and can also shoot at high frame rates of …