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  • Video DSLR best camera?

    Posted by Nicolas Jolliet on December 4, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Hi all, I am about to move to DSLR camera’s do to my video work. I got to try the GH1 and it’s great.
    But before I make a move, what is the best SLR camera to shoot video as of December 09 ?

    Nicolas Jolliet replied 14 years, 6 months ago 9 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • Ryan Orr

    December 4, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    What kind of video are you going to shoot? I ask cuz your answer would yield give a better answer from us.

    I am a Canon fanboy. For me Canon is just lovely.

    If you’re going to shoot stuff that’s for broadcast, and you don’t mind a slightly cropped sensor, then the Canon 7D is nice, because this will shoot 29.97fps. If frame rate isn’t too important (ei, web stuff), and you want a full sized sensor, go with the 5D MK II. That sensor if phenomenal.

    Also, if you have existing video/photo gear, this may sway you one way or another too. If you have Nikon lenses and they fit the Video Nikon Video DSLRs your looking at, then go with Nikon. Don’t go and buy a new Video DSLR, only to find that your old lenses won’t work…unless you are totally fine with buying new lenses.

    Of course, there are TONS of other factors that you will need to evaluate…they can sway you one way or another easily. Hopefully this part of the forums will start to largely populate so ppl can have better understandings of the Video DSLRs.

    Good Luck!

  • Matt Gottshalk

    December 5, 2009 at 2:29 am

    The Canon 7d is king of the hill in the VDSLR market.

    For now.

    McGee Digital Media Inc.
    24P HD Production and Post

  • John Kabasakalis

    December 5, 2009 at 5:03 am

    I own a Lumix and love it. Here’s why.

    1) The picture is gorgeous. Recently I shot a 10 minute capital funding campaign video which also incorporated video from my Panasonic HDX-900. I shot the green screen interviews with the 900 and the b-roll with the Lumix. The difference in resolution was astounding. It’s like night and day.

    2) The camera is light… no mirror. Remember you’re probably going to rig it out. Add handles, rods, matt box, follow focus, a better reference mic, etc and now you getting a tad heavy for handheld. Remember that around hour 10.

    3) I work fast. I shoot network, doc, cable and corporate. I need a camera that I can operate as fast as a Betacam otherwise I’ll loose the battle to convince my clients to use this new format. The Panasonic micro 4/3 lens is great at auto focusing. I’ve never auto focused in 37 years of shooting and am quite impressed. It’s noiseless, fast and doesn’t breathe. Combine that with the flip out LCD and you can put the camera in a lot of interesting places and do a lot of interesting moves.

    4) I don’t feel like I have sensor envy. Put a fast prime on it and you’ve got your DOF. Yes… it’s not as big as a Canon but it’s still plenty to work with.

    5) Workflow. Easy. Take the SDHC card out of the camera and Log & Transfer it into FCP lickety-split.

    Finally, I know this camera will be an worthless antique 12 months from now. I’m fine with that. I bought my Lumix four months ago and since then three other HDSLR have been introduced.This is a new frontier and I want to be out in front because there’s an learning curve here. It’s not like shooting stills and it’s not like shooting video. This is a whole new ball game.

  • Nels Chick

    December 5, 2009 at 6:06 am

    I second that!

  • Lance Bachelder

    December 5, 2009 at 7:38 am

    Go for the 7D – we just finished 3 weeks of feature film shooting with 2 of them and they far exceeded our expectations. Make certain you use the best glass – we shot with various Canon “L” lenses and a Zeiss 50 1.4. We plan on picking up the full line of Zeiss primes for the next shoot. Also get a good true fluid head tripod!

    Lance Bachelder
    Southern California

  • Scott Bourne

    December 5, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    I’ve tested the 5D MK II, the GH1, the D90, the D300s and the 7D. I really liked the GH1 but the codec was a pain to edit. The 7D ended up being my choice. It’s relatively inexpensive and I used it with everything from a Canon 50 F/1.4 to a Canon 800 F/5.6 and got great results. All these cameras suffer from rolling shutter. All have their quirks, but so far, the 7D seems to be the best choice for me. I own two of then. I’ll be testing the Canon 1D MK IV next week.

  • Richard Harrington

    December 5, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    [John Kabasakalis] “Finally, I know this camera will be an worthless antique 12 months from now. I’m fine with that. I bought my Lumix four months ago and since then three other HDSLR have been introduced.This is a new frontier and I want to be out in front because there’s an learning curve here. It’s not like shooting stills and it’s not like shooting video. This is a whole new ball game.

    SO TRUE and well said.

    Think about a manufacturer whose lenses you want to keep… but you’ll be selling bodies off every 12-18 months it seems for the near future.

    Richard M. Harrington, PMP

    Author: Video Made on a Mac, Photoshop for Video, Understanding Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Studio On the Spot and ATS:iWork

  • Neil Abeynayake

    December 5, 2009 at 7:52 pm


    The best thing to do is to get hands on experience on the camera that is most suited to your needs. What is good for one person may not address your requirements and/or project demands that you are working with.

    Please note that if you were to visit a pro-camera shop or a dealer, the sales person’s recommendations may not be the best for you either. I’ve gone to many camera dealers where the sales person would try to show his (or her) superior technical knowledge on the product that you are inquiring. And when asked what was the latest project that they’ve participated and could you see a clip or two, they suddenly get busy on other things that require their attention.

    So, where do you start and what is the best source of information that may give you the guidance?

    Well you started at the right place to begin with (Creative Cow Forum).

    Here are a few other sources of info.


    You can check videos uploaded by actual users of the camera of your choice. Just type the brand of the camera (and model) in the search area and you’ll get ton of video experiences and camera tests of actual users.

    Write down the pros and cons of each camera, on a piece of paper. Now compare your needs and match them with the camera that fits the profile.

    Remember to check the workflow issues with what you have and what is needed to work with that camera you select. As you know, digital (camera) technology is changing every day. No matter what you buy, it is going to be out-shined by a newer better model with more bells-and-whistles, come next summer. Again, ask yourself whether you need all those extras to tell your story.

    Hope this info helps you to find what suits you the best.

    Good luck,


    “Always remember that you’re unique. Just like everyone else”.


  • Nicolas Jolliet

    December 5, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    Yes, it is a very complicated topic. Thanks for all the good and wise advice.
    I also learned a lot on this thread: (a five page debate on GH1 versus 5dmk2)

    I will be shooting video/stills in natural disaster zones, for this the GH1 seems the best (tracking autofocus etc…) it works very well when you’re on the run.

    But I will need to buy a second back up camera if not a 3rd.

    After my first assignment in the disaster I’ll be shooting more “cinematographic” stuff. From my 35mm adaptor I used last year, I have my bunch of nikon nikkor prime lenses that I ‘d like to use as well.

    So would I get the best of both world if I traveled with both a GH1 and a 5D? I’m considering this.

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