video cameras verses DSLR cameras recording video

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Brian, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. Brian

    Brian Guest

    I have mainly used a video camera in the past when recording videos but
    recently I used the video function on my Canon DSLR camera to record an
    event at a beach.

    There were two problems I encountered. The first was the camera suddenly
    going out of focus. If the subject is kept within the white square at the
    center of the lcd screen then its in focus but if you reposition the camera
    and the sky appears in the white square then the camera tries to focus on
    the sky and ends up going out of focus. The limited field of view on DSLR
    cameras makes this more of a problem. The only way I can find to help
    reduce this problem is to pause the AF servo on the camera or have the
    camera track an object. I tried manual focus but for some reason that was
    difficult to do.
    The other problem is that the DSLR camera seems picks a high shutter when
    recording video so there are no natural blurs in the frames that you get
    when there is fast motion such as someone playing with hoops. Its possible
    to reduce the shutter speed when selecting Manual mode for the camera but
    then you need to set the aperture and Set the ISO value or leave it in Auto
    mode. If you set the aperture too small (eg F16) then it stays fixed and
    when recording in darker part of the scene the iso value will increase
    causing noise in the video.
    Brian, Jan 27, 2014
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  2. Brian

    Brian Guest

    The camera is a Canon EOS 70D. It was released during 2013.
    Brian, Jan 28, 2014
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  3. Thanks. Actually, that will help others (which is really why I asked)
    more than it helps me, since I'm not fully up to date with models.

    Generally, I think that the ILCs (i.e., the ones without mirrors, since
    they have several names these days) work a bit better with video, but
    the DSLRs keep getting better. And now some pellix-style cameras are
    showing up too.
    Gene E. Bloch, Jan 28, 2014
  4. Brian

    Brian Guest

    I believe a camera is best at what its designed to do and most DSLR cameras
    are better at taking still photos, just as video cameras are better at
    recording videos than taking still photos. However the gap between videos
    and still photos is closing. Maybe they need to come up with a new name for
    a camera that takes both video and still photos.

    The biggest advantages of using a DSLR camera id that it has a bigger
    sensor so darker areas are easier to see and have less noise. The lens can
    be changed so you can put higher quality lens on the camera.

    Out of interest does anyone know the size of the sensor on a consumer video
    Brian, Jan 30, 2014
  5. Mirrorless cameras tend to have fewer focus problems since the
    sensor itself is used for AF, unlike the "mirrored" cameras,
    which are generally limited to a secondary AF system, which
    often requires calibration of the lenses to it for best accuracy,
    and which limits focus points to a relatively small number,
    mostly located near the center of the image frame, and some of
    which may mot ideally handle different orientations of subject
    detail. Also, since the means for shooting stills and video are
    more similar with mirrorless cameras, it is easier for the
    designers to make the controls for both either nearly the
    same for both, or more nearly so...

    Um, "come-and-gone" - and Sony just went mirrorless with their
    most recent "D"SLRs... "The writing is on the wall" regarding
    that "flappy" mirror in cameras...;-) EVFs have gotten good,
    and they "report" to the user FAR more useful info about the
    image being taken than optical finders can...
    Most of the current Panasonic MFT mirrorless cameras now use the
    same controls/menu-items for both stills and video... Also, there
    is less of a problem down-sampling 16-megapixels to 2-megapixels
    for video than taking 24 or 36 megapixels to the lower resolution,
    and the Panasonics offer the best down-sampling I've seen, and can
    do it VERY well even at 60p, unlike most others...
    MFT offers an advantage here in having MUCH smaller lenses, greater
    inherent DOF for a given stop, and the AF advantages noted above...
    I recall that the Panasonic TM700 used three 1/4" chips; others
    were even smaller (and single), and a few larger at around 1/2" (as
    I recall...;-). One problem evident with smaller chips, especially
    around here during much of the year, is the difficulty they have
    cleanly rendering bare tree branches. The TM700 had excellent
    detail-rendering of surprisingly fine detail, but when it came
    to shooting in winter wooded areas, the chroma "clouds" around
    tree branches were pretty bad... But when I began with SD video,
    the one subject even large-sensor pro camcorders could not shoot
    well was back-lighted bare tree branches - but now the Panasonic
    MFT cameras can do even that very well (when using lenses with low
    chroma problems). YAY! Finally "video" cameras that can actually
    shoot landscapes well now exist! 8^) BTW, I'm in the process of
    "polishing" my article (now available in two formats") on MFT
    lenses, at -
    and at -
    David Ruether, Jan 30, 2014
  6. Brian

    Brian Guest

    You might be interested in reading this David

    MILCs produce high-quality images that are comparable to those taken from
    DSLRs and even offer the flexibility of interchangeable lenses. That said,
    you have also seen the above comparisons between both types of cameras and
    have a feel of the pros and cons of each.

    I guess it all boils down to the priority you place on the various features
    and functions on a camera. For instance, if you’re someone who prefers
    speedy movement shots, an MILC is obviously less superior to a DSLR due to
    its slower autofocus speed. If you find it extremely cumbersome to lug the
    the bulky DSLR bag along with the heavier lenses behind you everywhere you
    go, then the compact MILC is definitely more appealing to you.


    I'd be interested in your comments David.

    According to a survey Canon is the most popular Camera
    The most popular type of cameras are
    Point and shoot 36%
    DSLR 36%
    Mirrorless 22%
    Other 6%


    I can understand point and shoot cameras being popular as a lot of people
    just want an easy camera to use and are not interested in learning about
    shutter speeds, apertures etc.
    Brian, Jan 30, 2014
  7. OK, I see that this camera (at Sony)

    is now discontinued.


    is not listed at Sony as discontinued; it's also available at B&H.

    Sony misnamed it translucent mirror technology.
    Gene E. Bloch, Jan 31, 2014
  8. The article is old and out of date. Current EVFs are very fast
    (no delay); electronic shutters (without mirrors) are very fast,
    and are shake-free (and can be noiseless); pick up a Panasonic
    GH3, G5, or G6 and see how good the grip is; note what you
    wrote at the top of all this - these "problems" that you mention
    with your DSLR are not problems in the cameras I use; the mirrorless
    camera problems the author mentioned do not exist anymore - there
    is VERY little delay in shutter release, focus is extremely fast
    (and without "hunting", without limitation for where in the frame
    focus can be had - and with the newer EVFs, you really do see
    nearly what you get (since it is an electronic replica of what
    goes out to the memory card), unlike with optical VFs, which show
    nothing about color and tonality as it will appear in the final
    image; etc. I used the old "flappy-mirror" clunkers for decades;
    my current cameras are not only better, but they are MUCH more fun
    to use!;-) The author of the article also mentioned the relative
    limitation of the lens selection for mirrorless cameras. Ahem!
    See: and then tell
    me where the lens "gaps" are!;-) And with some of the photos on
    that site, note the "catching of action" with the nearby runner,
    the cat's eye shot with a (tiny, hand-held) 700mm-equivalent lens,
    etc. And, since FLs effectively double on MFT compared with FF 35mm,
    very long lenses are "easy" and very cheap compared with those for
    the big cameras, and lenses beyond what are practical or affordable
    for FF 35mm are practical with MFT (note my 2,000mm-equivalent lens,
    and my 1200mm-equivalent lens is small and light, and under $500!;-).
    And, the 2,000mm-equivalent one can be had used for under $400,
    and it fits (upright!) on a small shelf!;-) As for low light, I
    had no trouble shooting a pre-dawn photo this morning and getting
    sharp images that were "brighter than reality" at hand-held speeds
    of 1/6th to 1/15th second. Try doing that with a DSLR...;-) And,
    no, the images were not noisy (I will send you one now...;-).
    And from that "tiny" MFT sensor, I've gotten really (no-foolin')
    SHARP 16.5"x22" prints, better than what 35mm film could do...;-)
    For being a very recent thing, 22% is impressive...;-) Also,
    at one time, the Ford Model T was rather more popular than the
    competition... Times change...;-)
    This info is 1 1/2 years old, almost "antique" now - and notice
    that Canon is now selling a mirrorless model, currently at a
    "giveaway" price with lens...;-) Gee, I wonder why.........?;-)
    Sony is heavily into mirrorless now, Nikon has "dabbled" with it,
    and so have several other manufacturers. I give the "flappy mirror"
    only a couple more years before it's "curtains" for it, since it's
    outlived its usefulness... 8^)
    Of course, use what you want, but "I've seen the light", and it
    is mirrorless MFT...! 8^) Plus, for video, the best four Panasonic
    MFT camera models just plain shoot better video image-quality than
    the DSLRs, and they are easier to use while doing it...
    David Ruether, Jan 31, 2014
  9. Brian

    Brian Guest

    I noticed a big price reduction for that camera at the site. Maybe its not
    selling so well.
    I did consider buying it but when looking thru the view finder it was like
    wearing sun glasses. Only 70% of the light passes through the mirror.
    Brian, Jan 31, 2014
  10. Brian

    Brian Guest

    I don't think DSLR cameras will suddenly disappear as professional
    photographers are still using them.

    It's good to see cameras improving with age. Also camera designers must be
    taking more notice when photographers find weaknesses in cameras. I'm
    pleased I don't sell cameras as they would quickly get out dated.

    In other ways cameras have not changed. People use to just press the
    shutter button on the old Kodak box brownie camera and they do the same
    with pocket snap shot cameras.
    Brian, Jan 31, 2014
  11. Splitting the available light between an optical VF and the
    sensor is *NOT* a good idea...!;-) Canon tried it also, decades
    ago, with their "Pellix" model - and it also failed...
    David Ruether, Jan 31, 2014
  12. If only the photographers did too :)

    Even some of today's point and shoot cameras should make Henri
    Cartier-Bresson wildly jealous.
    Gene E. Bloch, Jan 31, 2014
  13. I agree. The other model is discontinued already; that one is probably
    going to follow. As David hinted :)
    That is, 70% goes to the detector. Only 30% is diverted to the
    viewfinder (ignoring any losses in the semi-reflective surface). I
    always like to take pictures in available light. That would make it
    hard to see the view, whereas LCD and other panels and EVF finders can
    be as bright as needed.
    Gene E. Bloch, Jan 31, 2014
  14. Brian

    Brian Guest

    After doing more research i found some other focusing options on the camera
    that allow more focusing points or focusing areas. When recording a
    sandcastle contest at the beach I didn't have any focusing problems. Wind
    noise was my biggest problem even with the wind noise filter turned on. I
    might consider taking a portable sound recorder with a wind sock next time
    to record some background ambience or buy an external mic that has a wind
    sock that can be mounted on the camera.
    Three more things to add to the list.

    Using manual zoom can be a bit jerky when zooming in or out from a subject,
    not as smooth as a motorised zoom on a video camera. Maybe with practice
    I'll get smoother zooms. The disadvantage of a motor zoom on a video camera
    is that you often can't zoom exactly to where you want to when composing
    the picture.

    You can't take photos while recording a video without interrupting the
    recording. On playback there is a sound effect of a shutter and the photo
    you took is paused for about a second or two then the movie continues. Any
    video action happening when the photo was taken is lost. The mirror just
    down interrupting the movie. But this is better than some DSLR cameras that
    stop the video as soon as the photo is taken.

    You can't use the viewfinder while recording a video. The only way to see
    what you are recording is on the LCD screen which needs to have the
    brightness increased on a bright day so you can clearly see the screen.
    This reduces the battery life.

    Things like having a bigger sensor and being able to change the lens makes
    up for some of the disadvantages.
    Brian, Feb 9, 2014
  15. Not t' "rub it in" er nuttin' lyk thet..., but these problems
    don't exist with mirrorless cameras...;-) An', with the new
    Panasonic GH4 shooting 4K, you can grab any of the video
    frames for decent stills - and there are... [Can't remember
    what I was going to write - someone just called... Or, as
    Gene pointed out, too bad *WE* don't improve with age...
    (although, I do appreciate my {belatedly!} increasing wisdom!).]
    David Ruether, Feb 9, 2014
  16. Brian

    Brian Guest

    All cameras seem to have there advantages. Professional photographers still
    prefer to use DSLR cameras but at some stage I might see some shots in a
    photography magazine taken by a professional using a mirrorless (CSC)

    Defining cameras as mirrorless brings in a wide range of cameras. Most of
    my older cameras are mirrorless but not all shoot video or take photos
    during video recording. While the Sony a77 is a fixed mirror camera it
    can't take still photos when video recording. I see that in 2012 Canon
    launched a Canon EOS M which is defined as a CSC camera. The advantage is
    that it supports all the EOS lens.

    The problem when grabbing stills from a 4k movie is that you can get burred
    shots due to a slow shutter speed when recording an active subject. If the
    shutter in the video is still fast it looks unnatural. Far as I know the
    shutter speed of the photo taken while video recording has a different
    shutter speed.

    Out of curiosity are you likely to save up and buy the Panasonic GH4 camera
    David? Will it fit the lens of your older Panasonic cameras?
    Brian, Feb 9, 2014
  17. Sometimes "preferential-inertia" and large investments in
    other gear slow the decision to change systems or types of
    systems even when the limitations compared with other systems
    are clearly recognized and evident, but even that may not
    happen "easily" given possible "brand-loyalties", good
    (or poor...;-) marketing, or just plain ignorance or
    stubbornness.;-) I've been around long enough, and have
    been interested enough in marketing effects to observe many
    instances where well-marketed (and/or "famous" brands), but
    with functionally inferior products, often sell better than
    better (and often cheaper) alternatives...
    I should have defined my terms better (not all "mirrorless"
    cameras are "serious" or of equal capabilities... For video,
    Panasonic MFT cameras do stand out...;-)
    Yes, and it is currently selling at very low prices - and
    people report many disadvantages with using it... But, as a
    secondary compact mate to better Canon models, it can make
    sense to own and use it...
    Unlikely. Also, if your frame rate is high (60fps), higher
    shutter speeds can provide better sharpness with motion, and
    do it without a "staccato" appearance. Panasonic was an early
    adopter of 60P. I think it was actually the first - and this
    opened up new possibilities (combined with superior overall
    image-quality) for having better video image detail. Panasonic
    appears to have done it again, with higher resolutions,
    data-rates, and all-I recordings of video in a (conceivably...;-)
    affordable camera.
    "Debating" on the first; "YES!", on the second - all of them,
    plus all of the other-brand lenses and adapted-lenses I have
    for them...;-) BTW, in terms of marketing, it is notable that
    two very good Panasonic cameras never got full reviews at
    dpreview, the G5 and G6, which are "bang-up" good still cameras,
    and best-of-class for video image quality BY FAR compared with
    the non-Panasonic competition! Weird, huh? 8^)
    David Ruether, Feb 9, 2014
  18. Out of curiosity, I tried an experiment last night:
    I figured that 200Mbs was 25MBs, and 25MBs divided
    by 60fps = 0.417MB per frame (or 417kB per frame),
    assuming constant bit rate - so I took a couple of
    somewhat "out-sized" very sharp and detailed original
    MFT JPG still photos of 1920x1440 pixels that averaged
    about 2.25MB each (unsharpened 1920x1080 video frames
    would likely be less than this, even with all-I) and
    re-JPG'd them down to about 410-416 kB file sizes at
    the same pixel resolution, and then compared them
    side-by-side at 100% with the originals. MUCH to my
    surprise, there was VERY little difference! The finest
    details generally remained in both compared with the
    originals, and only the highest contrast fine edges
    showed a very little, very fine stair-stepping in
    only a very few tiny areas in the photos. This assumes
    that the camera's compression is equally efficient
    (but it includes some extra "slop" in the form of
    the additional resolution compared with the HD frame
    resolution...). This looks very promising for getting
    at least fairly spectacular HD video detail from the
    GH4... ('course, mebbe me "figures" were wrong...;-).
    David Ruether, Feb 9, 2014
  19. Brian

    Brian Guest

    In some ways cameras are like cars. Some people still enjoy driving around
    a big car. The sandcastle event caused a lot of people to take photos with
    their cameras. I noticed that the men had the larger sized cameras and the
    women used pocket sized cameras. Teenagers generally used smartphone
    cameras. I saw a young school aged child using an iPad as a camera.

    When it comes to DSLR cameras some people still prefer an optical
    viewfinder compared to a electronic image view finder, but there is a trend
    towards using lcd screens. Not all the features are available on the Canon
    70D when using a viewfinder.
    I must see if there is a report on this camera sometime.
    I get a feeling that the cameras that advertise in a photography magazine
    or web site seem to get more detailed reports.
    Often you get a more honest report in the user comments section.
    Brian, Feb 9, 2014
  20. In the context of this discussion, "mirrorless" should be taken to mean
    ILCs, that is, interchangeable lens compacts, such as the Panasonic
    micro four-thirds cameras that David has been talking about, as well as
    the similar Olympus cameras and also the Sony Alpha NEX series.

    Fixed (that is non-interchangeable) lens superzooms and point-and-shoot
    cameras and various cameras of those two types are not the same thing,
    Gene E. Bloch, Feb 9, 2014
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