Kevin Bruce Francisco's Blog
Kevin Bruce Francisco male Content Specialist
A graduate of Digital Filmmaking, he makes videos for HWZ TV. Kevin also writes for the company's website and magazine. An aspiring filmmaker, a music junkie, and a superhero by night.
DSLRs or Camcorders?
A couple of decades back, movies were often made by production houses with big budget. On the other hand, there were also individuals who just shoot on their own giving them the title independent or “indie” filmmakers. The thing is, back in those times, they were very limited in terms of shooting gears since the cameras they used were mostly on the low end and getting a camera that could produce Hollywood-like video quality were pretty expensive. But alas, years passed and technology improved while costs fell and today, a standard DSLR that your friend or your uncle owns is already capable of capturing broadcast-quality, high definition videos. All one needs is a fair amount of creativity. But a question arises: is it better to use a DSLR than a camcorder when making films? This blog aims to point out several basic things to consider if you’re planning to shoot videos anytime soon.
One of the main obvious differences between a DSLR and a camcorder is the ergonomics. Camcorders that are made for video shooting have their buttons and zoom rockers placed strategically under your fingertips. But since DSLRs are originally made for shooting photographs, the menu buttons and settings are in a different place and zooming is done on the lens. So if you need to put the DSLR down on the ground for a specific shot, you just have to lie on the floor with the camera to view your shot.
If you have the extra cash then you might be interested in purchasing this installment to have that “camcorder feel” when shooting with your DSLR:
Another fact about shooting videos with DSLRs is that you cannot continue shooting for as long as you want since they have recording time limitations. Generally, 20-40 minutes of recording is the most a DSLR can perform, depending on the quality of the memory card. With camcorders, you can record videos until the batteries die. Also, with DSLRs, you may want to let it rest from time to time as it heats up from continuous using.
When shooting videos, image stabilizers are fairly important because they control the shaking of the camera when it’s handheld. With DSLRs, their image stabilizers are mostly on the lenses and are meant for taking photos. In short, they don’t provide much control for video capturing. It’s mostly all up to the steadiness of your two hands.
Let’s talk about the lenses. I’m going to side with the DSLRs in this one for the simple reason that there is a wide selection of lenses for them to choose from and are easier to acquire locally. The downside to it is that your zoom capacity solely depends on the lens that you have on. Depending on your shot, you are more likely to change lens with a DSLR than a camcorder when shooting. Think of it as putting on different clothes for different weather.
If you feel that you’re on the professional level and can bring out US$15,000 for a DSLR, you might want to check this latest release from Canon.
Personally, I would still prefer using camcorders over DSLRs because camcorders were made for shooting videos – plain and simple. For a DSLR to be used effectively, one must buy all these add-ons and mount it all together. But that’s just me; it’s all up to the consumers what they find more appealing and more practical.
These points that I brought up compare camcorders and DSLRs without any modifications. There are a lot of modifications today (some are branded, some are DIY) for the DSLRs that we have. Here are some of them: