Mike Wilhelm - July 02nd, 2012
With the proliferation of DSLRs that can shoot HD video, you might wonder what is the future of standalone HD camcorders. Is the new generation of DSLRs better than traditional HD camcorders? And what are their limitations when compared to the legacy HD camcorders?
Hands-down, the greatest benefit of DSLRs is that of interchangeable lenses, and with that, the control they can bring to the look of the video you are shooting. And by control, I dont mean just in the dazzling variety of focal lengths from super wide angle, to long telephoto that are available to achieve different film looks. I was referring to subject isolation. Look at any major film release and notice how in many scenes the subjects are visually isolated from their background. The subject is sharply in focus, while the background is blurred out. This isolation is achieved through selective depth of field with the use of faster wide aperture fixed focal length lenses, not zoom lenses. A traditional HD camcorder may have a good zoom, but its widest f.stop or aperture (typically f/5.6) cannot compete with a fixed focal length lens- typically f/1.8 or better.