5d MarkII vs. JVC GY-HM100 Camcorder

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    • #44341

      hello everybody!

      i’m thinking about buying a camera and start doing my own videos.

      my areas of interest are journalism and documentary mostly. even so, i do like fiction too.

      i also practice photography.

      i only have something like 2500 euros to spend right now.

      wich camera should i buy; a dslr or a video camcorder?

      why should i do it?

      i’ve looked diferent sites about this discussion and haven’t found. i would like to compreend better what should i do.

      thank you all!


    • #185677

      The 5D Mark II is an impressive cam. It has been used to film tv episodes etc. One complaint I’ve found on the web was that it lacks the customizable functions of a true video cam. One user said that in outdoor situations (very bright sunny days etc.) it reverts into an ‘auto’ state which overrides some settings you may have. I thought about the same thing, but after seeing some of the difficulties that users experienced trying to use a still camera for a camcorder, I changed my mind.

    • #185678

      you’ll need both…

      buy a camcorder first, unless you already have a collection of compatible d-slr specialty lenses…such as fast primes, fisheye, ultrawide, or tilt-shift lenses.

    • #185679


      Though you have experience with still photography, Videography is far more complicated. The DSLR’s are as described as ‘impressive cameras’, but there is a learning curve and equipment curve your budget can’t handle at this time. For someone learning video I’d have to say get a dedicated video camera first. There are a number of controls that are similar to DSLR’s but there are those controls that are strictly video related. Besides, there’s a big difference in dealing with ‘pictures that move’ and just ‘pictures’. Lastly, unless you plan on making silent films there’s the wonderful world of audio to learn how to handle as well. A video camera will have better inputs and capacity for recording audio than a DSLR.

      Bottom line: In my opinion take your money and find a good entry-level video camera. Get a decent case for it, a couple of extra batteries, an inexpensive microphone that’s compatible with your camera, an inexpensive tripod (with a built-in level) and compatible recording media. Take that gear and learn how to use it properly by watching the free video tutorials on this site and ask as many questions in these forums as you need to.

      So now I guess your next question is: “What camera should I buy?”

    • #185680

      Dimitri: I have to agree with the moderator – he has given you great advice – now let me fill you in with the details – the reasons why.

      Having both the Sony Z5 video camera (fantastic but costs $4,000)and the Canon 5D M2 with5Carl Zeiss Lenses from my past collection (marvelous optics) , the Sony is Waaaaaaaaaay easier to use, hands down. It has a 20x lens, razor sharp, equal to the Canon -don’t forget we are dealing with a 2Mb picture, not 21Mb that the Canon is capable of for HD Video, great stereo audio and XLR inputs etc.

      The Canon is a challenge to use. It does not have auto focus, the sound is awful in mono (a lot of pre-amp hiss), the aperture has click stops that often has to be adjusted on the fly as the light changes, the viewing screen is not moveable for low and high shots, and you cannot critical focus on the fly at wide open aperature and more often than not, a lot of shots are damn hard to make with that viewing screen- in the sunlight for instance, small screen etc. And trust me, critical focus is exactly that – CRITICAL. If it is not on, it is off. That is the (dis) / advantage of a large sensor. It is 20X larger than the Sony and with it is a myriad of phnotgraphic opportunities or disadvantages depending on your point of view.

      And that is what makes the Canon so wonderul. It has shallow Depth of Field for amazing creativity that the Sony does not have unless at full zoom or something. And the Canon can take lovelynight shots that the Sony can’t do very well so long as you don’t go above ISO 1250 or so – then it gets noisy. The Canon takes incredible still shots while shooting video (you lose a second of video tho). Those stills are amongst the best in the world. For audio, the Canon will have to have a second sound recording system – like the HN4 or a Beachtek 5D adapter which is amongstthe best there is. But Beachtek owner – Harry Kaufmann -who is a friend of mine, makes not bones about it,tells me that the poor Canon pre-amps will never come close to giving you true pure audio despite his apapters being so good. A second system is the only way to go for pure audio. Now you may need a sound guy to help out!

      So for a Canon to do the same thing as a Sony – you will need extra: 1: Audio recorder or adapter ($400) 2: Lenses ($1-2,000) 3: A viewing screen (lilliput $250+) or a screen magnifier ($75) 4: Microphones if you get an adapter ($200-$700). 5: Memory cards ($200). Patience ($ – huh?).

      There are the straight goods. The ideal system is to use the video camera – the Sony in my case, and supplement it with the Canon for those artistic film shots – probably 5-15% of them. If you are doing docs – you don’t need the Canon. If you are creative, you will see great advantages. Hope this gives you the information you need.

      ps: If HD is not what you want and can live with standard def – have a look at a used Sony VX2000. Get a Beachtek adapter and mics and you will get terrific results even in low light. And you can do it for about $1,500 all inclusive.

    • #185681

      go wit 5D Mark II . . . dont think just go for it .

    • #185682

      “go wit 5D Mark II . . . dont think just go for it .”

      Yes, ‘don’t think’ until after you’ve spent your money and realize you could have gotten more and had more capability with something else.

    • #185683

      i bought the jvc gy hm-100 after careful consideration of everything hd within my $3500. This was shortly after the jvc camera first hit the market. The JVC might serve you well for what you want to do. Image quality is superb with the right tweaks and the small size of the camera gives you a shoot anywhere, on anything at anytime. Having a quality camera this size has given life to many ideas I’ve had that involve handheld action, skateboard/automobile shots, zip line cam, radio control helicopter mount, etc…. pretty cool if thats the stuff your’e after. If not, then you will probably hate this camera and the lens that is stuck on it along with no lanc control, poor menu logic, short battery life, limited attachments and micro sized buttons. Audio is fantastic on this little cam. Its a video camera and is better suited to video camera work than the dslr with video capability

    • #185684

      “go wit 5D Mark II . . . dont think just go for it .”

      If you live in my area please take his advice, I don’t mind watching a competitor go broke!


      you could get a new Nikon d7000 with a 50mm1.4 (or Pentax k-5 and 50 1.4)(both come with a kit lens as well) a pentax/tokina 10-17 fisheye zoom, and have change left over for a Sony nex-vg10, for the price of that Canon with fast lens…

    • #185685

      Much as I like the 5DMkII I don’t recommend it as an entry-level camera at all. Not to mention it will completely blow your proposed budget and you won’t have any ‘change’ left over to buy needed accessories.

      Don’t forget the new Canon 60D that is basically a 7D with a swivel LCD (very handy for video) and costs about $400 less with the kit lens. One thing to take note of that hasn’t been mentioned is that you say you ‘practice photography’, so if you already have camera gear it’s smart to get new gear from the same company. That way your lenses and other accessories you already own have a better chance of being compatible with the new gear which will save you money.

      The one thing you do not want to do in this biz is ‘chase after gear’. That meaning jumping after each new (and expensive) piece of tech that comes out when it comes out. You’ll end up broke doing that! I still stand by my recommendation of an entry-level video camera first. However, if you’re set on a DSLR take a serious look at the entry-level models from the different companies. That will save you some money (which you will need for accessories) and if you end up not liking the DSLR work-flow, the pain of how much you spent won’t hurt as much.

    • #185686

      Don’t forget the overheating issues DSLRs are plagued with. With a DSLR aloneif you are taking a lot of video you may find yourself spending more time waiting for the camera to cool down than shooting.

    • #185687

      5 D mark II is great solution for wedding photography (I am actually using this DSLR and can only recommend it), but go for a another solution for making professional video

      Good luck !

      photographe mariage Metz

    • #185688

      If you shoot with DSLRs to save money, I don’t see the advantage, other than you get a native 35mm lens, and in the end you don’t save money, because of your needed accessories.

      But if it’ll shoot better than a $5,000 camcorder,

      then I’d go for it.

    • #185689

      The advantage of a Canon 5D is shallow depth of field and gorgeous night / dark photography. It can take stills that are the best in the world too. These can not be done with current video cameras. The choice is yours. For a budget, are these options necessary?

    • #185690

      DSLRs will be harder to work with. But if you do your research and use it the right way and get the right accessaries you will be very happy with them. There are some things like highly compressed video that will be a problem. On the other hand, you will get some very nice perks like that GREAT sensor. It is more of a style issue than a which is better issue. I strongly recommend that you look up the problems AND solutions of each before you commit and see which is right for you.

    • #185691

      Doublehamm mentions heating sensors and time limits. I have shot many hours on my 5D – all day 9-1am shooting in short clips of 1-5 min. I have never had a heating issue. Back got a tad warm once, but never hot. Maybe I am lucky!

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