Another DSLR or a camcorder as my 2nd camera?

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    • #55841

      I own a Canon T3i and want to add the capability for a 2nd camera for my video shoots. With a  budget of $1,500-2,000, I can afford another Canon DSLR like the T4i with a few lenses, or a prosumer camcorder like the Canon XA-10 or the Panasonic AG-AC90. (native 1080p and dual XLR inputs are a must for the camcorder.)


      My interest in a camcorder is that it offers more flexibility (longer shooting time, run-and-gun capability, easier zooms) than a DSLR can provide, and that could be handy in some assignments. Having both a DSLR and a camcorder gives me more options. I'm aware that the camcorder sensor won't provide the same DOF as I get with the DSLR, but the footage should  match well for 2-camera shoots.


      What do you think?

    • #206834

      Hi Bob – I think you'll miss your DSLR's shallow depth of field if you intercut footage between the T3i and a camcorder.


      But there is one way to have your cake and eat it too. There is one camera below $2000 that will give you shallow depth of field, long continuous shooting time, rock solid autofocus for run-and-gun and a power zoom – the $1299 Panasonic GH3 with its 14-42 and 45-175 power zooms.


      This camera records in .mov, like your T3i, so it will fit right into your work flow.  And it records at higher bit rates than either the XA10 or the AC90.


      Here is what the camera can do with the 14-42 power zoom.  Note the use of auto rack focus (please watch in 720p):



      Here is a sample bird watching video using the 45-175 power zoom.  Note how smooth the zoom is at 2:15 (please watch at 1080p):



      Here is what the GH3 can do intercut with a Canon 7D using the same lenses on both cameras. As you probably know, the 7D has the same sensor and processor as your T3i (please watch at 1080p):



      I plug battery powered XLR mics into my GH3 with an inexpensive XLR to 3.5mm line matching adapter and get very clean sound.  Here's my setup:



      Hope this is helpful,



      Hybrid Camera Revolution

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