DSLR versus camcorder for video shooting and editing

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    • #68588

      I am basically a video maker but also shoot digital images. I am contemplating the purchase of a new camcorder but wonder if I should purchase a DSLR camera that shoots video? What are the pros and cons of this issue?


      Paul Boudreau

    • #208210


      Hi Paul – there are a lot of opinions, but I shoot with both a high-end interchangeable lens still camera that shoots great video (the Panasonic GH3) and a high-end consumer camcorder that shoots decent stills (a 900 series Panasonic camcorder), and I get great video and stills from both.


      But when I carry one camera, I carry the GH3 – because it offers the most flexibility – with its interchangeable lenses, more powerful built-in flash and easy-to-access external controls.


      The GH3 has much higher still image quality – and its video images are just as good, if not better than my camcorder's.


      It is a mirrorless "DSLM", however, and does not suffer from the limitations ofconventional DSLRs, with their limited continuous recording times (no more than 30 minutes) and viewfinders that go blank when shooting video, forcing you to use the LCD to compose and focus your images.


      Here is what it can do:














      Here is the still image quality you can expect:  http://www.flickr.com/groups/gh3/pool/


      If you want the best of both worlds, I highly recommend this camera.


      Good luck and hope this was helpful,



      Hybrid Camera Revolution

    • #208211

      Grab it and go = camcorder         " art video " = DSLR + lotsa extra gadgets and baggage

    • #208216

      Really comes down to what you need more, video or stills? I shoot both professionally. I always carry a video capable Point & Shoot to primarily shoot stills with but if I need video I can switch back and forth. As is, a DSLR with video will be your better bet since you shoot more stills. However, if you have a heavier need for video a dedicated camcorder will be the better option. Often, when I'm in full video mode when possible I'll mount my PnS on my video cam and shoot some quick stills. Main thing is to use the gear you need to concentrate on the primary focus of your work…..

    • #208220

      I'm more "Run and Gun" style with my jobs so I need video, audio and stills at the ready. I went with the Sony NEX cameras. I shoot with a FS-100 and have a VG-10 back up and a NEX five in the case. Kind of the best of all worlds but with only one set of lenses for all. 


      I've worked second gun to a few DSLR guys and while they can get some great footage, they all have had audio issues and various other limitations. IMO its when you get into volume of video done is where you see a dedicated video camera shine above a DSLR.

    • #210406

      Exactly what Woody said, it's a volume of video that requires a different type of camera, an af-100 would fit that very well. Anything short form, a dslr is much more artistic for and a better fit for cinematic stuff. Camera's now-a-days are built as hybrids (canon c100) so if you want the best of both and can afford it (you need it for work) then do that, but as far as hobbies go, you can't beat $400 for a t3i.

      I get more in-depth on my blog:

      Camcorder vs. DSLR (with sample footage) or Should I get a dslr for video?

    • #210420

      I think DSLR are for photography and video-camera for video, I can’t imagine to shoot a wedding, in a nice little church, with a dslr and … 2 hand stabilizer under, big mic over, long shoulder support an so on … is quite disturbing. And I will have problem to walk as tourist in a town and shoot clips with a complicate ensamble. nice litte pro or semi pro video-cameras do very good videos, and, in my personal idea, with better colors.

      Pietro Moggi – Italy

    • #211511

      The two seem to be converging.

      VideoCams are getting better at Stills, some even have interchangeable lens.

      And DSLRs are getting better at Video.


      I upgraded from a GH3 to get much better action stills.

      But the GH4 is also much better for Video.

      I especially like the ability to take unattended videos for over two hours.

    • #211515

      I just replaced my DSLR that I use for stills, and I use shoulder mounted camcorders for video. I was taking a few stills on a project and decided to try the video function for just one little clip – mainly because I was too lazy to get the video gear out! My 'few years ago' experiment with DSLR video had put me off – and I'm relieved to say I'm still glad.  In the few years between the first experiments my eyes have got worse and I now use glasses all the time. I could not focus on the LCD screen and have the camera in a sensible shooting position – my nice sigma zoom is totally incapable of doing a slow creep in, and the inability to shoot for a decent period means that for my typical use, DSLRs are hopeless for me. Oddly, the images are great, when they're in focus – but my inability to see the LCD really messes it up for me.

    • #211694

      DSLR gives me depth of field and more options. .camcoders are boring

    • #211809
      Mark Bruner

      Would you all experienced videographers suggest camcorder for sports (we are looking to try video for water skiing where the subject can accelarate across the wake at close to 60 mph),Cine type camera (C100) for weddings and DSLR for stills. We have a wedding photogaphy businenss (some sports) and for weddings are  getting asked 25% of the time if do video, thus were looking into the C100 (since we have plenty of Canon gear) . But we would rather get something that can cover both sports and wedding (seems like you need a tool for each) or do we get one of each. We would only do 4-5 weddings by video a year; but are hoping to grow the sports video (somehow; currently reviewing our business plan for 2015.

    • #212741

      I think this is a good visual comparisson

    • #214074

      Hey Paul,

      I am a cinematographer, and love to use different types of cameras for capturing motion-picture photography by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as film stock.

      Nowadays I am using Canon 5D MK11 DSLR camera that has 21 megapixel CMOS sensor that gives the best picture quality.

      Before buying any camera i usually take it on rent from the site http://www.lightningmedia.co.uk/ , so that I can know more about the camera and its specifications before making a final purchase.

      You can also take a camera of your choice on rent and then if you are satisfied you can buy the camera of your choice.

      Jay Walton

    • #214078

      This topic’s a bit long dead – but as it’s been resurrected I hadn’t seen that comparison. It struck me as about the same validity as our current leave/remain in discussion over leaving the EU, here in the UK. The difference between those two recording art the start was the cameraman – NOT the format. The first clip looked like a full auto point and shoot – NOT anything with the word broadcast attached. Ridiculous comparison, wish I’d seen it last year! The DSLR version had good exposure and nice framing and a sense of being ‘live’. Give that cameraman a shoulder mount camera and he’d have got the identical footage. Biased to the extreme.

    • #208403

      woody your comment here makes me want to make more money because I probably should get the Canon xa 20, video pays the bills.  If I really want to explore with stills I should get a modest DSLR instead of getting the Panasonic GH3.  And you are right about audio, even if I capture audio separately with my H4n, it's still more set up time, another button to remember to press and screen to monitor.  As a one man band it increases the risk and complexity of any shoot.   What do you think? 

    • #211517

      The GH4 LCD is very much improved.

      That said, I mosly use it for settings, view and focus are usually set on my MustHD 7" monitor except I do like to use touch for focus area.

      Everything is mounted on my TriPod or it's legs.


      When I do run and gun I try to stop moving and lock my legs or steady myself against something.

      I have used lots of cheap (under $2k) VideoCams and have not found one I like near as much as the GH4.

      However, I think that day will come soon as the two seem to be converging.

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