DSLR vs Camcorder

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    • #86218


      I am a photographer and I am being constantly asked about videography services.

      I know a lot of potential clients would be happy with a video of their ceremony and a few clips here and there of the before and after the ceremony. Would you recommend that I attempt to do this (with the help on an assistant) mostly utilizing tripods and DSLRs (T5i for instance), or should I invest in a Canon XA20 for instance?
      Are there still many drawbacks in using DSLR when simple recordings as I described?

      Thanks to anyone who can help in advance.

    • #212683

      Hey there luisrz87, DSLR or Camcorder you ask? I use a t5i and a Canon G30, which is basically a XA20 without the XLR audio inputs. They both shoot beautiful video, but my personal preference is the dedicated camcorder….it’s just simpler and easier to use especially when you are in a hurry. The XA20 can be pre-programed with dedicated buttons to give you instant access to functions you’ll need a lot, such as white balance, audio controls, image stabilizer etc. It takes longer to make similar adjustments on the t5i because you have to scroll through various menus to find them. The biggest advantage I see is on the audio side. The XA20 will allow you to input two different audio sources that are adjustable and can be monitored (something that can’t be done on the t5i). And, unless you are using a fast cine lens on your t5i, you won’t get the 20X f1.8 that that camcorder comes with. As for exposure…unless you are shooting on automatic, it’s much easier to manipulate iris, shutter speed and gain with the XA20…a simple toggle switch and rotating wheel allows you to quickly switch between all three and the wheel lets you smoothly open and/or close the iris for easy and seamless exposure compensation…try doing that with the ‘click’ wheel on the t5i. Don’t get me wrong, the t5i shoots great video and I still use it when I’m shooting interviews where I want shallow DOF and have time to properly set things up. In the end, I guess it’s all personal preference.

    • #212734

      If you have a chance to set up a business for yourself, I’d say go for it! There are many who would like to but have no idea how to access the customers or get started.

      It sounds like you have equipment already. Any chance you could video a wedding or event for a friend before getting in front of clients? You might find your current equipment is fine, but you may also discover the opposite.

      The drawbacks of DSLRs are getting less and less (rolling shutter is a good example), but in the semi-pro consumer space, there are probably better options now that are more targeted toward the type of thing you want to do.

      The form factor of DSLRs never really made sense for video, so the new hybrid camcorders are very interesting to those more interested in video.

      Technology changes fast and everybody is different with unique requirements.

      I suggest to spend some time reading reviews, watching YouTube test videos and anything else you can find to feel confident making your decision.

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