DSLR vs Camcorder for Interviews

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    • #85040

      Long story short, I have owned lots of canon gear through the years, but I think I made a decision without really doing my research. We are needing gear to film sermons in a church and we'd also like the ability to HDMI out to tv's in a lobby. In addition, we are needing gear to film interviews/testimonies/promos. We already own a 3,000 watt continuous lighting kit, shotgun mic and a zoom, so we're covered on lighting and audio. We also have a black muslin backdrop.


      We purchased a Canon G30 and it's working great for filming our services, but one thing I completely overlooked for our testimonies/interviews is DOF. It's not an issue when using a backdrop, but doesn't look as nice when filming in someone's house. We're not using any of the advanced features of the G30 other than the multiple SD slots, I'm wondering if I'd be better off selling the G30 and buying an RF500 camcorder for the sermons, and a couple of used T4i's with 50mm 1.8 lenses for testimonies. That would give me the shallow DOF that looks great of testimonies and interviews where the backdrop isn't used. It would also give me a dedicated camcorder for our services and a couple of DSLR's for testimonies. The second camera angle would be nice.


      I'm just not sure about the IQ on the DSLR's for video. I've never used them before. I've always owned SLR's without video….50D & 5D. Thoughts? Am I on the right track? I could almost pay for the RF500 and both T3i's and lenses with what I can sell the G30 for, and I'm not sure we'd notice an IQ difference between the RF500 and G30 for what we're using it for.

    • #211785

      Hi taylorman00 – It sounds like you need two cameras with large sensors for "shallow depth of field" testimonies – plus one camera for longer recordings of your services.


      There is one camera in your price range that can do both jobs.  It is neither a DSLR nor a camcorder – it is a mirrorless camera, the Panasonic GH3.


      DSLRs cannot record for more than 30 minutes continuously, and are not compatible with affordable power zooms.


      And as you have noted, traditional small sensor camcorders have a problem creating the shallow depth of field "look".


      The GH3, on the other hand, can record for hours continuously (like a camcorder) – can output a clean image via HDMI – and has a large sensor for shallow depth of field.


      Here is what it can do in a church setting:



      "The Capitol Connection" (it's a documentary, but it will give you an idea of the image quality you can get inside the sanctuary):





      "Buntzen Lake Outdoor Baptism Westwood Community Church":





      "Communion Bread" – documentary/interviews





      "Children's Ministry at Cornerstone Worship Center"





      "Pastor Appreciation"





      I would sell the G30, and buy a couple of $760 (on sale, as of this post) Panasonic GH3s with a $379 45-175 power zoom plus a low light interview lens – perhaps the $349 Olympus 25mm f1.8.


      With this setup, you will be able to produce very high video for your church.


      Hope this is helpful!



      Hybrid Camera Revolution

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