Noob question: distinguishing big camcorders vs smaller

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    • #95527

      Hey guys,
      I’m a movie maker and I’m planning on making a feature. I’m also looking to upgrade my camera for my video company.

      I’ve been using my Sony AX2000 for years now and never really learned about other cameras. I see a lot of people shooting video with the smaller cameras (mine is 4 lbs/2 kg). I’m thinking of upgrading. Of course the bigger camcorders, like the SONY FS7 II, cost a ton more than the smaller ones.

      The smaller ones can shoot high speed sometimes, can zoom with the right lense (though sometimes can’t do it smoothly), etc. I know a lot of videographers who use them. They’re also more discreet. So what’s the benefit of using one of the bigger camcorders

      I’d like to know if someone can tell me the benefits/drawbacks from using the “big” cameras and the smaller ones. The smaller ones look like they are meant for taking pics.

      Also what word do you use to distinguish the two types? Camcorder vs camera?

      Also, a question about iphones. The iphone 8 has a good camera that shoots 4k and can zoom, do slow-mo, etc. But let me ask you, what’s one reason you wouldn’t make a professional video using an iphone camera?

      Lastly, I’m thinking of upgrading. I’m still learning more about cameras so my range is pretty broad, like 2,000 to 6,000 USD. I’m looking for a recommendation for something that shoots 4k, high speed (with still reasonable quality), etc.

      I appreciate the advice!

    • #216203

      camcorder – a colloquial terms for a camera and recorder in one box. A camera is the bit that captures the image, if you wish to be accurate, but in practice, either term works.

      Bigger cameras that have external lenses usually offer better quality because the glass out in front can be bigger and better. Many small cameras have pretty poor lens systems. Bigger formats give more space for controls, sockets and useful things. A tiny camera will usually be full automatic, as there’s no space for big controls for exposure and other functions. Big cameras are often more stable, because of the weight, but need bigger heads and legs to sit on. In the old days, size was because of the tape size, but once it shifted to card recording, the size shrinks. Blackmagic Design have some very small very high quality cameras – but the small ones have reduced features not quality,

      Size has nothing to do with shutter speeds – Most very high speed cameras are also very big!

      A Range Rover is much bigger than a Smart Car – it’s more expensive too. Both would get you to the shops no problem, but if the shops are on the top of a mountain, the Range Rover would perhaps be the better one to choose with rocks, sand and deep water to navigate. If you only ever go from home to Aldi and back, the Range Rover would hardly be a sensible investment.

      six grand give you so much scope once you build your necessary features list – and you do the matching exercise. A feature with a benefit to you is a plus point. A feature with no benefit (to you) a negative one.

      You can go for big chips, excellent quality, some decent glass and a dont forget to factor in the support equipment. A 5 grand camera on a 1 grand tripod is about right. A 5900 camera on a 100 tripod is stupid – but sooooooooo many people do it.

    • #216208

      Hey Paulers,

      Thanks for the info…

      So I’m looking to upgrade now. I figure the benefit of the DSLR is the shallow depth of field, the price, and that I could use a cheaper camera stabilizer. Would you happen to know any recommendations for a 4K that’s has video more of a focus than an extra feature? I appreciate it!

    • #216218

      I have two DSLRs I use for work, I HATE the look of the video they produce. My work needs anything but shallow depth of field. In my book, shallow DoF is the enemy as I work in lower light levels, from a distance normally. Personally, I use shallow DoF for occasional effect, or emphasis. It’s a damn nightmare, even with good glass which luckily, I have. No idea what you mean about a cheaper camera stabiliser?
      I’m talking about decent quality pan/tilt heads and solid legs. I like very steady pans and tilts. I hate jerky starts, and that awful creep back you get at the end of a movement with a cheap head and legs, as you remove the panning pressure, the pan stops, and then as you let go the handle, the twist in the legs, moves it back. Even with a lightweight camera you need proper support. Video quality is never an extra feature. If I had limited funds, then it would absolutely be a black magic camera – I’ve nearly bought one three times now, but hired from colleagues. Do you have to go DSLR? If not, plenty of nice proper featured cameras (as in proper audio, which DSLRs suck at) with either integral lenses or taking pro lenses for variety.

      I can’t help with DSLRs because they’re not on my shopping list at all.

    • #216227

      What kind of work do you do?

      I’d be using the new camera mainly for film and video skits which as opposed to events, so a shallow DOF would be better for us.

      I looked into some black magic cameras but they’re more around the 3k range in price. Is there one you recommend for less?

      As for audio we will probably keep recording separately with wireless mics as XLR input with the wire and boom mic has been a pain in the past.

    • #216231

      The Micro has come a near miss purchase now for projects a couple of times, mainly because I have plenty of B4 lenses. If you can cope with the weirdness of using film lenses for video, and their problems with things like maintaining focus, then DSLR, with loads of add ons to make them workable (viewfinders in particular). On one project where I was given one to use, I discovered that using the camera’s viewfinder was a real pain as I wear varifocals, which need a viewfinder in the right place – which isn’t on the back of the camera!

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