Professional Camcorder vs DSLR

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    • #96430

      So I am a recent journalism graduate and have used both DSLR and professional camcorders for various projects. However, I’ve recently taken a job filming sailing videos in the SF Bay. I shot one video with my DSLR (Nikon D3200 with a Tamron 17-50mm lens). Needless to say I ran into some difficulties from stabilization, color and getting close-up shots. The closest I am able to get to the sail boats is 20-30 yards.

      With that being said, I do some still photography and other videos I’m working on are much easier shooting subjects (events, documentary style videos).

      Is it worth it for me to invest in a professional camcorder – there’s the obvious benefit of ergonomics especially filming from a boat – or just upgrade my current camera?

    • #278044

      This is my first time posting on this site as well.

      • #72006659
        Avatarbobspez
        Participant

        Try a Lumix FZ80 bridge camera and a decent tripod. It is lightweight, can shoot 4K video or AVCHD at 1080P HD, has continuous silent autofocus, has an 80mm to 1200mm zoom lens, is completely auto in video mode to get the best lighting available, can even snap pics during shooting of the video. This has features no dslr or pro video camera has. Cost is $400 new or about $325 used.

    • #278051
      Avatarpaulears
      Participant

      Proper camcorders are easier to hold, easier to do clever stuff on, have decent audio and lots of other differences, You need a lens that stays in focus as you zoom – photo type lenses don’t! You probably need a 17:1 or greater zoom which will be expensive, With a proper servo, and probably zoom demand for the tripod, which needs a decent pro grade head so your panning and tilting are silky smooth. What is your budget?

      Cheap tripods and heads mean long lens work is really compromised. It’s similar to shooting football from the stands – you need proper kit.

    • #278053
      Avatardavid
      Participant

      I shoot High school football games from the stands and concerts from way up in the cheap seats. All are  hand held with basic OE adjustable strap under my left arm then around my neck. With pratice it gives you a form of 3 point stabilisation. You can switch hands to conquer fatigue. If you are lucky enough to be seated with clear sight-line from knee level, balance cam on knee and use vari-angle LCD screen to keep everything in frame. Here are examples of football game and last row balcony of Beacon theater with Canon SX 40 superzoom camera with 24 to 840mm fixed lens bought on E-Bay for $175. Shot with nothing more than what I was born with and basic camera strap.

       

    • #278054
      Avatarpaulears
      Participant

      David – I have to say that the results are exactly as I expected. Fine for amateur interest, but simply not stable, and in the music video at some points your horizona had slipped so much that the singer was about 30 degrees off vertical!

      I'm not criticising your enthusiast approach but it is extremely different from how a broadcast version of the same event would look. There are rules that professional cameramen follow for these things and realistically, if hand held was acceptable, stability wise, why would they spend $60,000 on a head for a set of tripod legs? If you also need to follow play, as in a football game, your eye has to track the ball, which is moving within the frame, so hand held makes the ball difficult to see. The OP has a job doing this, and the standards for work are different from the standards of home movie style shooting. He says he has already got problems with stabilsation, so wishes to improve. To do this you need a properly balanced system that is stable enough so you can take your hands off the pan bar and it doesn't move, yet will move withe very little pressure. Wobbles, jerky starts and stops really won't do for work purposes. The other issue with water is the horizon – it MUST be horizontal as sloping lakes are very rare! With any kind of long lens, you lose sharpness when you hand hold – every movement is ten time more exagerated when you are zoomed in, as you show in the video – having to zoom back out to settle it down. I quickly dug out this old video showing the difference a proper controlled camera makes – rubbish football, but most of the time the camera is at the long end – it's a full sized football pitch. 

    • #278055
      Avatarpaulears
      Participant

      David – I have to say that the results are exactly as I expected. Fine for amateur interest, but simply not stable, and in the music video at some points your horizona had slipped so much that the singer was about 30 degrees off vertical!

      I'm not criticising your enthusiast approach but it is extremely different from how a broadcast version of the same event would look. There are rules that professional cameramen follow for these things and realistically, if hand held was acceptable, stability wise, why would they spend $60,000 on a head for a set of tripod legs? If you also need to follow play, as in a football game, your eye has to track the ball, which is moving within the frame, so hand held makes the ball difficult to see. The OP has a job doing this, and the standards for work are different from the standards of home movie style shooting. He says he has already got problems with stabilsation, so wishes to improve. To do this you need a properly balanced system that is stable enough so you can take your hands off the pan bar and it doesn't move, yet will move withe very little pressure. Wobbles, jerky starts and stops really won't do for work purposes. The other issue with water is the horizon – it MUST be horizontal as sloping lakes are very rare! With any kind of long lens, you lose sharpness when you hand hold – every movement is ten time more exagerated when you are zoomed in, as you show in the video – having to zoom back out to settle it down. I quickly dug out this old video showing the difference a proper controlled camera makes – rubbish football, but most of the time the camera is at the long end – it's a full sized football pitch. https://vimeo.com/84244265

    • #278110
      Avatarpaulears
      Participant

      Sure – 3rd flight on a Phantom 3 standard! Bought really to play with rather than use properly as here commercial use requires an exam, flight tests and more money than the drone cost by far!

    • #72006650
      sheryl_gaskinsheryl_gaskin
      Participant

      Nowadays most of the YouTubers favor shooting on DSLRs as it has certain ease that most of the camcorders fail to provide. Camcorders are strictly limited to video recording, while DSLRs have no such limitation and come with great photos and videos altogether. So, if you have a medium budget and need daily videos and photo creation involved, DSLRs are the best solution to your requirement!

      If you are looking for some DSLRs which takes HD videos at a discounted price then you can go through this site called S World Electronics, which really gives the best DSLR cameras at the lowest price.

    • #72006778
      Avatarpaulears
      Participant

      That was a Phantom 3 standard, exactly as bought. Although it rarely gets used due to the negativity from the public anywhere you shoot. I’m collecting local history stuff with it, and pretty much that is it.

    • #72007204
      AvatarMichael Maninger
      Participant

      Beginnerjourno,
      I’m not sure what your budget is, so if this recommendation is too steep forgive me. It reads like you are trying to find a camera to do everything for all occasions. Unfortunately that isn’t possible. For your still work and your more land locked video work your DSLR is great. To me, from what I read, you need more of an ENG type camera. That is why I think this camera ( https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=panasonic%20ag-dvx200&N=0&InitialSearch=yes&sts=ps ) is something you may want to consider. This camera has been around for sometime and has proven its worth. One very nice feature is it shoots in DCI 4K which would be nice if you decide to have cinematic release of your DOC.

      I hope you find the Camera that works for you.

      Mike Maninger

    • #72007569
      Avatarpaulears
      Participant

      Sorry – only just spotted the reply, apologies. The football shots are 4:3, so that must have been from a JVC 5100 SD camera, all the HD stuff I’ve shot is 16:9, so 5100 it must be.

      I’ve always been a JVC user – 500, then 5000, then 5100, then 101, 250 and still currently using the 750. All with Fuji or Canon lenses

    • #278105
      Avatardavid
      Participant

      Thanks for your comments, Paulears. I'm retired on SS and my wife won't give me a raise in my allowance to cover the type of gear I can only dream about, that you describe. I fully understand your school of thought and your perspective. My dutch angles are intentional and I'd go to 45 degrees if it wasn't such a pain to hold a 840 mm lens steady. Remember, I'm in last row of balcony on right side of theater. Probably 250 ft or more back. So, from that angle what is horizontal? The only way to get 2 or maybe 3 people in frame with the performers fixed stage position was to go off horizontal.  You appear to be thinking inside the box. My YouTube views of 3.7 million with 3,300 subscribers indicates I'm appealing to fellow "Outside The Boxers".

       

       

    • #301453
      Avatardavid
      Participant

      Hi Paul,  You have some great equipment and nice clips. May I ask what type of drone/camera combo was used in

      claremont beach November

      clip?

       

      Thanks,

      Dave

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