I was at the DSLR shootout


I was at the DSLR shootout in person here in Chicago. The tests were projected on a movie theater screen, and they were stunning. I didn’t see any anti-aliasing problems at all. Fine textures really shined through. The shallow depth of field thing is already a visual cliche, but used right it still works. 😉

As for a DSLR as a replacement for a traditional video camera, it’s not a point by point replacement. If you’re making a cinema-style film, it’s a great tool. my background is in film, and we’re already used to post-synching audio, and having lots of bits and bobs of support gear to get the project done. Also the DSLRs can’t do a take longer than 12 minutes. More than enough for cinema style work, not great for an interview.

Regular cameras are still the best tool for longform work, and for studio use. DSLRs still aren’t ready for using with a multicam setup in a live situation. Not what they were even intended for, so that’s not a knock against them…

I mostly do broadcast stuff as well as industrials and educational. I couldn’t use a DSLR to replace my Canon XL H1, but it would be a great b-roll camera. I plan on getting one and using it for beauty shots of products.

The DSLRs really shine in low light. Not only can you deliver a gorgeous picture without a huge light kit and lots of prep, but that image will be free of grain. That also makes it potentially good for greenscreen work (though the internal compression to h.264 might be a hiccup. I won’t know till I’ve noodled around with a DSLR some more).

So if your projects are long form long take sorts of things, the DSLR isn’t a great tool. But if you’re shooting a project where you’d use a film camera and a film production process, the DSLR is amazing.

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