From Camcorders to DSLRs and Back Again


Great article, shows the difference in the two fields.

franko's picture

What a great article. It kind of shows the difference between the two fields, because they are two different fields. a Videographer vs. Cinematographer. Videographer has only been in existance since...well based on the tech you used, you where of that first generation id say. Of the avant-garde so to speak. So the traditional camcorder you use, is a completly differnt tool then what a cinematographer would use. His tools dateing back to over a hundret years ago. Cinematagrophy is essentially a moveing image photographer. Which has completly different needs then that of a videographer. What you shoot, how you shoot, all judge the equipment you need. I personally love my DSLR over the old video cameras I used in college only 2 years ago. But thats because all I use my cam for is production stills, and video for narrative films. So the limits of the DSLR have no bareing on my needs. Where an expereinced Videographer deffintly needs more.


It is so great to hear that Camcorder manufaturers are adopting the DSLR features. DSLRs need to start getting more camcorder featuers in my opinion too. The market should be well rounded, giving the full range of great features on both fronts. So that both cinematographers and videographers have access to them.



Your article invoked a number of paths I took in deciding my approach to new camera technology.

In my experience dating back to 1966 when I shot my first training film, I used an 8mm film camera I bought used for $100. I resisted the thought of a new camera when Super 8mm film came out. Then they added sound which meant I needed a new camera. I resisted buying a 16mm film camera because I had to buy a Bolex with a three lens turret, a real challenge after a basic comfort in a Point and Shoot mentality. My resistance waned in three weeks and I bought. Next I bought a Sony Beta Cam with the Recorder Pac because it looked cool when doing a shoot on the street and the ‘cut and glue or sticky tabs’ were no more. Then I resisted the switch to 8mm Sony camcorders. Not long after came my Pro HI 8mm video Sony. I resisted earlier the whole VHS-SVHS-SVHSC program and won. Then I was pressured into the digital age and nonlinear editing by my fellow videographers. I had to keep up with the Wisbinski’s.

And now that I’ve used my Sony HD Pro video camera for a few years I will probably resist the DSLR’s for another few weeks. The only tech battle I have ever won was the soon’, I’ll buy it next week.

But like the last forty-six years I will resist change and buy the new tech. The challenge of learning new things is a greater force then the resistance of change.