The Battle of “DSLR Video vs Camcorder”
For about 3 years now, video amateurs and professionals all over the world have heard about the rising star in the video arena, “DSLR Video.” This lightweight contender is a photography based camera that packs a punch in the ring against the older, heavier, and less popular “Camcorder.” The Battle of “DSLR Video vs Camcorder,” is officially underway.
For almost 30 years, since Sony’s BetaCam in 1982, tape-based camcorders have ruled the video industry with their compact build, light weight, and most of all, their ease of use. All you had to do was push a red button and point the lens at what you wanted to record. There was no longer a need for film canisters or projectors. Literally anyone could film anything they wanted and watch it instantly.
Over the past several years, many camcorder companies have tried to make it even easier by using digital devices to record video, such as memory cards and hard drives, which you just stick in any computer to watch instantly. With the shift to digital video came the shift to high definition (HD) video. More and more camera companies were coming out with so called HD recording, but most of them did not record full HD at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (1080p). Also, many camcorders recorded on a format that can’t be edited as a raw file, such as AVCHD, which means that there is massive quality loss, diminishing the fact that the video was recorded in HD in the first place. In the Battle of “DSLR Video vs Camcorder,” this would mean that “Camcorder” should just throw in the towel.
The Birth of a Champion
In September of 2008, Canon announced the release of its 5D Mark II, the first DSLR camera to spread the popularity of using DSLR for HD video. A year later, on September 1, 2009, Canon came out with the less expensive, but equally powerful, EOS 7D. Although the 7D is not full frame like the 5D, the 7D was made with video functionality in mind, making it more suitable for video shooters. It has a designated button to switch from still picture mode to video mode and it is made with a magnesium alloy case, which is more durable.
“DSLR Video vs Camcorder” | DSLR Takes the Lead
Since the release of the Canon EOS 7D in 2009, several video camera gear manufacturers have started making accessories specifically for shooting video with the 7D and 5D Mark II. With the ability to change lenses, frame rates, and have a manual shutter, it became obvious that with the proper accessories, these DSLR cameras would begin to dominate the video industry. You can now buy shoulder mount rigs and dolly set-ups along with matte-boxes and follow focus sets that are all specifically designed for video. For the quality of video that these cameras produce, camcorders pose no threat to the rising use of DSLR cameras for video.
I almost forgot to mention that a complete DSLR video set with lenses and necessary accessories can be bought for less than most HD video camcorders that are presently on the market. For under $3,500, you could own a camera set-up that is worthy of filming feature films or award winning documentaries.
The Battle is Won!
In the battle of “DSLR Video vs Camcorder,” DSLR video has won and I don’t expect to see a re-match.