Advantages of HD video with a DSLR Camera.

2 mins read

Over the last couple of years, a massive revolution has occurred in high definition video production.  This sea change started in late 2008 with the release of the Nikon D90, the world’s first DSLR with HD video. Now anyone who could afford it could shoot excellent HD video without having to spend five figures on a shoulder mounted camera.

Now of course with all of such things, there are downsides as well as up. Over this article and a second to be following shortly – I’ll look to cover some of the pitfalls as well as advantages

Canon 5D

The first big advantage for the average video maker is price. Whether for the SME video production company or the average man on the street – HD video of the standard of Canon 5D (which we happen to use quite a lot) allows a professional result which defies the amount of investment. The 5D current retails at about £2000+VAT – a fraction of the cost of an equivalent shoulder mounted professional camera. The results however, are frequently difficult to see.

Another big benefit of DSLR’s versus more traditional camera is the large sensors. A DSLR’s sensor is full frame (35mm) – much bigger than any broadcast camera sensor. The biggest advantage of this is the ability to put 35mm still lenses on the camera – allowing alarming depth of fields (DoF) on the HD video. This can create moving imagery unlike any seen before a few years ago – traditional video cameras that have a tiny depth of field due to restrictive sensors.

Further to this – you can put pretty much any lense you like easily onto the DSLR giving new lease of life to older, more interesting lenses that you may have tucked into the back of the cupboard.

So these are some of the brilliant advantages of a DSLR over a shoulder mount professional video camera. In the next article (which I’ll post next week) I’ll touch on the disadvantages of the DSLR – and how to overcome them.


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