DSLR Video Camera Versus the Camcorder

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So you’re in need of a new video camera to create videos for your company, but the choices seem endless. Should you go with a DSLR video camera or the traditional camcorder route, should it be a model such as the Canon Rebel T3i, a DSLR, or the Canon XF100, a camcorder?

Ever since 2008 when Nikon came out with their Nikon D90 capable of capturing HD video, the world of video recording has changed significantly. Traditional camcorders have come under tough competition from their DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cousins.

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There are numerous pros and cons to consider when shopping for a camera to solve your video production needs. I will outline some of the key points to for you to keep in mind.

Visual Impact: The number one difference that hits you when you first witness video shot on a DSLR camera is the shallow depth of field. It has a strikingly strong visual impact. A short DOF is when; if the foreground subject is in focus items in the background, say 10 feet away or less, will be out of focus. The biggest benefit of this cinematic look is that you are easily able to steer your audience’s attention to exactly where you want it and when you want it.

Cost is always a strong consideration. Many DSLR cameras can be purchased for under ,000, some for as little as 0. Professional video cameras are many thousands of dollars more.
For example, at the time of this writing a Canon Rebel T3i can be purchased in the U.S. for approximately 0. The Canon XF100 HD professional camcorder sells for approximately ,000.

Audio limitations are a real concern with Digital SLR cameras. These models do not have XLR audio inputs, which is the industry standard for audio connections. Instead most of these cameras use mini-jack inputs, which are much less reliable.

An area of limitation is the DSLR camera’s viewfinder capabilities. When shooting in a bright environment a professional camcorders gives you two viewing options; an eyepiece or a LCD screen. The hooded eyepiece allows the videographer a way of shielding out any glare that may be present.

At the end of the day here’s my final word on the DSLR video camera versus the camcorder. A digital single lens reflex camera wins on many of the competitive fronts; from a budgetary point, ease of use, and a terrific professional end product. A camcorder simply offers more professional options than a DSLR camera but if you’re a video professional or someone who is looking to move into that world then a full blown video production camcorder camera would be my recommendation for a long term purchase.

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