GEAR – 3 must watch reviews before you buy your DSLR. 

 December 22, 2010

By  Pascal Depuhl

Eeny meeny miny mo …

If you have not purchased your DSLR yet, this Emmy winning set of Webisodes is must watching. Zacuto, a film making accessories manufacturer, put together a test a few months back, in which they pit DSRL’s against 35mm motion picture film, which was screened in front of film industry professionals. The results may surprise you.

Webisode 1 tests the latitude of DSLR cameras and film, webisode 2 looks at ability to shoot in low light due to the increased sensitivity of DSLR’s and the final webisode 3 looks at the ability to have DSLR’s used with green screens and looks at resolution and color. You’ll need some time each episode is about half an hour long, but it’s worth every minute of it. It’s an objective test between DSLR’s and movie film cameras. In addition to this you get the feedback of industry professionals.

Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.

So now that you know which camera to buy (right), you gotta figure out how to move this – for us photographers, movement (and sound) are new challenges that we need to wrap our heads around, since my still photo does not move at all. I stumbled across Phil Holland video, in which he describes his DSLR rig. He does a nice job explaining why and how he uses the different components of this rig.

This is a great place to start learning about some of the things you’ll need want to have, when getting into video on your DSLR.

Can you hear me now?

Sound is the other dimension that I don’t think about. I was shooting for Mars a few weeks ago and the Creative Director that was on location with me stopped the shoot, when a plane went over head – something that did not even phase me – nor did it have to, since we were shooting stills. However in cinematography this becomes a major issue since at least half the content (speech and music are communicated non-visually). But the sound recording features on the DSLR’s are not really up to par with what you need to capture that ‘Hollywood sound’.

So how do you record sound on you DSRL? Philip Bloom, one of the guys that was in the Zacuto shootout film, sounds off about this problem in his blogpost “How to record sound with the Canon 5dmk2 and a great plug in for Final Cut for auto synching“.

If you’d like to read a little more detailed review of external recorders that can be used with DSLR’s take a look at Jon Fairhurst’s series of video post on the Canon 5D tips blog. He reviews 4 different external recorders for your DSLR.

This post is a work in progress, I will continue to post articles, webisodes, blog posts, … that I find helpful in making decisions on what equipment to choose to create motion pictures.

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Pascal Depuhl

Miami product photographer, video producer, cinematographer and chief mindchanger at Photography by Depuhl I love to share the knowledge I've gained over the past two decades. Catching light in motion.