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 Post subject: DSLR Vs Camcorder
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:18 am 
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Hi I am hoping someone can give some advice, I bought a Canon 400d a couple of years ago and love it, brillant at taking photos and i am able to get the photos I want out of it. I also own a Canon camcorder which in the technology world is quite old now its an MV900 but I am going away and wanting to tape a light show at night and take some photos. So I thought that i would upgrade to a HD camcorder to discover that the canon 550d does this, I was wondering would it be worth my while upgrading to a 550d or would I be best off buying a seperate camcorder to achieve what i want? and if so does anyone have any recommendtions which don't cost a fourtune.

Thanks for you time
Sez


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 Post subject: Re: DSLR Vs Camcorder
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:55 pm 
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If you're recording from a fixed position, it should be relatively easy to record a light show with the 550D. It's when you or the subject moves frequently in and out of the depth of field that things become tricky with the lack of continuous autofocus.

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 Post subject: Re: DSLR Vs Camcorder
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:30 am 
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Also don't forget that maintaining a steady image while manually zooming is much more difficult than zooming with a power/servo zoom (on a camcorder).

Don't know if you'll be zooming a lot for a light show, but just FYI - Mark


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 Post subject: Re: DSLR Vs Camcorder
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:46 am 
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Thanks for the advice, I decided to go for a camcorder and bought a canon legria hf M406,


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 Post subject: Re: DSLR Vs Camcorder
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 9:52 pm 
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You have to think about how you naturally hold the camera. Straight out the box, a camcorder is usually going to be far more comfortable to use than a stills camera.

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 Post subject: Re: DSLR Vs Camcorder
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 12:31 am 
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Canon 500D wrote:
You have to think about how you naturally hold the camera. Straight out the box, a camcorder is usually going to be far more comfortable to use than a stills camera.


Not to poo-poo your assertion but I had no discomfort using my 550D for video recording compared to my dedicated camcorder. It's certainly different but using my dedicated camcorder wasn't "far more comfortable". Straight out of the box comfort is hardly a one size fits all; it's much more of a Your Mileage May Vary.

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 Post subject: Re: DSLR Vs Camcorder
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 12:37 am 
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The screen is fixed, so low angles means you have to bend down. On my sony camcorder, I can just tilt the screen to whichever angle I require. There is not always focus assist and the built in microphone often picks up handling noise. I much prefer a camcorder and it feels much more ergonomic.

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 Post subject: Re: DSLR Vs Camcorder
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 12:52 am 
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I don't really get why you can still buy the 550D. The 600D isn't really much more expensive and it got some upgrades like the rotating screen, which can come handy in many situations.

The one big disadvantage of a filming DSLR ist the not existant autofocus in the video mode. Maybe the noise and the "not smooth enough" zooming can be added but on the other hand the image quality is just amazing.

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 Post subject: Re: DSLR Vs Camcorder
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 5:15 am 
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The video quality is good maybe if you have decent lenses and the camera's fps rate is up to scratch, and your computer and memory cards are fast enough to handle it. The ergonomics of it are nothing like a camcorder, and my sony handycam is lighter.

Jiko wrote:
I don't really get why you can still buy the 550D. The 600D isn't really much more expensive and it got some upgrades like the rotating screen, which can come handy in many situations.


It remains part of the series (first camera to join the line) for those that want a fixed screen and don't like the look of the 600D. The button layout is horrible and ugly, small cursors and funny shaped keys. Enough to put me off the brand.

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 Post subject: Re: DSLR Vs Camcorder
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 11:57 am 
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Canon 500D wrote:
The video quality is good maybe if you have decent lenses

Have you actually recorded video with the 550D using the kit lens? Even with the kit lens, the results can be really good. In my experience the problem with the kit lens is its slow autofocus rather than the quality when it comes to video recording.

Canon 500D wrote:
The video quality is good maybe if.... the camera's fps rate is up to scratch, and your computer and memory cards are fast enough to handle it.

What have the camera's FPS and the hardware requirements of your computer and memory cards got to do with ergonomics? That almost sounds like you're clutching at straws for your argument. The reason why there are those requirements is that the recording bandwidth is much greater than the majority of consumer-grade camcorders i.e. there's a greater potential for better quality video. I hate to sound assuming here or take things for granted but I'd imagine that if somebody considered purchasing a DSLR, I doubt they'd be so mean they wouldn't have a computer with a decent spec nor do I think they'd be too tight to spend a few extra quid getting Class 10 cards.

Canon 500D wrote:
The ergonomics of it are nothing like a camcorder, and my sony handycam is lighter.

While the ergonomics are undeniably different, that doesn't make them factually superior with a camcorder. The argument of being lighter isn't necessarily a plus point - not to say people want a heavy, hulking and cumbersome camera but they may like something a bit more substantial so it's arguably less prone to the shaky cam effect.

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 Post subject: Re: DSLR Vs Camcorder
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 4:33 am 
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Sound is most definitely a problem as the built in mic pics up handling noise, meaning sound needs to be recorded externally and more hardware and zooming is harder. I found the footage can sometimes freeze for a split second or so whilst viewing in quicktime. Without installing magic lantern, there are no controls over it and ergonomically it doesn't feel great held out.

If I was using a tripod with an adjustable or external screen or eyepiece and an external sound recorder, I think my experience would feel more comfortable.

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 Post subject: Re: DSLR Vs Camcorder
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 12:24 am 
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Canon 500D wrote:
Sound is most definitely a problem as the built in mic pics up handling noise, meaning sound needs to be recorded externally and more hardware

Errr....OK but so does my camcorder. Maybe not when focusing but it picks up handling noise just as much. I fail to see the point of this argument.

Canon 500D wrote:
and zooming is harder.

But insurmountably so? Debatable but in my experience, not really.

Canon 500D wrote:
I found the footage can sometimes freeze for a split second or so whilst viewing in quicktime.

That would usually happen if your computer's graphics performance isn't up to scratch or if the codecs aren't up to date. That's not a problem with the camera.

Canon 500D wrote:
Without installing magic lantern, there are no controls over it and ergonomically it doesn't feel great held out.

No controls over audio, yes but there are still controls you don't get on a lot f consumer-grade camcorders such as aperture control or being able to choose the point on which to focus.

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 Post subject: Re: DSLR Vs Camcorder
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 12:43 am 
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Zooming an external lens makes noise, moving a smooth rocker on my camcorder can't be heard.

The freezing could be a problem, whether it is with the camera or computer, it still happens. Videos are typically viewed on a computer.

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 Post subject: Re: DSLR Vs Camcorder
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 6:48 am 
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I'm not arguing with you for the sake of it nor am I arguing because I think that DSLRs are better for recording video. I'm arguing because I don't think the debate is 100% one-sided.

Canon 500D wrote:
Zooming an external lens makes noise, moving a smooth rocker on my camcorder can't be heard.

There are consumer-grade camcorders with optical zoom where the motor can be heard during zooming. On my 550D, I get no noise when zooming because I zoom smoothly - it's only if you zoom in a heavy handed fashion, quickly from the wide angle to fully zoomed in and vice versa that you'd get noise.

Canon 500D wrote:
The freezing could be a problem, whether it is with the camera or computer, it still happens.

"It still happens" because of inadequate hardware. One of the prerequisites for any external hardware you plan to hook up to your computer or content you plan to run on it is that your computer has sufficient performance to do so. That's like having bought an entry-level desktop from three or four years ago then complaining about it not running the latest game in 1080p resolution at 60fps despite the fact that the minimum and recommended system requirements are stated on the box, both of which will probably exceed the spec of the old desktop - the game is completely devoid of "blame" for the poor performance on the old computer and it's the same situation with videos that don't play back smoothly on your computer.

Canon 500D wrote:
Videos are typically viewed on a computer.

Yes, I've also heard that the sky's blue, the Pope's a Catholic and that bears defecate in the woods.

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 Post subject: Re: DSLR Vs Camcorder
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 7:58 pm 
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Yes, very valid points. I based it on my experience and what works for myself.

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