DSLR footage for the rest of us?

“Encourage [your kids] to play somewhere well-lit,” they say. Riiight… and the rest of the time, a big aperture (with corresponding shallow depth of field) is your friend. This has meant, unfortunately, that on the relatively few occasions I’ve tried it, I’ve gotten pretty miserable results shooting video with a DSLR: kids run in & out of focus with abandon, and without any sort of autofocus, I’m lost.

Now, however, the Canon 70D promises great things in that regard:

At present I’m shooting with an original 5D (passed on to me by Bryan O’Neil Hughes when he upgraded to the 5D Mark II, and still one of the nicest gifts I’ve ever gotten), but I’m starting to feel sorely tempted to upgrade, even sight-unseen. Any reason I shouldn’t? Yeah yeah, there’s the whole not-full-frame thing, but I think people get a little irrationally fetishistic about that one, and I doubt I’ll die as my 24-70mm f/2.8 lens ends up effectively zooming in a bit. (By the way, it’s the investment in that thing that’s keeping me in the Canon camp, but I’m open to hearing ideas from Nikon & other shooters.)

In any case, I’m excited that the technology is evolving to this point, and at a fairly attainable price point to boot. Viva competition.

7 thoughts on “DSLR footage for the rest of us?

  1. It’s 2013 and they still make mechanical mirrors flopping around? Sigh.
    [I tried a mirrorless Nikon about 18 months ago and found it good but not good enough. Here’s my brief review. –J.]
    Quoting DPReview:

    “Finally, we’re also really interested to see what happens when Canon – as it inevitably must – puts its new AF technology into a mirrorless camera. An ‘EOS M2’ with Dual Pixel CMOS AF and more enthusiast-oriented controls could completely transform Canon’s fortunes in this sector, after the lukewarm reception received by the EOS M. This could also substantially negate one of the biggest disadvantages of mirrorless cameras so far – their relatively poor focus tracking capabilities – raising further questions about why you’d still bother with the bulk of an SLR. But that’s an argument for another day.”

  2. The 24-70mm is a wonderful lens on a FF camera, but I found it a bit meh on a crop frame camera. I had a crop camera briefly [20D] as my first DSLR and never really took to it. Swapped to a FF 5D 6 months later and wow what a difference. But then I learnt photography using 35mm film with big viewfinders, none of this peering down a tunnel nonsense you get with many modern cameras. My old tiny Olympus OM film cameras [designed in the 70s] have bigger/better viewfinders than any 21st century camera despite being much smaller too.
    I should mention that I have a Ricoh GR200 with a 24-70 equivalent and really like it despite the teeny sensor, but then I use if for street photography so lots of DoF is handy there.

  3. That said for p+s video, DSLRs particularly FF ones are completely the wrong tool for the job. Fantastic for when you have time to set stuff up and do retakes, but for run and gun shooting or home videos they suck big time
    Now if the focusing on the 70D is as good as they claim [rarely the case in the real world] then it will be pretty awesome and will make DSLRs far much more usable for filming under a wider variety of circumstances.

  4. I’m tempted as well.
    You just might want to watch out if you own other lenses in addition – not all of them are supported. Which is the one thing holding me back – I don’t want to lose my EF 70-210 EF 3.5-4.5.
    No word yet about third party lenses as well…
    According to Canon, these lenses have “limited compatibility” (ie they will only work for normal focusing?):

  5. The 7D MkII is the next Canon body that will be announced. Nobody knows the specs yet, but the 7D has long been the go-to camera for sports shooters who don’t want/need full frame.
    That being said, the 7D MkII specs should be impressive, and I would bet it will be using the same sensor as the 70D, only with higher FPS count 1DX is 14fps I believe, so 7D II is probably going to be 10-11fps I would guess., rugedized, waterproof, shockproof, magnesium body.
    What I doubt it will have is the 70D’s touch screen.
    Downside is, it will be priced WAY above the 70D.

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