Have you considered getting a DSLR video camera? Then you might want to read through this guide. DSLR video cameras are what we’ll be discussing in this guide. We’ll tell you all you need to know about DSLR video cameras. Do endeavor to read through, for better understanding.
What Is A DSLR Video Camera?
DSLR Video cameras are one of the most common types of video cameras available out there. The best part of them is that they can click amazing pictures along with great videos. And there are almost every YouTuber is using DSLRs to shoot their videos.
DSLR stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera. Inside the body of the camera, there is a mirror that reflects the light coming from the lens. Also, when you hit the shutter, the image gets flipped up and the light coming out from the lens shot by an image sensor, and this is how a photograph is made. Also, for video, the image sensor starts recording it instead of clicking a shot.
The camera also supports the various size of the lens. As a result, you get to click or shoot different types of videos or images. Overall, DSLR cameras are the most popular types of cameras, and they are pretty affordable too.
What’s great about DSLRs for video, and the reason they are so popular, is the filmlike quality with the shallow depth of field you can obtain for a much, much lower price.
How Does a DSLR Camera Work?
A DSLR camera works by use of a reflex mirror (or prism) that reflects light into the optical viewfinder, allowing the photographer to capture the image they’re seeing in front of them. Light passes through the lens and is reflected off a mirror or prism inside the camera body. The mirror moves when the shutter is released, opening up a path to the imaging sensor for the light, resulting in your photograph.
Why choose a DSLR for video?
Most current DSLR cameras shoot video and many can capture 4K UHD. If you’re looking for a single camera solution that shoots both high-quality stills and video, DSLRs tend to be a good choice. DSLRs are designed for optimal viewing of the image through your lens, and thus incorporate a mirror that must be locked up out of the way to shoot video. This requires a Live View feature and an LCD screen to see what you are shooting.
Interchangeable lens DSLRs like the Nikon D7500 and the Canon EOS 250D are mainly designed for serious still photography, but they are one of the most affordable ways to get into creative 4K filmmaking
They have relatively big APS-C sensors and lenses, which make it easy to shoot ‘cinematic’ shallow-focus shots. The downsides are you may need accessories to get the best out of them, they’re slower to use than dedicated video cameras and audio recording can be tricky.
Long-term DSLR system devotees, such as Canon and Nikon users, will probably have a variety of lenses in their kitbags so will already have a choice of creative focal lengths to shoot video with. The ‘lens factor’ has always been a strong argument for shooting video with DSLRs as it offered filmmakers instant access to an existing wide range of compatible and creative lens options.
When shooting video it’s best to have wide-angle, medium, and close-up lens options, either via prime or zoom lenses. These will give you the three main, standard ‘shots’ in filmmaking – wide-angle for an establishing shot/scene, medium for a character within a scene, and close-up for details of places, objects, or faces.
DSLRs often offer flexible rear LCD screens, which can be great for filmmakers when shooting in tight areas or at odd angles. A screen that flips and twists will allow you to view and shoot in a wider range of situations – hence you’ll get more visually creative footage. In terms of creativity DSLRs also often offer a choice of video resolutions – for example, 4K DCI, 4K UHD, Full HD 1080p, and 720p – and the frame rates within those.
It’s important to think of your camera for video shoots as being the ‘hub’ of a system, so you need to consider the options a camera offers you for adding lenses, lighting, microphones, and outputs to monitors and recorders. The combination of ease-of-use, easy access to wide lens ranges, and creative options mean DSLRs are serious cameras to consider.
Important considerations when buying a DSLR for video
As with buying any camera for video crucial considerations to remember to include ease-of-use, what frame rates it offers, what video resolutions it has, video output options, the focusing system, what memory card options it has, what degree of manual control you have over its video settings, etc.
Pros of Using DSLR Video Cameras
- DSLR Pro: Battery Life
Electronic viewfinders in mirrorless cameras can be a battery drain, and mirrorless batteries tend to be smaller, so DSLRs tend to deliver more shots per charge. A pro DSLR, for instance, can take up to 1,000-2,000 shots per charge, as compared to the 300-400 typical for a mirrorless camera. If you travel to spots where access to power is limited, this is one factor to take into consideration.
“I use a DSLR, a Canon 6D Mark II because I like the long battery life,” California-based photographer Eric Kunau tells us. “That said, you can take equally stunning photos with a mirrorless camera, which can also be more practical if you’re on-the-go.”
- DSLR Pro: Ergonomics
Some photographers prefer the bulkier, weightier feel of a DSLR. Especially if you prefer to shoot with long lenses, the solid, reliable body of a DSLR might be the way to go. Plus, they have more space for various external manual controls, which is a game-changer for some photographers who don’t want to rely as much on a digital interface.
- DSLR Pro: The Optical Viewfinder
With a DSLR, you’re looking through the lens as opposed to a video screen. While mirrorless screens continue to improve, many photographers still prefer the dynamic range that comes with viewing an image through your own eyes.
- DSLR Pro: Durability
In addition to being bulky, DSLRs are resilient. They’re built to withstand heavy use and difficult conditions. Similarly, DSLR sensors are more protected from the elements than mirrorless sensors, so they require fewer cleanings, especially if you’re dealing with dust in the great outdoors.
- DSLR Pro: Lenses Galore
DSLRs have been around far longer than mirrorless cameras, so they tend to give you more options in terms of lenses. DSLRs are also easier to buy used for this same reason.
“I use both a mirrorless and a DSLR, but I use my DSLR for client work, as I have a variety of lenses to choose from, depending on the session,” Washington-based photographer Erika Roa tells us. With that being said, you can use lens adapters to mount most lenses on a mirrorless camera.
Cons of Using DSLR Video Cameras
Now here are the cons. No matter how awesome the video quality is, it doesn’t change the fact that DSLRs are built for still photography and only recently started offering video. This means that they have crude audio capabilities.
No manual audio gain controls without hacks or patches, no xlr (high quality audio input), the built-in mic is too low quality to use, also it’s small and without a handle so it’s difficult to operate smoothly and it doesn’t have a controlled zoom.
Also, DSLR cameras are larger and heavier, making them more difficult to walk around all day with. Although the additional parts and attachments for a DSLR can benefit the quality of your photos, having to carry them all with you can be a drawback, especially if you’re traveling.
All these cons have workarounds but it’s a more difficult process than with a regular video camera and it costs money. Even with these costly extras DSLR cameras are still worth the money but the ease of use and time it takes to balance out the shortcomings depend entirely on you. You absolutely have to get a stabilizing rig for smooth shooting off the shoulder, otherwise your footage will be too shaky.
These rigs average around $500 with the higher quality ones around $2,000. You can do what some people do and build your own rig or order the components separately and assemble it yourself. I’m going to do an entire post dedicated to choosing or building a rig and once it’s complete I’ll insert a link to it here.
Because the DSLR has poor audio capabilities, what most people do is buy a portable audio recorder to capture audio separately from the camera. You plug your mic in use that to digitally record your audio. That’s a great way to get high quality audio.
DSLRs give you excellent quality for the price. However, you’ll need to decide for yourself whether or not the shortcomings of shooting with a photography camera are acceptable to you as a video creator.
If you’re an adventure photographer looking for rugged durability and a long battery life might prefer a DSLR
We hope this article’s outlining the pros and cons of using DSLR video cameras to shoot videos has been helpful to you.