dslr vs camcorder , this might help you choose

A

alexsally

Guest
Just finished making another little film this one trying to capture individuals singing the dawn chorus. I don't think I could have given myself a more difficult challenge as trying to get good audio of a blackcap up a tall tree was a nightmare There are some photos in there too from my e-520
YouTube - ‪Dawn chorus over Herefordshire HD by Alex Sally‬‏

Also just because there's been a few posts on here regarding dslr video I thought I'd add my two pence worth after a bit of experience.
Firstly I would have loved the E-5 but the price (for me to have video on board) is not affordable. I use an e-520 . I considered a canon 550d, which is the price of a good camcorder but the 550 doesn't have a great wildlife lens with the kit obviously....
I used of the dslr 's that do video and have now used a fair few decent camcorders and have come to this conclusion:
THe e-520 is for me a lovely camera to use. I have a 70-300 fitted and I find it a nice tool to use. I like the menu, the screen, and the handling. The results are ok too
My camcorder is now panasonic sd900 and is better than the video on any dslr (the image stabilization is the 8th wonder) but that isn't its strength. You realise something when you go to take still pictures with it...It can probably perform great at photos but it isn't "built" for photos. The ergonomics just aren't right. its not intuitive... So although it might seem blindingly obvious the truth is that the camcorder is lovely to use "as a camcorder" . I think this is the biggest weak point of video in dslr. Its simply down to ergonomics..
So after much experimenting and mucking about I have made another little film of birds singing the dawn chorus and my chosen tools are my olympus AND my camcorder. I'd love the next e-xxx to have video but I don't see it replacing the camcorder , oh and nothing would make me lose the DSLR.
BTW I am not for one minute saying you can't use a dslr for good video (you can and many people do) in the same way you could take great photos with a camcorder but each is very much designed for its primary purpose imho..
al
 

rogs

Well-known Member
Lovely images Alex, really first class. All helped, I'm sure, by the fact that the dog was camouflaged too!! :)

Don't know what you are actually using to capture the birdsong, microphone wise. And are you recording the audio independently, or relying on the camcorder audio inputs?

If I have any comment, it would be regarding the audio mixing. It's not quite up to the standard of your lovely images, if I may say so?

Variations in the level of the background ambient tend to be a bit savage, on occasion. Perhaps a more gentle fade in and out for different background modes? And perhaps no church bells, for such a short cutaway? To quote Del boy, they seemed a bit 'urgent' ! :)

The birdsong is of course the 'star' of the piece, and works very well -especially if you're not using a parabolic mic --but I did find that with the 'voice over' level set to be comfortable, some of the song was a bit overwhelming, on occasion. Again, perhaps a little more 'gentle' level changes, to suit?

I do not mean to sound critical. I have no chance of making anything anywhere near as good, but it does seem that a little more attention to the audio 'details' would transform the overall impression?

Which is already pretty good, IMHO!! :)
 
A

alexsally

Guest
I like that "a bit urgent" :)
You are of course dead right. I think I was too ambitious trying to film audio of birds that were not very close.. i fiddled with it a bit but like I say it was very tricky with my skills. I now know why there is a seperate "sound man" on proper documentary crews:)
I used the on board mic, sometimes in manual so I could turn the db down to only pick up the birds. I stuck a bit of dead kitten type fluff round it to cut out the wind noise or my breathing.
the church bells drive me nuts in real life btw, and I find them a racket.
to be fair the on board mic did ok at picking up bird song from say 10 metres but you're right.,
Thanks for watching it and giving some feedback.
Alex
 

chrishull3

Well-known Member
Just finished making another little film this one trying to capture individuals singing the dawn chorus. I don't think I could have given myself a more difficult challenge as trying to get good audio of a blackcap up a tall tree was a nightmare There are some photos in there too from my e-520
YouTube - ‪Dawn chorus over Herefordshire HD by Alex Sally‬‏

Also just because there's been a few posts on here regarding dslr video I thought I'd add my two pence worth after a bit of experience.
Firstly I would have loved the E-5 but the price (for me to have video on board) is not affordable. I use an e-520 . I considered a canon 550d, which is the price of a good camcorder but the 550 doesn't have a great wildlife lens with the kit obviously....
I used of the dslr 's that do video and have now used a fair few decent camcorders and have come to this conclusion:
THe e-520 is for me a lovely camera to use. I have a 70-300 fitted and I find it a nice tool to use. I like the menu, the screen, and the handling. The results are ok too
My camcorder is now panasonic sd900 and is better than the video on any dslr (the image stabilization is the 8th wonder) but that isn't its strength. You realise something when you go to take still pictures with it...It can probably perform great at photos but it isn't "built" for photos. The ergonomics just aren't right. its not intuitive... So although it might seem blindingly obvious the truth is that the camcorder is lovely to use "as a camcorder" . I think this is the biggest weak point of video in dslr. Its simply down to ergonomics..
So after much experimenting and mucking about I have made another little film of birds singing the dawn chorus and my chosen tools are my olympus AND my camcorder. I'd love the next e-xxx to have video but I don't see it replacing the camcorder , oh and nothing would make me lose the DSLR.
BTW I am not for one minute saying you can't use a dslr for good video (you can and many people do) in the same way you could take great photos with a camcorder but each is very much designed for its primary purpose imho..
al
Yes like you i love birds and filming them,it is sad that some are getting very scarce,it is very strange i cant remember the last time i saw a song thrush in our area yet today on a trip to the levels i saw and filmed at least 12 Bitterns.
What realy sickens me is how birds are treated in some places IE the mediteranian[malta] for one place where their sport is shooting song birds and even cranes.Good luck with your future filming.
 
A

alexsally

Guest
Yes like you i love birds and filming them,it is sad that some are getting very scarce,it is very strange i cant remember the last time i saw a song thrush in our area yet today on a trip to the levels i saw and filmed at least 12 Bitterns.
What realy sickens me is how birds are treated in some places IE the mediteranian[malta] for one place where their sport is shooting song birds and even cranes.Good luck with your future filming.
Completely agree, we need to make the most of our song birds...Apparently we get cranes in the uk now:thumbsup: Would like to see one.:cool:
al
 

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