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Panasonic HC-X900 v Nikon D3100 SLR for video


Standard Member
We are expecting a new addition to the family. I have updated our old gear by ordering a Panasonic HC-X900 and a Nikon DSLR, the D3100. I hear a lot of chat about the superior HD video capability of the SLR. I am wondering if I have wasted my money by buying two separate items. Should I have put the money together to buy a good SLR that would do all? I hear the D3100 now has auto-focus. Opinions?


Distinguished Member
I think there is a danger that you should gain some experience with one before buying the other . . . . not that I'd know which to start with.
Camcorders are genrally easier to use when filming, esp with a eye-level viewfinder (so it's strange they all have flip-out LCD's now). They also tend to have longer zooms.
But they will suffer in low-light situations.

DSLRs tend to be awkward for video (although the quality is good, not all produce HD 1080. ) but are good in low-light if using the fast fixed-lens (like f/1.8)...but many now come with a kit-zoom which will be f/3.5 for example... this makes out of focus effects relatively difficult.... beloved for drama but less useful for home-vids of the children. (& good luck on that front, too).

I'm guessing you have little experience of digital cameras (?) hence the questions - but are spending a lot of money without knowing which will serve best.

If the order is completed, you have little choice but to accept what you've ordered. They are good cameras for doing what they were designed to do.
+ Now, get yourself a decent tripod particularly for video - one with a fluid=head if you can stretch to it. Stills cameras have fast shutters and aren't moving about - but video show this up very obviously.


Established Member
Good move! Use the Pana for video and the D3100 for stills.

The AF on the D3100 is crap and noisy, and you can't even use an external mic.


Established Member
personal choice, but I use a DSLR for stills and a SD900 for video. Dedicated video cams are so much more forgiving than DSLR video. You really need to know what you are doing with that. Given the right experience and practice, DSLR video is stunning, but for moving kids running towards and away from you the focus will be a git.

I think you have done it right with 1 dedicated camera for each.

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