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Thread started 06 May 2009 (Wednesday) 10:28
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Can 5dMk2 replace HD camcorder?

 
Neon01
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May 06, 2009 10:28 |  #1

I apologize if this question has been asked. I did a search but couldn't find anything easily.

I'm planning the purchase of a camcorder with a budget of $1000-1200 since my wife is expecting our first born in about 2 weeks. I currently have a Nikon 300D and just a 17-50mm f/2.8 Tamron, plus a few Canon lenses (I recently sold my Rebel XT but haven't unloaded them yet). I'm thinking I could sell the Nikon and lens for maybe $1600 and apply the camcorder money to the 5dMk2. I'd LOVE to have the full frame sensor and I'm not nuts about Nikon's lens offerings, but the real question is whether the camcorder functionality would serve adequately in lieu of a dedicated camcorder like a Canon HFS100 or Panasonic HDC-TM300 (my top 2 currently). Since I'm the type that would primarily reach for the camera before the camcorder, it would probably only see about 30% duty as camcorder.

My concerns are how the 5d stacks up in image stabilization, autofocus while shooting, and overall ease of use. I really love that you can get the really artistic shallow DOF with SLR lenses, so that's a bonus. Easy use is a must though, as my wife would need to take videos occasionally and she doesn't like messing with a million settings (though she's an electrical engineer - go figure). I imagine IS is pretty much going to come down to the lens, yes?

I understand rebates are on now so maybe its a good time?

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


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Todd ­ Lambert
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May 06, 2009 11:06 |  #2

Do yourself a favor, and get a camcorder, if video is important to you. The Mark II has great potential, but it is NOT a camcorder and should not be mistaken as one.

Yes, you can wonderful results out of one, but to do so, you truly need to "fiddle" with it constantly and even then, there are a ton of negatives when compared to even the cheapest camcorders on the market.

If you just want more basic video capture, but really would like a great SLR too, then I'd honestly recommend getting the 5Dm2 but ALSO getting a cheap vidcam as well to make up for the issues mentioned above.

Hope that helps.

PS - no rebates are available for the 5D, so no help there, sorry.




  
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MrChad
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May 06, 2009 11:10 as a reply to  @ Todd Lambert's post |  #3

Actually many of the photojournalist sites I read suggest the new market of $200 HD camcorders are a bargain for reasonable quality footage on the cheap. Some suggest better then what is currently available from most movie-mode DSLRs.


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basroil
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May 06, 2009 11:26 |  #4

MrChad wrote in post #7868455 (external link)
Actually many of the photojournalist sites I read suggest the new market of $200 HD camcorders are a bargain for reasonable quality footage on the cheap. Some suggest better then what is currently available from most movie-mode DSLRs.

5dmkii still has better quality video... but the limitations are far too much for photojournalism (videojournalism?). Quality is great, but 30fps only (not even 29.97 for ntsc or 24p for movies), no manual controls, and AF is really slow compared to even cheap hd camcorders. But you get that 35mm cinematic feel that NOTHING short of some really expensive (no less than 10x, usually 100x more than 5dmkii+70-200IS) comes close to.

If you really want hd video, sony and canon make some good 3ccd and cmos based hd camcorders for about the price of a 5dmkii+one decent lens.


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AdamLewis
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May 06, 2009 12:18 |  #5

Im just responding to the title.

The answer is no. Dont even try.


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Neon01
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May 06, 2009 12:23 as a reply to  @ basroil's post |  #6

Thanks for the honest opinions. Not really what I wanted to hear, truth be told, but good input nevertheless. After doing more research it seems that the HD video is pretty crippled on the 5dMkII, but one of the best things it had going for it was that I could do it all with one camera. My worry is that having both camcorder and camera nearby and ready to shoot will be unrealistic in most situations with the new baby, and when we travel, 9 times out of 10 I'll reach for my DSLR before a camcorder, since I primarily shoot landscapes, buildings, and plants.

Perhaps I should continue to look at the HD camcorders out there.


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Todd ­ Lambert
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May 06, 2009 12:42 |  #7

The thing is though, there used to be a day when carrying two pieces of equipment sucked.. two big cameras. However, since you're going to carry an slr, the newer vidcams are no bigger than most smaller lenses, so it's the equivalent of carrying another lens, that's all.

And I'll tell you, having a dedicated vidcam in addition to your 5dm2, is the best of both worlds. (I have an older Canon GL2) and with the two pieces of equipment and the right lenses on the 5D, I truly feel I can shoot small pictures with this setup. Sure, I'm not going to be Spielberg, but I have the capabilites to some nice video, much better than either one of the cameras alone. It's nice to have options, and since the newer vidcams are so much better than they were just recently, and they're so damn cheap, it's almost a no-brainer.




  
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basroil
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May 06, 2009 12:45 |  #8

Neon01 wrote in post #7868895 (external link)
Thanks for the honest opinions. Not really what I wanted to hear, truth be told, but good input nevertheless. After doing more research it seems that the HD video is pretty crippled on the 5dMkII, but one of the best things it had going for it was that I could do it all with one camera. My worry is that having both camcorder and camera nearby and ready to shoot will be unrealistic in most situations with the new baby, and when we travel, 9 times out of 10 I'll reach for my DSLR before a camcorder, since I primarily shoot landscapes, buildings, and plants.

Perhaps I should continue to look at the HD camcorders out there.

Sometimes the truth hurts ;)

And I'd suggest spending more time with the baby rather than recording every second, you'll enjoy yourself more and 99% of the time most of those videos will sit in some closet for the rest of your life, so long so that eventually technology will have advanced so much that it's all garbage... Happened when VHS players died, got plenty of tapes back home just sitting there because they can't be played.


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May 06, 2009 12:50 |  #9

use a camcorder to shoot movies and a camera to take photographs. that way you do both things the right way.


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Neon01
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May 06, 2009 12:50 |  #10

Todd Lambert wrote in post #7869011 (external link)
The thing is though, there used to be a day when carrying two pieces of equipment sucked.. two big cameras. However, since you're going to carry an slr, the newer vidcams are no bigger than most smaller lenses, so it's the equivalent of carrying another lens, that's all.

And I'll tell you, having a dedicated vidcam in addition to your 5dm2, is the best of both worlds. (I have an older Canon GL2) and with the two pieces of equipment and the right lenses on the 5D, I truly feel I can shoot small pictures with this setup. Sure, I'm not going to be Spielberg, but I have the capabilites to some nice video, much better than either one of the cameras alone. It's nice to have options, and since the newer vidcams are so much better than they were just recently, and they're so damn cheap, it's almost a no-brainer.

Well for me, they're mutually exclusive options, really. It's either keep the D300 and buy an HD camcorder or sell the D300 and buy the 5dII. There just isn't enough in the budget for both, so of course part of this was hoping I could jump to FF sensor and get the improvement in photos at the same time. I suspect its tantamount to hoping I'd get decent still photo results out of a camcorder ;) The other thing is that I'm really just looking for point and shoot type functionality when it comes to video. I really don't care about fine manual controls and all that. I just want quality video, great low light capability, and easy point and shoot operation.

Basroil - good tip re: spending time with the baby. This was of course my plan, but the camera is nice to have handy for those moments when the wife and baby are "having a moment", or likewise with me.


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May 06, 2009 12:52 as a reply to  @ Neon01's post |  #11

I purchased the Canon Vixia HF100 back before last Christmas. It is an excellent small HD vidcam. It's small enough you can put it in a compartment in your camera bag. It's about the size of a 70-300 lens. It shoots up to 4 hrs of vid on a 16 gb SDHC. Cost was around $500us from Amazon.
I use it often times in conjunction with my Xsi having one or the other on the tripod. The HF100 does take a decent still picture also, but nothing compared to dslr.


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minhi
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May 06, 2009 13:58 |  #12

The canon hv20 (last years model, rcords to tape, see the pros and cons about recording to sd cards) can be had for $400 refurbed from canon. you do not need to spend 1200 for an hd camcorder.


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perfarny
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May 06, 2009 14:07 |  #13

OP - I'm doing what you were thinking of doing. 5DM2 arrives Monday, shipped off my 1080i Sony HD camcorder today after selling on ebay.

For me, reality is that I'm not in 99% of the videos today...that's just how it's been over the last year owning the Sony. I take 1 to 3 minute clips of video which usually revolve around my 3 kids. I never use a tripod, I walk without having a steady glide, and probably commit a whole bunch of no-no's which do show...but it doesn't matter. The purpose of the majority of my videos is to document the kids for our family which is spread out throughout the US and Europe...they get to see them growing up with us. Honestly - it's priceless for them.

Will the 5DM2 make all of this harder? I'm sure it'll require more attention. I tried it out in a store and think I can get manual focus to work 'good enough' especially if outside where it'll tend to stop down giving deeper DOF. Will my wife be able to use it on those rare occasions? Don't know yet...perhaps the slow auto AF will still be 'good enough', maybe not...that's the risk I'm taking.

Even with small HD camcorders, living with both over the last 3 years (had a different one before the one I just sold) I found that you take one with you - camera or camcorder - and on top of that, you only have one in your hand at a time. When on vacation - naturally I pack both and it's not a big hassle and doesn't take up a lot of space. But once there, we'll go for a walk...do I want to strap on the backpack / pouch so I can take both just in case? No, more often than not I picked one. And, there've been times I've missed good video opportunity between the time of putting away the camera and getting out the camcorder.

Quite obviously - everyone's mileage will vary. This is how I see it given my situtation and goals. I'm taking the risk, and am cautiously optimistic that I'll be rewarded.




  
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Neon01
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May 06, 2009 16:08 |  #14

perfarny wrote in post #7869577 (external link)
OP - I'm doing what you were thinking of doing. 5DM2 arrives Monday, shipped off my 1080i Sony HD camcorder today after selling on ebay.

For me, reality is that I'm not in 99% of the videos today...that's just how it's been over the last year owning the Sony. I take 1 to 3 minute clips of video which usually revolve around my 3 kids. I never use a tripod, I walk without having a steady glide, and probably commit a whole bunch of no-no's which do show...but it doesn't matter. The purpose of the majority of my videos is to document the kids for our family which is spread out throughout the US and Europe...they get to see them growing up with us. Honestly - it's priceless for them.

Will the 5DM2 make all of this harder? I'm sure it'll require more attention. I tried it out in a store and think I can get manual focus to work 'good enough' especially if outside where it'll tend to stop down giving deeper DOF. Will my wife be able to use it on those rare occasions? Don't know yet...perhaps the slow auto AF will still be 'good enough', maybe not...that's the risk I'm taking.

Even with small HD camcorders, living with both over the last 3 years (had a different one before the one I just sold) I found that you take one with you - camera or camcorder - and on top of that, you only have one in your hand at a time. When on vacation - naturally I pack both and it's not a big hassle and doesn't take up a lot of space. But once there, we'll go for a walk...do I want to strap on the backpack / pouch so I can take both just in case? No, more often than not I picked one. And, there've been times I've missed good video opportunity between the time of putting away the camera and getting out the camcorder.

Quite obviously - everyone's mileage will vary. This is how I see it given my situtation and goals. I'm taking the risk, and am cautiously optimistic that I'll be rewarded.

This sounds _exactly_ like my situation and line of reasoning. Please let me know how you like the 5d when you get it.


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perfarny
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May 06, 2009 16:17 |  #15

Neon01 wrote in post #7870500 (external link)
This sounds _exactly_ like my situation and line of reasoning. Please let me know how you like the 5d when you get it.

definitely will do.




  
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