Thursday, March 13, 2014

Strengths and limitations of DSLR

One of the strengths of shooting on DLSR is found in the budget. You can get a great quality body and lens for under five grand and make it look awesome. If what you're looking for is high quality, pretty shots, look no further than a Canon 5D. If you know how to use it, this camera can produce Hollywood quality visuals for the big screen.

Another strength of DLSR is the size and weight. You don't need a huge, clunky tripod with counter weights for your standard DLSR shoot. DLSRs have compatible tripod mounts and will fit even on small rigs for guerrilla, fast moving shooting styles. You can also more safely use tools like a monopod which gives the camera operator more control over movement without losing the stabilization of a locked off shot. You would NOT put an EX3 on a monopod... or at least I hope you wouldn't. DSLRs don't take up much space, giving you more room in your grip truck and taking less time and manpower to set up and tear down. It's not unthinkable for a single person to go out with a DSLR and a bit of equipment and shoot alone. If you're going to haul out the $300,000 beast camera that requires heavy lifting and extra gear, that prospect becomes less feasible for a run and gun, freelance cinematographer.

A major downside, however, to shooting DSLR is your sound. Your sound will not be synced and you're going to need an external audio source. This is going to take longer to set up because you're dealing with more pieces of equipment and it's going to take you some time in post to sync your sound and video. You're going to need a very trustworthy boom operator for this shoot because they're the only one looking at the levels during shooting. When you've got levels on a big LED display on the camera where five other people are watching, there is less room for error and peaking.

Another downside to the DSLR is the menu interface. On a more expensive, professional camera, the settings are easily accessible on the camera with their own separate buttons that are ergonomically efficient. The DSLR houses almost all of its menu options in a menu interface controlled by one selection tool. This makes it slower for adjusting all of your settings and your display is taken up by the menu screen so you can no longer see all your settings at once.

Crash course on DSLR, done!

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