I want the best, least compressed, 1080p HD video available from a DSLR camera at the under $3000 price point (including one lens).
How do I get it? Is Canon the best way to get HD video, or the Nikon even better?
Or is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Mirrorless worth waiting for?
I am so confused. There are too many choices and I am tired of reading camera specs when what I really want to know is which one produces the highest quality HD video? I can't seem to find that comparison. Are they all storing at about the same compressed rate, or is the advertising about 72Mb/s and/or I-Frame only what I should be looking at?
Is it important to have a high number of focus points like the Nikon? It sounds like it to my untrained brain.
Comparing the three leads me to the Nikon except for the videography notes on the Canon make it seem like I can store less compressed video. But even totally uncompressed video is useless if the focus isn't perfect. Right?
I want really, really nice video. Otherwise it isn't worth buying any of these. I can stick with HDV for a while longer if I must.
Perhaps if I spell out what I want to do with it you might be able to provide better answers. I want to shoot pictures in a hurry at Disney World, in Hawaii, in Mexico and all the other places we go on vacation. I want to take video in those same places. Generally with a tripod or a Monopod, but sometimes not. I want to focus automatically, and quickly. But I want to be able to easily set up a rack focus when I feel like it. I want to eventually buy a lens that will allow me to shoot extreme closeups of snails, and bugs and icky crawly things in motion as well as at the full frame size of a still. And I eventually want the biggest baddest telephoto lens I can get past my wife. I am going to want to do some greenscreen work and product shots in a lightbox.
I want a flash if I am not giving up higher quality, I don't think I need a built in GPS but it couldn't hurt. Wireless? Really? OK, I guess that could be handy. HDMI output is nice. I might be inclined to shoot 720p now and then if it means twice the frames to use for slow motion in post. A headphone jack is not always necessary but it could be important now and then. I would give it up for higher quality video if I really had to. Good in low light would be nice too.
Mono or not, I would like a decent microphone built in. My old Canon ZR-10 has a much better internal mic than my much more expensive Sony HDR-FX1. Carrying external mics on vacation isn't always something I want to do.
Am I missing a brand that makes more sense for me?
I learned a lot from the last thread I opened about DSLR cameras in general and have researched the different lenses enough to know what kind of trouble I am walking into. But all is for nothing if I can't shoot some truly stunning video given the right lighting and subject.
That sounds like the same problem all right.
There was some terric golden reflections on the water along the causeway leading into Sacramento along I80 yesterday also. It was on the wrong side of the road to just put the camera on auto and multiple exposures, point it out the open window and hope for the best from the RAW images.
I haven't figured out the settings for catching that kind of light yet, but now that I know where to find it and when, I might have a shot at it. The real problem is that the causeway is up higher and the actual road down below is too low.
I know what I want. I want a double decker bus with the front end of the top deck covered and the back would have specially designed windows on both sides and the back. There would be a permanently mounted tripod or three. We just slow down with flashers, pull over to the side, and if a cop or CHiP shows up, the bus would have a kill switch so we could try starting it unsuccessfully while the cop was there and after a few tries, we could flip the switch and get it started. We could thank the officer for bringing us good luck and drive off.
As you can tell, I have given this some thought. There are some really great shots I could take from the San Francisco Bay Bridge but you can't walk or bike across like you can over the Golden Gate Bridge.
Yeah, the Honey Badger comes immediately to mind - like shoot with a 1200mm lens, from behind a ballistic shield.
Better yet... a satelite image ... or a drone ?????
Steve, There was some black and white photo journalist who shot stuff for newspapers ( like gangland slayings in Little Italy and that sorta stuff... ) who used an AMBULANCE to get into places where nobody was allowed...( it also helped him to get to the lab real fast to develop film and get to paper by deadline ) that might work for off the road shoulder spots ??? Have cameras mounted inside with secret port holes you can open to shoot ...????
Same woulda worked for Bill maybe ???
An ambulance? I like that. But I wonder if a tow truck might not do the trick also. I could hook up to a car and take it to a repair center a lot easier than I could revive a heart attack patient if push came to shove and a peace officer commandeered me and my vehicle.
There is this one exit off the LI Expressway heading from Long Island to the Midtown Tunnel...roughly 2 exits before the tunnel...where I wanted to stop and take a photo of the skyline with sunrise behind me... it's sorta up high so you can see the river and stuff pretty good...and never had the chance to do it ( for like 30 years ? )... too scary. Without a cop car with flashing lights behind me I wouldn't feel safe there...Pretty funny... so close, yet so far ....
I once checked into still photo permit process in nyc and it turned out to be much easier to just be sneaky and get what I could without going through the process, as it was for me personally and not a paying client. I've done location scouting ( before being a " grip " ) for tv commercial productions and have gone through the permit stuff with lots of places professionally, so know a little about it...but to do for myself personally to shoot stills wasn't in the cards. Too many restrictions, wasn't worth the effort...
Your area might be nicer .... nyc is stupid for still photos stuff ( non commercial ) IMO...
You could maybe call that office, ask on phone about still photo permits, and also ask about " scouting permit ". Say you are scouting for documentary and wanna shoot some locations for potential use. See what they say...
Can't hurt to find out...
PS. Another good thing to think about.. a press pass ( with sign for windshield that says " press " )...can pretty much park anywhere mostly...
PPS... edit... Just be careful !!!! Safety FIRST !
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Back when I was just out of art school.. I was living in nyc lower east side area ( alphabet city ), about 1980.... and me and 2 or 3 friends walked over to the brooklyn bridge and climbed up the cable ( this was at night so we could be like ninja warriers and not get caught by cops... )..
I took along my leica M3 with tri-x loaded ( I shot it at 200 iso those days so I could underdevelop with Rodinol for my " artsy look " ... )
Had a 35mm lens on that camera always.
So we got to the arch and sat around looking at stuff and it was kinda windy so I crawled on my stomach to the edge and put camera on stone for a time exposure and shot stuff looking towards Brookly / Queens side of bridge...long exposures like 20 sec etc... I had to stay on my stomach cause it was windy enough to sorta maybe blow me off the bridge thing , which woulda been very bad. You can't see from this photo, but the very edge of that stone ( 18 inches maybe ? ) is beveled 'down' at about 25 deg....
After a while we went back down the cable and went home.
This circle is where I shot from looking toward foreground...
When I developed the film and made contact sheet I discovered there was NOT ONE SINGLE PICTURE WORTH PRINTING... LOL... they ALL looked really STUPID...
Funny, I have almost that exact same picture in my collection taken with a $99 HD video camera, purchased at the last minute after I forgot to pack a camera for the trip (before I bought a Smartphone). We took the Circle Line tour around the island. The camera also took pictures, so what the heck? Right?
Circle line ... cool ! The one that went to west point too or the one that just goes around manhattan ??
Either one is very cool and fun to be on..
I like YOUR picture MORE...
Just around Manhattan. You know .... the proverbial three hour tour - NYC style. I also got decent pics of The Dakota and one at Strawberry Fields. We took a ride with a little guy on a Pedicab around the park starting at Columbus Circle. He said he was up to the task, and he was. I was pretty impressed seeing as how we are both large people and he was a little guy.
We also went to Niagra Falls on that trip. Too cold to do much, but I got this one of the falls.
wow ! That's beautiful !
I was talking to a geologist a few months ago ( got appt. so I could ask him stuff for my documentary of Mound ) and since we were yappin about last glacial period and north amer... the great lakes and stuff like that... we also got to talking about some things like big waterfalls ...how they can measure the movement of them and so on... ( we talked mostly about the mississippi river basin I guess )...
Anywho, it turns out that at some point wayyy in the future, if things don't get done to change it, some waterfalls will recede further and further until finally ENTIRE LAKES and stuff will go RUSHING down like crazy and flood all kinds of stuff... yikes !!!! The water kinda hollows out the bottom of the cliff ( falls ) and eventually stuff crumbles and then little by little the top of the falls crumbles too, and the falls MOVE BACKWARD... wow ! I hope the Niagra will be there for a really long time though but just in case you got a great photo !
Most waterfalls ARE receding, though not that one could tell, without a spreadsheet and a bunch of theodolites with targets. Also, as there can be seismic activity in the areas, it's tough to tell what is recession and what might be surrounding land rising up too - sort of like the CO River in the Grand Canyon. Geologists and hydrologists puzzled over the Canyon for a century, trying to figure out how the river could cut so deeply, and in such a short time (geologically speaking), until someone took a good look at the land, and realized that while the river was cutting down (waterfalls becoming just the river flow with some rapids), the surrounding land was rising at about the same rate - let's just say that we got a "twofer" there. BTW - everyone needs to come to the Grand Canyon, and spend all their money! AZ needs the tourists, since the state legislature has decided to tax the heck out of all tourists, to fund all sorts of "stuff," assuming that they will ALWAYS come. They are not, and now the duped residents will be left holding the financial bag, unless YOU do YOUR part, come, and spend!!!!!
Your placement of Rodan, right over the white background of the spray, is genius! Nice going.
oh oh.. sounds like you just did your taxes, Bill ????
That's Rodan III ( great great grand daughter of Rodan ) ... she's 3 years old ( in bird years for Rodan breed that equals 9 in human years ....depending on how many humans are hunting Rodans to some extent )
Thank you for noticing. I actually had quite a few more pics of the falls, but when the baby Rodan was suddenly followed by her mother, I dropped the camera, ran like hell, and went back for the camera later. That will never happen again. The new camera is too expensive to drop, even in an extreme panic!
I found myself in a rather beautiful place this morning. After I did my work, I pulled out the camera and took a couple of dozen shots. There was this one tree I thought was interesting. Unfortunately, whatever it was that attracted me to that tree didn't come through in the photograph. I took a few pictures of some flowers that merely reminded me that I need to work on my DOF. It is often more narrow than I would prefer.
I also spent a few minutes studying this statue. There was no sign telling me what saint this might be, but I thought he looked appropriately contemplative for the garden setting where he had been placed. Whatever it is that attracted me to him seems to come through in the picture, at least to me it does. Also, I think I nailed the bokeh on this one.
Very cool statue.. I'm impressed there is no bird perched on him and no bird droppings... I guess cause there isn't one single statue in nyc that doesnt have a pidgeon on it etc...
I think anyone who does statues for nyc locations should just include the pidgeon as part of the sculpture from now on.
That's not real easy to do, shoot where sun is behind like that and get good tone in shadows of foreground but it looks like your camera does a good job.
Using my fairly new point and shoot TG-1 non destructible camera ( which I have no control over re: stops and shutter speed etc ...has a mind of its own )...I was moseying through some sculpture garden type thing around here in MN....
First shot backlit early morning ( low ) sun...
Should have had some major bounce into horse from front....so you could see the bronze color...which you can't in this pic..bummer...
Second shot, basically behind my back when looking at horse...I woulda at least 'looked' at a polarizing filter if that were possible...as it was I just had to sorta move around a little bit until the curse of direct sun on steel was acceptable...sorta...
I think the high dynamic range of the modern cameras make a huge difference. Keep in mind that I shoot RAW, which gets all of the information into the camera. I just need to choose a look in Photoshop for the results instead of deciding in advance and having the camera make the decision when it saves the JPG.
If I had a way to see the thumbnails for the RAW files in Windows Explorer, I would stop shooting the JPG along with the RAW. Or, if I could get used to using a media browser...
I think it might be the light on his head and shoulders that made the shot attractive to me in the first place. It was a beautiful day and I personally love the warmth of the sun on my shoulders. I think I might have been a bit jealous. There he is, standing in a pretty garden, in a flower bed, with the sun on him, and he had nowhere to go, nothing to do except be there in the moment.
Kind of like these guys, who I shot later the same day, only he looks like someone I would have enjoyed spending time with. These guys? Not so much.
I like your shots. When you start using a high dynamic range camera, and you have access to the RAW image, you'll find you can pull the detail out of the shadows and overcome the shine. Basically, you will find that you can underexpose the shot and get better results by pulling out the detail in the shadows as opposed to trying to get the detail out of the overexposed shine of the sun on metal. If you sent me the originals, I could see what secrets might be revealed by the Camera RAW process - which works on a JPG, just not as well as with a RAW shot.
Bill Hunt > "AZ needs the tourists, since the state legislature has decided to tax the heck out of all tourists, to fund all sorts of "stuff," assuming that they will ALWAYS come. They are not, and now the duped residents will be left holding the financial bag, unless YOU do YOUR part, come, and spend!!!!!"
Bill, since you are a good friend, I will try to reduce your tax load by visiting AZ. Let me weigh the pros/cons;
It is hot as heck there in summer.
There are no beaches/oceans there.
The medium age there is 80+
You just can’t get a decent fish taco there.
I probably could never get my car into 6th gear when following a car with cactus plates. (even on the freeway there)
I could take my girls to the local theme park… No, they don’t have any.
Or how about the scenic boardwalks… No, they don’t have any.
We can go see the exciting natural cactus… Uhhh, I’ll pass on that one.
I can check out the hot babes at the… ummm, ummm, geriatric rest homes?… Not that.
Well, there is always the… No, they don’t have that either.
How about doing… No, they don’t have that either.
I know, we could… No not that either.
Sorry Bill, I got nothing.
I completely understand.
Now, if you need a great deal on a refurbished motorized wheelchair, then Phoenix IS the place to come.
Same for those plaid shorts, faux Hawaiian print shirts, black knee socks (only worn with sandals), and goofy porkpie hats (they are sold as an ensamble), then Phoenix IS the place to come.
We also have many late model, low-mileage Cadillacs (only the really big ones), with alots of additional chrome on them, though the color choices are rather limited (bright red, or lime green).
I will keep thinking, as there is bound to be some reason to come to our lovely state...
Steve, thanks re: jpg , but aint worth messing with.. took those just to record ( notes in pic form ) some stuff for possible use in documentary later. Unfortunately that property is about 3/4 mi. OUTSIDE the mound city limit... so don't know if I'd use any of that stuff..haven't decided yet...probably not. Also, the ' artist ' is not good for interviewing. Might as well try to get some friends to help me out with the 'art' related stuff instead. Plus I haven't been to the "city" yet ( twin cities)..to museums. Gotta yap with some curators and see what's up with that... but won't do that until I got camera etc. I'm sorta stuck in the mud right now and 'waiting' for a couple things to happen ( like getting money from retirement stuff ).
Meantime ( burp, scuse me ) ITS BEER THIRTY ! YIPEE !
PS. I agree, those 2 guys look creepy
I feel a need to stick my two cents worth in here about Arizona.
The Arizona Snowbowl has some decent skiing, and if you start to get too cold, just drop down to a lower elevation for a swim in the hotel pool, then go skiing again the next day.
What about spring training? If you like baseball, that is the way to see the top players for a lot cheaper than seeing them at home.
Mitchell, your girls might love seeing the London Bridge, now that it isn't in London. Watersports in Lake Havasu? Outstanding!
How about standing in one spot and being in four states at the same time? One of those is AZ.
Try renting a classic car (a convertable would be best) and taking it down Route 66. Watch Pixar's "Cars" a few times to get excited about it first.
“Arizona has more parks and national monuments than any other state, more mountains than Switzerland, and more golf courses than Scotland.”
Steven, I forgot about the London Bridge.
Back on topic; I've been lurking and following this thread with interest as my next video camera will be a DSLR.
FYI; I was watching TMZ and noticed beyond the clebreties, the paparazi are now using DSLR's for video. Look in the background, I've seen guys with a DSLR in one hand, and a hand held light (NOT flash) in the other. It was obvious they were using the DSLR for their video shots. DSLR has matured. Getting a DSLR is a given.
New delema; I was at the Apple store today and they had a beautiful all in one 27" MAC with external ports claiming to be 8X faster than 800 USB. I've had my dream machine PC lined up. Now I'm considering the jump to MAC. The problem is I know PC's, and I know Premiere works with it. I'm not sure how Premiere is on a MAC.
CS6 is OK on a Mac. But the price of a Mac versus the equivalent PC is prohibitive. Go ahead and figure out the exact specs of the Mac you would actually consider buying. Then compare those to a PC. You can have ADK build you a monster for the same price as a decent Mac. Or get a PC with essentially the same specs and take a DSLR to Hawaii on vacation for the same total price.
I have an old light I can use hand held or on my hot shoe if need be. What I need is a good external flash. They are more expensive than I thought they would be.