Movie mode explained: HD video cameras on DSLRs

In our article: movie mode explained: HD video cameras on DSLRs, we tell you what to look for when choosing a camera with HD video

Movie mode

Movie mode

The ability to record Hi-Def (HD) video on DSLRs has, for many, become an invaluable feature to call upon. Whether you're using 
it to record your child's first steps or to make an arthouse film project with, HD video is without doubt a useful feature to have.

The first DSLR to incorporate HD video recording was the Nikon D90 launched at the end of 2008. Since then other manufacturers have got on board and it now features in several mid- to high-range DSLRs. As a fairly new technology that remains quite expensive for manufacturers to implement, it hasn't yet trickled down to entry-level models, though given time it surely will.

What to look out for when buying a camera with HD video

Our advice isn't to be overly concerned between 720p HD and 1080p ‘Full HD' as both qualify as high-definition and the real-life difference between the two remains minimal unless you are watching the results on a 50-inch 1080p HDTV.

What's more important is the maximum recording time your camera allows, as some models (Nikon's D90, for example) only allow up to five minutes of recording in one take, while more recent models (Canon's 550D, for example) allow you to record for up to 12 minutes in one go.

Frame rates are 
also worth keeping an eye on, especially if you think you might be using your DSLR to record lots of fast-moving action such as motorsports with.