Your Essential Guide to DSLR Video – DSLR HD Video buying advice
At the moment HD may appear slightly ahead of its time, but doesn’t it make a nice change to buy something that’s ready and waiting for tomorrow’s technology? With so much emphasis on HD TVs and displays, it makes most sense to capture at the best possible quality. In terms of DSLR cameras offering HD video capture, there are a few main contenders: The Canon 5Ds Mk II offers Full HD (1080p 30fps), whereas the Nikon D90 has HD (720p 24fps). The Panasonic Lumix GH1 offers Full HD (1080p 25fps) and 720p (50fps), this together with a small body and stereo microphone makes it a very desirable camera with the ideal PAL-compatible frame rate. The Nikon D90 (and D5000) or Canon 500D offer the best value for money, though for video and still image quality the Canon 5D Mk II has the edge.
Canon EOS 5D mk II
The daddy of the DSLR video world – the Canon EOS 5D Mk II offers 1080p Full HD video at 30 frames per second. With the ability to attach a wide array of Canon lenses, it’s possible to shoot from wideangle through to telephoto with all the glorious benefit of having a full-frame sensor and the superb shallow depth of field possibilities this offers. Manual focusing and autofocus are both possible when recording. You can even add an external microphone. Many tout the 5D Mk II as the DSLR that can dethrone many digital video cameras; we’ve even heard of pros shooting music videos with it!
The first compact camera with an OLED screen – a new organic light emitting diode format that reproduces colour and blacks at a contrast level way beyond LCD. Additionally OLED uses much less energy, in turn leading to a longer battery life. Samsung’s WB1000 records 720p video at 30fps and you can enjoy high-quality playback for even longer. Excellent stuff.
Casio Pro EX-FH20
Not content with shooting at 30fps, the EX-FH20 delves into super-high frame rates – making it possible to shoot at 210fps (480 x 360), or even 1000fps (at a more letterbox-like 224 x 56). Imagine the world in super slow-mo; a whole new range of creative possibilities.
One of the first incarnations of the Micro Four Thirds system, the Lumix GH1 has been causing a stir. Not least because it can record 1080p/25 HD video, ultra-smooth 720p at 50fps and even has a stereo microphone. The GH1 is much smaller than a standard DSLR – so it’s less obtrusive than even some compacts and is already making waves in Japan; expect much the same when it hits the shelves here this summer.