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Thread: Should i buy a MIRRORLESS or DSLR for shooting VIDEO? (My first camera)

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    New Member ruanitto's Avatar
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    Should i buy a MIRRORLESS or DSLR for shooting VIDEO? (My first camera)

    Hi everyone!

    I saved some pennies and i'm ready to buy my first camera. I'm a Graphic Designer and Film and TV student and would like a camera to get photos for professional use, as well as short independent films. I'm looking forward to buy an entry-level camera to get started, and reading in lots and lots of websites i came up with some options, and would like to have some professional advice to the final decision. My budget is around AU$500-750.


    DSLRS:
    Nikon D3300
    Canon EOS600D
    Canon EOS 60D


    MIRRORLESS
    Sony Alpha A5000
    Sony Alpha A6000
    Samsung NX300


    Which one of the above would be my best option for take excellent quality PHOTO and VIDEO, considering AutoFocus for video (i don't get the concept very well)?
    Still on video, a Mirrorless would really fit better than a DSLR? If yes, can i still get some "DSLR-level" photographies with it?

    Thank very much for your help!!



    Rhuan Santos
    Brisbane, AU
    Last edited by ruanitto; 19-05-2015 at 12:13pm.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Welcome, You will find that most on this site are photographers and not many do video. You might find it useful to seek out a video site for that help, and us for your still photography work. Also within your budget, I reckon you are not even considering lenses, and they are easily going to blow your budget with either DSLR or mirrorless.
    Last edited by ricktas; 19-05-2015 at 12:35pm.
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    Thanks for replying ricktas, i will ask it in a filmmakers forum too.
    I've considered to get some standard 18mm-55mm lenses, probably the cameras' kit lenses, and later upgrade when i get more advanced. Do you have any suggestion for that? It would be more than welcome!
    Last edited by ruanitto; 19-05-2015 at 12:44pm.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Is it a choice between the two systems? What would each have to offer? But a few random thoughts occurred to me as I was reading your post:
    - Is bulk an issue? I think you'll find that lenses make up a significant amount of the bulk of any camera system. Sure, some bodies are bigger than others,
    but add a biggish lens to mirrorless and...
    - Consider the uptake of 4K video systems. I understand that some cameras record in that now.
    - Buy what you can afford. If not, the upgrade path will litter you with little used gear and cost heaps more in the long run.
    (How do I know that?)

    As Rick said, hang about here. It may well help you to get firmer ideas of where to go/what to get.

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    I was looking for a 4k camera, but they are a bit expensive for my budget AND career level at the moment, so i will get something less fancy first.
    As i want to make some videos too, the DSLRs have some problems with focus by what i've read, is that right? And some people recommended me the Mirrorless because of that issue, but i don't really know, are they really better and DSLRs really sucks for video?

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    Ausphotography Addict feathers's Avatar
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    the sony A6000 might be worth a look?, it's supposed to have a lot going for it, and its close to your budget. Cheers.

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    Have a look at dpreview. They are pretty good in comparing cameras along the same benchmarks and they have a video section for most of the cameras.

    I would be inclined to invest as much as possible in your lenses if possible, and consider the long term approach you intend taking bearing in mind the potential to upgrade to full frame if this is your long term direction.

    For example, the Sony A7S is considered to be one of the class leaders for video, so if this is where you decide you want to be, then buying into Sony would make sense from a short term perspective, as would ensuring that whatever you buy from a lens perspective has the long term capability if funds allow. Yes, you can start with a kit lens, and there is nothing wrong with it, but the moment you start considering the option of upgrading , I would start to focus on waiting longer and buying good glass. The reason I say this, is the normal path I see people take is buying a cheap camera with kit lens, then buying a better camera, then wondering why their photos/video aren't much better when the path really should be cheap camera, then lenses, then more lenses, then better camera. A cheap camera with good lenses will produce far better pictures/video than a good camera with cheap lenses.
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    @MissionMac

    Thanks for the awesome advice man! The Sony a6000 it's a bit out of my budget, but i really have a crush on it (and even more in the A7, but i consider this one a step too huge for me at the moment), but your words gave me a light about the long term perspective. And that's why i need to know if it's worthwhile invest on Sony AND IN MIRRORLESS cameras than DSLR... Considering the quantity of lenses available and image quality, do you think the mirrorless cameras are as good as dslr (and Sony mirrorlesses are as good as Nikon's?)

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Brand choice is really just personal preference these days. Holden, Ford, Nissan, Toyota.. all make great cars, and which you choose is what suits you. Camera's are no different. Brand choice is a personal one, in the end they all do the things their specs say they can do. If you have 2 cameras that both offer the same feature set, then the choice is really nothing to do with which is better, but which one you personally like more.

    Re lenses, you will find kit lenses restricting for video, compared to lenses from the higher spec range (same as the camere body). Welcome to photography, it is not a cheap hobby! and you do get what you pay for.

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruanitto View Post
    @MissionMac

    Thanks for the awesome advice man! The Sony a6000 it's a bit out of my budget, but i really have a crush on it (and even more in the A7, but i consider this one a step too huge for me at the moment), but your words gave me a light about the long term perspective. And that's why i need to know if it's worthwhile invest on Sony AND IN MIRRORLESS cameras than DSLR... Considering the quantity of lenses available and image quality, do you think the mirrorless cameras are as good as dslr (and Sony mirrorlesses are as good as Nikon's?)
    Let's look at a couple of things here:

    Are Nikon and Canon better? If you wanted to be pedantic, yes, at a professional body level and with lens availability yes.

    Will this have any impact on you? No. The reason I say this is that the current range of lenses would more than suffice for your current requirements and by the time you have larger requirements, the lens selection would have grown substantially so it won't impact you. If you were to go out with a $20K budget right now, you may be limited with your choice of lenses but all the main choices are covered right now.

    On the sensor front, there is a limited difference. The limitations come down to sensor size and there are full frame sensors available for mirrorless so that argument doesn't hold water like it used to. Nikon also use Sony sensors for a lot of their cameras so using Sony should offer limited disadvantages over a DSLR when Nikon offers some of the best sensors on the market. So short answer, image quality is limited to the algoriths that the different manufacturers use and while Nikon and Canon may have more experience and some advantage, it isn't a big one.

    On the body front, yes, the Nikon and Canon bodies have some advantages with the current AF systems being better under certain circumstances but if you end up with full frame mirrorless, the limitations on the physical capability of the sensors are completely mute as discussed above. The reality is mirrorless is progressing at an incredible rate, so even if the bodies are better on the pro DSLR bodies, it won't impact you at your current skill level and by the time it does impact you, mirrorless will have improved to such a degree that it won't impact you. If you were a professional sports photographer, I'd be saying buy a DSLR but that's because making that shot is worth the 5% better that camera is and only under a specific set of circumstances. One of the best wedding photographers in the world uses a pair of Nikon D750's. They certainly aren't the best DSLR cameras on the market, they don't have the best AF and they don't have the highest resolution sensors, but the reality is they are as good as he needs it to be.

    Personally, I use DSLR. I use it because I have an investment in glass and it would require a substantial investment to change. If I was starting out now, however, I would be hard pressed to look past some of the mirrorless cameras. Sometimes it's hard to look at it like that because the temptation is to go for the option that seems the best, but it may not be the best for you.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruanitto View Post
    ..... Which one of the above would be my best option for take excellent quality PHOTO and VIDEO, considering AutoFocus for video (i don't get the concept very well)? ......
    If you want to do video as a profession, AF isn't how to do it.
    If you are currently enrolled as a student for a film making course and part of that course involves camera operation .. you don't want AF in your video.

    You will need to learn manual focusing.

    But if you are adamant that you definitely want AF .. then forget a DSLR.
    Their autofocusing abilities during video are hopeless.

    Also, not only is AF during video pretty crappy in most consumer level products, the noise that most AF motors generate is somethign to consider.
    That is, even the quiet AF lens types generate a buzz/zizz noise as they AF.
    So, if you are still adamant that you want AF for video .. then be sure that the camera has an external microphone accessory port(so that you can connect a separate microphone).

    A separate microphone will not pick up the sound of an AF motor on the camera lens body combination .. as long as it's placed properly!!

    I like Samsung products video abilities.

    There are some good Panasonic mirrorless cameras that do good video too. Can';t remember exact model names .. do a quick search for Panasonic mirrorless cameras.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
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    Thanks a lot for the precious advice guys!
    I've been thinking about the future, and maybe i won't stick to DSLRs because my willing to work more towards video. I think mirrorless is my thing.. don't know if i'll change my mind.

    The a6000 looks awesome for me, and by what i've read it's very fast. I think i'll purchase one and later can upgrade to a top one such as the A7 or A7s, investing in the long term too. I think for indie films/documentaries it should be a good bet, plus i can get very good stills when i need too. Do you agree with it or no? Any warnings?

    Also, any reccomendations of other mirrorlesses that can compete with the a6000? I've seen that the Samsung NX500 is awesome too and can shot 4k at 24fps. It's a little out of my budget, but do you think it worth a look?

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    Ausphotography Regular bitsnpieces's Avatar
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    Sony cameras are great, but the autofocus in movie recording is a love or hate relationship. When you get it working, it's amazing, just like any other camera. But when it's not working, it's just not working. The a7s uses contrast detection rather than phase detection - so yes, with the right techniques, it's amazing, but on the day to day, you could end up shooting yourself in the leg more often than not.

    Here's a small review on the a6000 regarding it's video capabilities
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dr5FgRsi9_8
    It works great because of the combination of phase and contrast detections. But again, it's only 1080p (which still looks amazing nonetheless)

    But if 4K is your thing, I would say the Samsung NX500 is worth a look.

    Image quality will be similar and such, it comes more down to the functionality.

    So taking Rick's example of cars, realistic, all cars these days are great - quality, standards, everything. Yes, there are still some differences, but it isn't going to kill you. The main differences is how it handles, how it feels, dashboard placement, dials, etc.
    Cameras again are just like that - the menu, the functions, the internal features.

    I haven't used the Samsung range nor researched it, and have only tried a Samsung compact camera at one stage, and though it had some nice pictures that a Sony compact camera didn't have, the overall feel, settings, functionality, was just horrible.

    Will it be the same for the mirrorless line? I don't know. Sony has kept their functionality pretty much the same, but with me.
    Is that what Samsung does? Or do they do complete overhauls?
    Reason I ask is, if you're looking for an investment in the future, you don't want to have to start from scratch trying to learn the camera again.

    In terms of price, try looking for an online store that can sell a bundle cheap. Ausphotograhpy has many sponsors, though I don't know where the page is that lists them (can't find it), but have a look first

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    Hi,
    I'm not really into video but here's a limited smattering of what I do know.
    As mentioned above, if you're doing set shots you'd mostly want to be manual focusing.
    So with that in mind, you may end up with a set of manual focus lenses from a variety of different manufacturers that you can mount via adapter onto an assortment of cameras so brand becomes less and issue as long as you have the adapter.
    For this reason, I feel some of the mirrorless options give you more flexibility due to their shorter flange back distance and ability to accept just about any lens via adapter.
    Many older MF lenses can be had at bargain prices.
    But if you really want/need AF then you need to look more carefully at which system you want to buy into.
    I believe some of Canon's more recent AF developments (dual-pixel AF) as well as STM lenses are all geared towards video.

    Consider some of the more video orientated stills/motion cameras such as the Panasonic GH series. The older second hand models are still excellent (namely GH2 and GH3) and can be purchased cheaply if you don't mind second hand.
    If you must have 4k, the GH4 is expensive but the newly announced G7 does 4k and should be much cheaper.

    Another option is Black Magic. Probably the cheapest/best bang-for-buck RAW video capable cameras you can get. An Aussie firm IIRC. I know little about video post production but I believe it gives you the most flexibility in post productions work.
    If you're more into video, I'd serious research what Black Magic has to offer.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, one more thing. Do you anticipate shooting on a rig or handheld mostly.
    Though it won't replace any steadicams any time soon, consider a brand with either sensor or lens stabilisation. Some do a pretty good job at taking out the wobbles.
    IBIS would probably be preferred for video work, vs in-lens IMO.
    Nikon FX

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