DSLR Cinematography Takes Off!

Posted on September 15, 2009 by Noah Kadner

One of the hottest trends in production today is DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that shoot high-definition video. These cameras use large image sensors and proven still camera lenses to achieve shallow depth of field. If you can’t afford a RED camera or even one of the higher end prosumer high-definition cameras, these are an amazing value. Here’s a quick survey of some of the contenders.


EOS 5D Mark II
Canon’s first big broadside into the DSLR cinemtography market. 21 megapixels and all those Canon lenses make for amazing stills. One sore spot, no 24p.

Canon ups the ante by finally delivering a true 24p mode, though the sensor shrinks a little to a still very respectable 18 megapixels.


Nikon’s first DSLR with a decent video mode. Has 24p but unfortunately tops out at 720p, with some fairly pronounced CMOS skew as well.

Nikon takes one of their most popular DSLR’s and adds video. At 12.3 megapixels, Canon holds the resolution advantage.


12.1 megapixels and 1080/24p using AVCHD compression and the 4/3 lens system. This camera merits a serious look for DSLR cinematography.

As with their point and shoot digital cameras with video modes, the GF1 tops out at 720p. It makes up for this by being much more compact than the Nikon or Canon cams through the use of the micro 4/3 interchangeable lens system.

That’s some of the playing field as of today. Let the discussion begin.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Training DVD Available!

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