What's the biggest difference between camcorders and DSLRs for taking video? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 08-22-2010, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Thread title. What are the pros and cons of each one, and why is one some peoples preferences?
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post #2 of 32 Old 08-22-2010, 02:16 PM
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Most digital single lens reflex cameras offer 'pro' features, versus consumer-grade camcorders which may offer none at all. Depth-of-field, and DOF preview are aspects of DSLR video which consumer cams won't have.
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post #3 of 32 Old 08-22-2010, 02:29 PM
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With the top consumer based camcorders you get an image that is sharper and doesn't suffer the same moire and aliasing issues that a traditional DSLR has.

On the other hand you can get a much shallower DOF with a DSLR and if you put a fast lend on and your indoors, the lowlight quality is significantly better.

The features are about the same.
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post #4 of 32 Old 08-22-2010, 02:46 PM
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Ergonomic is better on the camcorder. I just sold almost all of my photo gears (Canon 5d classic, 85 1.8 , one left is my 24L II ) and just bought a vixia s20.
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post #5 of 32 Old 08-22-2010, 06:12 PM
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For me the biggest difference and the reason why I can n ot buy a DSRL for videos but I have to stick with camcorders are :

1) the DSRL have the 4GB file limit....means that when the video reaches 4 gb of dimension, the recording session automatically stops. You have to hit record again to start another recording session. So u can NOT record a 2 hours event or longer without having to stop and restart the recording sessions more times during the 2 hours....

2) with DSRL you are forced to record on Digital cards, that can not reach the 250GB dimension of an hard disk camcorder...

These are in my opinion the 2 biggest differences.
If u can find a way to bypass these DSRL limitations, I would buy a DSRL instead of a camcorder...
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post #6 of 32 Old 08-22-2010, 06:22 PM
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I have a Canon 7D and a TM700.

The ergonomics of a DSLR, unless you have lots of extra gadgets, is hard to use for video.

Also, no autofocus.

Most all the videos you see done with a DSLR are of still objects or objects going in and out of focus.

Alan
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post #7 of 32 Old 08-22-2010, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biomedtech View Post

Depth-of-field, and DOF preview are aspects of DSLR video which consumer cams won't have.

Well that's actually not really true anymore with the introduction of the Sony nex vg10
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post #8 of 32 Old 08-22-2010, 09:18 PM
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As far as the GH1 is concerned, their is no recording time limit and the auto focusing is very good considering how big the chip is.
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post #9 of 32 Old 08-22-2010, 11:21 PM
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I don't agree with everything Ken has to say but his write up on camcorder vs DSLR is a good one: http://www.kenrockwell.com/canon/5d-mk-ii/video.htm

It should give you most of what you want to know.

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post #10 of 32 Old 08-22-2010, 11:33 PM
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That may be his opinion toward a 5D Mark II but the GH1 is a bit different than a DSLR since it's technically not a DSLR.
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post #11 of 32 Old 08-23-2010, 07:28 AM
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I use my K-7 with extreme wide-angle or extreme telephoto that are not available on HD camcorders and use my Panasonic HDC-TM7003MOS HD camcorder with F1.5 Leica lens in 1080p60 mode that zooms from 35-630mm (35mm eqiv) with active OIS for a steady shot @630mm handheld.

http://vimeo.com/13983243
























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post #12 of 32 Old 08-23-2010, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbarney View Post

Well that's actually not really true anymore with the introduction of the Sony nex vg10

BB, nice to see a prosumer option there.
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post #13 of 32 Old 08-24-2010, 06:47 AM
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4/3-inch sensor with digital still camera technology
Micro Four Thirds and PL lens mounts
Extended recording in AVCHD high-quality PH mode
Multi-HD format and multi-frame rate
Designed for professional use, with HD-SDI, 2-channel XLR input, and other features typically found on professional camera recorders.

http://camerumors.com/2010/08/21/pan...ries-new-site/

http://pro-av.panasonic.net/en/af100/index.html





http://vimeo.com/10993902
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post #14 of 32 Old 08-28-2010, 01:38 PM
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If DSLR were perfect videcameras, there wouldnt be any need for Videocameras in the market. They were never designed for video in the first place. They are just DSLRs with the ability to record video.
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post #15 of 32 Old 08-28-2010, 04:04 PM
 
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DSLRs typically provide a higher quality image, shallow DOF, greater color accuracy, and better manual picture controls (depending on the cameras in question). They also have a large quantity of lenses for a variety of images and capabilities.. but..

Lenses aren't cheap. Camcorders typically offer better manual controls for audio, better ergonomics for handheld recording, and a vari-angle LCD screen (though some DSLRs are now adopting this feature). Also, in the prosumer line of camcorders you get professional audio connections and even more manual controls... things you wont get on upper tier DLSRs of similar price.

Also, camcorders can also autofocus while recording... something only a handful of DSLRs can do (and most are noisy when doing it due to the mechanisms involved). The flipside is that most camcorders ONLY autofocus, which can provide limits to your creativity that manual focus allows for. Autofocusing is invaluable during guerilla style run-n-gun shooting (or casual pick-up-the-camera-and-shoot situations), but it is less important for actual productions with planned shots and framing. True professional cameras use lenses and -- similar to DLSRs -- require compentency with manual focus. However if your aspirations and real-world usage is much simpler, than having autofocus can save you a lot of frustration and time.

I prefer DSLRs because it allows me to pursue a dream (filmmaking) and casually enjoy a hobby (photography) at the same time. However, for family events, birthdays, school plays, etc... I'd choose a decent camcorder each and every time (unless I was purposefully trying to capture the moments in a creative manner).
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post #16 of 32 Old 08-28-2010, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MovieSwede View Post

If DSLR were perfect videcameras, there wouldnt be any need for Videocameras in the market. They were never designed for video in the first place. They are just DSLRs with the ability to record video.

Who said they were perfect ? If you want to shoot with extreme wide angle or fast F1.4 telephoto a HDSLR is the way to go IMHO.
http://www.usa.canon.com/dlc/control...articleID=2326


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post #17 of 32 Old 08-28-2010, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jogiba View Post

Who said they were perfect ? If you want to shoot with extreme wide angle or fast F1.4 telephoto a HDSLR is the way to go IMHO.

F1.4 Telephoto? Other than 85f1.2, canon does not make a telephoto that is that fast. And I am not sure I would call 85mm telephoto. Indeed, it is much easier to get larger aperture lenses for smaller sensors used in camcorders than for DSLRs. The zoom for the Panasonic TM-700 starts at f1.5. I am not aware of any Canon zoom that is that bright or even close to it. The best is f2.8 and most are much darker.

That aside, no question that DSLRs can do some things that normal camcorders cannot do. Getting shallow depth of field is one of them. Or strapping the 800f5.6 with a 2X teleconverter in front of it. Or as you say, more extreme wide angle (< 35 mm). If that is the sort of capability you need, then DSLRs are the way to go. But for the average consumer wanting to shoot some family pictures, they are just not the right tool for the job. I have ~$50K worth of Canon gear and still just bought the Panasonic TM-700.

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post #18 of 32 Old 08-29-2010, 01:03 AM
 
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Amir: I'm curious to see what you think of the TM700 as you continue to use it. I haven't really pushed it much yet, most of my time has been editing stuff I shot on the fly.

I have been impressed, given the price, but it's difficult to turn off my critical eye.

I'm not sure how much I like the stabilization yet though, I think I have to develop some better shooting techniques, or just turn it off in certain situations and deal with stabilizing it later in post because I get all kinds of weird geometry distortions and blurring which you can't get rid of, so it may just be easier to eliminate the shaking later than using the OIS. Not sure, curious to hear what your experiences are with all these things.

Also, the native gamma sucks.
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post #19 of 32 Old 08-29-2010, 01:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lwright84 View Post

DSLRs typically provide a higher quality image, shallow DOF, greater color accuracy, and better manual picture controls (depending on the cameras in question). They also have a large quantity of lenses for a variety of images and capabilities.. but..

Lenses aren't cheap. Camcorders typically offer better manual controls for audio, better ergonomics for handheld recording, and a vari-angle LCD screen (though some DSLRs are now adopting this feature). Also, in the prosumer line of camcorders you get professional audio connections and even more manual controls... things you wont get on upper tier DLSRs of similar price.

Also, camcorders can also autofocus while recording... something only a handful of DSLRs can do (and most are noisy when doing it due to the mechanisms involved). The flipside is that most camcorders ONLY autofocus, which can provide limits to your creativity that manual focus allows for. Autofocusing is invaluable during guerilla style run-n-gun shooting (or casual pick-up-the-camera-and-shoot situations), but it is less important for actual productions with planned shots and framing. True professional cameras use lenses and -- similar to DLSRs -- require compentency with manual focus. However if your aspirations and real-world usage is much simpler, than having autofocus can save you a lot of frustration and time.

I prefer DSLRs because it allows me to pursue a dream (filmmaking) and casually enjoy a hobby (photography) at the same time. However, for family events, birthdays, school plays, etc... I'd choose a decent camcorder each and every time (unless I was purposefully trying to capture the moments in a creative manner).

Realy i cant say much more,cams are easier, DSLRs make you work but are capable of lovely results.
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post #20 of 32 Old 08-29-2010, 02:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

Amir: I'm curious to see what you think of the TM700 as you continue to use it. I haven't really pushed it much yet, most of my time has been editing stuff I shot on the fly.

Hi Chris.

I have only had it a couple of days and been using it in a special project. Once through, I will give it a work out and post more about what I find out. See my post in the TM700 thread for a couple of comments.

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post #21 of 32 Old 08-29-2010, 03:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flintyplus View Post

Realy i cant say much more,cams are easier, DSLRs make you work but are capable of lovely results.

They still have some major PQ disadvantages aswell. Limited recording, aliasing and rolling shutters, and resolution isnt that great for video. Sure they make nice videos for youtube, but for 1080P its not a good all around cam.
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post #22 of 32 Old 08-29-2010, 05:55 AM
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rolling shutter is a flaw of CMOS, not DSLR. The camcorders that offer 60p recording seem able to reduce this to a less-irritating degree.

I haven't seen how the Panasonic 700 fairs with vertical lines on a fast pan, but early footage submitted from the Sanyo tracked a public bus in motion. Every utility pole, every traffic sign were straight upright, moving from left-to-right.

In another couple of years, rolling shutter will be a ghost, but not quiet yet.
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post #23 of 32 Old 08-29-2010, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

F1.4 Telephoto? Other than 85f1.2, canon does not make a telephoto that is that fast. And I am not sure I would call 85mm telephoto. Indeed, it is much easier to get larger aperture lenses for smaller sensors used in camcorders than for DSLRs. The zoom for the Panasonic TM-700 starts at f1.5. I am not aware of any Canon zoom that is that bright or even close to it. The best is f2.8 and most are much darker.

That aside, no question that DSLRs can do some things that normal camcorders cannot do. Getting shallow depth of field is one of them. Or strapping the 800f5.6 with a 2X teleconverter in front of it. Or as you say, more extreme wide angle (< 35 mm). If that is the sort of capability you need, then DSLRs are the way to go. But for the average consumer wanting to shoot some family pictures, they are just not the right tool for the job. I have ~$50K worth of Canon gear and still just bought the Panasonic TM-700.

Quote:
Canon Telephoto EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Autofocus Lens

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Autofocus.html

My 85mm F1.4 is equal to a 127.5mm on my Pentax K-7 and that is much longer than normal on any DSLR with aps-c cmos sensor. Exactly what would you call 127.5mm if not a telephoto ? I use lenses from 6.5mm to 2350mm on my Pentax K-7.







Pentax 67 MF SLR with Zoomatar 240mm F1.2



Canon 200mm F1.8
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post #24 of 32 Old 08-29-2010, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biomedtech View Post

rolling shutter is a flaw of CMOS, not DSLR.

HUH???

Although the shutter mechanism in a dlsr cam differs slightly from that of a vid cam, they still do suffer the same (and sometimes worse) effect as a cmos vid cam.

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/photo-hd...g-shutter.html
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post #25 of 32 Old 08-29-2010, 09:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biomedtech View Post

rolling shutter is a flaw of CMOS, not DSLR. The camcorders that offer 60p recording seem able to reduce this to a less-irritating degree.

I haven't seen how the Panasonic 700 fairs with vertical lines on a fast pan, but early footage submitted from the Sanyo tracked a public bus in motion. Every utility pole, every traffic sign were straight upright, moving from left-to-right.

In another couple of years, rolling shutter will be a ghost, but not quiet yet.

The 700 is not too bad with rolling shutter. You have to be panning really fast for it to be very obvious, in which case you're just looking at leaning blurs of phone poles and the like.

It also does a pretty good job at catching flash on most or all of the frame, so it doesn't break up flash too much, which is good as well.

It's still there, but it would be both rare for it to become visible, and even more rare for it to be noticed by an average viewer who don't know. You don't see any kind of jellying (at least not because of rolling shutter) like you do on really bad cameras, phones etc that have this effect to a very objectionable degree.

That being said, if you have a shooting style like Paul Greengrass or want to shoot something ridiculously fast-paced and hand-held, then you would run into problems.
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post #26 of 32 Old 08-29-2010, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jogiba View Post

My 85mm F1.4 is equal to a 127.5mm on my Pentax K-7 and that is much longer than normal on any DSLR with aps-c cmos sensor. Exactly what would you call 127.5mm if not a telephoto ?

I call it an 85mm with cropped field of view due to smaller APS-C sensor size .

The level of background blur you get is that of 85mm, not 127mm. People like DSLRs for video because of that effect and as such, you don't get to back it and still have your cake to eat.

Note also that the conversion factor is much more in favor of the even smaller sensors in the camcorders. To wit, I can get to 420mm at f2.8 on the TM700. Show me a DSLR zoom lens that goes to 420mm effective at f2.8. And tell me if you can get the whole thing in a $800 package.

Of course, the above 420mm doesn't even come close to the same level of background blur of true supertele on a DSLR especially one with a full-frame sensor. But it is ultra bright and ultra light for what it is. And of course it goes from wide angle to telephoto with smooth power zoom controls.


Quote:
I use lenses from 6.5mm to 2350mm on my Pentax K-7.

6.5mm??? Did you forget to apply your aspect ratio conversion? You can't have it both ways. Either you have a 1.6 multiplier or you don't.

But yes, as I noted, this point is not lost on anyone. If DSLRs did everything as well as a comcorder and at the same time offered the great set of lenses that they do, and budget was not an issue, they would murder camcorders. But they are not there. Maybe in a couple of generations they erase some of the limitations. For now though, they are of limited and specialized use.

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post #27 of 32 Old 08-29-2010, 10:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MovieSwede View Post

They still have some major PQ disadvantages aswell. Limited recording, aliasing and rolling shutters, and resolution isnt that great for video. Sure they make nice videos for youtube, but for 1080P its not a good all around cam.

The recording limit has nothing to do with the cameras, and has everything to do with the FAT32 formatting of SD cards. Camcorders that record to SD cards will have the exact same limitations. The new SDXC cards that use a different formatting do not have this limitation.

Rolling shutter is also prevalent in camcorder's using a CMOS sensor (which unfortunately most do these days). You want your robust camera in a tiny package? Well, the trade off is that CMOS sensor. This again is not a limitation or a negative towards DSLRs specifically, but towards the sensor which camcorders use as well.

Aliasing does rear it's ugly head now and then, but again camcorders aren't perfect with it either. I'm not sure what you mean about the resolution not being great for video... the huge sensors in DSLRs allow for much more resolution data than a typical camcorder.

One thing I left off my initial list was the benefit DSLR's have in low-light shooting. If you haven't done so yet, do yourself a favor and check out Zacuto's DSLR video shootout where they compare the video capabilities of a decent amount of DLSRs of various flavors. They bring in industry professionals to scrutinize and compare in a collaborative setting. They even compare them against pro FILM cameras. The results of some of these tests will astound you I promise. For example, you'll see a Nikon DSLR produce a usable image @ ISO52400!!! Not to mention many others @ ISO1600 and other ISOs that previously would produce an unusable image due to noise.

You can find the 3 part series here:
http://www.zacuto.com/shootout
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post #28 of 32 Old 08-29-2010, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lwright84 View Post

This again is not a limitation or a negative towards DSLRs specifically, but towards the sensor which camcorders use as well.

Its related to the biggest negative of DSLRs, that they were never designed for video in the first place. Most issues listed here is something that could have been avoided, but then you would hurt the photo aspect of the camera that is still the main selling point.

Quote:
Aliasing does rear it's ugly head now and then, but again camcorders aren't perfect with it either. I'm not sure what you mean about the resolution not being great for video... the huge sensors in DSLRs allow for much more resolution data than a typical camcorder.

The sensors are huge and have alot of resolution, but the camera cant use all the pixels on the CMOS sensor for video. So they use lineskipping to be able to get enough fps from the camera. Thats whats causing the aliasing and that what causing the resolutiondrop for video.

Again had video been the primary goal for this camera they wouldnt have used this sensor. No point using +-20MP on a camera when you cant use 90% of the sensor.
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The sensors are huge and have alot of resolution, but the camera cant use all the pixels on the CMOS sensor for video. So they use lineskipping to be able to get enough fps from the camera. Thats whats causing the aliasing and that what causing the resolutiondrop for video.

Actually, I believe it's mainly because the lens MTF is way too good, so there is no optical low-pass filter, which admits aliases regardless of whether they line-skip or not at the sensor.

The problem can appear in still photos as well, it's just generally easier to deal with and far less objectionable than the effect you see with video when the artifacts move around a bunch and really jump out at you. You can actually buy lens filters to reduce this effect. Professional video cameras are usually designed around a single resolution with lenses that take this into account so you don't get bad aliasing, or it is at least toned down a great deal.
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post #30 of 32 Old 08-29-2010, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

I call it an 85mm with cropped field of view due to smaller APS-C sensor size .

The level of background blur you get is that of 85mm, not 127mm. People like DSLRs for video because of that effect and as such, you don't get to back it and still have your cake to eat.

Note also that the conversion factor is much more in favor of the even smaller sensors in the camcorders. To wit, I can get to 420mm at f2.8 on the TM700. Show me a DSLR zoom lens that goes to 420mm effective at f2.8. And tell me if you can get the whole thing in a $800 package.

Of course, the above 420mm doesn't even come close to the same level of background blur of true supertele on a DSLR especially one with a full-frame sensor. But it is ultra bright and ultra light for what it is. And of course it goes from wide angle to telephoto with smooth power zoom controls.



6.5mm??? Did you forget to apply your aspect ratio conversion? You can't have it both ways. Either you have a 1.6 multiplier or you don't.

But yes, as I noted, this point is not lost on anyone. If DSLRs did everything as well as a comcorder and at the same time offered the great set of lenses that they do, and budget was not an issue, they would murder camcorders. But they are not there. Maybe in a couple of generations they erase some of the limitations. For now though, they are of limited and specialized use.

OMG, you are too much, I don't have a 1.6x conversion like Canon and everyone on the planet calls their lenses by what the actual FL is not converting them depending on what camera sensor size is. 85mm on the FF 5D is still telephoto and btw I have the TM700 .
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