DSLR vs. camcorder

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I've been playing around with the video recording capability of the D7100 and while the picture quality is great, there are two shortcomings that many people seem to comment on: poor autofocus and pickup of noise from the lens. Regarding the AF, just panning around a room there is usually one or more times that it doesn't focus without my having to engage the AF.

I've read a fair bit now about the relative pros and cons of dslr vs. camcorder and I'm thinking that for casual situations with relatively good light where there is a lot of movement at varying distances involved, a small camcorder might be the better tool.

So generally speaking, is my reasoning correct and if so, would a typical $300 camcorder provide improved AF? Any recommendations for a current model?

Also, is there an issue with audio noise as with the dslr?

Thanks.
 

Butlerkid

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My husband shoots digital video with camcorders. He has a high end Sony and a small lightweight Pansonic HC - V720 that was about $400-500. He says the Pany is almost as good as the Sony! AF is very fast.....low light shooting very good to excellent, etc, etc. The camcorders also shoot stills.....although not to the quality of a DSLR.

Before our trip to South Africa, he will buy a 4K video recorder!
 
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In my limited experience the built-in mic on either a small camcorder or DSLR will pick up unwanted noise from the camera. I always use a rubber mounted on-camera mic. DSLRs are good choices if shallow depth of field is desired. Camcorders are more compact and easier to use for video. If I know I want stills and video I will most likely take a DSLR. If I'm shooting video only, the camcorder. The exception would be in low light situations where my D4's video would be much better than that from my camcorder.
 
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I thought the dslr video noise was picked up from the lens, but I just tried an experiment with my D7100 - indoors (so no wind), lens and camera set to manual focus, VR off. The noise in the recording was fairly constant and just like what I heard using the camera outside with VR and AF engaged.

Barry
 
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I thought the dslr video noise was picked up from the lens, but I just tried an experiment with my D7100 - indoors (so no wind), lens and camera set to manual focus, VR off. The noise in the recording was fairly constant and just like what I heard using the camera outside with VR and AF engaged.

Barry
Have you tried with an external mic plugged in?
 
Joined
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I thought the dslr video noise was picked up from the lens, but I just tried an experiment with my D7100 - indoors (so no wind), lens and camera set to manual focus, VR off. The noise in the recording was fairly constant and just like what I heard using the camera outside with VR and AF engaged.

Barry
I now realize that this issue was due to having the audio set to Auto. Both of these were relatively quiet situations so the audio gain was very high.

Barry
 
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I think it will make a difference.
I've received the Rode Videomic Go and am very pleased with it. Lens noise is significantly suppressed or nonexistent. The mic is also directional which helps to discriminate against background sounds.

By the way, I was initially disappointed in the sound but that was because I was using the built-in speaker in the D7100. If you use the audio out to headphones or earbuds, the sound is much better.

I also bought a small, inexpensive camcorder (Sony HDR-CX330). The AF is definitely better than the DSLR, but of course not as nice image-wise, especially in low light. But it is so small - very convenient for keeping in your pocket for casual situations.

Barry
 
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By the way, I was initially disappointed in the sound but that was because I was using the built-in speaker in the D7100. If you use the audio out to headphones or earbuds, the sound is much better.
Barry
Thanks for the tip - I'll keep it in for future reference when I try some more video.
 

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