Back in 2008 I wrote that DSLRs were starting to include video features and that these new cameras were set to be hugely popular with the movie-making crowd. Well, it turns out I was right. Indie film makers everywhere are making amazing films with DSLRs, and the professionals are starting to take notice. For example, the upcoming season finale of the Fox show House was shot entirely with a Canon 5DmkII. Yep, that’s right, a major television network used a DSLR camera to film one of their top shows. Pretty incredible considering video on digital cameras started off as more of a “gee-whiz” toy feature than a serious tool.
Last year I was watching this trend develop and watching my old gear collect dust, so I sold most everything and waited for the prices on the new generation of “hybrid” DSLRs to come down. In March I had waited long enough and finally got my brand new toy, a Panasonic DMC-GH1. While Canon’s 7D and T2i were appealing options and are very popular with film makers, I settled on the GH1 because its video is as just as good as any of the Canons, but it also has some very user-friendly features that the Canons are lacking, such as a tilt/swivel LCD and a viewfinder that works while recording videos. It also comes with a video-optimized lens that has silent autofocus and a stepless aperture, which can be very important features when trying to shoot video in the real world rather than on a set.
So far I’m really enjoying the camera. It’s so nice to be able to seamlessly switch between taking photos and shooting video, and I love the flexibility of the camera. The Micro Four Thirds mount means that it can use just about any lens ever made via an inexpensive lens mount adapter. My parents were nice enough to give me some old Canon FD lenses they had sitting in the closet, so I’ve been playing with those and getting some nice results.
The movie below was shot early one March morning in my backyard using the FD lenses as well as the kit lens. The shallow depth of field and fine detail rendered by these lenses makes for some darn nice video. I’m currently working on editing footage from my recent trip to Costa Rica, so stay tuned!No comments
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