With the release of BMCC back in 2012, many expert film professionals assumed that DSLR cameras would become obsolete. However, due to their durability and ability to produce high quality images from a variety of angles, filmmakers are sticking with the DSLR camera, solidifying it as a go-to technology for video professionals.
DSLR (digital single-lens reflex camera), also referred to as a digital SLR, is a digital camera that combines optical technology with the operational components of a single-lens reflex camera. This camera provides sharp, vivid imagery as a result of a mechanism in which light travels through the lens to a mirror, reaching an optical viewfinder. Shutter activation then causes the mirror to rise so the light reaches the sensor. This advance function allows the camera to produce a brilliant picture that can be appreciated by both filmmakers and viewers alike.
In a nutshell, DSLR is here to stay because it offers features that many other cameras can’t. These features include: high image quality and resolution, dynamic range, quick frame rates, advanced audio features, high functioning sensors, user-friendly interface, form factor, and of course–it doesn’t hurt that they are also light-weight and practical.
While we all know that DSLRs offer incredible functions for filmmakers, in order to get the most out of them, you have to first establish which DSLR camera is best for your particular situation. Obviously, your requirements may differ based on if you are filming live action or narrative films. In addition, with cameras ranging from around $2000 up to $8000, budget is certainly a factor when deciphering which camera will suit your needs.
To help you out with your quest for the ultimate DSLR camera, here’s a list of three of our favorites:
Canon EOS 70D
The Canon EOS 70D is a great example of a camera that is ideal for live action filming. The camera itself is extremely durable and has an incredible ability to focus in on the action. It’s Dual Pixel CMOS Auto-Focus allows you to focus in on a specific object, even when it’s moving, so the object remains clear and in focus. In addition, you can also easily adjust focus and get a clear picture from a variety of different angles.
The Canon EOS 70D’s features include: 20.2 megapixels, , 100-25,600 ISO, and a remarkable shooting speed of 7 fps.
Best of all, it can be yours for the mere price of $1,199, making it an extremely appealing product if you’re on a budget.
What truly sets the Nikon D180 apart is its ability to capture stunningly clear and beautiful images. This makes it ideal for live action shooting since it will produce a realistic, enthralling picture that will most certainly capture your audience. Nikon’s D810 also boasts a long battery life and the ability to film the action from a variety of angles.
Other great features include: a high res sensor: 35.9 x 24.0mm CMOS, Autofocus: 51-point AF, Megapixels: 36.3, Screen type: 3.2-inch, 1,228,800 dots, Maximum continuous shooting speed: 5fps , 15 cross-type, AA-filterless, high-res sensor, and 5fps continuous shooting.
All of this can be yours for about $3000, which is obviously a bit pricier, but worth it if you are looking for incredible picture quality.
Panasonic Lumix GH4:
Believe it or not, HD is now a technology of the past–and 4k is where the future is at. 4k footage uses 4,096 pixels, about four times as much as HD. While this may seem revolutionary in and of itself, in the case of 4k technology, it’s all about the camera.
For the ultimate 4k camera, look no further than the Panasonic Lumix GH4. The camera shoots up to 96fps at 10800, all without an external recorder. With the Panasonic Lumix GH4, you can creatively frame shots while also benefiting from a great dynamic range. All of this comes in a relatively lightweight, mirrorless package.
Other key benefits include: 16.05 MP Digital Live MOS Sensor, DCI 4K 4096×2160 at 24p, UHD 4K 3840×2160 at 30p/24p, Full HD up to 60p, 96fps Overcrank Mode, 3.0″ 1,036k-Dot OLED Monitor, 2,359K-Dot OLED Live View Finder, Support for 59.94p, 23.98p, 50p, 24p, 4:2:2 8-Bit or 10-Bit HDMI Output, High-Speed 49-Point Autofocus, Magnesium Alloy, and a water protected exterior.
All of these benefits come relatively inexpensively at about $1, 700.
In summary, finding the best DSLR camera comes down to what you are looking for. If you need a durable and flexible camera for intense, live action shooting (such as car chases, etc.) Canon’s EOS 70D has you covered. At the same time, if you have a little more to spend and are looking to produce the clearest, most visually appealing pictures, Nikon’s D810 is most ideal. Lastly, if you want to shoot a high-quality 4k film, the Panasonic Lumix GH4 is just what you’re looking for.
Now that you are equipt with some fantastic DSLR options, you have the tools get ready to make your films sharper and more authentic than you ever thought possible.