Dear Studio Remarkable Guy:
I read recently that folks are starting to using the movie functionality on DSLR cameras for capturing independent movies rather than HD camcorders. Any opinions?
What you’re reading is legit and an area to keep an eye on. The big reason being the ability to get high-end results by using nice, still camera lenses. This is interesting since still camera lenses are much cheaper than comparable film camera lens.
The camera that kicked this trend off was the Nikon D90 back in October 2008. However, that camera had limitations… namely, it shot in 720p rather than 1080p and – this was the big one for many consumers – it couldn’t use auto-focus in movie mode.
In spring of 2009, the Canon ‘response’ to the D90 addressed both of those shortcoming with a camera that shot in 1080p and also had autofocus. Most filmmakers that you see touting use of a DSLR in film-making seem to be using the Canons that came out starting in spring 2009. There are a few D90 examples floating around though. The reality is that serious filmmakers are likely to have someone pulling manual focus on the camera anyway, so that limitation isn’t as big of a deal to a professional.
Studio Remarkable Guy