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Eetu Jan 23, 2010 4:15 AM

Video and DSLRs
Hi all! Greetings from here in central Finland. I am hoping to buy a DSLR in March. Currently trying to learn as much as I can before making such a purchase. I have always used in Pentax, but now looking Pentax K-7 (Expensive...), Pentax K-x, Canon EOS 500D, and Nikon D90. I have read all the reviews... I see the strengths and weaknesses of each of the of the above, glad I still have till March or April til I buy one.

One question, though... video. Normally, I am of the mindset that a DSLR is not made to be video recorder... but obviously, the above cameras have video. I won't use it "much", but there are times where I would like to have a good 20 minute video. One review said that the Pentax K-x is difficult to use concerning video, some say the Nikon D90 is bad for sound and that Nikon had only a 5 minutes of video (that is what I read... can't imagine that is correct)... Anyway, do any of you have any experience with with video on any of the above mentioned cameras?

Again, I will not be a video buff with a DSLR, otherwise I would get a video camera... I want to leave my film camera behind and move into DSLR and get back into taking pictures... Just need a little video now and then.

Thanks for your advice... and the good advice and discussions I have seen on this list thus far.

All the best.

Ned (Eetu if you are Finnish)

Mark1616 Jan 23, 2010 5:15 AM

Hi Ned and welcome. A dSLR isn't ideal for video in the way that most people are used to as generally you are using manual focus and handling isn't as good. However for taking more structured video (taking more time, planning shots, setting everything up etc) then dSLRs do a fantastic job with things like the Canon 5D now being used in a lot of commercial work.

I'm not saying you can't do video as you certainly can but it is a little more work then with a video camera.

I've not used my video capable dSLRs too much yet (5D mkII, 7D, 500D/T1i) but keep wanting to. Here is some handheld video of carols at Christmas with the 5DmkII.

Eetu Jan 23, 2010 8:36 AM

Thank you, Mark! And, thanks for the link. By the way, do I understand you own a Canon 500D. As I mentioned earlier, it is one from among four cameras I am considering when making my purchase in March or April. I have looked at so many reviews and comparisons... I just wish there was ONE camera that had the best of both (or all worlds). I am hoping to learn and find some objective feedback and comments in this forum to supplement my reading of reviews. Thanks again and all the best. Ned

Mark1616 Jan 23, 2010 8:47 AM

Yes I have a 500D, I wish it had manual controls over video that would make a big improvement as it would allow more creative shooting. The best combination of photo and video is the Panasonic GH-1 by a very long way but this goes to a different price point.

I would suggest handling all of the options as different people like different handling cameras. For me the 500D is very small for my hands (I'm 6'6" tall) but with the additional battery grip it isn't so bad.

What sort of photography do you want to do as this might have an impact on you decision?

Eetu Jan 23, 2010 1:35 PM

Hi mark. I did take a look at the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1. Excellent video for a camera, price is a bit too steep, though. To answer your question, I like photographing scenery, portraits... what I really want from a camera is a good build with lots of manual control. However, to make my wife happy, it has to have some automatic features, as she doesn't want to monkey around with the camera. With regard to video, I need to make some 15-20 minute clips of their life in Karelia before the WWII. Obviously, these are not professional video... just something I can give to my wife's family. I am mainly making the move (finally!) from film to digital... i want a camera that has plenty of room for creativity... Being a perfectionist :) I also like good quality... Thanks for your kind input. Again, the Panasonic was awesome. All the best. Ned

Mark1616 Jan 23, 2010 5:38 PM

All of the cameras you list will give good quality, have all the manual control you want as well as auto modes. Non will do as long as 15 mins of video in one shot as far as I know due to the 4Gb limit of the file format. Even if you have a bigger card you can't go over this, you just start shooting again.

Eetu Jan 25, 2010 1:08 PM

Thanks for your kind replies and advice. I sort of see the light on "video" subject... I think I will just put that issue aside. In the future I will just have to accept either short clips (less time), or just rent a video camera. I think the only realistic goal is to focus on photography and getting the right camera. Anyway, many thanks for your replies.

All the best.


shoturtle Jan 25, 2010 1:14 PM

Just a note the 500D is the only one on your list that does video in 1080, and the GH-1 mark mention. All the other ones shoot is 720

Eetu Jan 25, 2010 1:26 PM

Thanks Shoturtle! The Panasonic is way out of my price range, but seems to do the trick for video. My plan of action is to focus on the camera. However, I must admit I am a little frustrated when I go to Each time I look at the review for each camera, the comparisons in my opinion show a camera that has (at least according to my eyes) better grain, sharpness, colour... Uggg. Anyway, I have til March or April... I want to pick a camera that allows for creativity, and yet has good quality. One thing for sure, whatever I pick will be better than my film camera, which is so bad that I use my Nokia N95 5mp camera to take pictures. Thanks for your reply and all the best.


shoturtle Jan 25, 2010 1:33 PM

Actually I would suggest going to a store with a sd card, take photo with them, bring the card home and see which one had the most appealing photo to your eye. Everyones eyes are different and prefers different things. I find the noise reduction on the D90 a bit over agress and causing the color to be a bit less vivid then the nosier canon. But in low light the k-x has a bit of a lead on the canon with the slightly larger sensor at 12800iso. But the canon will be able to get an AF lock when it is to dark for the K-x.

I have a 500D but I get to use the K-x allot now. So these are just personal observation.

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