DSLR Cameras and Digital Video:
It's Versatile and Shoots Great Video!

DSLR cameras and Digital video

Here is a question I received recently from a reader about DSLR cameras and digital video...

"I'm thinking about buying a DSLR camera so that I can shoot both still pictures and video. What should I know about them?

Paul (in Florida)

Thank you for your question Paul.  Here are a few things you can take a look at... Let's first start with what it is and how this type of camera works...

Video Editing Sage – what is a DSLR camera?

* The Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera (DSLR) is a camera based on the mechanical structure of the old and venerable Single Lens Reflex camera... but... Instead of using film to capture the image it uses a digital sensor to turn the image into a digital file that can be read and stored electronically.

It's a "single lens reflex" camera because, of course, it uses a single lens that directs light to a mirror inside the camera. The reflex part of it is that first...

Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera

The light coming through the lens is directed onto the mirror. The mirror then reflects it into the viewfinder so you can see the image, compose the shot, check the lighting, figure the depth of field and focus etc. When you're ready to take the shot the mirror will "reflex" (swing up when you press the button) and the light will go through to the digital sensor (or in the old days the film) and voilà… Your picture is taken and saved!

Quite different from your normal video camera or camcorder but, quite effective!

How This Unique Digital Camera Expanded into the Digital Video Field...

DSLR camera and digital video

Right around 2008 the digital single lens reflex camera moved into the digital video field in a big way.

DSLR "Live Preview"...

A unique  DSLR camera feature that gives the camera the ability to show the image being framed or shot on the LCD display screen on the camera.

The DSLRs that shot video were known as HDSLRs and used the high-definition (HD) standard video resolution.

With the advent of "Live Preview" ... It was now easier than ever to use this type of camera as a bona fide video camera. 

Now framing the shot, selecting the right camera angle and following the action became a snap!

There were some drawbacks however... like not being able to use the full image area which caused, to some degree, video artifacts. 

But... they had a lot of plus points going for them too... with their larger image sensors they performed much better in low light situations and if you wanted to get creative with depth of field you had much more leeway than with most video cameras or camcorders. 

Also...the video formats used make it easy to capture the video to your computer and edit it in your favorite video editing software.

To show you how far they've come... DLSRs have now evolved to the point that a lot of independent filmmakers use them almost exclusively! The camera shoots high quality video (even in 3D), it is very versatile, it's convenient to use and it's very affordable. You can bet that Hollywood filmmakers won't be far behind in using DSLRs to cut video production costs!

DSLR cameras and digital video have come a long way!

DSLR Cameras and Digital Video... Unique Versatility for Both the Videographer and the Still Photographer...

DSLR camera – videographer and still photographer

The beauty of this camera is its unique versatility. Both the videographer and the still photographer can use it equally well.

The videographer works with motion and sound but... In still photography you are, of course, capturing a single moment in timeYou're looking for that one perfect shot... frozen in time... The one that communicates the thought, idea or emotion that you want to get across to your audience!

Just as with the high quality still cameras of the past... the photographer has full control of the exposure time, depth of field, focus and framing etc.

Having the ability to control these factors is vital to the still photographer so that he can communicate completely the message, information or emotion that he wants to get across to his audience.

This type of camera provides the photographer and videographer with that control!

The "Convergence" of Video and Still Photography...

DSLR camera – convergence of still photography and videography

DSLR cameras and digital video can provide the best of both worlds for anybody who shoots both video and still photography.

  • High quality and interchangeability of the lenses,
  • Sensitivity of the digital image sensors,
  • Ease-of-use and rugged construction...

Are just some of the things that make this type of camera so popular with photographers and videographers alike.

If you're in the market for a versatile and high quality camera that you can use for outstanding still pictures and for HD video... You should take a long look at the digital single lens reflex camera.

DSLR cameras and digital video...

It's a great tool for both the Videographer and Photographer alike!

Have fun...!  Dan (Editor)

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