Why Use a DSLR for Video Versus a Dedicated Video Camera?


For those of you on the fence about purchasing a DSLR for video, I’ll share with you some of the reasons why I decided to go this route instead of purchasing a dedicated video camera. And for those of you who’ve already purchased a DSLR well then this should just help to ease your doubts that you’ve made the right decision.


Bigger Sensor Size:
DSLR cameras have larger sensor sizes than traditional camcorders which are generally 1/2 inch or 2/3 inch diagonally. More about this can be found in the sensors section. But basically what does a bigger sensor size mean?

  • Better low light performance.
  • Shallower depth of field to create a more cinematic look for a given aperture and focal length.


Smaller physical size:
Professional video cameras can be huge! Although the size and weight of video cameras are great for stability, the small size of DSLRs make it easier for portability. Additionally, people are less intimidated in front of smaller cameras and will be more at ease.




These are hard economic times so of course you want to get the most bang for your buck. DSLRs deliver high quality HD video for a relatively low price point as opposed to some higher end professional video equipment. For example the Canon EOS Rebel T3 and Nikon D3100, both with video capability, come in at around $400.


Ability to capture stills and video:
Let’s face it, photos have a certain instant gratification over videos. You can just pop a photo up on screen and instantaneously show your audience your work of art. Whereas with video it takes the extra effort to push play and spend the time to actually watch the video. That’s one of the reasons why photography is still a thriving business. If you’re looking into freelancing or starting your own business, it’s a great advantage to offer video and photos without having to carry a separate piece of equipment because your DSLR can do both!


Interchangeable lenses:
From fish-eye lenses to tilt shift lenses to telephoto lenses, the sky is the limit for the different kinds of lenses and visual imagery that you can create. Most camcorders offer just a fixed lens with a minimal focal range or just a limited variety of interchangeable lenses for higher price points. For your DSLR, you can get a great 50mm f/1.8 Lens with a shallow depth of field for only about $100 or use the kit lens for a great focal range with a low price point.

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