Camcorder or “DSLR”…That is the Question
If you are gearing up to make your first camera purchase for filming hunts, you may be asking yourself this very question. “Should I buy a camcorder or a “DSLR”?
Most believe that running a camcorder is much easier and that starting out, they should not overwhelm themselves with the pressures of understanding a camera. While I fully understand the intimidation factor and to a point agree that there is more that goes into running a “DSLR”, I will argue that it is worth a closer look and understanding before making the decision.
What is a “DSLR”?
First allow me to spell out what the acronym DSLR stands for. Digital Single-Lens Reflex is a digital camera that combines the optics and mechanisms of an SLR with a digital imaging sensor as opposed to photographic film. Many of your cameras today that are referred to as a “DSLR” are actually “Mirrorless” cameras which means they use a digital display system from lens to viewfinder and not an optical mirror and viewfinder. A very different and much more advanced design of camera than a DSLR all together.
So, proper term for this style camera would be an “Interchangeable Lens” camera and it is a great option for an all around production camera.
What To Consider
One of the biggest draw backs that I hear and can understand is the ability to use a servo driven zoom lens. To be able to use a remote and electronically zoom in and out can be advantageous especially to the self-film guy or girl.
It is important that you know, this is now possible while using interchangeable lens cameras. You must have the proper camera and lens combo in order to do it, but don’t let that hold you back from learning more.
People also think that an interchangeable lens camera is harder to operate exposure (darkness and lightness of the image/video). However, these camera have auto modes and priority modes just like your camcorders.
There are 2 HUGE advantages to going Interchangeable lens route in my opinion. One, hence the name, is the ability to swap out lenses for different looks, styles and practical applications. Two, and probably the most important, is the perk of having 2 cameras in 1. You now have a high quality camera for both video and photos. With todays media outlets and with the majority being photo driven on facebook, instagram and others, that all in one camera might prove to be a winner for you.
Making The Decision
Let me say that there is no right or wrong answer here. Choosing what makes you feel the most comfortable is by far the most important. There is no doubt that there is a comfort factor when buying a camcorder….Ive been there and understand. By going the camcorder route you will get both a great look to your video, in most cases a good camera in low light and a camera that most people could pick up and use very easily. But being as though you are ready to make a big purchase like this and wanting to make the right one. I think you owe it to yourself to not only understand the technical differences, but to educate yourself a bit on how an interchangeable lens camera works and how easy they actually can be. Having the ability to “do it all” with one camera, I believe is going to prove to be your money well spent. From taking a hi-end photo to producing great looking video in an all in one camera will not only save you money, but it will make you more effective in creating content overall.
My Dad always taught me when making a big purchase, to educate yourself on all the options, ask the right people the right questions, buy the best quality your wallet will allow and you will be making a much smarter purchase.
For more information on camera gear for filming hunts. Contact Bedford Outdoors at 501-920-5060 (Austin Pittman) www.bedfordoutdoors.com
See more about the education program we offer at Film The Hunt
Thanks for your time,
“Success is not created by one person, but by a team that comes together as one”