Video stuff

Olympus E-PM1 Voigtlander 90mm Panasonic 20mm

Sony NEX-7 Sigma 30mm Rode microphone

Nikon D5200 announced

This all started at the weekend when somebody asked me about what I would recommend for somebody getting started in video, with regard to eventually making a low-budget short feature. My initial reaction was get a small m4/3 camera, or S/H DSLR like a Nikon D5100. However since this was a relative I thought I might investigate it further.  Its actually quite difficult. Options like the higher specified m4/3 and CaNikon cameras are out of the question budget wise, and co-incidentally the D5200 was announced (see link above) but thats going to be expensive initially (£800 + with lens) 

The top video was shot with an Olympus E-PM1, which is good in terms of quality, but with no built-in microphone, though I've just ordered an Olympus SEMA-1 microphone adapter set. Which might improve things.

The second video down was shot with a Sony NEX-7. Better sound with an added-on Rode Microphone, but as you see the footage is none too impressive in low light and inferior to the Olympus. It does look a bit strange and doesn't seem to be able to cope with my hand movements.

Its a difficult choice to get a budget option for decent video with a range of options that would allow some creative use. The actual on-screen quality of what's available is (mostly) very good, but its how this stuff works in practice that counts. A S/H hacked GH1 or GH2 is still a good option, with some kind of adapter for a decent microphone, or a separate sound recording module and some editing software, Premiere elements for example. There is also of course the Canon range such as D550 / D600 and some of the recent Nikons are much better for video than previous cameras. I was impressed by the D5100 when I shot video on that. The requirement I was presented with specified the opposite of a camcorder / home movie look and the capacity for professional looking footage, so small compacts like the Sony RX100 are not really an alternative.

I must admit its a question I thought there was an easy answer to. Now I'm not so sure. I'll be coming back to this in further posts.

N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) below.
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