The whole DSLR thing by Rick Young

If there is one technology which has stood out in 2009 it is the emergence of the DSLR as a viable filmmaking tool. Capable of capturing beautiful images with wonderful shallow depth of field; or extreme wide angle, with amazing low-light capability, the DSLRs technology has revolutionised what is possible to filmmakers who don't have large budgets to work with or film cameras or ultra high-end video technology.

The Canon 5D Mark II rewrote the rule book when it hit the market in late 2008. Despite frame-rate issues and other handling issue workarounds ways were found to integrate this technology into modern filmmaking. The results are spread around the web with magnificent results that would make one think this is what filmmaking is all about and video cameras have had their day

Yet - for myself - my involvement with this technology has been limited and has met with some great results but with some serious drawbacks which have made me watch with interest while waiting a while longer before I commit to this way of working.

As I write this an EOS 5D Mark II is on the desk before me. Also a selection of lenses: Canon 50mm 1.8, 28mm 2.8, 17 - 35mm 2.8 zoom, 100 - 400mm zoom, fixed 135mm 2.8, 70 -200mm zoom, a monster Canon 100 - 400mm zoom 5.6, a Sigma 12 - 24mm zoom, and Sigma 70 -200mm 2.8 zoom.

With all this wonderful technology I have to wonder while I still use my video cameras.

The reasons are clear:

First and foremost I used the EOS 5D Mark II on a major investigation into this technology. The results can be seen on MacVideo in the movie 21st Century Road Movie. After shooting this in Amsterdam, LA, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and New York I had so many specs on the sensor my gorgeous images were marred by many imperfections. It all got particularly bad in New York where not just a spec of dust but a large noticeable mark obscured part of the sensor. Shooting with the Canon 100 - 400mm lens, which has since been described to me as a push-pull lens, something happened and ruined a lot of footage. I was able to salvage enough to work with, but ideally one should not have to go through any of this pain. read more and watch the video

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