April 22, 2020 at 9:46AM


Your Thoughts DSLR vs Mirrorless vs Video Cam for Music Videos and Live

I thought I would post this query here since I find this board has many users who are more focused on results and less on specs and buzz words. I thought this would be a good place to start a discussion where I could learn from other people experiences.

I want to upgrade my primary camera and I am ready to invest between $2 and $4,000 ( new or gently used ). I am not all about the latest spec but more about best value for the $. I have had great success with used gear in the past form reputable retailers.

My current kit is Canon Rebel T5i with an assortment of Canon prime and zoom lenses (EF as well as older "FD" lenses with EOS adapters). I also have an aged Canon HV30 (love it) that I direct record to a Blackmagic Video Assist as well as an iPhone (shockingly good video!). All editing is in FCPx. I can get some pretty good results but alas it is time to up my game.

I mostly shoot music videos, live performances and interviews. Lighting can be good with a well lit stage with some spots, studio shoots or very low light situations. I never shoot daylight, sports or weddings ;-) I prefer to be able to set and manage iso, shutter and iris over "auto" modes. In most cases I shoot 30P for final posting on the web. 4k is not a priority but could be a nice to have.

I am trying to decide between a pro video cam or a DSLR/Mirrorless body with a GREAT lens (e.g Canon L series 16-35 f 2.8 or 4). I would like to continue to use my Canon EOS lens collection especially the old FD Primes if possible.

So I curious to hear opinions and thoughts on:

Blackmagic Design (EF Mount) older Cinema Cam 2.5 or more recent Pocket Cam.
Canon XF200 or 300 or the XA Series.
Mirrorless Canon R or a DSLR like a Canon 6D

As I quietly go insane researching and reading I find myself leaning
towards a really good video camera for features like:
Single lens convenience (as long as it is a low f over the zoom range ( like 1.8 or 2.8)
Powered zoom
Built in ND filters
Optical IS
Assignable controls

So I post and look forward to hearing your opinions and suggestions.

Thanks and stay healthy!


It would be ideal if you had the opportunity to test different cameras in the same conditions

April 27, 2020 at 10:15AM


If you already have those EF lenses then a Canon cinema camera would be a good route to take. You can get a used C100 for about $2,000. It's got the built in ND's and some kind of IS system, especially when paired with an IS lens. I used a C100 and the 24-105 f/4 L to shoot a wedding video and shot it handheld, there weren't any issues with light or camera shake so if you use an IS lens with an even lower f-stop you'll have better results. Keep in mind the C100 is a Super 35 sensor, that takes EF and EF-S lenses, so it's like shooting on a crop and will turn say a 24-70 into a 36-100. I got the EF 35mm f/2 IS for the C100, which shoots like a 50mm, so now I can stop down to 2.8 (or 2.0 if the shot calls for it) and achieve a better image in low light than the f/4 L was able to get me. It's all about having the right camera for the job you're trying to do, but if you're shooting music videos and lighting isnt an option you could use something like a 6D it just won't have as many features as the C100.

August 16, 2020 at 10:34AM

Nick Straub

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