Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

lumix-gh1-with-mic-v5Personally I think photographic manufacturers are becoming a bit over obsessive with adding HD video recording to almost every new digital camera that hits our high streets. Having a recording media in a small compact camera is fun and comes in useful filming the kids or grandchild but there seems to be a race out there to see who can produce the ultimate CamRecorder.

I played around with my Nikon D90 yesterday as it also has the facility to record video, now lets see what you get…Nikon manual “Movie files can be up to 2GB in size. The maxium length is 5min for movies with a frame size of 1280 x 720, 20 min for other movies.” So I ask you why did Nikon even bother to mess up this camera adding a video facility when at full resolution you will only get 5 mins worth of footage !

I also found it almost impossible to use as a video camera having various buttons at the wrong place and no external mic socket leaves my D90 back in the bag as second camera to my D3.

lumix-gh1-lcd-v2Now strangely I also have a Lumix G1, I was buying 2 Canon camcorders for video diary usage and I was shown the G1. I had to buy one, the size was so appealing, when you turn up to childrens birthdays with a D3/SB900 flash you look a bit OTT.  The best feature for me about the Lumix G1 is the flip out viewfinder, this allows you to get pictures from ground level in my case …the two dogs.

So why the obsession to turn SLRs into video cameras…I think this stems from the newspaper industry. Newspapers have a misconception that if they looses customers who no longer buy their papers, maybe they will get them on the web, so the newspaper web industry has steadily grown and with it comes video. Newspapers now add video clips to enhance their web pages,… back to my original theory, SLR manufacturers got wind of this and that’s why we now see the “video plugin” with most SLRs. Note. I payed £565 last November (Today £469) for my Lumix G1 and now with the new HD version you can look to pay £900 so if you don’t need the HD facility look around for the G1 at less than 50% less ! 


EOS 5D Mk2 21mp with full HD video recording and mic input

EOS 500D 15mp with full HD video recording


D90 12mp with HD video recording albeit 5mins and no mic input

D5000 12mp with HD video recording and flip out LCD


Lumix GH1 12mp full HD video recording with flip out LCD and mic input


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *