Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


Isn’t it strange that I should be the “only” one supposedly sailing against the tide of let’s all go out and spend the best part of £3K on equipment to make film like movies, when I have actually got a 5Dmk11 but heaven forbid I bought this camera for photography not for filming with.

I produce corporate videos for a living so my best, most expensive piece of kit is strangely enough a Sony EX-3 camcorder, I am also a professional photographer and have the ability to switch kit now and again…recently I switched from a Nikon D3 to a Canon 5Dmk11.

What I am trying to tell you in a round about way is that I am of the older school although I am fully committed to digital…be it video or photography. It has taken almost two hard years to work out a workflow for my SxS card system all be it MxR card holders using SDHC cards. I was all for solid state…bring it on, till it arrived and scared the pants off me…no archive or should I say “not as we know it , Jim”. (One for the Trekies).

Two years later I am happy with my lot… then, we get all this talk about the saviour of the budget film industry…hooraah…we can all make films now all you need is an SLR that has been frigged to take HD video footage but again in a format that needs converting.

I have won the lottery I own such a camera, I too can make film like movies and maybe save a buck or two and get rid of the EX-3…………………..till I take stock.

I decided to test this phenomenon myself getting the odd tip from the master himself Philip Bloom, after all Phil seemed to have thrown away his expensive video kit and travel round the world filming solely with the Canon 5Dmk11 so their must be some mileage in this.

Sadly unlike Mr Bloom I have decided not to embrace my HD video 5Dmk11 and use it for it’s intention…a photographic camera.

I have tried very hard to see the benefits of using the HD SLR as a video camera but the negatives far outweigh the positives…it has taken me two years to be happy with tapeless and embrace HD as a format…as a video cameraman I am happier using equipment that is fit for purpose than to use a camera that gives me more problems than it solves.

HD SLRs are in my opinion a sad reflection of todays society who want everything in the one small package, a cost cutting exercise for both video and photography…spilt 50-50 down the middle…we all know what dilution does to any business.


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.

3 thoughts on “Sailing against the tide…”HD Video versus the HD SLR”

  1. I own a HVX and a letus and I’m very happy with it. I’m going to be picking up a 7D, strictly for lowlight and portability. I’d say they both have their benefits, but I don’t think that buying a 7D should instantly make you a filmmaker, and in some ways it does.

  2. You are a man who gets attached to the beliefs and systems you worked hard to comprehend and achieve.

    Totally understandable – who wouldn’t be.

    You are pretty safe with your choices – preferring things that have been proven and tested.

    There is a logical method to that way of thinking.

    But in a couple of years when HDSLRs have gone through its initial inception and have been used by pros to create amazing pieces of works – I can imagine that you’d be changing your tune about the subject.

    That would be a good thing – it would mean that you are progressive.

    I don’t think you’re totally closed to HDSLRs – it will just take you a bit of time to ride the wave. 🙂

    I’m happy to have stumbled upon your blog btw – have bookmarked it.

  3. Mark…I am never closed to technology especially ones that can affect my business. HD SLRs are in stage ONE of development I do realise this. I report about all the new filming technologies and to be honest it would have been a very boring first year blogging if HD SLRs had not existed.

    I think HD SLRs are at the Chrysalis stage and hope one of the mainstream camcorder manufacturers take up on this soon.

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