Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

This is a bit like waiting for the final Harry Potter book…in two months time a new sun will rise and the Sony NEX-VG10 will be available for around £1600, this new camcorder will have interchangeable lenses and the coveted shallow depth of field (SDoF).

Although the first SDoF camcorder will be in the domestic camp it will shortly be followed by the Panasonic AF100 allowing Canon, Nikon, Prime lenses via special adapters. This will bring about a water shed …finally converting many DSLR followers back to the camcorder.

A camcorder like no other as Sony would tell us… interchangeable lenses, shallow depth of field, proper 16bit sound controls with inputs, hi resolution swivel viewfinder, ergonomically correct and no time limits when recording.

The Holy Grail is finally on it’s way and the end is in sight for the DSLR as we know it…I suspect we will see some “new video” features as Japan plays catch up but only the dedicated and to be fair those who have heavily invested in the DSLR will continue to sing it’s praises. They will become the minority as we see more SDoF camcorders roll out from Sony, Canon, JVC and Panasonic.

EBAY will be awash with DSLRs…selling to buy the latest FilmLike camcorder the equilibrium will finally be restored DSLR for the photographer and the FilmLike SDoF camcorder for the film maker.

Dont forget up till now when Mr Canon and Mr Nikon sit down to manufacturer your DSLR they place top priority getting the photographic side of the camera optimised to the detriment of the video side hence the ailasing problems shown quite clearly by Alister Chapman.

People go on about “how cheap” the DSLR is in respect to video but forget how much they have to spend getting extra lenses, external audio equipment, remote control, fancy magnified loupes the list goes on…so your initial £1200 purchase climbs up to nearer £3200…not so cheap !

A prediction for the future…

My money is on Mr Bloom the GURU of the DSLR, he will have a passing look at the Sony VG10 but it’s domestic feel will not entice him…the Panasonic VF100 will ring a lot of bells being a more pro calibre, prime lenses etc but I think he will plum for the Pro Sony FilmLike camera. Philip Bloom is a film maker at heart and is looking for a camera that suits his style of filming, the DSLR in my opinion is not an ENG cameraman’s natural choice ergonomically, Philip has adapted to suit his needs.

Philip has been an ENG cameraman for many years and used 35mm adapters to give him that SDoF but his cameraman’s sore back I suspect gave him jip lugging around such heavy gear which is why he took to the DSLR…great low light pictures, SDoF and 100 times lighter.

Philip is too much the gentleman to drop the DSLR so he will run in tandem for a while but my bet is that he will be persuaded by the FilmLike Pro camcorder for it is closer to what a cameraman is naturally used to using.

I on the other hand could not care less for 35mm adapters, using my Canon 5D2 for anything other than photography and look forward to reviewing as many camcorders that may come my way, the DSLR has given a lot of pleasure and opened up your choice when filming SDoF and thats to be commended but as a truly professional tool it is sadly lacking and a year from now the “talk of the steamie” on all our blogs will be FilmLike camcorders like it or not !


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.

21 thoughts on “Sionara DSLR time is running out…!

  1. Dude,

    My weapon is DSLR: cheap, light and very cinematic if you make it cinematic. Sure you ve bazillions of different technology coming out.. So what? It will always be like that… If you like shooting with a camera, then stick with it. If not, choose another one. Either way you do it, just tell a story.

    But dude… do you really think I m going to change my DSLR for a Sony cam?! You must be out of your mind…

    Sony haven’t made a good cam in years…

    Meaning of all this talk: medium doesn’t matter, but you do.

  2. While i agreed with HDW stand on DLSR, I also think you change your website name to antivdslrwarrior, lol

  3. To be fair, i shoot with a DSLR now because of the ease of use…not always the DoF. It’s small, light, i can mount it anywhere…and i always do separate audio cos i do drama.. combined audio is only ever for a guide..and the onboard mic on my canon is fine for that.


  4. Maybe while the new cams SDoF arrive, the next DSLR will have a 4k and raw features, who knows ? The battle is not yet finish

  5. The DSLR will not disappear as a video tool. Sure when Canon finally bring out a camcorder with EF mount, a segment of the market will switch but for many the dlsr will still be a good second camera and probably much better priced than a EF camcorder. Of course the lens will be interchangeable giving flexibility across whichever body you have. The dslr will also be there as a low cost option for many filmmakers.

  6. What are you going to do with your 4K RAW video files…apart from edit them in Premiere Pro CS5 with an added £1400 graphics card…the HD space alone would be prohibitive and where would you intend to show your 4K edit.

  7. Pedro you will change your mind when you see a camcorder that’s fit for purpose. The only reason you need your DSLR is to achieve a SDoF ergonomically for filming it’s less than useless. Do you really want to continue recording separate audio and syncing it on the timeline…what a bore.

  8. So you are telling me you are NOT excited by the wave of FilmLike SDoF camcorders coming September onwards and you are not tempted to cross the bridge back to having proper audio, Hi Rez swivel LCD, no time restrictions when recording….etc, etc.

  9. At £1600 the new Sony VG10 sits right in the middle of the DSLR price bracket and will give you 200% better everything than trying to frig about with a photographic camera and all its pitfalls. Mark my words you will see a decline in video features over the next 3 years…you only ever needed a DSLR to obtain SDoF…thats all it achieves and has only taken off due to hype and the lack of a FilmLike SDoF camcorder.

  10. IMO I’ll keep my DSLR. I never expected quality from camcorders anyways. HD from a DSLR looks better to me and I ve seen it on a giant movie screen. So it makes it affordable and a high end tool for what I do.

    Simple as it can get: no RED’s, no FilmLike SDoF camcorders. Money and Quality are there. And I keep doing my job!

  11. BTW if someone wants to sell a Canon 7D I’ll gladly buy it for second camera unit department.


  12. Again,i shoot drama and music videos…12 min limit has never been an issue. Rarely shoot for more than 4 mins at a time. Never use onboard audio for anything other than a guide.

    The AF100 looks great and i’ll probably get one, but only to use alongside the DSLR. There’s not much i miss about using a ‘proper’ video camera. I certainly don’t miss the size, weight and cost of them!

  13. Raw = more dynamic range better than film, 4k = less moire and crop or resize capabilities, I think that the both, The HDDSLR and the SDoF will have its own interest !

  14. £1600, yes you so get no time limits, swivel LCD and better audio. However, no 25P/24P, 720 50/60P. no choice of changing frame rates from NTSC/PAL, limited choice of lenses. The AG 100 will really advance the Market but at a much higher price point.

  15. Haha. This website is such a joke.

    You have no clue what you’re talking about. Sony have never made a good camcorder unless you’re talking consumer-level. Even then it’s only really the best of the shitty bunch.

  16. Aside from the Philip Bloom strokefest, this was a pretty decent on-the-mark post, but I don’t think the Sony VG10 is going to be as awesome as we want it to be; look for Sony to release a pro model because the specs show the VG10 as 1080i only, and I don’t know a single filmmaker who is going to use a camera that does not have progressive modes.

    As a DP who has shot features in the 5D2 and 7D, I can say that personally, I’m expecting the Panasonic AG-AF100 to be the camera that swings me back to the true “video” form factor. I know that Panasonic WILL provide the pro-level options required by digital filmmakers.

  17. For the most part, I agree,
    Video was always an afterthought with the current generation of SLRs and ILCs, I think a more purpose-built construction would be great for the pros.

    However, I don’t think there will be as much of a cost savings with a large sensor camcorder vs. an SLR video rig as you seem to expect. With the new large sensor camcorders, you will still need to buy lenses, and lenses are easily the biggest expense of the rig. Some people will still want a follow focus, matte box and some other tools of the trade.

    If the extra cost of the camcorder version of the Sony ILCs is any indication, I think you should also expect that a camcorder with a Canon FF chip will be more too. I would add at least $1000 or 1000£ to the cost, if not more, especially if you want more pro-spec features, such as XLR, extra card slots, non-borked HDMI or SDI. I think the extra cost would be worth it though, 1000 more and a lens would still be cheaper than some of the lesser pro video camcorders, and be better.

  18. This is pretty exciting. It will certainly be another tool for DPs, Cinematographers, and the average Camera Guy. But no tool is perfect. It may have better audio control than the DSLRs but there are no pro(balanced)audio inputs. So if you want to “Do it like the Pros”, audio will be acquired off (and completely separate from) the camera. Once again, syncing in post.

    The specs from Sony are pretty crazy, 1080 at 60i is great. But the sensor is slightly smaller than the APS-C size sensor in the 7D and T2i, and much smaller than the full frame 35mm 5D sensor. I worry about low light sensitivity.

    I can’t wait for this to come out and see what it can do. But till it’s proven I’ll stick with a 5d,7d, or even T2i.

  19. I share the same opinion Philip. DSLRs where only the beginning. They changed the game, but now it´s time to let them go gracefully and get our hands on cameras made for video. A natural evolution. The new Sony. the AF100, the Scarlet and Epic andwhatnot. Never before our tool changed so dramatically and so fast. Interesting times we are living in.


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