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Video on a DSLR – Would You Use It?

Nikon-D90-1Earlier in the week I posted that Nikon have released their new Nikon D90 DSLR, a camera which they are proudly publicizing is the first DSLR to shoot with HD Video.

In the comments on that post the main theme being discussed is whether video belongs on a DSLR.

We’ve long seen video on point and shoot cameras (and I see a lot of people shooting video that way when I’m out and about) but does video belong on a DSLR?

Video on DSLRs? The Debate So Far

‘It just sounds weird to shoot videos with DSLR camera, don’t you think?’ – Robert

“Now this is just wrong I think. Why would you need video on a DSLR? I’m pretty disappointed about this. I was afraid that this would be the next step from Live View. I hope Canon will not include this video feature in their DSLR’s.” – Horia

“I’m conflicted about the video. Kinda like the pop up flash. Once you get into advanced amateur or pro, it’s just not a good feature. or is it?” – Rosh

“I believe the feeling is if my 100.00 10mp P&S can take movies than how come my 1300.00 dSLR can’t? Granted you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to. I think Nikon is just thinking ahead and trying to grab more marketshare.” – Pete Langlois

“The fact that they added video to this body caught my eye… It’d be sweet to utilize the different lenses to make videos. Wide apertures.. manual focus… different angles… man… it’d be much more dynamic than point & shoot recording.” – Andrionni

My Thoughts on Video on a DSLR

I’ll have to admit – that my first thought when I saw this being touted as a killer feature of the D90 was to giggle. The thought of whipping out a DSLR to shoot video feels weird (to me at least). I’ve done video on my point and shoot and mobile phone and even found the fact that they shoot video to be quite handy – but a DSLR?

However – my mind then started to take over some of my feelings. As Andrionni points out above – the possibilities of shooting video through a DSLR are interesting. It would not be limited to shooting through a tiny 3x optical zoom than most point and shoots come with – you could fit any lens you like. Wide angle, macro, fisheye, super telephoto zoom…. While the quality will be undoubtably lower than a purpose built HD video camera – I can actually see times where it could be fun and useful to have the ability to switch my trusty DSLR into video mode and start shooting.

Would I be tempted to trade in my video camera for a DSLR – not any time soon – but would I use video on a DSLR? Probably – but I’m sure it’d feel weird at first and will get a few odd looks from others.

Does Video Belong on a DSLR?

What do you think? Does video belong on DSLRs? Would you use it? Let us know what you think in comments below. Looking forward to some good discussion.

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Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse

is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals.

He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

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