Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Welcome! About the site and DSLR history

Hey everyone!  This is a cite dedicated to all things DSLR (digital single lens reflex cameras).  The site is mainly going to be dedicated to using DLSR for high definition video, but I will also talk about using the cameras for still photos as well.  Since I've decided to invest my life savings in the DSLR, I've been constantly researching the best cameras, accessories, and lenses.

A little history on the DSLR's for those unfamiliar.  The Nikon D90 was the first still camera to ever feature 720p video on a DSLR.  However, 2009, the Canon 5d Mark II was the first DLSR to feature 1080p video.  It cost about 3,000 dollars.  Well, the thing about DSLRs is they take absolutely amazing photographs, which means they take absolutely amazing video.  It is quite frankly some of the crispest, sharpest HD video I have ever seen.
Seriously, look at this...unbelievable.
While it had a lot of limitations over creative control when it first came out, the camera now gives you full creative control and 24 frames per second.
Then, in November, 2009 the Canon EOS 7d came out.  It has a slightly smaller sensor (still enormous), and shoots with a 1.6 crop sensor, which means what is 50mm on a 7d is the equivalent to an 80mm lens on the  5d.  Most of Canon's cameras under $3000 shoot on a crop sensor.  7d was about 2000 dollars and also a great bargain.  The image quality was very comparable (some would argue indistinguishable) from the 5D. Then in April 2010 the Canon T2i (or 550d) was released at only 1000 dollars!  It has the same sensor as the 7d and produces video that is arguably either very, very close or indistinguishable.  The most recent release is the Canon 60d which came out this past October.  It is sort of halfway in between the 7d and the T2I.
I should also mention that Nikon and Panasonic make some pretty rad DLSRs with video features.
Nikon just announced 4 new 1080p cameras, the D400 at about 2000 dollars, the D800 at about $3000, and the D4 for around $5000 just for the body, and the D4x for about $7000 for just the body.  They have also recently released the D7000 for about $1500.
Panansonic's new GH2 also looks promising (replacing the GH1) and is priced at about $1400.
In the next blog post, I'll go into more of a camera to camera comparison, but I just wanted to first establish what is out there.
One of the things that makes DLSR so awesome is it's huge sensor size. A bigger sensor means more detail, better low light capabilities, and that beautiful shallow depth of field.  There are a few limitations that get a lot publicity that I'll talk about in a later post (moire, rolling shutter, overheating, etc) that are slightly annoying, but honestly they are not that big of an issue.  Here is a chart of the sensor size on various cameras.  Please read the next post which will have an in depth comparison of every awesome DLSR that is available.

DV101-Sensor Comparison Chart

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