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Knoxville photographers comment on D-SLR video, part 1





What do Knoxville photographers think about using a digital SLR as a video camera?  Three who were asked for their comments gave a pretty enthusiastic thumbs-up, but all three noted the cameras have some serious limitations when used for video instead of for still photography.


J. Miles Cary, a photographer at the Knoxville News-Sentinel, said the photographers at the newspaper are often asked to shoot video as well as photos of their assignments. Even the name of their job description is changing. “We are becoming multimedia photojournalists,” Cary said.     

The newspaper uses Nikon D-90 cameras to shoot photos and videos. About the advantage of using one camera to do both, Cary said, “We are familiar with the tools we use to photograph our subjects, and having a camera that allows us to shoot video or still is great, because we already know where all the buttons are. We already know what all the lenses will give us. We don’t have to think differently, and we don’t have to carry an extra piece of equipment.”

Patrick Murphy-Racey was a freelance sports photographer and photojournalist. Now, he calls himself a “digital capture specialist,” because that encompasses digital still photography and digital video. He recently used Canon SLR cameras to shoot video of the National Football League championship. He said using a full-frame D-SLR is “like shooting large format video. They leapfrogged over 100 years of movie technology in one camera model.” 

“The Canon 5D Mark II is what the Leica 35mm camera was back in the 1930’s,” Murphy-Racey said. That small rangefinder camera meant people no longer had to carry around a big, heavy camera.  It freed them.  “The 5D Mark II can slam awesome video quality into a tiny package that fits around your neck.” He said some of the cameras used in Hollywood can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and can take six people to operate.  A full-frame D-SLR can give them just as good a picture, but it only takes one person to operate, and it can go where bigger cameras can’t.  It can be attached to the front of a roller coaster, for example, and give people the same point of view as someone riding it, while giving the picture quality of the bigger cameras.

Continue reading about Knoxville photographers’ comments on D-SLR video in Part II.