• Robert Lassiter

DSLR Video vs. Dedicated Video Cameras

Digital Imaging of Cape Cod films and produces over 70 weddings each season. This means we are forever searching for the perfect wedding camera and have plenty of hours using multiple cameras to come to some conclusions as to the pros and cons of different cameras.

There are two competing camera systems that are generating a great deal of discussion in the wedding videography industry.

1. DSLR camera systems: these are high end dual purpose cameras that shoot both still photos and video but are primarily designed for still photography. These cameras are ergonomically designed for still photography.

2. Dedicated video camera systems: these cameras are built and designed primarily for video capture. These cameras are ergonomically designed to shoot video.

What any experienced wedding videographer will tell you is that weddings present challenges in terms of speed, decision making, on the fly choices and physical endurance. Not only does the videographer need to make split second decisions but also needs to monitor composition, lighting, and audio capture. There is no re-shooting of events, no do overs.

DSLR Wedding Video:

DSLR camera systems are evolving into state of the art image capture devices. The advantages of shooting a wedding with a DSLR camera are primarily image quality due to the professional level lenses available for DSLR cameras. The disadvantages are rather large however.

First, DSLR's are not built or designed for professional level audio capture. A solid and professional wedding video is graded not only on the image quality but also on the audio quality. Without both the client couple is left with a wedding video that is uneven.

Second, DSLR's have limited video capture times. For instance, our Canon 70D's will capture 29 minutes of continuous video before the camera shuts off. Hopefully this is not during the vows and ring exchange.

Third and finally, DSLR's are sensitive to heat. The longer a DSLR records, the hotter the internal parts become until the camera will perform an automatic shut down. This is not a problem in the Spring and Fall but covering a beach wedding in July can be a recipe for disaster.

DSLR's are also heavy and awkward to use when shooting video as you are only able to use the LCD screen to see what you are shooting. This is difficult in sunlight. DSLR's also do not provide a zoom lever so any zooming is done manually which is impossible to perform smoothly.

Dedicated Video Cameras Wedding Video:

Dedicated video cameras provide excellent video image quality, although not quite on the same level as DSLR cameras. For the average consumer and wedding client the difference is almost indistinguishable. What is distinquishable is the quality of the audio.

First, dedicated video cameras offer a wealth of audio options and monitoring for the videographer that are not available on DSLR's. Things like true stereo sound capture, mixing and matching different audio sources and various audio capture modes.

Second, dedicated video cameras are not subject to heat shutdown or capture time limits. The entire wedding ceremony can be captured without break.

Third, creativity is enhanced and encouraged by the light weight and ergonomic design of dedicated video wedding cameras. Smooth zooms, low and high angles, instant auto focus all provide the videographer the freedom of expression that makes for a great wedding video without the worries of poor audio or incorrect settings.


Both camera systems offer pros and cons. At Digital Imaging of Cape Cod we use both systems, often during the same wedding depending on the setting and creative possibilities in front of us. Hiring a video company (www.capecodvideo.com) with years of experience in creating wedding films means you are engaging a company who knows their tools and how to use them.

Robert Lassiter

Digital Imaging of Cape Cod



#dslrvideo #dedicatedvideocameras #weddingvideocameras #weddingfilms

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