Yeah HD video capability is now making its way into quite a few new DSLR models. The only thing keeping me from updating my XSi (aside from price) is the poor on-the-fly-while-in-motion focusing of the video on DSLRs. Sam's video is wonderful, but is also taken from a completely stationary (and likely tri-pod'd) perspective. As soon as DSLR videos can be moved around while still quickly dynamically focusing like a camcorder, I'll be one of the first in line. I'm thinking it's not going to be more than a generation or two away (so 18-36 months).
You're probably more optimistic than me. Getting continuous AF to work well on a DSLR for shooting video will probably be *MUCH* tougher than on camcorders due to the much shallower DoF (as a result of the lens/sensor diff) *AND* the need to bypass use of the dedicated AF sensor (which is what's needed for fast, accurate AF). And frankly, I don't think camcorder AF (on most camcorders anyway) works that great either.
I agree there are a lot of obstacles. But I remember it was just one generation of DSLRs ago that the companies were insistent that video wouldn't be possible on a DSLR, at least at a reasonable price range, and that's already been proven to be a myth. All it takes is for one company to figure out how to do it, and the rest will follow suit very quickly.
DSLRs are being updated at a crazy rate now (nearly annually). Whereas before you'd have the same model for 2 years (or more, with the high-end DSLRs). I guess that's why I remain hopeful that it will happen within the next year and a half to three years.
I agree that a lot of camcorder AFs aren't that great, but they're certainly miles better than what you can get on the initial HD video implementation on this gen of DSLRs. They just need to get close to current camcorder video AF to entice me to lay down the funds again and upgrade.
Thanks for the update on your HD video on DSLR journey! I admit I'm starting to get interested in this. I have the Canon XSi, but the recently announced 7D has piqued my interest. If the focus while recording video has improved on that model, I may jump into the pool! (as long as standard PQ hasn't decreased)
The 7D looks fantastic but I have heard not so kind things about its high ISO performance, tho I cannot find that link currently. POTN has a discussion on it.
Philip Bloom however compared the video performance with the 5D2 and it has its pros and cons:
I cannot believe it, but I think my next camera might be the D3S if the rumored specs are true:
ISO 12 frigging thousand NATIVE, ISO 100,000 in 'high' mode. 1.3 and 1.6 crop modes for high speed shooting, up to 14FPS. Yes, both would most definitely help with night football under the lights. And put a 'real' video mode into it that matches up with the 5Dm2? I'd be in heaven... Of course, at a rumored price of around $5k I'd need to sell a kidney to get it... But it would make my investment in the 14-24 f2.8 and 24-70 f2.8 really sing =)
Ugh, with all the tradeoffs made by the "pixel race" (i.e. more pixels crammed on the same size sensor resulting in more noise and relatively poorer low light performance) maybe I should just suck it up and get a Leica S2 and be damned with video capability! /img/vbsmilies/htf/tongue.gif">
Of course, I could also spend all that money on a down on a house, or pay for a moderately priced car in cash.
The way I justify it is to remember that photography costs a FRACTION of what owning even a meager sized boat does =)
And agreed on the megapixel foolishness. I'd like to thwap all the people calling for the D3's replacement to have MORE megapickles, 12 is plenty for even 16x24 sized prints, and that size and larger has got to be 1/100000th of what ever gets made. And by keeping it at 12 they can really ramp up the IQ especially at high ISO.
That looks pretty nice, Sam. I've been contemplating upgrading to the D90 for the video, but my current D80 is still doing a nice job (albeit without video), so it's hard to justify the cost. The cheaper D5000 is an option, but I think I might just wait for the next generation version. Things can only get better.
If you are looking at upgrading ONLY for video features I agree, skip this generation and wait on the next. As you are happy with the D80 for stills going to a D90 or D5000 just to get video is only going to disappoint you when Nikon REALLY makes Video 'just work' the way it's supposed to. Nikon's DSLR video works in a pinch now but it's not something I would count on for serious stuff. There's so much more to come on that front!
And that's what I'm looking to see out of the D3s. Giving small tweaks over what is possible today is not going to cut it when compared to the 5D2. We need major major fixes and features just to match up.
Again, maybe some day...
But for now, I'm fine w/ my D200 -- although I certainly wouldn't mind having the improvements of the D300, let alone the D3... /img/vbsmilies/htf/smiley_wink.gif"> But I've got mouths to feed and all afterall...
BTW, while checking out some used manual Nikon lenses on eBay, I noticed that used market seems to have partially turned into a DSLR video market w/ some cross-brand/mount lens adapters thrown in to boot probably due to the current need to go w/ manual focusing when shooting video combined w/ doing it in FF mode perhaps (though I don't really know, but am just guessing). For instance, are there really that many Canon shooters using Nikon lenses w/ a mount adapter on their 5DMk2 to shoot video now? Just curious as I seem to spot the occasional eBay auction suggesting at least some are trying (or selling) that.
Yep, just remember those old Nikkors with the aperture rings? Those are PERFECT for video needs. Those old AIS gems are starting to creep up in price again believe it or not. Never had a FM2n but the F3HP is my favorite film camera of all time. It's a TANK. No raining here sir, any time we wanna reminisce about the glory days of film (aka about 4 lousy years ago) pile it on.