When the DSLR cameras ventured into the film making market, I was initially quite excited as it was an affordable approach to film making. However, the way it boomed and the amount of hype that was generated for it, I started to become quite skeptical about it, thus shying away from it. But then I saw the work of fellow film makers and what can be achieved and decided the look that was given is something that I’d value in my future and current projects.
The next step was choosing a camera from the very large market. From a distance, it looked like that Canon pretty much owns the market. What became very popular among classmates was the 550D due to it being cheaper then it’s bigger brother, the 5D Mk II. However, at that point I was more persuaded to the 5D, and even more so the 7D, due to their better image quality. Yes the 550D is very much cheaper, but even the 7D is only another £300 more, which can make all the difference. Then I also discovered that Nikon have got their foot in the door with the D7000, and pretty decent camera with quite good image quality. At the time, Sony DSLR have just started in the market and Panasonic are trailing behind, but the two big players are Nikon and Canon, so I’ve decided to do a comparison. Due to what is available to me, I will be comparing the Canon 5D Mk II and Nikon D7000. The basis I’m comparing them on are usability, image quality, and low light shooting. Looking at other comparisons, the Canon comes up on top almost all the time, but let’s see what I’ve found.
When talking about usability, I mean how easy it is to actually use the camera. Where are all the buttons, what do all the nobs do, and how does it feel in your hands. Now Nikon has all it’s functions laid out already for the user, with everything labeled and sign posted, making it easier to navigate. The Canon has some of this, but not as much, I did find myself a couple times referring to the manual to figure out what some things did whereas with the Nikon I didn’t need to. Although when it came to the feel, Canon had this in the bag, it was built to be filmed with. By it being bigger, you can have a better grip on it with everything in reach. However when it comes to changing settings, Nikon comes out on top with the different modes down on the left, and the dials to change on the right. Simple and easy. The D7000 definitely takes the Usability category.
Image quality is probably one of the most important, if it doesn’t look good, then people aren’t going to want to watch it. However, looking at the two, I have to say, in good lighting (low light is different) they are both as good as each other. These two stills came from videos that were take at ISO 400, and aperture 6.3, and they are practically identical. It would be a tie, however, when it came to changing the ISO and aperture, on the Nikon, there is no visible difference when making the changes. Nothing at all, the image doesn’t change one bit. With the Canon, you can see it changing before your eyes, with the Nikon, nothing. With that, Canon takes it.
Low Light Filming
Sometimes, you just want to make a dark and gritty film. Get all your anger and sorrow out. To do this, filming at night or in a very dark environment is required. As I said earlier, when shooting in darkness, noise can become apparent, which we’d rather avoid. Which camera best suited for this? As you can see below, the cameras produce the same amount of noise in low light, and are pretty much as bad as each other. It’s a tie here.
On the whole, it’s a tie. I would probably use both of these cameras, however, due to Nikon having more lenses, it has the advantage there.
Final verdict, get the 7D.