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Do You Need a Fullframe Body For Shooting Video?

September 5th, 2009

Ever since the release of the Canon 7D I’ve been trying to understand the differences between the 7D and the 5DM2. In the process, I ran across Stu Maschwitz’s (visual effects supervisor for Sin City and The spirit) blog ProLost.

Stu has a great post that goes into detail on the 7D and how it compares to the 5DM2 and more importantly how the 7D’s APS-C sensor is close to the Super-35 sensor size regarded by filmmakers as a holy grail for digital cinema.

Even though Stu’s post is talking about the 7D his insight on sensor size is not vendor specific. It sounds like APS-C sensors as in the 7D, D300s and other small sensor DSLRs may be a near optimum size for digital video.

So the bottom line is, no, you don’t need a full frame body for great video. But the advantages are as Stu says, “…the twice-as-vast area of the 5D Mark II’s sensor means more flexibility with more lenses, and more control over DOF. Yes, this includes the option to push it to a fetishistic extreme, but also the ability to achieve cinematic DOF with a slower stop of an affordable, flexible zoom lens”.

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