July 28th, 2015
Background: I worked for 20 years in television, and my weapon was a Betacam. That said, I’m no stranger to SLR/DSLR photography, having done it since I was a kid.
I’m considering getting a ‘prosumer’ camcorder–thinking hard about Canon’s HF-G30 and a wide-angle adapter–to shoot RE video. I say prosumer, since I really don’t need XLR inputs and so forth.
Having used a Betacam for so many years, the functionality of a camcorder just works for me. To my beloved 70D: “It’s not you, it’s me.”
Here comes the question: In terms of real-world outcomes, what will I lose by switching to a camcorder?
What DSLR video contributes is the ability to shoot video with a device where you can use high-quality interchangeable lenses. Specifically for shooting video of interiors you can put a top quality lens like the Canon 10-22mm on the 70D That means you can shoot video with a 16 mm effective focal length… using a wide angle lens between 16 mm and 24 mm is essential for creating quality interior video and you CAN’T do that with a Canon HF-G30. The specs for the HF-30 say the lens is 35mm equivalent 26.8 mm to 576 mm. You mention that you are going to also use a wide-angle adapter, but be careful, my experience with wide-angle adapters is negative. Most wide-angle adapters are very low-quality junk!
Also, I see that the sensor in the HF-30 is 2.91 megapixels compared to 20 megapixels on your 70D. So the low light sensitivity and dynamic range (something you really need when shooting inside without lights) of the HF-30 is awful compared to the 70D. There’s probably a camcorder style video camera that would create as high-quality video as your 70D with a 10-22 mm lens, but you are going to have to spend many times what an HF-30 or 70D with a 10-22mm lens costs.
All this is why everyone uses DSLRs to shoot property video!