I love DSLR video. Nowhere else can you get such a narrow DOF for decent HD video for such a low price. No other camera system offers this.
But there are drawbacks. Bad audio for one. Compressed video codec for another. Basically, it’s a still camera that can do video. It can do it pretty well, but there are better video cameras out there. For more money.
I, like most indie filmmakers, can’t just go drop several thousand dollars on a new camera. But I can rent a high quality video camera that provides all the benefits of a DSLR without the drawbacks.
A Canon c100 with the new autofocus chipset can be rented for 3 days at $260. You can extend that to 2 weeks for $650. A c300 runs 2-3 times as much. That’s a big difference between paying $5000 to buy the c100. Or $14,000 to buy the c300. A Red Epic package can be rented for $1700 for 3 days, should you want one.
But what if there isn’t a budget to rent?
Enter the Canon EOS M. Canon released a mirrorless camera last year. After a poor showing and some complaints about autofocus, Canon lowered the price and updated the firmware.
You can now buy an EOS M with 22mm f2 lens for under $330. A Canon adapter can be bought to use all EF and EFS lenses. The sensor is the exact same as the one in the t4i. I just got a slightly used EOS M with 22mm f2 and the Canon EOS to M adapter for $346.
From what I have seen, the video looks great. It still has the same issues that all DSLRs have. And the same benefits. For under $350. You can actually find bodies without lenses for $250. Rumor has it another version is soon forthcoming.
So, the EOS M will replace my 60D for small shoots, and rental becomes an option for larger projects.