DSLR vs Camcorder: Which One is Best for Video and Filmmaking?


Initially, it was clear that a camera could either capture the image or take a video. It was unable to do both in any case. But now, the DSLRs can do both as the technologies are developing day by day. A few years ago when they started offering the filmmaking feature, they were not providing some essential features like ‘autofocus.’ But today majority of the people along with professionals take DSLRs seriously, even for the video recording. What has changed during this period? Let’s find out.

What is it all about?

We know that the DSLRs and the Camcorders both can work great when it comes to filmmaking. But, many people are looking for an answer which one is the best amongst these two! This comparison is to know which works perfectly to serve the purpose of video making. Both of them have some similarities and some differences.

Now as DSLRs are getting better and better, here is the deal. It is subjective. It is a matter of choice and personal preference. If anyone sees a video, very few people can identify if the video is shot with a DSLR or a Camcorder. But one should definitely consider few differences before purchasing a camera.

DSLR Vs Camcorder

Talking about DSLR Vs Camcorder, a digital SLR primarily focuses to capture still images. It takes interchangeable lenses. While a camcorder is explicitly designed for shooting videos, it has built-in zooming lenses and movable screens. Some high-tech camcorders also have built-in microphones and professional audio inputs to record the moving situations. So the baseline is that the camcorders are not meant for still photography, but the DSLR can fulfill both the criteria.

Sensor Size

  • DSLRs have much larger sensors than the camcorders.

DSLRIf you compare both, you will find out that the DSLRs have better and larger sensors. Some camcorders do have large sensors, but they are high-end models. Those models are expensive and cost you a few thousand dollars. Now you may ask why the larger sensor is important? The answer is; they are important because of the depth of field and low light.

Depth of field decides the focus. It determines how much of the image should stay in front and how much in the background. Sometimes you want to put the subject in focus and everything else in the blurred background. Right? That blurred background is much easier to do with DSLR because of the larger sensor.

Videographers also choose DSLR so that they can get the bokeh effect or unfocused background. Also, the large sensor collects more light when the light is limited. The camcorder needs an extra light because of the smaller sensor. So it is easier for the videographers to work with the DSLRs and not with the camcorders.


  • DSLRs are easy to move than the camcorders, but camcorders are convenient.

If you are using tripods even to take the pictures, then the ergonomics is not an issue. But, if you have to move around, travel or transit, then DSLRs are much more convenient than the camcorders. Camcorders are specifically designed to hold up for an extended period for filmmaking. Whereas, it will become tiring if you make a long video with DSLR. You can’t hold it without shaking it as it isn’t designed like that!


  • DSLRs are cheaper than the large sensor camcorder.

It is a fact that even the branded DSLRs are much more affordable than the camcorder. If you buy the basic videomaker, you may get it at a low price. But if you want a professional camcorder with the larger sensor and some advanced features, you have to invest a lot more than the DSLR. You take the SLR and probably buy some other accessories with it. It can become a good deal as you must need the tripod, audio equipment, and video lights. You can serve both the purpose like this.


  • Camcorders work better with the in-built mic and professional XLR audio inputs.

As we have discussed earlier, audio is an important factor to think upon when you are into the filmmaking business. The mic inside a camcorder is far better than the in-built microphone of any DSLR. But, there is another perception. If any inexpensive mic is placed closer to the subject, it works like the in-built mic of DSLR or the camcorders. So if you are willing to pay extra for the audio gears, then you can shoot well with either DSLR or camcorder.


  • Camcorders can auto-focus more when it comes to moving objects than DSLR.

canon_2212c002_xf405_camcorder_with_8_29mp_1361551Why do you shoot? To capture the best moments, right? Thus, it automatically considers ‘focus’ as the priority. Recent developments and updates in the technology have almost covered the gap. Newer versions of DSLRs offer great autofocus while recording the video. People who want to shoot routine stuff consider cameras over camcorders. But professionals still consider camcorders to take the videos.

Professional filmmakers use manual focus even after using some advanced gears. The reason is that they want full control over the focus. They want to choose when, where, and how they can use the features. Also, they want to try different effects and give impressions. DSLRs can provide them all of these, but can’t take over the benefits a camcorder can provide!

The differences we have mentioned above were the prevailing differences. Apart from them, there are some more considerable differences like recording time, batteries, stabilization, image quality, complexity, etc. Camcorders have several advantages when it comes to video making, but DSLR don’t cut in loose. So ultimately, it is a question of time, money, and need!

So the product which is better depends on the buyers and their shooting styles. Many professionals want to work with DSLR because of its large sensors. But, many newbies want to try their hands on camcorder because it is simpler to use and comfortable for long recordings. There is just one thing. Before you buy any camera, go through the tech specifications once and keep creating magic!

Larger Sensors*
Easy Movability*
Lower Cost*
Audio Connections*
Video Focus*
Low Light*
Image Stabilization*
Manual Controls*
Recording Formats*


Jacob Crone has spent too much time on researching and finding the best stuff for my Canon DSLR, and this led him to make As he found that millions of cameras are sold every year, and photographers like me are looking for cool and useful stuff for them all the time. So he wanted to make a site dedicated mostly to camera owners to help them get better results.

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