It is known that professional photographers use SLRs & regular users use point & shoot camera. What kind of cameras do professional videographers use & whats the difference?
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Honestly in this day and age the difference in "Pro" and "Amateur" gear is whether or not you're getting paid to use it. I know some amateurs with 5D mk2s and some serious pro shooters with 60ds.
Completely agree with the comments on manual control. But even without manual control and some semblance of exposure compensation you can get amazing results. It is not about the gear, but mastering what you have in your hands to tell the story.
I just spent the last week using an audio recorder that cost less than $200 but it was so much more intuitive than the $600 one I've been using. There is no difference in the sound at all. Mentioning that as an example... realizing you were asking about cameras. And in all fairness putting Flip Video footage on a large monitor - it doesn't stand up... but don't get hung up on "Pro" and Amateur"... get hung up on stories.
One of the big differences is manual control.
Many consumer video cameras don't let you disable automatic control of simple things like focus and exposure (or more often exposure compensation).
I think that lots of cheap video hardware would be very capable of capturing clear and beautiful moving images if only one were able to control it more precisely.
As an example, consider that David Lynch's Inland Empire was shot using reasonably inexpensive but highly controlable DV cameras, and it looks great.
I'd regard this as off topic as it concerns video cameras not stills, but anyway a lot of professionals use the Red series of cameras:
The most popular being the Red One:
Benefits over consumer level video cameras nicely mirrors the difference between DSLRs and Compacts, namely:
There are other advantages specific to professional videography cameras, namely:
Another difference is that professionals will more often than not hire equipment as the cameras cost more than even the most expensive 35mm DSLRs, and they are typically only shooting for part of the year in intensive bursts. This also enables the use of specialist cameras (such as the Phantom 1000fps camera, which can only be rented, not bought).
It's worth pointing out that DSLRs which shoot video offer many of the advantages posted above, but they lack the modularity and flexibility of output that you get with a professional digital cine camera. They are also limited in terms of shooting time.
I don't do much in the way of cinematography myself, although it is a field that interests me, and one I hope to break into sometime in the future. I am primarily a photographer, and my first video camera will likely be a Canon 5D Mark III (once released.) The Canon 5D Mark II was one of the first DSLR's to add video capability, and combined with the advanced lenses available to such cameras, you can achieve some of those vaunted "cinematographic" effects.
As I can't offer any specific advice (hopefully another member will be able to answer and provide more useful information than I can), I can supply some very useful links. Here are a few that I have found helpful myself over the last couple months: