On the Cutting Edge: Digital Still Cameras for Film, Part 3

Photo by v8media
In part 2 I talked about some of the advantages to using digital still camera for film. In this post I’ll be talking about the disadvantages to using this kind of camera.


Since this technology is so new there are going to be a lot of challenges. Most of the challenges that come from using a digital still camera involve its very sensitive focus.


Most of the cameras we are looking at do not have an autofocus that is usable for filming. A still camera’s autofocus is very different from a camcorders auto focus. A still camera is made to focus on a specific point, while a camcorder  is made to focus on a specific subject. Digital still cameras also have a very short focal length. This is the distance from the lens in which the subject is in focus. If a person is in focus two feet away from the camera and they move a foot in either direction they will be blurry. A camera operator must be very good at adjusting the focus as the subject moves around.

Moving Subjects

We have also heard that these cameras have a hard time dealing with a lot of movement. Part of the problem is the focus issue I just mentioned. The other problem is image stabilization. Holding a camera steady is very hard. Many camcorders have software that make this easier. Most digital still cameras do not.

Extra Equipment

Due to the problems mentioned here it is nearly impossible to create high quality video without extra equipment. This equipment is attached to the camera like the image above. It helps the operator maintain focus, improve audio and reduce movement. There is also a need to have a different lens. The main drawback here is that the extra equipment adds more to the price tag.

More to Come

I just want to point out that these issues are based on research and not hands on experience. We do not know how big these problems will be for our project. When we get more time with the cameras we will have a better idea.

2 thoughts on “On the Cutting Edge: Digital Still Cameras for Film, Part 3

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