Is it time to split Pro Video from the DSLR?

The addition of video features to the DSLR has without doubt started somewhat of a revolution, so much so that even movie directors are happily using these relatively compact and cheap videocameras (compact and cheap compared to their professional video equipment) as potential throwaways — attached to crashing and exploding cars and such.

It is interesting to read about all the excitement and this article by Phil Holland over at Luminous Landscape seems to summarize all that is good and bad about this phenomenon. One look at the rig and I was floored. How can anyone accept to work with such throw-together and unwieldy contraptions? It’s just so painful to see.

Perhaps it’s high time that the DSLR/DVideo be split into their own stream and timelines? By all means keep the good: use the same lens mount, use the same full-frame sensor, but give the DVideo its own form factor and specialized accesories, perhaps include a built-in steadycam, hi-def stereo mic, etc. Keep it compact, keep it cheap.

Amateur photographers will continue to desire good video shooting capability in their DSLR and that’s fine. But the challenges faced by the DSLR and DVideo sometimes [often?] require independent solutions that may be at odds with the one or the other, and no one want to see one compromised for the other. For pros, once you rig up a DSLR for video shooting, you don’t suddenly switch to still shooting during the same take, do you? Most probably, you purchase and dedicate a DSLR for video shooting exclusively. Plus, you have a couple of or more DSLRs, each fitted with its own lens of a particular focal length. So, doesn’t it also make sense to have a dedicated DVideo with its own specialized capabilities? Camera manufacturers, a whole new category awaits.