One of the major topics of discussion among filmmakers right now is the rising battle between using an SLR to shoot video or keeping with a video camera. SLR's have never really been known for their amazing video quality in times past, but the release of the T2i proved the existence of an SLR's capability for shooting video. Now all filmmakers are racing to the stores to replace their video cameras with T2i's, 5D's, and 7D's.
I, myself, have yet to jump on this bandwagon. The main argument in favor of SLR video shooting is because of the depth of field and option of interchangeable lenses; which I do believe to be a great advantage for video. I am just not a fan of trying to shoot a film with a photo camera. Sure, you can keep the camera on a tripod and that is just as effective as a video camera on a tripod, but what about hand-held shots. That would be a pain in the butt to try and shoot on a photo camera. Yes, I know you can buy shoulder mounts and all sorts of equipment to turn your SLR into a videoesque-type of camera, but then you end up spending twice as much money to do so. Also, the lack of an audio input option will make it a pain to try and link up the audio and video in post.
Video camera companies are already scrambling to replicate the option of interchangeable lenses and greater depth of field in their cameras; so it won't be long before we can once again buy video cameras that are just as good, if not better, as the current SLR's. Then all filmmakers are going to scramble to buy the video cameras and toss off their old SLR's. I'm just biding my time until that happens. True, the current cameras with SLR-video capability are very expensive, but that's just because they're in experimental phase. Soon enough the prices will equal out.
This brings up an issue that I think most people are ignoring: Talent over equipment. I have heard so many people talking about how if they only had the right equipment, they could make an awesome film. The ability to make an awesome film never rested on the equipment, but instead on the user. No matter what type of equipment you have, if you are creative and passionate about making a good film, you will do so without needing high-end equipment. I know of a few people who spent thousands of dollars on high-end equipment and still turned out movies that were painfully horrible. All that equipment was a waste because they lacked the ability to make a good film in the first place. Roger Merrill, a theatre director and school teacher, once said, "Talent is something you're born with. Ability is something you learn." You can have all the talent in the world, but it is useless unless you know how to utilize it.
This leads into another topic of argument: The idea that education is not helpful in the filmmaking world. This is also very wrong. It is true that some people have in-born talent to make a good film, but the more you know about the craft and the equipment that can be used, the more creative and innovative you can be with your films. In my opinion, I think that most filmmakers who skip out on getting some sort of education in the video production field will turn out great products, but not amazing products. We're seeing a lot of mediocrity in film today because people are just jumping in to video production because they own a T2i and watch a lot of movies. It's like trying to build a work of art without a basic foundation: you'll be able to build to a point, but you'll hit a point where if you try to build any further, everything will come crashing down. Therefore, your progression ends.
I attended a school where the only video production classes were a few broadcast classes here and there. I did this because, in all honesty, it was cheaper. But I still learned a great deal about video production through those classes, a student-produced news program, and a number of theatre classes. I learned all sorts of techniques because I applied what I learned to film despite them not being taught in that form. If you look for something, you will always find it. I realize that I knew nothing about video production despite owning a camera and watching a lot of movies. I am still learning a great deal and I plan on learning as much as I can. Even the Dalai Lama recommends that you "Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively."
But once again, I've stepped onto my soapbox and will now proceed to jump off of it.