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Brief History on DSLRs

The first digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera was announced in 1999 by Nikon. This camera had a 2.74 megapixel sensor, which seems like nothing compared to what is available today (Alan, 2010). At the time, digital cameras were still new and not common among consumers. Back then film was still the norm.

Throughout the next few years, the technology in DSLRs began to improve. As the technology inside them improved, more people began purchasing them. Nine years after Nikon announced the first DSLR, they introduced the D90, a DSLR with video capabilities. However, this camera could not record full HD video and was only able to take pictures at a maximum resolution of 12 megapixels (Nikon, 2008).

Only a month after Nikon introduced the D90, Canon announced the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, the first DSLR that had full HD capabilities. Not only did it produce professional quality videos, it also was able to take still images with a maximum resolution of 21.1 megapixels (Canon, 2008). The 5D Mark II started the DSLR videography movement, even though it was technically the second DSLR that could record video. Ever since its release, studios have been using the Canon 5D Mark II to shoot all sorts of professional videos, including full length TV episodes such as House (Zhang, 2010).

Canon has included full HD video capabilities on every camera they have made since the introduction of the 5D Mark II. What helped Canon lead the DSLR videography movement is their previous experience with professional and consumer video cameras. Nikon, on the other hand, had no previous experience producing any type of video camera.

Right now, Canon cameras still offer more features and higher quality video than Nikon cameras (Kobre & Lazer, 2010). Every new model that Canon has come out with since the 5D Mark II has included full HD at a resolution of 1920X1080 with 30 frames per second (fps). Most Nikon cameras are still not able to match that. Both Canon and Nikon are great companies and produce quality products. However, if you are looking for a DSLR for shooting video, Canon will be the way to go.


Alan. (2010). Digital photography timeline part 2--1990's. Retrieved October 13, 2011, from http://www.practicalphotographytips.com/digital-photography-timeline.html#axzz1aJsOOoPJ

Canon. (2008, September 17). Canon redefines the future of photography: 21.1 MP EOS 5D Mark II offers Full HD video capture. Retrieved October 13, 2011, from http://www.canon.co.uk/About_Us/Press_Centre/Press_Releases/Consumer_News/Cameras_Accessories/EOS_5D_MarkII_Press_Release.asp

Kobre, K., & Lazar, J. (2010, January 14). Nikon vs. Canon: DSLR video quality. Retrieved October 31, 2011, from http://kobrechannel.blogspot.com/2010/01/nikon-vs-canon-dslr-video-quality.html

Nikon. (2008, August 27). Nikon D90 digital SLR answers the call for creative freedom with advanced features that benefit all levels of photographers. Retrieved October 13, 2011, from http://press.nikonusa.com/2008/08/nikon_d90_digital_slr_answers.php

Zhang, M. (2010, April 9). House season finale filmed entirely with Canon 5D Mark II. Retrieved October 31, 2011, from http://www.petapixel.com/2010/04/09/house-season-finale-filmed-entirely-with-canon-5d-mark-ii/
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