I'm stuck. In the winter I love to take photos of our local Bald Eagles. I'm a Canon user and have a couple DSLRs and my favorite lenses to use are the 100-400L and the 70-200 f2.8L. I really want to be able to get some video of these birds in flight but they're skittish and stay back from people. Therefore, I need a long lens, like my 100-400. I've looked at the Panasonic AG-HMC40 camcorder, which is in my price range, and it has a lens that's about the 35mm equivalent of my 100-400. However, it would be nice to shoot the video with a DSLR rather than packing and grabbing a different camera for when I want video.
I know I could get a small camcorder with a large zoom, but I know from my flip camcorder that it is very hard for me to hold something like that still while holding it away from my face. No matter how I try, I always get jittery video, even with IS turned on. With the Panasonic camcorder I would have a real viewfinder to look through, rather than an LCD panel, and could hold it up to my face, locking my arms at my side.
For folks who use DSLRs to shoot video, do you have a hard time holding it steady or is a tripod a must? If I use a tripod, I think I'd have a hard time tracking the bird. How would I shoot video of a bird in flight? I've read that you need to prefocus, then record. This wouldn't work on something that is flying around.
As you can see, I really am stuck! I'd appreciate any and all help you could give me, even if you steer me in a different direction. I've actually looked at (online) the 7D and the (I think) D7000 in a camera store. I'm so confused that I've even looked at a Nikon because I'd read it can continuously autofocus while taking video!
Thanks in advance,