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I have seen several instances of pro photographers who carry around a heavy-duty DSLR with a simple P&S mounted on the hot shoe of the DSLR. Any ideas why they are doing this?

My first thought would be that they would shoot photos with one and video with the other, but it didn't seem that way (they only took photos with the DSLR as I looked at them)

My second thought would be that the P&S was a backup if something happened to the DSLR. But then why not carry a second DSLR? And why connect them together?

Any other scenarios?

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    They are almost certainly using it to take video. – ElendilTheTall May 11 '15 at 9:58
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    Most likely to take video, but potentially if the point and shoot has GPS, maybe they're using it for geotagging purposes? – laurencemadill May 11 '15 at 10:28
  • You mean video with the P&S? Why not with a cam-corder? Or a mirroless? – kazanaki May 11 '15 at 11:12
  • Or you mean that the DSLR is used for video and the P&S for photos? – kazanaki May 11 '15 at 11:12
  • Also I think that modern camcorders can take video and images at the same time. (i.e. with no black part in the video as DSLR do when taking a photo at the same time) – kazanaki May 11 '15 at 11:14
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In 2011, The New York Times wrote about Doug Mills using such a rig to shoot video with the attached camera while shooting still images with images with main camera. In his interview in December 2013 (at 00:19:49), he shows a Canon 5DmkII mounted on top of a D1x [sic, I guess he meant a Canon 1D x].

Joey Daoud has pushed the idea further to shoot video at wide and tight angle at once.

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I once (this one, I think) tried to stick a gopro onto the same tripod with my dSLR video, but could not contrive a steady enough mount. In this case I did not want them stacked on the same head, so the gopro doesn't move with the main camera panning. My idea was to use it as fallback when the dSLR loses a few seconds between clips, and to replace vibrating pans or bad-pointing zooms with an always-available wide shot.

A gopro because

  • I have it, and
  • once activated it will stay recording until it runs out of power or storage, unlike any dSLR video which is intentionally limited in take-length or (for older models now) don't bother to handle >4GB files with seamless continuation.

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