Canon DSLR camcorder ability questions

So I have seen some of the videos from the t2i, 7d, and 5d. I have mixed opinions on it, but I havent really used one myself. I have played with it and understand the idea, but I wanted some opinions from real people who have used it or had experiences with it.

Is there anyone out there who could help me with this?

I also wanted to know what anyone else thinks of the video itself.
I think it looks amazing, but it seems like you could do better for fast moving shots. I think it might look amazing on a slow-mo shot but when its moving at normal speed it just doesnt seem to track the object right or something. Possibly has to do with the frame rate? Other than that I love the actual video itself.

What is it that you’d like to know?

I just posted my video shot entirely on a 5d Mark II over in the video forum: Coker Muni and Street - 36er Crankflip and Grind

Well I want to know your opinion on using it. Is it difficult to use? Would you reccomend it to other people for thier videos? How do you feel about the video quality?

They aren’t incredibly difficult to use but if you’re a person who likes to turn your camera on, point it at something and start recording then stay away. You have to be conscious of your focus, you focus it the same way you do for still photos. I guess you can say they’re kinda fidgety, its hard to get smooth footage if its hand held. Also because of the way the sensor records the images if you move it quickly you get wavy lines.
If you don’t mind taking the time to set up each shot properly then the footage looks really nice.

Check out, a HDSLR forum is a better place to get opinions than a uni forum :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for your input on it.
And I know there are better places to look, I just wanted some opinions from a different line of people. I would say most of us are a slightly different kind of people.

Spencer’s got the idea. DSLRs can’t autofocus in video mode so its entirely up to you to manually focus and since the depth of field is shallow due to the large sensor, it really does matter.

You should have a basic understanding of photography terminology and how exposure works before using one for video.

Footage tends to be really shaky and wobbly unless you use a tripod or steady cam and you need a beastly computer to be able to easily edit the footage. Aside from all of that, its great.

I’ve been shooting a fair amount of video from a 7D. To add to the great advice already given here, I’ll just say you need to research the “rolling shutter” effect and know how this distortion occurs and makes some kinds of shooting off-bounds.

The huge advantages about DVSLR’s are the depth-of-field effects you just can’t get (or are very difficult to get) without expensive add-ons even with high-end video cameras, the capability (and numerous benefits) of interchangeable lenses, and the small size & light weight, which makes for some very creative camera placements & shooting angles, and makes gear transportation much easier.

The Canons are capable of overcranking, so you can shoot 720P HD video at 60fps. When dropped into a 30fps editing timeline, this translates into 2x slow motion – and it’s beautiful. They also shoot 1080P of course, but to my knowledge only at 24 or 30fps, no overcranking.

One big limitation – the audio sucks, and the input for an external mic is a mini stereo plug, not a balanced XLR like you’d hope, to match the stunning image quality. There are XLR adapters available, but they’re still converting to a mini stereo. Many pros use an external audio recording device, there’s a model from Zoom that’s popular. But if you’re like me and audio usually isn’t an issue (because you’re using music and/or voiceover as soundtrack anyway) then this is not a problem.

The season finale of “House” was shot with a 5D. 'Nuff said. Have fun!

This isn’t a photography forum, but you posted in, so I’ll assume you plan on shooting uni vids, and try to address that specifically.

Unless you either
a) come from photography background and are very comfortable using (D)SLRs or
b) are very serious about your videos and plan on spending a lot of time preparing and setting up the shot
I’d call a DSLR a poor choice for unicycling videos.

Rolling shutter and focus will be problematic. On the other hand, both issues are much reduced by using a wide-angle lens.

The major difference between the 5D and 7D is the sensor size. The 5D is much larger, so the depth of field at similar f-stops and focal lengths is much shallower. Note that the 7D sensor is very close to Super35 film frames (the kind most movies are made with).

So, if you want people to go “Oooh, aah” “wow, that looks so professional” “the image quality is amazing” mainly by virtue of your equipment, go for a VDSLR.
If you want to do really fast action, quick pans, and spend less time setting up, get a video camera with a smaller sensor. You can still get all those reactions, but you will have to spend the time setting up, and also probably carefully compose your shots, plan the lighting, etc.

Don’t forget: your footage will only be as nice as your lens, regardless of what camera you use. Get something nice.

And finally, to respond to a few other comments:

Overcranking. Note that this is not available on the 5D, which only shoots up to 30p.

Autofocus. The Panasonic GH1 (or whatever it’s called) does it, though it’s not technically a DSLR.

Handheld. Very difficult with these cameras, but if you want nice camera movement, you should probably invest in a steadicam anyway.

Depth of field. Almost any consumer video camera can get a reasonably shallow depth of field. The catch is, you need to zoom way in, and be as close as you can. For medium- and wide-angle shots, you need the bigger sensor.

Audio. The 1/8" headphone line in is fine, and appropriate for what the camera is, just get a good XLR adapter. The point where this is limiting is probably past the point where you would be recording externally. Hell, the video is compressed; if you really want quality get a RED.

My experience:
I just finished shooting about half of a feature-length film entirely on a 5D. I do a lot of photography with Canon DSLRs, so I only had to find the ‘record’ button to start shooting video with it, which saved a lot of time. It was wonderful not to have to fight the camera to get the depth of field shallow enough. That said, there were scenes where we wanted it deeper, and had to compromise between image quality loss (from high-ISO) and depth of field. I loved working with it, though.

since this thread is already here… does anyone have any experience with the Canon REBEL EOS T1i??

It can only do 20 FPS in full 1080 HD, although it can manage up to 30 in 720, so fast-action uni vids will probably be limited to 720. Which is probably more than enough unless you plan on projecting it on huge screens.

From what I’ve heard and read (haven’t gotten my hands on one), it’s pretty good, just the things you’d expect from a cheaper camera: lesser build quality, worse low-light performance, etc.

It all comes down to the lens in the end. I’d take a T1i with a good lens over a 7D with a bad lens.

I don’t see why you would get a T1i over a T2i, the T2i is only a little more expensive and significantly better.

i would be buying the t1i because i can get it for 500$

i would be getting the t1i because i can get it for 500 dollars…