Canon 550D

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Ollie500, May 26, 2011.

  1. Ollie500 macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2011
    I am looking into getting a new video camera, now i have about 1500 to spend, i am very used to using a Sony Z1 and was looking into getting one of those however i have recently seen the HD footage from the CANON 550D and saw this

    Canon 550D + EF-S 18-55mm IS lens & EF-S 55-250mm IS lens

    for sale for 850, now i have various experience within the industry but not much with the use of DSLR for video. i know that the corpse bride was filmed on a Canon 550D. BUt can anyone give my some opinions of using this as a video camera aswell. It will be used for promos, music videos etc.

  2. stevie abraham macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2011
    thety not use that camera it too new for old movie. :rolleyes:

    when do "stop" anamation use still image not schit video mode. :p

    i use a d2i and those lense, also, another lenses, for my new film. hear are some seens:

    camera ok but hard to get good imaj. keep old camera to for it's less problems. :)
  3. Mac-key macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2010
    I own a t2i (550D) and I LOVE it. For the money, it shoots damn good video. In fact, there really is NO difference in video quality between the 550D, 60D and 7D. Get the 550D and use your extra money to pick up some nice glass:)

    here's some examples of my work

    Obviously there are some limitations with this camera, such as audio capturing abilities, BUT to me, the trade off to get that kind of image quality is worth it
  4. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    Jumping from a traditional video camera to a DSLR is quite an undertaking. I advise strongly to do a lot of research on the various pros and cons. I can sum up a few for you right here: (bear in mind most of this info pertains to Canon DSLRs)

    Relatively inexpensive (bodywise)
    Small form factor
    Shallow DOF

    Recording limits
    Poor sound quality (even with firmware hacks and adapters, it's still mediocre at best)
    Need for add ons (Monitor or viewfinder)
    Small form factor
    No servo
    Expensive (lenswise)
    Non-articulating LCD
    Compressed footage and other quality issues (rolling shutter, moire)

    Of course many of the negatives can be worked around. But they are something to keep in mind especially depending on the type of material you plan on shooting. I see far too many people run out to buy these things because they can get a "film look" but they ignore the limitations and just shoot everything wide open (often going complete overkill with this too).

    Also, I would study some photography principles if you're not too experienced with that.

    Lastly, I would check out the t3i instead of the t2i/550d. The flip out LCD alone is probably worth the price. Also, forget about the kit lenses. They are decent for stills but really aren't worth it videowise. You're better off looking at a nice 2.8 zoom with constant aperture (or fast primes).

    For what it's worth, I own a 7D.
  5. Ollie500 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2011
    Hmmmm perhaps i have jumped the gun a little, i was very impressed with the footage i have seen from the t2i and understandably am aware of some of the limitations. It would be mainly used for promotional material so for shops etc. What lenses would you recommend? Its just im on a budget for a camera i could increase it to 1700 so advice would be very grateful
  6. Ollie500 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2011
    Hmmmm perhaps i have jumped the gun a little, i was very impressed with the footage i have seen from the t2i and understandably am aware of some of the limitations. It would be mainly used for promotional material so for shops etc. What lenses would you recommend? Its just im on a budget for a camera i could increase it to 1700 so advice would be very grateful
  7. Mac-key macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2010
    everything handsome pete said is right on.

    definitely count the cost before just diving in. Because once you go this route you will need to invest further to really outfit this camera to do professional work. Although again, I've been very happy with my work so far, BUT I'm continously looking to learn more and invest more in DSLR video shooting.

    Here are the lens I currently use

    18-55 3.5-5.6 (t2i Kit lens)
    18-135 3.5-5.6
    50 1.8

    I'm looking to pick up a Tamron 17-50 2.8 off

    check out that site for good deals on used and refurbed lens. Also, I'm about to pick up a second camera - it'll be the t3i. I definitely want that articulating LCD screen.

    It should be noted I did tons of research before making this jump. Some of the principles that apply to a dedicated video camera, DO NOT apply to a DSLR. If you take the time to learn, I think you'll be very pleased with the results.
  8. Ollie500 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2011
    Ok, thus far great advice, ive been looking into the T3i due to the moveable screen (would save me purchasing a external monitor) ive managed to budget in a selection of equipment that i think will suit what i need to do and posted it below so you can have a look at it and tell me if im on the right track

    Canon EOS Rebel T2i 18 MP CMOS APS-C Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only)

    Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18 MP CMOS APS-C Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only)
    Canon EF 50mm f / 1.8 II Camera Lens (prime lens)
    Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom Lens
    Manfrotto 585 ModoSteady

    obviously i will be getting extra batteries etc etc

    One question i have is the 12 min rec limit now is this for both of those cameras or can i film continuously on both.

    Being an experienced cameraman in terms of video cameras, i am excited about making this move but also very nervous, am i making the right decision?
  9. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    Your list isn't a bad start. Is audio important to you? I would look into some kind of external audio recorder.

    The LCD on these cameras is very good, but attaining focus is definitely more challenging when working with them. Some don't need it, but I would still recommend a viewfinder (especially when shooting outdoors during the day). There's a bunch of different ones out there, but I've mostly used the Zacuto Z-finder and the LCDVF viewfinder. The build of the Zacuto's stuff is top notch and it works really well, but I honestly prefer the LCDVF. My eyes don't require a diopter and the price can't be beat.

    Yes, there is a 12 minute recording limit and it has to do with how the file system works on these cameras. They can only record files up to 4gb large (which is usually the 12 minute mark). Other cameras technically have the same limit, but their internal software automatically creates a new clip at the limit and keeps recording. Canon hasn't implemented anything like this on their cameras yet.

    Another drawback to these cameras is the overheating. This has to do with environment and how hard you work the camera. Conceivably you could continually record a bunch of 12 minute clips in a row, but chances are the camera will start running hot and want to cool itself down, so it shuts down temporarily. This is manageable when doing stuff that's controlled and planned out, but could be troublesome on live shoots or any other situation where you can't re-shoot should the camera overheat.

    The lenses you list aren't bad, but you really do get what you pay for when it comes to it. The zoom you list has a variable aperture. That means that it won't maintain the same aperture setting throughout the whole zoom range. Were you to shoot something say at 100mm 4.0 then try to zoom to 200mm, it would stop down to 5.6 and change your exposure. You can work around that, but could be an issue during a continuous shot.

    If you want to get into prime lenses, there is a great market out there for affordable used ones. Check out ebay. And don't feel like you need to be chained to the Canon lenses. You can get an affordable adapter and use almost any type of lens mount you want.

    IS is a godsend for zooms, but be aware that the IS mechanism makes some substantial noise that will be picked up by the onboard audio should you not have an external recorder.

    Check out the following link for some great recommendations for all budget levels:

    One thing I forgot to mention is that you'll also probably want a variable ND filter or set. There's no use in getting a fast lens and opening it wide up only to find that you're tremendously overexposed. Other filters are nice to have, but are really just extra. ND is a necessity. You might also want to get a cheap UV filter to protect the front of your lens.

    I am in no way trying to discourage you from making the jump to DSLR, but just wanted to pass along some of the info that often gets ignored. No one can tell you if you're making the right decision or not. It will certainly be a challenge, but it's for you to decide if you're up for it. As seen, the results can be breathtaking, but it takes some work.

    Ultimately the best thing to do would be to see if any local shop rents these cameras. Take one out for a test drive and get a feel for it first.
  10. legreve macrumors regular


    Nov 22, 2010
    I shot these with a 5D mk II:

    Gear involved:
    24-70mm 2.8L
    70-200mm 2.8L II
    100mm macro 2.8L

    Homemade stabilizer t-shaped
    After Effects

    I would have loved to have had some primes instead. While the 24-70 and 70-200 are excellent lenses, nothing beats the primes such as 35 1.4L, 50 1.2L, 85 1.2L and 135 2.0L.
    The 5D will deliver really nice video, but you'll be surprised how you'll be needing those extra stops to get the light.

    Regarding sound... saw someone talking the bad sound of the dslr... that is true. The sound is actually quite awful. But here's when I tell you something you might never have though about regarding filming... sound is more important that the video. A good sound can save a bad shot, but a bad sound will ruin the best shot.
    So if you wanna do something serious with video filming, consider spending some money on decend mics and preamps.

    I'm currently looking to move into interviews, docus and what not and I've put together a sound kit that I hopefully will be purchasing soon... total amount paid for this: $6000.

    But to keep the fire burning in you... check out the Rode Video Mic Pro. It will set you back around $250 but will provide you with a much better sound. It plugs right into the camera and sits on the hotshoe or you can mount it on an extender to the camera.

    Best of luck with it :)
  11. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    I completely agree with you that audio is pretty much more important than the image, and it is often overlooked.

    The Rode mic alone is not enough in my opinion. Only the t3i and 60d allow you to disable the AGC without hacking the firmware. The little on board mic is just a fraction of the reason DSLRs capture crappy audio.

    I strongly recommend shooting external audio and syncing in post. It's a little more work, but the results are far better. There are plugins now that will even sync the audio for you making it easier. And I believe FCPX will have this feature natively.
  12. Ollie500 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2011
    Thanks for all the great advice thus far from everyone, all very honest and detailed. It seems to me that its something that canon are slowly becoming aware of they increase there products.

    For me the material i have seen suggests in the right hands and with the correct equipment the canon t2i/t3i can be very creative and form some excellent work. I think what i lacked the knowledge on was just how different in terms of understanding the DSLR being used in capturing video was from say a Sony Z1.

    The overall product can create something that is very bespoke and lush to the eye but it involves an understanding and perhaps i was to quick to assume it would be a risk, whereas now it deems itself to me as more of a challenge.

    I agree that sound is quintessential to moving image and appreciate peoples suggestions and they are gladly noted.

    I think the plunge for me may be a very interesting one, i think the t3i would be the one i go for. The last niggling thought though is this bloody 12 min limit would it be something that canon could create a software update for in due course ?

    Again i am very grateful with all of the advice i have received and it makes for some interesting debates and food for thought.
  13. jwheeler, May 29, 2011
    Last edited: May 29, 2011

    jwheeler macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2010
  14. Ollie500 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2011
    Im going to be making some promos for a few shops and stores with it, had a few video camera deals fall through today, so its looking like all signs are pointing to the t2i or t3i. Loving the idea of the view finder but silly for the t3i. Anyone awareof any cheap monitors that can attach to the t2i?
  15. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    I wouldn't call a viewfinder silly for the t3i. Attaining critical focus is difficult looking just off the regular LCD screen. A magnifier helps immensely. Also, if you ever plan in shooting outdoors in the sun then you will need some kind. Of LCD hood at the very least.

    Also beware that the t2i doesn't output an HD signal to a monitor. That wouldn't matter for framing, but could make focusing more difficult.
  16. jwheeler macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2010
    Viewfinder is just a magnifier for the screen. I have a 60D, which also has a flippy outty screeny thing (Digital Rev TV quote). :D And i only really use the flip screen for indoors, awkward spots, oh and photography (ps i do love the flip screen, and would miss it if it weren't there). I wouldn't use the VF with the screen flipped out...
  17. TaKashMoney macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2005

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