Canon Eos 550D VS Canon 60D... FOR VIDEO

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by dbl.ceo, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. dbl.ceo macrumors newbie

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #1
    All online comparison sites/videos and the like fail to provide a true comparison over which one is really better.

    Thus far the 550D is winning due to cheaper price and the 60D's unresponsive buttons described as "a slug in the mud."

    Planning on buying it this friday at the latest and was wondering if anyone had any buyers reports and what not.

    I know the short comings of a DSLR and video however i've seen what can be obtained with the camera and as i'm in australia its about a grand price hike to obtain the same thing in a handy cam and don't know about you but don't have that money to be throwing around.
     
  2. jwheeler macrumors regular

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    #2
    I have the 60D so i'm obviously gunna vote for it. I've only tried the 50mm f/1.8 lens but will probs use the kit lens for tight spots.

    Can't say how glad i am to have the swivel screen for photos as well as video.

    From all my research I decided that the 550D was for the starter photographer who might use video, or for a B camera or multi-cam setup (with identical cameras) for cheap.

    The 60D is for those very keen on starting photography who has a huge interest in video (me)

    And the 7D is for the (semi) pro photographer. Or videographer who needs HDMI to be 1080p when recording for pulling focus.

    I think the 60D is for a very specific set of people. Which I fell into. Just do your research. It worked for me :)

    PS.
    http://www.camcorderinfo.com/Buying-Guides/DSLR-Video.htm
     
  3. Policar, Dec 26, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010

    Policar macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Those reviews are really questionable. Seems they put it on auto mode? In which case it would be a review of how intelligent the metering system is more than anything else. To test resolution, artifacting, motion rendering, etc. correctly you'd need the same lens, same shutter speed, same ISO, same speed media, etc. and they don't specify what they're using. Camcorderinfo has long been a laughingstock in the video community, but at least they've kept up tradition.

    That said, the 60d certainly isn't worse than the t2i! I just wouldn't trust a printout from that website to wipe my ass.

    I've had some experience with most of the current crop of video cameras (hvx, ex1, red, 7d, t2i, not 60d yet though) and the dSLRs fit in a funny place. Great sensitivity and the opportunity to use great optics, but they just suck at everything else. If you want to use it for "short films" or whatever then the camera is great, but for "video" (ENG type stuff) it's unusable. Aliasing, skew, focusing, and audio will be the first problems you notice, not in that order.

    If you're serious about using it for video, you'll want some manual focus lenses or at least fast zooms with long focus throws. The autofocus is useless, as it ruins audio and hunts for focus in a very unpleasant way. I use nikkor primes with adapters and they're okay. Both cameras should be close enough in terms of image quality (though the t2i is so small it's shaky, which is a real problem on skewy sensors) that it comes down to ergonomics and price. Will you use the flip-down lcd? Will you benefit from the larger body? Will you use it for actual photography, too (in which case the 60d really will be at an advantage simply for the superior finder and ergonomics)? And budget in an external sound recorder or adapter if you want to use audio, and then a set of lenses for video, and look at what that adds up to.

    For music videos and short films both should be fine technically. Try both and choose based on ergonomics. I'm transitioning to work as a cinematographer and my day rate will include a t2i, first camera I've owned for professional use since the dvx six or seven years ago (I'd rather invest in lights and lenses than cameras, which lose value quickly). That said, my recent experiences with the 7d have led me to discount the camera for use on features that can afford better. Take comfort in knowing you can't choose wrong (so long as you know what you are in for). Borrow a 7d, 60d, or t2i first, though. You're in for something unusual if you're used to ENG.
     
  4. handsome pete macrumors 68000

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    Aug 15, 2008
    #4
    Video quality wise, there is really no difference between the two cameras.

    The biggest advantage for the 60D is the flip out LCD. The biggest for the 550 (t2i) is the price.

    If the price difference isn't much of an issue, then go for the 60D. The articulating screen is worth it.

    For what it's worth, I have a 7D.
     
  5. jwheeler macrumors regular

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    Jan 14, 2010
    #5
    I can't reiterate that enough. I love the flip out screen. So glad it's there!
     
  6. matteusclement macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

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    #6
    if the flip out screen is causing the 60D to be that much more expensive and you're on a budget, go for the T2i.
    I have it and it's rare where I need it for the video. BEsides which, you look like a really dedicated director when you're down on your belly shooting the right angle. If the price difference is that much, then you could just buy a 50mm 1.8 lens or part of another prime fast lens with the difference.

    I love the t2i.
     
  7. handsome pete macrumors 68000

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    #7
    Funny. I would think the flip LCD would be a monumental improvement for most people, especially for video. The ergonomics on the SLRs are pretty terrible for video shooting.

    To each his own though.
     
  8. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #8
    Save the extra money and buy a Zacuto Z-finder and a decent microphone (or a Zoom H1 and anti shock mount).

    Your ergonomics will improve significantly with a viewfinder - since resting the camera on your eye/face provides an additional point of contact and really cuts down camera shake.
     
  9. FroColin macrumors regular

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    Jun 4, 2008
    #9
    If your looking for quality and have given your self a budget of say 1,200 (Enough to buy the 60D) do not buy the 60D. Get the T2i and then spend the rest on glass. DSLR's take beautiful images. The video quality it's self isn't that great but it doesn't matter because you get such nice looking images. You sacrifice alot of stuff for those nice looking images. It makes sense to sacrifice a flip out screen for better lens. Which make the image look good. I know professional photographers who, when starting out had really old cameras and didn't upgrade for a long time as they spent there money on lenses. The cheap (In comparison to video camera lenses) and nice lenses and the large sensor are what makes the DSLR so good (Mostly). I have used a T2i extensively. A 60D slightly less extensively and a 7D extensively (And a 5D mark II but that's not really relevant for this) If all my body's and glass were to be blown up I would buy a T2i over a 7D and spend everything else on glass. (Glass is a lens btw)
     
  10. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #10
    60D

    Automatic gain control can't be turned off on audio on the 550d, I sold mine for that reason alone, the 60d is the best cheapest Video DSLR you can get from Canon. Hands down.
     
  11. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #11
    The onboard sound is bad on all Canon's cameras, AGC or not. Buy a Zoom H1 for a hundred bucks and you get good microphones, better quality and better controllability.
     
  12. FroColin macrumors regular

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    #12
    No. For audio get an external audio recorder. Dual system can be complex but it's good practice and makes you plan a little more and be more organized. Even if you use a mic the audio is really compressed and hard to work with. For 200 bucks you can grab something with an XLR input and record onto a flash card. If you don't care about audio, don't pick your camera based on how it does with audio. If you do care about audio (Which you should, for video it's probably more important) then get an external recorder. You can get an external recorder and an 50mm 1.8 for the difference.
     
  13. matteusclement macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

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    #13
    I use a zoom H2 with my audio.
    The rode shotgun mic I use is more to sync the sound.
    Having to sync sound later is a PITA but it does make you plan more.
    I have to borrow a friend for a boom mic guy when I have to do a video.
    I also use my macbook with a USB interface to capture multi mics on some projects.

    In short, i think the sound thing is null since we all know that the sound is balls on the DSLR.
     
  14. handsome pete macrumors 68000

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    #14
    I agree that a viewfinder is pretty essential, but a viewfinder with the articulating screen is much better.

    The LCD on the t2i, 7D, 5D, etc. are all flush on the back of the camera. So to truly see the image your eye must be level with the camera. That becomes extremely inconvenient for shots low to the ground or up high.

    Having said that, I still think the best solution is a monitor mounted to the rig.
     
  15. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #15
    Well yeah, but at least with the 60d if you aren't able to bring along an external sound recorder, the 60d is good to go. I'm shooting a documentary at the moment, relying on a Rode VideoMic directly into my 60d, with 2 LED light panels too, it's an easy setup to work with, if I had an external recorder I'd really struggle with some of the tight spots we have to climb in/through.

    That's my reasoning.
     
  16. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #16
    OK reasoning. If you can afford the extra then the 60D is a good camera.

    I sold my Rode mono and stereo video mics when I bought the H1 recorder though. The recorder itself mounts in a Rode shock mount which mounts in the hotshoe - and the whole setup is the same size that the stereo videomic was. Unbelievably it costs less too!
     
  17. jetjaguar macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

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    #17
  18. matteusclement macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

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    #18
    yes, that 50mm is a great start. it's the gateway drug of prime lenses.
     
  19. Policar, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010

    Policar macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Congrats on getting into film school. I hope some day to attend, but so far not much luck getting admitted...

    Anyhow, that's a pretty great lens (although my personal sample isn't great; the build quality is bad so it's hit or miss) but I would not recommend it for video if that's your primary use. The focus ring is terrible and the throw is extremely short, so pulling focus is very difficult.

    The best thing for the money is to buy a nikon/canon adapter and buy a set of manual focus Nikon primes from eBay or KEH. The studio I work with owns a 24mm/f2.8, 35mm/f2.8, 50mm f1.8, 85mm f2.8, and 105mm f2.5, and uses them alongside a Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 IS, which is an awesome lens. I own a 24mm/f2 (not recommended), 28mm/f2, 35mm/f1.4, 50mm/f1.4 (highly recommended) and 85mm/f1.8 (not recommended, the f2 is a better lens). I use the kit zoom as my wide for steadicam and dolly shots, but I'd buy a Tamron or Canon EF-S if I could afford it, as you need a constant aperture zoom if you want to do zooms with consistent exposure. Not everyone wants to do zooms, though. While focal lengths are a matter of taste, a 18-100mm range is pretty comprehensive for the majority of cinema stuff.

    Send me a PM if you're serious about getting a t2i equipped for video. I was set to shoot a feature last summer on the 7d until funding fell through and I'm starting up as a freelance DP with a t2i kit in the next few months, so I've done a ton of research on these things.
     
  20. jwheeler macrumors regular

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    #20
  21. handsome pete macrumors 68000

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    #21
    You shoot everything with a 50mm prime?

    For a new lens at that price, it's decent. But the build quality isn't that great and the focus ring is poorly positioned, especially for video use.

    I'll echo what Policar said. You're much better off getting an adapter and finding some used primes online somewhere or at a camera shop that sells used gear.

    Here's a pretty good utility for finding primes on ebay:

    http://primes.decentattempt.com/list

    You can get some great lenses cheap, with a better build quality than that Canon.
     
  22. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #22
    This.

    I tried using my 50mm, but it's just terrible for video, maybe for tripod shots, but anything handheld/steadycam it's useless.

    I suggest a 28mm lens, I'm using a 1980s OM mount Vivitar 28mm f/2.8 lens using a simple adaptor, it's great for filming, the perfect size of shot.
     
  23. Policar, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010

    Policar macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    28mm is the normal focal length for a Super35 sensor, which is what APS-C cropped to 16:9 almost is (28mm is the approximate length of the diagonal and thus most "natural" perspective). So to some extent it is perfect... But you can only do so much with one focal length.

    You really need more than one focal length to do things right (Ozu might disagree, but not all of us are Ozu). The standard zoom for cinema use is 18-100mm t3 (f2.8). A 28mm/50mm/85mm kit of that speed or faster is a good starting place, the kit lens is nice because it's wide and stabilized and does well on a steadicam but it's not as useful for zooming because the aperture changes. A 17-50mm f2.8 zoom and 85mm f1.8 portrait lens will also be surprisingly comprehensive if you want to stick with EF mount, just be careful doing handheld with the 85mm.

    Again, send me a PM if you have any questions. I've been picking cameras and lenses professionally for a few years and as a hobby for over a decade.
     
  24. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #24
    Definitely, I plan on using my 28mm and 50mm (sparingly), my film doesn't call for a lot of zoomed shots, most can be shot with the 28mm quite easily.
     
  25. matteusclement macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

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    #25
    30 & 50

    I have a sigma 30mm 1.8 that is SEXY for the T2i.
    For my further shots, I use the mentioned canon 50mm 1.8
    And if for some really weird reason I need it, I have a 70-200 F4 L series canon lens... usually to compress action shots.

    that was much more than the body. :D

    the kit lens is kicking around somewhere for a paper weight.
     

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