Which Canon DSLR to buy for video

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Steve-F, May 3, 2011.

  1. Steve-F macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
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    UK
    #1
    I'm a semi-pro shooter and have been a Nikon stills user for a while.
    I've previously rented video cameras for any video shoots I do (anything from DV-Cam to Sony EX3 and recently a Canon 5D mkII).
    But I've always felt frustrated at not having my own video camera to shoot occasional stuff (when I haven't had the time or budget to rent).

    So I've been watching and waiting for a Nikon DSLR that shoots good video.
    Sadly I think Nikon are missing the boat on this - I did buy the D5100 but quickly returned it as it was missing manual exposure control in video mode. The D7000 seems to be limited to 24fps in full HD and is a bit too expensive, so that's no good for me.

    So I'm now looking at Canon's range... but there's so many!
    My budget is £500-700. That would have to include a reasonable kit lens to get me going and I'll add other lenses as I can afford.
    Key must be 25fps in full HD, manual control of exposure, ability to input an external microphone.
    Look forward to hearing your recommendations.

    Steve
     
  2. grooveattack macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 9, 2008
    #2
  3. legreve macrumors regular

    legreve

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    Nov 22, 2010
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    Denmark
    #3
    Do you need the gear right here right now?

    If not... there will be a 5d refresh this year, and I think it will be smoking. The other side of that coin is that the current houses could be had for a good price once there's a date on the refresh.

    I wont say the 550 is a bad choice, but I think you would be more happy with a non crop camera like the 5d. That would also mean that you wouldn't loose so much focal range when buying yourself those nice red ring lenses.

    I could vouch for the zooms to be fine for video work, albeit I would love to get hold of 3-4 primes for my own work (35, 50, 85 and 135).
    Note also that there are refreshes on the way for the following:

    35mm
    24-70mm
    135mm (but wont come out in atleast a year or so)

    I doubt Nikon will ever catch on... There's a reason Canon blasted them out of the water regarding sales last year. Canon might have messed up a few things on the high end dslrs but they will be back and showing Nikon how to do it.

    Best of luck.
     
  4. grooveattack macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 9, 2008
    #4
    the total for that 5D kit (5d and 2 lens) came to just over £3000.
    maybe a little over the £700 budget set.
    5D is a great camera but it does make out at a £1500 premium for full frame. not worth it for getting the same effect as stepping back 1.5 meters.

    i would say get a slightly cheeper camera (550d or 600d etc.) and put money on getting some good glass on the front of it.
     
  5. zblaxberg Guest

    zblaxberg

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    Jan 22, 2007
    #5
    I use the Canon 550D With the Magic lantern Firmware
     
  6. Steve-F thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Thanks for your recommendations.
    I think I'll go for the 550D with a 18-135 zoom.

    The Magic Lantern software looks really good - but I would be concerned about screwing the cameras warranty!

    Steve
     
  7. spicyweiner macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #7
    Get the 5D MKII.

    It's what I have and it takes STUNNING video.

    You can't compare the quality with anything else--full frame sensor or not.

    The 5D is nearly impossible to beat in low light conditions. Slap on a 50 1.2L lens on and you will make magic.
     
  8. Steve-F thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 17, 2009
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    UK
    #8
    I'd love to but it's way over my budget. I will still probably rent high end cameras such as the 5D for relevant projects with a budget.
    Steve
     
  9. zblaxberg Guest

    zblaxberg

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    #9
    1) The Magic Lantern firmware resides on the SD card, not the camera itself.

    2) 18-135 is great but also consider some nice prime lenses. I tend to stick with my 28-200 and 50 prime.
     
  10. AgRacer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    #10
    If you already own a DSLR for photo, then buy a dedicated video camera for video. It will be loads easier to use and you'll be much happier with the results.

    DSLR video simply cannot focus fast enough, nor track subjects very well when compared to a dedicated video camera. Most DSLR "pro" movies you see are shot like a "pro" movie. As in, everything is staged and planned in advance and all the focus points and angles are worked out in advance. Nothing is done on the fly.

    For most amateurs shooting video (kids, friends, vacation, etc.) NOTHING is planned in advance and you will simply frustrate yourself trying to get on the fly video with a devise that was really not made to work that way.

    just my 2-cents....
     
  11. rjphoto macrumors 6502a

    rjphoto

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    Mar 7, 2005
    #11
    Just to get opinions, does anyone have any experience with Lumix or Lecia.

    I played with a Lecia V-Lux 2 in the store and played it back on an iMac. The video quality was good, but the camera was set to Auto White balance and it had a hard time shifting when the lighting changed during a shot. Starting out on the same scene, the white balance was fine.

    There was also bad zoom motor noise.

    A friend of mine has a Lumix SLR (not sure which model). I saw some footage he shot South America on a trip that was outstanding...
     
  12. sarge macrumors 6502a

    sarge

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    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #12
    Absolutely love my Canon 7d. I have not touched my HVX since I bought it - which is really sad because I spent about $7k on that camera when it first came out. Granted the audio is nowhere near what the Panasonic can do but the image quality just does not compare. The 7d looks amazing on my 40" flatscreen. I was really blown away by the difference. I think the 600d is about $500 less than what I paid for the 7d.

    The 600d is only $799 here in the States:

    • 1920 x 1080 (1080p, 16:9) @ 30/25/24 fps
    • 1280 x 720 (720p, 16:9) @ 60/50 fps
    • 640 x 480 (4:3) @ 60/50 fps
    • Quicktime MOV format (H.264 compression, linear PCM audio)
    • Up to 29 min 59 sec (or max file size 4 GB)
     
  13. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #13
    You say this but a lot of people crave the shallow depth of field that is given by the larger sensor and the superior low light performance.

    Also if you have a knack for staying on the ball and quick wrists it's quite easy to keep focus.

    I have only shot two films on the 5Dii one short and one corporate piece and I found that my focusing improved a lot the second time round just because I had had some previous experience.

    I would suggest the 550d as well and I think you should squeeze the budget to add in an LCD VF if you really are keen on pixel peeping your focus. It would also add some stability to your shooting.

    I plan on getting a 5diii (or a 600d if it takes too long) just to film the sort of random events that AgRacer is talking about because the benefits of low light and the shallow depth of field give that extra wow moment when my friends see themselves on screen. That being said I do always have my panasonic tm300 to fall back on when I just want quick good results.
     
  14. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

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    Mar 1, 2010
    #14
    Another option might be the Sony NEX-VG10. It was designed around a DSLR sensor but comes in a camcorder form factor. It also has interchangeable lenses.
     
  15. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

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    Jan 15, 2006
    #15
    Unfortunately it comes in at a 5dii price point. I also don't think it has XLR inputs and at 5dii price it's not full frame. This is all off the top of my head so feel free to correct me! :p
     
  16. AgRacer macrumors member

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    Apr 20, 2011
    #16
    That shallow DOF makes pre-planning even more critical as the focus point has to be spot on.

    My point was simply that for random movies that 90% of the consumers out there want, a dedicated video camera is a far better, and easier option to use.
     
  17. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

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    Mar 1, 2010
    #17
    The Sony NEX-VG10 is not really considered a professional camcorder, but on the top end of the consumer range, hence no XLR connections. But neither does any DSLR camera. Its built in mic will probably out do most DSLR mic's.

    Not sure exactly what you mean by full frame, but its shape is different which I think lends better for shooting video for long periods of time while moving around. The price is $899.00 cheaper then the 5dii, if thats what you mean by price point.
     
  18. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

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    Jan 15, 2006
    #18
    Neither are considered professional straight out of the box but the 5dii has been used in several features and in lots of top American and British TV shows. I haven't heard the same of the VG10. Also whilst the sony is probably better for shooting for a longer time the smaller size of the 5dii makes it easier to get some more creative angles. The E-Mount also limits the VG10 as currently I think there are only 3 official lenses. The 5dii has professional cinematic lenses available for it which makes quite a difference.

    By full frame I'm talking about the sensor size. I think the VG10 is a APS-C sensor which is a 1.6x crop of the full frame. Full frame generally has better lower light capabilities.

    On the price front. Maybe it's that cheap in America but here it's retailing for around £1500/1600 depending on retailer which is the same price as the 5dii! (http://www.digitalrev.com/en/sony-nex-vg10-with-e-mount-18-200mm-f3-dot-5-5-dot-6-9553.html) I think for the price that you are paying for my uses I would do better with a 5dii!
     
  19. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

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    Mar 1, 2010
    #19
    Dslr's have been out a lot longer, where the Sony is fairly new. Its still early to know if it will be popular enough to be adopted by the DSLR fans or video enthusiasts.

    While I don't know much about digital cameras, the Sony does accept DSLR A-mount lenses which should give it far more selection lens wise.
     
  20. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #20
    Well, there are still things that the HVX does better than any DSLR. Better video codec (DVCPRO-HD) with higher bitrate, better chroma subsampling (4:2:2) are couple of these things. It also doesn't suffer from line-skipping artifacts (most noticeable as moire patterns on images containing fine detail). You already mentioned the audio, so I won't reiterate.

    I think that eventually we're gonna start seeing a lot more video-specific DSLRs on the marketplace. And by that, I mean ones that use proper, native video imagers that don't require line-skipping trickery on a much larger still imager (as current DSLRs do) to produce a 1080p frame. And with some hope, better recording codecs, too (deeper color space, higher bitrate).

    Panasonic is already heading in the right direction with their new AG-AF100 camcorder. It uses a 4/3" sensor just like the GH2, but it's a 1080p native imager and thus doesn't adopt a lot of the artifacting that's typical of DSLR video. It's too bad they crippled a lot of what the camera is capable of by using the AVCHD codec, but it will output 4:2:2 HD-SDI uncompressed to recording device like a KiPro as an alternative.


    With that being said, don't get me wrong, I love DSLR video. I've done plenty of corporate gigs on them. But at this point, I'd be uneasy about enlisting DSLRs for larger projects, like feature films, for the reasons I listed above.
     
  21. sarge macrumors 6502a

    sarge

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    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #21
    ...not to mention the frame rates that you can achieve - I do love the super slow-mo that I can get when you over crank the HVX. I wouldn't shoot a doc with the DSLR but for b-roll or just artist video projects I definitely prefer the images produced by the 7d where audio is not as important (granted I'm shooting with top dollar glass)
    So I agree, long form projects would be out w/a DSLR.
     
  22. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

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    Jul 8, 2008
    #22
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8F190 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I know you wanted a Canon but the Panasonic Gh2 is the current must have camera for a reason.

    I'd get the Gh2 or wait for Canon to bring new cameras out.
     

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