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lilikoi's avatar

What do you think about HD video capability on Canon SLRs?

Asked by lilikoi (10079points) August 8th, 2010

Premature technology that’s worth waiting a little longer for the kinks to be worked out or worth buying into right now? I’ve read that auto focus is basically useless, that the body picks up too much ambient noise, and that of course there is no image stabilization (which really worries me)...

I was pretty impressed with the video quality and directional sound that the (p/s) S5 IS had – the camera picked up bone crunching of a leopard off in the distance eating that I couldn’t even hear in real life. I’m wondering how the video quality of the SLRs compare to the S5 IS. I know the SLRs (T2i and 7D) do HD, but what good is that if you can’t manage to keep it focused while also keeping it stable, while also making sure you’re pointing in the right direction…or if it kills your battery life and maxes out your memory card (two addl issues that concern me).

Anyone have the Rebel T2i? Do you like it so far and do you feel that it was a good value? How do they compare to past cameras you have used?

I know there are those that think it’s dumb for an SLR to also do video, but I’m not interested in debating that.

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4 Answers

bluemukaki's avatar

I’m looking into it too at the moment and this is what I’ve gathered:

From what I read there’s not much point trying with anything less than a 5D Mark II or a 7D, both of which are pretty pricey, as far as autofocus goes. They’re still ironing out a lot of kinks with this.

The Nikon SLRs that do video are much more susceptible to the ‘jelly’ effect when the image isn’t stable or when the cam moves quickly.

The main limiting factors are the amount of storage you need – it’s probably best to have a harddrive or portable computer along for the ride to offload your shot footage or you’ll run out pretty quickly.

Also if you plan on recording audio at the same time you definitely need an external microphone, which adds costs and takes time to sync up to the video in post.

The biggest concern from my perspective is the prost-production workflow, which is hindered by the file format the video is saved as, which is a bitch to work with in some editing software and will need to be converted before you attempt to use it. Once you get used to this it’s less work than it seems.

I’m also interested the upcoming NEX-VG10 which is a video camera that also has interchangeable lenses, which is the main benefit of the SLR without many of the hassles.

Carly's avatar

I’m the kind of person that holds out to buy any kind of digital product until I see it and work with it. This includes computers, cameras, and video equipment.

I just worked with a video crew this summer who was shooting with Canon’s 5D Mark II and a 7D.
They used a steadicam when they weren’t filming a still shot and the HD video looked amazing (even before they edited it). I’m planning on buying a 7D as soon as I save up the money. The only thing I wasn’t super impressed with was the audio, but you can easily fix that with shotgun mic.

tramnineteen's avatar

The final episode from season 6 of House M.D. was shot with Canon SLR’s. I am sure they were full frame models. It looked good to me.

bluemukaki's avatar

I just got back from a weekend staying with a professional photographer who shoots stills on the Canon 5D Mark II, we played around with the video feature but it’s very susceptible to stuttering when you pan – even on a fluid head tripod it was pretty bad.

I’m sure with a professional setup you could get a smoother result, but compared to a camcorder or professional digital video equipment it’s not worth the effort unless you want to take stills as well.

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