7D for documentary making at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD

Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 31st, 2009, 01:32 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Liverpool
Posts: 34
7D for documentary making

Hi,

Am pretty new to all this so excuse me if I ask silly questions but am about to step on my learning curve..

anyway, next year I have planned 3 expeditions, these involve..

Cycling around the world:
Walking the length of New Zealand:
Climbing Mt McKinley

The adventure of a lifetime


Am looking to document this somehow and recently came across the canon 7D for which am very interested in as I can save space and money..

How do you think the 7D would hold up for this sort of stuff? Am looking to mix in time lapse into it as well..

Trying to move away from the normal documentaries really.

Thanks in advance
Lee Hughes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2009, 01:59 PM   #2
Contributor
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 4,449
Cycling...walking...climbing. To me those three words would point more to something like one of the Canon single chip Vixia cameras. You can put the camera, batteries, enough SD cards to last in a bag and it will all weigh less than a second lens for the 7D. Or maybe that small 3 chip JVC. Neither will give you the same quality but would be less hassle.

On the on the other hand, if you want to shoot stills too, then an HDSLR might make sense. Just be aware that there's more to the camera than the camera...extra lenses--probably a wide angle zoom, a normal zoom and a telephoto zoom...decent tripod...audio gear, filers, etc.
Bill Pryor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2009, 02:12 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Liverpool
Posts: 34
Hi,

Thanks for your reply..

Yeah I already have the 10-22mm lens and saving up for the 50mm 1.2 (providing I go ahead for the 7D)

I am looking to take stills, I have a canon 400d at the mo but it's need of a upgrade..

So do you think the 7D will be able to do this job?

Thanks
__________________
Planning to cycle around the world, Walk New Zealand, Climb Mt Mckinley
www.leehughes.co.uk
Lee Hughes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2009, 03:08 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 57
I would think that if you're already taking a stills camera anyway you might as well make it a 7D. Great video and great stills in the same package, why not? :)
Jesse Haycraft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2009, 03:27 PM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: new york
Posts: 94
As I understand it, the 7D has some major limitations for documentary footage. I just use it for tightly controlled narrative stuff, so excuse me if I miss sometehing.

Anyhow, the Canon 7D has a time limit of 12 minutes during a single take, at which time you'll have to stop and restart. If you're trying to get a continuous 2 or 3 hours of biking, this is really gonna put a hindrance on things. You won't be able to really enjoy the trip, you'll constantly be worrying about your camera, having to fiddle with it and make its presence very known. On the other hand, if you just occasionally want to pull the camera out and grab some quick footage, it wouldn't be as big of a problem (but trust me, that time limit is still going to get annoying).
Furthermore, you're constantly going to have to be changing lenses depending on what you want to shoot. That means more stuff you'll have to carry, more stuff that could break, yet another reason to have a group halt and make everyone sit around while you fiddle with the camera, and more money you'll have to spend.
Even after changing lenses, you're still going to have focus issues. If you move around a lot, and you're going to be moving nearly all of the time it seems, things are going to go out of focus a ton. That's going to wreck a lot of your footage, and cause yet ANOTHER reason where you have to say "Woah woah hang on hold it, you totally just went out of focus. Hold still for a second."

If you're going on the trip for the sake of the trip and just kind of want to document some stuff for the hell of it, you're going to get almost no good footage from the 7D, and you'll probably find it to be a huge nuisance. If everyone understands that the trip is specifically for the documentary, though, it might be a little easier to get people to hold still and pose and stay in focus and wait around while you switch lenses and whatnot.
But either way there are far better choices out there.

As someone mentioned, if you're going to be taking stills anyway, and price isn't an issue, might as well go with the 7D and take footage with it on the fly, taking advantage of its portability, and then carry a second camera better suited for this kind of thing that you can pull out when you really want some good footage.
But, since price probably is an issue, I'd recommend you look for a more traditional camera for the sort of thing you want to do.


Good luck!
Alex Payne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2009, 03:45 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 346
To me, the 7D would work out perfectly if I were doing a documentary like this. Why?

1. 7D, flash and lenses fit into a camera backpack along with Macbook Pro and other accessories (I can carry my entire production kit around in a Tamrac backpack—except for my tripod).

2. Very light and can carry around on a strap when not in use.

3. Lens change is very easy.

4. Presets can be setup to go back and forth from picture profiles when going from still into video and back and forth.

5. Media is cheap and can be downloaded via USB to the laptop for viewing/editing anytime.

6. Fast lenses can get much more picture in low light than other video cameras (Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 is only $399—just ordered one the other day).

7. Take amazing stills with the same camera you are shooting video. Normally would have to pack a video camera and a photo cam.

The bad?
1. If you are shooting from a bike, things might get wobbly (same with EX1 and 3).
2. Can't hold with one hand mounted on a shoulder (without rigging at least).
3. Need an external mic and input for proper audio (Just picked up a Zoon H4n to go with my Sennheiser ME66/K6 shotgun mic).
__________________
David Chapman
www.davechapfilms.com
David Chapman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2009, 04:21 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 57
Basically, as you can probably tell from our responses, it depends on how much work you're willing to do. More work = better footage, less work = worse footage. The 7D, while a pain, will produce undeniably superior footage than almost any other camera you could take. You'll just have to deal with things like switching lenses and audio and the like. If you don't want to deal with that, then don't use the 7D :)

EDIT: If you just want to document your trip, don't bother with the 7D. Take an HV40 or the new JVC or a similar cam. If you want to make something more... "artistic" and are willing to do the extra work required, then take the 7D.
Jesse Haycraft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2009, 04:50 PM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Angelo Texas
Posts: 1,510
Lee,

Walking, cycling, climbing...

I have the 7D and am learning to love it, but on what you describe I don't think I'd try it.

The 7D is a heavy camera. You're probably young and fit (I'm 71 and not really fit) but something like the 7D and the right wide angle lenses and others would make for a pretty heavy kit that would get heavier and heavier as the day wore on.

Bill Pryor's ideas bear some thinking on. One of the Canon Vixia camcorders with a .45X wide angle converter, and a compact still camera would allow you to get by with either a very lightweight tripod or monopod, and with the Canon DM-100 mic (comes with furry windmuff) would get you excellent video and audio in a very manageable easy to carry package.

I'd go with the HF S100 or HF200, both run on Class (6) SDHC cards and those same cards can be used in lots of compact still digital cameras (The CF cards the 7D requires for video and burst mode stills are NOT inexpensive, UDMA enabled media is strongly recommended).

Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth.
Bruce Foreman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2009, 06:29 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Liverpool
Posts: 34
wow a mixture of opinions..

Many thanks for all your input and advice..

I really need to get a hold of a 7D and play with it..

Is the 12 min footage standard or depending on memory card??

Am thinking of taking a GoPro Hero HD for longer on the road footage...

Still have a lot of research to do though :)

Thanks for your replies :)
__________________
Planning to cycle around the world, Walk New Zealand, Climb Mt Mckinley
www.leehughes.co.uk
Lee Hughes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2009, 07:18 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 773
If you can pay me enough to quit my day job, I'll walk across NZ with you.

I've shot a documentary in New Zealand, though I didn't have my 7D at the time.

The 7D is an awesome camera, but I don't think it's the right choice for you on the projects as you've described them. At least not as a primary camera. It's just too "fiddly" for most documentary work. Between having to manually focus, make sure that you run seperate sound, getting aperture/shutterspeed/ISO right for the exposure, and you practically require a loupe/viewfinder for anything not tripod mounted.

On the other hand..., the 7D rocks in environments where you can control the environment; this usually means interviews.

For landscapes, shallow depth of field isn't nearly as important (or desirable) so you're probably better off with a more traditional 1/3" cam with a good autofocus and XLR inputs so that you don't have to worry about sync-in-post. XH-A1s are going cheap lately since alot of people who bought them are now moving to VDSLRs.

When you do the New Zealand project, I'll hook you up with my field producer, Helen Breeze, based in Wellington.
__________________
Equip: Panny GH1, Canon HG20, Juicedlink, AT897, Sennh. EW/GW100, Zoom H2, Vegas 8.1
Brian Boyko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2009, 07:47 PM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
I think that the 5D - with an ultrawide - is a better camera than the 7D for an "in the middle of it" documentary. When you go ultrawide, focus and rolling shutter aren't as much of an issue. Also, Magic Lantern offers zebras, which help you no nail the exposure NOW.
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2009, 07:49 PM   #12
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Pembroke Pines, Fl.
Posts: 1,842
Canon HV 40 or a used HV30.
The 7d will be to hard to use spontaneously.
I have a Canon H1, A1, HV30, and now, a 7D. I love the 7D, but I wouldn;t want to depend on it for doc shooting on a trip like that.
Good luck
bRUCE yAROCK
Bruce S. Yarock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2009, 08:57 PM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 904
So far no one commented on the ONE thing the 7D does better than ANY videocamera... time lapse. Full sensor, still frame, no aliasing (and of course rolling shutter isnt an issue) and image quality beyond the definition you can display in a video.

Would I take it for THAT alone? No... and in fact support the advice you are getting on this camera's (7D's) suitabilility.

But for those reading the thread with similar questions, if time lapse is really important to you the DSLR's are the only way to fly.

Chris
Chris Swanberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2009, 10:24 PM   #14
Contributor
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 4,449
Lee, if you're going to shoot stills too, then the 7D does make some sense, although I might throw in one of the little Vixia cameras for backup in case the idea didn't work out.

As far as the 12 minute limit, that has to do with the 4 gig file size and isn't a function of the card. If you have a 32 gig card, then you can record about 100 minutes, but no take can be longer than 4 gigs, or about 12 minutes. If you were shooting a big long interview, you'd have to stop, then start up again. That can happen fast--the camera will stop if you hit the 4 gig limit, then you press go and it starts right up again. In most cases when I do interviews, there's plenty of opportunity to stop and start without having to stop a person in the middle of a thought. It's rare that a person would talk non-stop for 12 minutes during an interview.

I'm still more partial to a smaller regular video camera for a trip like this. But if you have a 40D and want to upgrade, as one of the above posts said, it might as well be a 7D so you can do video too. But considering where you're going, a second backup camera would be a very good idea, I think. And if the 7D got to be too much of a hassle, you're covered.
Bill Pryor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2009, 10:38 PM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Magic Lantern's zebras and audio features and a shoulder rig make the 5D2 viable for shooting on the fly. Hopefully, it won't be long before the 7D code is cracked.

And, yeah, for timelapse, DSLRs (even without video) rock. One tip: if you need to stop down your Canon lens for timelapse, you need to untwist it or use some other method for keeping the camera from controlling the aperture. Otherwise, it goes back and forth between open and closed, and the closed positions will vary slightly from pic to pic.

Here's an example (not mine - it's from Timescapes) of great timelapse.
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:52 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network