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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.


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Old February 9th, 2010, 04:44 AM   #1
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In the Market...

Hello,

I'm in the market for a new camcorder. I was going to scrape up all my change and go for the Panasonic AGHPX170 but I've been looking at all the footage from the 7D and none of the dedicated video camcorders come close to this level of quality. It's most impressive feat is the DoF the camera can achieve.

I'm now seriously considering one to replace my XL2 for my indy films. My XL2 will serve as an in between medium for customers who don't fully appreciate the elegance of that film like dream look...but I love it!

my question is, what are other lens options other than the standard 28-135mm? That seems like a good all-rounder range, but 28 just isn't wide enough and 135 just isn't close enough.

Any recommendations? Also, how much do different lenses factor in on the DoF?

Thanks in advance!
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Old February 9th, 2010, 06:41 AM   #2
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Any lens made to fit Canon EOS camera can be used on the 7D. These include ones made by canon, as well as Tamron, Sigma and Tokina. Just remember that the 7d is an APS-C camera which means that it has a 1.5x crop factor. So that 28mm lens becomes 42mm and the 135 is closer to 200mm.

The lenses play a HUGE factor in the DoF. Lenses with a larger aperture (lower number) such as 1.8 or 1.4 will give much thinner DoF. For shallow DoF you would want to get a collection of primes, then maybe a zoom lens or two to cover the longer distances.
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Old February 9th, 2010, 06:48 AM   #3
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Hey there!

I am also looking for lenses.

So far I have the sigma 30mm 1.4 - this works almost like a 50mm on the 7D and its great for low light and all the good things that come with a 1.4

I will be getting the Tokina 11-16 2.8 - this is one of the best lenses you can get on the wide side for your 7D. The problem is that its hard to find one.

I'm missing now a all arround lens and a long lense.

I hope this helps. There is a lot of info out there!
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Old February 9th, 2010, 01:14 PM   #4
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Hi Roger,

I know you asked about lenses, and John and Jose covered that off nicely, but I'd like to chime in regarding your decision to replace your XL2 with the 7D.

There's no doubt that what people are doing with the 7D is very exciting and I love my 7D, its the only camera I'm using at the moment. But having said that, I'm working on my own projects where money and time aren't my biggest concern. If I was asked to produce a project for someone else the 7D would not be the camera I'd choose. I'd still choose my EX3 and use the 7D for some shots.

The 7D is a very good DSLR that shoots great HD but when it comes to full up production it has a lot of short comings. For example, yesterday two things happened that would not have happened with my EX3, I had the 7D mounted on a jib, got some great shots but the mini-HDMI connection on the camera is not very good and when we moved the jib the cable came loose and the monitor lost signal. The other thing was when the 32GB card was full, it was full and it didn't automatically switch to a second card like it would in my EX3.

Independently neither of these things are a big deal, but add to that the work around for audio, no real tools for monitoring exposure or sharpness (zebras-peaking) and you can start to see my point.

I'm not trying to dissuade you from getting a 7D, not at all, but your chances for success with this camera are greatly improved if you know what your getting into and possibly what it takes to work around its shortcomings. Like with all new technologies there are tradeoffs, and for me its been more than worth it.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old February 9th, 2010, 02:01 PM   #5
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Agree 100%

I totally agree with you on this. I own a 7D as well as 2 EX-1s, and for paid gigs the EX1 comes first, 7D for "creative" and "b roll" shots. I do like the look of the 7D better though, but ergonomics and limited "video" features are difficult to overcome on a "quick paced" production (filming) schedule.

Best regards.

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Old February 9th, 2010, 03:41 PM   #6
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Great info

John, that's an awesome point to make. I did not realize the difference between the formats. 28 to 42 is a huge difference and requires me to really think and do my math before committing to a lens.

Chuck, interesting points and they did make me stop and think about this a little more, but ultimately, The workaround for these issues isn't too severe, with the exception of the audio, but otherwise I never shoot with monitors. Not because I don't want to, but because I don't have the money or the man power to do it. But in your case, it was on a jib...which I do plan on buying/building. Was the cable to short? Did you have to rig it up with an chain of adapters to reach a desired length? What made it difficult to shoot with the monitor on a jib (aside from the signal loss...I mean, what was the cause of that)

The 7D is is primarily for myself and my indy films where time, money and scheduling is not a factor. I just want that look, bad.

You mentioned "it did not automatically switch to a second card", does this mean the 7D has more than 1 slot for multiple cards?

The biggest drawback for me is the audio. Finding a workaround for recording external audio might prove to be the priciest upgrade to the camera, but I've always been pretty spot on with my integrated focus and exposure monitors (my own two eyes) so that doesn't worry me much, but then again, I've yet to really play with HD footage so it could prove to be otherwise with higher quality footage like HD.

Even with my XL2 I've always used the stock viewfinder flipped open and sometimes I would use the Zebra patterns and I was never disappointed.

However, your points do make me realize I need to do more research for solutions before jumping the gun and buying the cam, but my guts tellin' me I wont regret it.
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Old February 9th, 2010, 04:13 PM   #7
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The 7D only has one card. Dual card slots would be nice, but Canon reserves that feature for its 1D-series line.
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Old February 9th, 2010, 06:24 PM   #8
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That would've been a nice feature to have, but I'm not going to spend $4K+ for dual memory slots!
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Old February 9th, 2010, 07:45 PM   #9
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For me, if i was shooting indie: 7D! can't go wrong!

Production with 7D is not easier AT ALL, but definitely more related to how a real "film" shoot works. i think the new dslrs are a great way to learn the technical side of cinematography.

12 minute record limit is similar to 400ft/11min load on film cameras; controlling the f-stop/DoF is more critical on the 7d than smaller chips video camera, just like a film camera; the sensor size is spot-on-same size as 35mm negatives; the separate audio recording system (if you so choose), is just like film production; having to pull (critical) focus again, is something that is indeed part of film, no autofocus on an ARRI, there are no one-push buttons anywhere on this camera; etc

the thing is, not everybody wants to deal with that stuff...

I rather like it compared to a video cameras, i know i'm not alone.

Its strengths are glowing, BUT its limitations are GLARING
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Old February 10th, 2010, 01:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Rosales View Post
Chuck, interesting points and they did make me stop and think about this a little more, but ultimately, The workaround for these issues isn't too severe, with the exception of the audio, but otherwise I never shoot with monitors. Not because I don't want to, but because I don't have the money or the man power to do it. But in your case, it was on a jib...which I do plan on buying/building. Was the cable to short? Did you have to rig it up with an chain of adapters to reach a desired length? What made it difficult to shoot with the monitor on a jib (aside from the signal loss...I mean, what was the cause of that)

The 7D is is primarily for myself and my indy films where time, money and scheduling is not a factor. I just want that look, bad.

You mentioned "it did not automatically switch to a second card", does this mean the 7D has more than 1 slot for multiple cards?

The biggest drawback for me is the audio. Finding a workaround for recording external audio might prove to be the priciest upgrade to the camera, but I've always been pretty spot on with my integrated focus and exposure monitors (my own two eyes) so that doesn't worry me much, but then again, I've yet to really play with HD footage so it could prove to be otherwise with higher quality footage like HD.

Even with my XL2 I've always used the stock viewfinder flipped open and sometimes I would use the Zebra patterns and I was never disappointed.

However, your points do make me realize I need to do more research for solutions before jumping the gun and buying the cam, but my guts tellin' me I wont regret it.
No the 7D does not have two cards but the EX3 does, and probably just about any professional camera that records data does.

I just wanted to bring up some of these issues, they can certainly all be overcome, but its awfully easy to read this and other forums and "feel" the need for this camera. It is very exciting but not always quite as advertised.

There is however a flip side to some of this, I purchased a cheap $300 jib that is very lightweight and flimsy but it works great with the 7D. A lot of people will pay $1600 for a 7D camera body but then recommend that you spend a fortune on accessories.

Seems odd to me, but with this camera you truly can experiment and challenge all sorts of widely held production practices that you might not do with a larger more expensive camera.

I think Mike said it best, "Its strengths are glowing, BUT its limitations are GLARING" as long as you go into it knowing that then hopefully you wont be disappointed.

I'm having a lot of fun trying different things with this camera. I think all film students should have to figure it out...
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Old February 10th, 2010, 02:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Spaulding View Post
There is however a flip side to some of this, I purchased a cheap $300 jib that is very lightweight and flimsy but it works great with the 7D. A lot of people will pay $1600 for a 7D camera body but then recommend that you spend a fortune on accessories.

..
Yes, you really don't need a $6,000 tripod with this camera, or a $1,000 battery kit, or even a $300 case -- I paid $37 for a padded Canon backpack that works perfectly. And also, the lenses you may or may not invest in hold their value. Glass is glass, I just bought a 40 y/o Pentax prime that works perfectly. Although most PC people may have to bite the bullet and pay $99 for Cineform.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 05:45 PM   #12
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Indeed...

All of these points that have been brought up are things that actually attract me to the camera.

Without that running timecode freedom and easy, bland focusing, I have to take the time to set up my shots and thoroughly think things through a bit more than I naturally would with any other HD camcorder.

Mike, it really is just like film, but with none of the costs of dealing with film.

Chuck, the idea of having ACCESSIBLE accessories is also a huge plus. It's not going to cost me a fortune like if I were to buy a camcorder and then all the other equipment just so it can look as good as the 7D. I'd rather have the 7D without all the other associated costs.

I've pretty much made up my mind. Now a new internal battle emerges...T2i or 7D? Only time will tell on that one...or early reviews.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 06:17 PM   #13
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Roger, I'm in the same boat! I was all ready to buy the 7D before the t2i announcement, and now I'm not so sure anymore. I've already been waiting for a while before buying anything...I guess I can wait another 3 weeks to see how it does once it starts shipping.

Great advice guys...I'd add only one thing: You take whatever you got and you make it work for you, and you don't waste your time comparing your TOOLS to the next guy's as long as your end product makes you (and your clients) happy. We're in a creative business, but it seems the tools of our trade have a tendency to attract non-creative technophiles who care more about the MB/sec and the # of processors and the megapixels and...you get the idea. Be true to the artist in what you do, and you can't go wrong with either camera.

I'm half tempted to get the T2i just for the sake of being one of the first, and then work my butt off to prove it a formidable player in the HDSLR-based production scene. We'll see...
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Old February 10th, 2010, 07:03 PM   #14
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lol

It seems as though a lot of people are. Everything was fine until the T2i scrambled everyone's already hard working brain with even more choices to think about.

The main thing with the 7D for me is the 8fps burst and even more intricate focus system. I will be doing photography freelancing probably just as much as video (and not just weddings), but I'm working my way up to one day do sports events as well. However, therein lies my dilemma. How much sports photography am I really going to do? I say I want a lot, but that may not be the reality so do I work my way up slower and upgrade as necessary? By then better cameras will have come out already, but who knows? Maybe this cam will help me get those jobs easier/faster, but like you said, I don't like to measure ones abilities by their tools. It's the individual and their creativeness that makes or breaks them ultimately.

If it was just video, I'd most likely just go with the T2i since it seems to be identical to the 7D in that aspect.

Here's hoping we both make the right choice!
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