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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 March 8th, 2010, 11:29 AM   #1
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Is a 7D right for me?

Hi guys, I'm a film student and I'm looking for some input on the 7D.

I shoot with a XH-A1 right now, doing a little bit of everything, shorts, music videos, concerts, interviews, etc. I also do a lot of photography, shooting for yearbook, school's paper, our theater, and occasionally behind-the-scenes for other students shoots.

I'm considering selling my XH-A1 tohugh for a 7D, here's mainly why I'm thinking that:

Second camera body for shooting stills
More of a "Film" look (I love the look of the VDSLR's)
Sorta save money since I wouldn't need a 35mm adapter, can just use my existing lenses.

My plan is to sell the XH-A1 and use the money to kit out a 7D. Here's my shopping list:

External Recorder
Zacuto Rapid Fire
Fast Cf Cards
Extra Battery

With a setup like that would I be able to keep up with a more run and gun situation? I'm used to manual focusing as is from shooting stills. I had a lens with broken AF for about a year I had to shoot manual with.

As a side note, how does the D look with kit lenses? I have some L glass but it's all telephoto, I only have the kit lens for wide angle at the moment.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 02:09 PM   #2
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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I think its a good start!

Even though I dont own one, nor have ever experienced shooting with one or anything.
but I do plan on getting one, or what ever is equivalent that my budget will let me in 2 years time.

education | stillmotion

This is a local canadian company which really really Good if you scroll below the link they have a blog entry called "Stillmotion Gearbag" I found it to be a very good read and very resourceful.

I recommend go for the 5dII now that the firmware is update.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 12:34 PM   #3
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I'm a film student as well with a 7D, it was the right choice for me (because i could afford it!) but if you've already got the XH-A1, I'd say... stick with that, you'll be much happier. the xh-a1 offers a LOT more variety in what you can shoot with it, which is important as a student... the 7D is great for only a very limited number of things... the more outside its main purpose you go, the less useful it becomes.

Yes, it's useful for stills, but you can buy any number of cheaper cameras and still get great stills for your yearbook and paper.

forget the "more of a film look" with the 7D. Like I said, it's great for its specific purposes, but it's very easy to end up with shots that create issues on your footage (moire, aliasing) that are going to ruin your "film look." in my opinion, they're still great images and are generally forgivable by the general public... but in many, many circumstances your xh-a1 is going to give you more of a film look. in perfect settings the 7D may shine... but you're a film student. you're rarely going to have perfect settings.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 02:41 PM   #4
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Location: Camas, WA, USA
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To me, the 7D is a great film student camera. Sure, it has some limitations, so you have to do some work to get around them. For instance, by using a shallow DOF, you can avoid lots of aliasing issues. You can also slightly defocus, if needed. Sometimes, you can fix things in post with chroma blur or other techniques.

The other problem is rolling shutter. If you plan to shoot concerts with strobe lights, or handheld on the high seas while having a seizure, this is not your camera. This cam really forces you to stabilize shots, which is frankly one of the things that separates pro from amateur video. If you want a shaky look, you are better off zooming and shaking in post than doing it live.

And then there is the challenge of focusing on the fly, sync'ing audio, changing lenses, adding NDs externally, etc. It really works better when you can plan your shots, as compared to grabbing and shooting immediately.

Then there's the 12-minute limit. My condolences for the wedding shooting filming a 13 minute ceremony. "You may now kis..." If you shoot some b-roll and roll audio on an external device, you can make it work if you choose your pauses well.

The reward, of course, is low noise and controllable DOF shooting. When a DvSLR messes up it does so spectacularly. But when you use it in the right conditions, it can perform spectacularly.
Jon Fairhurst
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Old March 10th, 2010, 02:48 PM   #5
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The 7D would be a powerful companion to the XH-A1, but I wouldn't sell the XH-A1 to buy the 7D.

Two reasons: First, there are plenty of situations where the 7D isn't appropriate. "Run and Gun" is one of them.

Second, the 550D is coming out soon. You can buy that instead, try out what owning a VDSLR is like - and then AFTER you've experienced VDSLR shooting... you can sell the 550D body and get a 7D.
Equip: Panny GH1, Canon HG20, Juicedlink, AT897, Sennh. EW/GW100, Zoom H2, Vegas 8.1
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Old March 11th, 2010, 03:52 PM   #6
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I have an XH A1 also but I haven't used it a single time since I got the 7D in September. I do a lot of documentary style shooting as well as controlled lighting and studio work. I don't do much TV news style run-'n-gun. I haven't sold the XH A1 because I always want a backup camera for out of town client trips. I initially bought the 7D to upgrade still capabilities and to serve as a backup camera. However, I like it so well that the XH A1 has become the backup. It seems to me that the 7D would be much better for a film student. It's a lot more like shooting film than any video camera--you cannot zoom, you can't use auto iris, you can't use auto focus, you have to shoot double system sound. This helps a student to learn the craft.
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