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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 29th, 2010, 01:02 PM   #1
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First Impressions... Not So Hot!

So it finally arrived, and I'm having a little trouble getting as excited as some of the other posters, so I'm wondering what I'm missing. First off, I am using the kit lens because my Tokina is on backorder, so for all of you T2i users with better lenses, can you confirm / deny that my following criticisms will go away with these better lenses? I hear the kit lens isn't so bad, so it's hard to imagine my issues can all be explained away simply with the lens. Nevertheless...

LOW LIGHT
It's raining and raining so my tests are all indoors, but that's good, because I want to see how well it performs in dark, unlit, ugly situations. And so far, it doesn't seem to be that great. Now, I've shot with the 5D a little but other than that, the DSLR world is new to me. I realize the 5D is going to be better in low light, but is it THAT much better?

here's some full-frame, untouched examples- shooting at 1/50th, wide open on the kit lens, iso800, 1080/24p.
First, close up and focused- not terrible, but not terribly impressive, either- colors, saturation, noise, detail, all ehh....
http://foolfactory.com/rebel/rebel01.jpg

But as soon as you get into a lot of detail and information on the frame, that "lovely, 35mm shallow depth of field" look is just ugly- it looks like the combination of generated low-light noise and it's own compression artifacting is spitting out a bad photoshop-filtered "impressionist" look. Here's a wall, out of focus:
http://foolfactory.com/rebel/rebel02.jpg

And here it is, in focus, where the abundance of information in the frame just gets noisy, in an ugly way:
http://foolfactory.com/rebel/rebel03.jpg

And here's the one that really got me- again, out of focus- it looks like a jpg set at the highest compression, saved for the web:
http://foolfactory.com/rebel/rebel04.jpg

and the same shot, focused (check out that no-detail-red couch):
http://foolfactory.com/rebel/rebel05.jpg


I have some 5D footage shot in that same room but on a brighter day (I forget what lens was used.) It's miles ahead of the T2i. I know the rebel is not the 5D. But is it THIS different? Is it merely that I'm shooting at an 800 iso? Is this camera simply not a low-light camera and I need to accept that? Or will my fast, sharp Tokina lens save the day? Shooting a film in nothing but available light is one of the reasons I got this camera... perhaps I jumped the gun too soon?

And how does the 7D, which has a similar sensor, compare- are they both equally inferior to the 5D?

Feel free to chime in!
Attached Thumbnails
First Impressions... Not So Hot!-rebel01.jpg   First Impressions... Not So Hot!-rebel02.jpg  

First Impressions... Not So Hot!-rebel03.jpg   First Impressions... Not So Hot!-rebel04.jpg  

First Impressions... Not So Hot!-rebel05.jpg  

Last edited by David St. Juskow; March 29th, 2010 at 01:55 PM. Reason: jpgs were not loading
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Old March 29th, 2010, 01:34 PM   #2
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First thing, I can't see your images. Are the links correct? I just get question marks when I click on them.

Secondly, I have zero clue what your background is and where you come from but when I first shot with the T2i my feelings/thoughts were very similar to yours. I was not thrilled with what I was seeing (also shooting indoors in low light) and was really quite disappointed.

I then realized that there was a ton of footage posted online from the T2i that looked great. I have the same camera (not using the kit lens, have a couple of Canon 2.8 zooms) so why does my footage look like crap? It must be the operator. So for the past few weeks I have been drowning myself in education about DSLRs and the T2i. I've never been a still photographer, just a videographer and I didn't have an understanding of still basics which is necessary to shoot well with this camera.

So I've been reading like mad, purchasing training videos, asking questions, shooting with it every day in any circumstance I can. All to try and get familiar with the camera and understand how it works. This camera can produce wonderful footage, that's not in question as people have show it to be true. My options are either to hire those people for jobs or get better myself. So I'm getting educated.

In only a few weeks I've progressed quite a bit, I think. I have a good grasp on what this camera can do and in what circumstances. I'm still very much a beginner in the photography world but have a good understanding of the basics now and am learning more each day.

My bottom line, what I discovered is: Out of the box in the hands of someone that doesn't know still photography this camera isn't going to be great for video. At least for me it took a lot of education.

I went out this morning and shot some around my little town (first sunny day in weeks) and I'm very pleased with how it came out. But each shot I spent a handful of minutes setting up, checking my levels/exposure, making sure everything was correct before hitting record. These are things I didn't do when I first got the camera and my first footage shows it.

Again, no idea where you are in the process but that's what I discovered about me and the T2i.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 01:35 PM   #3
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In terms of lowlight you need a lens with a 2.8 aperture or faster. Purchase a 50mm 1.8 for now till you get your tokina in. The kit lens is a nice lens for outside shooting. In doors and lowlight is going to be very difficult with your kit lens unless you are using a whole lot of light. I think once you get your tokina in you'll feel better. Now when it comes to sharpness you will be disappointed when comparing it to a 3CCD camcorder. It frustrates me that the sharpness is not there compared to my XHA1 but for everything else it's a really nice dslr that shoots nice video.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 01:38 PM   #4
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The kit lens is junk, unless you shoot outdoor then it is great, and if you want to shoot in low light next to nothing, the Tokina 2.8 is not going to cut it either, you need prime lens at F1.4 or better. The 7D has intermediate ISO like 1000, 1250, when you have next to nothing light I use 1250 the most cuz at 1600 it has more noise that I would like and so 7D is better than T2i in that area and both of them is about 1/2 stop slower than the 5D.
bTW don't know if it is my computer or not but can't see any jpeg that you posted.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 01:43 PM   #5
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Image links not working -- can't you just post them here? There should be a "manage attachments" dialog box immediately below the text input field when making a post.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 02:05 PM   #6
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I see your pictures now, those are aliasing artifacts, you don't want to use any Canon DSLR to shoot anything that has patern lines like your cd case, roof top,this is not what people buy this camera for, it is well know for producing aliasing/moire artifacts for this kind of scene.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 02:06 PM   #7
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Sorry- the pics opened fine in my browser, but upon further review, they were actually exported out as PICT files from QT Pro, despite having the jpg extension. The links should now work, but they are also uploaded onto the site via the original post (read Left to Right, from #1 to #5)

Bryan- my original background was shooting 16mm film, as well as 35mm photography (but that's more a personal thing than a professional one) so I have a solid understanding of 35mm SLR's and film cameras, though I later switched digital video (once film was just too expensive to continue using) but DSLR's are a new world for me. The 5D shot really well for me and rivaled my experience with Sony's EX-1 that it threw me onto this DSLR bandwagon with gusto- I had no problem making the 5D images look as well as what I could do with the EX-1. But perhaps it was the lens combined with the full frame sensor? Or maybe it is simply operator error. I would have thought, though, that the principles of f-stops and focal planes are, at least, somewhat the same in both worlds, though perhaps that's just not true. I'm curious, Bryan, what you think you were really missing that you are now grasping, coming to this as a videographer. Perhaps I have a lot more to learn than I thought.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 02:08 PM   #8
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I see your pictures now, those are aliasing artifacts, you don't want to use any Canon DSLR to shoot anything that has patern lines like your cd case, roof top,this is not what people buy this camera for, it is well know for producing aliasing/moire artifacts for this kind of scene, about your red couch, you focus on the cd case and so what do you expect the couch to look like? if you want all of the scene in focus in low light like this you need to stay with 1/3 inch ccd camera, with large sensor like DSLR to get everything in focus you have to stop down to probably f8 for this scene to get everything in focus and it will be too dark.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 02:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khoi Pham View Post
I see your pictures now, those are aliasing artifacts, you don't want to use any Canon DSLR to shoot anything that has patern lines like your cd case, roof top,this is not what people buy this camera for, it is well know for producing aliasing/moire artifacts for this kind of scene.
I realize this was their weak point, but I hadn't seen examples showing it to be THIS bad- that was where the shock came from. jagged edges on diagonals, sure, but such a lack of detail was shocking- and even when I shot a medium close up of person in front of a plain wall (in poor, dark lighting I realize, but still) I got the same splotchy lack of detail. I know I'm pushing it with the camera, giving it no light to work with and a crappy lens... I realize if you light the scene it's going to look much better. I just wasn't expecting such poor performance, and was hoping to compare notes with your experiences to see if that really is just how the camera performs or if lenses and / or other user-controllable factors would make a big difference.

thanks for the input!
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Old March 29th, 2010, 02:31 PM   #10
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question for monday isa

i have a close friend who has shot film for his winery and culinary outlet, first with an xha1 (which i also had and sold last fall), the switched to the EX!, and finally sold that for two canon 5D's. his videographer says the detail, color and quality of the image absolutely smokes the canon xha1, and is considerbably better than the EX1. i dont understand how you can compare a small digital sensor inthe xha1 in comparison to a dslr. bill
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Old March 29th, 2010, 02:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by David St. Juskow View Post
I realize this was their weak point, but I hadn't seen examples showing it to be THIS bad- that was where the shock came from. jagged edges on diagonals, sure, but such a lack of detail was shocking- and even when I shot a medium close up of person in front of a plain wall (in poor, dark lighting I realize, but still) I got the same splotchy lack of detail. I know I'm pushing it with the camera, giving it no light to work with and a crappy lens... I realize if you light the scene it's going to look much better. I just wasn't expecting such poor performance, and was hoping to compare notes with your experiences to see if that really is just how the camera performs or if lenses and / or other user-controllable factors would make a big difference.

thanks for the input!
Dude... put a lens on the camera, then get back to us. The kit lens is letting in 1/4 the light of even a decent zoom, and 1/8 the light or less of a good prime. You're STARVING the camera of light... hence the garbage results you see.

I've shot the 7D and the 5D and yes the 5D is better, but not THAT much better.

... Also, change your ISO to 640 and get off 800 (can you set 640 in the T2i?).
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Old March 29th, 2010, 02:46 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by William Boehm View Post
i have a close friend who has shot film for his winery and culinary outlet, first with an xha1 (which i also had and sold last fall), the switched to the EX!, and finally sold that for two canon 5D's. his videographer says the detail, color and quality of the image absolutely smokes the canon xha1, and is considerbably better than the EX1. i dont understand how you can compare a small digital sensor inthe xha1 in comparison to a dslr. bill
No it is the other way around, the XH-A1 smoke the DSLR in details resolution, what your friend see is a shalow dof of the DSLR and so the subject stand out more and it make it looks like it is sharper when comparing to XH-A1 but it is not, I have both.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 02:54 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
I've shot the 7D and the 5D and yes the 5D is better, but not THAT much better.
That's the kind of info I'm looking for. Hey, I started off acknowledging the obvious- this is a kit lens. I'm putting the camera in the worst possible circumstances, and yes, I'm starving it for light, but you can starve the EX-1 for example with way better results. I understand why that is, no need to explain, I just wanted to compare notes rather than follow my first gut reaction to return this thing and save up for a 5D.

The T2i does 400 and 800 but not 640, one of the reasons why we're paying half the price. 400 was a bit too dark. As for the aliasing comment, other shots of large, more solid colors and objects weren't much better- but I'll see how my other lenses fare, once they come in.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 02:55 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
Dude... put a lens on the camera, then get back to us. The kit lens is letting in 1/4 the light of even a decent zoom, and 1/8 the light or less of a good prime. You're STARVING the camera of light... hence the garbage results you see.

I've shot the 7D and the 5D and yes the 5D is better, but not THAT much better.

... Also, change your ISO to 640 and get off 800 (can you set 640 in the T2i?).
No he only can go full stop, 400,800, 1600...
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Old March 29th, 2010, 03:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
Dude... put a lens on the camera, then get back to us. The kit lens is letting in 1/4 the light of even a decent zoom, and 1/8 the light or less of a good prime. You're STARVING the camera of light... hence the garbage results you see.
.
Agree, I got a Cannon 50mm f1.4 at the same time I bought the camera and for video and stills it's awesome. Just for grins, I went into my garage at night in total darkness a snapped a shot with the 50mm wide open. I was shocked that I got an image, albeit not useable but the 1.4 seems to generate it's own light!

I put the kit lens on just to see how it looked shooting indoors and shortly after that it found a place on my shelf with other equipment I never use.

Please don't discount this camera as it really works well...just have to set it up properly.
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