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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 April 25th, 2010, 05:45 PM   #1
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550 as B-cam?

Hi guys,

My main camera is a Sony HVR V1E. I like it. Two big let downs, though. 1) Difficult to achieve shallow depth of field 2) poor low light performance.

Proposed solution: Get a 550 d for circumstances in which I need to use available low lux, or wanna get shallow DoF.

Does this make sense to you guys? Any thoughts would be appreciated

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Old April 25th, 2010, 06:11 PM   #2
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From what I have seen so far you will want to use the V1 as the Bcam.
The picture quality surpass the HDV format...
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Old April 25th, 2010, 06:20 PM   #3
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Oh man... I was afraid of that. Part of me thinks sell the V1, grab a 5DII for the full frame? What can you guys think of to commend keeping an actual Camcorder alongside an HD DSLR? I feel kind of silly for going for a V1 in the first place, but I guess I just thought... There must be some advantage to having something designed primarily for video, right?
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Old April 25th, 2010, 06:34 PM   #4
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Don't take this wrong. It depends on what are you using it for. People judge from the size of the things in some situations... But if you can go for full frame DSLR I am totally with you. Those DSLR's (alone with Media Composer 5) are game changers.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 06:36 PM   #5
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it totally depends on what you're filming, v1 can go up to max size of your tape or ext. drive non stop, 550D can't, plus it will get overheated being used non stop; v1 has auto focus, DSLRs don't,
with good mike you'll get OK sound from v1, with DSLR to get a decent sound, the most practical way is a separate sound setup,
but of course with DSLR you'll get better image, better low light, shallower DOF and more selective focus,
my A cam is EX1, my B and C are 5DII and 550D
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Old April 25th, 2010, 06:57 PM   #6
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Hm,

Thanks guys. I think choosing gear might be harder than videography itself, no? That A,B,C setup you have sounds like an HD dreamboat.

One other thought - sounds shallow, and I know results are all important, but have you guys ever been questioned when showing up to a video gig with a DSLR? For those that are not prithee to the quiet revolution of stunning HD on still cams, it might look a little odd, whereas Sony's HDV cams LOOK the business.Maybe I should get an old VHS shoulder mounted Cam and hide a DSLR inside it!

At the mo, I'm focusing my efforts on a series of shorts, so I think having a DSLR in my setup would be pretty useful. Will probably hang on to the V1 and go for the 550, then think about selling the V1 in the summer and grabbing a 5D then. Hm. If only someone would give me a few thousand pounds. Any takers?

XX
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Old April 25th, 2010, 08:33 PM   #7
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Echo a few thoughts...

At this point, the DSLR's should be used a B-cams unless you can work around the 12 minute record limit and overheating. It really takes you back to the days of shooting film where you changed out canisters every so often and the production stopped while that happened. Live events mean more than one camera.
Audio on the DSLR's is terrible so you must have a decent recorder (Zoom H4n is my choice)
Smooth zooms are VERY difficult and poor image stabilization means you tripod, monopod, or steadicam...or fix it in post.
The mattebox has been a topic of debate but for ease of adding ND filters, polarizers, and other filters, they are the way to go.
You will need a serious budget for lenses. This will be more than the camera (even in the case of the 5D)
Also a wallet killer is a follow focus and shoulder mount system.
NOW...this is if you go all DSLR.

If you get a decent camcorder to handle audio and zooms and all the other stuff they are good at, the DSLR can work just great for "beauty" and low light work.

THE lens to get as your 1st is the Canon 50mm f1.4. It's about $350 (US) and it seems to generate it's own light and has absolutely beautiful bokeh IMHO!
Used with a follow focus, this is a serious rig and won't break a budget.

I use my HMC 150 for wide shots and the T2i for DOF and closeups. Only bummer is that the T2i has a MUCH better image than the 150 which has me looking towards an EX1r or Canon's new tapeless.

Welcome to the madness!
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Old April 25th, 2010, 09:22 PM   #8
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Whether you use the 550d as a b-cam may depend on how you define A/B camera setups. For example, at a recent concert I set the FX7 up on a tripod, hook it up to the soundboard, lock the settings, and let it roll. Then I ran around with my GH1 hand held getting shots from different angles. So is the GH1 my b-roll camera because it is only shooting cut aways, or is it my A-camera because it is the one in my hand? It doesn't really matter how you choose to use each camera, the important thing is it will expand the creative choices you have and give you a broader range of tools.

In saying that, I would definitely not abandon your V1E. It will allow you to do things the 550d or even the 5dmkII cant such as slow zooms, better audio control, (almost) unlimited record times (with a HDD), no everheating etc.

And the comment about lenses being more expensive than the body is not necassarily true. You can pick up a set of old Nikon primes and adaptors for a few hundred dollars. A 28mm f/2.8, a 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.7, and 135mm f/2.8 shouldn't set you back too far, and when you add in the kit lens and maybe one zoom lens you should have most situations covered for very little money (I like the old push/pull lenses like the 70-210 because you can get smoother continuous zooms plus they don't extend when zooming so won't interfere with a mattebox). If however, you decide to go for fast constant-aperture zooms with IS or for the Canon L glass, then you'll pay through the roof.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 02:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Owen View Post
Oh man... I was afraid of that. Part of me thinks sell the V1, grab a 5DII for the full frame? What can you guys think of to commend keeping an actual Camcorder alongside an HD DSLR? I feel kind of silly for going for a V1 in the first place, but I guess I just thought... There must be some advantage to having something designed primarily for video, right?
As mentioned in earlier posts, the 550D image quality is something else, but it does come with some severe limitations, ie aliasing and moire. These are two of the biggest problem when shooting video with a DSLR. You can overcome it to a fair degree by panning realy slowly, and watching the content extremely closely. Of course you will always need a dedicated camcorder, for extended shooting, and a whole host of other reasons. I love the 550D, I use mine regularly as B cam to my EX1, but would never dream of using it as my A cam. It is perfect for grabbing inn fills and cutaways, and as long as I keep a vigilant eye on content, it serves this purpose well. Maybe the next generation of DSLRs will address the shortcomings of the current crop, but, even as they stand, they are quite remarkable in what they do, for the price.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 08:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Owen View Post
Oh man... I was afraid of that. Part of me thinks sell the V1, grab a 5DII for the full frame? What can you guys think of to commend keeping an actual Camcorder alongside an HD DSLR? I feel kind of silly for going for a V1 in the first place, but I guess I just thought... There must be some advantage to having something designed primarily for video, right?

I have the 5DII, but no reason to buy it at this point (for video). The 550 is about the same size as S35 film and has enough dof control. Better to put extra money towards 'L' series glass.

The 550 video will cut fine with HDV if the V1 is shot in good light. But you will find that lower light v1 files that you thought were good will look like crap compared to the 550.

I purchased the 5DII in 2008. If you purchase it now you will wish you hadn't in 6-10 months.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 04:22 PM   #11
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It all depends on your production style. If you are more narrative then a DSLR will work very well. For run and gun event shooting a DSLR is going to complicate your life. I'm not saying it can't be done but not as your A camera. A DSLR just isn't a perfectly reliable system yet for long form shooting events like concerts.

I'm also not sure if I would go as far as to say it kills HDV. The looks are very different but I wouldn't exactly call HDV or a better HD format inferior to a DSLR. They are just different. Like a watercolor vs oil painting. I have seen many HDV and AVCHD cameras beat the pants off of a DSLR in terms of vibrant detail that pops off the screen.

Also forget about any form of realistic 60i or 60p shooting. I find it ironic that for years people were saying 24p was dead and now all of a sudden people are like "60i interlaced who?" If you or your clients prefer the real life 60i or 60p then a DSLR just is not going to cut it at all right now. Yes they can shoot 60p but it is not very good right now and a good 720p 60p video camera will beat the pants off of any DSLR at 60p.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 01:31 AM   #12
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i convinced my friend to let me use my t2i as the B cam for his short film, and they were so impressed with the portability, weight, and image quality. The fact that I could climb into places and get angle that were never possible with their clumsy ass XL2 really shows what an amazing invention HDSLR's are.

I will post some set shots on here soon if you guys want. I used the t2i body, 50mm 1.8II, and indisquare Pro rack mount and square frame.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 12:58 PM   #13
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XL2 is SD. 550D is way better than this.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 02:38 PM   #14
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I use the T2i as both an "A" cam and "B" cam depending on what I am shooting and who I have on the crew, as some cameras I am more familiar with etc.

The 12 minute shooting time (per clip) has not been an issue thus far and is more of a wives tale then something to keep you from getting footage. Sure it is there, keep it in the back of your mind though and just hit the record button to stop recording in between the action.

The sets I have been on run 2 minutes of dialouge at a time (at most), music videos work off of singing a 2-4 minute song, about 6 times all the way through (with a few retakes). Just get a memory card big enough to hold the clips, for me it makes things easier having the clips broken up into smaller file sizes when pulling them over to edit.

The best example I can give you so far is covering an MMA event for the first time with the T2i this past weekend. I through a 16gb card in and got all of the action from the start of each 3 minute round. When the action stopped, so did the camera. The "B' Cam operator was left on to get all of the rub downs, intros and anouncements. When the bell rang for the last fight, the Our of memory error on the card started blinking 4 seconds later, I could only smile.

Here is a small clip of one of the knockouts, I felt like I could get closer to the action with the T2i (low profile camera) and it is a little easier to keep the crowd in check when they are walking by me as well. This clip was taken way down to a black and white to use as a sample (and the kid that won really wanted to see some footage up on the net). My settings are listed, first sporting event with the camera and lens (50mm 1.8), not quite used to the focus ring on the end of the barrel yet. I was about 4-5 inches from the cage for the footage. I am still a novice with this camera vs. a full sized version, but really like it.

This clip is going to be given color and used as a back drop for advertising.


Yes, you can get this close to the action, even with a 1.8 50mm (through a cage). I need a wider lens though for sure.

Last edited by Michael Gruich; May 11th, 2010 at 02:44 PM. Reason: more content added
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Old May 12th, 2010, 04:16 PM   #15
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Whenever I use my T2i with an EX1, I only wind up keeping the audio from the EX1. It's nice to have the safety of the EX1 image just in case, and I would never use the T2i in run-and-gun situations (other than maybe weddings), but the more control you have over shooting environments, the more a DSLR can be your primary weapon (with separate audio recording).
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