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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 May 6th, 2010, 03:45 PM   #1
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T2i Auto or manual

I'm shooting video for a dance performance where the light can change as dancers move. Probably use auto mode, but it often defaults to a noisy 3200 ISO, and there is no auto ISO limit for video.

Any workaround to shoot in manual mode?

Zooming in and out and keeping focus - another issue!

Thanks in advance...
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Old May 6th, 2010, 03:53 PM   #2
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What do you mean a workaround to shoot in manual mode?

I think it's pretty well assumed that you can't shoot these cameras in auto and expect any kind of decent footage. I've not heard of anyone doing that, but I could be mistaken. I think the council is to flip it to manual out of the box and never go back.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 05:38 PM   #3
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Full manual is the only way to get good results that I've found for your situation. (did a theater show vid recently) When I first had the camera, it was in auto and even outdoors it would shift enough to be noticeable. Just have the lighting director turn on his brightest setting, set your ISO and shutter watching the light meter and you're good to go. OH, I have not had good luck with manual white balance but I've found the presets very good. Use "tungsten" for a show like yours.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 06:20 PM   #4
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Do you mean I should manually change aperture as I go? Might be tricky as I'm trying to focus and perhaps zoom at the same time. Also, I'm at the mercy of the lights, I cannot dictate to the lighting director.

I actually did shoot one of these in auto mode and there was no issue of exposure change - it was quite smooth. The big problem was that the auto mode chose 3200 ISO when it could have been shot at 1600.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 06:56 PM   #5
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I shoot manual with auto ISO quite frequently to help with changing light conditions. I'm not sure exactly how well it will work with harsh spotlights, but generally speaking you can set shutter on whatever speed you want, set ISO at 200, point camera to what you feel is the lightest scene you will encounter, set aperture at best setting that scene, then engage auto ISO. You can obviously lock exposure, if desired, or if not, the ISO will adjust to higher ISO for dark scenes and lower ISO for lighter scenes. By calibrating ISO at 200, this allows you one stop lower ISO should you encounter a scene slightly lighter than anticipated. You can increase to a higher ISO during the setup of aperture if you desire more latitude.

Here's an example of my T2i in auto ISO capturing my nephew during his senior music recital (not a lot of lighting change, I'll look for another example if I can find one) :



I find this technique much more desirable than changing aperture or shutter during filming, which is quite jarring. The changes is auto ISO are slightly smoothed, so its not quite as disruptive to your shoot. I believe you can always lock it down with exposure lock if you want to intentionally disable ISO during a pan.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 07:03 PM   #6
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i know this sounds silly, but how do i shoot manual in video mode? i just got the t2i. i know of the manual shooting modes where i can mess with white balance and whatnot ( i have yet to figure out how to set exposure) but if i set the camera manually in that mode, will it carry over to video mode?
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Old May 6th, 2010, 08:00 PM   #7
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Sam, I didn't answer your zoom and focus question. I don't know many who can handle continuous footage of dynamic subjects with this camera and keep things in focus. An HD monitor helps if you have one. Here's an approach you might consider:

Place a traditional camera in a safe, wide shot to shoot continuously and use the T2i to catch high impact shots. Put the T2i in quick focus mode, with center focus (center most focus element only). Zoom a little wide and then quick focus on subject and press record. Stop when the scene changes and repeat throughout the session. If the program is longer than 40 minutes you will likely overheat, so beware. Turn it off between shoots if there isn't something worth capturing. Also remember that the camera only records 12 minutes, so make sure you "reset" before expiring. You can zoom while capturing, but shoot a little wide at 1080 and then moderately zoom digitally during post and render to 720P. Works well.

Last edited by Roger Shealy; May 6th, 2010 at 08:32 PM.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 08:29 PM   #8
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Something like this really pushes the limits of these cameras. You're having to manage just about all of the things that make shooting video with DSLRs difficult.

People say these aren't event cameras and they're right. For something like this I'd shoot with a traditional video camera if you have one. If I did shoot it with a DSLR I'd probably set my Z7U up as a cover shot to be able to go to if needed.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 08:34 PM   #9
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....and man will you be glad for the cover shots!
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Old May 6th, 2010, 08:39 PM   #10
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Roger, thanks for the intelligent advice.

I've shot literally hundreds of dance performances professionally with my SD camera (Sony PD 150) which is far more appropriate for this type of thing. I always used a CRT monitor.I stopped doing that a few years ago, but was asked by my wife to capture a short piece she's doing Saturday.

I shot one of these last month, and there was another guy who was supposed to get the wide shot. He was unreliable and I never saw the footage or found out if it looked OK. I realized that I'd better be independent and try to shoot with one camera.. I will see what I can do with tripod, Rode videomic, LCD loupe, and manual focus. Or, I'll try the auto ISO with manual, SS at 50. The light in this space (a church with some Klieg lights) is quite low, even with theater lights.

The only thing about quick focus mode is that the mirror is kind of noisy during a quiet performance, but maybe its better than manual focusing - not sure. I also might use a WA lens (10-22) and shoot pretty close.

BTW, I liked your nephew's music - love the marimba and it was quite a good composition (I'm a musician as well).

Last edited by Sam Kanter; May 6th, 2010 at 11:38 PM.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 01:22 AM   #11
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Sam, if these are the type of events you are going to be filming sell your T2i while it's still super hot and get a traditional camcorder. Then, when you start to do more narrative work start thinking about the DSLR's. Don't get me wrong the T2i ROCKS, and can be used for events. But, there are cameras much better suited for event videography.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 10:35 AM   #12
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I used to video performance events for a living, as well as doing creative work. Now I'm really most interested in the creative work, but still have a few personal requests for events.

I'm more interested in the creative aspects of DSLRs/T2i, not events. If I were going to do events, I'd get a prosumer HD camcorder.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 04:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kanter View Post
Do you mean I should manually change aperture as I go? Might be tricky as I'm trying to focus and perhaps zoom at the same time. Also, I'm at the mercy of the lights, I cannot dictate to the lighting director.

I actually did shoot one of these in auto mode and there was no issue of exposure change - it was quite smooth. The big problem was that the auto mode chose 3200 ISO when it could have been shot at 1600.
Sorry, I may have left a couple of things out...I don't change aperture during the shoot. Essentially I set it up to not over expose during the brightest moments and that does leave me free to zoom and focus. If the lighting director won't give you a brief test to set your levels before the show, shame on him! Same with audio!

As others have mentioned, I use an HMC 150 to cover wide and record audio. The T2i is solely for closeups and alternate angles. No way would I try to shoot a show with only the T2i.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 05:14 PM   #14
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Sam, I'm looking at a Sony CX550V camcorder for instances where I need to capture footage at an event or to provide continuous cover for the T2i/7D. I probably won't invest in a pro HD camera as the technology changes so frequently that I hate to invest $6-$10K for a hobby. I've been pretty impressed with the 550V footage I've seen (very clean) and for general coverage it may do fine leaving the heavy lifting of high impact highlights and purely creative work to the T2i/7D.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 01:50 AM   #15
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Roger, I'll look at it, but if I'm shooting long-form performances I want an HD prosumer camcorder like the Canon XH A1 . Were I doing it professionally, I could justify the 5K cost.

As I'm doing these as a favor, I don't want to bother with two cams and editing. I'll use what I have. I did pretty well last time with a Sigma-18-200 lens, shot off-angle a bit closer from stage front.
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