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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 7th, 2010, 09:41 AM   #1
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I don't get it...yet

Hi,
I am watching this and other sites for info about using DSLR's for video. I currently shoot HDV with a XHG1 and AVCHD with a Sony SR11. The idea of a camera like the 7D is gaining my interest, but I am not getting why the big rush to use the 7D and some others for professional productions. It seems that Robert Rodriquez and others are patching together equipment to better utilize a DSLR camera as a video camera. What is it that makes them go through all of the hassle to get the shots?

The other issue is that the files then need to be converted before editing, but I guess that is pretty much the case for all HD video. I have a friend who is a still photographer who has a 7D. Maybe what I need to do is get some footage from that camera and work with it and see for myself what the workflow is like.

But to summarize my basic question, why are pros going this route?
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Old May 7th, 2010, 10:00 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Cadwalader View Post
Hi,
But to summarize my basic question, why are pros going this route?
Because it's the cheapest way under about $35k to get an S35mm sensor in a camera. And all that brings to bear (shallow DOF, exceptional low light capabilities, interchangeable lenses, etc.) If you don't shoot narrative work, this is probably not a good solution. However, if you do, it's an exceptional solution despite some rather difficult drawbacks.

It's like wanting a Ferrari, but someone giving you a Corvette for 1/25 the price.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 10:34 AM   #3
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Tom -
Even better would be to take a few minutes and play with the 7D... actual hands on, shoot whatever is handy. Kids, wildlife, people on the street, a car, whatever strikes your fancy.

I did that with a D90 I recommended to a friend (he needed a new body anyway, and despite the shortcomings, I suggested it was a fun option - he mostly shoots stills, but now he's playing with video). If you do this and don't see the possibilities, don't worry about it further... it may not suit your style of shooting.

OTOH, what you may discover is the ability to manually control focus very tightly, perhaps better low light than you're used to (depending on the lens that's mounted), and the ability to swap glass to meet the task at hand. Basically what still photographers have always had, now with MOTION!

It's not for EVERYTHING, but it offers a lot of possibilities in a small package, things that a "regular" video camera doesn't do as well. Conversely, there are things a video camera DOES do well that DSLR-V's may not be so good at.

I think if you try that 7D, you'll discover that there is a new world of possibilities you might find interesting to explore. The still camera with HD video capability is another tool in the arsenal. It will test your skills with "the basics", but you also will find that those skills will give you results you can't get any other way.

It may be too much hassle for the way you shoot, or it may open up a floodgate of creativity, put hands on and see what happens. That's really the only way to sort it out, HTH!
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Old May 7th, 2010, 01:06 PM   #4
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For the pro shooter the 7D (HD DSLR) is an additional tool, like the other posters have said about shallow dof, interchangeable lenses. It is defiantly not a replacement.

The other great advantage and Hollywood are using this feature, the DSLR is compact and can fit into spaces where a traditional video camera can't. The Director of the TV show "House", described being able to use smaller more intimate sets, not having to remove walls during filming etc.

When I look at my 7D footage it has a certain look to it that I find very appealing.

Best of luck with your decision.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 08:27 PM   #5
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I have been shooting (everything from promotional films to training films to shorts) for the past year or so with an EX3 as my main camera.

After all of the attention to the DSLR's I sprung for a 7D and another couple grand for glass. I have been shooting with the 7D for a couple of weeks now and it's a splendid tool. I can get looks I never could get on the EX3 without investing in a Letus or RedRock (plus the glass)...let alone hauling it around with all the goodies hung on it. It offers much more flexibility in picture styes than my Sony. Just what it can do at night /low light is worth the investment.

Ingest and edit is a snap with the log & capture plug in. Just as easy as SxS cards. Archiving is easy.

On the other hand it's a PITA to use on the move. Holding focus with primes is a pain. Swapping glass and ND filters is annoying. Sound is a nightmare...but all worth the effort when you look at your footage.

Will it replace my EX3? Of course not. It's a different tool. I fully intend to use the EX3 and 7D in situations appropriate to their strengths.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 04:39 PM   #6
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Yeah using dslrs for anything other than narrative work is a huge pain. Occasionally worth it, but if you don't plan to use it mostly for narrative work then I'd look for something else.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 07:55 PM   #7
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I use a 7D for stock footage and it does very well.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 08:33 PM   #8
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The DSLR's have tons of drawbacks, but they allow you to enter into a new world of creativity for peanuts. You'll be a better camera operator after working with one of these for a while. It makes a traditional camera seem easy - and will prepare you for when the DSLR-PartII shoe drops and we get these capabilities without the drawbacks in a form that makes sense for dedicated video work.

Last edited by Roger Shealy; May 9th, 2010 at 07:15 AM.
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Old May 9th, 2010, 10:46 AM   #9
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For me it's simply easier than dealing with DOF adapters and the low light is key. These are absolutly fabulous in low light performance which means less lighting I have to haul around and I'm using reflectors more and playing with natural light
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Old May 9th, 2010, 12:57 PM   #10
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I have a 550d, and love it, it is a very handy tool, what I cant understand is why very few people, if any, dont ever mention the enormous drawbacks these cameras have. The aliasing and moire problem is, to put it politely, bloody awful. Dont get me wrong, I use mine pretty regularly alongside an EX1. The Canon is used for cutaways and infill shots, and if I am vigilant and watch for any of the above mentioned problems, it more than serves its purpose. Now, if Canon could solve these aliasing and moire problems, and I am sure that they could, then Canon DSLRs would be a force to be reckoned with.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 09:44 AM   #11
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Colin:

It's my belief that the artifacts you note are created by the compression codec used to record to the storage media.

If and when someone like Magic Lantern unlocks the HDMI signal output of the 7D and we can record it to a NanoFlash (Convergent Design) recorder with the plethora of super high quality codec, 4:2:2, and high data rates, we will then see what these babies are really capable of putting out.

These cameras have their video hampered by the internal compression codec .... but in the right hands in the right situation, even the internally recorded video is pretty darn awesome.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 11:35 AM   #12
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John.
The problem is the in camera downscaling from photo to HD. Check this out.vDSLR v Film shootout Zacuto. - DVdoctor.community
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Old May 12th, 2010, 12:32 PM   #13
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I love all the comments made, and wanted to add one more perspective to the HDSLR route:

I have so much FUN shooting with the 7D! Sure it can be a pain in the butt, especially when working for a paying client. It's a challenge that keeps me constantly moving, adjusting settings, racking focus, switching lenses, building and utilizing all sorts of support systems...But I love it! I feel like more of an artist than when I shoot with a dedicated video camera that does a lot of the thinking for me. With the 7D I have to really think about 1) what I want to accomplish with each shot, and 2) every step I must take in order to get the shot I want. It's a tool that, when used in the right way, can give amazing results. My footage reflects my skill as a cinematographer, and that's rewarding for me.

I wonder if anybody else feels this way about HDSLR video...
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Old May 12th, 2010, 03:36 PM   #14
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Michael, you've summed it up perfectly.

People who use these cameras as they would an ENG camera or camcorder will come unstuck. Treat it like a mini film unit and you are sorted.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 08:07 PM   #15
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Thank You

Thanks everyone for all of the great input.
I am going to get to use one of these cameras next Wednesday.
Depending on my impressions and what my clips look like, I may get one. When I used to use a 35mm still camera I never had an autofocus lens and mostly ran the exposure and shutter in manual, so it might be like old home week for me.
Thanks again for the great replies.
Tom
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