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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 June 19th, 2010, 12:24 PM   #1
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Need some purchasing assistance

Hello 550d/T2i owners, I need some purchasing assistance rather quickly.

I am going to buy a 550d on Monday if I can find one. Here is what I am thinking of buying:

1 550d
1 spare battery
1 32Gb Class 10 Sandisk SDHC card
3 16Gb Class 10 Sandisk SDHC cards
1 Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 Zoom
1 Tiffen Glimmerglass 67mm diffusion filter
1 RedRock Micro follow focus kit


My intended use is STRICTLY for short PSA's, B-Camera for interviews, B-Camera for corporate video, B-Camera for panels (Think C-Span hearings), and indie filmmaking. I do not need it to record audio, I do not need it to record more than 12 minutes, nearly all use will be indoors.

What I already have:

I already have 2 tripods for the unit. I already have rails and a shoulder mount as well as a stabilizer and access to a glidecam. I do not have a Mattebox but I cannot afford it at this time. I already have enough slow zoom glass to reach from 19mm to 300mm. I will be buying fast primes later.


So what am I missing? I have a budget of $2500 for this purchase and a not a dollar more. Are there any glaring omissions you see here? I'd like a loupe of some kind, but that's probably not in the budget. In my place, and having this budget, what would you subtract or add?

Here's the wishlist link:
Wish List | B&H Photo Video


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
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Old June 19th, 2010, 02:14 PM   #2
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If it was me, I would add;

- A loupe
- A battery grip

You may find you can use the 5/10x magnification to achieve critical focus, and for static shots like interview, this will be ok to set focus and leave provided your DOF is not too shallow. But really I see the 550d as incomplete without a loupe OR external monitor.

Battery grip will help you avoid over heating, and half the number of battery change overs. The battery life on these cameras was brilliant for stills work, they last forever, but for video, you will be changing it all the time which is a pain.
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Old June 19th, 2010, 02:47 PM   #3
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LOL!! How embarrasing! I had a battery grip in there (wrong one) and took it out intending to replace it with the correct one and forgot! Good catch.

I have not updated the list. I took off the Tiffen filter and one of the SDHC cards, and added the battery grip back in.

The loupe will have to wait. Part of the dilemma, is that I am trying to also buy things that can work with my EX1 as well. So the memory cards will work, the follow focus will work, but the loupe would not.

Anyone else with thoughts?
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Old June 19th, 2010, 03:51 PM   #4
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If a filter makes it back on your list, consider going with a 77mm or 82mm and a step up ring. I have GG1 and GG3 filters and find the GG3 a bit aggressive and the GG1 a bit weak. Too bad there are no GG2 circular filters available. For most shoots, the GG1 is the one to use. It's a given for me on interviews and anyplace where I'm worried about aliasing. (And, no, it doesn't come close to eliminating aliasing.)

Personally, I'd put a loupe near the front of the list, if you will use a shoulder rig. But maybe your eyes aren't as old as mine. I can't see a thing up close! At work we have the Z-Finder and I have the HoodLoupe and HoodMag at home. I prefer the Z-Finder, but the HoodLoupe/Mag does the job, so it's the better value.

A follow focus is nice, but a long handle mounted on the zoom ring works just as well for solo shooting. The only place it's really necessary is when you have a focus puller. For a solo, shoulder shoot, give me a loupe and a handle over no loupe and a follow focus any day. Also, if you happen to shoot a shallow DOF PSA on the shoulder rig, you can get rough focus with the lens and fine focus with your feet. The biggest challenge is being able to see focus, rather than being able to control it.

Best of luck in getting everything shipped quickly and reliably!
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Old June 19th, 2010, 04:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post

The loupe will have to wait. Part of the dilemma, is that I am trying to also buy things that can work with my EX1 as well. So the memory cards will work, the follow focus will work, but the loupe would not.

Anyone else with thoughts?
Yes, I strongly agree with Jon Fairhurst in feeling the loupe should be at the front of the list. The Hoodloupe with the 3x eyepiece may just be the most flexible of the lot and can easily be used with almost anything with a fold out LCD also.

With the overwhelming marketplace success of the T2i, I don't think it will be long before we see simple but effective mounting solutions for this Hoodloupe. For now I loop a long strong rubber band over and under the camera and if it shifts a bit I can "nudge" it back into position and it will stay for awhile.

The lanyard it comes with allows hanging it in front of you and you can grab it and "plant" it on the LCD while you make focus/exposure adjustment then "drop" it while you go to work. And HoodmanUSA has a cloth and velcro "camcorder strap" (you have to do a "search" on their site with that name to find it) that allows simple/fast mounting to a camcorder's fold out LCD.

This thing stays in the "packed and ready to go camera bag" and like the famous credit card...I won't leave the house without it. I consider it to be an absolute necessity if you want to "see" on location.

I also have the CAVISION version with mounting hardware all adjusted to the 7D. That one has a 6x eyepiece but no diopter adjust, but I work well with either setup.
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Old June 19th, 2010, 07:18 PM   #6
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Thanks guys for sharing your thoughts.

Re: Glimmerglass. I have a GG3 in 82mm for the EX1. I couldn't find a step up ring from the 67mm of the lens I am buying to fit that 82mm. So I had put another one. Frankly, I am not too worried about it. I can order a sub $100 filter any time. But I need this year end money to spend on large purchases.

Ok, so how much are these loupes? And what do I take off the list to accomodate? When shooting shallow DOF I'll be on sticks so I am too worried about that. And I can bring my HDMI 24" monitor with me. On the move when shooting solo, I won't be trying to shoot shallow DOF unless I am on a knee. Also my eyesight is quite good. I don't need glasses or anything.

The follow focus is a big consideration not so much for this work, but for my indie filming and for keeping up appearances. I won't get another crack at one for another year if I don't get it now. It's going to be a LOT easier to convince people that the camera is "pro" if it's on a set of rails with a follow focus. They've been used to seeing me shoot with the EX1. Most won't care, but the VIPs who are used to talking to the AP and such will notice.

I really appreciate you guys chiming in with real world experience. If you can find me a loupe that fits into my budget, I'll see if I can squeeze it in there.
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Old June 19th, 2010, 09:27 PM   #7
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It sounds like you just might be able to get away without the need for a loupe. And I fully understand the desire for a FF.

The cheapest option might be a pair of reading glasses, since few of us can focus well three inches in front of us.. They cost less than $20. You could knock the lens out of one eye, but so much for keeping up appearances. ;)

The Hoodloupe is $80. The 3x mag is $40. You can get the two including the crane for $210. I checked out the crane at NAB. It's a bit delicate looking and somewhat overcomplicated, but it works well in practice. The key is that you can go from loupe to LCD mode in a couple of seconds. I have the Red Rock mount, which is solid, but not easily removable. The cheapest solution for the 5D is still the Chinese LCD shade from eBay. I'm not sure if there is a T2i version available yet. They're about $15.

The Z-Finder has the best mount, IMHO. Pop it on and off. Simple. But not cheap.

So, how do you feel about wearing a monocle? ;)

(Note that the monocle or reading glasses let you focus close and comfortable, but don't offer additional mechanical support, nor do they block out surrounding light.)

BTW, if anybody knows of a good anti-fog solution, please let me know. Fog is the one problem that I have yet to solve with my loupes.
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Old June 20th, 2010, 02:11 PM   #8
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The fog obviously comes from lack of airflow because of the airtight-ish seal made by the eye piece with your head. I noticed that if I remove the eye piece from my loupe, the fog goes away, but you get some light leaking in.

The solution: punch a few holes in the rubber of the eye piece, and glue gun some thin black fabric patches in place over the holes.

This gives me a compromised solution, less fog and only slight light leakage.
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Old June 20th, 2010, 03:29 PM   #9
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Perrone your list looks good and you are getting a lot of great advice.

1 550d
1 spare battery
1 32Gb Class 10 Sandisk SDHC card
3 16Gb Class 10 Sandisk SDHC cards
1 Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 Zoom
1 Tiffen Glimmerglass 67mm diffusion filter
1 RedRock Micro follow focus kit

The only thing I don't see listed is a set of ND filters. I find when I'm shooting b-cam with my 7D I will almost always have a polarizer in and many times I will have as much as 5 stops of ND in front of my lens.

The Redrock follow focus is awesome and Redrock support is spectacular. I thought I had broken my follow focus when my camera went for a dive to the cement floor. Made a video for tech support:


and they had a fix for $75 bucks - new gear box. I'm a big fan of Redrock! I also find the follow focus is a huge aid for focus on these cams, especially hand held.

....oh, and just an .02

I imagine you've gone over this already but the "no HD out when your recording" on the 550/t2i is something to consider. I shoot with the 5D sometimes as well and it's often an issue, especially on a set. With the 7D I've found I can really shoot stuff at very shallow DOF because I can keep monitoring focus and rack with the subject if they move while I'm recording. This is so much harder with the 550/t2i/5D. I often find I "go a bit deeper" DOF wise just for safety because it's so hard to monitor.

I know that the 7D is around a grand more and the video quality is pretty much the same as the t2i but having that HD out when rolling has saved my butt on many occasions. That being said the t2i is kind of a miracle at it's price/performance point and I'm sure you will get ton's of jaw dropping stuff with it.

Good luck.
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Old June 20th, 2010, 04:47 PM   #10
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts. My primary needs are for this as an indoor B-Cam. ND isn't going to be something I need for quite some time. When it is, I'll get some ND. I've completed a movie on a 5D already so I am aware of the limitations of the less-than-HD monitoring. I intended to get a 7D and that was what I asked to order, but purchasing restriction at this point mean that no single item can be over $1k. So I had to back down to the T2i. Nature of the beast.

Compared to my EX1, the selective focus on the T2i will be just fine for what I need it to accomplish. I'm still trying to figure out how to get a loupe in the budget, but I just can't see it.

-P

Quote:
Originally Posted by Burk Webb View Post
Perrone your list looks good and you are getting a lot of great advice.

1 550d
1 spare battery
1 32Gb Class 10 Sandisk SDHC card
3 16Gb Class 10 Sandisk SDHC cards
1 Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 Zoom
1 Tiffen Glimmerglass 67mm diffusion filter
1 RedRock Micro follow focus kit

The only thing I don't see listed is a set of ND filters. I find when I'm shooting b-cam with my 7D I will almost always have a polarizer in and many times I will have as much as 5 stops of ND in front of my lens.

The Redrock follow focus is awesome and Redrock support is spectacular. I thought I had broken my follow focus when my camera went for a dive to the cement floor. Made a video for tech support:

ouch! on Vimeo

and they had a fix for $75 bucks - new gear box. I'm a big fan of Redrock! I also find the follow focus is a huge aid for focus on these cams, especially hand held.

....oh, and just an .02

I imagine you've gone over this already but the "no HD out when your recording" on the 550/t2i is something to consider. I shoot with the 5D sometimes as well and it's often an issue, especially on a set. With the 7D I've found I can really shoot stuff at very shallow DOF because I can keep monitoring focus and rack with the subject if they move while I'm recording. This is so much harder with the 550/t2i/5D. I often find I "go a bit deeper" DOF wise just for safety because it's so hard to monitor.

I know that the 7D is around a grand more and the video quality is pretty much the same as the t2i but having that HD out when rolling has saved my butt on many occasions. That being said the t2i is kind of a miracle at it's price/performance point and I'm sure you will get ton's of jaw dropping stuff with it.

Good luck.
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Old June 20th, 2010, 10:10 PM   #11
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You're getting some bad advice here. What good is a battery grip, a follow focus and a z-finder when your lens choice sucks? It's not going to produce the image quality that you're going to need. Spend your money on a good lens and dump the extras. You can always add on the gravy later, don't skimp on the meat.
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Old June 20th, 2010, 10:50 PM   #12
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You're getting some bad advice here. What good is a battery grip, a follow focus and a z-finder when your lens choice sucks? It's not going to produce the image quality that you're going to need. Spend your money on a good lens and dump the extras. You can always add on the gravy later, don't skimp on the meat.
Doug, would you mind very much telling me what "image quality I am going to need" as you put it? What fatal flaws do you see in my lens choice?

Perhaps you feel I should spend money on good "L" glass. However, I am very curious what differences you think I will see between my chosen lens and more expensive lenses when considering both the theoretical, and observed resolution of the sensor in question.
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Old June 20th, 2010, 11:39 PM   #13
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Doug has a point. The Sigma isn't the top rated lens on the planet.

Then again, it covers the key range and gets you going within budget. And you can rent an L lens for about $30/day when you need/want it. Not to mention, you can sell the Sigma later without much loss if you want to upgrade.

The follow focus is the least likely piece of equipment to be seen in the results. But you explained why the purchase makes sense overall. A loupe is valuable if it lets you get crisp focus. In fact, I'd say that good focus with a cheap lens is better than poor focus with a great lens. I have no idea if the Sigma crosses the line into "too cheap". Some sharpening and added contrast in post can do wonders for a dull image.

One question I have is if the range is right. 28-70 is good for a FF camera, but could be a bit tight on the T2i. It doesn't really give you a wide option. The EF 17-55/2.8 IS would rock, but you'd lose the follow focus.
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Old June 21st, 2010, 12:12 AM   #14
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One question I have is if the range is right. 28-70 is good for a FF camera, but could be a bit tight on the T2i. It doesn't really give you a wide option. The EF 17-55/2.8 IS would rock, but you'd lose the follow focus.
I have a full set of Nikon glass from 19mm to 300mm. What I don't have is a relatively fast zoom lens. For indie film use, I'll be adding primes as required.
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