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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 22nd, 2011, 09:52 AM   #1
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T2i over 5D?

Is it me, or is the T2i a way better camera, practically speaking, than the 5D for video? Before everyone jumps on that one, let me explain- I realize the 5D provides a better image quality. In my experience, you see it mostly in low light and in facial detail (sharper, and more of it.) So I get that, technically, it's a better camera, better build, etc.

However- the T2i has a way better LCD monitor. It makes finding critical focus much, much easier. Combine that with the fact that the 5D has an even-shallower depth of field than the t2i (already shallow enough, thank you very much) and the fact is, in a real shooting situation, the t2i is just more reliable and easier to work with. Yesterday, someone rented me a 5D kit. I happened to bring my t2i as a backup. I started with the 5D and a Marshall V-LCD50-HDMI monitor. The monitor was way soft (not sure if that's the model in general or just this particular piece) and useless for focusing. The video just seemed to come out of that HDMI cable somewhat compressed and pixelated. I shot one scene with the 5D, toggling between monitor and no-monitor, and my focus was often soft as a result (it was an interview, but the subject moved a lot in his seat, enough to move in and out of focus.)

So I switched to the t2i, and of course, focus was fine. The LCD screen is sharp enough to notice the second someone moves out of focus. The difference is staggering enough that I would think more people would be mentioning this, especially when you can get 3 t2i's for the cost of 1 5D. If the bottom line is getting a great, usable image, the t2i wins hands down.
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 01:39 PM   #2
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Re: T2i over 5D?

Well, the first problem is that because people are shooting a 5D, they think they have to shoot at wide open aperature on every shot. The rules don't change. If you are shooting an interview, you shouldn't shoot at f 1.4. most of the head will be out of focus, and movement will kill you. With a normal lens, that means around 5.6 or 8. Wide anges are a bit more forgiving. An 85mm is going to be tighter.

I have both cameras. I also have a Marshall monitor. The Marshall is not a Hi Def monitor. It doesn't purport to be. But I shot a whole weekend on a film project 2 weeks ago, and as long as I took proper account for where my actor was going to be in the shot, and set my f stop and focus mark accordingly, I was in good shape. Incidentally, for every scene, I would magify while viewing on the monitor to set proper focus.

I think choosing the 5D for that shoot rewarded me. I believe it actually has wider latitude than the T2i, and certainly has a cleaner less noisy image.

Where the Marshall also made a great contribution is in exposure, and in using false colors. Most of our shoot was in bright daylight, and I used a variable ND in most shots. You set you shutter speed (50 or 60) depending on what you are shooting, ISO at 160, set your aperature to accommodate the depth of field you are looking for, then turn on false colors on the monitor and rotate the variable ND to eliminate hot spots in the shot. Usually, that will allow everything else to fall in well.

I post, I use Cineform, which seems to open detail in the shadows that may not appear in rush views of the original footage.

We used the T2i in the same film for slow motion shots at 60p, which the Canon 5d does not do.
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 08:17 PM   #3
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Re: T2i over 5D?

Interesting info about that Marshall monitor. As for the depth-of-field thing, we were shooting at a 5.6, which you would think would provide a little more latitude in the focus. I've shot long enough to understand how cameras work- it's not that, it's simply that the 5D is TOO shallow thanks to the sensor size, combined with it's crappy LCD monitor. If you're shooting a short narrative film, where you have actors hitting marks, sure, the 5D's flaws are more easily compensated for by careful planning. I guess, for me, a little more grain is more acceptable than unreliable focus, that's all. I'll shoot on a consumer DV camera as long as I can control focus & exposure and be able to trust that what I see is what I get.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 04:11 PM   #4
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Re: T2i over 5D?

I've only used the T2i thus far. Before I got my hands on it, I was very worried about focusing, based on all those reviews (mainly of the 5D) that say it's almost impossible to focus properly without something like a Z-Finder.

Once I got my T2i, (plus 1.8 50mm lens) I found I had a surprisingly easy time of focusing without a Z-Finder, simply by looking at the LCD. The only times I have trouble focusing with the LCD are in VERY bright outdoor surroundings. But even then, I can get by. I simply change modes to deactivate the live view, focus through the viewfinder, and spin the dial back to movie mode. I shot this video almost entirely outside, and my focus was pretty decent: YouTube - Baby's Day in Blue Ash

I just assumed all those comments about difficulty focusing via LCD were just overreactions. Maybe not? Are the LCD's on the 5D and 7D a lot worse than the T2i?
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Old April 25th, 2011, 06:18 PM   #5
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Re: T2i over 5D?

I have shot both regularly, and in real life shooting, I don't see that much difference. Of course I have 60 year old eyes, and rely on a loupe, a monitor, and/or magification for critical focusing on both. I think most people shooting these cameras for serious purposes do similarly.

BH Photo lists the LCD on the 5D at 920,000 vga pixes, and the T2i at 1.04 million dots. They call it Clear View. But for me, I am not buying that there is that much difference.
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