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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 August 7th, 2011, 01:58 PM   #1
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7D Lens and Setup help

Hi,

I use a Canon XHA1 to shoot my weddings but now after being constantly asked by clients for the 'Cinematic Look' I have decided to also purchase a 7D. I know nothing about DSLRs but I want to purchase the right kit now so I can practice for a 6-8 months before I can offer the service to my clients.

The weddings I shoot usually last around 8 - 10 hours from the bride getting ready to the late night dancing. I trust myself with the XHA1 so for things like the brides entrance I will use that and for everything else such as shots of the venue, place settings and on the glidetarck I will use the 7D.

I can only afford around 2000 for camera, bag, battery, memory card and hopefully you can recommend what lenses I should buy to achieve as close to something like this as possible
I understand that my budget is probably way to small but any advice would be great. Thank you for taking time to read my post.
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Old August 7th, 2011, 04:42 PM   #2
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Re: 7D Lens and Setup help

On that budget you are going to be pretty squeezed. Make sure you get a body that comes with a 28-135mm kit lens since you won't have extra cash to buy another lens outside of maybe a 50mm 1.8 which will only run you about $100. The main problem you will have is that you will need several batteries and CF cards if you wish to make it through a full day of wedding shooting. That alone would eat a lot of that budget up. Camera will probably come with 2 batteries and you will need at least 4 more if you want to shoot all day. As CF cards go you will want to have at least 6-8 16gb cards, otherwise you will be having to offload during the day and run the risk of missing something unless you have an assistant to do it for you.

As you get some more cash invest in a better zoom than the kit lens as the kit lens is not very fast and makes shooting indoors or at night a big pain. Also save up for a nice wide angle like a Tokina 11-16mm for really tight spaces like limos. Since the 7d is a 1.6x crop you have to keep that in mind as you shop lenses and focal lengths.

My only other advise in this area would be to spring for a 60d or T3i instead of a 7d. Video wise they are identical and shoot all of the same frame rates and resolutions. The only major differences are that the 7d has a lot more manual control when it comes to white balance and really finely tuning your image in camera and the 60d and T3i shoot on SD cards as opposed to CF cards. Doing so though would free up extra cash to spend on glass which is arguably more important than the body when choosing from the Canon DSLR line.

As you become more accustomed to shooting on DSLR's later down the line you may find you were glad that you invested more money into glass than the body when you decide to upgrade to a full frame sensor like the 5d.

Edit: I also feel the need to say that I would take some time to think long and hard about whether or not you will be wanting a full frame in the future and think about how that will effect you then. If you think that will be the case then I recommend saving for a 5d now OR try to invest in mostly EF lenses for your crop body so that it will be a less painful transition when you do decide to do so.
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Last edited by Matt Portwood; August 7th, 2011 at 04:47 PM. Reason: Additional Info...
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Old August 9th, 2011, 12:30 AM   #3
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Re: 7D Lens and Setup help

If I'm doing the conversion correctly, that's about US$3,200. Matt's given you some great advice. I too would opt for a 60D with a smaller budget, for the reasons he gave. The video quality between the two bodies is the same. And the 60D is less prone to overheat than the 7D.

I like the suggestion of the Tokina 11-16/2.8. You should also consider a reasonably fast zoom, like the Tamron 17-50/2.8 IS or the Canon 17-55/2.8 IS. For longer shots, an EF 85/1.8 is a really sweet lens (no IS, so it'll have to be "locked down".

You can also find fast prime vintage glass, like a Nikkor 50/1.4 or 50/1.8 for less than $100. I bought a super-sharp Nikkor 50/2 for $5 last month.

I'm assuming you don't need to capture sync audio, since audio gear would easily break your budget for even modest gear.
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Old August 17th, 2011, 07:03 PM   #4
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Re: 7D Lens and Setup help

As others have said, go for the 60D instead of the 7D - it offers much more bang for the buck for video. The only thing the 7D does better than the 60D for video is HDMI monitoring; all the other benefits are more relevant to still photography. On the other hand, the 60D gives you an articulating LCD screen and some elementary audio control. It are far less prone to overheating than the 7D, and It also uses the cheaper SDHC cards. which will save you a lot of money in the long run.

My advice would be to go for 3rd party lenses and save some money. The Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 is a no-brainer for people on a budget, and their 70-200 f/2.8 is almost on par optically with the Canon version, though the AF is nowhere near as good for stills. These two lenses cover 85% of what I shoot. The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is a great lens for those shallow DOF shots, and the Canon 50mm f/1.8 is so cheap and sharp that it's worth getting one - it's only downfall is the terrible focus ring. Also get a couple of 8gb and 16bg class 10 SDHC cards. I use Trancsend and have never had any problems, but SanDisk are the most widely recommended.

For a bag, check out the Lowepro offerings. make sure you get one of the backpacks that can fit a big lens like a 70-200. Eventually you will probably have a big lens and these don't fit in those little shoulder-bags.

One more thing I would highly recommend is a viewfinder of some kind. Even one of the $70 Carryspeed ones on eBay will make shooting a whole lot easier. Whatever's leftover in your budget you can use to get extra cards and plenty of batteries too.
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Old August 17th, 2011, 11:12 PM   #5
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Re: 7D Lens and Setup help

Look also at backpacks from Think Tank Photo. The Airport Ultralight is great. Also, several of their Urban Disguise shoulder bags are sufficiently deep for a 70 - 200 f/2.8. I have switched completely from LowePro to Think Tank Photo.
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Old August 20th, 2011, 03:13 AM   #6
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Re: 7D Lens and Setup help

I am pretty sure that I responded to another similar post & will give the same advice again. Get a Canon 600D (T3i). It shoots the same quality video as the 7D, & has the same manual audio controls, articulated LCD screen & SDHC cards as the 60D but is a lot cheaper (560 vs 745 for body only on Amazon UK). Coupled with the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM zoom lens at about 780 & you are still well under your 2000 budget. The 3X HD crop mode of the 600D effectively gives you a 50-175mm telephoto zoom for free.

You can get a cheap loupe for under 15. Because of the articulating LCD screen you need one with the frame attached by a tripod screw like this Black Portable V3 LCD Viewfinder Loupe for Canon 600D | eBay

A Manfrotto 561BHDV monopod may seem pricey but will enable you to get stable footage even where you cannot fit a tripod. Handholding a DSLR even with IS cannot be recommended for any but the briefest of shots.
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Old August 24th, 2011, 03:29 AM   #7
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Re: 7D Lens and Setup help

I have a Tokina 11 - 16 (2.8), a Canon 70-200(2.8) and a Canon 17-55 (2.8) for my 7D. I use it for making documentaries. It has been an adequate combination so far with two interview based films I have done with them. I however have an up and coming project to make a two minute tourism video in the mountains and they have to be spectacular - do you think the lenses I have will be good enough for sweeping landscapes, mountains, waterfalls etc? I know the brains behind the camera plays a bigger part in the compositions but am I adequately equipped in lens terms for the job. Would you be able to suggest any particular lens for a grand vista of a shot?

Thank you
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Old August 24th, 2011, 07:32 AM   #8
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Re: 7D Lens and Setup help

Sorry to cut into your post Tariq.
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Old August 24th, 2011, 09:24 AM   #9
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Re: 7D Lens and Setup help

Dinesh, your lenses are more than adequate to capture anything you throw at them. The Canon codec might not be, however. With the down-sampling of binning/line skipping of capturing video, scenes with deep DOF will start to break apart really soon in a combination of lost detail and artifacts. Watch especially for lines in your scenes that can cause moire. You might also consider shooting with a flatter profile and doing your color-correcting in post.

You might also consider grabbing a bunch of still imagery of these vistas you intend to film. In case you run quality problems with the video, you could always animate some stills that won't suffer from the down-sampling issues.

I just bought the Tokina 11-16/2.8 for my 7D, and it's a fabulous lens, and more than "up to the task" of filming grand landscapes.
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Old August 29th, 2011, 06:58 AM   #10
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Re: 7D Lens and Setup help

Hi Brian - thanks. Do I drop the sharpness and contrast to zero in the camera?
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Old August 29th, 2011, 09:00 AM   #11
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Re: 7D Lens and Setup help

Yes, you'll want to start with at least a 0 on your Sharpness. In busy scenes, I often use the "Neutral" profile on my 7D, where Sharpness is 0, Contrast -2, and Saturation -3. These are easy to add back in post, but near impossible to remove moire and stretch-out latitude lost by adding the contrast in-camera.
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Old November 23rd, 2011, 03:48 AM   #12
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Re: 7D Lens and Setup help

The 7D is a camera that really needs a tripod, especially if you intend to do any pans or tilts. It's just not stable in your hands enough to move smoothly.
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