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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the EOS M, 60D, 7D and all Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old April 21st, 2012, 07:17 AM   #1
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Canon T2i instead of small camcorder

Hello,

I have been using prosumer video cameras for a few years (Sony PD-170, HVR-Z1U) and right now I am looking at doing some interviews for the web in HD. In my price range I have looked at some small HD camcorders such as the Canon HF M400, but I have recently thought about using a DSLR such as the Rebel t2i since it is similarly priced so i have better manual controls. The audio is the same since I would have to get a beachtek or something similar to use xlrs for a small camcorder anyway.

A bit leery on switching from a prosumer camcorder to a consumer camcorder, but never really thought of using a DSLR for video.

Any help would be great

Thanks
Mark
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Old April 21st, 2012, 08:54 AM   #2
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Re: Canon T2i instead of small camcorder

I've now shot with a Canon DSLR after a long time disliking them for various (uneducated) reasons... I'm looking at the T2i as my next camera... the picture quality compared to my SD Canon XL1s is stupidly good!

Go for it... I think you'll be happy with the decision, just build a rail rig or yourself to put in the things you want from it that it doesn't have.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 02:22 PM   #3
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Re: Canon T2i instead of small camcorder

Should consider T3i over T2i for several reasons. Manual audio control is one, then the swivel LCD screen. And most important the 3x crop zoom. So for a 18-55mm lens, instantly it turns into a 34-165mm equivalent lens. worst the extra money to go from T2i to T3i. Check out my blog posts

Filming Wedding with Canon Rebel T3i vs T2i | L.A. Color Online Blog
T3i 3x Crop Zoom Demonstration | L.A. Color Online Blog
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 04:05 PM   #4
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Re: Canon T2i instead of small camcorder

DSLRs are ideal for interview shots. The shallow DOF lets you isolate your subject from cluttered backgrounds. A 50mm prime lens is ideal for interviews.

Regarding audio, make sure that the preamp has strong gain. The juicedLinks do. Some older BeachTek models were passive, so if you go with BeachTek, avoid the passive ones. The T3i has manual gain. If you go with the T2i make sure to run Magic Lantern which enables manual gain on that camera.
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 05:59 PM   #5
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Re: Canon T2i instead of small camcorder

As Jon said, these cameras are perfect for interviews. Lovely ability to control DOF and isolate your subject.

As an alternative to an XLR adaptor, you might want to consider an audio recorder such as the Zoom H4n or Tascam. These will give you XLR inputs, phantom power, headphone monitoring, level controls, etc and much better quality audio than the DSLR's on board recordings, but at the expense of effort later on when you need to sync it up. For interviews though, it's a piece of cake, espescially if you use a slate or even just get them to clap their hands together before you start the interview.
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 11:22 PM   #6
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Re: Canon T2i instead of small camcorder

My personal opinion is that when recording solo, going into the camera is the way to go - especially if you work with a fast turnaround time. Recording into the camera can be more reliable, if you have the right tools and do it right. With a separate person for audio and enough time to sync, then a separate system is the way to go.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 05:13 PM   #7
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Re: Canon T2i instead of small camcorder

Question? im actually thinking of getting the t2i soon and also had questions on how to resolve the audio issue. is it something that can be corrected in post if u record audio from onboard camera? and This Magic Lantern is this software that u can install on camera to enhance it?
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 01:52 AM   #8
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Re: Canon T2i instead of small camcorder

Supposedly there is a T4i that's going to be released very soon. Might be worth a wait as it will probably have better video features than the T2i or the T3i.
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 05:15 AM   #9
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Re: Canon T2i instead of small camcorder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Chafe View Post
Hello,

I have been using prosumer video cameras for a few years (Sony PD-170, HVR-Z1U) and right now I am looking at doing some interviews for the web in HD. In my price range I have looked at some small HD camcorders such as the Canon HF M400, but I have recently thought about using a DSLR such as the Rebel t2i since it is similarly priced so i have better manual controls. The audio is the same since I would have to get a beachtek or something similar to use xlrs for a small camcorder anyway.

A bit leery on switching from a prosumer camcorder to a consumer camcorder, but never really thought of using a DSLR for video.

Any help would be great

Thanks
Mark
Mark - the T2i was my first video-capable DSLR, and it produces great video images for the price. That said, there are a few caveats as you contemplate the move from prosumer camcorders to the T2i.

First - don't know if you plan any long takes in your interview videos, but be aware that the T2i (and all Canon DSLRs except the 5DMkIII) have a 12 minute clip duration limit

Second - if your interview subjects wear patterned or striped clothing, you may run into a phenomenon called moire, where moving, colored patterns in fabrics can ruin your shot (see
example from the T2i's big brother, the 60D). Again, this is a problem for all Canon DSLRs except the 5DMkIII.

Third - if you are used to camcorder lenses with autofocus and power zoom, you may be surprised to find that the T2i has no autofocus capability in video mode - and there are no contemporary Canon power zooms for the EOS system (they did make one - but that was over 20 years ago).

Others have already mentioned the audio challenges of shooting with DSLRs, so I won't go into that, except to say that if you get the T2i, you should also install the Magic Lantern firmware hack for audio metering and audio level control. Out of the box, the T2i has neither.

All of that said, if I had $650 to spend for a video camera, I would get the http://www.amazon.com/Canon-T2i-Processor-3-0-inch-18-55mm/dp/B0035FZJHQ. If you understand its limitations and go into it with your eyes open, you can produce great large sensor, shallow-depth of field images for not a lot of money.

I had a T2i, but sold it for a http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC-GH2-Interchangeable-Free-Angle-14-42mm/dp/B0043VE27Y (now $750), which pretty much addresses all of the challenges above, except for the audio problem. I also have a camcorder for the times when I want a no-compromise video camera and don't need shallow depth of field.

Good luck with your decision!

Bill
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