T1i vs GH1 - which makes more sense? at DVinfo.net

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Old October 11th, 2009, 03:35 PM   #1
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T1i vs GH1 - which makes more sense?

I have the opportunity to get either camera for about the same price. which one is the better buy? I know GH1 does 1080p24 but from I understand the T1i has the better video codec and at a higher bit rate. I know AVCHD can be a pain to deal with.

So my situation is do I get a T1i and throw some manual lenses on it or go with the GH1 and bite the bullet on AVCHD? At 720p is there still a major quality difference between the two and if so what is it?
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Old October 11th, 2009, 04:43 PM   #2
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Remember the T1i is H.234 encoding I think, meaning even more a pain to edit than AVCHD. Despite that, Im really tempted by the T1i myself as it would be a great camera for the odd creative and low light shot in my videos along with being a good stills camera. Downside is no true manual controls on the plus side though there is a better choice of lenses and higher bit rate.

Its a tough choice, I guess the GH1 is slightly better as a video camera and if you can get it for the same price as a T1i then maybe its worth it.
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Old October 11th, 2009, 05:08 PM   #3
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I looked at getting the T1i (500D in Australia) but for video use it didn't look all that promising. The GH1 looks much better for video, offering better manual control and a selection of recording modes.

If I had the opportunity to get the GH1 for about the same priceas the 500D i definitely would but it is almost $1000 more expensive in Australia -although prices have been dropping lately!
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Old October 11th, 2009, 06:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Palfrey View Post
Remember the T1i is H.234 encoding I think, meaning even more a pain to edit than AVCHD. Despite that, Im really tempted by the T1i myself as it would be a great camera for the odd creative and low light shot in my videos along with being a good stills camera. Downside is no true manual controls on the plus side though there is a better choice of lenses and higher bit rate.
T1i file is in a MOV container, and is NOT more of a pain to edit than AVCHD. I have both the T1i and HF100's and am easily able to edit the two together. The T1i MOV is less demanding of computer resources than AVCHD.

I had to make the choice between the Canon and Panasonic but for me it was a combination of about $600 less and Canon lenses already on hand, so I chose the T1i. The image quality is very very good.

Some workarounds exist and I can make this camera work, now I just got the 7D and elected to also keep the T1i instead of selling it off.
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Old October 11th, 2009, 10:07 PM   #5
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damn this is getting tough but i think i'm leaning towards the T1i based off the video I've seen from it so far and for not having to deal with avchd. avchd can pose to be a problem if i wanted to play around with grading.

i'm not 100% sold in either direction though.
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Old October 12th, 2009, 03:04 AM   #6
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Here's a thought to make it even tougher maybe. I have both the T1i and the 7D (had that 5 days now). Both have the same size sensor, the 1920x1080 on the T1i is a "funky" 20fps so all I really used was the 1280x720 30p. The 7D does 1920x1080 at 30p, 24p, and the common PAL frame rates also. My primary editing software will not support the 1920x1080 from either camera!

But it will edit the 1280x720 from the T1i just fine. I have a workaround that involves rendering one or a few clips at a time to AVC H.264 in another package and then either will edit that.

But when all is said and done, the video from the T1i when edited and rendered to HD WMV to play on my 42" LCD TV looks so close to the final edited 1920x1080 product out of the 7D it is uncanny.

Here is a link to a thread in this forum with a demo and short discussion on some manual control possible with the T1i:

More T1i...DOF control with Canon EF/EF-S lens

While that technique is based primarily on using fast primes, it is also somewhat useful with the 18-55mm towards the tele end of it's zoom.
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Old October 12th, 2009, 07:38 AM   #7
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Thanks Bruce. I actually check out your videos a couple of days ago. I saw the one using the Nikkor lens and that's what has me on the fence right now.

in those test video is any color correction done or is that unaltered video video footage?
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Old October 12th, 2009, 01:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bruce Foreman View Post
T1i file is in a MOV container, and is NOT more of a pain to edit than AVCHD. I have both the T1i and HF100's and am easily able to edit the two together. The T1i MOV is less demanding of computer resources than AVCHD.
Ah sorry Bruce, I automatically presumed from the H.234 that the T1i would be harder to edit. But as you said its in a MOV container and is actually easier to use.

I was able to have a go with both the T1i, or 500d here in the UK, along with the G1H today. The GH1 was good but I was very impressed by the T1i. And even more impressed when I got the footage home and had a play with it. It looks increadible and I will definatly be buying one over the next couple of weeks.

What I wasnt sure about the GH1 is the slow lens. The video from it just didnt look as impressive as the T1i with a 50mm lens. I dont think the twist lens manual appature is a huge disadvantage, yeah its not as good as actual controls but it works.

Personally after today I would definately go for the T1i.
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Old October 12th, 2009, 10:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Langston Sessoms View Post
in those test video is any color correction done or is that unaltered video video footage?
No color correction. The model was kept in open shade for the soft lighting there. Now one warning, very little motion was involved so if the camera selected a high shutter speed (and like an idjit I didn't even check that) there would be very little if any "stuttery" motion. I'm fixing to order .6 and .9 ND filters for the 50mm and 24mm primes I use. The camera tries to keep the shutter around 50 to 125 but if the ISO is already down to 100 you will be looking at shutter speeds of 1250 to 4000 in open sunlight or sunlit backgrounds.

The ND filters will help bring that down. And I'll need those with the 7D also.
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Old October 12th, 2009, 10:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Palfrey View Post
What I wasnt sure about the GH1 is the slow lens. The video from it just didnt look as impressive as the T1i with a 50mm lens. I dont think the twist lens manual appature is a huge disadvantage, yeah its not as good as actual controls but it works.

Personally after today I would definately go for the T1i.
That Canon EF 50mm F1.8 may be one of the best bargains going. Tack sharp at F5.6 and smaller yet retains plenty of sharpness and good tonal rendition right down to F1.8. It's a good prime lens.

If you're going for max F1.8, that unlock and twist in Av mode, then dial to "Movie" can be done very quickly after you practice it a bit.

And the "kit" lens (18-55mm) that comes with the T1i is not as bad as some make it out to be. I find it a good "walkaround" lens that goes from 28mm equiv to about 85mm equiv (good portrait perspective).

But whatever your choice is, both are great cameras.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 09:09 AM   #11
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so I guess as far as ISO and shutter speed go those are automatic?
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Old October 13th, 2009, 10:51 AM   #12
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Yes, ISO and shutter speed remain automatic on the T1i using both workarounds. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. The camera apparently tries to use ISO to keep the shutter in the 50-125 range then starts ramping the shutter speed up if it has to.

You're going to be using wide aperture in probably two main situations. One is low light and there you're going to need high ISO anyway (and grain/noise is not much of a problem with Canon's chip - tests at night rendered to any format show none for me) and you will mostly wind up with settings close to what you would have chosen.

The tough one is the second situation, wide aperture in daylight. The answer here is ND filters. You can get a set of 3: .3 for one stop reduction, .6 for 2 stops, and .9 for 3 stops. And they are "stackable" to combine for even more reduction if needed. If you need to economize get a 52 to 58mm stepup ring and you can use the 58mm filters on both the "kit" 18-55 lens and the 50mm F1.8 EF lens.

The irony of it all is that the 7D has full manual control but for wide aperture in daylight I will still have to use ND filters to hold the shutter down to a range where motion won't "strobe".

I don't chase the 24p "Holy Grail" because that frame rate can also cause "stuttery" motion and sometimes more motion blur and that frame rate also does not "magically" make for a filmic look. The T1i comes closer to that in the 720p mode with smooth color tones and high dynamic range. It's footage mixes well with Canon HF100 1920x1080 shot in Cine mode with contrast, brightness, and sharpness "tweaks".

So even though I can now work with a 7D I have chosen to keep the T1i rather than sell it to "sooth" my weeping credit card.
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Old October 17th, 2009, 04:08 PM   #13
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has anyone tried to do any event videography with a T1i or anything similar?
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Old October 17th, 2009, 08:10 PM   #14
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I read a posting from one wedding guy who uses DSLR's if his clients want something that "rolls" with the wedding, hits the highlights, but still captures the essentials.

If they want more "traditional" coverage he uses camcorders.

What you can't do is "lock down" a DSLR and leave it running, the 4GB file size limit works out to about 12 minutes with the 7D (and I think also the T1i) and you then need to hit "record" again. Each time you start and stop it becomes a separate file and you can keep that up as long as you have card space and battery power. But the maximum file size for any one clip will still be 4GB. My style of doing anything is to run short scenes, length determined by the activity, but anytime you go too long it gets very boring very fast.

Is this a bad thing? Not for me, because I would absolutely hate and be bored to death covering an event where I had to have the camera running the whole time with no changes in position or vantage point. I would opt for "rolling" with an event and to insure against missing anything would go with two camera operators and some method of signalling when one needs the other to "cover" while a change in position or vantage point is made so that nothing important got missed.

I've seen "highlight" edits from weddings that were covered with DSLRs and these looked absolutely gorgeous, they were obviously done by folks who knew what they were doing and in each case it was done with two cams and two operators.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 01:09 AM   #15
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I’ve never shot with the T1i but I do own the GH1 and shot countless events handheld and gotten shots that would have looked worse if I had used a DSLR camera. The constant auto focusing and the articulating screen have helped a lot and for something that is shaped like an SLR camera, you need all the help you can get when your shooting video. Speaking of the LCD screen, I can basically hold the camera almost anyway I want. With other cameras you’re either forced to hold it next to your face to make sure the shots are in frame or add an external LCD screen which really adds unwanted bulk if your not using some kind of stabilizer support.

Still, when it comes to choosing between the GH1 and the 7D the choice can be difficult because they both have their strengths and weaknesses although for what I do, the GH1 is perfect since I mostly shoot in 720 60p. For most people, the GH1 and the T1i will have a very different price tag so I can understand that their will be people choosing the T1i because of how cheaper it is but if you can get both for the same price, than I highly recommend the GH1.

Here's a couple of event clips in which all I had in my hands was the GH1 with the stock lens.
I understand it sounds like I'm going a little overboard but I can't help myself.
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