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David Rice May 30th, 2010 06:59 AM

T2i Wildlife Cinematography
What about using a T2i for wildlife cinematography? Due to my illness, I shoot video only from a tripod in stationary locations.

I am shooting in bad weather, at birds 50-150 yards away. Sound is unimportant. I am also considering some future macro work.

Would anyone recommend the T2i?

Which lens?

I used to use a Canon XHA1. Should I try to replace it with a used model, or move the the T2i?

Steve Phillipps May 30th, 2010 07:40 AM

One of the main problems with DSLRs is that they don't handle fast motion (panning for instance) very well, and wildlife tends to move quite a bit! Also the larger the sensor, the less power your lenses will have. And on tele lenses focus is critical, if you can only use the lcd it might not be ideal.

Mike Sims May 30th, 2010 08:21 AM

Howdy “Old Duffer”! I’ve been enjoying your Sitka videos. I recently got a T2i to use as a second camera. Here are some things to consider for wildlife shooting. For a given lens this camera will give you less magnification than if the lens were used on a camcorder with smaller sensor size. That might be important at the distances you mention. Depending on your tripod, you may need to remove the camera to change batteries. The footage from the T2i may make greater demands on your computer when editing. My UWOL16 entry is shot with this camera if you would like to look at some wildlife shots. Lighting ranged from complete overcast to bright sun. The subjects were large and mostly within 100 feet. The sparring blackbucks were exposed at 400mm and were about 250 yards away. I can recommend the Canon 100-400L. It is widely used for wildlife stills and well thought of for bird video. It has some limitations which you can read about in other threads here. You can often find good deals on them used (try B&H or KEH). Whatever camera you use, anything you can do to reduce that 50-150 yard working distance is going to have a bigger impact than anything else you might do. I hope you are able to get back to shooting video again soon. Best wishes.


David Rice May 30th, 2010 09:30 PM

Can anyone one tell me which setup would give me the most reach with the best quality.

The Canon XHA1s with the 20x lens or
T2i with the Canon 100-400L lens?


Marcus Marchesseault May 31st, 2010 02:46 AM

The XH-A1 is a 650mm (at 35mm sensor) equivalent and the 400mm on the T2I is 640mm equivalent. That looks like a tie. If you really like the XH-A1, it is a known entity and a decent camera. If you were not completely satisfied with that camera, you might want to look into the Sigma 150-500 which seems to get good reviews. It would certainly get a noticeable increase in reach compared to the XH-A1 if that is your main concern. One advantage with the T2i is the more advanced codec and higher bitrate. It might be a bit odd to work with since it is a still camera shooting video, but if you like interchangeable lens capability and manual focus, it is an improvement.

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