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Photo for HD Video (D-SLR and others)
HD from Nikon D90, other still photo cams (except EOS 5D Mk. II, LUMIX GH1).

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Old August 20th, 2009, 08:43 AM   #1
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Just bought T1i...

...because my old Minolta 5D was long due for replacement. I've also chosen it to experiment with its video feature.

And here comes first question: Any good books and/or tutorials for 1st time Canon T1i users???
Lukas Siewior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 20th, 2009, 01:00 PM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Angelo Texas
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Not really.

I'm about to start writing an article on getting the most out of the video mode on the T1i so here's a few tips.

Read the threads you can find on this forum on the T1i, 2 are in this section.

1. Tripod. Very important for any HD video but even more so for the DSLR doing video. The camera shape does not lend itself very well to handheld use.

2. Some kind of viewfinder loupe. Hoodman Hoodloupe 3.0 at $79.95 or with "cinema strap" together for just under $100. Extremely useful outdoors for both checking stills just shot or for setting up video shot. Video sample of T1i and Nikkor manual lens (http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/photo-hd-...ikkor-t1i.html) in this section shows Hoodloupe held on with 12" rubber band. I carry the Hoodloupe when just carrying the camera and with neckstrap it is very convenient. Link to hoodmanusa:

HoodLoupe 3.0-Hoodman Corporation

3. Your mileage may vary on this one: I use 1280x720p mostly, have not fully tested the 1920x1080 mode but 20fps may be problematic with many editors. Pinnacle Studio 12 will not read it but reads the 720p mode just fine. Footage shot in 720p mode seems to edit in well with 1920x1080 17Mbps footage shot with my Canon HF100s. Power Director 7 Ultra reads both modes. Much depends on your NLE.

4. Handheld use. Yes I said Tripod! However sometimes we need to go more mobile and here I've found the SpiderBrace II Combo (home) to work very well. I use the Manfrotto quick release plate system and this raises the eyepiece of your viewfinder loupe to a very comfortable eyelevel. Mounting the camera directly to the SpiderBrace also works, you may have to bring your eye down a little.

5. Media cards. Sandisk Extreme III Class (6) strongly recommended. At least one T1i user had Kingston Class (6) cards that could not keep up with the camera. A "buffer" bar would appear on the LCD screen, fill up and then when full video recording would abruptly shut down. Canon recommended the Sandisk Extreme III card and his problem went away. Do not use lower than Class (6) for the same reason.

6. When setting up a scene use the ISO button to "lock" exposure. Panning around to differently lit areas will cause exposure to brighten or darken if you don't "lock" it. You can still bias exposure 2 stops under to 2 stops over with the AV button and control wheel by the shutter release.

7. Use manual focus. Autofocus is possible with Canon EF or EF-S lenses before you start "filming" but not while doing so. You have no "follow" autofocus. Manual focus is pretty easy but you may have to practice some to get the "hang" of it.

8. Manual selection of aperture IS POSSIBLE with Canon EF and EF-S lenses. Go to AV or Manual mode on the dial on top of the camera and "dial in" desired aperture. Then carefully depress the lens lock button on the lens mount and very slightly turn the lens as if beginning to take it off. Very little turn is necessary, the aperture value on the LCD will change to "00" indicating the electrical contacts between lens and camera body are now disconnected and the camera can no longer control aperture or focus. The aperture will remain at this value until the lens is turned back into fully locked position even if the the camera is turned off. When turned back on the aperture will remain at the that last selected value.

Then turn the dial on top to video mode. The LCD will show a warning message to "insure a lens is mounted". Ignore that and press the video record button to get "Live View" for framing and focusing. The camera will select shutter and ISO as necessary to get exposure. Each time you need to change the aperture you go back to AV or Manual and step through the procedure above.

This may not do much for you on the kit lens, the maximum aperture at the tele end is not super for shallow DOF, best results for that will be in the midrange, and the background you want out of focus will have to be some distance behind your subject.

9. The Canon 50mm f1.8 lens at $114.95 (B&H Photo) is a fantastic portrait length for the T1i and at it's maximum aperture is superb for isolating backgrounds from people using the method above. Had i really tried that procedure I may have saved myself the expense of the Nikkor lens shown in the video in the thread mentioned above. However I have the option of working with a 50mm f1.8 lens that all I have to do is turn the aperture ring to set specific aperture.

The price mentioned for the Canon lens in the other thread was an older price level I remembered but the current price still remains a very inexpensive great value for what this lens does.

10. Low light: With the kit lens best set at the wide angle to possibly mid range zoom setting it will do a pretty fair job. At 1600 ISO you may get a bit of grain but I have'nt found it objectionable. With the 50mm f1.8 lens you will get beautiful low light performance, possibly even in automatic mode. You can also set f1.8 or f2 or f2.8 manually but the method above. But in low light remember this, you are working at a very wide aperture and focus needs to be exact. MANUAL FOCUS! Do not depend on autofocus for low light work because it will "hunt" all over the place and often settle on a point of focus you do not want.

11. Audio. Here the T1i just plain sucks. Mono only and no mic input.

Best solution is a separate audio recorder. I use the ZoomH2 and when I get the audio copied over to the separate sound effects and voiceover track in the editor, I drag it back and forth a bit until the waveform peaks match those on the audio recorded by the T1i. Then mute the T1i audio.

12. This is not an overall all in one video camera. I will use mine to supplement other video equipment with footage that other gear does not do as well. DOF control and low low light work. Or whenever I just want to carry one camera and be somewhat ready for either still pix or video.

13. Purchase a good video editing package if you do not have one already. A few in the $100 range are available and should work well. I use Pinnacle Studio 12 and Cyberlink Power Director 7 Ultra (8 Ultra is being released just about now), one other choice I would consider is Adobe Premiere Elements 7.

Make sure you have "plenty of computer" for editing HD video, HD is a potentially "ravenous" consumer of computer processor resources. If in the market for a new machine, make it an extremely FAST quad core or an Intel Core i7 based. You can edit the 720p MOV files with a fast dual core but future developments will make processing power extremely important.

I hope this is enough of a tutorial to get you started. Good luck.
Bruce Foreman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 20th, 2009, 01:06 PM   #3
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Wow great!!! Thx a lot :-) Maybe mods should make it a sticky - you just gathered everything together from different threads I've already read :-)
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Old August 24th, 2009, 10:26 AM   #4
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How do you work around that 20 frames per second it does?
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Old August 24th, 2009, 11:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
How do you work around that 20 frames per second it does?
If you shoot 720p then it's 30fps. 1080p is 20fps. I don't mind going 720p - it's plenty enough for me.
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