August 6, 2010 at 2:13 am
I have about $1,000 spending range for a camera. I want to start shooting and editing film.
I am looking at the Canon Rebel T2i. Mainly because of it’s price point. Currently $899 and comes with a 15-55mm lens. It does 1080p and 24fps
My questions to you videographers and hopefully filmmakers who may reply to this are:
1) Does the camera shoot only to AVCHD? And if so, does that mean I’ll lose quality in the conversion for editing because I’m using Adobe CS4 on windows?
2) If I upgrade to CS5 Premiere to take advantage of Mercury editing in premiere that can view avchd without conversion worth the upgrade to cs5? AND is there still a slowness when viewing in Adobe AE CS5?
3) I read some forum threads talking about slow class SDHC cards. Question is, how much 1080p @24p video can you record on a 8gb card? I exported a 1080p flash animation of mine to uncompressed video in .mov and it was 6gb’s of audio/video that was only 30 seconds. Should I be looking at a larger card? Or do you think I just exported it wrong?
4) Which do you think would get more use of in an additional lens, a telephoto lens or a Tokina AT-X 116 Pro DX 11-16mm. I ask because I can currently get a deal on the telephoto.
5) So after all is said and done. Do you think I should go DSLR video OR wait, save up and get a pro hd cam if I intend on making a film and doing video work?
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August 6, 2010 at 4:30 am
first off, you need to have at least $2K for a starter system to make it close to usable for real video work. It is really hard to use that stock lens for video.
All Canons record H264 go getting around that. All Canons has the 12 minute limit, you just hit record again, not good for performances or long interviews but most film type shooting it is no problem. You convert the files before editing, there is no quality lose in that conversion per se. The quality lose happens in camera. CS5 just speeds the workflow process but if you plan to do heavy color correction you would still want to convert the files to a better editing codec. Cineform seems to be what people on PCs recommend.
You need to get Class 6 or above. Transcend are what most people recommend, they are the best value out there. 8 GB is not much, I would recommend at least (2) 16GB cards.
You export is uncompressed these cameras record highly compressed files.
That 11-16 is the next lens I get. Most people need a couple of lens, which one you need is determined by what you are doing. We have a lot of posts about lenses just look over the forum.
August 6, 2010 at 4:31 am
I am currently in the same dilemma as you except my budget is at $4000. But for that I need everything: camera, lenses, tripod, audio.
I have almost decided on the T2 because of the price. The only things holding me back are:
– The 12 minute file limit. It scares me to think of doing a project for a speaker or a band and hoping the song wraps up soon, or the speech doesn’t go long, or the person you are interviewing who is really getting deep into the subject shuts up pretty soon because it is getting close to 12 min.
-I have done a lot of research and these cameras seem to be great for films projects where you have ample time to set up the shot. I am hoping that I am able to shoot more documentary style on it. More shooting on the fly, but still get great images out of the camera.
-The 7D, although virtually the same for video purposes, has a reputation as a quality camera, where the T2 doesn’t yet. Sometimes clients care about that stuff.
All that being said I am still very excited about purchasing a T2. I was saving up for a Sony Ex3 ($12,000 when factoring in all components) and now I just want to get a T2 and get to shooting.
August 6, 2010 at 4:47 am
12 minute limit is on all the cameras and yes it is a major concern if you are shooting that type of stuff. You have to be able to control the start and stopping of the action. I’m sure this is something that is on all the manufacturers minds.
That is a more reasonable budget.
I got the T2i because I wanted to get my feet wet and that is all I could afford. I’m now buys lenses but I will try to get EF (vs EF-S) lens just encase I get a full size camera down the road but realistically my upgrade will be to the 7D and then the T2i is a backup or second body. You really cannot go wrong. Video quality is pretty much the same and by the time you put all the gear on the camera the model is that last thing anyone notices.
August 6, 2010 at 2:44 pm
[Mark Cansino] “comes with a 15-55mm lens.”
Don’t bother — it’s an awful lens. Can’t even get its value reselling it on eBay.
10-15 minutes is your limit. If you’re making “films,” it’ll be no problem. Think of it as a poor man’s RED — the RED has about a 4-5 minute record time on CF cards, too.
What do you want to make? If you’re doing short films, music videos, art projects, etc, the T2i is a great starter cam. If you’re doing corporate work, weddings, lots of interviews, panel sessions, or any other mission-critical work, get a pro cam.
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August 6, 2010 at 4:09 pm
I agree on the kit lenses, a lot of T2i & 7D users buy used Nikon lenses with aperture rings and get the ebay adapters, then shoot everything manual. The Canon 50mm f1.4 is a great choice or if budget is a concern go with the canon 50mm f1.8.
I have the Tokina 11-16 on my Nikon still camera and frankly it’s a difficult lens to use from a compositional point of view. Verticals in the frame are very hard to manage, unlike my Nikkor AI 24mm f2.8 which is wide but not too wide on video.
Don’t expect to run and gun as quickly as you can with a prosumer camcorder.
August 6, 2010 at 4:37 pm
1) if it’s your ONLY video camera and you expect to shoot a broad range of things, a DSLR won’t cut it. I have the T2i and I love it, but I use it for very specific things (stock video shooting, lowlight, indie film, etc.). It sucks for anything where you have a really long shot (even though most of my shots never hit the 3 min mark – who wants to watch something running continuously for 12 min? Boring!). You can’t do zooms with the default lens while shooting video which isn’t completely worthless and the ones you can zoom with are not cheap – the aperture will close down in 1/3 stop increments as you zoom in.
2) The Canon HD-DSLRs shoot to quicktime movies using h.264. AVCHD is actually more compressed than what’s coming out of these DSLRs – AVCHD is basically MPEG-4 with H.264 compression. I like MP4 a lot better than MPEG-2, but it’s still heavily compressed. Also, I get around 50mb/s with my DSLR and AVCHD is around 25mb/s. Still kind of an apples to other apples thing. Basically, AVCHD is the consumer electronic format to replace miniDV, hard drive camcorders, etc. Panasonic has included it on the AG-HMC150 (the successor to the DVX100) whereas Canon has put it on mostly consumer cameras (like the Vixias) and now they are putting it on their new prosumer camcorders. I like AVCHD better than HDV because it’s a native 1920×1080 whereas HDV has to stretch and HDV is still using MPEG-2 and tape, BUT AVCHD is still a CONSUMER format. Oh and I would still Transcode to a better format from AVCHD – I wouldn’t edit AVCHD native. Convert to ProRes or AVI or Cineform or whatever first. AVCHD doesn’t edit well natively.
3) SDHC cards – get class 10s – since I switched from class 6 to class 10 for any manufacturer, I’ve never had an issue. Not all class 4s or 6s are created equal. Like anything else, you can spend a lot of money or a little. I don’t have oodles of cash so I’m using ADATA and PQI class 10s. They work fine. On a 16GB card, I get just shy of an hour. For an 8GB, just under 30 min.
4) Lenses – none of the above. Pick up prime lenses if you are going the DSLR route. They are generally faster and less expensive. No, you don’t get a zoom, but how much zooming are you planning? Check this site: https://nofilmschool.com/dslr/ – all you wanna know about DSLRs and then some.
5) Obviously, this is your call. You will need to weigh the pros and cons and decide for yourself. If you are going to be making indie films, I can heartily recommend the T2i – I’ve shot 2 features and a couple shorts now on both the 7D and the T2i. I’ve shot greenscreen, slo-motion, stop-motion, etc. I love the camera. The T2i very much reminds me of shooting 16mm – setting shutter, aperture, measuring the distance, even doing push/pull focus. The narrow DOF is gorgeous – especially at longer focal lengths. There is a little focus helper that works great on the T2i, too.
If you want to do anything where you are shooting for long periods at a time or when you need your camera to be instantly ready to go at the drop of a hat with no fiddling with settings or lens changes, stick with a pro camera. Better for handheld, too – easier to use, much more convenient.
Most of my stuff involves planning the shots and a stationary or otherwise mounted camera. I don’t like doing handheld with the T2i – the rolling shutter issues and the jelly frame make handheld look sloppy and psychedelic. I love this camera for tons of other things, though.
August 6, 2010 at 6:26 pm
[Jonathan Ziegler] “AVCHD is basically MPEG-4 with H.264 compression”
H.264 is a type of MPEG-4 compression. Quicktime is just a wrapper, it is really not a thing.
Totally agree with the if this is your ONLY video camera. Had a bunch of people ask me if I was going to sell my HVX now that I got a DSLR, no way. Two different set of tools both have there strengths and weaknesses.
August 8, 2010 at 7:20 pm
Mark, what kind of filming are you wanting to do? If start/stop is OK, the T2i with Transcend SDHC cards should be OK (Class 10 is recommended, but some say Class 6 is OK). If you are on a Mac, transcode to ProRes. If you are on a PC, transcode to Cineform .avi with Cineform NeoScene ($99.00 https://www.videoguys.com). You should be ok in CS4 if you transcode (transcoding ‘relaxes’ the file sizes, making the footage easier for the processor to work with in real time. It also makes color grading easier). The stock 18-55mm lens is not great, but if $1000.00 is all you have, it is all you have. Content, not gear, is king: and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
If you want to take clips longer than 12 minutes, take a serious look at the Canon HF S10 or HF S11 (or equivalents) in AVCHD. They won’t cut a pro Blu-Ray, but they will make a spiffy DVD. I hope that helps.
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