let me start off my thanking you for taking your time to read my question.
I am very new in the video field and as I was doing my research I noticed that the video shooting specs are the same on most Canon DSLR, like on the 7D, 600D and 650D, they all have MOV (Video: H.264, Sound: Linear PCM, they also all have 1920 x 1080 (29.97, 25, 23.976 fps. What are the actual differences and for a beginner, would a Canon 650D take as good video as 7D?
Hallo Johannes - all of the cameras you listed have the same sensor and image processor. The 7D has a more robust metal body and the 650D has autofocus in video mode. That's about it.
From a video standpoint, the Canon DSLRs on your list are best defined by their limitations:
- viewfinder stops working in video mode
- autofocus stops working in video mode (except 650D)
- 12 minute continuous video limit (22 minutes for the 650D)
- susceptible to a phenomenon called moire (shimmering colors on patterned subjects), seen here and here from the Canon 60D in a comparison with the Panasonic GH2.
If you have your heart set on a Canon, the T4i/650D is the best of the lot for video, outside of the moire-free (but expensive) 5D Mark III.
As for me, I sold my Canon T2i/550D because I grew tired of these limitations and bought a Panasonic GH3, which has a video viewfinder, video autofocus, a headphone jack and unlimited continuous shot length - all essential for an actual video camera, in my view.
If you're new to video then I'd say get a second hand Canon 550D. Essentially it's a 7D without the extras but it takes some pretty good video footage, we shot a couple of productions on it and we're very happy with the outcome. Once you start to get that feeling that the camera is not delivering (note* when your ability increases you'll know when you've out grown the camera. If you suck then it don't matter what camera you have, it'll still be sucky footage). Take your time, reward your ability with better gear and enjoy the process.
"There's no point in filming if you don't have fun"
Incubate Productions South Africa http://www.incubatevideo.co.za