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Using Canon Rebel T5i DSLR as B cam?

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Catherine Ceigersmidt
Using Canon Rebel T5i DSLR as B cam?
on Feb 18, 2015 at 5:39:05 pm

I just acquired a Canon Rebel T5i DSLR...naturally this would not have been my first choice but I got it for "free" with credit card rewards points. From my research I understand that the shooting codec wasn't meant for video editing but there seem to be workarounds for this by converting the footage to ProRes. I also own a Canon XH-G1 that I intend to continue using with a ProRes recorder since it has an HDMI output. Will it be feasible to use the T5i as a B camera -- will the images compliment each other well enough, or is the T5i image quality too degraded for video editing after converting the footage? Any suggested workarounds would be appreciated. I mostly shoot video for internet streaming so I'm not necessarily looking for broadcast quality.


Cathy Ceigersmidt
Mary Productions LLC

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Steve Crow
Re: Using Canon Rebel T5i DSLR as B cam?
on Feb 18, 2015 at 6:50:05 pm


I think you have totally the wrong idea about the quality of video that your new Canon can produce...with the right lens, lighting etc - it can create beautiful, very cinematic images that could very well look much BETTER than your $7,0000 XH-G1.

The most recent versions of Premiere and Final Cut Pro X can edit the H.264 files directly without transcoding to ProRes at all although many video shooters still do the transcoding. Final Cut Pro X (and I assume Premiere too) can actually do the transcoding in the background if you want while you edit the H.264 files in your timeline.

So I'd suggest two things:

1) strike the idea of "degraded" footage from your mind

2) check out on Vimeo some documentaries shot on Canon DSLRs and I think you will be very surprised. You can start looking here: but you will have to check each films description to see if it was a Canon DSLR project or not

Frankly I'd be more concerned about the MiniDV footage.

Steve Crow

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Pete Burger
Re: Using Canon Rebel T5i DSLR as B cam?
on Feb 18, 2015 at 11:13:14 pm
Last Edited By Pete Burger on Feb 18, 2015 at 11:19:16 pm

Absolutely 100% agree with Steve. DSLR video can be gorgeous, lenses, camerawork and good lighting provided. Many music-videos, documentaries and even tv-shows are (at least partially) shot with DSLRs. They are small, comparatively lightweight and even though the used H.264 codec was not really made for post-production, still can provide good to excellent quality and the videos can be very cinematic.
The biggest problem IMHO is that these cameras are first and foremost stillframe cameras. So the handling is quite a bit different than what you might be used to from "proper" camcorders. But it's all a matter of practice. I work natively with DSLR matierial for more than 4 years. Transcoding is not really neccessary anymore.

"Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot." - Buster Keaton

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Al Bergstein
Re: Using Canon Rebel T5i DSLR as B cam?
on Feb 19, 2015 at 3:42:04 pm

Only thing to add to those two good posts is that the most important thing that I learned a long time ago, is to test test test in advance of any key shoot. The pros all get to know their gear before they are in front of a client. And you can too! That is the only way that you can be certain that your cameras will match. For example, I had the 7D once, same sensor as yours, and found that it didn't live up to my expectations in low light situations. In daylight it was great. And with theatrical lighting it was ok. But there were times the image seemed to 'mush up'. So while it might work for me, it might not for you and your needs.

A B camera could mean a second angle on a close up, medium or long shot, or you might be doing a stage performance where the B camera might be simply shooting the long shot with close up and medium shots with the 'better' camera.

Since you have a good camera in that T5i, learn all you can from it, see where the boundaries lie for your work, and then decide if you 'need' to upgrade. That might take you well into the 4k world by then, and the choices will be cheaper and better as well. And have fun!


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