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550D / T2i Overheating Issue. Solutions? Ok for documentary?

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Wayne Marx
550D / T2i Overheating Issue. Solutions? Ok for documentary?
on Apr 29, 2010 at 12:33:26 pm

Hi,

The 550D/T2i is in my price-range and I'm looking at getting one for a documentary shoot.
Mainly sit-down interviews, but also b-roll, etc.

I'm aware of the overheating issues and I was wondering if any of you have any real-world experiences and can suggest work-arounds or
solutions.

Also, am I crazy to even be considering this option?
I would explain to my interviewees that at a certain point in the interview we may have to break for a few minutes while the camera cools.
The question is, how long do you generally have to wait?

I guess what I'm asking is, am I dumb for even thinking I can get away with shoot a documentary with this camera?

Thanks in advance,

Wayne


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Ryan Mast
Re: 550D / T2i Overheating Issue. Solutions? Ok for documentary?
on Apr 29, 2010 at 5:58:36 pm

Hi Wayne,

The 550D overheats much less than the 7D. I ran it for about an hour and a half in room temperature without it shutting down -- it'll give a warning, but that's all I've gotten so far.

I think you're crazy for using the 550D alone as your primary camera. Get a real video camera for your primary shot and audio, then use a couple 550Ds or 7Ds for cutaways.

--
Meteor Tower Films
We make music videos, design video for live theater, and build interesting contraptions.


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: 550D / T2i Overheating Issue. Solutions? Ok for documentary?
on Apr 29, 2010 at 6:12:47 pm

I agree - don't use a DSLR for long shots - not just the overheat factor, but audio issues. It's really not built for it. I use 'em for indie film, but those are short shots usually no more than 5 min at a pop and then camera sits and cools while we prep the next shot. Think seriously about getting something like an HMC-150 or even an old DVX-100. Your audio will go out of sync - unless you use the built-in audio which is dismal at best. Not to say it can't be done - I just wouldn't recommend it - I'd get something designed to shoot continuously for hours on end.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Noah Kadner
Re: 550D / T2i Overheating Issue. Solutions? Ok for documentary?
on Apr 30, 2010 at 1:40:42 am

Yeah I totally concur with Jonathan on that one. The ideal doc package is a DSLR for beauty shots and b-roll and a regular HD camera for the meat and potatoes- i.e. long interview takes. To wing it on the DSLR alone is a PITA...

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Watch Formosa- My indie movie shot with the SDX900 and finished with Final Cut Studio.


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Joel Mielle
Re: 550D / T2i Overheating Issue. Solutions? Ok for documentary?
on Apr 30, 2010 at 12:04:49 pm

From what I hear having an external battery pack can reduce the heat problem as it acts as some type of heat sync. But then again they are just rumors I've heard, might be worth investigating. This was for the 7D but same concept for any DSLR.

http://sixloversmovie.blogspot.com/2010/04/day-4-vs-mirror.html


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Brent Dunn
Re: 550D / T2i Overheating Issue. Solutions? Ok for documentary?
on May 1, 2010 at 4:19:18 am

You can use an external audio recorder and input a line into the camera. This will give you a separate audio with better quality.

I wouldn't rely on this. If you are a professional, you need to step up and spend the cash. On the lower end Canon XH-A1, on the higher end Sony EX-1.

Buying a DSLR isn't really cost effective when you add up all the excessories, Lens, extra batteries, media cards. You'll need 2-3 lenses in your bag. Separate audio device, etc.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Video.com

Sony EX-1, V1U
Cannon 5D Mark II
Cannon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
w/ Adobe CS-4 Production Suite, After Effects
& CS-5 Production Suite. Window's 7

Manfrotto Tripod's & Heads



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Noah Kadner
Re: 550D / T2i Overheating Issue. Solutions? Ok for documentary?
on May 1, 2010 at 12:07:24 pm

"Cannon 5D Mark II'

You've got Canon spelled wrong in your signature btw... :)

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Watch Formosa- My indie movie shot with the SDX900 and finished with Final Cut Studio.


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Brent Dunn
Re: 550D / T2i Overheating Issue. Solutions? Ok for documentary?
on May 3, 2010 at 7:56:10 pm

Thanks for the spell check. I did that about 2 AM. That might kill my Canon endorsement. : )

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Video.com

Sony EX-1, V1U
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
w/ Adobe CS-4 Production Suite, After Effects
& CS-5 Production Suite. Window's 7

Manfrotto Tripod's & Heads



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Bob Cole
Re: 550D / T2i Overheating Issue. Solutions? Ok for documentary?
on May 1, 2010 at 12:42:30 pm

[Noah Kadner] "The ideal doc package is a DSLR for beauty shots and b-roll and a regular HD camera for the meat and potatoes- i.e. long interview takes."

Interesting. I'm not even a newbie at DSLR, just evaluating it. I was considering DSLR for long interview takes, for the shallow DOF. Double-system audio is no big deal for a sit-down interview where the camera turns on and off rarely. Overheating: use two DSLRs in tag team (or, if the SD card is the part that overheats, can a DSLR record to an external device?). But audio drift? That one I can't handle.


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Wayne Marx
Re: 550D / T2i Overheating Issue. Solutions? Ok for documentary?
on May 1, 2010 at 6:13:30 pm

Thanks so much for the input, folks - message received, loud and clear ;)

All the best,


Wayne


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Michael Sacci
Re: 550D / T2i Overheating Issue. Solutions? Ok for documentary?
on May 17, 2010 at 4:49:11 pm

[Bob Cole] "can a DSLR record to an external device" I don't believe any of the DSLR send a clean HD video signal out. I know the Canon only send SD out the HDMI when you are in recording mode. Full SD out of HDMI would be a very good thing IMO. Hopefully someday we will have that option.



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douglas domingue
Re: 550D / T2i Overheating Issue. Solutions? Ok for documentary?
on Aug 12, 2011 at 1:11:51 am

i'll disagree with all of this. we are shooting a doc now on a 5d mk2's and a 7d, we have done many many long sit down interviews without over heating. all you have to do is watch your clip times, when the talent gets a sip of water start and stop a new clip.
It does take some clever workarounds but it's not as tough as it sounds. we have shot for as long as 6 hours with one lunch break to let the cameras cool, neither even showed signs of over heating and this is indoors but with out any ac running


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Nick Ravenscroft
Re: 550D / T2i Overheating Issue. Solutions? Ok for documentary?
on Jun 12, 2014 at 12:54:32 am

Well I do use it for documentaries, agreed its not ideal, but actually with a bit of tinkering it can work really well. I have cracked the firmware with Magic Bullet and attached a pre-amp to an external Rode NTG-2 shotgun which I mount on top. The sound is actually really good this way. In the States you can get quite an expensive pre-amp made by Juiced Link, it attaches to the tripod screw of your camera, they are very expensive to get in the UK, so I use something cheaper that's just jack in, jack out, made by a UK company FEL.

But check out the videos of Juiced Link, the sound is better than a zoom, (but I've always thought they were really bad anyway). You can get a decent useable sound with a Juiced Link and mic, or with any half-decent pre-amp and a mic. You just want to avoid the pre-amp in the 550D. But you have to add Magic Lantern over the top, that allows you to remove the AGC (Auto Gain Control) which is a heavy compressor, (boosts the quiet, reduces the loud) then you can record clean onto your SD with the video, NICE saves any messing around.

Although with Plural Eyes syncing external audio with another recorder is a piece of cake, true if your recorder is sampling at a different resolution to the camera you will get drift, but you can easily work out what the difference is, and adjust accordingly before sync...

Ummm if you have the money much better to get a video-camera and not piss around, as I clearly have in order to achieve what a normal video camera would have done without any hassle! But then I have no money, perhaps because I spend too much time working out how to do things cheaply?? I dunno chicken and egg...


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