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Entry-level suggestion.

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David Sikes
Entry-level suggestion.
on May 10, 2010 at 6:48:11 pm

Hey, all. I'm at a crossing point in purchasing my first DSLR for video. My background and work is video, so it's really only for that reason that I'm considering a DSLR.

I don't want to put a whole lot of money into this, but I've seen two identical kits for the Canon Rebel t1i and Nikon D5000 - both with 18-55 and 55-200 lenses, and both within $50 of each other.

The fact that t1i can shoot 1080 is meaningless to me, as it's only at 20fps. So it's really the 720p performance and features I'm looking at. I like both 30 and 24fps.

Has anyone had any personal experience with one or both of these? Or would you recommend that I wait until I can afford a 5D MII-range camera (probably another year before I can comfortably do so).

Thanks for all your help!



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Norman Pogson
Re: Entry-level suggestion.
on May 10, 2010 at 11:26:12 pm

How about the Canon T2i, it has all the video functions of a Canon 7D.

My Canon 7D Blog


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David Sikes
Re: Entry-level suggestion.
on May 10, 2010 at 11:34:39 pm

Yeah, that looks great! And the identical kit only costs $100 more than the t1i!

I think Canon's the way to go for several reasons. The newest I've learned about is Magic Lantern. That firmware looks fantastic, and it's way more likely to come to the t2i than a Nikon (obviously).

Thanks for the suggestion! I think that's the direction I may go in!


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Adam Lowe
Re: Entry-level suggestion.
on May 11, 2010 at 3:07:58 am

Dont get the 18-55 or the 55-200 as they have variable F-Stops.

you need to look at lens' with fixed F-stop


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David Sikes
Re: Entry-level suggestion.
on May 11, 2010 at 3:25:48 am

Thanks for the tip!

I'm sorry to ask amateur questions, but how can I know the difference? And what is the reason for needing a fixed F-Stop?


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Adam Lowe
Re: Entry-level suggestion.
on May 11, 2010 at 7:44:21 am

F-stop is part of the Lens specifications.

So you would look for something like a Canon 24-70mm f2.8 lens. whereas say the Canon 18-55mm you mentioned in your original post is f3.5-5.6 "Variable"

Having a variable f-stop when shooting video will cause the the brightness to change while filming.
Its like having ND filters going on and off randomly.


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David Sikes
Re: Entry-level suggestion.
on May 11, 2010 at 4:17:53 pm

Thanks for the answer! Is there a particular lens you'd recommend me to start with?

Is there no manual control of the iris while shooting video?


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Norman Pogson
Re: Entry-level suggestion.
on May 11, 2010 at 5:22:07 pm

I have the Canon 50mm f1.4 which I use a lot, if money is an issue look at the Canon 50 f1.8, it's great value.

My Canon 7D Blog


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David Sikes
Re: Entry-level suggestion.
on May 11, 2010 at 6:41:28 pm

That one looks great!

So, is there no manual control of the iris when shooting video with the t2i? Will it only function automatically, like the sound?


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Micah McDowell
Re: Entry-level suggestion.
on May 11, 2010 at 8:28:00 pm

No, the T2i definitely has manual control of the exposure during video (aperture, shutter, and ISO).

What "variable f-stop" refers to is that the f-stop isn't constant over the entire zoom range. On the kit lens with the T2i, it varies from f/3.5 on the wide end to f/5.6 at full zoom telephoto. Therefore, you can't zoom with it while recording.

Personally, I rarely zoom during a shot anyway, so it's not an issue. Admittedly, the kit lens is pretty lousy. I use a 50mm f/1.8 prime most of the time, and only use the kit lens for occasional wide angles until I get a better dedicated wide angle lens.


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David Sikes
Re: Entry-level suggestion.
on May 11, 2010 at 8:39:04 pm

Thank you all so much for your extremely helpful answers!

I'm pretty sold on this camera - the question is the lenses, but the information y'all gave really helps in guiding that decision!

Hooray for the Cow!


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Robbie Carman
Re: Entry-level suggestion.
on May 11, 2010 at 9:34:24 pm

[David Sikes] "So, is there no manual control of the iris when shooting video with the t2i?"

Well be careful about this as its a bit tricky. No canon lens currently has manual aperture control on the lens its done all electronically on the body. This is a big issue especially if you're shooting in variable lighting environments. Take the following example

Shooting 1080p24

So following the 180 degree shutter rule your shutter is at 1/50 which is where it should stay (consider shutter when shooting video to fixed)

You shoot with a constant aperture lens lets just say F/4

You start a shot inside but walk with a subject outside. Inside F/4 was fine but now outside its letting way to much light into the camera so you use the aperture/iris control on the camera but as I said this electronic so you'll notice a hard "click" or "step" as you adjust the aperture in the footage. Some people HATE this.

This is one of the main reasons people love shooting with older Nikon glass adapted to a Canon body (although you might have to pay to de-click the aperture control on those lenses) or invest in Cinema style lenses as the aperture control is on the lens in makes doing splits or stepping through the aperture range of lens much much more smooth and organic looking


Robbie Carman
----------------
Colorist and Author
Check out my new Books:
Video Made on a Mac
Apple Pro Training Series DVDSP
From Still To Motion





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Adam Lowe
Re: Entry-level suggestion.
on May 11, 2010 at 11:31:14 pm

The 50mm lens' are nice but you have to keep in mind that its a crop censor so 1.6x 50mm = 80mm

i have a 7D and have just purchased a canon 17-55mm f2.8, was going to get the L-series 24-70mm f2.8 but after using it on a shoot found it just wasnt wide enough in some instances.


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Christian McCarty
Re: Entry-level suggestion.
on May 12, 2010 at 4:45:01 am

I have a 5Dmk2 and its nuts. If you are going to shoot ANYTHING higher quality than 720 for broadcast, advertising or anything I would seriously wait until you can afford the 5D. The 1:1 lens conversion is spectacular. I have a 17-40L and the visuals I can get with that are mind blowing.

If it's just for youtube, vimeo or flash animation or something like that...the D500 or an equal canon would be fine. But if you are wanting to upgrade in the future to something else, I'd be waiting to save for the 5Dmk2. maybe even by that time the mk3 will be out. I for one cannot wait to see what they have with the mk3.


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Norman Pogson
Re: Entry-level suggestion.
on May 14, 2010 at 1:28:39 pm

The T2i will produce fantastic footage, just as the 7D does.

I do use some old Nikon lenses with a $10 Ebay Chinese adapter, which I highly recommend. You can pick up older Nikkor AI lenses cheaper on Kijiji or even buy sell stores (pawn shops). I use a 24mm Nikkor lens from 1982 and it is wide enough for what I use, if it isn't I walk backwards until it is!!

Don't get hung up on equipment, the image is everything. Start producing and see where it leads you and buy equipment for a need, rather than a perceived need. A Canon 50mm and an old 24mm lens will get you going very well.

My Canon 7D Blog


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David Sikes
Re: Entry-level suggestion.
on May 14, 2010 at 5:00:35 pm

"Don't get hung up on equipment, the image is everything. Start producing and see where it leads you and buy equipment for a need, rather than a perceived need."

Gotta hand it to you, that's some of the wisest advice I've gotten in a while. It's very easy to confuse an actual
need with a perieved need. Thanks!!


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Christian McCarty
Re: Entry-level suggestion.
on May 14, 2010 at 6:38:52 pm

The T2i has decent specs, but if you are after video from your SLR, you may want to watch this

http://www.zacuto.com/shootout


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Steve Pignon
Re: Entry-level suggestion.
on May 19, 2010 at 2:36:08 pm

what about panasonic's new dmc g2?
that's the one i'm betting on right now. The camera seems a little more geared towards video. Being able to swivel the viewfinder is huge since i tend to shoot a lot from low angles.
720p is plenty enough for me.


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