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Norman Willis
T2i or 7D?
on Mar 30, 2010 at 10:07:22 pm

Hi. I am putting together a weekly show for broadcast, and my Canon HF S10's are just not going to cut it. As near as I can tell, I need either a Canon Rebel T2i, or a Canon EOS 7D, plus a field recorder (e.g. Zoom H4N), so we can synch audio in post. I am on a budget. I have some questions:

Will the T2i and a standard EF series lens get me what I need?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/675618-REG/Canon_4462B003_EOS_Rebel_T...

Or do I need an EOS 7D? And how can I know?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/646908-REG/Canon_3814B004_EOS_7D_SLR_...

Also, how can I know if I need to spring for the IS series lenses? I have a limited amount of capital, and need to spend money only where it is needed, at this point.

And is there a better field recorder than the Zoom H4N?

Thanks!


Norman Willis
http://www.nazareneisrael.org


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Aaron Stewart
Re: T2i or 7D?
on Mar 31, 2010 at 2:32:54 pm

Can you broadly say what type of show it is?

Aaron R. Stewart
arstewart@gmail.com


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Norman Willis
Re: T2i or 7D?
on Mar 31, 2010 at 3:16:26 pm

Glad to. It is a Judeo-Christian ministry show, promoting what we believe was the original first-century 'Jewish-Christian' faith. It should go out on cable, satellite, and also webcast/Vimeo/YouTube.

I guess what I'm trying to determine how much difference in the basic picture a 7D is going to give me over the T2i. I know the IS lenses are better, and the 7D has more features, but is it worth doubling my initial outlay?

It might be. I think it depends on how much better the picture quality will be. Will it be noticeable to the home viewer on a 72" HTDV? Or would the differences only be noticeable on the silver screen? I've got a limited amount of capital to start with, but am also aware that picture quality makes a difference. I'm just trying to determine how much improvement I will get for doubling my cost :)

Norman Willis
http://www.nazareneisrael.org


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Aaron Stewart
Re: T2i or 7D?
on Mar 31, 2010 at 6:43:44 pm

I don't believe (and others can correct me if I'm off base here) that inherently there is any PICTURE difference between the 7D and the T2i. I've heard that the T2i overheats a little faster than the 7D. And the T2i has less features than the 7D in terms of photography.

I suppose why I was asking "What type of show it was" was to determine if there are other things in your show that would make having a 7d or t2i a problem. For example, for long documentary interviews, you'll have to restart the recording of the interview over after every 12-ish minutes. Sure the audio on the Zoom or other comparable recorder will keep going, but both cameras will stop with the 12 min. record limit. So that would be a limitation. Another limitation would be the sound-sync in post. There are programs to make it easier, but that may be too much of a hassle in post-production.

Another thing to consider would be the cost of hard drive units on a continuing show. You can edit the H.264's as they are, so they have to be converted, and thus, take up lots more space. If you are shooting all day, you'll need to purchase extra batteries and extra CF cards to carry you through the day. Sure you can have only a handful of cards (I've got 8, 8GB cards) but again, you'll have to stop production to transfer them to your computer (or have someone on hand to do it for you, but again, at extra cost). So all of that is added cost, and some of it *COULD* be avoided with slightly more expensive cameras.

So there are a few extra costs going into these cameras, that a lot of more professional video cameras have built in. For example, if you went the HDV route, you could record on tape (an hour or more at a time, right HDV people?), you could plug mics and booms straight into the camera (no extra syncing afterwards), and you COULD (although I don't really recommend it), edit in HDV and save a bit of hard drive space. Tapes cost a bit less than CF cards, AND you've got a physical backup.

Just food for thought. These cameras can make beautiful images (even without IS lenses, you could get cheaper/older FD lenses with converters, or use an EF 50mm 1.8, it takes good video for $100) but if you don't have those accessories it could just bog down the production and add cost then instead of up-front.

Aaron R. Stewart
arstewart@gmail.com


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Norman Willis
Re: T2i or 7D?
on Mar 31, 2010 at 6:59:58 pm

Oh, OK. Now I see where you are going.

I had a long conversation with Canon today. The Y2i body is plastic, and is somewhat more susceptible to damage when used in the field, so I think I will go with the 7D. From a durability point of view, it seems worth it.

I need a wide angle lens that zooms out at least to 22mm or wider, so it looks like I need to use the 17-35 or the 18-40 lens, or perhaps one of the other zoom lenses. I am looking into that now.

The program will probably be 28:30, with three shots of 9:00 (+/-), and two 0:30 spots, and a 0:15 intro and a 0:15 outro (or something like that). For the webcast, I can upload three shots of 9:00 (+/-) and then stitch together a playlist on YouTube (and on Vimeo you just upload what you want).

So I am thinking if I get one SanDisk Extreme III 16GB card and a spare (because I have had cards fail before) I should be good to go. Right now my main question is which lens to get. The sales rep was very knowledgeable, and he recommended the 18-200mm zoom for all around versatility, but there appear to be some issues with lens creep. The zoom lock tends to break, and they say clarity is not what it could be at full zoom. Since most of my work will be in studio, I am considering perhaps the 18-70mm zoom lens, which has a higher rating.

For the sound I am considering the JuicedLink DN101 now, as that will give me the sound built right in, which will alleviate having to synch in post.

Norman Willis
http://www.nazareneisrael.org


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Aaron Stewart
Re: T2i or 7D?
on Mar 31, 2010 at 7:58:52 pm

And also keep in mind that on those longer lenses you'll need the IS versions otherwise they'll be quite susceptible to the "rolling shutter." The stock lens with the 7D is 18mm-135mm and is reasonably sharp, although the nicer L glass is better. I would say the weatherproofing on the 7D would be a biggie, as I've shot in a variety of situations, even with it snowing outside, the camera got pretty much completely wet (although not splashed with water, just from snow landing and melting on the camera), and it was fine.

I've got 3 lenses right now with my 7D. The stock 18-135 EF-S, 50mm EF 1.8, and an FD 50mm Macro 3.5 with FD to EF adapter.


Aaron R. Stewart
arstewart@gmail.com


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Norman Willis
Re: T2i or 7D?
on Mar 31, 2010 at 9:50:25 pm

Aaron, thank you very much for helping me with this. I think the light bulbs are finally starting to come on.

Here are the current lenses I am looking at with the 7D:

EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM at $1520.00
http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=1...

EF 17-40mm f/4L USM at $750.00
http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=1...

EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS at $720.00
http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=1...

EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 at $770.00
http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=1...

The first two are L series lenses, but they all get high marks. On the 7D body there is some magnification due to lens crop, so the numbers are effectively somewhat higher.

I am 6'8", and plan to shoot full body shots on infinite white (white screen). I can get maybe 15' from lens to screen, and I need maybe 7-8 of those feet behind me. I talked with Canon, and they estimated that with a 7D body, I would probably be using about 20-25mm or so, depending on the final placement, so I absolutely do not want any barrel distortion at wide angle (between 20-25mm).

Do you know which of these lenses would be most accurate at about 20-25mm? And how much difference is there between f2.8L and f4L?

I plan to shoot everything in a brightly lit studio environment, tripod mounted (in teleprompter); but one never knows what the future holds.

Norman Willis
http://www.nazareneisrael.org


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Norman Willis
Re: T2i or 7D?
on Mar 31, 2010 at 10:26:14 pm

Hey Aaron.

EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS at $720.00
http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=1.....

The 15-85 is not L series, but it has very good marks, and image stabilization, which might prove useful later.

Also, it seems to be a good all-around lens.

For in studio, well lit and tripod mounted, would you prefer that, or the first lens:

EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM at $1520.00
http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=1.....

Norman Willis
http://www.nazareneisrael.org


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Norman Willis
Re: T2i or 7D?
on Mar 31, 2010 at 11:51:25 pm

I could be wrong, but I think I'm looking at the 15-85, because of the image stabilization.

It is not technically an L lens, but I think that perhaps your recommendation of the image stabilization is a very good one.

Norman Willis
http://www.nazareneisrael.org


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Aaron Stewart
Re: T2i or 7D?
on Apr 1, 2010 at 2:24:39 am

Well, I haven't had a chance to use most of these....

To be honest, before you invest in lenses, perhaps the best thing to do would be to find photographers in your area (sometimes companies also rent lenses) and see if you can beg/borrow/rent as many as you can and see what they look like for yourself. 22-24mm seems a bit wide to me. You can get a full shot with a 50mm lens if you back up enough (ha)... but it works. And keep in mind, that you may be fine with the image sharpness with a $100 EF 50mm 1.8, or a lens from a different manufacturer. I would definitely recommend trying to find lenses and test them out before buying. Might not be able to build a set and set it up EXACTLY like you are wanting to, but especially with talent (if you've already got them picked out for your show) its important to do lens tests and see whats going to work best.

EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS at $720.00
EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM at $1520.00

Well, I wouldn't really buy an EF-S lens. Think of a lens as an investment. EF-S lenses aren't going to be around forever as sensor sizes increase. If I'm dropping more than $100 on a lens, I want it to work on the current EF mount, just in case I use the lens in the future on a camera with a bigger sensor (whether that be a Canon camera, or a Red camera).

Sorry, I know thats not much practical help, but if you are planning on getting the 7D with a stock lens of some sort (are you? or body only?) then I would get it, test it with that lens, and see if you are happy with it.

Aaron R. Stewart
arstewart@gmail.com


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Norman Willis
Re: T2i or 7D?
on Apr 1, 2010 at 2:28:31 am

>>Well, I wouldn't really buy an EF-S lens. Think of a lens as an investment. EF-S lenses aren't going to be around forever as sensor sizes increase. If I'm dropping more than $100 on a lens, I want it to work on the current EF mount, just in case I use the lens in the future on a camera with a bigger sensor (whether that be a Canon camera, or a Red camera).

Sorry, I know thats not much practical help, but if you are planning on getting the 7D with a stock lens of some sort (are you? or body only?) then I would get it, test it with that lens, and see if you are happy with it.


Well, the thing is, I'm clueless about lenses :) This is the first I have heard about the limitations of EF-S. I thought the man at Canon said the 15-85 was a new lens? So I appreciate your help.

Norman Willis
http://www.nazareneisrael.org


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Aaron Stewart
Re: T2i or 7D?
on Apr 1, 2010 at 2:58:12 am

BTW.... for your very original question, I found this:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare_post.asp?method=sidebyside&cameras=...

EF-S lenses are made for cameras with smaller sensors (such as the 7D) and don't work on cameras like the 1Dmk4 or 5dmk2, which are "full frame" sensor sized cameras, which is why I was saying if I was going to drop over $500 on a lens, I would want it to work on future cameras I may (or may not) get.

This is a good explanation on lenses, sensor sizes, etc.
http://photography.bhinsights.com/content/angles-view-cure-chronic-millimet...

And much better put than I could have stumbled around with!

Another good source you may want to check out is Philip Bloom's blog:
http://philipbloom.co.uk/
(just ignore the current fake April Fools day joke about RAW recording...)

And his DVD... covers a lot of stuff with shooting with the 7D (including some on lenses). Its a little basic in some parts, but he does cover some really good stuff, including the post-production side, which is important:
http://philipbloom.co.uk/2009/11/29/7d-and-5dmkii-training-videos-now-avail...


Aaron R. Stewart
arstewart@gmail.com


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Norman Willis
Re: T2i or 7D?
on Apr 4, 2010 at 10:03:48 am

Hi Aaron.

Thank you very much for your help.

A friend and I were putting all options on the table, and we decided that all things considered, we really needed to consider the 5D as well.

I thought I should open a new thread, "T2i, 5D or 7D", so that people can have a better idea. I hope you will meet me there.

Norman Willis
http://www.nazareneisrael.org


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Bob Cole
Re: T2i or 7D?
on Apr 4, 2010 at 12:51:10 am

[Norman Willis] "I have a limited amount of capital, and need to spend money only where it is needed, at this point."

Not my place to say this perhaps, but unless you've been producing a weekly show on a regular basis, I'd be very cautious about using a DSLR. I suspect most people are using DSLR's for shorter form videos, or for indie features, but not for turning out 30 minutes, week after week. That kind of grind is quite daunting, especially if you don't have the money to hire lots of help.

Your viewers will probably be much more concerned with good content than with the ultimate in imagery.

Good luck, and more power to you if you can pull this off!

Bob C


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Norman Willis
Re: T2i or 7D?
on Apr 4, 2010 at 10:18:08 am

Hi Bob.

Thank you very much. Sincere words of caution and food for thought are always appreciated.

Perhaps I should explain. I have been writing for ten years, and am used to producing between 7-14 polished pages a week. By my best estimates, a half-hour show would be about 7 pages at my cadence and delivery. I find the writing is rehearsing, so once we had the studio set up it would simply be a matter of me filming until I had some takes I like, and then handing off to my two editors. (I am also looking to hire a script writer to help me generate new ideas.)

I am starting a new thread, "T2i, 7D or 5D?" and hope you will join me here, and give me even more food for thought. Thanks.

Norman Willis
http://www.nazareneisrael.org


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Brent Dunn
Re: T2i or 7D?
on Apr 22, 2010 at 6:47:22 pm

Your other option, BH Video & Armato both sell used gear. You can find a lot of HD Cams that use tape for a big discount.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Video.com


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