View Full Version : Best HDSLR for video


Lucky Hardwood
08-30-2011, 01:15 PM
I want your opinions on which HDSLR is the best for video (hence the title). I would prefer to stick with Canon because I have a 5D mark I that I use for still photography and have some good glass already. Compare and contrast the t2i, t3i, 7D, 5DmkII, and any other worthy candidates.


Let the beatings begin!

Murdock
08-30-2011, 01:21 PM
You can get adapters for other brands and still be able to use your glass.

SinEater
08-30-2011, 01:31 PM
You can get adapters for other brands and still be able to use your glass.

He probably wouldn't be able to control the iris on most of his lenses adapted.

Murdock
08-30-2011, 01:34 PM
He probably wouldn't be able to control the iris on most of his lenses adapted.

Oh I see.

Lucky Hardwood
08-30-2011, 01:36 PM
He probably wouldn't be able to control the iris on most of his lenses adapted.

You are correct. My lenses are of the EF design and the f stop is controlled in camera.

Gonzo_Entertainment
08-30-2011, 01:40 PM
If you want to keep using your Canon glass, and money isn't an issue, I'd get the 5Dmk2. Sell the MK1 and upgrade.

Lucky Hardwood
08-30-2011, 01:57 PM
My plan has been to get the mkII and use the mkI as a back-up for my still work. I have been hearing a lot of talk about the 7D and that it's newer sensor and firmware make it a better camera for video. I like the full frame sensor in the 5D, but I'm open to options.

SinEater
08-30-2011, 02:03 PM
If you're going to go with a crop sensor, I'd suggest getting one with an articulated screen like the 60D or T3i. It comes in handy for getting shots you really couldn't get with something like 5D or 7D. That being said, the 5DmII is an amazing camera. My issue with it is that it's sorely in need of an update. I personally expect something to be announced soon, or at least in the next six months. Others on the forum disagree, though, so maybe I'm completely off base. I just know from experience it sucks to buy a $2,500 camera and have it become outdated in a month.

Gonzo_Entertainment
08-30-2011, 02:24 PM
My plan has been to get the mkII and use the mkI as a back-up for my still work. I have been hearing a lot of talk about the 7D and that it's newer sensor and firmware make it a better camera for video. I like the full frame sensor in the 5D, but I'm open to options.

Advantges of the 7D
It has 60P frame rate (handy for slow motion)
It has full resolution HDMI output which allows you to use a cheaper monitor rather than coughing up $1000 for a monitor that can upscale the 480P output of the 5D.
The DOF characteristics are closer to film which makes it somewhat easier to intercut the footage with film.
Rolling shutter is a LITTLE bit less of an issue than on the 5D.

Advantages of the 5D
No crop, a lens is the focal length on the label, not some fraction of it.
Better low light performance.
Shallower DOF when you want it (though it gets overused).

I just really wanted full frame so I went with the 5D.
As is true with ALL cameras, they don't become outdated just because the next generation comes out. I fully intend to still be shooting with my 5D 2 or 3 years from now whether the MK3 has come out or not.

CamVader
08-30-2011, 02:28 PM
Gonzo, would it be fair to say that it's easier to follow focus on a 7D as opposed to a mkII?

SinEater
08-30-2011, 02:39 PM
Gonzo, would it be fair to say that it's easier to follow focus on a 7D as opposed to a mkII?

If all the settings are the same, the 5d will have a shallower DoF, making it harder to follow focus. However, if you stopped the lens down to have similar DoF to the 7D following focus should be just about the same. The 7D does have HD output, though, so if you're using an external monitor to focus it's obviously easier on the 7D.

Lucky Hardwood
08-30-2011, 02:41 PM
I personally expect something to be announced soon, or at least in the next six months. Others on the forum disagree, though, so maybe I'm completely off base. I just know from experience it sucks to buy a $2,500 camera and have it become outdated in a month.

A buddy who is connected to the national Canon rep has advised that I hold off on the mkII because the mkIII will make me want to do serious harm to myself if I don't get it. That could (and likely is) just marketing BS from the Canon guy. The rumor is that the 3 is in the pipeline for the next cycle and that it is optimized for video out of the box. The price point is also expected to climb slightly. You know how rumors are, worth almost as much as a used Kleenex. I still don't know anybody personally who has a walk around prototype.

As is true with ALL cameras, they don't become outdated just because the next generation comes out. I fully intend to still be shooting with my 5D 2 or 3 years from now whether the MK3 has come out or not.

So very true. My mkI still does everything that I need it to for still work, and I bought it after the mkII had already come out.

Gonzo, would it be fair to say that it's easier to follow focus on a 7D as opposed to a mkII?

I too am interested in the answer to this.

chilipie
08-30-2011, 03:34 PM
A buddy who is connected to the national Canon rep has advised that I hold off on the mkII because the mkIII will make me want to do serious harm to myself if I don't get it. That could (and likely is) just marketing BS from the Canon guy. The rumor is that the 3 is in the pipeline for the next cycle and that it is optimized for video out of the box. The price point is also expected to climb slightly. You know how rumors are, worth almost as much as a used Kleenex. I still don't know anybody personally who has a walk around prototype.

If you can wait a while, then I probably would… what about buying a second hand Mark II to tide you over?

I too am interested in the answer to this.

In a nutshell, yes.

If you have a 5D with an 80mm lens and a 7D with a 50mm lens (to give you the same angle of view), both at a stop of f/2.8 and with the subject 5' away, you will have around 2.2" in focus with a 5D and 3.7" with a 7D.

The crop factor of 1.6x means you have 1.6x more depth of field with the 7D (or you can open up the 7D by 1.6 stops to achieve the same depth of field as the 5D).

Gonzo_Entertainment
08-30-2011, 03:42 PM
There are really only two things the MK3 could have that would be major steps forward.

Full Res HDMI Out, including clean out for external capture.
A better compression scheme.

Both of those really hinge on a much faster processor that won't overheat under the load.

Lucky Hardwood
08-30-2011, 03:52 PM
4:4:4 recording would be great. 4:2:2 would be an improvement. A faster processor is also rumored.

Gonzo_Entertainment
08-30-2011, 03:58 PM
4:4:4 recording would be great. 4:2:2 would be an improvement. A faster processor is also rumored.

Ultimate would be "RAW" output, basically making it a poor man's red. The problem is the camera would would probably melt from the heat.

CamVader
08-30-2011, 03:58 PM
4:4:4 recording would be great. 4:2:2 would be an improvement. A faster processor is also rumored.

I think 4:4:4 will only be possible with uncompressed video for quite some time, but 4:2:2 would be awesome, that's for sure.

If I had to guess, I think we're going to see a whole new sensor that finds a way around line skipping. I think that's been the hold-up.

CamVader
08-30-2011, 04:01 PM
Ultimate would be "RAW" output, basically making it a poor man's red. The problem is the camera would would probably melt from the heat.

Not with the optional Freon cooled backpack condensing unit. ;)

Gonzo_Entertainment
08-30-2011, 04:08 PM
I think 4:4:4 will only be possible with uncompressed video for quite some time, but 4:2:2 would be awesome, that's for sure.

If I had to guess, I think we're going to see a whole new sensor that finds a way around line skipping. I think that's been the hold-up.

I think that's the processor not the sensor. The sensor gathers the data, MORE than enough data. The processor just can't handle it so they have to skip lines to not overload the processing power.

dr stilly
08-30-2011, 04:45 PM
After my own vast research I was swayed from Canon to the Lumix GH2 and you can use your glass with an adapter. I've never regretted it.

Gonzo_Entertainment
08-30-2011, 04:49 PM
After my own vast research I was swayed from Canon to the Lumix GH2 and you can use your glass with an adapter. I've never regretted it.

Looked hard at the GH2, mirrorless is a very nice feature, but 2X (or 1.9 depending on who you ask) crop was a deal breaker for me.

CamVader
08-30-2011, 04:59 PM
I think that's the processor not the sensor. The sensor gathers the data, MORE than enough data. The processor just can't handle it so they have to skip lines to not overload the processing power.

Yep, I just don't know which will happen first, a sensor that has new way to allow for downsampling or a processor that can handle more of a load without fission occurring. It will never be 18 or 21 MP, though.

dr stilly
08-30-2011, 05:04 PM
i know what you mean. but the deal for me was back on with the ex-tele-conv option and the promise of a higher bitrate hack...and the swivel screen of course :)

theclash4u5
08-30-2011, 10:30 PM
Looked hard at the GH2, mirrorless is a very nice feature, but 2X (or 1.9 depending on who you ask) crop was a deal breaker for me.

What do you use instead, then? Canon 7D?

chilipie
08-31-2011, 02:05 AM
What do you use instead, then? Canon 7D?

Gonzo is a 5D user, I believe.

SinEater
08-31-2011, 04:02 AM
What do you use instead, then? Canon 7D?

He uses the full frame 5D, as chili said. The difference between the crop of the Canon APS-C (1.6) and Panasonic m4/3 (1.8-2 depending on camera)is negligible in the real world. I shoot on both and don't really even notice a lot of the time. It's the jump to full frame that makes a huge difference.

Gonzo_Entertainment
08-31-2011, 08:36 AM
Yeah, I shoot 5D with a mostly matched set of 40 year old Pentax Takumar lenses. I have a little film photography background and the whole idea of crop was really off putting to me. I tend to see pictures in standard focal lengths.

dr stilly
09-06-2011, 02:03 PM
if i had the budget 5D all the way...if not...big up the lumix! :)

Lucky Hardwood
09-06-2011, 04:03 PM
I anticipate shooting in some tight areas so the lack of a crop factor in the 5DmkII is a big plus. I am concerned about the moire though. I will also be shooting in some dark areas and into bright lights.

voodoogmr
09-06-2011, 04:23 PM
I just bought my wife a Canon T3i since she was wanting a newer DSLR. I did some video tests with it to see how it compared to my Sony pro cam (Z5U). I shot at 1080/24p. It didn't look too bad, though I doubt I could easily intercut it with the Z5U. The Sony footage was much cleaner and crisp. The T3i looked a little soft and did not have very good color detail. Granted, the Sony better look better since it costs 4 times as much!

I only have f/3.5 lens, so it was harder to test the shallower DOF, but it was still quite a bit shallower than the Sony at any given f-stop. Just plan on buying some ND filters if you want to get that shallow DOF outdoors on sunny days. I would also consider a follow focus to be a mandatory accessory as well.

The only real negative thing I can say is that it does not have the same shutter speeds as camcorders. I normally shoot at 1/48, but the T3i only gives you 1/40 or 1/50 in that range, which are photo standards. 1/50 looked close enough, but I could detect a slight amount of flickering.

The shallower DOF was nice, but I think I'll stick to my Sony cam for most of my stuff.

Cracker Funk
09-06-2011, 04:25 PM
In my opinion, the crop-factor of the non-5D Canons is actually a good thing. If you're a photographer, it might take some getting used-to, having to adapt your visual expectations. However, there are two reasons why I actually prefer crop-factor.

#1 is the depth of field. In my opinion, the pendulum swung too far, with the 5D. Filmmakers went from having only wide depth of field, to ridiculously razor-thin. Sure, it looks nice, but it's also incredibly difficult to control. Do you really need it super-thin, all the damn time?

You can still get shallow depth of field with any of the other Canons, but you'll get it only when you intentionally seek it out.

Reason #2 is the fact that, if I understand it correctly, the crop-factor is actually much closer to the look of cinematic film. Somebody correct me, if I'm wrong, but isn't it true that, when shooting with 35mm film, only half the frame is actually used? Isn't it true that full-frame is an exclusively still-photography thing?

If you plan to use this camera for a lot of still photography, you'll probably want the more sturdy and robust 7D. I'm not a still photographer, but I've heard it also has a system of controls that makes shooting photography much easier than with the less expensive models.

If this is to be strictly for filmmaking, there's not really any reason for the 7D. I have the T2i, and like it a lot, but I would really like having a flip-out LCD screen. So, with that in mind, if it were me, buying strictly for filmmaking, I'd have it narrowed down to either the T3i or the 60D.

Wait, now that I think about it, you might also consider the importance of HD monitoring. I don't believe (but I'm not 100% sure) either the T3i or 60D monitor in HD. So, if that's important to you, maybe you'd want the 7D, after all.

SinEater
09-06-2011, 04:34 PM
Reason #2 is the fact that, if I understand it correctly, the crop-factor is actually much closer to the look of cinematic film. Somebody correct me, if I'm wrong, but isn't it true that, when shooting with 35mm film, only half the frame is actually used? Isn't it true that full-frame is an exclusively still-photography thing?

The reason is that motion picture cameras feed the film vertically, while still cameras feed film horizontally.

http://i54.tinypic.com/rii4px.png

Gonzo_Entertainment
09-06-2011, 04:43 PM
I THINK only the 7D is full HD monitoring.
I had to buy a "pro" (read $1000) 5.6" monitor that would exapnd the image to fill the screen for my 5D.

Another bonus on the 7D is 60fps for those few times you might want to shoot slow motion. Not sure if the t3i or 60D has that or not.

Cracker Funk
09-06-2011, 04:46 PM
I THINK only the 7D is full HD monitoring.
I had to buy a "pro" (read $1000) 5.6" monitor that would exapnd the image to fill the screen for my 5D.

Another bonus on the 7D is 60fps for those few times you might want to shoot slow motion. Not sure if the t3i or 60D has that or not.

They all shoot 60p.

dr stilly
09-07-2011, 05:37 PM
I still think there is only one dslr to compete with video on the GH2 and that is the 5D and that is all down to the crop factor, however, GH2 has 24p at true 1080, and now a new firmware hack to knock the bitrate up to 42mbit. the quality is amazing and very cinematic and I'm using old olympus OM lenses adapted and they look amazing for a very low cost. I still say the Gh2 is a videocamera first and a photo camera second but all canons are video camera's second.

and...

GH2 has video out mode offering RAW (Uncompressed) via HDMI...this fact alone brushes all competition aside.


just thought i'd throw that in coz it seems as if canon has cornered the market on this topic and i find it weird when the GH1 and GH2 have outperformed the T2i, 60D, 7D and has held its own against the 5D and RED.

Cracker Funk
09-07-2011, 07:54 PM
I still think there is only one dslr to compete with video on the GH2 and that is the 5D and that is all down to the crop factor, however, GH2 has 24p at true 1080, and now a new firmware hack to knock the bitrate up to 42mbit. the quality is amazing and very cinematic and I'm using old olympus OM lenses adapted and they look amazing for a very low cost. I still say the Gh2 is a videocamera first and a photo camera second but all canons are video camera's second.

and...

GH2 has video out mode offering RAW (Uncompressed) via HDMI...this fact alone brushes all competition aside.


just thought i'd throw that in coz it seems as if canon has cornered the market on this topic and i find it weird when the GH1 and GH2 have outperformed the T2i, 60D, 7D and has held its own against the 5D and RED.

The GH2 is definitely not a video camera first. It is a still photography camera, and there are many reasons why that is the case. Also, neither it, nor the 5D come even close to competing with the Red.

I don't doubt how awesome the GH2 is; I've heard from many a satisfied owners of it, including our own wheatgrinder, and I trust his opinion on these matters, quite a bit. If I were shopping for a camera, right now, the GH2 would be on my short-list.

However, the OP has made it clear that they want to take full-advantage of the Canon glass that they already own, so I think their desire to stay in Canon makes perfect sense.

Kholi
09-07-2011, 08:10 PM
I still think there is only one dslr to compete with video on the GH2 and that is the 5D and that is all down to the crop factor, however, GH2 has 24p at true 1080, and now a new firmware hack to knock the bitrate up to 42mbit. the quality is amazing and very cinematic and I'm using old olympus OM lenses adapted and they look amazing for a very low cost. I still say the Gh2 is a videocamera first and a photo camera second but all canons are video camera's second.


From someone who uses RED MX ritually, has owned several DSLRS (2 x 7Ds, 2 x 5Ds, GH1), I agree with you.

One hundred percent. If I were choosing a camera right now to shoot anything with sub F3, it would either be a GH2 or a 5D, with FS100 in close third.

Gh2 + Hacks = unfukwitable

It resolves more than any of the Canon's by far, cleaner look to boot.

5D has the sensor size advantage and looks way too good when cropped to 2.40/2.35, and the DR makes it nice. With the AA Filter mod it's a strong contender.

The rest, no thanks. Not for me, anyway.



GH2 has video out mode offering RAW (Uncompressed) via HDMI...this fact alone brushes all competition aside.


I've done the HDMI out thing, it's useless IMO. Just use the hack and go to SDHC cards, save yourself time and headache for pretty much the same result. The compression that happens at the DSP is reason for this.

just thought i'd throw that in coz it seems as if canon has cornered the market on this topic and i find it weird when the GH1 and GH2 have outperformed the T2i, 60D, 7D and has held its own against the 5D and RED.

GH2 doesn't cut with RED MX. I've got some footage in my feature film, 95% red and 5% GH2, it stands out even with the same glass. You can see some GH2 footage in the trailer, as well.

I'd still use it for a feature, but that feature would probably be GH2/5D or all GH2, not cutting it in with RED footage.

dr stilly
09-08-2011, 05:49 AM
GH2 doesn't cut with RED MX. I've got some footage in my feature film, 95% red and 5% GH2, it stands out even with the same glass. You can see some GH2 footage in the trailer, as well.

I'd still use it for a feature, but that feature would probably be GH2/5D or all GH2, not cutting it in with RED footage.

yeh when i said held its own i meant like Rocky vs Apollo creed in Rocky1, totally bitch slapped and outclassed but still standing (on shakey legs) and manages a cheer from the sympathetic crowd :D

dr stilly
09-08-2011, 05:55 AM
The GH2 is definitely not a video camera first. It is a still photography camera, and there are many reasons why that is the case.


I disagree. The features on a GH2 stand out for video, even the video record button which saved my butt when the shutter button decided to stop working...it was like the camera was telling me 'stop taking pictures dufus! thats not what you bought me for!!' I can still take pictures with the on screen shutter button (soon to send off for repair, just had a shoot to complete first)

But seriously, It's a good camera for pictures but technically the GH2 is NOT a dslr...i can't remember the technical jargon that justifies this...

SinEater
09-08-2011, 05:59 AM
I disagree. The features on a GH2 stand out for video, even the video record button which saved my butt when the shutter button decided to stop working...it was like the camera was telling me 'stop taking pictures dufus! thats not what you bought me for!!' I can still take pictures with the on screen shutter button (soon to send off for repair, just had a shoot to complete first)

But seriously, It's a good camera for pictures but technically the GH2 is NOT a dslr...i can't remember the technical jargon that justifies this...

It's not a Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera due to the lack of an internal mirror. The mirror for the optical viewfinder in DSLRs snaps out of the way when a picture is taken, hence the Reflex. Instead, the GH2 is an Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens (EVIL) camera.

dr stilly
09-08-2011, 06:05 AM
the GH2 is an Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens (EVIL) camera.

Evil camera...sweeet...:lol:

Lucky Hardwood
09-11-2011, 03:17 AM
...the GH2 is an Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens (EVIL) camera.

That just makes me want it now.

SinEater
09-11-2011, 03:19 AM
That just makes me want it now.

Be careful. Apparently EVIL cameras will corrupt and make the rest of the forum hate you...

/sarcasm

Lucky Hardwood
09-11-2011, 04:14 AM
I'm still trying to get around the crop factor. The shortest lens that I currently have is a 24mm f1.8. That would be 45.6mm on the GH2. That qualifies as a normal focal length lens on that system. Canon makes an 8mm super wide, but it's a fish eye lens and causes tremendous distortion on my 5D. It's also expensive. Does anybody have any experience with a lens that fat on the GH2, and if so, what kind of distortion/aberration do you get with it?

Kholi
09-11-2011, 12:54 PM
I'm still trying to get around the crop factor. The shortest lens that I currently have is a 24mm f1.8. That would be 45.6mm on the GH2. That qualifies as a normal focal length lens on that system. Canon makes an 8mm super wide, but it's a fish eye lens and causes tremendous distortion on my 5D. It's also expensive. Does anybody have any experience with a lens that fat on the GH2, and if so, what kind of distortion/aberration do you get with it?

It's a bit of a headache, to be honest. You need to have an 11-16/2.8 Tokina in the camera kit to really cover what you need.

The crop's like 1.7x~1.8 (when shooting video) so that's closer to about an 18~20mm. Then there's the actual Panasonic 7mm/4 which'll get you about a 12 ish. It's close enough to 35mm Film spec to not really be a major concern, but what it does change is image compression.

Aside from distortion, you're still dealing with the need to use slightly wider and/or shifting your camera's position to get the right composition. If your primary tastes were centered around using more wides than tights, the Gh2's a bit of a pain there.

You'll probably roll with a 14mm or 17mm for the most part, and the distortion etc on those lenses aren't nice.

5D, I can ride around with a 35mm or 28mm all day and NEVER have a worry about distortion, enough light, so on and so forth. In fact, a 28, 50, and 85 are typically enough to get everything done with a 5D, although something like a 70-200/4 is also nice.

Them's the trade offs.

dr stilly
09-11-2011, 01:08 PM
If your primary tastes were centered around using more wides than tights, the Gh2's a bit of a pain there.


to some degree I agree with this. I like tigher more intimate shots generally which helped my decision for the GH2, however, the 14mm kit lens gets wide enough for me, 28mm is pretty wide, wide enough for me to get the shots i need for my style, so I guess it does really depend on style...and finances.