I’m excited to say that we’ve added another camera to our video arsenal. We recently acquired the Canon T2i, a great DSLR that shoots full frame 1920x1080p HD video in variable frame rates. Last weekend I spent some time shooting test footage, so I could get to know the camera a little better. Then I brought the raw footage into my editing system to see if I could establish a good workflow. Below are three clips I shot over the weekend. Here are some of my first impressions with the camera:
- The shallow depth of field that you can get with these cameras is pretty remarkable.
- Boosting the ISO will always add more grain to your shot. If you are shooting indoors and you don’t want a lot of grain in your image, keep the ISO as low as you can and add more light to your scene.
- It’s a good idea to invest in some neutral density filters for exterior shooting. Using ND filters will allow you to keep your shutter speed at a slower setting. Increasing the shutter speed will cause your video to strobe more, creating a very staccato feel. Of course, this might be just the effect you are looking for.
- Unless you are using Premiere Pro CS5, you will probably need to use some intermediate codec to convert the native MOV files into a format that your NLE can work with.
- The T2i provides manual control over exposure and focus, and offers three different HD movie modes – 1080p/30fps, 1080p/24fps, and 720p/60fps. There doesn’t seem to be any manual control over white balance, but if you know of a way to change it, let me know.
- Establishing rock-solid focus marks for your scene will be difficult without adding some kind of follow-focus system on to your camera. It’s not impossible, but it will take some rehearsing.
- Make sure you purchase SDHC cards with fast transfer speeds. That will ensure better recording and better playback.
- I love the LCD screen. Very large, very clear.
- The ergonomics of hand-holding the camera isn’t as awkward as some people make it out to be. Is it different? Yes, but you can easily adapt.
- The image stabilization in both the kit 18-55mm lens and the 50-250mm lens seem to respond very well. I didn’t use a tripod on any of my test shoots and was pleased with how the IS in each lens reduced hand shake.
Again, these are simply my initial impressions and observations. I’m sure I will post more as I start using the camera on client projects.