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Canon EF mount video cameras


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#1 Sean Anderson

Sean Anderson

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 01:01 AM

I'm an amateur stills photographer, looking to get into amateur videography/cinematography. I'm currently shooting a Canon EOS 40D and primarily use an EF 24-104 f/4 lens, and planning to buy a video-capable Canon DSLR such as the 5D Mark II in the near future.

So, I have a two-part question:
1) Does anyone have experience with how well a DSLR performs in real-world videography situations, with moving subjects, with a moving camera, and generally when you don't have a tripod and lots of time to set-up your shot?
2) Are there any EF mount video cameras? I notice some of the higher-end Canon HD cams have lens mounts, but this is not an EF mount (and they're way out of my price range!). Do lens adapters make things just as good as having a native mount, or are they a waste of time?

As this is my first post on cinematography.com, I hope I'm not posting a little below the typical levels of funding normal on this forum :)
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#2 Edward Calvey

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 10:19 AM

I have a bit of experience, and since nobody more qualified is answering at the moment...

On a tripod, with talking heads, the DSLRs are borderline amazing. The noise is really low even in the most horrible light, and the image quality is pretty decent to begin with. Motion however, is a real problem. With really smooth camera movements and no real panning, it could be usable, but any jerking motions, wipes, frantic dancers, or hard pans will show wildly tilting trees, chairs, weird looking appendages, bent crania (I love that one)... It's quite wacky, and surprisingly severe. I guess the term "hilariously atrocious" would be applicable.

And the EF mount: EF mount is a problem for video. Video lenses are very different and have different needs. Although the image quality of EF glass is good in general, it's a lot more advantageous to use a lens matched to the needs of the camera. All the things that make the EF lenses good, like the electronic control, internal motors, simultaneous af/mf focus ring... That's all annoyances when it comes to video, especially through an adapter. Video lenses can have wide zoom ranges and high speeds because the imaging area is smaller, and most of the bigger cameras use rather standardized mounts. For the most part, you might find that something like a B4 to PL lens works fine, but the price for the adapter might blow you out of the water. Better to just get what fits.

If you insist, there is an EF adapter for the XL2 from what I hear. It's cheap too, (about 400 bucks?)
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