Archive for February 8th, 2010

The new ultimate budget video camera: Rebel T2i (aka 550D)

Forget the 5D and the 7D. This is the new hot shit in the market: Canon’s Rebel T2i (aka 550D).

For $800, you will be able to get a great camera to shoot your masterpiece. You have no excuse anymore to not shoot a short movie, or a music video to help out your local rock bands.

The T2i supports all the frame rates that the 7D does, at similar bitrates. It has full manual control, and an audio jack. No new video-focused abilities are present in the cam compared to the 7D, however, it’s a camera that’s half the price. The still picture side of it is not as powerful as the 7D, but when it comes to video, it’s up to par with it (sample). It’s also a smaller/lighter camera than than the 7D, using SDHC instead of CF.

Add in the mix a large-aperture prime, a wide-angle, and a zoom lens, and you’ll be in business. My [photographer] husband would suggest instead three prime lenses: one wide, one normal, one long (a good combo is 24-35-50mm). You should be able to buy the camera and three lenses of your choice for $1500 overall, which is a great price if you think that a high-end Canon AVCHD camcorder, or the 7D body alone, costs as much. Honestly, I think the Scarlet is in a bit more market trouble right now — even if it’s a much better camera. “Good enough” is what sells more actually. I see plain camcorders to also be in real trouble now. Except wedding photographers and travelers, the camcorder market will down-size significantly in the next few years.

Canon also announced their new digicam line today, which actually let me down. Their SX200 IS replacement digicam, the SX210 IS, is now 14 MP — at the same sensor size. The SX200 IS has low light problems, so stuffing more pixels in it will make things even worse. They added “zooming while recording” and a “stereo mic” as new abilities for the movie mode. Personally, I find these useless as a filmmaker. Actors only have one mouth, and zooming while recording is as cheesy as 70’s B-movies were. I would have preferred to see a 10 MP sensor instead, and the ability to also record at 24 fps in addition to 30 fps. That would have been more useful to the kinds of video I shoot (i.e. not random family videos).

So as far as P&S HD video digicams go, the SD780 IS remains the best bang for the buck for $180. Except of manual focus, it still has all the video features that the SX-series have.

FCC Disclaimer: The above are my very own personal & truthful opinions. Not paid or endorsed by Canon.