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Old 20th of March 2012 (Tue)   #1
Coops__
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Default Upgrade from a 400D so I can shoot video

Hi all, looking for some advice on the best upgrade path from my 400D. Current kit list is as follows:

Canon EOS 400D
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 II (Kit Lens)
Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II (Nifty Fifty)
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f1:4-5.6 IS
Canon 430EX II Speedlite Flash with Sto-Fen Omni Bounce Flash Diffuser

The 400D is getting on a bit now and I would like to upgrade so I can shoot video.

I was thinking of going for the 600D body over the 550D due to the manual adjustment of mic levels, articulating screen and remote triggering of a speedlite.

However the next question is which lens....!

How good is the 18-55 kit lens? The kit lens on my 400D wasn't great...

I like to be able to shoot down at the 18mm range as it helps get dramatic shots of car's which is my main subject, plus also landscapes. Have a look at my site for the sort of images I like to produce http://coops-photo.co.uk

I was thinking maybe 600d body only and get the 15-85 lens separately, but thats pushing the budget quite a bit...

Other thing I wanted to get was an external mic as I'll be shooting a lot of car videos recording exhaust notes etc.

Its such a balancing act with the cash that I'm struggling!! Max budget I want to spend is 1000, but going this high means I would need to sell the 400D to help a little, ideally I would like to keep it as a backup (I'm a bit of a hoarder!)

Will the 15-85 lens give me that much more over the kit 18-55 lens for the extra ? Any recommendations for external mic's for the 600D?

Thanks! And apologies for the rant....
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Old 20th of March 2012 (Tue)   #2
BrickR
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Default Re: Upgrade from a 400D so I can shoot video

If you're doing video, the swivel screen on the 600d will pay for itself right off the bat. I would grab my SX20 p&s for video over my 550d a lot of times because the swivel screen made is easier to deal with. Now that I have a 60d, the SX20 sits in the bag all day.
Manual audio controls are nice too. I typically record separately and sync in post, but it is definitely convenient. Rode mics are well respected if you're looking for a shotgun mic. A zoom H1 is a very inexpensive way to get stereo sound and its very light and small so mounting on the hotshoe wouldn't be a burden. Different types of mics have different types of sound profiles.
When it comes to lenses, know that Canon DSLRs do not use the full resolution of the sensor. They skip lines, and even full HD is only 2MP, so a lens for video doesn't need to be as sharp as when its being used for photos with 18MP of definition to resolve. The kit lens is fine for video, its more a matter of the focus ring not being very convenient to use. That being said, you'll want to use manual focus, auto focus is not the strength of the camera.
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Old 21st of March 2012 (Wed)   #3
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Default Re: Upgrade from a 400D so I can shoot video

Thanks Brick, I agree, the 600D body is worth the extra over the 550D. I'm quite sure ill go for the 600D body.

I would live to shoot video, but my main focus will remain on still photography.

The Zoom H1, I've looked into it and its a separate mic? So the sound and video would need to be combined in post processing? It does look very good at what it does though and is definitely an option.

So now its lens and mic choice I need to decide on
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Old 21st of March 2012 (Wed)   #4
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Default Re: Upgrade from a 400D so I can shoot video

since you plan to use video, your lens selection is important. the kits lens while it takes nice pictures is noisy and unless you us use external mic that noise get picked up in video.

im not sure which lenses are best for video, but the tamron 17-50 non VC is a great lens for photography, much better than the kit lens and doesn't cost as much as the 15-85, plus its a constant 2.8 which would be better for lower light video.
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Old 21st of March 2012 (Wed)   #5
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Default Re: Upgrade from a 400D so I can shoot video

That Tamron looks excellent especially with the constant 2.8. I dont need the extra length the 15-85 gives me as i have the 55-250 to cover that.

Does anyone have experience of shooting video with the 17-50? From the reviews its great for stills...
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Old 21st of March 2012 (Wed)   #6
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Default Re: Upgrade from a 400D so I can shoot video

60D is the way to go for video
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Old 21st of March 2012 (Wed)   #7
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Default Re: Upgrade from a 400D so I can shoot video

a dedicated HD video camera is the way to go for video, or even a point and shoot with video.
the HD video on the DSLRs does not AF well and is therefore difficult to do.
if you can get past that then the 600d or 60d are great cameras.

They are pretty close in price so the 60d may be the best choice.
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Old 21st of March 2012 (Wed)   #8
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Default Re: Upgrade from a 400D so I can shoot video

The 60D is an extra 225... Thats pretty much the price of the tamron lens and puts me over budget

Still photography will still be 75% of the camera's use, but I would like the ability to shoot HQ video with good sound.
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Old 21st of March 2012 (Wed)   #9
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Default Re: Upgrade from a 400D so I can shoot video

F-Stoppers shoot video with the Tamron 17-50 VC and they really like it. (You can search it on the site)
Autofocus is not why you shoot video with a DSLR, so if that is what you want for video, a video camera is better. Manual focus isn't hard, just takes a little practice, and Magic Lantern has focus peaking which makes it even easier.
The 600d will give you control over exposure, DOF, focus point, big sensor, lens selection, all of the stuff people really shoot video with DSLRs for...and why they've become so popular in the video community.
I have an H1, its strengths are low price, small, light weight, easy to use, and good sound. The sound profile is different than a shotgun mic of course, but at the price, it makes a very handy mic to have in your kit, especially to start with.
Syncing sound is actually pretty easy, and although you can plug a mic into the 600d, being able to put a mic closer to the subject will give you MUCH better audio.
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Old 22nd of March 2012 (Thu)   #10
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Default Re: Upgrade from a 400D so I can shoot video

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrickR View Post
F-Stoppers shoot video with the Tamron 17-50 VC and they really like it. (You can search it on the site)
Autofocus is not why you shoot video with a DSLR, so if that is what you want for video, a video camera is better. Manual focus isn't hard, just takes a little practice, and Magic Lantern has focus peaking which makes it even easier.
The 600d will give you control over exposure, DOF, focus point, big sensor, lens selection, all of the stuff people really shoot video with DSLRs for...and why they've become so popular in the video community.
I have an H1, its strengths are low price, small, light weight, easy to use, and good sound. The sound profile is different than a shotgun mic of course, but at the price, it makes a very handy mic to have in your kit, especially to start with.
Syncing sound is actually pretty easy, and although you can plug a mic into the 600d, being able to put a mic closer to the subject will give you MUCH better audio.
Thanks Brick, good to know the 17-50 is recommended for shooting video.

I'm now toying between the Rode VideoMic Pro and the Zoom H1.

The main thing I'll be filming is supercars and motosport as they roar past the camera into the distance. I'm thinking the H1 would be good to capture of sound of them going from left to right, but the Rode would be good at focusing on the sound and blocking out surrounding noise....?! So many choices!
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Old 22nd of March 2012 (Thu)   #11
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Default Re: Upgrade from a 400D so I can shoot video

I find the H1 to be good for ambient sound so it would definitely work for the sound goal you have. If you could pick up a used H1 for cheaper, that would be an even better bargain. For the price, and as a first mic, I think the H1 is a good bargain that, because of its size, ease of use, and price, make it an inexpensive, first sound solution to have to start your kit with.
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Old 22nd of March 2012 (Thu)   #12
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Default Re: Upgrade from a 400D so I can shoot video

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrickR View Post
I find the H1 to be good for ambient sound so it would definitely work for the sound goal you have. If you could pick up a used H1 for cheaper, that would be an even better bargain. For the price, and as a first mic, I think the H1 is a good bargain that, because of its size, ease of use, and price, make it an inexpensive, first sound solution to have to start your kit with.
Will scour eBay for a bargain

Im leaning towards the H1 at the moment, mainly due to price and the fact it does stereo.

How do people mount it to the DSLR, is there a shock mount available?
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Old 23rd of March 2012 (Fri)   #13
BrickR
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Default Re: Upgrade from a 400D so I can shoot video

There are shock mounts available, just google Zoom H1 shock mount. The shock mount is an easy way to avoid any problems from the plastic thread mount; and if you find a used one with a stripped thread mount, you can get a better discount. Another solution is to use a mini ball head mount with hot-shoe adapter. There are plenty of options available.
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Old 25th of March 2012 (Sun)   #14
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Default Re: Upgrade from a 400D so I can shoot video

Took the plunge today and bought the following:

- Canon 600D Body
- Tamron AF 17-50mm F2.8 XR Di II LD
- SanDisk 32GB 30MB/s Extreme HD Video SDHC Card
- Zoom H1
- Kaavie Dual Nuts Hot Shoe 1/4" Screw Adapter
- GEM SLR Camera Backpack to keep it all in

Can't wait for it to arrive so I can get shooting!

Thanks for all the advice
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Old 26th of March 2012 (Mon)   #15
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Default Re: Upgrade from a 400D so I can shoot video

Waiting for it to arrive is killing me!
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