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Hv40 Vs 7D

Posted: Tue, 30th Mar 2010, 1:16pm

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Sick Boy

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Yo dawgs.

I've heard and read that the Canon 7D should be a pretty good camera, but i've seen some test footage of it, and the autofocus was awful, not nearly close to the smooth autofocus the HV40 got. When looking at the qualitiy of the two modells, the HV40 looks expired.

Just woundering if there is any linses to the 7D which makes autofocus as smooth as the HV40 without the camera using a lot of time trying to get the right focus.
Posted: Tue, 30th Mar 2010, 1:34pm

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Serpent

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Yeah, the HD SLRs aren't really designed for animated autofocus. DSLR lenses each have their own unique autofocusing abilities, and the camera body itself tells the lens which spot in the frame the lens should focus on when calculating depth. That's something the HV series can't do. With such a thin depth of field, most people use manual focus. Instead of the 7D, consider the 550D. Only differences for video between the two are:

-7D can display HD on a monitor while recording, 550D can't
-7D uses CF cards, 550D uses SD
-7D has a tougher, more weather proof body
-7D has more ISO options
-7D has more autofocus points
-7D can use kelvin temperature for white balance

(let me know if I'm missing anything)

The quality, sensor, manual controls, and most things are exactly the same. If you want better control on the focusing, with the extra money you save getting a 550D, you could buy some cheap "support rods" (search for it on ebay) for around $200, and one of these:

http://www.indifocus.com/products_indifocus20.htm

Probably the cheapest follow focus on the market right now. This will give you great, smooth, precise focusing.

The HV40's deep depth of field (a flaw with all camcorders save the RED and other higher end cameras) doesn't really utilize the focusing all that much unless it's zoomed in a lot. Unless the HV40 has a focusing ring (which I don't think it does), animated manual focus is nearly impossible. On an actual SLR lens, animated manual focusing isn't nearly as big a challenge, and you can get some slick looking footage.

To summarize, HV40 limits you a LOT more as a cinematographer compared to the HD DSLRs. Most people even throw a 35mm adapter on their HV cameras to get that thin depth of field (which makes the autofocusing feature useless, you can't even autofocus with the photography lens), but by the time you do that it costs just as much, if not MORE than a 550D, which has full manual controls, more manual controls, tapeless recording, etc. etc. etc. There are just way more advantages on the HD DSLR.

Hope that helps with your decision.
Posted: Tue, 30th Mar 2010, 2:49pm

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Simon K Jones

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If you're doing a holiday video or documentary-style project, I'd recommend the HV40 for its good automatic settings and general simplicity.

If you're looking to do dramatic, creative works, and are happy to endure a bit of technical pain in exchange for artistic achievement, go for the 550D.

Also, if autofocus is your main buying factor, or if you think it is, then I'd probably recommend going for the HV40, as a DSLR might be a bit of a jump for you at this point.
Posted: Tue, 30th Mar 2010, 5:38pm

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ben3308

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You never want an HV40 over a 7D (or 550D/T2i) because if you plan on holiday recordings or things like that, the latter cameras also have high-quality still SLR functions, which are doubly more important for 'capturing the moment'.

It's not comparison, really. If autofocus is a huge issue to you, you don't need to be spending money on anything, because it's just so easy (and better!) to focus yourself. I'm sure you know this, though. Not 'taking the jump' to buy the 7D (well, really, the 550D for price consciousness) is an ultimate waste of money, because the HV40 costs nearly as much! If you're unsure, save your money for future advancements in DSLR video. They are, no doubt, imminent.

Aaaaaaanyhow, in this realm, the HV40 has absolutely no advantages over the 7D. None. Ease-of-use? Not really, cancelled out by the extra functions of the SLR. And the SLR on full auto (save the focusing) is just as simple.

It's not even a comparison.
Posted: Tue, 30th Mar 2010, 6:12pm

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Axeman

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The HV40 does have one marked advantage, ben3308 - record time. The 550D isn't going to be of much use if you want to record your daughter's dance recital, or a school play, or anything of that sort. Any type of event filming will be easier with the HV40.
Posted: Tue, 30th Mar 2010, 6:18pm

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Serpent

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I forgot who it was that I was talking to, but someone on here had a Rebel T1i and they were using a 32GB SD card. They said it held about an hour of footage, and they aren't that expensive. Get two of those and you're set. I'd say that's even better than tapes. If that's far off, let me know, as that's one thing I'm curious about, is how much a 32GB card can take (haven't looked into it really).

It isn't great, however (as one example, maybe other examples can be cited), if you like doing behind the scenes stuff in addition to stuff you're filming, I wouldn't think. But for that you can use any crappy little camera and it will suffice.
Posted: Tue, 30th Mar 2010, 6:45pm

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Atom

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32GB cards on the T2i can hold around 75 minutes and cost about $100-150, if I'm not mistaken.

Last edited Tue, 30th Mar 2010, 6:54pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 30th Mar 2010, 6:51pm

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Serpent

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Class 6 32GB cards are more like <$100. And I'd gladly pay that price for a reuseable and *very* easily cleanable card (bring a laptop on your shoot and you can go all day). It's more around $60-80 if you don't go with name brand, which is a legitimate option. A lot of the non-known brands have fantastic warranties. I have a 2GB "Dan Elec" SD card (wtf is that?), and I've never had to replace it, but the warranty covers 3 years in case it ever fails.

Also, lock your cards during import so they won't corrupt. One great feature about SD cards.
Posted: Tue, 30th Mar 2010, 10:13pm

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Axeman

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Just to clarify, the record time I was referring to is the length of each clip, not the amount of recorded time that can be stored on a card. There is a 4 GB limit (about 12 minutes) on the file size for continuous recording, which means you can't start the camera going and let it record for an hour. Every 12 minutes you have to stop recording, then start a new clip. Also, the camera can't even take that for a full hour without overheating.

Of course for standard moviemaking this isn't a significant problem, but for recording events, as I mentioned earlier, it would be a big problem.
Posted: Tue, 30th Mar 2010, 10:45pm

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Aculag

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This thread is really making me want to sell my HVX200/RedRock Micro and pick up one of these new DSLRs. I've had a single, 4GB PD card for the entire time I've had the camera, which has seriously limited my recording time, and they still cost $400-$800 bucks for the 16-32GB cards. Insane. I would get a LOT more filming done if I had a 7d (which I already have compatible lenses for.)

7d + Zoom H4n = Perfect Indie Kit. And I could afford both of those things and then some with what I would get from selling the HVX. Time to seriously consider this...
Posted: Wed, 31st Mar 2010, 9:07am

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Serpent

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Axeman wrote:

Just to clarify, the record time I was referring to is the length of each clip, not the amount of recorded time that can be stored on a card. There is a 4 GB limit (about 12 minutes) on the file size for continuous recording, which means you can't start the camera going and let it record for an hour. Every 12 minutes you have to stop recording, then start a new clip. Also, the camera can't even take that for a full hour without overheating.

Of course for standard moviemaking this isn't a significant problem, but for recording events, as I mentioned earlier, it would be a big problem.
Did not know that, thanks for the clarification. It's still the best option for me, but I can see how that would be a turnoff for some, like a dad who does family video stuff, or a wedding shooter, or a behind the scenes shooter.
Posted: Wed, 31st Mar 2010, 9:55am

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Joshua Davies

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Aculag - We're currently selling our HVX200 with 2 x 8GB P2s and Redrock M2 for the same reason although we're going to keep hold of our HV40 (or is it a 30?) because its easier to use when you're just filming behind the scenes etc.

We've got the Canon 550D now (unless you're doing stills photography or need the beefy casing then its just as good as the 7D for video) and it blows the HVX200 away in nearly all cases. Its an amazing camera for video work, just wish I had more time to learn about how to get the best out of it.
Posted: Wed, 31st Mar 2010, 10:22am

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Serpent

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I feel like I'm making post after post, but this just keeps getting more and more exciting. You can monitor and control the camera settings remotely using a laptop and the Canon EOS software that comes with the camera. Looks like I'll be selling my monitor as well! Hot damn!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVAc4VWHigo

Pin point focusing will now be easy for everything except handheld shooting. Hopefully this option is fluid enough to get the focusing right when I'm shooting on a tripod, and enough to coordinate my jib and dolly shots (and for focusing on dolly). I'll hold off on selling my monitor until I can mess around with it, but it's looking pretty good.

A year ago I thought there was no way anyone would produce anything more desirable than RED has, Canon proved me wrong and cut the price in half, and the Scarlet isn't even out yet...
Posted: Thu, 1st Apr 2010, 2:56am

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Coureur de Bois

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Serpent wrote:


-7D can display HD on a monitor while recording, 550D can't
-7D uses CF cards, 550D uses SD
-7D has a tougher, more weather proof body
-7D has more ISO options
-7D has more autofocus points
-7D can use kelvin temperature for white balance

(let me know if I'm missing anything)
If I'm not mistaken the 7D has one very large advantage; that being the full-frame sensor.
Posted: Thu, 1st Apr 2010, 3:40am

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Serpent

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You are mistaken. They both use the same exact sensor. If you did a side-by-side comparison of the 7d and the T2i, it would look exactly the same, if you used the same white balance and settings. Difference is all in functionality and form. 5d mark II has a full frame sensor for video, but that's another $1,000.
Posted: Thu, 1st Apr 2010, 7:21am

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Atom

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The durability and architecture of the body- and quality of the LCD display (nothing with the optics of the cam, just the display)- are the only two really distinguishable differences in the 7D and the T2i. One is meant to look and feel more 'pro', so to speak, and those costs a bit more. But essentially they're the same camera.

Ben and I literally sat there and held both and there was no difference to us between the two besides the body of the camera. That seems to be it.
Posted: Thu, 1st Apr 2010, 8:02am

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Serpent

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And all that stuff I listed, in case you missed it. Those might be distinguishable to someone, especially a photographer (wireless flash, for example, is one I didn't list):

-7D can display HD on a monitor while recording, 550D can't
-7D uses CF cards, 550D uses SD
-7D has a tougher, more weather proof body
-7D has more ISO options
-7D has more autofocus points
-7D can use kelvin temperature for white balance




lol my posts per day count is skyrocketing this past week since Mute, the DSLRs, etc. I'm getting sick of seeing my avatar/sig combo.
Posted: Thu, 1st Apr 2010, 9:32am

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rogolo

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Aye, 7D defiantly feels better in one's hands and the small extra features (Serpents list+top LED panel, additional buttons, and scroll wheel instead of directional buttons) are nice to have, but not really worth the extra $1000, especially if you are just starting in the DSLR world. As far as optics/quality is concerned, I'm editing a project right now (in fact, I'm posting in between renders smile) with mixed 7D and T2i footage. 'Sall looking good, as expected.

As for the SDHC cards used with the T2i/550D, I actually prefer them over the CF cards. They are smaller, cheaper, widely available, and can be used in a multitude of additional peripherals (external sound recorder, anyone?). Plus, I've personally seen the pins on CF readers break from improper use. I'm predominately shooting on a 32gb SDHC which ran me $74 after tax. Haven't yet filled it to capacity, but it should hold ~85 minutes of 1080 24p footage.

I do enjoy the extra weatherproofing of the 7D, however. It began raining while I was filming the annual dyeing of the Chicago River for St Paddys day, and the 7D toughed it out without a problem. With my T2i, I dunno if I would be so nonchalant about it. (Just ran across this quick blog post on the issue. I would never run that test with my GL2! biggrin)
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2010, 12:22am

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Coureur de Bois

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Serpent wrote:

You are mistaken. They both use the same exact sensor. If you did a side-by-side comparison of the 7d and the T2i, it would look exactly the same, if you used the same white balance and settings. Difference is all in functionality and form. 5d mark II has a full frame sensor for video, but that's another $1,000.
Awesome. I was under the impression that the 7D was the followup to the 5D. If I was still working in a camera store I would have known this. Still, you've got to love having that full frame sensor, it is a huge advantage IMO.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2010, 1:13am

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Axeman

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Full Frame sensors are a fine thing, but the crop sensors do have an advantage in that they increase the shallow depth of field of your lenses. So in that respect, it is easier to separate your subject from the bg when using the crop sensor cameras. And its worth remembering that the crop sensor in the 7D and the T2i is still the same size as the sensor in the RED One.

But still, yeah, if you can afford a full frame sensor, do it.
Posted: Tue, 6th Apr 2010, 11:56pm

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Sick Boy

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But guys, as a beginner with the 7D/550D, how do you know which lense to get? Is there any site or anything similiar wich do a comparisor of some sort? I've been looking at the Cenima5D forums and it did matters worse.
Posted: Wed, 7th Apr 2010, 12:20am

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Serpent

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Rating: +1

If you like doing zoom shots in your films (I personally don't), you are looking for lenses with 3 numbers in the lens description. For example:

70-200 F/4


That means it can zoom from 70mm to 200mm (this is a long range lens). The f/4 means the widest aperture this lens is capable of is 4.0.

If you want to shoot in lower light like at night, you are going to want to look for a wider aperture, or F stop. Anywhere from f/1.6 to f/2.5.

If you want a wider angle lens, you are going to want it to be in the 10mm-40mm range.

Canon's BEST value lens is in between, it is the 50mm f/1.8 prime lens. Prime lenses don't zoom in, they are fixed focal length. This lens is bright, compact, and tack sharp.

The human field of vision is somewhere between 30-40mm, so use that as a reference. Wide angle lenses can be dramatic when used to show landscapes, great for low shots, awesome to give you more room indoors, etc. Telephoto (long) lenses are great for focusing in on your subject or filming far away subjects, and separating them from the background and foreground with depth of field.

A good website for reviews is http://fredmiranda.com Detailed info is provided for each lens, and there is a forum style section at the bottom where people post pros, cons, descriptions, and examples. I always use FredMiranda when researching a new lens. So think about what kind of lens you want, and compare all the different kinds.

Sigma is a great alternative company for Canon lenses, they usually make a better bang for the buck in zoom lenses. For primes, I always go Canon.

Another word in a lens description you might want to consider is "Macro." A Macro lens is designed for extreme closeups. Great for detailed shots to convey emotion, shooting small things like bugs and critters, etc. In my arsenal I have a bright prime, a wide angle zoom, a telephoto zoom, and a medium bright medium range (50mm) macro lens. That covers all my needs for now, though eventually I want a longer range and higher scale macro, and a longer telephoto (mine is 70-200). You can also buy telephoto extenders for your lenses. A 2x telephoto extender will make a 70-200 lens 140-400. Though there is a bit of light loss, so the brighter conditions you shoot with and brighter your telephoto lens, the better.

You'll want to look into what "aperture" does (quick Google search will help), as that is one of the important concepts to understand when lens searching.

Hope that helped, good luck! Lemme know if you have any questions about this post, or PM me if you need help shopping. I love lenses.
Posted: Wed, 7th Apr 2010, 12:36am

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Axeman

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The following statement should be law:

If you are starting out shooting video with a Canon DSLR, buy a 50mm f1.8 lens. It is a terrific lens, very sharp, only $100 us, and gives the excellent shallow depth of field that you are looking for when filming. No other lens can come close to touching it for the price.

Serpent's above advice is excellent. But in general, go for fixed-length lenses with the lowest f-number you can afford. Lower f-numbers provide better low-light performance, and shallower depth of field. Fixed length lenses are more durable, sharper, and force you to truck instead of zooming, which as a general rule is how films are shot.
Posted: Wed, 7th Apr 2010, 2:46am

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Rockfilmers

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YES! I love using that lens! But don't make it your only lens because sometimes you're going to get a lot wider. Luckly, my mom had some old fd mount lenses from her old slr from the 70's. I bought an adapter for it to allow me to use her lenses on my eos camera. The 50mm prime is amazing for basic conversation and other simple shots, but a 28mm should be used for establishing shots, action, ect. Luckily, my mom had both, a f1.8 50mm and an f2.4 28mm. I've also seen these lenses in photo stores for around 50 bucks. The adapter was only about 40 bucks and works perfectly. The down side is no auto focus and you can't use AV mode while shooting stills.
Posted: Wed, 7th Apr 2010, 3:28am

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Axeman

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Yeah, I certainly didn't mean its the only lens you should get, but if you are just starting and can only afford one lens for now, get the 50mm f1.8. Or, if you have a couple hundred extra in the budget, step up to the 50mm f1.4 which is even nicer. The 18-55mm kit lens that comes with the camera doesn't do the video side of it justice though.

Also, here's another excellent piece of advice I came across the other day for shooting video on a DSLR:

Get a Singh-ray Vari-ND filter. This provides between 2 and 8 stops of ND just by spinning the filter. That way, you can keep the shutter speed at 1/60 and keep the aperture wide open, but still shoot in bright sunlight. You essentially use the filter to get the correct exposure, so you can retain the smooth motion of the 1/60 shutter, as well as the shallow dof of the wide open aperture. It ain't cheap, but it helps get some brilliant video.
Posted: Wed, 7th Apr 2010, 8:28am

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Simon K Jones

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Great post, Serpent. As a newcomer to the DSLR scene I found that extremely useful.
Posted: Thu, 8th Apr 2010, 3:34pm

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Sick Boy

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I've been reading now for some 5 hours, and i just discovered that the 7D/550D is a crop camera, right? IF so, a 50 mm lense when mounted on the 7D/550D will get an 80mm view ! (crop factor of 1.6). Is this true? In that case, you should buy the 30-35 mm lense to get that natural looking 50 mm view?
Posted: Thu, 8th Apr 2010, 4:04pm

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Axeman

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Yeah, I thought about pointing that out but decided not to get into explaining crop sensors and crop factors and all that.

More importantly, don't get hung up too much on the 50mm human field of view thing. It rarely relates to lens selection when filming, and its only when you go wider that it will ever feel unusual, and even then its pretty rare, unless the lens is cheap and it starts to fish-eye. Lenses that are longer than 50mm still look natural, but allow you to more easily focus on a single element of the scene.

Ideally you'd have primes in the 30mm, 50mm, 80mm, and 200mm range to cover your bases, but for most people that kind of collection takes a bit of time.
Posted: Thu, 8th Apr 2010, 8:05pm

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Sick Boy

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Axeman; What do you think of getting the 24mm, 35mm and 80mm as beginning primes?

24mm for wideangle
35mm for normal view
80mm for close

All of them is about 1000$
Posted: Thu, 8th Apr 2010, 8:24pm

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Axeman

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The 24mm you refer to, I assume, is the Canon 24mm f2.8, which isn't bad, but for just a little more ($100 more) you can get a Sigma 30mm which is an f1.4. I'd recommend comparing the two before you make a decision. Either one is a good lens, but the slightly faster aperture on the Sigma will be good for video work. f2.8 is still pretty fast though, so you might be happier with the Canon, and the slightly wider field of view it offers.

Not sure which 80mm you are looking at, but Canon offers an 85mm f1.8 that is in your ballpark.

What you describe would be a pretty sweet collection of lenses to start out with though.

It hasn't really been discussed yet, but its also worth noting that any lenses longer than 20mm are really going to exaggerate the rolling shutter issues that come along with a CMOS sensor, so keeping your lenses under 200mm will make things easier. Plus, fast lenses longer than 200mm get very expensive anyway, so it works out nicely.
Posted: Wed, 5th May 2010, 12:55pm

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RodyPolis

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SO this thread kinda stopped being a debate about HV40 vs 7d to just being about the 7d. As someone who is thinking of getting one right now (for music videos mostly), I'm wondering which one is better for my buck. Is the 7d's image really that much better than the HV40's? Considering I can get the HV40 for $650 (which I can afford) while the 7d is more than $1000 (which will be hard to afford) more, is it really worth it? This might seems like a stupid question, but what exactly is about the 7d that "blows" the HV40 so far away?

Everyone used to be all about the HV series, now they're all over 7d. So between the 2 prices, which one is a better deal for the money? Thanks
Posted: Wed, 5th May 2010, 2:51pm

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Axeman

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The 7D has a sensor roughly 6 times as large as the HV40, so yeah, the picture quality is that much better. This also means that it has low-light capabilities better than just about any video camera in the world, at any price range. It has interchangeable lenses, for near unlimited options, given the budget, and that allows you to create the shallow depth of field seen constantly in cinema, that just can't be managed with video cameras like the HV40. And if you aren't feeling like shelling out for the 7D, the 550D has very similar features to it, and is much closer to the cost of the HV40.

The 7D (or 550D) will give you professional quality filmic footage, whereas the HV40 will give you high quality video footage.

On the other hand, the audio capabilities of the 7D or 550D are pretty minimal, but if you are planning to work on music videos, I'd imagine that all your audio is coming from other sources anyway.
Posted: Wed, 5th May 2010, 4:24pm

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RodyPolis

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So video quality-wise you would say the 550D is pretty much the same thing as the 7D? I might save up for the 550d if that's the case. I read somewhere that there is one big feature (don't remember what it is) that the 550d only lets you do in 720p, do you have an idea of what that feature might be? If you really do recommend the 550d that much and say it really is that much better than the HV40 then I'll believe you smile

BTW do you know any place I could download some raw footage of both cameras?
Posted: Wed, 5th May 2010, 5:22pm

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swintonmaximilian

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RodyPolis, you might be thinking of the 550D's slow motion recording capability being limited to 720p. It will only record 60fps at 720p, it won't do it at 1080p. But, that's the same on the 7d.

Also, for the 550D and the 7d you'll need to convert the footage into a manageable format for editing. The files the camera records are not meant for editing with. I use Neoscene by cineform:

http://www.cineform.com/neoscene/

I would upload some raw 7d footage for you, but I'm rubbish with that sort of thing and don't actually know how. Here's some raw stills from 7d footage shot at 1080p.

http://maximilianswinton.squarespace.com/storage/zach%20raw.jpg

http://maximilianswinton.squarespace.com/storage/zach%20raw%202.jpg
Posted: Wed, 5th May 2010, 5:37pm

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Axeman

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The image sensor is exactly the same in the 550D and 7D. So lenses will behave exactly the same, the low-light capabilities should be very similar, though I don't know if the 550D's ISO goes as high as the 7D's, but the max ISO's aren't where you'll generally want to be shooting anyway. The autoexposure system is different between the two cameras, but for video you'll generally want to be on manual anyway, and even if you want to go auto, the 550D's system is entirely capable. The biggest differences between the two cameras is on the still-image side of things, and in the build quality of the body. but again, I've shot with a digital rebel for years before getting a 7D, and all of the Digital Rebel models are still durable, reliable, and work quite nicely, especially for the price.

MPEGStreamclip is another great option for transcoding the footage into a good intermediate codec.
Posted: Wed, 5th May 2010, 6:48pm

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ben3308

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The HV40 is a piece of sh!t. Seriously.

Coming from me, who has used dozens of cameras over several years, but still have a handle on what the teenage market needs (because, let's face it, I was a teen just last year! biggrin) you should NOT get the HV40. Too fiddly to justify spending money on when the other options for a couple hundred dollars are so EXPONENTIALLY better.
Posted: Wed, 5th May 2010, 7:36pm

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RodyPolis

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Alright, the 550d it is then! Thanks guys. Just to think this morning I pretty much decided that the HV40 was a better value and now I'm leaning toward the 550d.

Now I hope that business of mine works out!
Posted: Wed, 5th May 2010, 7:46pm

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swintonmaximilian

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The 550D is definitely better, especially for music videos. The interchangeable lens aspect will be a big advantage for that kind of work.
Posted: Thu, 6th May 2010, 2:38am

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Sick Boy

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Do anyone know if this lense fits the 550D?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Sigma-30mm-f-1-4-EX-DC-HSM-Lens-Nikon-/140404580177?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item20b0c3df51
Posted: Thu, 6th May 2010, 3:03am

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Aculag

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Not without an adapter. That is a lens for a Nikon.
Posted: Thu, 6th May 2010, 3:23am

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Axeman

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This one will fit, though.
Posted: Thu, 6th May 2010, 4:13pm

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RodyPolis

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What would be a good lens to get with the 550D? I really don't know anything about lenses so I'll need help in that. What I don't like is those footages with the really 'small?' DOF. I'm talking about the ones where a character's face is in focus, while his ears are all blurry. Or his right eye is in focus, but the left side isn't.

In movies and TV shows the whole person is usually in focus, while the background is blurry. But those lenses that I'm talking about can't seem to get the whole person in focus so it only focuses on the front part of the person's body while the rest is blurry. Do you know what I'm talking about? What lens would you recommend for a good clean DOF effect?
Posted: Thu, 6th May 2010, 4:25pm

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Simon K Jones

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RodyPolis wrote:

In movies and TV shows the whole person is usually in focus, while the background is blurry.
That's not especially true - movies tend to use a wide variety of setups depending on the needs of the scene.

It's not just dependent on the lens, though, it also depends on how you setup the camera, specifically with regards to the aperture/iris.

Check this out:

http://smad.jmu.edu/dof/

So with the same lens, you can actually have a wide range of DoF.
Posted: Thu, 6th May 2010, 4:33pm

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RodyPolis

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Alright I'm at school right now but I'll look at it later. But even if it doesn't matter what lens I use, I still need one right? So what would you recommend since I'm really ignorant when it comes to that stuff.
Posted: Thu, 6th May 2010, 5:18pm

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Axeman

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Rating: +1

Depth of field is primarily controlled by the aperture. Shutter speed, focal length and distance to subject factor in as well, but for this explanation, what you need to remember is that a bigger aperture (which means a smaller number) will create a shallower depth of field. So with an f1.2 lens, you can create super-shallow depth of field, such as you don't like. However, all lenses allow you to adjust the aperture, usually to at least f22, where everything will be in focus, from here to eternity.

So, getting a fast lens (which means a lens with a large aperture, like f1.2, f1.4, f1.8, f2.cool allows you the greatest range of depth of field. You can always increase the depth of field to get more in focus, but with cheap lenses that are slow (f5.6), you don't have the option of creating shallow depth of field even if you want. This is oversimplified a bit, but hopefully the point is clear.

I would recommend getting a 550D with the kit lens (18-55mm f3.5-5.6), which will give you a bit of range and options for wider shots, and get a 50mm f1.8 ($100 US) for shooting shallow depth of field stuff. Once you've put in some time using that kit, you'll have a better idea of what focal lengths you would like to have, and can look into expanding your lens collection from there.