Having shot on the T2i this weekend, I can say it was really easy and quick to shoot with, although the slow kit lens made depth-of-field not that shallow, and the instability of non-IS lenses worked horribly for video.
So, basically, get a T2i with the kit lens, because it's versatile and you have it from day one; but definitely get either a nice, bright prime (f1.6 will have awesome shallow DOF) or a longer, higher mm zoom lens. I found issues with sharpness and zoom length - I never could zoom as far as I wanted with the kit lens, which made 'finding my angles' a lot harder (I had to reconfigure my angle during
a lot of takes, just because it was a timed contest I started shooting on) and it made the images not as sharp as I wanted.
Then, after transcoding to a loss of quality using Cineform's 7-day trial of NeoScene, bringing the footage into Vegas and grading yielded results that looked similar to stuff we've shot on the XHA1, and no better, really. Certain, more fixed shots look really good and crisp, but others, with more motion - likely degraded from the movement during the transcoding - didn't look like anything special. This is also by virtue of the grading presets my brother has made don't work well on the more detailed DSLR footage, and some of the higher ISOs that I shot at.
Now, this all being said, I have a good command of the camera now and know what it takes to shoot and get the Philip Bloom-esque results people want out of it. It's not hard, but I would say this is some small learning to the camera. Not just in terms of settings and technicals, which pretty much anyone can pick up easily, but in knowing what it does best and using it as such. I always have people compliment me on my command of my old GL2, and I mention that it's mainly through a talent with that camera, specifically, and experience with it that I cultivate this 'way of working' with it. It's a bit grainy and low in dynamic range, so higher contrast and higher shutter are the best things to shoot with it.
Likewise, austere, steady shots are the best I shot on the T2i this weekend; and the motion stuff just looked standard. I definitely realized that cursory three-point lighting made things more contrasty than I wanted, in terms of exposure, and that the more detailed lens and high definition of the T2i meant that just a low-power key light and proper exposure would look cooler, crisper, and more detailed. This is evident on the very last shot of our 24 hour movie.
Definitely go with the T2i, though. At its worst
it's a regular manual-exposure HD camera, like the XHA1. At its best, you'll get those Bloom-like shots, the ones that surpass even the best 35mm adapter footage from just last year.
Also, I shot my whole 24 hour movie handheld, after having trouble (and time) lugging my tripod around. The biggest problems: A. Staying handheld while zoomed in on a longer lense - you'll need a monopod and B. Using lenses with Image Stabilization (IS) or using the lens with IS turned off. I shot a few in-car, zoomed in shots on my mom's Quantaray 90mm zoom to get a more telephoto look on the T2i, but found myself regretting it because my results, though more zoomed, were so unstable, despite my normally (relatively) steady hands.
Yeah, it was a little bit fiddly. But if you know cameras and have the hands for it, you'll get it down. Like I said, it's the day after my first use of the device, and I feel like I now have it down. Lamentably, my brother used some shots in our film where I actually added
shake, but that's another story...
Last edited Mon, 17th May 2010, 8:06am; edited 1 times in total.