Yesterday, I interviewed Dr. Vincent Harding. We discussed his relationship to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Koinonia Farm. While this was very interesting in and of itself; what made this interview special was that I was able to borrow a Canon Rebel T2i to record video. This is a big deal because: 1) I've been wanting to test a DSLR camera solely for its video abilities.. and 2) I wanted to run it side by side with my Panasonic DVX 100A.
I've not been happy with the image quality of the DVX (of course not, it's not HD!) and having the chance to run the two cameras side by side was what I was waiting for.
I'm in the market for a new camera and being able to test the lowest price Canon in this category ($600-$700) lets me know that things can only get better if I am not satisfied with the Canon T2i.
Canon Rebel T2i First Impressions
First impressions (after only one interview and some footage of trees and boats in my backyard).
Canon T2i vs. Panasonic DVX-100A
The Canon T2i definitely has a better image when compared to the Panasonic DVX 100A. The DVX was equipped with a Seinnheiser wireless lav, so in audio aspects the Panasonic beat the Canon but only because the Panasonic was set up to win. Plus, not having an external mic attached to the Canon allowed me to hear how it recorded. The air conditioner was on. The room was small with hard walls. The subject spoke very gently. All in all, it was a terrible place and manner to conduct an interview; which is the perfect way to test a camera.
Any camera can perform well when placed to suit its best characteristics. How does it perform when everything that could go wrong goes wrong?
The Canon would be best suited with an external mic for serious interviews. It recorded the sound well enough, put the audio doesn't have body or texture. (The Flip MinoHD may have the Canon t2i beat for audio recording).
Visually, from a video recording perspective, the Canon T2i works very well.
The body, however, is plastic and may only survive a couple of drops, but that is what, in part, you are paying for when you upgrade to a Canon 60D or 7D. The inside, the working components of the T2i and the 7D are essentially the same. But the price difference is about $700. Am I getting $700 more worth of kick ass DSLR Canon video? No. Buying used, I could probably buy two T2i's for the cost of one 7D. Plus, there are those rubber body gloves you can buy for your camera. They work pretty well to provide the T2i with a little more protection.
I am, however, strongly considering the Canon 60D for two reasons. It's a step up from the Canon T2i in its body construction (in line with my Canon 30D). Plus, the 60D has a unique quality that the 7D doesn't; a swivel screen in the back. For me, this is a pretty big deal, especially since I am looking for my next DSLR to be my primary video camera. Being able to adjust the screen to help center shots that are too low or too high or awkward means a lot in the field.
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