Looking for Canon 7D Mark ii video capabilities, good or bad? Lots being said about fast focus for action photography and better ISO but any thoughts about the video side would be appreciated!
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Canon DSLRS are all still cameras first. I would not use a DSLR for action video for a number of reasons- plenty of better form factors out there. I HAVE shot complex action based narratives with DSLRs... headaches not worth the trouble and of course it's not full HD, ever, not even the 5D MkIII .. it's around 650 lines in a 1080 package. Looks soft on a laptop let alone larger. Then there's the audio issues, lack of XLRs, lack of high ratio zooms, no EVF.... video on DSLRs is very popular and very ill conceived. but it's cheap.
Thanks for your thoughts Royce, I see some praising it for the 60fps and timelapse but very short on the video quality!
DSLR's are the affordable option to cinema grade cameras - they're not really meant for sports. Many are reducing issues with rolling shutter, but a DSLR that has a shutter is not meant for sports.
Noticed a lot of that with the original 7D Ryan. Most of what I shoot is still to very little movement interview or documentary type shooting, not much in the action side!
The camera has the potential to make nice images when static or moving slowly. The major Jello shutter is not good for high action or aggressive camera moves.
If you are going doc, you can actually get a lot of miles from a DSLR, the 7DMKII is not a bad choice, if you already are OK with the form factor and bitrate/compression, etc. The DOF has a great feel for doc and a simple light setup goes a long way. You can stretch the capabilities out of a 7D with Magic Lantern provided you're not intimidated by the install and learning curve. Zebras/Scopes/Focus peaking, and higher bitrates in conjunction with ML RAW for substantially better grading will turn your 7D into a production power that many people foolishly overlook. Like anything, it's not just what you have but how you use it. "Act of Valor" used DSLR's along with many major motion pictures. The Rolling shutter can be an issue, but only if you don't plan for it, don't whip the camera around and you'll be just fine. My 2 cents. Regards.
Thanks so much for your thoughts everyone!
What Patrick said
Define doc; if it's a doc about hip hop dancers, motocross, NASCAR or anything similar, you will be fighting the rolling shutter even with the camera locked down. If you are shooting architecture, sit down interviews, time lapse and slow controlled imagery, DSLRs can work. The example of Shane Hurlbut's war doc is notable by the fact it's one of handfull of notable films shot on DSLRs with large post fix-it budgets that got released. Exceptions tend to prove a rule. Cameras like MkIII and 1DC can be used for individual specialty shots ( crash cams, etc ) on studio films; never think for a second the y shoot the whole movie that way or that the footage isn;t heavily fixed in post- beyond anything you can figure out to do or have the software for in fact. Yes, they shot an episiode of house on 5D's; and then went right back to real gear after the experiment. I travel with a DSLR, I use one all the time for a number of uses ( mostly as a viewfinder scouting locations, shooting auditions, location stills )... better than a cell phone camera, not a real video camera.
What Patrick said. If you're shooting action footage though; you're already in the price range of the black magic mini, and I've had nothing but good experiences with that little cam.
I agree Royce to a point, as already established any heavy movement will cause headaches with the RS locked down or not. I was simply pointing out that it was a big budget that got released and had a large part shot on DSLR's, Shane does use them quite often check out the hurlblog and shane's inner circle to see some really great things being done with DSLR. RS is not strictly an issue for DSLR's the RED MX has rolling shutter along with the C100,300,etc. It's not just the RS, it's also the very limited DR/Latitude, noise ratio, etc. We could start a whole new forum on complaining about what cameras lack or why we don't like certain aspects, but I prefer to look for the positives and benefits of using them. Like I say, you can have an Alexa or RED Dragon and shoot garbage, and on the flipside you can have a T2i and shoot some fantastic imagery. It's not just what you have, but how you use it. To say that it's not "a real video camera" is exhibiting a foolish position, that's like saying a ford isn't a real car, it's better than a golf cart, but if you want a "real" car get a Lamborghini. My 2 cents. Regards.
The RS issue on Canon DSLRs is much worse than that on REDs so moot comparison. I agree with the color space, lattitude, etc... and it is about how you use a tool, obviously.. to a point. For those like me who make a living with tools, or those who aspire to, understanding horses for courses matters, hence my comments above. There's nothing foolish about saying a DSLR isn't a real video camera- IT IS NOT, any more than your cel phone is, and anyone else with a background in film cameras or broadcast work would agree, in my humble opinion. Yes, it shoots video. It's not a professional tool, though if you define professional as money making, plenty of money has been made with DSLRs, no doubt. It's also not a Ford/ Lambo comparison as much as it is a car / mountain bike comparison. They have similarities but really cannot do the job of the other properly.. and the more expert the driver, the bigger the dissatisfaction. As this is more of an enthusiast forum than a professional one, it may be more useful to merely state that for $1500ish, one can get superb camcorders that serve a filmmakers need much better than any DSLR.