Experimenting with Canon 7d video

Once I purchased my Canon 7D in October last year I knew it would be the start of a new hideous lens and camera accessories addiction.

I purchased my first prime lens – the Canon 50mm 1.4f in December to experiment with more portrait photography. Love it. However, I find myself currently fascinated by the new infinite possibilities of videography with the 7D and more wide angled lens. I embarrassingly spend every spare moment I have watching beautifully captured short films on Vimeo and YouTube.

It seems I’m not the only one getting slowly sucked into the world of story telling though DSLR video, both Lisa Bettany and Cameron Moll are both bulking up on Canon kit and producing some great content. Not forgetting to mention this beautiful (albeit somewhat techy) video I found on YouTube about Patrick Murphy-Racey, a seasoned photographer experimenting with DLSR video with masterful results:

Geek kit I’m after

Tokina ATX 116 PRO DX AF11-16mm F/2.8 Canon

An ultra-wide angle lens with a fast 2.8 aperture for better photography in low-light situations.

Rode Microphones VideoMic

The on-board Mic of the Canon 7d is very basic, with a directional shock-mounted mic you get far better audio without the body noise and low frequency rumble.

Litepanels Micro

Good lighting is a must for more professional looking videos, bringing a character to life without the unwanted shadows.

Steadicam Merlin

Offering light, agile, seamless shooting for today’s videographers. I’d love one of these one day, but it’ll have to wait for now as a seemingly basic piece of equipment like this costs a lot of money.

See some footage taken with the Tokina lens and a Steadicam Merlin here.

Zacuto Z-Finder

The Z-Finder is an Optical Viewfinder that allows DSLR cameras to have the correct form factor for video. The larger viewfinder allows you to ensure perfect manual focusing at all times.

Inspiration

  • I’ve always been inspired by the multi-talented Hillman Curtis, an early flash designer, turned digital designer, turned film maker. Do yourself a video and watch some of his short films.
  • More recently I discovered Philip Bloom – an evangelist of DSLR film-making who’s short films and DLSR video tutorials/reviews have influenced many. Even George Lucas is interested in Philip Bloom’s DLSR video skills and recently flew him over to discuss techniques for a new movie.
  • VBS.TV – a great source of short films covering all sort of subjects. I’m sure some are shot on DSLRs.

Feedback

I’ve done a fair amount of research and hope to make some of these purchases soon, but would really appreciate some feedback from more seasoned Canon DSLR photographers. Also if there are any 7D short films you’ve seen and enjoyed please provide some link love below in the comments to feed my addiction :)

26 thoughts on “Experimenting with Canon 7d video”

  1. Markus, that video by Patrick Murphy-Racey is phenomenal. I look forward to the day you are producing work like that. I have little to add to your Canon plea for help, being a Nikon fan and myself… that being said, full HD is looking more and more inviting;)

    1. Yeah don’t expect that sort of quality from me until I’m about his age! He has some amazing manual focusing control!

      You know it’s only a matter of time before you join the Canon cool kids ;)

  2. Hey there,

    I dont know how often you check this, but I’m in need of some advice with my 7d. and quick!

    I am out in England right now, and I wanted to film interviews and post them to youtube.

    I use final cut pro.

    It seems the file size of these interviews is ridiculously long. I am not the best when it comes to adjusting settings (i dont really know what im doing) and the videos I am putting out there are taking forever to render, forever to export, and forever to upload to youtube.

    Any way to make the video recording smaller or with less quality?

    Any advice will be much appreciated!

    1. Hey Danny,

      Any reason in particular you use Final Cut Pro for basic video interviews? You could import it into iMovie, they have a great, albeit basic, compression tool for YouTube uploads.

  3. I want to buy my wife a canon camera for Xmas (we are both novice’s).It will be used for home shots (non Professional).Can somebody please give me some honest advice.
    Should i buy the 500D kit which includes 2 lenses etc etc.
    Please Help Help !!!!!

    1. Canon 500D is a great camera and perfect if you are wanting to get started in the world of SLR photography. If you are looking for a more simple point and shoot camera, packed full of features though, and good in low light I’d definitely recommend the Canon S95. I use that whenever my SLR is too big and heavy to carry around with me. Best small camera around at the moment.

  4. Hi Mark

    Just finished my first short film shot exclusively on my Canon 7D. It’s been selected for an international film film festival. These cameras are great!

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