Canon 550D or 7D

Hello there,

I am very, very new to the whole film making area, and given that, thought I should get out there are shoot some stuff - you only learn by your mistakes right? In terms of future investments, I just wanted some opinions on the 550D v.s 7D - what you think of both of them and whether it's the right investment to make with either of them. Although they're relatively cheap, I'm only a poor student, so a camera like that would be a massive buy for me!

Thanks for any help!

Jennie
 

chilipie

Pro Member
indiePRO
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I am very, very new to the whole film making area, and given that, thought I should get out there are shoot some stuff - you only learn by your mistakes right? In terms of future investments, I just wanted some opinions on the 550D v.s 7D - what you think of both of them and whether it's the right investment to make with either of them. Although they're relatively cheap, I'm only a poor student, so a camera like that would be a massive buy for me!

There's really very little difference between the 550D and 7D for shooting video. For stills photography, there are marked improvements in the shooting rate (as the 7D has two processors, rather than one), and I much prefer the ergonomics and control of the larger SLRs for stills. For video, I think the biggest difference is that the 550D can't output HD to a monitor while recording, but if this is a budget buy then that's nothing to worry about.

If you can just about afford the 7D, buy the 550D and spend the rest on a nice lens or two and/or a decent tripod. With SLRs the biggest investment is the glass: it'll outlast any camera you buy by far and lose very little of its original value. Lenses are also one of the biggest factors in image quality, and you'll be able to get much better images with good lenses and a cheaper camera than cheap lenses and a more expensive camera.

So - for people primarily shooting video, the 550D is generally much more of a bargain.
 
The t2i and 550d are the same camera. It's marketed in the US as the T2i, and imternationally as a 550D.

I agree, if it's your first camera and the idea is just to shoot to learn how, go with the 550. The 7 is awesome, I have it and love it, but by the time you learn how to use either camera (since you are a beginner) well and learn the ins and outs of them, they will both be outdated and rpelaced by newer models. Spend your money then.

You can keep lenses from model to model though, and on these cameras glass is 80% of the image, so they would be a great investment. Buy a nice 50mm and learn it, then start expanding.
 
There's really very little difference between the 550D and 7D for shooting video. For stills photography, there are marked improvements in the shooting rate (as the 7D has two processors, rather than one), and I much prefer the ergonomics and control of the larger SLRs for stills. For video, I think the biggest difference is that the 550D can't output HD to a monitor while recording, but if this is a budget buy then that's nothing to worry about.

If you can just about afford the 7D, buy the 550D and spend the rest on a nice lens or two and/or a decent tripod. With SLRs the biggest investment is the glass: it'll outlast any camera you buy by far and lose very little of its original value. Lenses are also one of the biggest factors in image quality, and you'll be able to get much better images with good lenses and a cheaper camera than cheap lenses and a more expensive camera.

So - for people primarily shooting video, the 550D is generally much more of a bargain.

qft

If you are set with going Canon and not concerned with the performance boost for still shooting with the 7D (and not going to places like Antarctica) then I'd opt to save on the camera body and get a lens or two and some aks.

Alternatively, go for the less expensive model and use the difference to fund a short project.
 
Same camera.

Also the same camera is the Kiss X4 (Japanese Model) - which you'll actually be able to find cheaper than both the 550d/t2i. Look into that, I saved about $100 by getting the X4 over the 550d.

Me too!

Kampai!

Oh, to answer the question, the differences are negligible between the 7D and the T2i/550D/Kiss X4, if filmmaking is your primary concern. The 7D is the way to go, if you're a photographer, or so I hear. But I guess you'd know that if you were a photographer, so I can deduce that you are not.

T2i Powers Unite!
 
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Like everyone said:

If you're doing just video then t2i/550d/kiss x4

If you're doing photography and video: 7D

Almost. I´d like to add that if you intend to use the camera in an uncontrollable, potentially dangerous, crowded and/or rainy environment (e.g. a film set) you might feel much safer with the tank-like 7d than the plastic fantastic body of the rebel/550.

For the OP´s needs it sounds like the 550 would be the right choice though.
 
Lol. She was being sarcastic.

As far as the strength of the housing, I don't see why that should be an issue for a filmmaker. Photographers are on the go, and they need a hefty, strong camera (or so I've been told). Filmmakers -- even when we're "run-and-gun" we're still moving deliberately enough to not break our freaking cameras.

There are some seriously ham fisted folks out there on sets. You'd be surprised. :lol:

But it's less about the man-handling and more about general durability. The camera has to run solid for 12 hours a day regardless of environmental conditions (real or created by effects). Heat, rain, snow, blowing sand, all sorts of stuff. Location shooting is pretty demanding on equipment even without the human element thrown into the mix. (Edit: This assumes a 12 hour day, as we all know, in film and TV 12 hours is a short day, lol.)

More importantly, it has to be built to do this duty repeatedly and often. I was recently told by a DP that he works his camera/light kit about 200 days a year. That's approximately 2400 hours a year of service in variable and sometimes adverse environmental conditions. Honestly, even gentle handling for that amount of time will show wear on any device.

I guess it is a matter of perspective. Coming at it from the AC/operator/fledgling DP perspective, I feel the gear has to durable enough to meet the demands of continuous work and last long enough to make the most of the investment.

From a self-funded/producer/writer/director perspective, the camera has to last the duration of the shoot, and maybe a few more after that. But the use is not continuous, there's all of that other work to be done, like the writing and the editing and so on. The camera just isn't seeing the same level of use in this scenario.

It's kind of a question of "what's your goal?" and of "what do you want out of the gear?" :D
 
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7d is more water sealed. It can display external HD monitor while focusing and recording but the t2i only displays monitor while in play back mode. The body is stronger on the 7d than the plastic body of the t2i. Of course the 7d cost a whole lot more than the t2i so that may be the deciding factor. The 7d has better controls from my understanding than the t2i. But you should be able to learn how to run the t2i with its controls and have no problems. Personally I think the t2i would work fine for me for cost effective camera. If I was going to spend more money I would save and get the 5d since it is 21 megapixles instead of the 18 of the 7d and t2i. But still maybe soon there will be something similar to the sony vg10 except made by cannon with higher megapixles similar to the 7d or 5d that should be the winner.
 
This T2i and the 550D are NOT the same!!!

OK OK, they are. My mistake. I'm just joshing.

It was mentioned before to get the 7D if you're more into photography...I think if you're deadly serious about still-photography, go with the 5D, not the 7D. More expensive yes, but much more functionality and higher quality...not like you reeeeally need a million megapixels...as we sit with current tech, even the lower quality cams have enough pixels to please the standard hobbiest or even pro...but the 5D is the choice for photographers.

7D is just a bit more durable with only a minimal amount of increased bells and whistles...but for the price, and for beginners...the T2i is the best bang for the buck. Save the extra money for the glass.

And as far as having to run your equipment for X amount of hours per year...I'd say don't worry about that. Very few DPs/Cam ops are going to be using their camera that much. Most of your time will be spent in pre and post production...the actual shooting hours per year will be much less, and your camera should be able to handle it just fine...unless you're shooting a webseries and are always producing. Most individuals, however, will spend much more time in preproduction and post production...your camera will have plenty of dead time.
 
This T2i and the 550D are NOT the same!!!

OK OK, they are. My mistake. I'm just joshing.

It was mentioned before to get the 7D if you're more into photography...I think if you're deadly serious about still-photography, go with the 5D, not the 7D. More expensive yes, but much more functionality and higher quality...not like you reeeeally need a million megapixels...as we sit with current tech, even the lower quality cams have enough pixels to please the standard hobbiest or even pro...but the 5D is the choice for photographers.

Yes i agree but just so we dont confuse the OP:

We know the OP wants to do atleast video. So if he wants to do JUST video, the t2i is his most economic option.
If he wants to do video AND photography, the 7D is his best crossover option.
If he wants to do mainly photography with a video option, then the 5D comes into play.
 
I wouldn't say the 5D is "mainly photography but can do video". It has the best sensor out of any of them, actually larger than 35mm film. It's full frame too so your lenses work like they're supposed to. With the patches and firmware released, you can turn AGC off too. 5D mk II is still the best video DSLR out there, you're getting what you pay for.

In regards to OP, I still say for your situation that a 550 is your best bet.
 
Yeah i understand. But you see at the level the vast majority of ppl use these cameras, those are differences that make he 5D better for video are up for debate.

For example, we already know that the the 7D sensor is closer to s35 than a full frame camera bc we used the space on the sides to record sound. So when we want a larger sensor, its main advantage is dynamic range. On the other hand the 7D can do 60fps and that is something that might be more valuable to a film maker than the larger sensor. Simply because a little bit of slow motion is needed and is present in almost any film. People think slow mo relates to action. But as we know, the most serious film needs slow mo for a reaction shot or to show the mood when watching rain or slow fall or whatever.

I dont know, what do you guys think? Bc imo i think a lot of times we say one thing is better than the other just bc of the specs on paper when i think we should consider the practical uses a bit more in our evaluations.
 
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