Shooting Video With the Versatile Canon EOS 7D

Back in  February I made the decision to sell my Sony a100 and upgrade my entire DSLR system to the Canon EOS 7D. I purchased the 7D in March and was able to take it on a trip to Washington state. It ended up being a huge blessing that I had upgraded my kit because I ended up taking a lot of my cousin’s wedding pictures when their photographer showed up late. Like most photographers, I purchased the 7D with the intent of using it primarily to take pictures. However, the last few weeks have found me using the camera primarily to shoot HD video.

I had thought I might use the video capabilities of the 7D occasionally, but after seeing the results I am sold on it as both a still camera and a video camera that is capable of producing professional results. The only bad thing about shooting all the video is that now it has me looking at a whole new set of accessories that I had never considered when I was only thinking about traditional photography.

Here are a few things I have noticed after spending a good deal of time shooting video with the 7D:

1. This thing produces amazingly accurate colors. It’s a good thing when you look at a picture or video and it looks like you remember it.

2. It has pretty good low-light performance. Granted, you are going to get some grain in the video, just like if you were doing photography in low light without a flash. Still, the video is usable in a pinch and more than adequate if you are just using it for things like family events.

3. The camera gets warm when shooting video. The only time I had a temperature warning was when I was shooting outside in 100+ degree heat. That said, I have heard that an inexpensive work around for this is to get some of those ice packs that you squeeze and shake to activate and use a rubber band to secure it to the back of the camera by the memory card access door. I have not tried this, but it seems to be a workable and inexpensive solution to the heat issue from what I have read.

4. I desperately need to get some sort of grip. DSLR’s are designed to shoot still photos so you quickly start to feel fatigue in your arms and shoulders if you are shooting extended video with it. I plan on purchasing some sort of grip in the near future so that long shoots will be more comfortable.

5. Finally, I want to get a mic to mount on the hotshoe. This will give me dramatically better sound.

Once I have some of the videos I will post them up here for you to see. The friend that I have been shooting with is the one with Finalcut so he does all the editing. We have been doing our shoots with my DSLR and video camera and the results have been very good thus far. All that to say, if there was ever any doubt about the versatility of the 7D, it has been laid to rest in my mind. This camera should be on your short list if you are in the market for a prosumer DSLR.

Here is a really cool short shot with the 7D. The folks who made it did a great job:

Here’s another humorous short that shows how someone with some creativity can put together something that looks good and is entertaining with minimal equipment:

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