+ Shooting HD Video with a Canon T2i +
Recently I picked up a new Canon Rebel T2i or 550D depending on what country you live in. I bought this camera to use as a second camera for video. The HD video capabilities are amazing in this little camera. I’ve had some time to test the camera out in a few different situations and so far I am really impressed. I wanted to take a moment and discuss some things I have taken note of while shooting video with not only the T2i, but also the 7D and the 5D Mark II.
One of the most important aspects of my workflow when shooting with the Canon T2i is compressing the raw H.264 video files. The reason for compressing the files is because most software (including Final Cut Pro) does not support the editing of H.264 files. H.264 is a codec mainly used as a finishing format to compress edited videos for upload to You Tube or Vimeo. I use a fantastic piece of free software called MPEG Streamclip. You can also use Apple’s Compressor, but I find MPEG Streamclip to be much more efficient when processing a large batch of video files. It is very simple to use, and operates very quickly.
Once I have compressed the H.264 files to a codec that I can work with (usually either Apple Pro Res 422 or Apple Intermediate Codec) I then import the files to Final Cut Pro to be edited. When I am creating a video strictly for web viewing, I usually edit in Apple Intermediate Codec because of its small file size. Apple Pro Res 422 roughly quadruples the file sizes, so I try to use AIC whenever possible. If the video is being created for web purposes, I send the completed video to Apple Compressor and export as a H.264 file to fit Vimeo or Youtube’s format restrictions.
The reason I love using these cameras so much is because I can use my Canon L series telephoto lenses to shoot surfing and other action sports. Being able to shoot surfing in full HD with a 400mm lens is a very powerful tool. Shooting in 60fps allows me to conform the footage into 30fps slow motion as well (which comes in handy sometimes). Keep in mind, if you plan on shooting HD video with a Canon T2i, you must use SDHC memory cards. I use the San Disk class 10 8GB cards. If you have any questions regarding the Canon T2i, or anything I have mentioned here, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I would be happy to answer any questions you have. Being that the T2i/550D is such a new camera on the market, I am sure a lot of people are wondering how the still quality compares to other DSLR’s in Canon’s line. Soon I will post some thoughts I have on the still image quality from the 550D.
Below is a clip that I shot on the Canon T2i with a Canon 400mm lens. It was shot in 720p at 60fps which I conformed to 30fps using Cinema Tools. The surfer is Dale Timm from Solona Beach.