Ever since Vincent LaForet rocked the world with Reverie, the video and DSLR camera world has never been the same. Vincent picked up the Canon 5D MKII and made a quick film that showed everyone that the DSLR format was perfect for the indie film maker and hobbyists. It also proved that you no longer had to spend $10k-$20k for the cinematic quality and look.
The only problem was that even the 5D MKII was too much money for me to justify. The Canon T2i was the answer that guys like me were waiting for. The T2i was less than $1,000 and had many of the same attributes that the 5D possessed. Large sensor (not the same but still large compared to camcorders), good in low light, ability for great out of focus background and artistic bokeh. Although it was a shaved down version it was enough to satisfy at 1/3 of the 5D’s price. In fact, with regards to visual quality it was identical to the Canon 7D because it shared the same exact sensor. The 7D was and still is one of the most popular sports cameras on the planet.
The Canon T2i is now like an old friend. Its reliable, easy to use and still cranks out a great image. I have purchased a couple of new camcorders for convenience and easier operation but have not been able to decide on my next camera for an upgrade. I am not even sure I need one. I like the looks of the Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera at $1,000 due to the raw capabilities and the built in ProRes codec but it seems a little bit of a step backwards with regards to general operation. The 5D MKIII is an option but $3,200 bucks is a lot of money. Recently the 70D has come on to the seen, although not as strong as the 5D with its image it does have an excellent auto focus system. So after much debate I end up going back to the T2i and remember what I have heard over and over by the Pros…”don’t worry about the tool, just go shoot something. The more time you spend getting into the gear the less time you have to make great movies and capture moments.” So, for now I stay with the T2i. Its reliable, capable and oh yeah…its paid for.
A great resource for learning tips and techniques for the T2i is Dave Dugdale’s site www.learningdslrvideo.com. This guy has logged his adventure from the day he unboxed his first T2i and years later still shares his moments of discovery with the world. I bet he didn’t expect to become such a hit with the pro-sumers and amateurs but he is a “go to” when you need a quick answer. He literally has hundreds of videos to help you along.
If you haven’t gotten into DSLR video and feel like trying something new…I would highly recommend a Canon DSLR as a first step. Whether its a used T2i or a new T3i, T4i, T5i, 60D, 70D…Ok, yes I’m being funny! There are endless choices but what I am trying demonstrate is no matter what choice you make they are all going to serve you well. Its important to just get recording! Happy Filming.