Monday, 19 April 2010

Canon 550D / T2i DSLR Video review - Video crop mode

I received my new Canon 550D from Warehouse Express three days ago and had a brief chance to test it over the weekend. The video is much more streamlined and integrated into the camera than on the Canon 5D2 but from an initial test I saw something that I've not seen in any of the Canon 5D movies - NOISE! Admittedly the camera is was on Auto ISO mode so the ISO had crept up to 3200.

The inclusion of different frame rates (now available on Canon 5DII with latest firmware) and the ability to shoot at 720p at 50/60fps (NOT available on Canon 5DII with latest firmware) is very useful and will allow slow motion effect video.

One feature that doesn't seem to have had much press but looks to me like it could be a very handy option for some uses of the camera is the VGA crop mode. This takes a centre portion of the image and crops it to 640x480 for producing the video rather than using the whole image and "binning" some pixels. The effect is to give an additional 7x zoom.

Click to view Canon 550D/T2i video example of VGA crop mode

Effectively this means that if you are shooting with the 70-200 f2.8 IS lens you are being given a massive boost to the zoom for shooting video. On the Canon 550D/T2i the lens has a crop factor of 1.6 so the effective focal length is 320mm already. With the crop mode in operation the effect will be to make the focal length the equivalent of 2240mm!!!

Imagine how useful this could be for wildlife or motorsports photographers/videographers or for paparazzi shooting from a long distance. I'll shortly add some clips showing how this works