Canon EOS 7D vs T2i comparison

So Here it is. Canon EOS T2i. 1/2 of price of 7D that shoots HD video, just like 7D.
I will cut to the point.
T2i is a good video camera. If you are ready to step into HDSLR world, go ahead. Get one. However, because I have used 7D for last 4.5 months or so, I'm quite used to shooting video with 7D. If you have never used 7D before, I think T2i will be just fine.
Here are some main differences (some of them mentioned in my video) between these 2 cameras. I stayed strictly in "Video" usage comparison. Due to time limit, no still photo comparison at the moment.

Weight/built material: 7D is a winner on this. Its weight is just about right to have some weight for steady handheld shots. T2i seems a bit too light. I am sure this makes almost no difference on tripod, but for the handheld, it was like shooting Canon XH-A1 and HV30. 7D should be more weather protected than T2i. No question.

Button layout: it's video friendly. slightly different from 7D, but not that bad.

Display: very similar to each other. no biggies here.

input/output: no deal-breaker for video use. T2i lacks flash line which doesn't matter for video use.

ISO: 7D has more variable ISO settings. T2i has limited setting. They both still go up to 6400. Would it make too much difference? Not for me since I always stick with 100,200,400,800,1600 or 3200, which is pretty much what T2i has.

White Balance: big drawback (at least to me) was T2i does not have an option to white balance by K temp. Only preset setting or custom (which could be pain in the a**)

Image quality: gotta see the video to be able to tell. And I apologize ahead of time for shooting only "not so interesting" stuff today. I am feeling a little bit under the weather and don't want to be outside for long. But more interesting stuff will come soon.

LCD: very clear on T2i. My Z-finder seems to fit right in. I will know this for sure when I get my 2nd Z-finder for T2i, but seems to have very similar size of 7D. Zacuto Z-Finder webpage has a special instruction for it, but no biggie.

Battery/charger: it's new type of battery on T2i. I just ordered 2 more from Calumet. The charger is different, too. 7D has no cable connection to the outlet, instead it has collapsible 2 prongs sticking out on back of charger while T2i charger has attachable cable to the outlet. I prefer no cable, but it may become handy in small space outlet.

So. Am I going to toss 7D away and get another T2i? NO.
Am I going to return T2i and get another 7D? NO.
I would still feel more comfortable having 7D around, but I see absoutely no reason not to buy T2i as your first HDSLR camera (for the video use, of course).
I personally like 7D because it's slightly bigger, heavier and weather-resistant.
But T2i can be my 2nd camera for sure. No more playing with XH-A1s to match color and pixel ratio (which does take time when exporting).
I would personally avoid kit lens. I got the kit lens with 7D and never found a use of it. Have been trying to sell it, but no one seems to be interested.
I personally enjoy using 24-70MM 2.8 L lens for 7D, and I am going to get EF-S 17-55MM with IS for T2i. Zacuto gear is what I use: Z-Finder, and Rapid Fire. I believe Z-Finder is "a must-have" for HDSLR. People are crazy about shallow depth of field on these HDSLR cameras. But with looking at your LCD with your naked eyes, this could work against you. You have to have sharply focused object for best quality image with your HDSLR. Especially for event filmmakers, where people are almost always moving around throughout the event (preparation, photo session and dancing?!?!), Z-Finder will save your life when facing challenge with focusing. If you are going fully HDSLR (no regular video camera), get audio recording device. I have H4N. There are a couple more different ones out there, but please get one. It's a necessary tool for clean audio. If you want steady shots, get a stabilizer of some sorts. I have Sachtler Soom system and Zacuto's Rapid Fire. Since HDSLR camera's main purpose is still-photos, they didn't design the camera with video users in mind. It's very challenging to hold one and shoot very steady for a long time. Some type of stabilizers will be very helpful, especially in run-n-gun type shoots.
So here is the short comparison video between 7D and T2i.
Again, this is strictly personal opinions. If I can do something better or easier, I am always opened to suggestions. Any questions or comments, please email me at jj@orangevp.com
I somewhat rushed to write this blog, so if there have been any misspell, grammar errors, etc, please forgive me.
Also the video that I made today is a bit long. It's about 19 minutes.
I tried my best to compare 7D vs. T2i because many people want to know if T2i can perform video shooting as well as 7D. I tried to compare those two cameras side to side. I didn't have enough time to do all the tests I wanted: 24P, 30P, 60P, different colored objects, etc, etc. It's cold here in Chicago and I have been sick since yesterday. So I will go out and shoot some more when I (and weather) get better. Our 1st wedding (Indian Traditional wedding) is in March 19th. I will be most likely shoot that wedding (and beyond) with 7D and T2i. So I will have a lot to share then.
Thank you so much for reading and watching.

To watch in HD, visit www.vimeo.com/9719790


JJ

Follow me at www.twitter.com/jj_orange



15 comments:

晴天的 Andy said...

What is the speed of your 32G card?
Would Ultra II at 15Mb/s is ok? I worry about the buffer problem for 1920x1080 video.

Adam Erbacher said...

Hey JJ,

Thanks for the review and vid. Did you manage to find out if the T2i can import custom picture styles?

Cheers,

Adam

Orange Video Productions said...

Andy: I use 60MB 32GB CF card from San Disk. Faster, the better.

Doc said...

Item, picture quality comparison, menu setup etc : perfect footage !
Thank you for this review, It's better than a Canon's seller !
regards

Ben said...

Hello JJ!

Absolutely amazing review. Thank you.

I have a question about the follow focus ring fitted to the T2i's, 1.8 lens - Where do I get one of those?

Thanks again!

Orange Video Productions said...

Thanks, Doc!
Adam: Standard preset. Just flat.
Ben: Cinevate.com Thanks!

Kyle said...

Great video. Thanks for taking the time to do it. I'm debating between the 7D and T2i. Your comparison makes me want to go with the T2i and invest the extra money in a lens.

What is the focus wheel you have mounted on your lens? It looks like a useful accessory.

Orange Video Productions said...

Hi, Kyle?
Please watch this video for my setup
http://www.vimeo.com/9745186
Thanks!

Doc said...

Hi,
What is your little external monitor for your dslr used in the vidéo ?
regards

Handsome said...

Can you start posting 1080P videos at YouTube? They give you 3.75 Mbps at 1080P mode which is much better than Vimeo's 720P 2.25 Mbps mode.

Nomad's Reality said...

The T2i battery grip makes a big difference in handling the camera. Makes it feel more like a 7D.

ACE Soft said...

Nice blog for new generation


alstair
Kolkata Web Design Company

Anonymous said...

Very nice comparison. Thanks for the effort. Regarding audio, did you use a Zoom H4n or something like it for your audio (vs. the in-camera)? One criticism of the T2i is that the in-camera audio is "stuck" with AGC and cannot be set to fixed gain.

Anonymous said...

Great video, very informative!! What about a photo comparison? :)

tl said...

This is a lot help! I'm impressed by your passion in making films and sharing your experiences with your viewers!

cheers
tianlin