Many freelance camera operators now offer a DSLR acquisition solution to their clients for beautiful cinematic footage that was unobtainable with their traditional video camera. We have used the Canon EOS 5D (Mark II and III) on several shoots over the past few years and the results have been pretty good and the clients very pleased.
On a personal level, this got me thinking that I should stop taking both a Canon EOS 350D and Canon HV30 camcorder with me on holiday when one of Canon’s new EOS models can take care of stills and video. I’d bought an EOS 650D as part of a time-lapse recording project a few months back and decided to try it as an alternative solution to carrying two cameras.
It didn’t take very long to identify a big problem with using this camera for video, at least with the EFS 18-55mm kit lens. Have a look at this clip and you’ll see what I mean.
So, unless I wanted an odd whizzing sound on my personal videos I had to look at getting a different lens. After a little Googling it seemed like the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM was the obvious choice as it had the new stepping auto-focus motor (that’s the ‘STM’ bit) which is quieter and optimized for video recordings.
Three days and £269 later I had my new lens and I’m pleased to say it’s almost silent and I couldn’t hear it at all on the video recordings. The speed of the focus is pretty good too, in a test at my wife’s fashion show it coped well in most situations, but struggled to focus on the models as they walked straight toward the camera.
I can stop carrying two cameras on my travels now. The 650D may not be as quick and easy to use as my trusty old HV30 camcorder, but having just one camera (with one set of batteries and cables etc.) that can produce great stills and video has made life much easier.