A couple weeks ago I wrote about wanting to upgrade my camera gear to shoot more video and I ended up deciding on the new Sony RX10 II which at that point hadn’t been released yet.
Well it’s been a few weeks since the RX10 II came out and the reviews have been what I expected them to be; some were good, others, not so much. But for the most part, the reviews have praised the 4K video shooting while criticizing the high price point ($1,300) and not very much difference in IQ from its predecessor, the RX10.
I was practically all in on this camera and I even had it set up in my Amazon cart.
But then I came across this:
In an interesting move, Canon announced they will be coming out with specialized DSLR kits specifically for video makers on a budget which they are calling the “Video Creator Kit.”
The kits won’t be available until August 7th, but judging from the online sites, they pack quite a video punch.
The kit includes a camera body (either a Canon T6i, T5i, or 70D), a solid Canon EF lens, a Rhode Video Mic Go shotgun mic and a 32gb SDHC memory card; everything you need to get started filming video. The prices of the kits vary depending on which model you get with the most expensive being the 70D. Everything put together is roughly $1,300 which is not bad considering the contents.
The DSLR cameras and lenses are said to be solid quality and produce high quality images and video due to it’s bigger APS-C sensor at a price that’s much more comparable to to the Sony RX10 II which is $1,300, as a smaller 1-inch sensor and doesn’t include a shotgun microphone or a battery charger.
The Canons have a reputation for being solid, well-built cameras with great video qualities and these are no exception. The 70D for example, which is what I’m eyeing of the three offered, has a 20 megapixel APS-C sensor, weather sealed and sturdy as a rock. It also shoots in MOV and MP4 though I admit I’m still trying to get the grasp on how these formats work.
Plus the EF-mount allows for me to use nearly all of Canon’s lenses as well as others with the right adapter, making it one of the most versatile cameras on the market.
But the Canons have their faults too. The T5i, T6i and 70D all shoot full HD at 1080p 30fps which is nice but if I want to shoot at 60fps, I’ll have to bump down to 720p which is…. not so nice. Also, it doesn’t shoot in 4K which was a big reason why I was so heavily leaning towards the RX10 II. But to be fair, my computer at the moment doesn’t really have the power to handle 4K video processing and I’m debating if 4K really is necessary at this point in my career.
While it’s nice to have a mic input, there’s no headphone jack to monitor audio which again, is a big factor in video work.
The lenses are great but aren’t constant f2.8 aperture, meaning that the further I zoom in, the smaller the aperture will become and could potentially affect the depth of field. I guess that could be remedied by purchasing other Canon lenses, but the point of my wanting the RX10 II was that I DON’T have to spend more money on lenses that I might not need.
It should be noted that the Canon lenses don’t have an ND filter while the RX10 II does.
But I digress.
It seems that with the new “Video Creator Kit” Canon is aiming at the video enthusiasts, entry-level and semi-pro videographers much like myself. The cameras are solid but not the best Canon has in terms of video (see Canon c300). But given the right equipment and skill I can see these kits being really solid cameras in the field.
I guess what it comes down to is what would I be using my new camera for? The journalist in me is looking for a reliable, solid camera that takes sharp, clear video and audio without the muss and fuss of having to change camera lenses. In that regard, the RX10 II is perfect.
But the creative videographer in me wants a camera that’ll allow me to unleash my creative juices and create solid documentary-style, cinema-like video worthy of multiple viewings (i.e. VICE news) and if that’s the case,the decision is a little trickier, not to mention Nikon and Panasonic, which also have proven track records with solid video cameras (Nikon D5500 and Panasonic GH4).
In the end I’m just going to have to do a little more research and really decide what kind of videographer I want to be. I know, I know. The videographer makes use of the camera he’s got. But I’d be lying if I said that the right video camera doesn’t help.
I’m sure whichever camera I end up deciding will be a solid choice.