Canon EOS 600D / Rebel T3i
Written by Gordon Laing
Our first clip is a handheld pan, and as always its starts with some bright reflections on water, which thankfully cause no streaking thanks to the camera’s CMOS sensor. The EOS 600D / T3i was auto focused at a middle distance prior to filming and set to Auto exposure. Like previous Canon DSLRs under very bright conditions, it selected a very small aperture, partly to maximise the depth-of-field, but also to maintain a shutter speed of 1/30 to avoid any motion artefacts. During the pan, the motion is smooth and the subjects detailed. The depth-of-field with the kit lens zoomed-out is sufficient to keep pretty much everything in focus without worrying about distracting contrast-based searching during the filming. We didn’t push our luck by attempting to zoom in and back out again at the end though.
Our second clip, above, was filmed outdoors under similarly bright conditions with Auto exposure mode, but this time with the camera mounted on a fluid tripod head and with stabilisation disabled. Once again the image is very detailed.
Our third clip, above, was filmed handheld, under the dim conditions of a bar. We once again selected Auto exposure, where the EOS 600D / T3i boosted the sensitivity up to 3200 ISO. Given the high sensitivity, the clip is impressively clean and shows the advantage of filming with a DSLR compared to a camera with a small-sensor. Also note there’s no undesirable artefacts with the brightly backlit windows at the end of the clip.
For our fourth clip, above, we wanted to illustrate selective focusing with the EF-S 18-55mm IS II kit lens. We zoomed the lens into its maximum focal length of 55mm, set the EOS 600D / T3i to Manual exposure mode, and selected the largest aperture of f5.6 to minimise the depth-of-field. Then with the camera ‘rolling’, we turned the manual focusing ring to ‘pull-focus’ between the container and the background seating. The kit lens may be the least exotic in the Canon range, but zoomed-in and dealing with relatively close subjects, it’s possible to achieve effective focus-pulling effects. The biggest downside to the lens in this regard is the manual focusing ring which can wobble the barrel a little from side-to-side, thereby shifting the image. For this clip we had to maintain pressure to one side to prevent this from happening.
Our final three clips demonstrate the EOS 600D / T3i’s new digital zoom facilities which allow you to apply 3-10x magnification when filming in the 1080p modes. To illustrate this we filmed the Moon using a 70-300mm lens at 300mm. With the camera’s cropped sensor, this lens effectively works at 480mm when fully zoomed-in, and the video above is what you’ll see. look closely and you’ll see the Moon moving a little due to the rotation of the Earth. Note: we filmed this in Manual exposure mode at f5.6 and 1/200 at 100 ISO.
Our clip above shows the exact same configuration, but with the minimum 3x digital zoom applied. As discussed in our Movie Mode page, we believe this is actually performing a 1:1 pixel crop from the middle of the sensor frame, and thereby delivering closer to 2.5x magnification. This may be slightly shorter than the quoted 3x, but involves no digital scaling for a clean image. The video quality above certainly looks pretty good and the boost in magnification at an effective focal length of 1440mm is greatly beneficial to the subject. Note the shimmering you can see in the clip is due to heat rising in the atmosphere.
Our final clip above shows the output from the same configuration with the maximum 10x digital zoom applied. With this degree of scaling, there’s understandably a loss in quality and resolution, but for this particular subject, most of that is masked by atmospheric variations. The final output, at an effective 4800mm (yes, 4.8 meters!) delivers a massive close-up of the Moon, and for the sheer impact, most would be willing to forgive the corresponding drop in quality. Remember this footage was achieved with nothing more exotic than a 70-300mm zoom. Overall, the digital zoom is a fun addition to the EOS movie mode.
The following videos were filmed with a Canon EOS 600D / Rebel T3i. For these clips we set the camera to its best quality 1920×1080 mode at 30fps.
Registered members of Vimeo can download the original files by clicking the links below each window; these take you to the Vimeo page where the video is hosted and the link to download the actual file can be found under the ‘About this video’ section in the lower right.
These clips are for personal evaluation only. Please don’t upload them to another site or use them commercially without permission from Cameralabs.