A friend wanted to make some professional looking videos for a weekly vlog type of thing for his church. We went into this planning to buy a better camera and lights etc as we go.
We filmed a video last week with his phone: a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. The quality was surprisingly good but I thought we could do much better.
After spending a couple of weeks researching cameras and looking at reviews I ended up picking out the T5i; but I gotta say, I'm pretty underwhelmed. While, the photo quality is pretty good (I haven't had time to take a ton of photos), the video quality is quite a bit worse than the camera phone.
In general, the video is not as clear, bright, contrasted or colorful, and there's more noise and artifacts. I've tried Auto, as well as few other modes, and also manual (1/60, F/5, ISO 800). To reduce grain I also tried bumping the ISO down to 400 and the shutter to 1/30 to compensate. But after more research I don't think the grain was a problem. I'm guessing I was actually seeing compression artifacts.
At first I had trouble believing that a smartphone could outperform a dedicated camera. Especially one that has countless reviews saying it's the best entry-level camera.
What might be the problem? Is a $600 phone really better than a $700 camera? Do I need a better lens? I've been eyeing the Canon 50mm f/1.8 because it's very affordable and footage I've seen with it looks much better in low lighting.
Maybe it's the lighting? Our lighting setup is definitely not ideal, at the moment, but I would expect it to at least still look clear even if it's underexposed. We have 3 work lights purchased at Walmart with 65w flood bulbs (if i recall).
We definitely want to get better lights; but it's still disconcerting how last week we used the same setup and got much better results on the phone.
Although, one area where the new camera was definitely more helpful was the focal length. With the phone we had to be very close in order to keep our backdrop in frame. With the T5i kit lens we were able to go to 50mm and backup and get much more natural framing.
I really want to make this work; it could be something we're doing wrong. Video tests I've seen on YouTube from the Rebel line seem to show better quality than we're getting; even T3i videos. I was hoping it was just post-processing, but after spending a day trying to color correct and color grade the footage, it's still not any clearer (of course).
At this point, we're considering returning it and getting something better but I'm not sure what to get.
I was hoping this would be the best of both worlds but it seems like it's really more focused on stills; and for now, video is our primary focus. And, after some research it looks like we'd better off with a Panasonic or Sony. True? The Panasonic GH4 looks great as far as I can tell; but of course, it's twice the price. I also hear good things of the GH2 or GH3.