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Advice & Tips Please for a new (aspiring) Videographer!


Hi everyone,


I started my new position as digital marketing content at my company not too long ago and I'm seeking some advice & tips on which lens to get while optimizing price & quality video content using a Canon T4i Rebel camera.


I will be using this camera primarily for creating video content such as: webinars, instructional/informational videos, product highlight & product information, & general company events. Currently I'm using a EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens (which came with the camera I believe), but my company gave me a budget for around $1600 for new equipment (lens/camera). I realize it's not much but we gotta work with what we got.


What I'm looking to achieve:

- Clear image/videos when zoomed in 

- Stable when recording (no budget for a stabilizer)


As of right now I'm deciding between the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens and the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM. But I would love to hear other recommendations that is compatible with the rebel t4i & a $1600 budget.


Feel free to ask me any questions, I'll try to answer the best as I can!


Thank you for your time. 


[links edited to point back to Canon USA pages]





How much do you know about how well DSLR record video?  The Rebel T4i would not be my first choice for producing professional looking video.  It would probably be great for YouTube.  


DSLRs are fine for recording short video clips of a few minutes, but that is about it.  Most DSLRs have a built-in limit of 30 minutes of recording video, and they DO tend to overheat during extended use as a video camera.  Why?  Because a DSLR is not a video camera.  


I suggest that you forget about using the T4i, and take a look at Canon’s professional camcorders.  But, your budget is a little short of the mark.  You will also want to invest in a good [video]. tripod, too.  


“Buy it right the first time, and you only buy it once.”


[EDIT]. Forget about buying big ticket items on Amazon.  There are too many unscrupulous vendors out there.

"The right mouse button is your friend."


As for the lenses that you cited, those are some really GREAT lenses for photography.  Canon’s STM zoom lenses are better suited for videography than most of their USM lenses.  


But, lenses that are great for photography are not always that great for videography.  For video, you need a lens that is first and foremost QUIET.  It needs to be quiet when it focuses, but it also needs to be quiet for when the aperture changes, too.  

Many “digital cinema” lenses are fully manual, with manually operated focus and aperture rings.  Most of the lenses are primes, too.  These lenses are quiet when you adjust focus or aperture.  


Unlike photographic lenses, cinema lense tend to have “declicked” aperture rings, which means that adjustment is not performed in discrete steps.  You can smoothly adjust the aperture, creating “fade to black” effects.  


It is this ability to make smoother, quieter aperture adjustments that distinguishes the STM zoom lenses.  One exceptionally good USM lens for video is the EF 35mm f/2 IS USM.  My EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM is a great walk-around lens for photography, but has an aperture that is far too noisy for video use.


The Movie Servo AF feature, which is found in newer DSLR models with latest generation of “Dual Pixel” image sensors, is optimized for a handful of STM zoom lenses.  Your current lens, EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, is a good choice for video. It has been sold as the “kit lens” with some of Canon’s Cinema EOS video cameras.

Perhaps the best move within your budget is to upgrade the T4i.  I would suggest the 80D or the 6D2, which can also be found in the Canon Online Store.  Both bodies have the latest generation Dual Pixel image sensors, which allow for fast, smooth tracking of subjects in Movie Servo AF mode.

But, my recommendation of a professional camcorder still stands as a better choice.



"The right mouse button is your friend."