Ok this is my two cents on the Cannon 550D/T2i.
I have to start off saying i used to use a Panasonic HVX ($8000 for the first and $6000 for the second) so that being said i will then tell you that the 550D is around $800! That being said I was extremely skeptical that these things would be worth my time… but then i saw some peoples test footage. So i did a lot of research and found lots of pros and a couple major cons.
-it isn’t a fixed lens!
-it shoots 1080P 24P (and other smaller formats)
-great in low light!
-it shoots 60P slow motion (a little slower than half if you drop it down to 24 fps)
-you can control the ISO
-uses cheap solid state SD cards (i bought 4 16gb for $110. thats about 45 min per card)
-it shoots 18 mega pixel photos (so if i see a still during a take i want i can instantly have them pose after the take)
-can use any cannon lens
-ergonomics are horrible for video
-it can only shoot 12 min at a time then you have to hit record again (that’s bad for live events)
-doesn’t support hot swapping like the HVX
-Overheats (i have never had it overheat but i have gotten a warning several times)
-you can not live capture in full resolution much less a normal standard resolution.
-no external audio hook ups. ( the one level higher camera does though)
-LCD screen is hard to focus with and impossible to see in direct sun light
-Uses a CMOS chip (instead of a 3CCD) and so it has a problem with rolling shutter (so no whip pans or it will look horrible like a camera phone)
-also due to rolling shutter if there are flashing lights don’t even try and shoot anything, the rolling shutter will cause only half your shot to register the flash
There is more PROS and CONS but the rest are more minor or more preference related
So once i got one in my hands i couldn’t put it down. I took it everywhere. and quickly i learned what limitations i would run into. but i also saw what i could do that i couldn’t do before. AMAZING DEPTH OF FIELD! The simple lens it comes with looks great. then we picked up cannons cheapest prime lens (lens that is a fixed mm) a 50mm prime. it opened up to an fstop of 1.8 and then i really saw the benefit of this camera. i could see in low light and had even more amazing depth of field. This is not a camera you want to do much hand held with as the shake can give your shot a jello type look (rolling shutter). So when i went to visit my home town i decided to get together some old friends and put this camera to the test in low light. My old friend Shawn and I were shooting some silly test shots and then decided why not make a short film. so we called my buddy pete made up a story and shot it in a total of 5 hours or so. The main scene in the basement was lit with primarily 1 light I used a bounce for a few shots but for the most part i was shooting it to look raw and gritty so i went with the high contrast look for the most part. i knew i had fun making it but the test was when i got it into the editing room. i was blown away at the quality. i had so much room to play with the footage. I added some color effects to the film but felt like i was cheating the camera by doing it because it looked so great.
So after toying around i found this camera is great for shooting cinema quality stuff, but you will need a external audio recorder. so you might as well get the 7D or even better the 5D mark 2 if you wanna do high quality audio. I won’t really be using this camera for live events but i will use it for anything i can! I suggest this camera 100%! I have already sold 5 of my friends on it and have not had a complaint yet!
to see the short film Blackout we shot as a camera test please go to