Hello professional and semi-professionals. I am shooting a documentary this early spring in MI on fly-fishing and as you may know MI has a lot of changing weather patterns, etc. I recently purchased an EOS Rebel T5i but have 15 days to return it if not satisfied. I am more of the creative type with more editing and screen writing skills but have decided to take on this project. I am wondering what your opinions are on the best intermediate to advanced cameras for this type of shoot. I am more familar with the traditional camcorder type bodies, etc. but I notice a lot of cameras are going the way of a traditional camera body with video. We are trying to capture natural elements as well as fine details of the fly-fishing. I spent around 1300 for the camera and accessories and my budget was around 1,000. Just hoping to receive some good knowlege or opinion on where I should look. Will also be filming a few interviews and indoor scenes as well. It seems that these flash cards are fairly expensive as well for camera with only 80 minutes or so of video recording. I may be missing some important concerns or questions here but hopefully you can steer me in the right direction. Again I am not a camera expert but wish to hold onto something that I can evolve into as I am learning the technical aspects, functionality, etc. Thank you for your time!
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The T5i, like all other DSLR cameras that also shoot video, has a max limit of 29min59sec (see manual pg.186). Also, even though there is a possibility of using SDXC cards (which have no inherent reasonable filesize limit), the camera forces each clip to have a max filesize limit of just less than 4GB. At the 4GB mark, it will roll over automatically to a new, additional file. In the 4G limit, there may or may not be an actual break in recording. In the 30min limit, there ALWAYS is a break. You can resume recording (manually), but cannot avoid the break. This is hard-coded into the camera - by law - and cannot be bypassed even by using a "clean HDMI out to external recorder" workaround. The way around this is to use an ACTUAL video camera.
Also, you should note that even though Class 6 is listed as the lower acceptable limit for SD card speeds, if you are using 720p60 or 1080p24 or better, at best quality bitrates, you really shouldn't get ANY card less than Class 10. That raises the cost.
You need to decide what your shooting style is going to be and get your equipment to accommodate that (and your budget). Where is the cam to be placed? What kind of motion are you intending to capture well? What kind of stabilization are you using?
Batteries are another factor to consider: since it will still be cold in Michigan in early spring, battery life will be sapped, so you will need a separate charger & charging station as well as multiple extra batteries.
SDcards: You'll need either enough to last through the whole shoot (with a few spares, just in case), or you'll need to work out (ahead of time) a round-robin method of uploading the data to HDD (or use an external HDD recorder such as Atomos Ninja). With round-robin, you probably will need at least 4 cards: 1 shooting, 1 uploading, 1 erasing/reformatting/staging, 1 spare. Rehearsing this procedure in realtime cannot be stressed enough.
You need to think about weatherizing/weatherproofing your gear as well. The kind of stress on your equipment is not the kind it was designed for - even Pro gear (which is designed for more rugged elements) needs some weatherizing.
I assume you are Day shooting, so light shouldn't be too much of a problem. Lighting for indoor interviews is another matter.
What kind of lens options do you have?
What about audio?!
Thanks Scott! I am trying to understand and digest your comment to the best of my ability and such. I was not aware that the T5i only allows for 30 minutes of video. Was also curious the price for a sdcard with atleast 2 hours of video capture. I do have the 55-250mm Canon lense but after your suggestion here I may bring back the body with original Canon 18-55 mm and use the extended lense for another camera if possible? I am truly a novice and will be shooting atleast 1 to 2 hours on average of video for a period of a week or 2 and am most definitely looking for the proper camera. The audio we will have will most likely be wireless such as a lavaleer (spelling?). The subjects will be miced up and we also plan to capture ambient sound as well. So, your suggestion would be to take this camera back. Any other camera recommendations? Thank you!