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Past Article Calendar

April 2009
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Canon EOS 500D video HD example

My first tests with the Canon EOS 500D were posted on, but given the number of search engines now flagging up this site for Canon 500D searches, I’m putting this post here as well.

This is an edited selection, shot in a mixture of 1080 and 720 modes, assembled using iMovie and written as a 720p final project for YouTube. Please feel free to link directly to the YouTube vid or to this page.

The constraints of having the camera for a short time were considerable, with some emphasis on still images (the Sigma 18-250mm OS lens was also being tested). The weather seemed to conspire against anything especially worthwhile – as did society. The camera went for a walk at 11.00am on a Saturday morning, past at least five sports grounds and playing fields in Kelso. Not a single person was training, playing or doing anything else – every single sports field was deserted on a lovely Saturday morning. Can’t imaging that happening anywhere else except a town which loves its very late Friday nights…

That’s how the groundsman with a mower ended up as the only moving subject in sight – and why a quick chat with my friend and neighbour, potter Ian Hird, ended up being used here! Eventually, I ended up at the Saturday farmers’ market with the Sigma lens fitted, at 11.55. The lens had to be packed up and in special delivery back to Sigma by 12.15, including a dash back home to pack it and do the labelling and franking. That’s the reality of testing gear which is allowed out on a 3 day or 1 week window during which regular magazine production, administration and everything else must all continue.

The Sigma 18-250mm OS lens was used for the ‘interview’ (18mm), the market walkabout, and the lawnmower. The Canon 18-200mm IS was used for the other clips. The Sigma will be available in Alpha fit, with stabilisation. It is a very unusual lens – the stabilisation self-parks upwards, not centered, so the lens when you view through it before switching on appears to have a 3mm or so ‘rising front’ applied. When you touch the shutter, it immediately centers and starts stabilising. Colour rendering is warm, and compared to Canon, distortions are very well controlled with truly minimal 250mm pincushioning.

The instruction book and software arrived from Canon UK on Monday, with my deadline for my BJP report Tuesday morning. The camera was collected on Wednesday, which was sad as the Levellers gig in Edinburgh provided a great subject for my old KM A2 and pocket Kodak Zi6 that night. But, again, those were allowed into the gig by security and the DSLR would have been banned (at the request of the artists, no ‘big’ cameras).

Having used this camera, I have the Nikon D5000 to look at next week. I have not found much use for video in the past but these DSLRs are getting a little easier to use and more reliable (the 500D is second-generation for Canon). I hope Sony offer this option in one form or another.

– DK

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