Shooting Video With the Canon EOS 7d – Some Tips

Shooting Video With the Canon EOS 7d – Some Tips

As a keen photographer, I’ve been using the canon EOS7d for a number of years now. Although quite an expensive purchase it has paid for itself with several image sales and freelance work and is generally a joy to use. Since shooting video with the Canon EOS 7d however, I’ve found a few shortcomings and wanted to share some solutions that I’ve found recently.

The Camera offers full HD video recording and is capable of superb results. The main shortcomings for me and many other videographers though when shooting video with the Canon EOS 7d are in two main areas.

First the viewfinder: To shoot video the camera switches to live view mode – the LCD panel on the back of the camera. Given that this is quite a chunky camera, this is less than ideal. It’s just plain awkward and makes focusing difficult unless you are shooting from a tripod and using a fixed focus – an interview scenario or a straight to camera solo video.

shooting video with the Canon EOS 7d

SEETEC LCD monitor for Canon EOS 7d

In that situation you can simply set the camera up in still mode using the auto focus, then switch to live view. Provided you stay in the same place you have focussed on it shooting video with the Canon EOS 7d works well. If however you plan to film moving objects, or to shoot video whilst on the move, things get tricky.

Shooting Video With the Canon EOS 7d – Inexpensive Ad-Ons

There are a couple of solutions and they are not as expensive as you might think. The first improvement you can make is to use an external monitor. The 7d allows you to control the camera remotely via a monitor – either a laptop or desktop computer. This is Very useful for say filming yourself as you can focus etc without having to be behind the camera.

In addition you can buy a program for your desktop/laptop that includes an ipad app. This means that as long as both computer and ipad are on the same wifi network you can contol the camera from the ipad wirelessly – Amazing but really only in a studio situation. Check it out HERE

You can also simply use an external monitor as a larger viewfinder. There are loads of dedicated monitors available for this to suit your budget. You could also use an inexpensive portable DVD player if it has a video input socket. Simply use the provided AV cable from the camera to the player’s input. You may need a couple of cheap adaptors to do this to change the sockets from male to female.

Shooting Video With the Canon EOS 7d – On the Move

shooting video with the canon EOS7d

The Opteka SteadyVid Camera stabilizer

To solve the “on the move” limitations of shooting video with the Canon EOS 7d you could look at a steadycam set up. I saw a video being filmed in Rome last year using a 7d with a steadycam rig. I’d assumed they would be pricey but on researching found some quite inexpensive set ups. Some also feature the possibility to add an external viewfinder type monitor.

The second area that is less than ideal for me is that of sound. The 7d does have an external stereo microphone input. This is a great feature but the problem is that the sound is not great. The most recent firmware update did provide a degree of manual adjustment to the sound quality: An adjustable input level basically. This is a vast improvement but for best results, recording audio seperatley is a better option.

All that being said, for the money this is a magnificent camera. It’s really a professional quality still camera with an HD video tacked on. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very good video camera all things considered. This is proven by its continued use in professional productions. Shooting video with the Canon EOS 7d does need some help as discussed to bring out the best in it. Even with those additional expenses it still represents fantastic value for money IMHO.