Canon 7D Video Accessories For DSLR Video

by Harlan Yee on June 16th, 2011

You probably already know that the Canon EOS 7D comes fully prepared to shoot great HD video. But if you’re just starting out with DSLR video, there are some essential Canon 7D video accessories you should have on your list to maximize your usage of the camera.

The following accessories are geared towards DSLR video users starting out on a budget. They are basic accessories and can really help you achieve better a experience with DSLR cameras.

One suggestion I’d like to make (if you haven’t purchased your camera yet) is to buy the 7D body only. That way, you can add only the lenses you want to your camera. With that said, let’s start with lenses.

DSLR Lenses

Canon 50mm f1.8 II Prime Lens

This lens is cheap! So cheap that I think everyone purchasing a Canon DSLR camera for video should get one. Buy it when you order your camera. This Canon 50mm is a fixed focus lens (which means you can’t zoom) with great low light capabilities. At f1.8, you can shoot decent video in candlelight. There are a lot of positive reviews on this lens. It is true that this lens is made of plastic but you get great depth of field shots with blurry backgrounds.

Tokina 12-24mm F/4.0 Pro II Zoom Lens

Tokina isn’t a widely known name but they make some decent lenses. This 12-24mm is a moderately priced wide angle lens for the Canon 7D. If you shoot indoors, then a wide angle lens is a must! Although this one is not as good in low light situations. But it’s focal range is varied enought that you could use this as your everyday lens the majority of the time. At 12mm, this lens gives you that nice wide angle look.

Viewfinder and Focus Aid

Zacuto Z-Finder Pro 3x

One of the most impressive DSLR video accessories I’ve used is the Zacuto Z-Finder Pro optical viewfinder. This single gadget made a world of difference when shooting with my 7D. Not only did it allow me to actually focus my shot using the camera’s built-in LCD, it also helped me stabilize the camera when shooting handheld. It is very hard to focus using the LCD alone. The LCD is nearly impossible to see in the daylight also. When in video mode, the LCD is the only way to see what you’re shooting so you can see the importance of having the Z-Finder Pro. Zacuto improved the mounting system on their Pro models to make it easy to mount and unmount if you have multiple cameras.

Audio Capture

Rode NTG-2 Shotgun Microphone

Let me say this, the built-in microphone on the Canon 7D is not very good. Fortunately, Canon has included a stereo microphone input on their DSLR video cameras. This allows users to plug in an external microphone for better audio capture. The Rode NTG-2 is great for the Canon 7D. It features an XLR connection so you’ll need an XLR to mini jack converter but you’ll be rewarded with crisp clean sound.

Sony ECM-55B Electret Condenser Microphone

The Sony ECM-55B is a great choice if you want a lapel microphone. These microphones are used by professional broadcasters so you know the quality is good. I have used many of these in my career. This microphone features an XLR connection so you’ll also need an XLR to mini-jack converter with this one. The ECM-55B is solidly built and is comes with a nice carrying case, wind screen and clip.

Additional Notes

I geared this article towards Canon 7D buyers, but the list of accessories applies to other Canon DSLRs like the Rebel T2i, Rebel T3i, EOS 60D and 5D MarkII. So if you’re getting into DSLR video, bookmark this list for future reference.

I’m also including a video demonstration of how some of these accessories work with the Canon 7D. Enjoy the video!

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