Canon 7D vs Sony HDCam – Preliminary Test REVISITED

by Harlan Yee on January 7th, 2011

When I originally created this comparison video, I had problems with how the HD Cam footage was captured. If you watch my original video, you’ll notice that the HD Cam footage speeds up and I didn’t do any color correction. I have fixed that now. But if you’re interested, here’s a link to the original video.

At the time we shot this video, I didn’t even own a Canon 7D but it prompted me learn as much about the camera as I could. In the updated video below, I fine-tuned things a bit and did some color correction. See the difference!

Canon 7D vs Sony HD Cam

Here’s the footage straight out of both cameras before color correction.

Canon 7D vs Sony HD Cam

This is what the footage looks like after I tweaked the color settings.

Editing was done in Edius 5 and I used the basic White Balance and Color Balance filters that are in Edius. I hardly ever do any color adjustments to my videos but I’m surprised how much blue I was able to recover from the footage.

The lens I used on the 7D was a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L which is a real treat to use if you can get your hands on one. In the future, I want to get the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 prime lens and do a comparison with a Panasonic HVX-200 fitted with a Letus depth of field adapter.

This video got me all excited about shooting with HDSLR cameras so a couple of months after we did this comparison, I purchased my own Canon 7D. I’ve made several how-to videos which can be found here at The Render Q. I have another video test between the HD Cam and Canon 7D that I hope to have completed soon so watch for that.

From DSLR Video

  1. Phil permalink

    Hi, I’m a cameraman based in South Africa and I’ve spent most of my career on broadcast camera’s from BETACAM to HDXDCAM, Canon 5D,7D and 60D. I had a look at your comparison, which HDCAM did you use for the test? Of the ten jobs done this year, 2 have been on XDCAM, the rest on HDSLR and the results are just mind blowing. What are your thoughts on HDSLR compared to HDCAM? Regards. Phil

  2. Harlan Yee permalink

    Hi Phil,

    I used a Sony HDW-700/1080 HDCam. It is a first generation professional HDCam and only does 1080i. It doesn’t have the features of the newer models like 24p and variable frame rates. The HDW-700 is the only HDCam experience I have. As far as HDSLR vs HDCam goes, the HDSLR is definitely affordable and you can edit with it on your exisiting equipment/software. An HDCam is too expensive for most producers and you need an HDCam tape deck as well for ingesting footage (if you want to remotely control ingest from your editing program). Plus you’ll need an SDI capture card.

    I’m very happy with my Canon 7D and I feel reassured that in the future, I can upgrade the body only and use my existing lenses. The new Canon T3i seems like it would be a great camera especially with the flip out LCD screen and its at a price anyone can afford. I think it’ll be released in March 2011 (if it hasn’t already).

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