Yesterday, while driving home from a meeting with Blair, I asked her if she minded stopping by my favorite camera store. If you live in the LA area, it's called Samy's Camera and is on Fairfax. I've had my eye on the Canon Rebel T5i, and wanted to play with it in person. Blair wasn't that interested, but I talked her into coming with me, and by the end of our visit we were walking out with a Canon T5i each. Here's what I picked up, and why:
I went in for the Canon Rebel T5i, which is an upgrade from my T3i. The reason that I wanted to upgrade is because Canon upgraded their video filming technologies from the T3i to the T4i/T5i, and added autofocus. Unless you make videos yourself and are the person both in front and behind the camera you can't even imagine what a big deal this is. My T3i doesn't have autofocus at all, which means that every single time I wanted to film I had to have someone (usually Blair) sit in my seat while I focused on them. If there wasn't someone around to help me I couldn't film... which got really annoying very quickly, especially when I moved into my new condo alone. On top of that, even when I did have someone help me focus there were times when the focus would be off just slightly, and the whole video would end up looking a little blurry. When the T4i came out featuring autofocus I got very excited, but upon further research found that it still wasn't very good. The new autofocus apparently made a ton of noise and interrupted filming with a constant "clicking" sound. So I decided to wait, and hoped that Canon would improve their cameras. And... they did. The Canon T5i came out with a brand new lens that has a completely silent motor, which basically means that as it focuses in video mode it doesn't make the annoying clicking noise that was common with the T4i. So after thinking about it I decided it was time to upgrade.
I decided to get the kit with the EF-S 18-135 IS STM lens, which is the more expensive kit available, because after comparing the two lenses I decided this one was better for my filming needs. I have other lenses that I currently film on, but I needed this "silent motor lens" for autofocus reasons so I was deciding between the 18-135mm and the 18-55mm lens. If you're curious, I didn't even get a kit lens when I bought my T3i. I just bought the body, and bought my own lenses. I don't find kit lenses that good, although these two are the exception, since it has the silent motor.
I've also been eyeing a macro lens for ages, mostly to help me shoot close-ups of products. Macro lenses enable you to get right up close to whatever you are filming or shooting, which makes product close-ups beautiful and super crisp. Since I was at the camera store anyway I decided to look around, and was thrilled to find a Tamron macro lens in stock for a reasonable price. Needless to say, I am now the proud owner of a Tamron Macro 60mm F/2 lens.
I've gotten a lot of tweets asking me if I am going to sell my T3i now that I have upgraded, and have also received emails offering to purchase it from me, but I have decided to keep it for now. It's super nice to have two for certain occasions, for instance when I am filming and photographing in the same day, because it's a pain to take the "filming" camera down, switch the lens, change all the settings, photograph stuff, and then have to set it all back up into "filming mode" when I want to film again. If it was just a simple switch of a button it would be one thing, but believe me when I say it's a process. It wouldn't be worth it to purchase 2 cameras just for this reason, but since I have two anyway it will make life a little bit easier on filming/shooting heavy days. I plan on filming with the T5i (thank you, silent autofocus), and shooting with my T3i, for which I already have a few extra lenses.
I also decided to invest in an Sennheiser MKE 400 external microphone. I didn't use one with my T3i, and didn't find any problems with the audio, but people who have these external microphones swear by them, and say it makes the audio so much more crisp and perfect. Since I'm using this camera primarily for filming, it makes sense to have the extra piece to make the sound quality much better. Plus, when I am filming from behind the camera, like in my latest bathroom tour video, I can swivel the mic around to point at me, eliminating the need to adjust the audio levels in post.
Last but not least, I got a Hoya lens filter for both of my lenses. This is a little glass cover that fits right over the lens to protect it and make your quality better. I have one for every lens I own, and definitely recommend these. I feel so much better knowing the glass of the lens is protected.
If you guys want I can do a separate blog post about my camera history, and what I've used before now. Let me know if you wanna see that in a comment below! :)