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Today a new camera arrives in the mail. It’s the latest Digital Rebel from Canon, and we’re getting it at work. We needed a new SLR still camera, but went with the T2i Rebel because it shoots excellent video, as well. Two of my teammates personally own T2is, and get great results.

Being a photographer as well as a videographer, I’m often asked for equipment advice. And I’ve always told people that even though for years still cameras have been able to shoot video, the quality was never there. Get a still camera for still shots, and a video camera for video, I’d say. But I’ve also said that one day the merge would happen. Well, folks, the day is here. High end DSLRs from Canon and Nikon can now shoot video that not only rivals the best video cameras, but even rivals film. Don’t believe me? Go here.

One of the best DSLRs for video is the Canon 7D. My sister has one, and she uses it just for still photo work. When our families vacationed together last week, I asked her if I could shoot some video with her camera. My results are below. They’re not great, but that’s no fault of the camera. I have no idea what the settings were; I just grabbed the camera and started filming for a couple of minutes. I do know that I used a 10mm-22mm lens, with manual focus, which I didn’t do well. There’s a reason that serious film makers trick out their DSLRs with stabalizers, focus knobs, and gadgets to make them more closely resemble high-end film equipment. And good sound is just not possible with a DSLR. Anyone using them for serious work captures their sound somewhere else. But I love the shallow, cinema-like depth of field. I love how the image looks good even with bright windows behind the subject. Though my video stinks, with a tripod, an audio capture device, and a little more forethought, this is an incredible cinema tool.

Video testing aside, I’m so glad to have some footage of my dad and my son together. We get together so rarely, every bit of time is precious.

My T2i arrives today, just in time for a trip to Malawi, Africa next week. I’m taking my usual video gear for the shoot, but I’m thrilled to be able to break in a new still/video camera, too.

Hangin’ at the River House – Canon 7D test shots from Rob Webster on Vimeo.