So far it as been a little frustrating to get the video results I want when I compare it to my camcorder.

Canon T2i has been discontinued, replacement is the Canon T6i: B&H | Amazon

I went up to Wyoming to visit family this weekend and I took my Canon T2i with me. I am really starting to see how steep the learning curve is for shooting video with DSLR’s can be.

For others that might think it will be easy to go from a camcorder to a DSLR for shooting video you might think again.

Here are the things that frustrate me so far:

  • It is almost impossible to get things in focus – especially with my 50mm prime lens.
  • Setting the ISO and aperture settings correctly is very difficult just by using the camera’s screen
  • When using it hand held, it is impossible to get a steady shot (I do not have an IS lens yet)
  • I am realizing that each shot has to be carefully planned. Fast paced shooting might out of the question when shooting my family like I do with my camcorder.

I am not giving up – I know some day I will be much better at this. I am a little frustrated that I am not learning how to shoot video with my T2i faster, I thought I would share my frustrations with everyone so others just starting out know it will not be as easy as their camcorder.


  • Doesn’t the Rebel have some kind of autofocus mode for newbies? Or are you saying it’s impossible to focus because you’re deliberately forcing yourself to learn manual focus?

  • I have not found a way to do continuous auto focus yet in movie mode. Has anyone else figured it out? I know how to use the face detection software but that is not continuous auto focus.

  • Hey Dave,

    Great site and idea. I’m about in the same boat as you, having received my T2i just weeks ago. There is no continuous auto-focus with this camera as it’s not a camcorder. Reading all the sites, as I imagine you do too, I’ve learned this so far: use manual focus, and while shallow DoF is cool looking, if focusing is an issue set the aperture higher (more closed) to something like f8 – this gives a deeper DoF. I know that while filming my kids, too low a f-stop creates such a shallow DoF that just a head movement forward or back takes then out of focus, therefore I adjust the aperture higher. Feeling pretty good about this principal my two frustrations right now are: seeing the LCD and being able to focus with it while outdoors and finding the right software(s) for post-production. I am thinking a Zacuto Z-finder or similar may be in order for the first one. What software are you using in post?

  • @Dave I am using Sony Vegas since I am a PC guy, you can read more about the stuff I use on my about page. I’m glad you like the site!

    $400 for a z-finder is half the cost of the camera, I want one, but not that bad. I am sure someone will come out with one cheaper.

  • Yep, I’m using Sony Vegas Studio Platinum 9 and having to use MPEG Streamclip and the Avid DNxHD codec to transcode my files into something Vegas can work with. Not ideal but workable for now although it’s odd that I can’t get Windows 7 media player to play the transcoded files. I hear ya about the budget.

  • Hey,

    I am going to buy the canon 7D this summer but I took out a few different cameras just to have some experience shooting video and doing photography with all the things you discussed (ISO, shutter, aperture, ect.). I totally know what you are saying with having to do so much for each shot. If we were trying to get a good video of UFO’s then it would be a hit or miss type deal because its hard to just know what settings to use. Keep at it bud, I hope that when I get my camera i will be shooting constantly and this learning curve is sped up.

  • @Kevin Thanks. I have found a few tricks since this post that have really sped things up for shooting video run and gun style. It is definitely getting better.

  • Hey….

    “up for shooting video run and gun style. It is definitely getting better.”

    well, go ahead… share 🙂

    what are those new tricks ???

  • hi,
    am a vid editor and we just change to t2i from xl2, a tip if u are using IS lens, u can hold halfway for the snap button while rec video, the is lens will stabilize ur video but it drain the battery or u can go for a monopod. u can also use different lens like 50mm f1.8 lens , i think the prime lens is the reason u can find it hard to focus.

  • I’m with Alex – looking for those tips you’ve learned. I went from a Canon AE-1 for 30+ years to the Canon XTi with great success. I’ve gotten some fantastic photos. Bought the T2I a week ago mainly for better shots in lower light and for having the option of video. Been very frustrating. I have the 18-135 IS lens and sometimes the subject (dog) looks like it is running in slow motion. I’m waiting for my first prints to come back to compare with my other prints. Any tips would be appreciated. I’m hoping I don’t regret spending the money on this camera.

  • Hey Dave! Saw your videos on youtube and now I think i have a new website on my bookmark bar. Thanks, this is such a great blog!