Tuesday, January 5, 2010


In a word: more.

To be honest, I held off purchasing Phil Bloom's 7D Training Video (and the earlier 5D Mark 2 version). I balked at the original selling price of $175 USD, reasoning that I already had most, if not all, of the information already in hand. Much of the information I felt I needed had already been gleaned --for free-- off such excellent forums as Cinema 5D and DVinfo (to which Phil is a contributor), plus blogs such as Phil Bloom's himself, Vincent Laforet, etc. etc. In other words, why would I lay out serious coin to buy something I believed I already had?

Recently my wife and I acquired two 7D's (Karen for her bird-in-flight photos, mine to complement my 5D2 nature videomaking). Following Phil Bloom on Twitter and Facebook, I was aware that he was promoting a new 7D video in addition to his 5D2 version with more 7D-specific info, plus he had applied a couple of discounts just before Christmas. I got the download off his blogsite http://www.learndslrvideostore.com/ for what amounted to $108 USD ($116 CDN). It ran fine on my PC using Microsoft's default Media Player, plus I burned it to a blank DVD so I could play it on my big screen LCD tv.

The video is an easy watch despite being crammed with information on camera settings, lenses, techniques, and useful accessories. Karen watched it with me and felt that some parts moved too fast, but that's the beauty of a DVD......simply play it again if you missed something. The video does move along briskly and there is a bit of Phil's dry Brit humour to provide a bit of relief to all the detail.

I confess that I was surprised there was a lot of camera-specific info that was new to me. Further, it was useful to have techniques demonstrated on video that are otherwise a little difficult to understand through words alone.

Is this video worth $108? Yes. Is it worth $175? Yes. You could do as I did and spend over 100 hours perusing the internet forums and blogs for a far lesser yield of information. Is your time worth $1.75/hr? How about all those [expensive] photo & video mags singing the praises of the 5D2 and 7D but tell you ZILCH on how to get serious results with the video aspect?

I haven't delved into the post-processing part of this 7D Training Video as yet. It deals in part with Final Cut Pro which is Mac-based, but there are techniques that Phil discusses that should translate over to PC-based Non-Linear Editors like Premiere Pro or Sony Vegas. I'll leave that for a future blog.

In the meantime, if you have a Canon 5D Mark 2 or a 7D and wish to do some video shooting, cut to the chase and get the DVD.

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