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Customer Review

533 of 578 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Video Problems with some sdhc cards (especially Kingston), You may miss some good shots unless you use sandisk extreme lll., May 4, 2009
This review is from: Canon EOS Rebel T1i 15.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3-Inch LCD and EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (Camera)
**see update below, now give this camera a 4 star
**** Video Test memory consumption rates and max minutes per clip contained below.

I couldn't wait to my hands on the new Canon T1i. It was a stretch for my budget but had most of the 5d mkll features. I was excited. I pre-ordered a body (I already have 2 xti's and lenses) but the only the kits are/were available so I upgrade to get it before a SciFi convention I attended.
Higher iso and video, for the less than optimal lighting in the hall where the Celebs were speaking, attracted me.
I tested the video for memory consumption rate the day I got it, no problem for a 20 minute test run. I saw a little white bar on the right side of the screen appear get a little bigger, then disappear. I figured it was a buffer level. Next day at the convention during Jeri Ryan's appearance I took a few stills and flipped into the video mode, nice.... until it stopped after a few minutes. Set it back up, pushed record again a few minutes later stopped, no warning, no beep, just stopped. Try again, now I notice the buffer bar reaches the top, it stops. I am using a kingston 8 gig class 6 sdhc, freshly formatted by the camera. That sucks! I missed a lot of good video because this new marvelous camera can't write fast enough. This occured on 2 different but identical cards so I thought the camera was having problems. It was on the 720p mode, 1080 mode could only go 8 seconds.

****Update---I talked to Canon, to make a long story short, this camera is a bit finicky about which cards you put in it. Both kingston class 6 (fastest class) had problems, tried a kingston micro class 4 (slower) 4 gig and it worked fine, tried 2 Polaroid/pny 8 gig class 4's and they worked fine with only 1 buffer bar appearing occasionally, even on 1080. Canon guy seemed to like the sandisk brand. This begs the question of how can a class 4 work better than the class 6? I have a sandisk extreme III on order and will update this info if I have more problems with that.
My wrath now turns to Kingston, who service has been xlnt.
***update kingston- I returned a card to kingston, they sent a new one just as bad as the slow originals, which indicates ALL this type kingston are mot going to work in this camera for video.

******Another update, with a Sandisk 8 Gb Extreme lll card the video worked fine, no buffer bar at all. Perhaps there should be a recommended list of sdhc cards so others don't have the trouble I did.

That said, I was able to test the video as follows:
I have tested my T1i for memory usage in video mode, here are the results using a Sandisk 8 Gig Extreme III:

T1i Video Memory Usage Rates for a 1 minute file.

1080 mode 282 MB
720 mode 194 MB
480 mode 131MB

Following is for 5 minute file
1080 = 1,383 MB
720 = 988 MB
480 = 638

Any 1 clip can be 4GB max, so the following is an approximate max clip length

1080 about 14 minutes
720 about 20 minutes
480 about 30 minutes

These figures are approximate as the content of the video will affect the compression and amount of memory actually used but these are pretty close to an average time you should expect. I did a little rounding so these are probably the on the low side you may get a little more time, but not much, maybe a minute.

You can shoot as much video as the card will hold, just any 1 uninterrupted clip cannot be longer than 4 gig.

Shooting Video also eats the battery, buy extras, one Battery per every 8 gig card should be about right.

Bottom line-MAKE SURE you thoroughly test and 'season' the memory card BEFORE counting on getting complete videos. The first cards I tried did work on day 1 for 20 minutes but the buffer bar got to 3 or 4. Day 2 (the convention) was a different story, you read it above. DO NOT use KINGSTON CARDS.

Stills are pretty good but I noticed on blowing them up the noise almost looks like dusty distorted scratchy marks on the sensor, not just the colored freckles. My XTi is better, My Nikon d200 is better, my Nikon d40 is better in the noise department. I cranked up the iso to speed up my shutter and some of the shots looked like very dirty/dusty slides I have from the 70's. I guess you can choose between the noise or slow shutter speed with the movement blur, or both. See the customer images for a sample of the noise at 6400 iso.

****update on stills
Still shot Capacity on 8 gig card
Large + RAW =286
Just RAW = 359
Large = 1375
Medium = 2334
Small = 4175
* if you shoot any video mixed with the stills these numbers drop very fast.

Other review sites had a pre-release version of this camera and they had the same video problem, (they did not name the sdhc card they were using, but I'd bet it was a kingston). Unfortunately there were not any reviews of actual cameras when I ordered it, just press releases. Now you have been warned and now you have this review. When you lose the video as the couple says 'I do' or other critical moment, you'll curse too.
***I currently put a SanDisk 8 gb sdhc extreme III rated at 20 MB/Second, far and above the minimum class 6 rating of 6MB/sec, it seems to work flawlessly today, we'll see about tomorrow, but this showed no signs of the buffer bar on the side, looks promising!
***update SanDisk still working xlnt.

If you are going to do Video, and it important at all, I can only recommend the SanDisk 8 gb sdhc extreme III at this point. Just be warned that the video mode is very demanding and picky about the performance of the card, just the class rating is not to be counted on, as I found out the hard way. Some class 4's may work, even class 2's but that buffer bar will start showing up.

>>>>>>>> Be Safe Buy the Sandisk Extreme III.
>>>>>>>> Another user says Transcend 16GB Class 6 SDHC is performing well in video
>>>>>>used A-Data class 10 sdhc 8GB card with no problems
>>>>>>WARNING ---Centon Class 6 16GB SDHC crashed and as slow as Kingston DO NOT use CENTON cards, they do NOT comply with the speed rating.
>>>>>>Polaroid/pny 16GB Class 4 cards work OK as long as you do NOT take a still pic while videoing.

***Notes on Video File format generated by the t1i-
This camera saves the video in .MOV files, which is fine if you have an apple/mac, BUT if you run xp, you must convert this format file to something else (avi, mpeg,...etc)in order to make a dvd with the commonly found software. Canon DOES NOT provide any software to deal with .mov conversion or transferring to a dvd to be played by a dvd player. This makes life a lot more complicated. Sure you can search around, get a file converter, then import to a dvd maker, then burn a dvd. Why should I have to search for these utilities and go through all that? Why couldn't canon have just put a simple dvd transfer or mov converter program in the bundle? Or have I just not found it yet?

Canon, please remember, K.I.S.S. is a good principle.
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Showing 31-40 of 47 posts in this discussion
Posted on Nov 24, 2009 3:58:21 PM PST
R. Thomas says:
As a novice looking to invest nearly $1000 on a purchase, I appreciate your candor. Your updates and thorough assessment was much more helpful then reading a fans review such as "this camera is great." Thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2009 3:31:26 PM PST
that is because it uses FAT32 file system.

Posted on Jan 9, 2010 3:44:26 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 9, 2010 3:53:31 AM PST
KBT says:
Thanks for the great review. I wanted to replace my xTi with this because of the built in video capabilities, keeping me from having to carry two cameras all of the time. One comment said the Transcend 16GB Class 6 SDHC worked well, so I bought 2 of those with the camera. I can report that in my rather limited testing so far, these cards seem to work well. The only downside is that the T1i seems to be a bit shoddy in construction compared to the xTi. The wheels, knobs, etc. do not feel as solid and the general feel is not quite as nice. Minor quibbles as long as it works and doesn't break, but a concern for future issues.

As my part of trying to help out, I will also say that I was able to use the test version of CyberLink Power Director to produce a .wmv file for my kids that took the original ~890MB .mov file and created a 9MB .wmv file that played on Windows Media Player with decent clarity and resolution. Please note the reviews of this software, as many people report problems with it. I have had a few strange issues with it, but nothing like what others report, and nothing that would keep me from using this software. All in all, it is better than any other product I have used for conversion. Your mileage may vary. ;)

One other thing...many people seem to say the video is choppy. In my experience (again, YMMV) on a Windows system, it is often because the computer itself is incapable of keeping up with the bandwidth/memory needs of high resolution video because it has too many tasks open. Try closing most of your open applications and tasks before using the player. The very first video I shot, I thought there was a problem with the video, until I rebooted my system and shut down all unneeded apps. Then QuickTime played the video perfectly. Heh, so another cost of owning this camera is the i7/6gig/64 bit system I ordered to alleviate this problem. ;)

Again, thanks for the great review. Unfortunately, this system allows anyone to post anything, so you get the idiots that have to be nasty and negative. Ignore them. :)

Posted on Jan 12, 2010 7:30:01 AM PST
Verne Arase says:
You know guys, you just bought the wrong camera.

I have a Canon HV30 which I use to record HD video, but it only take 3 megapixel stills. The video is beautiful (I like MiniDV for various reasons), but the stills it takes don't match up to my DSLR.

Maybe we could discuss what Canon can do to improve this camcorder's still capabilities.

P.S. Isn't QuickTime the official MPEG5 file format?

Posted on Jan 24, 2010 7:46:51 AM PST
Mike says:
I have had no problems with video on a variety of cards but they do have to be at least a class 6. Class 4 or less cards will pose problems. I have found in the 3 months and about 4000 pictures I have taken that the kit lenses work great but do not want low light without flash. I have tremors in my hand so the IS is nice but sometimes I turn it off for less than the 55mm settings. I have also noticed at times the 8M setting is a bit sharper than the 15M setting. All in all this is a great camera. I have done photography for over 35 years but am a novice in the digital field.

Posted on Mar 17, 2010 11:17:56 PM PDT
G. Everly says:
if you want a video recorder go out and buy one they are reasonable enough these days.the video is a nice feature on an awesome camera i repeat camera. some of you expect way to much for what your spending give me and canon a break. love my camera takes great pictures and for a begginer i couldn't ask for more.

In reply to an earlier post on May 2, 2010 4:35:19 PM PDT
smithnwesson says:
OK... beginner, i repeat, beginner, I already stated this is not primarily a video camera, HOWEVER, not wanting to haul around 2 cameras is important. It is nice to take some video from time to time as the situation arises. Video IS a feature of THIS camera and, combined with the lenses NOT available for cheap video cameras, this feature can be important to some, more than you. Canon has since released the T2i with more video options which I may upgrade to. These cameras can go where video cameras are not allowed as well. So if you want to haul around 2 cameras be my guest, just don't whine to me about how I use my camera and my factual review for others to decide how they use their camera and if this info will help them decide.
Separate video and still cameras are becoming a thing of the past, this combo camera is a step in that progression.

In reply to an earlier post on May 2, 2010 4:44:35 PM PDT
smithnwesson says:
Class 6 is not the defining speed it should be. Both Kingston and Patriot brands are NOT fast enough even though they are "class 6". They are class 10's now available and maybe those bad brands 10 may be fast enough to match other brands class 6. The real test is put the card in the camera, select 1080 video, start recording, after about 1 minute take a still pic while it is doing the video. IF you see no buffer bar after a few seconds, then your card is fast enough. DO NOT think the class 6 rating is all you need to worry about, test it, and stay away from Kinston and Patriot brands.

Posted on Jul 5, 2010 2:06:42 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 5, 2010 2:13:04 PM PDT
lovinlife says:
Hi "Tom"! Is the Sandisk Extreme III card you are talking about this one?: Sandisk 8GB EXTREME III SDHC SD Card Class 6 (SDSDX3-8192 Bulk Package)

if not, can you please provide a link for the one you are speaking of?

also, what do you think about a class 10 memory card?

IF i would like to point in the direction of having this canon take over my video camera also, do you recommend the newer T2i?

thanks!! nicole

Posted on Sep 30, 2010 2:58:39 PM PDT
Rose Sherman says:
Just to add some more information on the Kingston cards, I have one that I use in my Panasonic Lumix FZ28 and have never had a problem recording full HD video on it. Therefore, wondering if its a specific interaction between the Kingston cards and the Canon camera or is it that the Canon camera's HD video is a lot better than that my camera makes?... =S