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I want to be able to shoot video footage in the best quality I can of vibrating grains on membranes (cymatics).

I'm wondering if I should I swap my Canon 5D for a 5DmkII, buy the cheaper 7D, buy a different dSLR with video capabilities, or buy a good camcorder instead?

I am concerned that a camcorder wouldn't be able to get close up video of the cymatic phenomenon...

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Holy guacamole! I have no what is trying to be asked here. – rfusca Feb 14 '11 at 16:50
Major grammar reconstruction from @chills42 and myself. Maybe it's a clearer question now? – Jay Lance Photography Feb 14 '11 at 17:31
Am I mistaken in thinking the 5D does not have any video recording capabilities? The word "better" in the title seems to imply the 5D is already being used for video though? – drfrogsplat Feb 15 '11 at 0:04

5D mkII is definitely overkill for what you're trying to do. It's main advantage for video is the shallow depth of field that a large sensor allows. For filming close objects a smaller sensor (APS-C) would be better as it gives you a little mote depth of field.

The 7D is also higher spec than you need. The 60D is the best price/video quality trade off for what you want. The older xxxD models are missing full HD recording at 24p, but the 550D t2i and 600D t3i do.

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The Canon EOS 550D (t2i) or the Canon EOS 600D (T3i) are able to shoot full HD video at 24 fps too... – Carles Feb 14 '11 at 20:31
Cheers, updated. – Matt Grum Feb 15 '11 at 1:20

Some DSLRs (like the 5DII and 7D) produce a rolling shutter effect which might be detrimental to filming these vibrations.

I am not sure which cameras would work the best for you, but you should keep this in mind when making your decision.

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CMOS based cameras will have a rolling shutter effect. CCD based cameras (other than pro cameras with 3 CCDs) will produce a vertical smear effect on highlights. In my opinion the vertical smear is worse - go the CMOS and just have a wide shutter angle (1/60s shutter) in my opinion. – thomasrutter Feb 15 '11 at 0:35
Thanks for introducing me to the concept of shutter angle! – JoeGaggler Feb 15 '11 at 19:49

My advice would be to hire or borrow a 5Dmk2, 7D or 60D and see how the video recording looks.

The 60D or 7D is probably the way to go as they let you record at 60fps (at 1280x720) as well as 30fps at 1920x1080. The 5DmkII doesn't go above 30fps. Depending on what it is you're trying to record, a higher frame rate might actually be quite useful, especially if combined with a macro lens.

If this is the only thing you're using the camera for, just get the 60D (its articulated screen would be useful for recording macro video from awkward angles and it's slightly cheaper) but if you're going to be using it as a replacement for the 5D for photography as well, then the 7D might be a better choice (since it's not much more expensive).

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