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I make makeup videos for youtube and recently got the canon rebel T5i as well as the 50mm f/1.8 and 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6 lenses. I am not sure which is better for taking photos and which is better for video. I'll appreciate answers. Thank you.

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    Did you also get the EF-S 18-55mm kit lens? – Michael C Jan 21 at 11:49
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Either lens will work for shooting still and cinema. I think the issue here is the glass and what you are trying to do. The 50mm lens is great for lower light situations, but you have to physically move the camera to change the field of view you are shooting. If the camera is sitting on a tripod, the 50mm is great.

The 55-200/4.5-5.6 zoom lens is going to be better for outside use. The aperture is really small on this lens, so inside shooting quality is going to be much lower. Plus this is a 200mm telephoto, so unless you are zooming on small parts, this is not real useful.

I personally like using a 28-105 zoom lens as my general purpose lens. I would also get the largest aperture I can afford. If you can find a used or budget f/2.8-4.0 I think you would be much happier with the results.

I would go to the local camera store and try them out before buying.

  • Good answer. I would like to add though, that I think she already owns both lenses. And for me personally, I'd recommend the 50mm 1.8 for Makeup videos, due to the fact that you'll get more light, as well as the possibility to get rid of nonsense that goes on in the background, with the shallow depth of field that f/1.8 gives you. Be careful though, with f/1.8, keeping focus will be more of a challange if you're on your feet. – Tindra Jan 23 at 10:45
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DSLRs are primarily still photography cameras with video tacked on as an afterthought. If your primary intention is to make videos, DSLRs are not ideal.

As for lens choice, there are multiple models of lenses with the specs you describe that vary in suitability for video.

Using still-photography lenses for video tends to have the following problems:

  • Focus breathing – Field of view changes as focus changes.
  • Noisy Motors and Apertures – Video lenses have quieter motors (STM or manual focus) and clickless apertures.
  • F-stops vs T-stops – Light transmission across different still-photography lenses may not be consistent.

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