In February 2010 I bought a Canon Rebel T2i DSLR. My whole reason in buying it to replace my Canon Rebel XSi was because the T2i had video. Sadly, though, I was never satisfied with the videos because the autofocus pretty much didn’t work. A Google search indicates that I wasn’t the only one in the world who was dissatisfied.
In late 2015 I replaced the T2i with a T6s because the autofocus was supposed to be vastly improved. Nope. The delay in focusing just wasn’t acceptable.
The shakiness of the videos didn’t make me happy either. Some of the shakiness was the camera’s fault because it weighs 26 ounces. Add a lens that weighs 19 ounces, or one that weighs 69 ounces, and taking videos is not a one-hand event. Even two-hand support gets tiresome, and more shaky, if the video is longer than about ten seconds.
So this past June I considered buying a dedicated video camera. After a couple of months of research, I settled on the Canon Vixia HF R800. It retails for $299.99. I figured if it didn’t do what I wanted it to do, I could sell it on eBay. Well, it does what I want it to do (and what I wanted my DSLR to do).
The Vixia weighs a whopping 8 ounces. Could 8 ounces do what 95 ounces could not?
The autofocusing is awesome. It has a 32x optical zoom and an 1140x digital zoom. I wasn’t hopeful about the digital zoom because I was familiar with digital zooms on Point & Shoot cameras. Well, the zoom is extraordinarily easy to use and focusing is pretty much instantaneous.
After experimenting by taking videos of the birds, rabbits, and squirrels eating together in my back yard….
….it was time to test it out on the big boys—TRAINS! I wasn’t disappointed.
I took the Vixia to the famous Colton Crossing in Colton, an eastern suburb of Los Angeles. Ever since I discovered the Colton Crossing, I have wanted to get a picture of a Union Pacific train using the Colton Crossing upper tracks—the Flyover—to “fly over” a BNSF train on the lower tracks. Here’s my video of exactly that:
Bucket List has one fewer item on it.
Now I have to learn how to keep my fingers out of the field of view when in wide angle mode. I think I can handle that.