HD Video with the Canon XSi (Kinda)

HD video is all the rage now with newer DSLRs.  Unfortunately, my Canon XSi (aka 450D) doesn’t come with any video recording capabilities.  However, there is a hack that lets me record video in 720p HD (via PetaPixel) with my DSLR.  The method does have its limitations though.  First, your Canon DSLR must have LiveView and has to be tethered to a computer via the USB cable to record video.  This technique works in the studio/home setting, and you might be able to be a bit more mobile with a laptop, but it’s not very practical otherwise.  Another problem with this hack is that it doesn’t record sound.  You’ll have to use another device to record sound and add the sound to your movie after wards.

Despite the limitations, it is free and very easy to do.  Just download EOS Camera Movie Record and install it on your computer.  Plug your Canon DSLR into your computer (via the USB cable), start up the program, and you’re ready to record.  The software is pretty simple to use and produces movies in AVI format.  You can watch a YouTube video that takes you through the process.

I recorded a short movie of cars outside my apartment (see below).  I added music and titles with Microsoft’s Movie Maker, which comes with Windows.  Unfortunately, Movie Maker only allows you to save as a WMV file and only at 720×480.  I’m not sure why it’s a bit noisy – probably due to the low lighting or maybe a reflection on the glass.  Movies with the XSi (450D) I’ve seen on YouTube look pretty amazing.

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