Best Canon Lens For Video Recording
If you own a Canon mirrorless or DSLR camera, then it shows that you have already taken a serious step towards your videography or vlogging career. But, for fine-tuning any video and to get the best out of your camera, you also need a good lens that can complement the camera's video quality. At present, Canon stands top when it comes to manufacturing lenses for shooting videos.
If you are looking for the best Canon lens for video, whether it’s for your new (or old :P) YouTube channel, or recording lectures, or sports videography, then I have a list of some of the best lenses available for videography in the market today. The Canon lenses mentioned in this article use the standard EF and EF-S lens mount, so they can be easily used with your Full-frame and APS-C cameras.
There are numerous factors you have to look upon when choosing the perfect lens for recording videos. So, I have included a buying guide that tells which lens is best for what, along with the desired focal lengths, aperture ratings, and other features needed to shoot videos. So go ahead and choose the one that best suits your budget and requirement.
Table of Contents
- BEST CANON LENS FOR VIDEO LIST
- BEST CANON LENS FOR VIDEO REVIEW
- 1. CANON EF 24-70MM F/2.8L II USM - BEST CANON LENS FOR LOW-LIGHT VIDEOGRAPHY
- 2. CANON EF-S 10-18MM F/4.5-5.6 IS STM LENS - BEST CANON LENS FOR YOUTUBERS
- 3. CANON EF 50MM F/1.8 STM- BEST PRIME LENS FOR SHOOTING VIDEOS
- 4. CANON EF 70-200MM F/2.8L IS III USM LENS - BEST STUDIO LENS FOR VIDEO RECORDING
- 5. CANON EF-S 18-135MM f/3.5-5.6 IS STM - BEST ZOOM LENS FOR CANON
- 6. CANON EF 135MM F/2L - BEST CANON LENS FOR SPORTS VIDEOGRAPHY
- 7. CANON EF 16-35MM F/4L IS USM LENS
- BUYING GUIDE FOR BEST CANON LENS FOR VIDEO RECORDING
- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
BEST CANON LENS FOR VIDEO LIST
BEST CANON LENS FOR VIDEO REVIEW
1. CANON EF 24-70MM F/2.8L II USM - BEST CANON LENS FOR LOW-LIGHT VIDEOGRAPHY
" Elder sibling of the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens with improved optical performance"
FEATURES: Enjoy high-quality zoom with this wide-angle zoom lens that has an aperture range of f/2.8 to f/22.Though primarily designed for Canon Full-Frame cameras, it does pair well with APS-C and APS-H cameras, where it gives an equivalent focal length of 34 to 112mm. The lens takes a big thumbs up for low-light video shoots where both low noise and perfect autofocusing are needed.
DESIGN: I would say that both the exterior design and the internal optic structure are supremely built! Let me start off with the optical features: It's got three Ultra-Low dispersion elements (One Super UD glass and two regular UD glasses) and three aspherical elements to take care of color fringing and other aberrations. The nine-bladed diaphragm is all set to give you perfect defocusing.
As said earlier, this is Canon's professional-grade lens, so it's equipped with the very famous ring-type USM motor, which helps to achieve fast and quiet autofocus. If you're a beginner, I recommend using this lens because its lightweight design will make your handheld shooting easy.
When coming to it's exterior look: The lens is primarily made of high-quality plastic with metal focus and zoom rings. Unlike most Canon lenses that have the zoom ring located on the lens' front, this lens has the same at it's rear end.
PERFORMANCE: Our main goal is to shoot high-quality videos, right? In that case, the lens should be capable of satisfying these two very primary conditions. They are a focal length range of around 20 to 100mm and a wide aperture of f/4 or even more expansive.
If we look at this lens, it's got a wide aperture of f/2.8 along with a wide focal length range of 24-70mm. Great! Moving on, I used the lens to shoot a video in low-light, and I was in awe. So, if you're looking for the best Canon lens for recording videos in low-light then this is a must-have.
Are you asking me how this focal length range of 24-70mm is great for videos? A low focal length, let's say 30mm allows you to have a wider angle of view similarly; in instances where you need narrow depth of field, long focal lengths become helpful. Note that the lens is not parfocal, meaning you cannot zoom to 70mm and expect it to stay in focus when pulling back to 24mm.
Though this is a disadvantage when I see how the lens is capable of delivering blurred backgrounds for giving that filmy effect I don't consider the flaw a big mistake.
Overall, I feel the lens has many useful features for videography. So I give this is a big thumbs-up!
2. CANON EF-S 10-18MM F/4.5-5.6 IS STM LENS - BEST CANON LENS FOR YOUTUBERS
"Perfect for vlogging and landscape videography"
FEATURES: Firstly, as the name indicates, this lens includes Image stabilization and also consists of an STM motor for silent AF during video recording sessions. Unlike the previous lens, this lens will not suit low-light videography, but if your shooting style predominantly uses time-lapse features, you can go for this wide-angle lens.
DESIGN: I would like to compare this EF-S lens with that of the previous one in terms of build. Like the 24-70mmL II USM lens, this is also mainly made of high-quality plastic with metal focus and zoom rings.
Secondly, an STM AF motor is found here. This is an advantage because if you compare USM lenses vs. STM lenses, the latter is much preferred for videos while the former does wonder in still photography. But both ensure silent AF.
To give you a decent quality bokeh, there is a 7 bladed circular aperture present inside the lens. The lens is given Super Spectra coating to reduce lens flare and ghosting.
PERFORMANCE: First, let me tell you what me made to list this lens in the best Canon lens for video catalog. This 10-18mm lens allows you to enjoy continuous AF while recording videos. Am I complicating? Okay, let me put it in simple terms. This feature helps you lock focus onto a stationary subject, and when this subject moves, the AF system will detect its movement and refocuses it back. But, make sure you're pressing the shutter halfway during this process.
When you compare this lens with its 10 years elder Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-5.6 USM lens, both are compatible with APS-C cameras (include 1.6x crop factor). But the elder one does not have IS technology and was also very pricey. Whereas this lens that was launched in 2014 includes Image stabilization and is affordable and lightweight.
I mentioned in the previous lens' review that, lower the focal length wider the angle of view. The best example of that is this 10-18mm lens. If you're a person who likes to shoot landscape videos, you can opt for this lens. But if you're planning to purchase a general-purpose lens, I would advice to try the following lens options given below.
Next, as this is an ultra-wide lens, it will keep the subject in sharp focus throughout its duration. If you like this kind of effect, you will fall in love with this lens. I used the lens for my outdoor video shoot, and I felt that the lens does wonder when shot outdoors rather than indoors.
Canon has correctly given the IS feature to this lens because the narrow aperture demands one. With this lens in your hands, you needn't worry about any camera shakes disturbing your footage.
To conclude, the lens includes an internal focusing mechanism, but I wish it also had an internal zooming feature as well. However, for the price point of around $300, it contains more than enough features for shooting ultra-wide angle videos.
3. CANON EF 50MM F/1.8 STM- BEST PRIME LENS FOR SHOOTING VIDEOS
" Updated version of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens in an affordable price"
FEATURES: Take your low-light video shoots to the next level with this Canon 50mm STM lens. I'm emphasizing low-light shoots because prime lenses allow more light to pass through the lens, making it a great performer in dark/dim shooting conditions. And without a doubt, 50mm is the best prime lens range available in the market.
DESIGN: As of now, there are three 50mm Canon lenses, out of which two come with a USM AF motor and one comes with an STM AF motor, and this is the lens we are discussing now. When it comes to videos, I prefer using this STM version because it ensure silent continuous AF and is also less pricey when compared to the other two Canon 50mm lenses.
The Company has improved the optical structure of this lens by including a 7 bladed circular aperture, a metal mount instead of a plastic casing. You can toggle between auto and manual focus easily just by using a single control switch.
While recording videos, manual focusing works well. I hope many will agree to this. But if you have to enjoy frustration-less manual focusing, the ring should be sturdy, and I'm glad this lens has the same.
PERFORMANCE: The first thing that impressed me is the wide f/1.8 aperture that allows more than 8-times the amount of light compared to the standard zoom lens given with your EOS. So, I don't think you need an extra flashlight setup when you have this lens in your DSLR.
I initially used this lens with my Canon 35mm EOS camera for taking family pictures. When I used the same for taking videos, I did achieve the same blurred background effects with the main focus only on the subject. So If your someone like me who likes filmy effects like this, you can go for this lens.
As the lens does not have an Image stabilization feature, make sure to use a rig or a tripod to avoid camera shakes.
Though the manual focus is best for videos, some scenarios do need AF. In that case, you don't need a noisy and slow AF performance, right! So to give zero to very minimal noise along with fast AF, the STM motor is present. Overall, an all-in-one lens in a lightweight design!
4. CANON EF 70-200MM F/2.8L IS III USM LENS - BEST STUDIO LENS FOR VIDEO RECORDING
" Identical twin of the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II Lens with Internal Zoom feature."
FEATURES: Professionals love this lens for its robust construction and effective image stabilization. If you wish to shoot very high-quality movies or short films, you can go for this L-grade lens.
DESIGN: Most of the design features of this lens looks similar to that of its predecessor Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II Lens. This includes the same optical design, image stabilization feature, and a USM motor for AF.
The minute differences include an Air Sphere coating in addition to the Super Spectra lens coating. Secondly, the front and the rear elements of the lens are given a fluorine coating to avoid dust and dirt accumulation.
PERFORMANCE: I don't have to provide a review content for this lens as the title itself speaks its massiveness. As said earlier, you need a 20 to 100mm lens for shooting a quality video. And as this takes a step higher in giving you a 70 to 200mm working range, you're sorted.
Secondly, I said it's desirable to have a bright aperture of, say, f/2.8 - f/4 because videos demand wide apertures in general. This lens not gives you this provision but also works in dim lights.
Now, let me introduce a factor that wasn't present with the lenses mentioned above. Guess what? The lens is parfocal. I know you are going to purchase the lens for this feature. If you're new to this term, let me tell you what it actually means and why it's needed while shooting videos.
While shooting, it's obvious that you'll be working with variable focal lengths right. Say you're using the lens at 105mm, and suddenly you want to jump to 80mm. If the lens is not parfocal, you will lose the focus that was previously set. Whereas in the case of a parfocal lens, the focus remains unchanged even if the focal length is altered. I hope I've made the term clear!
Moving on, this the only lens discussed so far that provides an internal zoom feature which is yet another feature needed while recording videos.
Overall, I highly recommend buying this best Canon lens for video if you wish to possess a high-end lens for your studio setup.
5. CANON EF-S 18-135MM f/3.5-5.6 IS STM - BEST ZOOM LENS FOR CANON
" A great outdoor lens that offers the best DSLR video autofocus"
FEATURES: If you want to posses a zoom lens that covers long focal length range, then this one is for you. It features a Stepper motor technology for delivering a fast AF. I wouldn't say the aperture range is as useful when compared to the above lenses. However if you're wanting to posses a Canon lens for your YouTube videos this lens should be fine.
DESIGN: This lens is the improvised version of the older 18-135mm EF-S IS lens. The older version does not encourage manual focus override and does not include a zoom lock switch. In contrast the newer version has these provisions. Adding to this the lens supports Internal focusing.
The lens is primarily made of plastic and comes with two control rings: One for adjusting the focal length while the other for manual focusing.
PERFORMANCE: The focus motor is efficient enough to provide smooth focus in Live view when it is paired along with a Canon SLR in an on-sensor phase-detection mode.
Image stabilization helps in handling the camera in low light levels using its lower ISO settings. The IS feature allows you to shoot sharp handheld videos without any kind of motion blur. Overall, the image stabilization does a decent job.
6. CANON EF 135MM F/2L - BEST CANON LENS FOR SPORTS VIDEOGRAPHY
Fast, lightweight and a high-quality telephoto lens. The EF 135 mm f/2L USM is ideal for capturing videos/photos of indoor sports in low-light conditions and for shooting portrait photography (along with background blur). It is one of the fastest telephoto lenses in its class.
This lens provides automatic focusing capabilities, and also allows manual focus function even when the camera is in AF mode. With this lens in your camera, you can record videos of fast moving objects easily.
The lens also offers two UD glass elements that help minimize chromatic aberrations, giving your images outstanding sharpness and color. It has a 3-foot close focusing distance, an 18-degree diagonal angle of view, and a filter size of 72 mm. Also, this one is the most expensive camera lens that fits Canon perfectly.
7. CANON EF 16-35MM F/4L IS USM LENS
The EF 16-35 mm IS USM lens by Canon delivers the perfect combination of wide-angle, low-light performance, L-series optics and compact construction.
The L-series ultra-wide-angle zoom uses an Optical Image Stabilizer and provides up to four stops of correction for impressive performance even in low-light conditions. It includes three aspheric lens elements and two UD lens elements to reduce aberrations throughout the zoom range. It also features optimized coatings that help minimize ghosting.
A circular 9-blade aperture delivers beautiful background blur. It provides inner focusing and ring USM for precise, discreet and speedy AF. It also provides you with full-time manual focus.
The reason behind including this lens to this list is because 35mm is the best focal length range for talk-to-camera functions. So, all youtubers and vloggers make sure to checkout this amazing lens!
BUYING GUIDE FOR BEST CANON LENS FOR VIDEO RECORDING
Make sure you read through this buying guide before purchasing a lens specifically for shooting videos because it's not mandatory that a well-performing camera lens should also work best for video recording. Get my point?
There are several factors you need to know to make the right choice of the lens and I've given a detail explanation about each below. Please a have a look!
TYPE OF LENS:
Generally, there are different types of lenses like prime, standard, telephoto, wide-angle, zoom, and fisheye lenses. So your first thought should be what is your requirement?
- If you're not sure about the type of videos you'll be shooting but looking for an all-purpose lens, you can go for a standard type lens.
- While shooting videos, it's obvious that the subject will be in a moving position. If you are aware of where exactly the subject is going to move, you can go for prime lenses because these have fixed focal length and works great for this category of users. Prime lenses also work great for low-light videography.
- If you're a beginner videographer who doesn't know where exactly the subject is going to move, you can look for a telephoto lens.
- For landscape videos, a wide-angle prime or wide-angle zoom lens is recommended. Now, choosing between a prime and a zoom lens is up to your convenience. If you want variable focal lengths and like to play with different aperture settings, go for a zoom lens. Also, if you need to reframe the shots often, zoom lenses are recommended. Professionals will know how much should be their minimum focusing distance with the subject so you can for a prime wide-angle lens.
- If you're looking for a lens for shooting professional-like movies, you can proceed with fisheye kind of lenses because they work best for filmmaking.
This image stabilization feature is very much needed for videos though it does not mean much for still photography. Because still photographing takes fraction of a second, but in the case of videography, the duration is long and the video needs to be stabilized throughout its duration.
So, please make sure the lens you're purchasing has an IS tag on it. If the lens does not ensure this, camera shakes will be prominently visible in your videos. And this feature is all the more critical for lenses that have a very narrow aperture.
FOCAL LENGTH RANGE:
Generally, for shooting videos, a focal length of around 20mm to 100mm is expected from a lens. 50mm lenses will give you a filmy feel and is the best prime lens range. If you want a lens for your talk-to-camera needs, a 35mm lens is the best choice.
An aperture range of around f/4 or more should be the approximate aperture setting needed to take video footage; if you wish to have a cine look with low-light effects, you can choose a lens that allows f/4 to f/2.8 aperture range. If the lens enables an even wider of more than f/2.8, say f/2, f/1.8, you can take landscape videos effectively.
DE-CLICKED APERTURE CONTROL:
We have discussed earlier that manual focus works perfectly while shooting videos. If the lens's aperture has this de-clicking feature, you will not hear any click sounds when you turn the adjust the aperture ring. This is essential for videos especially!
If you're up to shooting a video for any professional cause, I recommend going for this type of lens is not all lenses will give you this provision. This parfocal ability actually means that it helps you stay in focus even when the focal length is changed. The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM III is one such kind of parfocal lens.
OTHER IMPORTANT FACTORS:
This includes a continuous AF mode, manual aperture control, an internal zoom facility, a silent AF, and an ISO setting between 100-200. If your lens provides these additional features, you will never feel your video shoots tiresome or frustrating.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Are Canon cameras good for video?
Canon's recent model full-frame and mirrorless DSLR's like Canon EOS 1DX Mark III, Canon EOS R5, Canon EOS R6, and Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with Canon log are ruling the industry of video cameras for filmmaking and other related works.
Use any of the lenses mentioned above with any of these Canon cameras, and you're good to go. These cameras are also portable, lightweight, and perfect companions for run-and-gun videographers.
2. What is the best focal length range for shooting videos?
The below-given options have worked out for most users, so you can try any of these focal lengths ranges given below:
- Suppose the lens is a wide-angle type. A focal length of 24-40mm on a full-frame camera or an equivalent focal length of 15-24 in an APS-C format is preferred.
- If you wish to own a standard lens. Try going for a standard that allows a focal length of 50mm on a full-frame or an equivalent focal length of 35mm in an APS-C camera.
- Lastly, if a normal to medium range telephoto lens is your preference, go for a lens with a focal length of, say, 85-100mm (Full-frame) or around 35-50mm (APS-C format).
3. Name some of the camera lenses that YouTubers use.
Most of the lenses that people use for creating YouTube videos are included in my list. They include: Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens, Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens, Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens, Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 and Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. If you wish to purchase any of these Canon lenses from Amazon, click the buy now button mentioned in the table as well in the review content.
These were the best Canon lens for video chosen among the other camera lenses for Canon in the market today. Apart from the focus and production of sharp images, I have also considered other parameters like the ability to shoot in low-light conditions, reducing internal noise, compatibility with different cameras, ease of use, and portability.
I have also emphasized on Image Stabilization(IS) since that is an essential parameter while selecting a lens. I hope you found this article useful. Best of luck and happy recording!