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Old December 30th, 2008, 02:08 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by David W. Jones View Post
A DSLR that shoots video like the EOS 5D mkII would be a much smarter buy.
Especially since you already own nice Canon EOS lenses that will work perfectly with the camera.
I just don't think that camera is there yet as a replacement for a video camera for many reasons discussed in many places.

I really would go for the Elite. Best bang for buck and the backup of Zacuto customer support.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 02:30 PM   #17
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Phil,

It really depends on your output type, if you are only ever going to output 30p to computer or web the you really could use the 5dmKII as your primary camera. If on the other hand you are working for TV broadcasters then an EX with its variable frame rates makes a lot more sense. If you are going to make a film it is very much in the balance.

I would say that the workarounds needed for a 5dmkII are no more complex than the ones for using a 35mm adapter on my EX-1. Controlling a 5dmkII is hard, but not impossible.

The main advantages of the 5dmkII are cost, size and high ISO performance. The Letus and Brevis on an EX give you longer record times, easier control of shutter speed and gain but lower sharpness (although arguably more filmic) and worse low light performance.

Is the 5dmkII a replacement for a video camera NO, but better than an EX with an adapter in many instances YES! I'm keeping my EX-1 and EX-3 but plan to use them less and less. I actually think they compliment each other very well. But if I had to choose only one it would have to be the 5dmkII.

Dan
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 02:48 PM   #18
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Regarding the viability of the DOF adapters - It is entirely dependent on how you plan on shooting.

If you want to shoot long takes - interview, speeches, anything that requires more than 10-12 minutes of continuous recording per take, then the 5Dmk2 will not match your needs.

If you, like me who plan on shooting short takes, mostly, B rolls, then the 5Dmk2 blows the DOF adapters out of the water. For a run n' gun shooter, the 5Dmk2's compactness can not be matched. You can shoot with clean shallow DOF without the hassle associated with a DOF adapter. Sure, the 5D has it's own shortcomings, but none of which are more severe then shortcomings associated with a DOF adapter. In fact, I sold my Letus Mini as soon as the D90 was announced - anticipating the end of the DOF adapter era. I think for many users, the era has already ended. For the remaining DOF adapter users, products in the near future will eliminate the need/desire of an adapter for them as well.

That being said, if you need it for a specific project TODAY, by all means, work the cost of the adapter into your budget and do not consider it as a long term investment.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 03:46 PM   #19
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Wow, great reply's all around.

I was planning on selling my 10D and 40D to upgrade to the 5DII this year anyway. But I never really thought it would replace the XH-A1 and LETUS combo.

I just shot a short film with a borrowed RedRock and my XH-A1 and I can't imagine trying to do the same with a DLSR. We seriously used every feature the XH-A1 had I don't think the 5DII will give me that level of control.

I think I'm going to do the Elite or Ultimate, I just don't know what I should do about the lenses now. If I use EF lenses then taking the lenses off and adjusting the aperture with a Canon camera body would suck.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 09:17 PM   #20
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Scott.


The "trick" of mounting the lenses to a stills camera first to set the iris, may not be so arduous as you think.

You can use the stills camera for setting the lens as a viewing tool (directo'rs viewfinder) before you even set up a shot.

Okay, the framing will be different so just mask off the LCD on back of the stills cam with a bit of gel sheet trimmed or marked to Letus frame or add a piece of gel into the optical viewfinder to do the same job..

You will be wanting to keep the lens depth-of-field to a constant more often than you think unless the shallow DOF novelty has not yet worn off and you are shooting everything wide-open still or you are going no-budget with lighting.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 11:44 PM   #21
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Scott,

Right now whether you want to go the Letus or the 5dmkII route you will find Nikon, Contax or Leica mount lenses are going to work best. Nikon and Zeiss primes seem to give the best results, but Nikon do some excellent zooms too. Just make sure they have aperture rings or use the 16-9.net g adapters.

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Old January 4th, 2009, 02:47 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Chung View Post
The main advantages of the 5dmkII are cost...
well the letus/rails/50mm combo can be had for half the cost of the MkII. Or about 2K with the Elite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Chung View Post
if I had to choose only one it would have to be the 5dmkII.
Unless you were a wedding/event videographer.


FWIW I love the capabilities of the MkII. If it were not for the time restriction, this would be my companies next purchase; but for our needs, it just doesn't make sense.

JS
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Old January 4th, 2009, 06:29 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by John Stakes View Post
well the letus/rails/50mm combo can be had for half the cost of the MkII. Or about 2K with the Elite.

Unless you were a wedding/event videographer.

FWIW I love the capabilities of the MkII. If it were not for the time restriction, this would be my companies next purchase; but for our needs, it just doesn't make sense.

JS
Well lets see...

The Canon EOS 5D mkII can be had for about $2700 for the body.
You will more than likely want to add the extended battery kit and purchase a few extra batteries, a tripod, as well as lenses if you don't already have a set.

The Letus Elite Starter Bundle w/rod support is about $2500.
You will then also need a video camera if you don't already have one, around $3500.
Not to mention a set of lenses, extra batteries, & all the other little things that nobody thinks they need until they really start shooting, like an external monitor w/batteries, larger tripod to support the extra weight, follow focus & gears, so forth.

You are right though, the 5d mkII does not make sense for long form projects.
But for someone like me where 90% of my projects are broadcast commercials,
it would be a great little tool.

It would also make a neat tool to capture the bride getting ready,
where a full video rig would be cumbersome in tight spaces..
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Old January 4th, 2009, 09:44 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by John Stakes View Post
well the letus/rails/50mm combo can be had for half the cost of the MkII. Or about 2K with the Elite.
As David points out, even the cheapest Brevis or Letus with a half decent camera added together costs more than the 5DmkII. Given that Scott already has an XH-A1 and is looking at an Ultimate or Elite it is certainly fair to say the 5dmkII is cheaper than the combo. However I think the quality margin that the 5DmkII has over an XH-A1 plus adapter is quite big, especially in low light. If he had an EX-1 or EX-3 then it might be a closer run thing.

If you are unlucky enough to live outside the US then it is going to be a lot dearer, the guys Phil advocates are here Creative Video > Search

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Stakes View Post
Unless you were a wedding/event videographer
John, I was venturing my own opinion in light of owning 2 EX's a 5dmkII and a 35mm adapter. I'm not a regular wedding or event videographer and never claimed to be. That said if I wanted a 35mm look to a wedding I'd still be split 50/50 between going with a Letus or a 5dmkII. Run and gun with an adapter is not all that easy and you can always use a video camera without Letus for all the ceremony and speech bits if you are not too bothered about a 100% 35mm look.
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Old January 4th, 2009, 09:58 AM   #25
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I've decided that I can't use the 5DII for extensive film projects, although I will be using it for all my travel photography and quick fun vids.

My only decisions now are do I buy the Elite or Ultimate and also, what lenses, Canon EF or Nikon. I did some ebay browsing and have found some manual Nikon lenses for cheap!

Nice Canon glass isn't cheap but I could use it with the 5DII or later generations. I just hate that I'll have to take the lens off to make aperture changes.
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Old January 4th, 2009, 10:19 AM   #26
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Scott,

If you've made your mind up about the adapter route then I would venture that moving up to a Sony EX-1 with the best adapter you can afford would be the way to go. Others can chime in but I think an EX-1 plus Extreme would best an XH-A1 plus Ultimate in many cases. I've owned both the XH-A1 and EX-1 and would not go back.

As for lenses I would save money there and go for better camera and adapter first. Some of the older cheap Nikons are really good and while a new Zeiss will be better the improvement will be less than having spent to money on the camera and adapter side. Don't forget other older prime lenses as well, Zeiss lenses in Contax fit or even Leica lenses will adapt well to a Letus in EOS mount.

Dan
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Old January 4th, 2009, 10:34 AM   #27
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I can't justfy the EX1 at this point, as my XH-A1 is a little over 6 months old.
I'm leaning towards the Ultimate at this point with an assortment of old ebay Nikon lenses.
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Old January 4th, 2009, 12:40 PM   #28
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I find it amusing how many posts there are on the internet from "Filmmakers" that have immediately ruled out the 5DmkII as a filmmaking tool because it's clips are limited to 12 minutes at this point. I'm guessing that they have never shot real 35mm film, or they would know that a 1000' mag will get you about the same shooting time.
Sorry I digress!

If it were me, I would get the less expensive DOF adapter, and the nicer lenses, that could also be used on your DSLR.

As Dan mentions, both Zeiss & Leica offer exceptional lenses.
I currently own a set of Contax mount Zeiss lenses with a Brevis, that has replaced renting a P+S Mini35 & Zeiss Super Speed combo.

I have about 4 more Contax mount lenses that I'm looking to purchase to round out my kit, before I start to assemble my Leica R mount kit.

Good Luck with your decision!
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Old January 5th, 2009, 02:10 AM   #29
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Scott,

I know its always hard to give up essentially new gear but if you are spending that kind of money an Ultimate is then I would be looking at an EX-1.

So instead of a XH-A1 plus Ultimate I would sell the XH-A1 and get an EX-1 plus Letus Extreme for the same kind of money. It should give you a better result, you only have to look at Phil Bloom's original footage done on the EX-1/Extreme combo. You can always get an Ultimate later on when funds allow.

There was an EX-1 used for sale here for little more than an Ultimate here http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/private-c...-ex1-sale.html. Coupled with the new cheap SD card solutions over on the EX forum it should be a better option.

Dan
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Old January 5th, 2009, 02:14 AM   #30
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Scott,

Forgot to say, don't forget you can get away with using the EX-1 without an external monitor with a Letus. This is not true for the XH-A1, if you don't have a HD monitor already you would have to factor one of those in too.

Dan
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