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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old April 16th, 2011, 09:33 AM   #16
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Re: D-Tap Power for 7D & 5Dm2

You can see an external HD-SDI cable working in this DSLR setup on my little rig (I've since run SDI down the post):

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Saw the video on the JAG unit, it seemed pretty speedy and obviously inexpensive. Would be curious to see what kind of range it has and how impervious it is to transients and interference. I've felt for the last couple of years that the first company to market with an under-$1K wireless focus system will clean up. There have been a few that have tried and had a tough time of it, or morphed into higher-cost versions. Redrock is working hard on theirs but it is still a work in progress. This is a tough technology to crack for low cost. I've seen a few efforts try and fail in recent years.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 10:58 AM   #17
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Re: D-Tap Power for 7D & 5Dm2

Our current thinking - and please tell me if it's flawed - is to have a monitor at the camera, turned outboard for our focus puller to use, so he'd be wireless on the focus, but right next to the unit. That said - what wireless unit do you recommend? I guess since the lower monitor is just for framing, if the 5D will output HDMI and composite at the same time, we could keep the original Pilot monitor - that would keep us from buying two monitors to go with it (unless there's a way to get the Pilot without a monitor).
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Old April 16th, 2011, 12:46 PM   #18
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Re: D-Tap Power for 7D & 5Dm2

Well, this is where things get interesting. The indie world has largely not experienced wireless lens controls yet and I imagine that when this becomes mainstream, it will likely be used differently than what I'm used to (having owned them for 20 years or so). An example of this would be the recent availability of large sensor cameras. For those of us who came up in the 35mm cine world, there was a learned application of depth-of-field and understanding of the ramifications of shooting wide-open and the resulting focus issues. Even the best AC's would miss moments at stops under 2.8. I would have thought that with the DSLR's, especially the 5D with its wide field of view and most people pulling their own focus off tiny screens, there would be an instant backlash to the wide-open shallow look since there would be so many focus issues. Yet the 50mm 1.2 remains a prized lens, and folks are apparently either satisified with the hunting-focus look or cutting around otherwise great material that came in soft instead of sacrificing a few stops of depth of field.

So along those lines: traditionally Steadicam focus was done by feel and zen and a lot of skill on the part of the AC, who had to calculate distances on the fly and dial in numerically (film taps offered little in the way of feedback on this). Since the advent of large sensor HD, more than a few AC's have taken to integrating a monitor into their setup, although the preferred method is to have their own unit within visual distance of the camera, sort of triangulated from the action so they can watch the relationships and only refer to the monitor at specific times. Newer AC's seem to like to pull from the biggest monitor on set, purely visually, although I have yet to see them turn in work that is as accurate as they are reacting to focus after the fact, not necessarily anticipating.

It will be tough for an AC to keep up with a Steadicam operator if he is referring to a camera mounted monitor, especially if the shot requires panning to any degree (he will be running around the camera like a crazy person). If this has to be the case, your best bet is to mount the monitor to the rear--if you have to walk through any tight spaces like a hallway, this will maintain him being able to stay behind you. Along with affordable wireless focus we are also seeing the emergence of affordable HD transmission (Teradek) which will eventually result in the AC being able to carry his own monitor wirelessly, perhaps even an iPad.

But as I said--no doubt the indie world will come up with some new methodology to get the job done that will surprise me. We'll see.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 02:40 PM   #19
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Re: D-Tap Power for 7D & 5Dm2

That's a lot to think about.

I think for our main usage (at least perceived/anticipated usage) we'd be tracking with a talking head - so there's be less wild running around trying to keep up with focus and unfortunately we're not going to have extremely experienced AC's, but we'll train them as we go along I suppose.

As for the crazy shallow DOF with the 5D, I prefer to actually have my footage in focus and am not a huge fan of the "focus hunt" look... So we (with viewfinders like the ZFinder) have done our best to figure out how to keep these things in focus - we certainly have had to reshoot a few takes more than we ever did on the DVX, but the pain of learning is worth the jump in image quality.

I guess ideally we'd have a wireless video tap - but I don't know that I want to add that expense (and weight) to the setup at the moment...
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