Why the 7D doesn't look so cinematic as the 5D? at DVinfo.net

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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 November 10th, 2009, 05:42 PM   #1
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Why the 7D doesn't look so cinematic as the 5D?

Hi all,

I hope I'm wrong and someone says "it's just the settings" but I've seen quite a lot of different 7D videos and comparing the image and motion feeling with the 5D it doesn't look the same at all. Most 5D videos have that ultra-clean digital cinema feeling... but they still look totally different from any other prosumer and professional camcorder I've ever seen. The 7D on the other side, even shooting manual 24p, looks closer to video (even more noticeable when shooting using artificial light) and I can't understand why. It's suposed to be the same kind of CMOS just scaled down, the lenses are the same and the hardware and software are just adapted from the 5D.

What do you think?
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Old November 10th, 2009, 05:52 PM   #2
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Perhaps you are noticing the difference in image quality between a full frame and an APS-C sensor.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 06:16 PM   #3
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I think one reason you see better footage from the 5D II is that it's been out for a while and people have been using it in professional situations. The 7D has only been out for what, a month?

I've heard from people who own both that the image quality is nearly identical between the two, with the 7D possibly pulling into the lead because aliasing/moire is less of an issue.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 06:39 PM   #4
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I personally think it depending on lens, framing and editing.
And the biggest factor is "what is your definition of being cinematic?"
Simply shooting with 5D makes things "cinematic" or shooting with 7D makes "video" looks.
I shot a wedding with 17-135mm f3.5 and 28mm f 1.8 lens.
28mm gives a lot more shallow dof, so does it make it more cinematic?
My opinion is "yes, it did". Would shooting with 5D do the same thing?
I haven't shot with 5D yet, but I would say "yes".
There are simply too many people shooting with 7D and post and claim "hey, i shot this with 7D. pretty cinematic, huh?" attitude.
Again, it's purely my personal opinion and hoping to hear other people's thoughts on this.

JJ
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Old November 28th, 2009, 06:58 AM   #5
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Yes, the cmos is in fact smaller and the way you shoot has a lot to do with the cinematic feeling and the lens is also very very important, but besides all that, I'm talking about the actual "motion feeling" of the 7D compared to the 5D. There's something inherently progressive and (I hate using this word) "cinematic" with the 5D footage and no matter how many 7D clips I watch I can't see it.
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Old November 28th, 2009, 08:39 AM   #6
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I don't have either but one difference might be that with the same lenses, the 5D should have more bokeh than the 7D due to the larger imager size of the 5D. Is that what you are seeing?
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Old November 28th, 2009, 09:49 AM   #7
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hmmm, if anything I feel the opposite. The 5D MK2 records at 30fps, and the 7D records at 720/60, 1080p/29.97, or 180p/23.976.

To me 30fps is more "video" like, and 23.976 is more cinematic, or more representative of the kind of look I associate with a film camera in terms of motion blur and such.

I still shoot both cameras, because of the crop factor and I love the 16-35mm on the 5D.

I have been using the 7D for longer lens work, although that is certainly not mandatory. I have been taking advantage of the focal length multiplier. Since the 7D has that 1.6x multiplier, the 180mm L series macro is off the hook, effectively now a 288mm macro which means I can get the same level of magification as the 5D, but I don't have to get as close to the subject as I would with the 5D. For wildlife, this is important.

I've been shooting a ton of video of migratory birds, and then I bring out the heavy artillery. The Canon 500mm F4L prime, stick on a 1.4x series II extender and I am shooting at 1120mm ~f5.6. Dont even breathe near the camera at that focal length, but locked off the video is quite amazing.

So the 5D and 7D are complimentary cameras, I love having both.

One thing I disagree with is this need people have to shoot ultra flat or with some weird curve. I have achieved my best results by turning the sharpening down to 1, and the contrast all the way down. The colors look great, no tonal breaks, no weird flesh tones (you fix them in 8-bit post after you wacked them with a bad camera curve). An accurate white balance and adjusting some simple parameters in the Neutral Picture Style seem to work best for me.
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Old November 28th, 2009, 01:46 PM   #8
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Don't worry... I guess it's just me.

Cris, I know the 5D shoots 30 and the 7D shoots 23,97. That's exactly why I can't understand why to me the 7D looks more like video. And I can say it doesn't have ANYTHING to do with the DOF.
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Old November 28th, 2009, 02:18 PM   #9
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Shane Hurlbut, who was shooting the first major feature primarily on the 5D, also feels that the motion cadence of the 7D and 1D is not necessarily as cinematic as the 5D. They have been putting the 5D material through Twixtor for 24p output, which he prefers to the native 24p of the other two cameras. I haven't tested them against each other yet but I have been satisfied with the 7D and 1D footage so far in terms of the motion profile.
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Old November 28th, 2009, 04:42 PM   #10
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It would be good to get all three cameras set up to a very close type of picture and do a legitimate test. I have seen 7D footage and 5D footage that looks great and very cinematic, but that depends on the lighting, compostion, etc. I seriously doubt anybody could watch the same takes from both cameras and say the motion characteristics are different, although with Twixtor doing the 24p for the 5D, there probably is some difference.

The one thing I have noticed is that there is lots of 5D footage out there beautifully lit, and most of the 7D footage I've seen looks like grab shots. There is some really good stuff, but it seems most people are simply grabbing the camera and putting up the first stuff they shoot. That's what I did because I was interested in seeing what problems I might encounter. I've done some commercial work so far, but have not yet done anything with really good lighting as I would for more narrative work, and it'll probably be well after the first of the year before I do that. Personally, I don't think it's too meaningful to say one camera is more "cinematic" than another, unless you're comparing two identical shots, with the same lighting, same lens, same composition and relative focal length, and same level of image tweaking...and that will be impossible to do until the 5D gets 24p, or unless you shoot 30p on both cameras, then do the Twixtor thing to both clips.
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Old November 28th, 2009, 04:52 PM   #11
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Franky I guess that I dont think either the 5D OR 7D are quite cinematic cameras, so I am using them only to get shots I can't get with the Sony EX3, EX1, or Panasonic HPX-170.

Anyone who got the funding to cut a feature on a DSLR, wow....

I carry both the 7D and 5D, and you are right DOF is not an issue with either camera. I have the Pictures styles set to matching parameters and have started processing all the video files with Cineform NeoScene. A lot of people feel like the 5D is too video like at 30fps, I guess this is all subjective in the end anyway. I'll have to try running the 5D video through Twixtor, that might be interesting.
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Old November 28th, 2009, 06:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Anyone who got the funding to cut a feature on a DSLR, wow....
Why not? Plenty of folks have done this on much lesser cams.
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Old November 28th, 2009, 07:06 PM   #13
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I remember I was really impressed to hear "28 Days Later" (the zombie movie not the Sandra Bullock flick) was shot with the XL1. That's mini-DV and fewer lines of resolution than the 7D (barely). Although, the skew would kill a film like that, I still see more "film-like" footage from my 7D than my XL1-s, GY-HD100 and even an EX1 I did testing with. Of course, this experience is all user related.
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Old November 28th, 2009, 10:13 PM   #14
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Much lesser cams? Like what? The 5D is at the bottom of the ladder. The camera is not even close to the Sony EX1 or EX3. Please!! And on a set of a major feature the EX1/EX3 are relegated to B-Roll if anything. Many major studios wont let you cut features on HD at all unless you are a very hard hitter. And even then they are using F35 Sonys and such.

Crank 2 was the last movie I saw that was done with prosumer gear, a horrible movie. But I though it looked quite good having been made with such low end equipment. Then again, they wanted 1/250 shutter speeds, and super wide DOF, so it was hardly cinematic in its look.

I'd shoot super 16 before I did a feature on a 5D. Any DP that would CHOOSE to make a major feature on a 5D is fairly crazy, wait till he gets to pass off the moire and rolling shutter to post. Oh yes, no time code anywhere, so you get to slate everything and line up audio waveforms in post to remarry the outboard sound recorder (dont even tell me he is using on-board 12 bit audio with automatic gain) to the 5D video. We'll see just how much money he "saved" going with the 5D.

Anyway I will repeat that I do like the cameras, but these are completely bare bones video cameras.

If Canon or Sony does introduce their RAW video camera ala RED, both of which are rumored, THAT would be the camera to have for some pretty serious indie cinema work.
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Old November 28th, 2009, 11:18 PM   #15
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Cinematic.... what is it anyway....

I just walked through Best Buy. On a Samsung LED TV, they were playing a Blue Ray version of the first Transformers movie. A theatrical cinema release. It was horrible. The problems was that the image was so sharp, and so good, you could clear delinieate between the real live shots, and the added special effects. It is clear to me that special effects are going to have to catch up with the with the definition. I for one enjoy watch the stuff much more on my 720p Hd monitor.
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