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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 December 16th, 2009, 03:38 PM   #16
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On the 5D2 I recommend this approach: (Probably works with other Canon cameras as well.)

* Turn down the LCD brightness to help battery life.
* Put the camera in "silent shooting" mode. This cuts the shutter cycles in half.
* Put the camera in "Stills Only" Live View mode. This allows long exposures.
* Cover the eyepiece to limit stray light.
* If using a small aperture (high f-stop), press the DOF button and untwist the lens. This reduces flicker.
* Set everything to manual, again, to limit flicker.
* For sunrises and sunsets, bracket the exposure time. Put every third photo on a different timeline and mix to taste.
* Shoot RAW Large if you have a large CF card, powerful computer, and lots of time. Otherwise get everything set well up front (WB, exposure, picture style) and shoot JPEGs.

That's it! You'll get no rolling shutter and no aliasing - just beautiful images. :)
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Old December 16th, 2009, 03:39 PM   #17
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Keith I shoot HD timelaps. My reason for the 7d is not the video but the 18MP stills for timelaps with pans, zooms, and other movements. The video would just be a bonus.

Sounds like I should go for another still camera that shoots without a mechanical shutter. Can you recommend a 18MP + camera for this?
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Old December 16th, 2009, 05:04 PM   #18
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Micro 4/3 cameras have no mirror, but I believe that they still have mechanical shutters. RED cameras have no mechanical shutter, but the 5K wide sensor cams aren't out yet and will cost more than a 1D4 with many shutter replacements.

I'd say that a DSLR is the way to go, but you have to budget for shutter replacements.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 06:33 PM   #19
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There are a lot of things which go into Timelapse with a Digital Still camera which can guide your choice. Battery power or external power become critical if you are planning long periods of shooting. The quality of the manual controls (iris, shutter speed,gain, manual focus) and interval settings make a huge difference. It is really great if you can judge the quality of the exposures while the shot is happening. I can't say whether the 7D fits the bill but the mechanical shutter or lack thereof is not high on my list of worries when it comes to Timelapse.
Check out this link to see some Timelapse I have on Vimeo

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Old December 16th, 2009, 06:50 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Paul Cronin View Post
Keith I shoot HD timelaps. My reason for the 7d is not the video but the 18MP stills for timelaps with pans, zooms, and other movements. The video would just be a bonus.

Sounds like I should go for another still camera that shoots without a mechanical shutter. Can you recommend a 18MP + camera for this?
Sorry Paul, I can't recommend an 18MP without a mechanical shutter, though they may exist. Probably for you, I would just investigate what a shutter costs to replace and budget for that. I think the 7D is one of the best DSLRs for high quality timelapse, and I've made about 10 timelapses with it so far. However my snap count is probably in the 20,000 range or more because of it, so it's something that I know, if I use it extensively, may be an issue. I mean 10 timelapses is not that many, and I've probably used up 10% of my shutter life doing them (in 2 months of use). I use the camera primarily for video but I like the option of being able to do some high quality timelapses with it, partly out of curiousity too to see how well they would come out (very nice.)

And Daniel- very nice timelapses and the other purchase-decision variables you mention are also important.

I have some cases I've made with medium-sized lead-acid 12v batteries (motorcycle batteries), and have selected digital still cameras that are compatible with that voltage, so this is also a consideration, especially for multi-day timelapses.

If you have done timelapses with the 7D or another DSLR with a mechanical shutter, how many snaps have you done on a camera or have you ever had a shutter go out?
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Old December 17th, 2009, 08:40 AM   #21
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Daniel thanks for posting. Were all of those done with DSLR? Nice to see Woodshole bridge I have family there. Too bad Vimeo is such a low bit rate the footage seems cloudy.

I have done a hundred or more timelaps with my XDCAM cameras and have always had stunning results. But no options for pan, tilt, and zoom. These would be the only reasons for me to use a DSLR for timelaps. For video well maybe a few clips but the upper XDCAM line footage is beyond stunning and fits my business very well, besides my high end clients demand it for their broadcast.

Keith thanks for your warning on shutter life. So 200,000 clicks and a replacement is needed? Just an estimate but nice to know it is in that range. Is shutter replacement 1/2 the price of the camera body?

I am sure there are nice options on battery life problem.

Not a lot of experience with DSLR. My close friend (Onne van der Wal) who I do a lot work with is a top end Canon sponsored shooter so he always takes care of my still work. I am just looking at adding a DSLR to my kit for timelaps and maybe some short clips. So it is nice to have a access to all this info and help me choose the right piece of kit. Much appreciated.

Does anyone here have both the 5dMII and the 7d and use both for timelaps?
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Old December 17th, 2009, 09:24 PM   #22
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Hey Paul and Keith,
In answer to various questions.

Paul,
Some of the shots were done with the Nikon 5400 and some with the Nikon D70S. The DSLR can do many more frames per minute reliably than the 5400 plus the DSLR battery life was much better. Can't tell what happens with compression etc but it is a miracle it looks something like the original at all. Gamma and pedestal are from a Mac and that may be part of it.

Keith,
I haven't worn out the shutter on my d70s yet but it is getting close to 80,000. The funny thing is I don't like to shoot too many frames on any particular shot since they rarely are on screen for very long. I don't usually shoot subjects that take longer than an hour and often use longer intervals between shots so I can play with exposure lengths. I do feel the camera can wear out as part of the process so it is somewhat expendable
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Old December 18th, 2009, 01:53 PM   #23
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Keith thanks for your warning on shutter life. So 200,000 clicks and a replacement is needed? Just an estimate but nice to know it is in that range. Is shutter replacement 1/2 the price of the camera body?
I think the 7D is rated for 150,000 clicks. I've never replaced a shutter before, and I think info about 7D shutter replacement is not easily found. I did a google search and found these links:

Flickr: Discussing Shutter Life and Timelapses in Canon DSLR User Group

Re: 10D typical used price & shutter: Canon EOS 7D / 50D - 10D Forum: Digital Photography Review

Seems like it's in the $250 to $500 range. Probably a call to Canon service would tell you. If you get an answer let me know.

So regarding the quantity of snaps for timelapses, if you do the math to convert to video at 30FPS, 20 seconds (the minimum clip length to work with in my opinion) is 600 total shutter releases. If you like to bracket the shots, and I like to have a bracket of 3 shots, -3ev, 0ev, and +ev, then you multiply that by 3, so you now have 1800 snaps. If you're like me and you want to be able to control the speed of the timelapse, either for ramping or just to slow down the timelapse in your NLE, the you might want to use shorter intervals, having the choice to 'throw away' frames if you want. Then a typical shoot for 20 seconds of video could easily be 3600 snaps. So if the typical timelapse session is 3600 snaps, the you have about 41 timelapse sessions before you might need to replace the shutter. Depending on your schedule this could realistically happen in a couple of months.

So, it's just a choice to make.

I think the criteria are:

Is there a wired remote shutter release interface for an intervalometer?
Are there enough pixels to accomplish the pan and zoom tasks?
Is there an electronic shutter version that meets the requirements?

Good luck and post back with any findings!
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Old December 18th, 2009, 02:09 PM   #24
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Thanks Keith,

Well I am going for a 7d from a friend who has used it for a instructional DVD. So very lightly used and a nice deal.

I found the same info of 150,000.

One thing that I find different in my math is when I shoot timelaps on my EX cameras I use 1 frame per second. So at 30fps time line that is 600 frames for a 20 second timelaps. Why do you shoot three times the frames using a bracket of three shots?

As for your three questions:
I don't know on the remote shutter release since this is new to me.

Yes I think there are enough pixels to accomplish pans, tilts, and zooms. You don't need much to have a huge effect. And at full res raw it gives nice room at 1080p and even more if I shoot slow-motions on my XDCAM for the timeline since that is 720p.

I think this third question is moot now since I am going for the 7d.

I will come back and I am sure have questions on timelaps with the camera. I will be glad to post my findings here and on my Tech Talk page on my site when I ever have time to update it.

Thanks for your help and talk again soon.

And Dave thanks for starting this thread and getting me off my but to add a DSLR to my kit.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 03:13 PM   #25
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Some people do 3 or 5 frame bracketed exposures so they can create HDR (High Dynamic Range) sequences. Personally, I rarely go longer longer than six seconds of capture (in PAL land 150 frames).
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Old December 18th, 2009, 03:23 PM   #26
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That makes sense Liam thank you for the response.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 07:51 PM   #27
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I also agree with Liam about number of frames. I have done plenty of shots with 150 frames and fewer. It depends on the subject of course and how long you think it needs to be on screen. The reason to shoot longer amounts may be the transition the subject is going through but very little ends up being as long as five seconds continously onscreen. I don't bracket the exposures but that doesn't mean it isn't a good idea
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Old December 19th, 2009, 09:37 AM   #28
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Thanks Daniel,

It is rare I run a finished timelaps longer then 10 sec.

What is the remote timer controller of choice? Canon or other brands?

Pick up the 7d today and a new 2/3" camera next week so busy holiday testing new gear. Lots of ducks needed to organize.
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Old December 19th, 2009, 10:32 AM   #29
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Paul,
Well I hope you have fun with your new gear. As far as controllers go I don't know what is out there now as every time I buy a new camera I do new research to see what it needs. Not sure if the Canon has an internal timer to use but they do sell an external model Canon TC-80N3 Timer Remote Control which should get you started. Street price around $140
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Old December 19th, 2009, 11:04 AM   #30
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Daniel,

Thanks that was the one I found. Looks like it only goes down to 1 sec then lots of options above that time. Should work. I will see what else is on the market to make sure I don't miss something new that offers more options.

Have you used the Canon Controller?

By the way I will start testing my PMW-350 next week. Abel shocked me yesterday saying it will be in early next week. I thought I would have been waiting till mid Jan. Nice to have dial in time since it will go to work mid Jan.
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