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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 12th, 2009, 03:53 PM   #1
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The 7d is tempermental, but also forgiving

Attached is 7d frame grab. I've shot this same location several times with a Sony EX3 and JVC HD100, and the 7d handles it better in terms of exposing the subject and not washing out. For me, this is pretty good considering it's just existing light. I've used 5200k softboxes and an EX3 and still had trouble at this location.
Tamron 2.8, 28-75mm.
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The 7d is tempermental, but also forgiving-image1.jpg  
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Old December 12th, 2009, 03:53 PM   #2
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You need to examine your EX3 setup. That thing has at least 2 more stops of dynamic range than the 7D.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 04:20 PM   #3
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I realize the EX is highly regarded with an estimated 11 stop range, but I've seen it struggle in these harsh conditions, as would any vid cam. Exposing properly with the 7d is still guess work for me, unlike the EX which has that great double zebra metering, and yet the 7d just seems to cut you more slack, even without any viable built in method of judging exposure.

Interesting thing about the 7d is it has caused some reconsideration of value of all the quantitative metrics traditionally used to assess cameras. People point it at charts and say it sucks, people point it at a pretty girl and fall in love. Likewise, in a difficult location with ambient light blowing in from the windows, the 7d shrugs it off, but how could it? It's only 7 stops of range? Skeptics say that people are in denial and the figures don't lie, sure is a lot of love out there though.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 04:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Brian Luce View Post
Interesting thing about the 7d is it has caused some reconsideration of value of all the quantitative metrics traditionally used to assess cameras. People point it at charts and say it sucks, people point it at a pretty girl and fall in love. Likewise, in a difficult location with ambient light blowing in from the windows, the 7d shrugs it off, but how could it? It's only 7 stops of range? Skeptics say that people are in denial and the figures don't lie, sure is a lot of love out there though.
People who shoot the charts, and the people who believe the charts aren't skeptics. They are people interested in what the optics are doing. I saw the charts on the 7D, weighed that against the images, and against what *I* need it for, and have decided to buy one. And yes, I've seen it alias on real images, and moire, and half-expose frames like any rolling shutter camera.

The problem is that those who point it at the pretty girl and fall in love come back on forums like this one when they have to shoot urban scenes with a moving camera and wonder why the camera is giving them fits. Or they show up to shoot an interview and the guest is wearing a silk shirt or tie, or they have pinstripes on the blouse and the camera image looks like it's swimming...

The charts merely tell you where things are going to fall down. And believing that doesn't make you a skeptic, it makes you informed. All these cameras have limitations. We utterly hammered the codec in the 5D on our shoot in October. It broke apart like an oil painting. But when we shot in a more "filmic" way, we were rewarded with some gorgeous imagery.

A man's got to know his limitations... ;)
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Old December 12th, 2009, 04:34 PM   #5
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I saw the charts on the 7D, weighed that against the images, and against what *I* need it for, and have decided to buy one.
Heheh... the 7d takes down another engineer. A man may need to know his limitations, but love conquers all... :)
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Old December 12th, 2009, 05:23 PM   #6
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People point it at charts and say it sucks, people point it at a pretty girl and fall in love.
Ha! That's the truth.

While they all seem a bit redundant now, I did read all the chart blogs just to fully understand what not to do or how not to shoot. Every camera has its flaws, but working creatively with your limitations always produces a better product. When the client loves the image, that's the proof of a job well done with whatever tool you use.

I'm going to start shooting commercials on my iPhone! ;-)
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Old December 12th, 2009, 05:39 PM   #7
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All this debate about which camera has the most latitude or the most resolution etc., is getting old.

I own both and here's the comparison I like the best: EX3 approximately $8K, 7D approximately $2K.

If the 7D doesn't have quite the resolution or latitude as the EX, but for most people the difference is imperceptible, that's OK because it doesn't have quite the price tag either.

Come on David, the Blackberry is much better than the iPhone...
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Old December 12th, 2009, 05:46 PM   #8
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All this debate about which camera has the most latitude or the most resolution etc., is getting old.
A statement of fact is not an argument. And you're right, to most it's imperceptible. But you know what, I have a multi-part documentary going to PBS in 2010. And they care.

I'm really sorry these little squabbles trouble so many people as I know the majority of folks are mastering for YouTube or Vimeo and that's as far as it goes. A few master to DVD and fewer still BluRay for wedding or event clients.

But those folks shooting the charts aren't doing it for their health. They are doing it because it SUCKS to spend 4-8 months shooting a documentary only to have it turned down for broadcast because it doesn't meet spec. It matters to us and the people who pay us.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 08:39 PM   #9
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I would think Skywalker would have a little higher "specs" than your average PBS or most people for that matter.

The tale of Lucasfilm, Skywalker Ranch, Red Tails, Star Wars and Canon DSLRs on a 40 foot screen! | Philip Bloom

The great thing is, it will get better and making films will get less expensive and be in more reach for more people.

After 20 years shooting as a portrait studio owner the industry has been hit hard by "Moms with a Camera". I imagine the elite film makers are about to experience a similar breaking of barriers.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 09:12 PM   #10
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I am very familiar with the "specs" of film. The great thing about film is you get to select wardrobe, set, lighting, and every other aspect of the frame. It is COMPLETELY under the control of the filmmaker in narrative film.

When shooting documentary you don't necessarily get that luxury. So sometimes things get ugly. If you take a look at the films released in the past few years that have been shot digitally (LucasFilm is big on that), you'll note that they still go to real film for certain sequences that just don't work on video at this point.

Why is it that if someone points out that a camera isn't perfect, despite the fact that it makes lovely pictures, that somehow you are bashing it? Or saying that it's faulty, or not good enough? I mean really. Every camera that I've owned has had issues. The hate spew that went around on the EX1 was incredible. The DVX made LOVELY pictures, but when folks pointed out that it juddered (and it does) they were dismissed as haters. They were simply pointing out the truth. Didn't stop me from buying either of those cameras. My Panasonic S-VHS camera had flaws. My Sony Hi8 camera had flaws, my Nikon 4s had an autofocus that you could time with a calender. My EOS-10s has a body made of paper it seemed. My Canon T70 was a dog. SO WHAT?!

Yes, the 7D makes lovely pictures. It really does. For many applications it's good enough. But for some, it simply is NOT. I don't make those rules. Discovery-HD, the BBC, PBS, and others make those rules and if we want to submit our work to them, we have to play by their rules. I am not George Lucas, and I can't put my work out to the world on my own money. So I have to follow the same rules that everyone else does.

Oh, and attend a film screening some time. You'd be *amazed* at what "film specs" are. Lucas himself was run up a flagpole for his digitally shot Star Wars episode.

I'm done with this.

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I would think Skywalker would have a little higher "specs" than your average PBS or most people for that matter.

The tale of Lucasfilm, Skywalker Ranch, Red Tails, Star Wars and Canon DSLRs on a 40 foot screen! | Philip Bloom

The great thing is, it will get better and making films will get less expensive and be in more reach for more people.

After 20 years shooting as a portrait studio owner the industry has been hit hard by "Moms with a Camera". I imagine the elite film makers are about to experience a similar breaking of barriers.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 09:14 PM   #11
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The difference is narrative vs. documentary. For narrative, you can control things and avoid rolling shutter and aliasing problems. And, if you screw up, you can do it over. With documentary, you have one chance to capture a moment in time - and you have little control over how it will play out.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 10:36 PM   #12
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So just out of curiosity how would the footage from "The Ranch" be classified?

Narrative or Documentary?

And I'm pretty sure that if that footage was of a random farm in the midwest and was included in a documentary for PBS it would have NO problem passing any QC.

I bet if you told them that it was shot of F900 they couldn't tell the difference.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 11:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
Why is it that if someone points out that a camera isn't perfect, despite the fact that it makes lovely pictures, that somehow you are bashing it? Or saying that it's faulty, or not good enough? I mean really...I am not George Lucas, and I can't put my work out to the world on my own money. So I have to follow the same rules that everyone else does.
Perrone, I know you're done with this, but I'd like to chime in and say great post! You're so right.

It's like getting mad because your neighbour says your hammer won't put in railway ties. Well, sometimes you need a sledge. It's just a fact, not a flaw. IF PBS wants you to use a different hammer, just do it if you want your stuff on their channel.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 11:17 PM   #14
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After all, I am confused.

According DxO Labs The Dinamic Range of Canon 7D is 11.7: EOS 7D.

According Barry Green (was found on another forum):
- "For comparison, the Red One was found to deliver 11.3 stops of total dynamic range from top to bottom; an EX1 does about 10.5 stops, an HPX300 does about 10 stops".
- "The Red One resolves about 11.3 stops, but most users seem to put the "usable" range at about 9. On the 7D, I'd say it resolves 9 stops, with a "usable" range of about 7.5, maybe 8".
- "But, anyway, back to the 7D... I configured the 7D as Stu Maschwitz recommends on his ProLost blog for flattening the 5D. Contrast -2, highlight tone priority on, and Neutral style. I put the camera on 1080/24p mode, used the stock lens, ISO 200".

So, the difference in the dinamic range of Canon 7D:
- by DxO Labs - 11.7,
- by Barry Green - 10 (total) or 8 (usable).

Are a methodics is different ?
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Old December 12th, 2009, 11:29 PM   #15
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But you know what, I have a multi-part documentary going to PBS in 2010. And they care.

.
Details details details! Congrats! Also, I'd like to know what kind of feedback PBS gave with regards to their standards vis a vis the EX and Canon. I understand that the 5d hit the wall with the BBC and that the EX had its ticket punched at Discovery and NGHD. First hand experiences would be interesting to hear.
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