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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 February 17th, 2010, 05:59 PM   #16
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One solution is to get a Bogen adapter and plate. That allows you to slide the camera fore/aft to get good balance. It also allows you to quickly move the camera from your tripod to your other rig(s).

Depending on your tripod, one of these should work...

Manfrotto | 357 Pro Quick Release Adapter with 357PL Plate | 357

Manfrotto | 577 Rapid Connect Adapter with Sliding | 577 | B&H
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Old February 17th, 2010, 06:28 PM   #17
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Hey guys,
I have been away a few days while I'm moving to a new house this week, so it's a lot of work around here, but the end is near. ;)
Thanks Charles for the great information.
I had to do some calculations while I don't know those metrics. We use meters and centimeters in Belgium. ;)
Last week I bought myself DOFmaster for my Ipod but I checked out that pCam application and it looked great so I bought it aswell.

About the steadicam.
I have the steadicam Pilot and I use it with my Canon Xha1. I have been trying to use the 7D on it, but I couldn't achieve dynamic balance. It really is driving me crazy. Aaaaargh
I have a new shoot coming up this weekend, so I switched now back to the Xha1, but I'll give it another try next week and hopefully with a little more success. ;o)

@Andrew : Yeah, I will be attending the WPPI. I booked my flight tickets today and I will be in Vegas from the 7th till the 10th. Then I will be travelling around to San Francisco & LA and I will go back to Belgium on the 19th. It would be great meeting up. ;o)
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Old February 17th, 2010, 06:47 PM   #18
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I shoot with the 7D, pilot and tokina 11-16 2.8. I almost ALWAYS have it set to infinity and never have a problem with soft footage. Most of the time I'm stopped down to f/8, but in times where I need more light, f/4 or even f/2.8 has been fine. Of course, using common sense prevails. I'm usually at least 5 feet away from the subject. From my experience, things always look good.

Keep in mind I'm shooting fairly wide (11-16) so it doesn't make as much difference as when I used to shoot with a 24-70.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 07:37 PM   #19
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Randy:

The wide lens definitely helps, as does the fact that you are a good distance from your subject. When you are at 2.8 or 4, you may want to do some experimenting to see if you are truly in focus on your subject. Using the magnifying function, zoom in your subject and rack between infinity and, say, 8 feet and see if there is any difference (there should be).

A lot of this has to do with how you are ultimately viewing your footage. You are not likely to see focus issues on a 16mm focal length on the camera's viewfinder, and maybe not even in a humble sized window on your computer. Full screen may reveal a different story. It wouldn't be terribly out of focus, but why not set the lens at a more logical place than infinity, knowing that it gives you a more useable range for the subject, and may even give you a touch of softness to the background?
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Old February 17th, 2010, 08:29 PM   #20
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A wide lens helps. Even a 28mm. If you have enough light use F4 or F5.6.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 09:27 PM   #21
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I am researching all this since I have not purchased a DSLR as yet. It's great to find a forum with so much info on Canon. I am liking the new Canon T2i, which I think is coming out in March, brother to 7D. It's 10 ounces lighter which should go great with my Merlin (no vest). I am also liking the Tokina 11-17 mm lens. Let me know if anyone has heard any good/bad things about the new T2i and if this set up would work well for me for shooting wedding stuff like bridal prep, pre-ceremony, cocktail hour and first dance.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 03:27 AM   #22
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Charles,
What do you advice ?
With my steadicam I like starting further away and then going in close for example 1,5 meter (4,9 feet) and then doing a few fast 360's around the subject and then backing up again.
How would you do this while the focus when being close is different from the focus being further away.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 10:02 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
Randy:

The wide lens definitely helps, as does the fact that you are a good distance from your subject. When you are at 2.8 or 4, you may want to do some experimenting to see if you are truly in focus on your subject. Using the magnifying function, zoom in your subject and rack between infinity and, say, 8 feet and see if there is any difference (there should be).

A lot of this has to do with how you are ultimately viewing your footage. You are not likely to see focus issues on a 16mm focal length on the camera's viewfinder, and maybe not even in a humble sized window on your computer. Full screen may reveal a different story. It wouldn't be terribly out of focus, but why not set the lens at a more logical place than infinity, knowing that it gives you a more useable range for the subject, and may even give you a touch of softness to the background?
Hey Charles,

I shoot more often than not at a small aperture. I prefer to have as much in focus as possible as I'm getting establishing shots rather than the standard steadicam "walk and talks" and what not. I find infinity to be rather logical and useful in that aspect although I will say I have set it to a specified distance and worked within that distance many times when I use to fly with a 24-70. Now that I use such a wide lens, I use steadicam in a different way.

I'm surprised at the range of usable focus I get out of the tokina 11-16 as I never had this much play with my 24-70. I can only guess that it's due to it being so wide.

I'll try the magnified view and see how much of a difference it is racking back and forward versus just leaving it at infinity. I will say that I've never had an issue up to this point with unusable footage but I'm all for experimenting to get better results.

Cheers.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 02:14 PM   #24
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Hey Randy,
What do you think about the quality of that Tokina compared with an original Canon lens ?
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Old February 18th, 2010, 05:02 PM   #25
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Depends on which canon lens. The tokina has better build quality than everything except the L series, which I feel it's pretty close to. Mostly metal and very sturdy. I have 2 tokina lenses and they are built well.
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Old February 19th, 2010, 10:55 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
Randy:

The wide lens definitely helps, as does the fact that you are a good distance from your subject. When you are at 2.8 or 4, you may want to do some experimenting to see if you are truly in focus on your subject. Using the magnifying function, zoom in your subject and rack between infinity and, say, 8 feet and see if there is any difference (there should be).

A lot of this has to do with how you are ultimately viewing your footage. You are not likely to see focus issues on a 16mm focal length on the camera's viewfinder, and maybe not even in a humble sized window on your computer. Full screen may reveal a different story. It wouldn't be terribly out of focus, but why not set the lens at a more logical place than infinity, knowing that it gives you a more useable range for the subject, and may even give you a touch of softness to the background?
Hi Charles, thanks for sharing! Can I say the recommended way would be to use DOF calculator and attempt to give about 2m-3m of "in focus range"? I do loads of tracking shots of couples walking and sometimes circling around them. The out of focus issues comes mostly whenh circling with a 16mm. I normally try to step down to F5.6 if I can but I prefer to do it at F2.8 to work out a shallow DOF. As u said, the out of focus only comes with it goes to a huge screen.

Another issue I have is sometimes the image seems to shutter when I run. It seems like the shutter is too slow but I have alr set it up to 200 at 25p and it still appears. Is there any way to fix this? I see that in the 1D4 video u did, there were a number of fast moving scenes but I didn't see those issues.
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Old February 19th, 2010, 01:03 PM   #27
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Sean:

Yes, careful application of the depth-of-field tables will help you get the results you desire.

Gents: in general, these are tried-and-true concepts that have been in use for decades in 35mm production. There's nothing new or radical about them. Digital or film, the basic concept remains the same--it's just optics. While it was true that with a 1/3" sensor, leaving the focus on infinity guaranteed you a wide range of focus, with a large format such as the 7D it's a different ball game.

At the same time, don't go too nuts or literal with the tables. After a while you can get a feel for a given lens at a given f-stop. It only gets really dicey when you start to move into a longer lens or a shallow stop. Bear in mind that from the earliest years of Steadicam there have been remote focus systems in use, because it was so limiting to keep a set-and-forget formula in play. Uber-wide lenses for Steadicam are cool for particular types of shots but it's a shame to limit oneself to them purely for focus reasons. So experiment with going a little longer-lens, using the tables and seeing what you can "get away with". Hopefully soon you will all have access to reasonably priced remote focus systems and be able to pull off much more sophisticated shots as needed.

Sean, not quite sure about your second point--what do you mean by the image "shuttering"? Do you mean "shuddering", like showing vibration? If that's the case, it has to do with the rig you are using--something is loose somewhere.

If this an artifact due to the camera settings; in general, you'll want to keep the shutter at the standard ratio, which is the reciprocal of twice the frame rate (in your case, 1/50th at 25p). A "skinny shutter" like 1/200 should be reserved for a staccato, "Private Ryan" type look.
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Old February 20th, 2010, 07:09 AM   #28
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This may be of interest if you've not seen this - it is shot with a 5D on a glidecam, but they do a good job keeping focus and framing the shots.
Go here - Battle for Hearts and Minds
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Old February 21st, 2010, 11:48 PM   #29
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both the 16-35 2.8 and 14mm 2.8 are good choices for steadicam. you can stop them down to f5-6 and set focus to infinity and then just remember to keep the proper amount of distance between the lens and subject.
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