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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 March 9th, 2010, 01:10 AM   #1
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7d on the big screen?

Okay, I'm producing my first feature. Most of it (if all goes well) will be shot on the Red One 4K. However, I will be shooting internationally for part of the film.
The film has two drastically different timelines, so if the international scenes look drastically different, this is okay.
I'm debating using the Canon 7D to shoot all my international footage due to the inevitable lack of proper lighting and dollys etc.. But my biggest concern is how it will look on the big screen.
The ultimate goal is run the festival circuit with this film, and I don't want to lose legitimacy by having the footage look terrible when blown up. So far, I've loved everything I've seen from the 7d, but I've never seen it anywhere other than online.
Does anyone know anything about what the final product would be like?

Thank you,
Cole
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Old March 9th, 2010, 01:40 AM   #2
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As always, the greatest deciding factor will be how the footage is shot. Between the 5D, 7D and 1D, the 7D presents the most noise at a given ISO, I'd rate it a bit higher than most cameras (certainly the RED) but I would be careful to shoot as low a speed as possible for projection. When you talk about a lack of "proper lighting, dollys" it suggests that you are going to put the camera into some difficult circumstances, which is probably going to challenge the look of the footage more than the camera itself.

I myself pick the 1D over the 7D especially when you are considering shooting in low light without much supplementation. The 5D is going to have a new lease on life due to the upcoming firmware upgrade. If you are really concerned with the results, you can ask all the questions and opinions you want but ultimately, it comes down to personal testing as what you ask is purely subjective. What might be acceptable to one person could be deemed unacceptable to another.

Shoot tests on all possible cameras and project them. Obviously a high-end 2K projector will be optimal (I don't know if any festivals are using 4K projectors yet) but even a decent HD projector should tell you a lot. Duplicate the conditions and shooting style you are considering shooting in. Include RED footage to get a sense of the difference in appearance.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 04:41 AM   #3
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Depends on your storyboard. If you have chase scenes through urban streets, DSLR's are probably a bad choice because of the aliasing. Talking head scenes at a restaurant under subdued lighting? DSLR will work well. Guerilla shooting? DSLR will shine. FX? I have no idea on that one...
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Old March 9th, 2010, 10:14 AM   #4
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Find a RED with the new MX sensor and shoot at 4.5k. NO DSLR can get anywhere near the quality and low noise floor of the RED MX sensor. The only camera that can match the RED's low noise floor is the Arri Alexa.
Here is a sample of the new sensor
bigapplefilms --- LowLight Test MX
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Old March 11th, 2010, 02:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole Seidl View Post
I'm debating using the Canon 7D to shoot all my international footage due to the inevitable lack of proper lighting and dollys etc..
Funny, I've hired lights, cameras, dollies, everything really, all over the world. We don't all live in caves outside the US don't you know:) j/k...

In answer to your question, the 7D scrubs up remarkably well for cinema projection. It won't be as sharp as RED, nor will it have the same color gamut. But the bottom line is you can get away with it.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 11:05 AM   #6
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Hey Liam,
My crew is making a 30 minute short for next years film festivals, mostly shot on the 7D. What format/settings would you reccommend to write it out to for projection? I'm assuming MPEG 2, highest settings, but if you have any better ideas, please let me know.

P.S. I will be buying a BD writer so I can write it to proper HD.

Thanks,
Zach
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Old March 11th, 2010, 12:00 PM   #7
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Most festivals accept DVD for screeners and HDCam tapes for the showing. I really wish that they would start accepting Blu-rays...
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Old March 11th, 2010, 01:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zachary Mattson View Post
Hey Liam,
My crew is making a 30 minute short for next years film festivals, mostly shot on the 7D. What format/settings would you reccommend to write it out to for projection? I'm assuming MPEG 2, highest settings, but if you have any better ideas, please let me know.

P.S. I will be buying a BD writer so I can write it to proper HD.

Thanks,
Zach
It depends on how the film is being projected.

Digital projection is far less complex than creating a traditional cinema print and most festivals seem to accept digital formats these days, though it seems every festival has its own guidelines.

Take a look here:

Directory of International Film & Video Festivals - britfilms.com

There are links to all the important festivals the world over - you'll find your delivery requirements there.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 04:07 PM   #9
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Thanks for that comprehensive list! We definitely don't plan to make a cinema film print at this point, rather, just DVD/Bluray (Blu Ray wherever it is acceptable). Is MPEG-2 at a high bit-rate what you would consider to look the best on the big screen? Thanks a lot for your help!
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Old March 11th, 2010, 06:44 PM   #10
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If we're just talking how it looks on the big screen, then I saw Bloom's workshop in Hollywood the other day...large screen with a 2k projector and it looked absolutely insane. Close-ups...better than most films...the wides a hair softer depending on the lens and camera but still beautiful.

You will in no way have horrible looking footage on the big screen because of the camera...now shooting in difficult conditions, as others have said, may cause issues...
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