Thoughts after my first "real" shoot with the T2i. - Page 3 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 March 28th, 2010, 11:34 AM   #31
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Aliasing will never be acceptable. Would you seriously find rainbow colored brick work, wood or fabrics acceptable? Apart from the obvious visual artifacts such as colored moire making it impossible to shoot anything with a fine texture there are also the high frequency edge effects that have a serious negative impact on codecs. Alias artifacts travel in the opposite direction to any motion in a scene and this plays hell with codecs. These artifacts can pass through much of the production chain un-noticed only to re-appear at a later stage. Skew or flash band is entirely visible, it won't change or get worse through the post production process and only affects the look of the image. Aliasing not only effects the look but can have a serious detrimental effect on the ability to edit or encode the material. That's why the BBC didn't go any further than the resolution test with the 5D Mk2. The aliasing was so bad it was dismissed for broadcast use without any further tests.
In a properly designed video camera it's easy to eliminate aliasing by fitting an optical low pass filter. You simply can't do this with a hybrid camera that's sub sampling the sensor without destroying it's stills performance.

Canon have a dilemma. At the moment they can't read an entire 20 megapixel sensor fast enough for video. If they fit a low pass filter for video they will cripple the photo performance and the likelihood is that the pictures will end up softer than they are already. If they produce a dedicated large sensor video camera it's going to sell in much smaller volumes than a mass market DSLR. The cost to produce a big, fast sensor and the small sales volume is likely to put the price through the roof.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 02:42 PM   #32
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If you have a spare $800 then the T2i is a nice toy, but just remember that it's not the camera that makes a movie, it's the crew.
Of course your last statement is absolutely true, but I think of the T2i/7D as a powerful instrument more than just a 800-dollar-toy.

Don't underestimate the power of DoF, even if it becomes more subtle when seen on a smaller screen; of course you know its a very powerful tool to direct viewer's attention, but the psychological effect is also huge. People (viewers) associate DoF with cinema, with Hollywood. Pinsharp 50i/60i footage with little or no DoF at all is associated with news items, cheap TV-shows or soaps. Recently, someone remarked that cellphone-video (uploaded to Youtube) is associated with riots and other chaotic events in faraway countries, and it's being used by television crews already: protesters against the healthcare-law in the USA were filmed with cellphone-cams, which gave a chaotic, renegade impression, while those in favor of the bill were filmed with regular TV-crews, with nice, smooth imagery. Could be the other way around, but you know what I mean.

So technology goes a long way, although what's trendy now may become obsolete in a few years. It's what Nicholas is saying: intentional focus hunting is becoming the new zooming. In cinema, crane shots used to be the most epic shots you could imagine, until every major TV-show (like Extreme Makeover etc) uses cranes now and the effect diminishes.

I agree with you it's the crew that makes a movie; I recently made a small album with photographs I took with my iPhone and a simple Toycamera app... people couldn't believe me, thought it had to be a DSLR and lots of photoshop-work. And personally, I'm still learning, everytime my movies are looking a little bit better. Colorgrading for example, I just started doing it, and I think it really improves my footage.

But still, I do think the tools are also very important. Of course you can make a great movie with just your iPhone-cam, but DSLR, even with all its shortcomings, opens up amazing new possibilities...

...or perhaps it's just an easy way to get the wow-reaction from your viewers, until everybody is used to it and we have to think of other ways to impress our viewers again.

But if there's one thing you accomplished, I'm really thinking hard: do I really, really need this T2i to achieve the filmlook I'm searching for, maybe yes, maybe not...
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Old March 28th, 2010, 03:49 PM   #33
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Alister is funny. On one hand, here and on his blog he professes not to be anti-Canon. But then he tosses out broad insults like calling the T2i an 800 dollar toy. It's difficult to take you seriously when you say stuff like that, Alister.

I owned an EX1 since the first month they were available in the US, and I couldn't agree more that there are a number of things the EX1 does better than my new T2i. I used the EX1 up and down pro sports sidelines, took it into freezing weather, and made a decent chunk of change with it. And when I went to work for someone else doing video, that's exactly what I made sure we bought in-house (EX1R, technically).

But there are a couple reasons I just sold my personal EX1 and swapped it for a T2i -- and they have nothing to do with toys.

First of all, I got a tricked out T2i package for a grand less than I got selling an EX1 with 274 hours on it. I picked up the T2i, a Canon 50mm 1.4, a Canon L 24-70mm 2.8, a high-end flash, extra batteries, a new bag, and more. In other words, there's no doubt the T2i is cheaper to set up, even with elite glass.

Secondly, I love that only $800 of my money is sunk into the actual body while the glass I bought will retain value for many years. Try finding either of my new lenses used for less than $50-$100 off their new cost (and if you see one you should buy it!). Unlike the EX1, my money isn't all tied up into a single-body cam that can't be upgraded in pieces. So when Canon (or somebody else) releases an even better body, I can buy it without tossing all my glass. And if I do want to sell my glass, it retains an even bigger percentage of its value than my EX1 did. Basically, I no longer feel like I am tied down to one big, expensive camera. Instead, I have all of these individually valuable parts that are much easier to upgrade or sell.

Third, I am definitely only doing personal stuff on my own time these days, and that means it's intended for web use. Reducing aliasing is just not a priority like DoF is online, especially if you want to avoid an amateur feel. So even if there were concerns about what happens when you blow up the footage, that's not what I'm worried about.

But hold on, I am not conceding the argument that DSLRs should be "web only," either. I don't know if Alister has seen the 2010 Zacuto shootout yet (The Great Camera Shootout 2010 | Zacuto), but the DSLRs are holding their own against film on latitude. It'll be interesting to see what they say on aliasing as they release more footage, but they're analyzing it on the big screen and it looks darn good.

Furthermore, we can forget about tests -- a film shot on the 7D called Tiny Furniture just won the top jury prize at South By Southwest's film festival: Film Shot on 7D Wins Best Film at SXSW Film Festival – Royal Galactic Cinema So, uh, I hate to break it to Alister, but people using DSLRs are actually winning major narrative film prizes when their work is being shown on the big screen.

Reason #4 I went T2i: space at home (I live in NYC, it's at a premium) and portability in life. Try walking around with an EX1 and not making people around you uncomfortable. ;)

The final reason I went with the T2i is that I think I need to be a better photographer to take my video shooting to the next level, and I'm a big believer in having one device that can do many things (see: iPhone). So it was the right fit for me.

Subjectively, my personal criteria are better met by the T2i -- especially the arty DoF and getting out of the business of having an expensive, single-body cam instead of a modular system of upgradable parts (of which the body is one of the cheapest and easiest to replace in the future). Again, I went with an EX1 at my job because that was the best fit there, but that doesn't make it the best objective choice by a long shot.

On the objective front, though, people are winning big awards showing their work on the 7D on movie screens at huge festivals. And the T2i has basically the same shooting ability as the 7D. Only you can decide if it's right for your needs (why not rent one first?), but this s*** works, people.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 04:16 PM   #34
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There are some very insightful and real comments about film making being made here. As Alister said; it takes a crew, but this is only one true statement about a multifaceted process. The primary concern here I think is about the T2i's performance and how it matches up to some of the more recognized or higher class cameras. The concern for people buying any camera is what they will NOT be getting in terms of performance and how this may effect their product. Which of course brings me to the comment that every piece of equipment should be best selected to execute the job at hand, just as you choose your golf clubs, or in this case a better analogy should be your paint brush in order to paint the picture that you want. But the medium which you will be painting on is the concern here and that medium is the canvas on which your paint will be applied - the camera, and in the case of film, the paint is light.

So what are we looking for in a good canvas..?

I hope that didn't confuse anyone..
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Old March 28th, 2010, 06:54 PM   #35
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Secondly, I love that only $800 of my money is sunk into the actual body while the glass I bought will retain value for many years. Try finding either of my new lenses used for less than $50-$100 off their new cost (and if you see one you should buy it!). Unlike the EX1, my money isn't all tied up into a single-body cam that can't be upgraded in pieces. So when Canon (or somebody else) releases an even better body, I can buy it without tossing all my glass. And if I do want to sell my glass, it retains an even bigger percentage of its value than my EX1 did. Basically, I no longer feel like I am tied down to one big, expensive camera. Instead, I have all of these individually valuable parts that are much easier to upgrade or sell.

But hold on, I am not conceding the argument that DSLRs should be "web only," either. I don't know if Alister has seen the 2010 Zacuto shootout yet (The Great Camera Shootout 2010 | Zacuto), but the DSLRs are holding their own against film on latitude. It'll be interesting to see what they say on aliasing as they release more footage, but they're analyzing it on the big screen and it looks darn good.

The final reason I went with the T2i is that I think I need to be a better photographer to take my video shooting to the next level, and I'm a big believer in having one device that can do many things (see: iPhone). So it was the right fit for me.
Sorry to chop your post down a bit but these are the particular statements that ring true with me!

While I won't ever totally give up a true video camera, the DSLR is now a vital part of my kit and my clients are simply speechless when they see what comes out of my "toy"
There are a lot of issues that don't have good solutions right now but my mind set is that the T2i has one purpose...make killer b-roll. Which it does amazingly well.

I too have sought out the "good glass" which means it'll be around longer than anything else I own equipment-wise.

The Zacuto shootout is something the whole production world should be watching and taking notes on. There's the scientific part but when I hear the caliber of people involved say how amazed they are with the whole lot of DSLRs...makes me want to jump for joy!

I have never really gotten into photography and since getting the T2i, it has added a whole new skill which I am constantly learning and challenging myself with. And yes, I really do think it's making me a better videographer. And certainly has helped my understanding of light. I'm actually embarrassed to look at some of my produced vids from a year ago knowing what I know now! And those vids always exceeded my client's wishes quality-wise!

I make the comparison to my previous life as an audio engineer/producer back when analog 2" tape was the preferred medium and editing meant you could literally cut yourself if you weren't careful!
Coming up through the ranks at that time and learning those skills made me a much better engineer once digital came into existence.

Having to go back and learn film-style techniques, lenses and focus manually is fantastic and will make us all better regardless of the technical issues that seem to be getting the attention here.

My clients dictate if what I'm doing is good or not and once again, they keep coming back for more! And they're telling their friends which is keeping me very busy!
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Old March 30th, 2010, 02:11 AM   #36
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Having watched the Zacuto shootout I was not particularly impressed. It asks more questions than it answers.
Why are all the wide scenes at the opening with brickwork in the background de-saturated? Is it just for aesthetic reasons or is it because the walls are covered in multicolored moire? Why didn't they get the guy with the striped shirt to change his shirt so that he doesn't look like some kind of electronic disaster scene whenever he moves thanks to extreme aliasing?
The conclusion from the first part of the shootout is that film has better latitude than DSLR's, but in a low key scene the DSLR's fair well. No surprise there, but why does it take them 30 mins to tell us?

I'm sorry but IMHO the Canons are not there yet. That's why I regard them as toys, something to be played with, experimented with, a learning tool. When you can point them at any subject and shoot without worrying about aliasing, that's when they will move from the realm of toys to serious tools. That's an opinion shared by the BBC as well. I've said this before, the problem with aliasing is that it can sneak through your production chain largely un-noticed only to re-appear when you least expect it. Alias artifacts move in the opposite direction to actual image motion and this really screws up codecs. The Canons are also extremely soft, measured resolution is way down at around 650TVL, I know of many SD cameras that get very close to that! I am quite sure that very soon we will see a big sensor video camera that gives us the choice to shoot with a shallow DoF but without the aliasing, extreme jello or overheating. At that point your investment in hybrid DSLR's may not look quite so wise. If it's Canon that pull it off then your lenses may be fine or you may be able to adapt your lenses to fit whatever camera it is that comes out (scarlet??).

Yes movies get made with odd camera choices, take "Blair Witch" a massive success, but I don't see that many movies being shot with DV camcorders. I'm sure we will see a couple of DSLR movie's but just because someone chooses to play with one doesn't make it the be all and end all.

When I invest in a piece of professional kit I expect it to make me money for at least 2 years. I don't see the current Canon DSLR's being used as pro tools in 2 years time. Sure the 550D is very cheap, that's why I got one, to play with, experiment with, but IMHO there is no way it can replace a dedicated HD camcorder as you simply can't shoot in focus textures, patterns and lines, they lack in resolution anyway so adding diffusion to reduce the aliasing just makes a soft image even softer. Sure if you avoid all these things you can make pretty web videos and if that's your aim, go ahead and play.
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Old March 30th, 2010, 03:00 AM   #37
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Alister is funny. On one hand, here and on his blog he professes not to be anti-Canon. But then he tosses out broad insults like calling the T2i an 800 dollar toy. It's difficult to take you seriously when you say stuff like that, Alister.
So are you saying that anyone that points out the rather serious, well documented flaws in the Canon DSLR cameras can not be taken seriously? Is this what much of the Canon hype is all about........

If I DONT use one, will I no longer be taken seriously as a film maker? If I dare to say that the latest fad is flawed, will no one respect me any more? If I don't say that DSLR's are the best video cameras ever made, will I look a fool?

I suspect that there are a lot of people out there that have bought in to the Canon hype, purchased a DSLR and a few lenses and then found that they can't actually use it for what they wanted, but are afraid to say anything against Canon DSLR's as they don't want to loose face.
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Old March 30th, 2010, 08:11 AM   #38
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There are 2 type of DSLR user, the one that see alisasing and moire problem and thinks that it is a toy and dismised it as a tool but the funny thing is aliasing and moire problem have been report from day 1 and still you go out and buy it, the other type of users knew about the problem but can see beyond it and see the strong point of the camera and use it and overcome its weakness and willing to work around it and are making money with their new toy, glass half full or half empty, who gives a what the BBC thinks, they are not writing my paycheck.
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Old March 30th, 2010, 10:22 AM   #39
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So are you saying that anyone that points out the rather serious, well documented flaws in the Canon DSLR cameras can not be taken seriously? Is this what much of the Canon hype is all about........

If I DONT use one, will I no longer be taken seriously as a film maker? If I dare to say that the latest fad is flawed, will no one respect me any more? If I don't say that DSLR's are the best video cameras ever made, will I look a fool?

I suspect that there are a lot of people out there that have bought in to the Canon hype, purchased a DSLR and a few lenses and then found that they can't actually use it for what they wanted, but are afraid to say anything against Canon DSLR's as they don't want to loose face.
Actually, I was very clear about what I was saying: if you call the T2i an 800 dollar toy, which you did, it is hard to take you seriously in the sense of being an objective observer. The data and concerns you discuss are valid, but conclusions like "800 dollar toy" are not. And now you're positing some pseudo conspiracy theory in which Canon and, I dunno, the shooter coolkids mafia, are teaming up to prevent a grassroots backlash from bubbling up? Come on, man.

A 7D film won SXSW. It's the same tech as the T2i with a sturdier body and few more settings options. Surely you can see that these are more than toys. They are hardly right for everyone or every situation, but let's try and stay away from insulting dismissals and conspiracy theories. *If* you want to be taken seriously. ;)
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Old March 30th, 2010, 10:51 AM   #40
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If you regard having to ensure that you never have anything with texture, detail or a pattern , even jewelry, teeth or skin pores in focus as an acceptable limitation then that is your choice. Myself, I find that just too restrictive. I purchased a 550d knowing it would alias, but was led to belive through all the hype that it is a minor issue. I thought I would be able to work around it, but I can't, because basically if it's in focus it aliases and I hate out of focus pictures.
There was recently one highly regarded cinematographer complining about how he was struggling to get repeatable skin tones on some faces, the reason... Beard stubble and skin texture causing aliasing that was shifting the skin hue. The workaround.. Shoot slightly out of focus. I bet that looked really good on the big screen.
Surely the reason for using a DSLR is to try to get a film look, yet electronic edges, stair stepping straight lines, flickering detail, moire etc couldn't look any more like video.
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Old March 30th, 2010, 11:44 AM   #41
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Then how did Tiny Furniture win, Alister?
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Old March 30th, 2010, 11:58 AM   #42
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Well hopefully the Zacuto shoot out webisode 2 will shed some light on this. They will be testing the T2i along side film cameras and a multitude of other DSLR cameras.
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Old March 30th, 2010, 12:05 PM   #43
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Of course, the truth is somewhere in between.

DvSLRs are flawed, but they are not mere toys.

It's really all about budget, isn't it? With enough cash, I can shoot on 35mm film or a RED ONE and I can be confident that I'm getting a better image than I can get with a DvSLR.

On the other hand, with a total equipment budget of less than $10k (and no stock or processing budget) and the goal of shooting film-like video with shallow DOF, DvSLRs are the best thing available.

DvSLRs are definitely not the best cameras in the world. But they are at their price point for the big sensor look.
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Old March 30th, 2010, 12:12 PM   #44
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Of course, the truth is somewhere in between.

DvSLRs are flawed, but they are not mere toys.

DvSLRs are definitely not the best cameras in the world. But they are at their price point for the big sensor look.
For the record, if you look at every one of my posts, that is *exactly* my point.

And I still have yet to hear a single person comment on the fact that a 7D film just won a major film prize. How is that not proof enough that -- *in the right situation* -- these are excellent cameras?
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Old March 30th, 2010, 02:56 PM   #45
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The prize was for film making, not technology. The first technical Academy Award for a digitally produced movie went to a film produced with 2/3" video cameras.
Movies made with DV camcorders have won big awards as well, yet I don't see that many people preaching the merits of DV camcorders these days.

So to everyone out there exactly how do you eliminate the aliasing without softening the image still further? If I want to shoot someone wearing a patterned shirt, or I want to show the textures in a piece of wood or fabric how do you do it?
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