The 60D doesn't have autogain audio -- why should the 7D? 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 August 27th, 2010, 03:35 PM   #1
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The 60D doesn't have autogain audio -- why should the 7D?

Time for us to organise a concerted e-mail flurry to Canon's firmware service, isn't it?

All the marketing blurb about the new 60D says it has "the ability to adjust sound recording level (which) ensures the audio track recorded matches the visual quality of the video, capturing broadcast-quality sound."

Maybe if we all sent in messages saying it's time Canon gave us the firmware upgrade on our more expensive 7Ds to have the same "broadcast-quality sound" as the 60D (and the 5D), we could get it sooner rather than later?

Does someone have the e-mail addresses? (Or better yet, news from Canon that they're about to uncripple our 7Ds?)
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Old August 27th, 2010, 03:49 PM   #2
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I'll second that ! Lets get this happening !!!!
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Old August 27th, 2010, 04:53 PM   #3
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Speaking only for myself, the reason I can't get excited is that I use double system sound and get amazing results (Tascam).
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Old August 27th, 2010, 04:53 PM   #4
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Canon needs to pony up.
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Old August 27th, 2010, 05:55 PM   #5
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It would be nice if they give that to us but seems like you guys are demanding it from Canon, they don't have to do anything, they didn't advertised the 7D with manual audio control did they? nor promised any firmware upgrade for audio either so be nice if you want to send out a letter to them, that is the way to do it.
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Old August 27th, 2010, 06:34 PM   #6
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I have a 5DMKII, with manual audio gain and I haven't used it and probably won't. It's not all that great. You're better off with a Zoom H4N and double system sound. The meter is accessible in the menu--but ONLY before you start recording. So when you're shooting you can't see the meter and there's no way to adjust gain. The only way to record audio in a decent fashion is to get that Juicedlink box, that costs over $400. It allows you to calibrate the box to the camera's meter, so in theory what you see on the box's meters will correspond to what the camera is getting. it allows you to adjust gain and to monitor. But you're monitoring what the box is getting, not what's actually being recorded. How would you know, for example, that the connector is bad, until it's too late?

Until Canon comes out with a box attached maybe to the hotshoe (similar to the old Sony PD150/170) with XLR inputs, knobs and a meter you can see while shooting, recording serious sound on a DSLR is really not something I want to do. So just because they give you manual gain doesn't translate into meaningful audio capability.
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Old August 28th, 2010, 05:42 AM   #7
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I agree with Bill. Without metring capability of what's actually going into the camera. it's a waste of time. One thing I have done from time to time is connect a pad down cable ( from Pinknoise) from the out of my Tascam dr 100 ( or your Zoom) into the audio input on the 7d. It doesn't defeat the 7d's auto gain, but at least gives you a good quality, somewhat controlled, reference audio, along with the good one.

Having said that, dual audio is a pain in the ass with these cameras.
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Old August 28th, 2010, 10:27 AM   #8
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I have one of those cables too. I got it from DVCreators.net. Haven't used it yet, but I thought it might be a good idea to use the Zoom's mics for recording ambient audio that way. The built-in camera mic is totally omnidirectional, and when I use it for ambient sound, I can hear my own breathing over the background noise.

Shooting double system sound doesn't bother me much. I grew up with that back in my 16mm days. In fact, DSLR shooting is a lot more like shooting film than it is video...no electronic zoom button on the zoom lenses, shallow depth of fields, use of prime lenses most of the time, hand held is a pain, and you have to send your original footage to the lab (ProRes) for processing before you edit. I'm starting to think of it as "digital film" instead of video.

What is a pain for me in double system sound is keeping the damn files straight. Syncing is easy, but matching up my audio clips to my video clips can be problematic if I get in a hurry and don't properly slate everything. Which, of course, I should not do, but there are times I do. If I have a soundman along, then we do things right; it's when I'm by myself that I can get careless if I'm not careful.

Also,with the Zoom you have to use extra caution because of the way it works. You press the record button and it doesn't record. Nope. It goes into standby mode and the red light flashes. You have to press it a second time to actually record, and the light goes solid red but the counter starts up. Flashing red SHOULD mean recording, but it doesn't. So I have to always watch that and make sure I'm really recording...much like the soundman in film shooting in the old days waiting for his Nagra to get up to speed before he yells, "Speed!"

The more we advance, the more we go back.
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Old August 28th, 2010, 11:02 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
Shooting double system sound doesn't bother me much. I grew up with that back in my 16mm days. In fact, DSLR shooting is a lot more like shooting film than it is video...no electronic zoom button on the zoom lenses, shallow depth of fields, use of prime lenses most of the time, hand held is a pain, and you have to send your original footage to the lab (ProRes) for processing before you edit. I'm starting to think of it as "digital film" instead of video.

The more we advance, the more we go back.
I've been saying this for 2 years. It's a Nikon F2 with Kodachrome in it. That shoots movies. Treat like that and you'll be fine.

The more we advance, the more we realize why certain things have been the same in Hollywood for 100 years. A lot of very smart people figured out efficient ways to make movies long ago. Every 10 years or so we think we're smarter, and 2 years after that we find out we're really not. We just keep coming up with better tools to do the same job.

I don't care how good the hammer is, driving a nail is fundamentally the same as it was 4000 years ago.
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Old August 28th, 2010, 01:19 PM   #10
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That's certainly one way to look at it. I don't think the issue is so much that people striving to produce quality productions with DSLR's think they're smarter, I think its more about accessibility.

As the cost and complexity has decreased and the availability increased more people are able to do the types of productions that just a few years ago only well financed professionals were able to do.

Part of the difference is that this lower barrier to entry has allowed people who don't know that is how your supposed to produce something so they're just doing it, some with great results.

I think the reason that things have been done the same in Hollywood is that the same people have been doing it for the past 50 years, that's why we have so many CSI's, Law & Order's and Reality Shows.

Maybe people should stop trying to use DSLR's to conform to Hollywoods way of thinking and maybe Hollywood should stop using cameras to drive nails. Part of the allure of the DSLR is that even with all of its short comings you can go it alone and produce some good entertainment that millions of people will watch.

Maybe many of my friends in the entertainment industry will clue into some of this before their unemployment runs out...
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Old August 28th, 2010, 01:45 PM   #11
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That's certainly one way to look at it. I don't think the issue is so much that people striving to produce quality productions with DSLR's think they're smarter, I think its more about accessibility.
You misunderstand. The DSLR is merely a tool. Before that it was the handycam, and before that it was super-8. But whatever the tool, the fundamental essence of committing an image to film (celluloid or silicon) is exactly the same. By those thinking the are smarter I mean with shortcutting the process involved. That hasn't changed one bit as far as I can tell.

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Originally Posted by Chuck Spaulding View Post
As the cost and complexity has decreased and the availability increased more people are able to do the types of productions that just a few years ago only well financed professionals were able to do.
I'd argue that the cost has decreased somewhat, but the complexity has increased by an order of magnitude. The cost of a DSLR isn't so different from what an 8mm or handycam cost in their day. I have yet to see any production done by these small timers that rivals what the big boys are shooting.


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Originally Posted by Chuck Spaulding View Post
Part of the difference is that this lower barrier to entry has allowed people who don't know that is how your supposed to produce something so they're just doing it, some with great results.
95% with horrific results, 4% with average results, 1% with great results. Same as we saw with the DVX, Same as we saw with the Bolex. Only the tool has changed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Spaulding View Post
I think the reason that things have been done the same in Hollywood is that the same people have been doing it for the past 50 years, that's why we have so many CSI's, Law & Order's and Reality Shows.
I think the reason things are done the same way in Hollywood has more to do with what people pulling the purse strings will PAY for rather than what the creatives are able to do, or how long they've been around. The reason you see so many similar shows, is because people enjoy watching them, advertisers spend money with them, and it employs people. Whether that's Hawaii 5 O, CSI, Hill Street Blues, or Law and Order.


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Part of the allure of the DSLR is that even with all of its short comings you can go it alone and produce some good entertainment that millions of people will watch.
I'm still waiting to see this.
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Old August 28th, 2010, 02:25 PM   #12
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May buy 60D for audio and swivel screen

I have been shooting with my 7D with audio since I bought it in March. I bought the Juicedlink adapter from the start. It works well because you gain level control and headphone monitoring. I loose one channel of sound to tone AGC defeat. I would love to have both channels of sound for two mic interviews. Only manual level in the camera would do this. The AGC is not usable as is.

Double system is has it's problems as well. Matching the audio to picture. Nowadays this is pretty easy. There is even software that does this for you. But there are times when you have to search hard to find the right audio clip that goes with the right video. I am working on a project right now that has this problem. The audio I was given had the recorder left going while the camera stopped many times. The software has not been able to match the audio. I shot with sound on my 7D and don't have the problem. It is MUCH easier to have the audio with picture, Period.

I Would Love To Have Manual Audio In The 7D!
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Old August 28th, 2010, 05:23 PM   #13
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Dont expect too much.

If history is indicative of what firmware updates happen, then let us compare the Canon DSLR line.

1Dmk4 (Feb 2010) - no manual audio (as of Aug 2010)
5Dmk2 (Sept 2008) -> manual audio (March 2010)
7D (Nov 2009) - no manual audio
60D (Aug 2010) - manual audio
T2i (April 2010) - no manual audio

When the manual audio firmware update was released for the 5D in March, 1D owners were like 'WTF, my camera cost XX much more than the puny 5D! Canon, you better give me manual control because I paid XX for it!'

Today, 7D owners are saying 'Since the 1D didnt get manual, i will complain about it too! Why? Because my 7D is more precious than the 1D. Screw giving the 1D manual audio, more people own the 7D. Its not about the XX dollar difference, its because i had a FREAKEN 7D!'

------
All joking aside, Canon will just wait til you get the 60D.
As of today, all of the complains for the 1D and manual audio has quiet down.
If/when Canon decides to give the 1D a firmware update, then complaining to Canon about the 7D would be a valid argument.

--------
Here is my advice to those that own the 7D and are enticed by the 60D manual audio:
either sell your 7D and get the 60D + left over cash (to be used on other gear; ie H4n)
Or sell your 7D + added cash to get a used 5Dmk2 [probably a bad idea due to investment in EF-S glass)
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Old August 28th, 2010, 05:33 PM   #14
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Here is my advice to those that own the 7D and are enticed by the 60D manual audio:
either sell your 7D and get the 60D + left over cash (to be used on other gear; ie H4n)
Or sell your 7D + added cash to get a used 5Dmk2 [probably a bad idea due to investment in EF-S glass)
Or just shoot the camera you bought.
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Old August 28th, 2010, 06:48 PM   #15
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When I bought the 7D, I knew it didn't have manual audio. Never expected it to be changed.
Now, my 5D doesn't have a pop up flash. I should complain about that too...The 7D has a popup flash! The T2i has a pop up flash! When is my 5D gonna get a pop up flash!!!

In my experience it has been futile to buy something thinking upgrades will always happen. The XH A1 could have had an update to assign the OIS on/off function to one of the assignable external buttons. Did they do that? Of course not, they came out with the S model that had it.

It's sort of like commercial real estate, if you've ever rented space for offices or studios. "Oh, we're gonna put a brand new facade on this building....a park is going to be built across the street...we'll have an exercise room on the top floor, with hot tub...a multi story parking garage has been designed..." and on and on. Nothing ever happens. You sign the lease, you're there and they don't do anything.

With cameras you buy what you buy, and if the manufacturer happens to come out with some cool upgrade you want while you're still in ownership of that camera, then it's a pleasant surprise. Like manual shutter on the 5DMKII. Remember when it first came out it was automatic? I guess Canon knew if they hadn't made it fully manual they would lose lots of customers to the Scarlet (if it ever comes out).

Anyway, to repeat, the manual audio they put on these cameras is not really worth waiting for. If you want to use it, you STILL have to buy a Juicedlink, so you might as well go ahead and get the one with headphone jack, meters and, coincidentally, the auto gain override signal.

I do admit, as an above post said, shooting single system sound is easier. Especially for run-'n-gun type things. But the sound quality of these little recorders like the Zoom and Tascam is much better than what you'll get out of the camera even if it had manual gain.

Here's my bitch/wish list for Canon--forget the sound and give me, in order of priority:

-L lenses with no hard stops, with only a minor price increase if any
-F1.4 L zoom lenses
-A dogleg LCD viewer
-Work on the moire so it's better (doesn't have to be perfect, most aren't, but improve it a bit)
-Put the damn on/off switch on the 5DII up on top like the 7D

Some, of course, are lusting for the near-RAW codec, but I find the quality I'm getting more than good enough for all I'm doing, both for commercial and personal purposes. I guess if I could pick any one thing out of that list, it would be the moire issue...since I can have my old Nikkors modified to remove the hard stops for a mere 60 bucks each, and obviously my 5D can't be modified on the switch thing. However, I'm happy with what I've got and manage to work around all the eccentricities. Come to think of it, I've never had a camera that didn't have issues I had to work around.
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