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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 October 25th, 2011, 10:23 AM   #1
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what settings?

iv only tried using my 60D once or twice for videos but it seems to not work very well in low light, in fact i had to blast the room with an 800w redhead and its still grainy as hell. Clearly i have no idea how to work this thing properly yet so if someone can run through the settings etc you guys are using that would be much appreciated.

Ive seen the footage a lot of you are getting and i cant believe its the same camera i have.

I have a 50mm f 1.8 and the stock 18 - 135 lenses.

Cheers
Andy.
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Old October 25th, 2011, 04:15 PM   #2
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Re: what settings?

The kit lens isn't too good in low light but the 50mm should be decent/good.

Here's a few stills from video I shot with the 50mm.

IMG_2360 by Matt Thomas Video, on Flickr

IMG_2376 by Matt Thomas Video, on Flickr

IMG_2350 by Matt Thomas Video, on Flickr

Basically you need to shoot at f/stop of 1.8, have your shutter at 1/50 if shooting at 1080p and then have your iso no higher then 800.
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Old October 25th, 2011, 04:23 PM   #3
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Re: what settings?

First thing is, most people would shoot with just about everything on manual. So do that. Graininess sounds like it was caused by auto ISO. Turn that off if it's on. Then don't set it above about 1600 for tolerable graininess (someone will be along shortly to say "OMG! anything over 800 is unwatchable!". Experiment and see what works best for you).
Second, if you want to shoot in low light you're pretty much stuck with the 50mm. It's the fastest of the two by miles (you know how f/numbers work right?).

Other than that it's a bit hard to tell how much you already know so people can throw concepts at you. There's no magic bullet settings. Mostly it involves getting used to using all the different parameters and limitations for the best results in different situations.
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Old October 25th, 2011, 05:48 PM   #4
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Re: what settings?

Thank you guys, yeah i think its the iso thats messing me up. Im used to shooting HDV on my jcv hd100 full manual (iv never touched an auto setting in my life), its just way different, i can shoot with a normal house bulb or in a dark ballet show with the jvc and get good results, i was just taken aback when the footage was so bad from the 60D even using a redhead....id seen better footage from my cell phone.

I have no problem understanding f stops or any other lens fuction its just the actual video mode settings im obviously messing up. If im going to use this cam for shooting movies its going to have to perform in low light and keep the blacks crushed like my jvc, i know that means a better lens but my stock 18 - 135 cant be that much of a difference in quality (it was really bad, wish id kept some of the footage to post). And i know the 50mm is always going to be better in low light but its nothing like wide enough for any real use indoors

I'll just need to keep trying. and save up for a good wide fast lens.

Cheers
Andy
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Old October 25th, 2011, 06:17 PM   #5
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Re: what settings?

1. On those lenses, set Fstop as wide as you can get it. (F 3.5 to F 5.6, right ?)

2. Set shutter speed to 1/50.

3. Shoot at 24p (US) 25p, Europe ?

4. Set ISO manually to one of these ISO to keep noise down:

160, 320,640,1250,2500.



If your camera doesn't have these, then you need to get into Magic Lantern hack. Sorry..
The in between settings like 200, 400, 800, 1600 are gain added ISO's, and will actually be noisier than the next higher up in the "natural" ISOs.

5. You may need to use Neat Video to clean up certain scenes.

6. Shoot neutral setting on Picture style, at minimum, or better yet use Cinestyle from Technicolor, and then do your crushing in post.

Avoid under exposure of scences, thinking you will adjust in post, it will make noise worse.
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Old October 26th, 2011, 12:18 AM   #6
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Re: what settings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Graham View Post
I have a 50mm f 1.8 and the stock 18 - 135 lenses.

Cheers
Andy.
if you look at the settings as you zoom in on the 18-135 it is almost the moment you get out of 18 that the fstop changes...you will be at 5.6 pretty quick so yeah the 50mm is pretty much the only choice you have in regards to shooting in low light...investing in a zoom 2.8 lens is something work looking into especially in the video field...
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Old October 26th, 2011, 02:54 AM   #7
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Re: what settings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
The in between settings like 200, 400, 800, 1600 are gain added ISO's, and will actually be noisier than the next higher up in the "natural" ISOs.
I've never heard of this before Chris, so can you elaborate further? I'd have thought that increasing the ISO number is exactly the same as bumping the gain up on my Sony NX5, where more and more electronic amplification of the image occurs between chip and card. Is that not so?

tom.
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Old October 26th, 2011, 07:18 AM   #8
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Re: what settings?

Yeah, it is like increasing the gain. All Chris was saying on the Magic Lantern hack, it allows you to use the native isos of 160, 320, 640 which usually have less grain/noise then 100, 200, 400, 800 etc Magic Lantern does had values in between these but there usually more grain.
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Old October 26th, 2011, 08:30 AM   #9
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Re: what settings?

You've all been most helpfull thanks, i'd buy you a beer but i'm saving for a lens ;)

Cheers
Andy.
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Old October 26th, 2011, 10:38 AM   #10
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Re: what settings?

Crank that shutter down to 1/30 if you need to. Slightly wonky shutter rates always look better (to me any way) then super grainy footage.

Buy a "nifty-fifty" 50mm F1.8 for $110 from Canon right now (that's with the current rebate being offered).

After that, your camera won't be able to see in the dark, but much closer.
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Old October 26th, 2011, 11:58 AM   #11
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Re: what settings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
I've never heard of this before Chris, so can you elaborate further? I'd have thought that increasing the ISO number is exactly the same as bumping the gain up on my Sony NX5, where more and more electronic amplification of the image occurs between chip and card. Is that not so?

tom.
Okay, I am no techno nerd, but my understanding is there are two ways of adding gain, same as in audio signals. The natural ISO are simply doubling of the prior ISO. My understanding is like in audio, this is attained by adjusting the analogue signal. When you go to the in between ISO, you are also adding digital gain, resulting in more noise. Thus, the claim is that at ISO 200, for instance, because of the addition two different types of gain, noise would be more pronounced than in ISO 320.

At the beginning of this Youtube video there is a small discussion.

Canon 550D/T2i Magic Lantern iso test - YouTube
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Old October 26th, 2011, 02:34 PM   #12
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Re: what settings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Graham View Post
I have no problem understanding f stops or any other lens fuction its just the actual video mode settings im obviously messing up. If im going to use this cam for shooting movies its going to have to perform in low light and keep the blacks crushed like my jvc, i know that means a better lens but my stock 18 - 135 cant be that much of a difference in quality (it was really bad, wish id kept some of the footage to post). And i know the 50mm is always going to be better in low light but its nothing like wide enough for any real use indoors
Yeah, sorry. It can be hard to tell where to start.
Anyway, these bad results are interesting. Even with that lens a redhead should be able to give you a lot unless it's some big space.
How bad is bad? Is this bad?

I mean apart from the camera work and hasty re compression that is. I just rolled a bit here and there one night to try out my lens when it was new. It's the Sigma 30mm 1.4 on the 60d. That would have been no higher than ISO 1250 (I can't actually remember. I'm pretty sure I was using mainly 800 and 1000) and it's actually stopped down to around 2.2. It's a little dark, but the scene wasn't much brighter to my eye at the time in the top end of the scale (which was what I was trying to figure out). That's a lens that lets the light in anyway.

I don't think you want to crush blacks much in camera if you're shooting low light, although some photostyles might suit (there's that new one someone mentioned down the page a bit which looks pretty good). Post would be safer (I'd be wary of Cinestyle though. I think it works optimally when the exposure is very even. But worth trying all the same).

There might be something interesting all this, with any luck.
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Old October 26th, 2011, 03:11 PM   #13
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Re: what settings?

No worries Murray its hard to know what level of compitence the person has when trying to help them, i appreciate you taking the time :) . It took a long time to get a decent work flow with the jvc hd100 and even then i still get that annoying problem of clips being broken during capture. Now with this canon it feels like im back at square one trying to find a good workflow for this one now.

Why cant they just make a camera that works without conversions and third party plugins or hacks, iv been doing indie filmmaking for years but its just doing my head in now lol.
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Old October 26th, 2011, 03:24 PM   #14
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Re: what settings?

Chris is right, you want to use the intermediate ISO like 160, 320, 640, 1250 and not the native ISO if you want low noise, if you want a little better in dynamic range then you want to use the native ISO, but for sure, ISO 1250 would have less noise than ISO 800, if you do search around, you will find that this topic has been discuss since the beginning of DSLR.
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Old November 5th, 2011, 03:33 AM   #15
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Re: what settings?

You should easily be able to film with just available light indoors with your camera & the 50mm F/1.8 lens. A shutter speed of 1/50 (1/30 at a pinch if people aren't moving much) & ISO of 800 (or 1600 if necessary for correct exposure) at F/1.8 should be more than adequate & certainly you won't need a Redhead. Available light can look awfully flat so you may want to add light for artistic effect & to create modelling & 3D look but you should have correct exposure without.

It's also more important to have the scene correctly exposed than worry about the slight differences in noise between using ISO 160 or ISO 200. Underexposing will by definition result in more shadows & this is where any noise will be most visible.
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