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Canon EOS Full Frame for HD
All about using the Canon 1D X, 6D, 5D Mk. IV / Mk. III / Mk. II D-SLR for 4K and HD video recording.


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Old December 3rd, 2008, 08:46 AM   #1
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My 5DM2 opinions....

I just picked up my 5d2 on monday and have shot a few still and vids with it and would like to share my views on it.

1st of all let me preface by stating that I have been a commercial still photographer for 20 years.... doing national ad work using everything from 8X10 view cameras in the 80's/90's, betterlight scan backs on 4x5 in the late 90's, phaseone backs on hasselblad, and recently canon 1ds3 as well.... I'd assume by now that I'd know my way around a good image capture. I got into shooting HD vid in the last 4 years as the gear became reachable within my gear budget.... the vid side of my work has really taken off and I'm having a blast doing it. I primarily use a sony ex1 and it sits on a steadicam pilot or an indie slider most of the time. I also use a letus extreme when the project calls for that look.

so... now to the 5d2....

1st.... Fantastic still image quality. I see no dif in resolution, DR, or noise to my 1ds3... that's a good thing. The ONLY thing the 1ds3 is better at is frames per second and buffer... it's just faster. The ONLY thing ( other than vid ) the 5d2 does better is that it's lcd display is remarkably better.... the best I've ever seen.

now on to video.....

The video quality is "Oh my god" the 1st time you see it play back on a 1080p screen.... blacks are crushed a bit ( picture style fixable ) but that's ok....

Very little noise.... this thing practically sees in the dark.

You really only notice compression artifacts when you "pause" the file.... and really only in solid color/texture areas.....

now the bad......

If you have a project where multiple takes of the same are a requirement.... like actors.... you will not be able to lock down settings and get back to them.... you will have to just keep the camera rolling till you get a good take.

If your planning on smoothing out your shaky footage with "smoothcam" or any other post stabilization.... your not going to be happy. The rolling shutter is not obvious in normal shooting, but it will/does create a wobble with smoothcam.

Audio....
no way to stop the AGC.... I hooked up a senn g2 to the 5d2 and you could here the agc doing it's job.... noisy during pauses in speech... I guess one could you levelator or some other post fix.... but....


So....
I guess this camera as a vid camera is like any other.... you need to have a good skill set to pull of a good look.

I'm looking forward to shooting matt shots with it.... not being noticed. And I got a tell you.... with my 85mm 1.2 it's unbelievable! Also... with the 14mm.... gorgeous wide shots with zero distortion. I have not used a shift lens or lensbaby on it yet... but will.

This is a ground breaking camera.... we live in such an incredible time!
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 08:58 AM   #2
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Thanks Christopher

Interested in posting or sending a link of some low light footage with the 14mm? I would be interested in the distortion along with the resolution of the footage with the 14mm.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 09:32 AM   #3
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same feeling here. hope, wish, waiting for the new firmware update.
come on canon we need better control,
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 11:31 AM   #4
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Good to hear more positive feedback about the camera. There will always be issues with these cutting edge products, but I think within a month or so, people will have worked through most of them and will be finding solutions (especially when attaching manual nikon lens).

I have been using the D90 and Casio EX-F1 for a while, and you soon get used to tricking the camera into giving you the settings you want... it's a workaround, but nothing too stressful.

So, by the sounds of it... when you stop recording, the AE lock doesn't stay locked?
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 12:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Witz View Post
If you have a project where multiple takes of the same are a requirement.... like actors.... you will not be able to lock down settings and get back to them.... you will have to just keep the camera rolling till you get a good take.
This is a concern of mine as multiple takes with actors and keeping continuity within scenes will be important to me. However, won't manual aperture Nikon and Zeiss lenses with no change of lighting between shots keep continuity? I can't see why under the same lighting, with no change to the manual aperture the camera would change anything else from shot to shot. Please correct me if I'm missing something though!
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 01:10 PM   #6
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the ISO ( gain ) and the shutter speed with not hold after you stop the recording.... and I'm thinking that white balance will not either.... based on my brief tests.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 02:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Christopher Witz View Post
the ISO ( gain ) and the shutter speed with not hold after you stop the recording.... and I'm thinking that white balance will not either.... based on my brief tests.
White balance is actually one of the few parameters you can set before entering movie mode isn't it?
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 02:11 PM   #8
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Christopher, great thread.

The more I read about the 5D MkII, the closer I am to a purchase.

Regarding audio, I'm resigned to buying a Zoom H4 or similar recorder. I've had too many experiences with buzz and noise on unbalanced audio, so AGC is moot.

Regarding the picture, my two concerns are aliasing and control. Fortunately, the aliasing, codec and rolling shutter aren't all that bad - definitely superior to the D90. And with the right diffusion filter, one should be able to get a true 720p resolution without any aliasing to speak of.

RED's Scarlet will offer RAW shooting, but the 5D MkII offers the next best thing: capture a RAW photo, tweak it with Canon's editor application, store the preset, load it into the camera and shoot. You can turn down sharpening, un-crush the blacks, apply a custom luma curve, replace colors, etc - all on the RAW side of the codec.

As mentioned, an adapter and Nikon/Zeiss manual lenses will provide aperture control.

The only thing left is to set shutter, white balance (maybe the presets will set this) and ISO. I'm sure that the community will sort this out. Maybe we'll be building work around boxes - a cardboard box with a sheet of paper and a light - that we'll have at the ready to consistently fix the settings.

Anyway, given an external audio recorder, the right diffusion filter(s), the right lenses, a workflow that considers color grading up front, and a creative means for consistently locking down settings, we have the potential for nearly flawless end results. The only limitations that remain are a moderate rolling shutter effect, not-quite full 1080 resolution/anti-aliasing, and the lack of variable/rampable frame rates.

I can live with that...
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 02:39 PM   #9
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I agree with everything you've just said, Jon, with the main exception that no 24p or 25p is a dealbreaker. The 480p HDMI out (while recording video) also makes it a tough focusing proposition.

Plus I also wonder if there will be heat issues with shooting continuous back-to-back takes (as in a dramatic film environment), or shutter durability problems (they say it's rated to 150,000 exposures, but what about video)?

All that said, I too am pondering a purchase. It's a game-changing sensor at this price point.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 03:04 PM   #10
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the shutter opens wide for the duration of live view/vid mode.... counts as a single exposure I guess.

I'm not really seeing any aliasing..... I'm sure a touch of black mist in post would be an easy fix.

30p to 24p is an easy pre FCP fix using cinema tools.... practically instant and no stutter or quality loss when brought into a 24p timeline.

I'm able to get my apertures to stay open when in an interior environment.... I do have a zeiss 50 1.4 c/y that I've mounted on the cam.... but I'm just as happy to use my ef lenses.

I've slapped my formatt matte box and ND filters on the front and can get the light down for outdoors.... also going to try my variable ND filter when I get a chance. ( some say this is just 2 polarizers stacked.... good for up to 8 stops loss.... worth every penny... errrr... hundreds....

Singh-Ray Filters: Vari-ND Variable Neutral Density Filter
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 03:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Koo View Post
I agree with everything you've just said, Jon, with the main exception that no 24p or 25p is a dealbreaker. The 480p HDMI out (while recording video) also makes it a tough focusing proposition.

Plus I also wonder if there will be heat issues with shooting continuous back-to-back takes (as in a dramatic film environment), or shutter durability problems (they say it's rated to 150,000 exposures, but what about video)?

All that said, I too am pondering a purchase. It's a game-changing sensor at this price point.
At 30fps shutter speed with that rating you'll burn through your 150k in about an hour and twenty minutes. At 120 fps you'll have a dead camera in about twenty minutes.

Is there something so fantastically damaging about opening and closing a shutter that it should kill a $3,000 camera in 20 minutes?
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 03:34 PM   #12
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the physical shutter is rated at the amount.... live view/vid mode is with that shutter open the whole time.

will not effect the rated shutter life.....
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 04:04 PM   #13
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Video is a Live View function. The mechanical shutter definitely moves out of the way. Each time you hit REC, you burn only one shutter cycle.

Regarding aliasing, once it's recorded, you can't get rid of it with filtering or downscaling - in some cases. For instance, film a white picket fence over a dark background far, far in the distance. When a fence picket falls on a pixel, the result is white. Where it misses you get black. At certain frequencies, you'll get a series of black pixels followed by a series of white pixels. The black/white areas can span large areas. Pan slowly, and these white and black areas can dance around wildly. These artifacts will continue to show, no matter the scaling and filtering in post.

On the other hand, if you filter optically before sampling, the distant picket fence will be uniformly gray. Zoom in and you'll start to see details as they fall into the valid frequency range.

This is important to me as we plan a film noir throwback. I need to show wool hats, fine plaids, herringbones and lace without aliasing patterns dancing around as things move. I don't yet have the camera, so I don't know how good/bad it will be. Needless to say, I'll be doing some detailed testing.

I've been doing signal processing for 30 years. (Geez, I feel old.) Experience has shown that a somewhat soft image is just fine, as long as it's not back-to-back with a much sharper image. On the other hand, a single radically wrong pixel will draw the eye - especially if it moves or goes on and off.

Anyway, if you start seeing dancing patterns on fine details, don't assume that you can fix it in post. Either live with it, if it's not too bad, or filter it optically.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 04:14 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
This is important to me as we plan a film noir throwback. I need to show wool hats, fine plaids, herringbones and lace without aliasing patterns dancing around as things move. I don't yet have the camera, so I don't know how good/bad it will be. Needless to say, I'll be doing some detailed testing.
Please keep us updated on this as I'm very interested in what you work out.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 05:06 PM   #15
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I'm not sure how long it will take. First I have to convince my wife. ;) Next I will need to place a deposit and get in line...
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