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Old December 11th, 2008, 11:44 PM   #1
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Does the Canon EOS 5D Mk. II have a quality codec?

And about the codec? Can it be considered as a professional codec?
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Old December 12th, 2008, 07:17 AM   #2
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My opinion is that it is a "usable" codec.

But "professional" is a fairly ambiguous term. If compared to non compressed codecs from very high end systems.... then no.

But.... so far it does handle a bit of tweaking in post.... and I've already made money doing "professional" projects with it.... so yes?
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Old December 12th, 2008, 10:03 AM   #3
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IMHO, the codec is excellent for the price, considering that it's real-time and battery-powered. The results are small enough to stream onto any decent CF card, yet nice enough to give a good result.

If you ask me, they nailed it.

Sure, REDCODE or equivalent would be better, but if you want that, sell the 5D MkII on eBay next year and get a Scarlet...
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Old December 12th, 2008, 10:27 AM   #4
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How would the codec compare with HDV?
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Old December 12th, 2008, 11:00 AM   #5
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the bitrate is higher than HDV, so the quality is probably a bit higher. H.264 usually comes out great.

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How would the codec compare with HDV?
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Old December 12th, 2008, 11:03 AM   #6
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Quality from the 5dmkII's going to be significantly higher than HDV:

HDV uses mpeg2 compression, the older standard that DVDs and original DV uses. HDV 1080i uses a recording data rate of 25 Mbit/s (3.125 MB/s) while HDV 720p records at 19.7 Mbit/s (2.46 MB/s).

The 5DmkII uses mpeg4 based compression, which is newer, higher quality for the bitrate, and is used in things like DirecTV's newer HD channels and AVCHD. The 5Dmk2 has a recording data rate of somewhere around 47 Mbit/s (5.6 MB/s).

Ergo, it's using a more efficient codec (higher quality) at a higher bitrate (higher quality).

For comparison, newer AVCHD cameras like the HF11 have a super-high quality mode that uses AVCHD's highest bitrate setting, 24 Mbit/s, but that's more than 20 megabit less than the 5DmkII's laying down for the same resolution.

The 5DmkII's going to be the highest compression quality you can get without spending significantly more money.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 11:03 AM   #7
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much better than the hdv I get out of my archived z1u and hv20 footage.

not quite at artifact free when tweaked as my ex1 ( 5d2 footage can get a bit of banding if not converted to prorez before tweaking or adding grads )
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Old December 12th, 2008, 11:56 AM   #8
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The 5DmkII uses mpeg4 based compression, which is newer, higher quality for the bitrate, and is used in things like DirecTV's newer HD channels and AVCHD. The 5Dmk2 has a recording data rate of somewhere around 47 Mbit/s (5.6 MB/s).
Actually I'm pretty consistently seeing 39 Mbit/s, which is still quite a bit more than HDV.

The only drawback of the codec I've seen so far is that it's not treated as a native format in FCP so you don't get any realtime transitions, effects, etc. Converting to prores works well, unfortunately I prefer to work on my laptop and the conversion is slower than real time. I expect my workflow will be cuts-only native, then media manager transcode to prores only the clips used in my rough and then finish to prores master.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 12:03 PM   #9
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Actually I'm pretty consistently seeing 39 Mbit/s, which is still quite a bit more than HDV.
Yea, that's why I said somewhere around, I think the initial reports were math inflated. In any case, even at the same bitrate MPEG4 would look a whole lot better than MPEG2, and the 5D even outdoes the max of AVCHD by 15+ megabit.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 12:06 PM   #10
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h.264 allows very advanced efficient coding. You can get great results in 15Mbps. But that requires a top-class fixed hardware (typically 2RU) or slower than real-time software implementation.

The h.264 encoded in the 5D MkII likely doesn't implement many of the tricks that the format offers, but at 47Mbps, it doesn't have to.

It's definitely better than HDV, which is MPEG-2, has fewer bits-per-second, and is only 1440 wide.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 12:07 PM   #11
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Something to be aware of when checking out sample clips online is that many people are intentionally pushing the limits of the camera in low light because it's so good at that. However this does potentially introduce multicolor noise, especially in shadows, which is easy to mistake for compression artifacts. If you really want to evaluate the codec quality (independent of the camera noise) you should look for well-lit or daylight clips shot at something less than 1600 ISO.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 12:57 PM   #12
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Good point, Evan,

Also, one should look at content with smooth gradients as well as other video lots of texture/detail. Also, study images with little motion, and others with high motion and fast shutter. This will give you an idea of where the codec shines, and where it falls apart.

Frankly, the D90's poor compression of texture is what drove me to the 5D MkII.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 01:19 PM   #13
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Does video from 5D Mark II records in sRGB color spase, is it 0-255 ??

My colleagues see it 16-235 in vector scope and wave form, thus crushed blacks and clipped highlights, what we see in pretty much all examples presented.

On Windows platform they switch to Enable Direct3D video acceleration in QT.

Apparently, a plugin for OS X platform has to be developed to utilize full image quality of the camera..
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Old December 12th, 2008, 01:34 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Oleg Kalyan View Post
Does video from 5D Mark II records in sRGB color spase, is it 0-255 ??

My colleagues see it 16-235 in vector scope and wave form, thus crushed blacks and clipped highlights, what we see in pretty much all examples presented.

On Windows platform they switch to Enable Direct3D video acceleration in QT.

Apparently, a plugin for OS X platform has to be developed to utilize full image quality of the camera..
It is 8 bit sRGB. The A/D converter is 14 bit.

As quicktime is apples product, it's unlikely it needs a plugin for OSX. All recent macs use the graphics card to decode h.264. Perhaps windows machines need a little help from the plugin.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 01:38 PM   #15
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Don thank you,
mu colleagues had a hard time to get full 0-255.
Is there a workaround, to you see it, are you on Mac?
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