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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 February 5th, 2009, 09:40 PM   #46
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I've always been one to jump onto new technology (especially anything to do with capturing images) and push it to the limit and see what really lies under the hood, so to speak.

The 5D2 is quite an amazing piece of work and I'll admit that I too have been awestruck by it's motion-imaging potential - as seen on the web. However I wanted to see it's footage put to "real" use, and after just recently putting the little Canon through it's paces in a real production environment and, seeing it's output in the same color-critical displays we use for all our other video work it's clear this is *not* meant for professional use. Period.

It's shortcomings as a primary video camera are well documented (or whined about, depending on your perspective) but the real deal-killer was it's actual output when put through either FCP or Avid and out to a calibrated monitor; colors and gamma just fall apart not to mention the shutter-speed and rolling shutter issues. Zacuto did their own multi-camera test in late '08 with the 5D2 as part of the fray; although the results are only available as a web-download I can tell you that the web-version doesn't show the full truth in just how badly the 5D2 imagery doesn't hold up.

If all you care about is YouTube-quality video or, only showing your work on the web then this and any other DSLR-for-video is the perfect tool. If you want to use it to produce broadcast-quality TV, good looking Blu-Ray movies or even indie-film work - look elsewhere.

It is however, an amazing DSLR and produces stills far superior to Canon's current flagship the 1Ds MkIII - god help us when the MkIV arrives!
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Old February 5th, 2009, 10:01 PM   #47
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Robert,

I'm inclined to agree with you to a point, I do see the primary output of the 5DmkII as web video and I think Canon do too.

I would be interested to know if you tested the colour and gamma accuracy using the new version of Quicktime that fixes the gamma for FCP? and did you use any custom picture styles on the camera? if not maybe you could try again and see if it gets closer to what you want.

From my initial testing it is improved but I am not sure by how much. The camera does have its own 'look' even after these fixes. Oh, and the Zacuto test looked dreadful I agree.

Dan
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Old February 5th, 2009, 10:38 PM   #48
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You beat me to it Dan. I have checked the color issues with QT 7.6 (as have others here) and although the gamma is still a bit goofy, overall, the colors are substantially improved. The clipped whites and crushed blacks are definitely gone and David Newman of Cineform has posted a decent explanation of what HAD been going on (pre-QT 7.6), in his blog:

CineForm Insider

But other than that, the basic premise of Robert Lane's post gibes with my view.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 10:50 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Mike Williams View Post
perhaps an easy fix....

1) exposure lock without needing to be rolling and keep it on until we decide to deactivate it PLEASE.
2) shutter locked at 1/60.. for starters:)
3) aperture control.... maybe a stretch ...

In case you are on the fence about this cam... forget it unless they fix these things for video. You will be sorry.
I'd qualify that last statement with "if you are a run and gun shooter." If you are working in more controlled environments, with time to make the adjustments, it's very usable, though more frustrating than it needs to be.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 10:58 PM   #50
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...colors and gamma just fall apart not to mention the shutter-speed and rolling shutter issues....
Robert, could you be more specific?

We just finished a 14 minute short that we submitted to the Seattle International Film Festival. On our budget, there's no way we could have matched the quality with anything else on the market.

There were a few rules we had to follow. We always used 1/40 (which is too slow for my tastes, but usable. I'd prefer the 1/60 or 1/80 setting, please.) We were able to set the aperture manually, and set an optimal ISO with the histogram display. We didn't have fast motion or fast pans, so rolling shutter was a non-issue. We re-wrapped, rather than using QT7.6, and we created our own custom preset, so we were 100% happy with the colors and gamma that we achieved.

For this indie, it was definitely the best tool for the job at its price point. But you have to work within its limitations, and you have to have the time to mess with the settings, which is a royal PITA.

Still, I wouldn't go back and change it for anything - without a bigger budget.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 11:03 PM   #51
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I have to disagree with Mike. My company is already using it on clients projects and everybody has been pleased with the results. The difficulty of operating the camera in my opinion is exaggerated and I believe mostly held by people that never gave it a chance or have never even seen it in person.

I would welcome manual control but so far it has not been a bad experience.

With that said, it's defiantly not for everyone. I would have a hard time recommending it over a HDV camcorder.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 12:43 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
Robert, could you be more specific?

We just finished a 14 minute short that we submitted to the Seattle International Film Festival. On our budget, there's no way we could have matched the quality with anything else on the market.

There were a few rules we had to follow. We always used 1/40 (which is too slow for my tastes, but usable. I'd prefer the 1/60 or 1/80 setting, please.) We were able to set the aperture manually, and set an optimal ISO with the histogram display. We didn't have fast motion or fast pans, so rolling shutter was a non-issue. We re-wrapped, rather than using QT7.6, and we created our own custom preset, so we were 100% happy with the colors and gamma that we achieved.

For this indie, it was definitely the best tool for the job at its price point. But you have to work within its limitations, and you have to have the time to mess with the settings, which is a royal PITA.

Still, I wouldn't go back and change it for anything - without a bigger budget.
I have an indie in the script-writing phase right now. We are planning on using only the 5D2 and some rental accessories. My daughter works in Hollywood and she has many friends who are published writers, network soap opera actors, indie actors, director wannabes, etc. They are all in their late 20's (the little creeps). They all want to be in an indie to improve their portfolio. I've never done film production but I'm learning as fast as I can. I'm all that they've got for free shooting.

Could you share some more detail on your overall experience/process?
Did you use any kind of stabilizer?
Did you convert it to film for Seattle?
Did you use fixed ND or var ND?
Any chance for me to see it?

Maybe this should be a new thread?
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Old February 6th, 2009, 02:05 AM   #53
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Maybe this should be a new thread?
Good suggestion. Here it is: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/canon-eos...-festival.html
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Old February 6th, 2009, 11:51 AM   #54
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I have to disagree with Mike. My company is already using it on clients projects and everybody has been pleased with the results. The difficulty of operating the camera in my opinion is exaggerated and I believe mostly held by people that never gave it a chance or have never even seen it in person.

I would welcome manual control but so far it has not been a bad experience.

With that said, it's defiantly not for everyone. I would have a hard time recommending it over a HDV camcorder.
Sorry Daniel but that's hardly accurate. If you're following this thread, pretty much everyone involved are serious producers, shooting a lot and obviously seeing it a lot in professional environments. I'm guessing the company I run has probably got more footage and projects under our belt with it than your company for instance...Dan Chung...Jon Fairhurst...no we're not people who aren't giving it a chance or not seeing it in person.

I'm saying this only because your comment questions the validity of the people giving their input here. It's best to offer opinions about the camera and not editorialize about other peoples intent or experience.

There's a very balanced and accurate picture of the camera given in this thread by people who are shooting the hell out of it. There's no whining or Canon bashing - just professional opinions as to the experience we're sharing and our hopes for fixes to some very obvious issues that are, in fact, affecting our work with it.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 12:28 PM   #55
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Jim, I think you misunderstood me. You assume I meant everybody but that's not what I said.

I did not mean anybody in particular, and I don't believe it would include anybody taking part in this discussion. However, this topic is not limited to this thread.

There is a popular opinion that the camera is crippled and that may be true to some extent but many including Dan Chung and Jon Fairhurst have proven that it is a useful tool. To suggest "you will be sorry" is in my opinion inaccurate.

If I offended anybody I apologize.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 12:51 PM   #56
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3 prime lenses for indie short

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
For this indie, it was definitely the best tool for the job at its price point. But you have to work within its limitations, and you have to have the time to mess with the settings, which is a royal PITA.

Still, I wouldn't go back and change it for anything - without a bigger budget.
Hi Jon,

Glad to hear it went so well and I hope we get a chance to see it! Online, that is, or someplace closer than Seattle.

As an indie short maker myself who recently got the 5D Mk II, may I ask what lenses you used? I'm relatively new to shooting (I've got an XH A1), and completely new to shooting with the Mk II, and I want to gear up, preferably, like you, for under a grand (http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/canon-eos...-under-1k.html). I got the 24-105mm lens that came with the camera, but, based on what I've read in this forum, I'm going to buy Nikon manual primes. I've already got the adapters; just trying to decide which primes to start with.

Since you do shorts, as opposed to journalism or run and gun or weddings, I'm curious to know, of the lenses you got for under $1K, which are your happiest with?

As a matter of fact, I'd like to ask everyone--

I know many here have contributed to the lens discussion on this site, but I'd like to boil it down to this:

If you could only have 3 manual primes for shooting narrative films with the Canon 5D Mark II, which ones would you choose?

(I gotta say, I envy the technical expertise on display here, but you wouldn't believe how bewildering it can be sometimes for English major-types like myself.)
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Old February 6th, 2009, 12:53 PM   #57
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Hey Daniel, I'm all over the useful tool thing...we're certatinly proving that. But I don't get the "you'll be sorry" quote - whose saying that?

In fact I completely disagree with the above assertions that the 5DII images don't hold up to traditional HD cameras or that it's use is primarily web centric. The images I'm getting are better than any of our traditional cameras setup with 35mm adapters or straight through the HD lenses that we've used.


In fact the Zacuto shoot referenced was done before they understood how to regain the Luma or before the Quiicktime upgrade. Quality 5D2 footage doesn't look anything like what it looked like in that test.

The images (allowing for a bit too much aliasing) are definitely ready for prime time...more than ready.

The lack of any level of control isn't though and that's the focus of this thread.
Of course you can work around it. I'm working around it everyday. That's the point. I haven't shown any of our recent work because it's proprietary. I'm editing two projects now that I'll have available featuring the handheld capabilities with IS etc.

Again, when you see some of the straight run and gun, using the 24-105 hand held with IS you'll probably like it - as I do. There a real benefits to that.

However, there hasn't been a single shoot or shot of the many I've done with this so far that I haven't been disappointed in the lack of the most basic controls or where the project would not be a lot better if I could make it do what I wanted it to do when I needed it to do it - not close to what I want after too much effort.

That is certainly not an unreasonable thing to expect in the 21st century with a state of the art camera. That's the point
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Old February 6th, 2009, 12:59 PM   #58
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In case you are on the fence about this cam... forget it unless they fix these things for video. You will be sorry.
Jim, just for closure I was quoting an earlier post by Mike Williams.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 01:16 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Greg Joyce View Post

Since you do shorts, as opposed to journalism or run and gun or weddings, I'm curious to know, of the lenses you got for under $1K, which are your happiest with?

As a matter of fact, I'd like to ask everyone--

I know many here have contributed to the lens discussion on this site, but I'd like to boil it down to this:

If you could only have 3 manual primes for shooting narrative films with the Canon 5D Mark II, which ones would you choose?

(I gotta say, I envy the technical expertise on display here, but you wouldn't believe how bewildering it can be sometimes for English major-types like myself.)
Greg, if you're specifically looking at a $1k budget, and assuming that used lenses are in the mix, then I'd recommend these:


20mm f2.8, 24mm f2, or 28mm f2

50mm f1.4 or 50mm f1.2

105mm f2.5

People can debate all day about the comparable quality of these,and they do. I've got them all and honestly they'll all give you beautiful color and saturation and they are sharp.

Of course the 35mm f2 is great, but if I were going for just 3 lenses then 24mm or 28mm is more useful than the 35mm. Either 50mm is super fast with great bokeh (the f1.2 is world class and the 1.4 is great). And short of the legendary 85mm f1.4 (which will cost the entire $1k budget), the 105mm f2.5 is about as nice a "one shot" lens as you'll find and the price is about a third of the 85mm 1.4

If you hunt around you can easily put a great 4 lens package for that budget. I did it recently for our second kit, and got the 20mm 2.8, the 28mm 2.0, the 50mm 1.4 and the 105mm 2.5 all used in mint condition for around that.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 02:17 PM   #60
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Greg, if you're specifically looking at a $1k budget, and assuming that used lenses are in the mix, then I'd recommend these:

20mm f2.8, 24mm f2, or 28mm f2

50mm f1.4 or 50mm f1.2

105mm f2.5
I'll second Jim's recommendations. For our short, we were cheapskates. I picked up a 24mm Vivitar lens for next to nothing. We have a 50mm f/1.8. I'm still in the market for the 105mm f/2.5. We have a 200mm f/4, which was another dirt-cheap purchase. We also untwist our Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS. Add to that some IR filters, a set of macro adapters, a polarizer, some ND filters, a Soft #1 and a Diffuser #3, and that's our whole kit.

Our cheap lenses are sharp enough, and the distortion isn't bad. The biggest problem is light falloff at the larger apertures. The main reason to get a 50mm f1.2 or 1.4 isn't that you need to open it all the way. It's so you can shoot at f/1.8 or so without your corners getting dark. Nathan (my oldest son, and the director) was able to get enough light to keep the ISO under 1,000, and cheat the aperture a bit, so light fall off wasn't a problem. Given that we're doing a noir knock off, we didn't need or want uber short DOF anyway. Heck, with original noir, they lit the heck out of their sets specifically so they could dial down the aperture for a gritty look.

Best of luck getting your lens set together!
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