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Old March 2nd, 2009, 06:24 PM   #1
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Anyone Tested EX1 Vs MKII?

I was wondering if anyone has done any shot comparison tests between the EX1 and MKII? I did a very small one last night where I just filmed myself in front of both cameras under the same lighting and personally I felt the MKII blew the EX1 away, but I was hoping someone out there has maybe done more extensive testing between the two?
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 06:31 PM   #2
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Good thought. Can you post your results from the test you did?
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 06:36 PM   #3
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This should give you a frame of reference...

http://rebelsguide.com/dl/sensorSizes_06_cheatSheet.png

Look at the sensor size difference between the two.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 06:47 PM   #4
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I use an EX3 and a 5D.

The Ex3 is a real video camera with fantastic features 24P over-crank etc. Completely controllable. A real pro vid cam. It is easy to get the look you are after a fantastic easy to focus wf. HD SDI out full time (can be used for uncompressed capture), built in ND filters, great audio quality Timecode etc. etc. I can go on and on.

The 5D is really intriguing. The DOF, big choice of lenses at an affordable price. I love it.
But it is not very controllable the video is much more compressed than 35mb VBR/sec XDcam. Audio sucks. I think it is the start of sort of a revolution though. And I do love it. Just don't get me stated on 30p.

If I have a video shoot I will always bring both but I use the EX3 99% of the time, the DSR500 20%, The Z1 as broll 30%. On the other hand I don't even bring the EX3 or the other vid cams for a still shoot.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 07:05 PM   #5
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There is a comparison video here with the 5D2 and an EX1:
Sony EX1 and Canon 5d Mark II Comparison on Vimeo

It is clear the the 5D2 will easily dominate in low light.

What I would like to see is how the 5D2 will compare with a EX1 or similar in image quality. The 4:2:0 is discouraging and sure we can discuss the technical details but I would like to see what it really means in practice. Also would be interested to compare the difference in latitude.

One of the challenges in comparing the cameras has been dealing with the codec, range of levels, and gamma offset. Now that the Cineform products solve many of the problems I think we can get an accurate idea of where the 5D2 really stands.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 07:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olof Ekbergh View Post
If I have a video shoot I will always bring both but I use the EX3 99% of the time, the DSR500 20%, The Z1 as broll 30%. On the other hand I don't even bring the EX3 or the other vid cams for a still shoot.
I agree, for a standard type of video shoot an EX1/EX3 is a far superior tool due to it's versatility and ease of use to work with, but what if you were shooting a low budget feature? Would you rather shoot that on an EX3 without an adapter, or on a MKII?
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 07:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana Rice View Post
...but what if you were shooting a low budget feature? Would you rather shoot that on an EX3 without an adapter, or on a MKII?
Well said. And as we see in the test video, you don't have to afford lights with the 5D - simple candles will suffice.

-C
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 02:49 AM   #8
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5D for narrative film

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Drews View Post
Well said. And as we see in the test video, you don't have to afford lights with the 5D - simple candles will suffice.
And you can afford a proper sound person(s) instead of all the grip and lightning plus you have much more time for shooting instead of setup. In most cases what you see is what you get with f1.8 lenses on 5D MKII figure out how to produce rim light(s) in practical lightning scenarios and you can get great results. (Doc:Books/Essential Blender/11.2.Lighting: Discussion - BlenderWiki)

I recently did a run and gun job with 5D and two lenses: 19-35mm and 50mm and for run and gun I really missed the zoom range of a true ENG camcorder.

Cheers,
T
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 06:00 AM   #9
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Just mentioning that 'lighting' is somewhat more than raising the light levels of a given space. 'Lighting' really means 'painting with light' and for that the candle won't do. And even if available light is used one generally needs quite a lot of tools to 'direct' light in certain ways. So much for saving on the grip truck.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 11:52 AM   #10
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I haven't compared my 5D2 with the EX1, but I did compare it with my XH-A1 and I think some of the results are similar.

In every situation, I really prefer the colors on the 5D2. To my eye they are much more realistic and natural. In sixty seconds I can get colors that are better than what I get after spending 60 hours on a 3-chip camera tinkering with custom settings, homemade white balance cards, and post-processing.

For thin DOF and low light, the 5D2 is superior. I haven't tested dynamic range, but I think I'm getting a lot more stops than my XH A1 when there is ample light.

I don't mind the 30p so much, and I can even live without aperture control sometimes. But lack of shutter control just kills the image. Not being able to set it to 180-degree shutter is bad enough, but having it jump from one take to the next is very frustrating; to say nothing of the fact that it jumps in the middle of a zoom (even with exposure locked and with fixed-aperture zoom lenses).

The 5D2 has a lot of noise reduction, even at low ISO. Everything takes on a plastic texture. Of course, many people like noise reduction, so this feature saves them from doing time-consuming NR in post production.

The 5D2 images look way too sharp in an artificial way, even with sharpness all the way down in the camera. I believe this is due to the extremely bad aliasing artifacts. Most people use high sharpness settings and like aliasing, so this is a positive effect for them.

Here are my general thoughts about the 5D2. What would it be like if you sat down to try and design the world's worst video camera? How many flaws could you include before no one would buy it? Imagine that you came up with the following:
  • Completely ignore 2 out of 3 lines on the sensor.
  • Worst aliasing artifacts (including moire) ever known to mankind.
  • Ergonomics that make grown men cry after just a few minutes.
  • No manual control. Resets after every run-record.
  • Applies heavy noise reduction if when NR is "disabled".
  • Compression engine adds many artifacts despite a high bitrate.
  • Moderately bad skew/wobble/jello (slow read-reset).
  • No control over the audio gain (noise pumps up during quiet spots).
  • 30P only, no 24p, 25p, or other frame rates.
  • Shutter speed that changes when you zoom even if exposure is locked.
  • Recording stops at 12 minutes for no good reason.
  • Zero live video outputs (instead of the normal 2 or 3 simultaneous).
  • No tilt/swivel LCD.
  • No lenses with good focus ring throw, breathing, or electronic zoom.
  • 1/8" mini stereo input only (no XLR).
  • No built-in ND filters.
  • Image stabilization doesn't work well with panning or tilting.
  • No useful information during shooting (zebra, histogram, you name it).
  • No focus aids while the camera is rolling (peaking, zoom, etc.)

Obviously, no one would buy that hunk of junk. Even just one of those flaws, by itself, would be enough for most people to toss it in the can. So you would have to include a few features to entice someone:
  • Inexpensive Compact Flash media.
  • Realtively small and lightweight.
  • Compatible with inexpensive used lenses.
  • Great stills mode.
  • Color filters with much higher accuracy than prism-based systems.
  • Good control over in-camera processing (saturation, contrast, etc.)
  • High resolution LCD (even if it is stuck to the camera).
  • 10X zoom for focusing (stops once the camera begins rolling).
  • Only $2700 for the body.

That's still not enough to recommend it over anything else, given all of its problems. So you really need an ace in the hole:
  • Huge sensor (28 times more area than 1/2")

Ah, there we go. Now that's a valuable feature. When combined with very wide apertures (e.g. 25mm aperture is possible at wide angle fields of view) it results in much greater light gathering power for low light scenes and very thin DOF. Of course, that's only if you can find a way to trick the automatic controls into the settings you want, and you can live with redoing those tricks after every take. Many folks desire thin DOF and light gathering power in order to create images that resemble film, but the aliasing artifacts, noise reduction, and shutter speed inconsistency (especially) will ensure that never happens: the results are firmly and obviously video.

That is the 5D Mark II.

Now, almost all other cameras in the same price range are different. They have none of the flaws (or at least reduced in severity) of the 5D2, but they do not have the sensor size. Aside from DOF and light gathering power, they can look like film by controlling shutter speed, frame rate, noise reduction, and aliasing artifacts. I know that sometimes it looks like the "glass is greener" on the 5D2 side of the fence, but you should be aware of the issues. The 5D2 is only a good choice if you're willing to live with all those terrible flaws in order to get that one advantage. For me, it was worth it.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 12:09 PM   #11
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Good summary, Daniel.

One note about the shutter changing when zooming... if you zoom during your shots, use Nikon glass, or cut yourself a mylar ring to decouple your Canon lenses. It's yet another PITA workaround, but if it allows you to get the shot...
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 10:51 PM   #12
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Daniel, thanks so much for a valuable summary of the pros and cons. For those of us still on the fence, it's a nice concise list to mull over.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 09:00 AM   #13
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EX1 vs 5D mk II

I thought I would add a bit to this conversation. A little background - I have a background in still photography with a hobby in video production which evolved fifteen years ago into video production career with a photography hobby. Currently I have 2 EX1 cameras and have used them for one year. They are amazing cameras - really amazing. I have used everything from DVX's, HVX's to full size 2/3 gear. The EX1's is probably my favorite camera I have ever owned - and probably will be until Red comes out with a scarlet. I own a Letus Extreme and Zeiss lens to go with it. I recently purchased a 5d Mark II. I have owned several Nikon's including a D100 and D200. It was a big step to switch from Nikon to Canon (Although my first digital SLR was a Canon D30 ten years ago). I expect Nikon to soon come out with a new D800? which will have 24p HD video which will give the Canon a run for the money, but I cannot wait for vaporware. It could be this week or one year.

So what are my thoughts? The Canon is an amazing still camera. Although the interface seems a little clunky having used Nikons over the years (Maybe I just have to get used to it.) But this is about video right? The reason I got the camera was to produce great looking Web documentary travel blogs. To get to places it would be difficult to get carrying a EX1 (Not weight, but permission and freedom). Pro Video cameras are noticed more than SLR cameras. It is like shooting with my huge EX1/Letus shoulder-mount setup - except that with a small in comparison SLR and monopod. I can get images I could not otherwise get - quickly and easily. I will have a lot of fun with this

BUT - I sure pray Canon releases firmware to give me control (and hopefully as well 24p and 25p - but at least control). It is like shooting with a RED ONE point and shoot. The images can be amazing, but I should not have to do hacks and tricks to get the image the way I want it. I should not have to hope the camera picks my preferred settings - which it will not. There is so much potential here - I just hope they fix this one as opposed to expecting me to buy a new body mark III soon. And audio - well there is no comparison. I will most likely get a Zoom H4N soon to use with my wireless mics.

Compared with the EX1/Letus - for serious video production - there is no comparison. The amount of control the EX1 offers is amazing. The overcrank slow motion and endless recording capacity swapping cards easily. The absolute control. And with a Letus and Zeiss, amazing film-like images. But in a huge package. And very noticable. But for 95 percent of projects the Canon would be too much of a risk and I would never use it as a primary camera.

UNLESS -
1. Canon updates the firmware to turn off auto gain on the audio input so I can use external mics with no concern
2. Canon enables full control over settings of aperture, shutter and ISO when recording to video. (Of course I can us my Nikon and Zeiss lenses and not give Canon any more money for lenses - But I would love to stick with Canon lenses)
3. Enables shooting to 24p and 25p as well as 30p. (It would be cool to have 60p 720 for slow motion, but I am sure this is asking too much.)

If they did these three easy things, then I would use this camera in 70% of my projects and buy a second one. The only thing it would not work well for then is long form or multi cam event videography. Man that would be cool.

Canon - are you listening.

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Old December 22nd, 2009, 06:48 AM   #14
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EX3 vs 5D MKII

I have used the EX3 for just over a year for documentary style shooting in India primarily.
I recently started using the 5d MKII. I have not used the EX3 even once after this.

I am currently in post production with a doc shot partly on the EX3 and partly on the 5D MKII. I am now going back to India to shoot more on the 5D MKII as the images seem so much better than the EX3 that there is no comparison at all.

I am no technician and possess only a little knowledge about cameras but I know that when the shots are in the edit suite and people start oohing and aahing whenever the 5d shots come up, then there is definitely something about those images.

The main advantages of the 5DMKII for me:

Superb images in all sorts of light so I can continue shooting right into the night upto 10 or 11 pm in candlelight.
Not having to lug any lighting gear around.
Not having to lug a heavy camera and heavy tripod around.
The ability to use the small portable Glidetrack for some unique shots.
For interviews for the most part using the sound from a Rode videomic along with the Zoom H4N on a gorilla pod.
Nobody giving a second look at me while I am shooting.
No permissions needed for the most part.
Using the camera on a spider brace all day if neccessary for some truly dynamic shots.
Using the camera on a 20 dollar monopod where no tripod is allowed.
Using the RAW stills and moving them in editing.
Using the unique DOF of these cameras.
Ability to do Time lapse.
Since my DVDs are NTSC anyway, (I sell hordes of them in the USA), I see no problem with not having 25 p yet (although that is coming).

The main disadvantage:
Occasional aliasing which I can spot.
But it seems that this aliasing is an issue which the audience does not care about at least for documentaries.

I am told that the resolution in detail for the MKII is worse, but I the advantages for documentary so outwigh the disadvantages that I will not be using the EX3 for docs any more.

I am now seriously thinking of selling the EX3 and buying a couple of 5Dmkii cameras more.
At least for me, the 5d MKII images blow the EX3 away.
This camera has seriously redefined documentary techniques and expanded boundaries for me.

Cheers
Dr. Manish Pandit
Saraswati Films | Press Releases and News
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Old January 15th, 2010, 01:17 PM   #15
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EX3 or EX1 vs 5D MKII

Just an update on what I said before I went to shoot in India.

My film premiered at the Pravasi Film Festival in Delhi but with the MKii it was so easy shooting till 10 pm that I could attend the film festival and do shooting at night when it was important to attend.
The main con with the 5D MKii was dust getting into the sensor which would not clean with the sensor clean function.
I was showing off some of the shots done with a 1.8 lens in the evening and I can tell you the reaction was nothing short of amazing.
The other thing I noticed was how much energy I retained even after every shoot because of the low weight of my equipment.


This camera in my opinion blows away the EX1 and EX3 for any documentary which does not need fast motion capture and where bad aliasing and 25p conversion is not a problem (this last bit will change in a few days)
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