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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 March 26th, 2009, 02:23 AM   #1
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Capturing HDMI - Don't bother

I finally got a chance to hook up the 5D MkII HDMI output to a capture card. The results were extremely disappointing.

When in Live View, you see a 4x3 (or so) output in a pillar box. Not only is the output interlaced, but it's subsampled. That's on top of the every-third-line subsampling that we get by default. The result with my test chart was not usable.

FWIW, you can push the focus assist box into the corner. That leaves a clear view of the video of roughly 1320 x 700 pixels. One could shoot 2:35 Cinemascope and have some lines to spare - except the picture stinks.

Oh well, it's good enough for focus and framing on an HDMI monitor, but that's about it.

One problem for monitoring. When you press record, the HDMI output changes from (crummy) 1080i to 480i. It can take some time before the monitor re-synchs. Frankly, I think we're better off with a 480i analog monitor.

Oh well. This is disappointing, but I can't really expect that we'd be able to capture clean uncompressed HDMI. I still want manual controls and 24p badly. The poor HDMI output during Live View is no big deal.
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Old March 26th, 2009, 04:30 AM   #2
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Jon,

You have confirmed my results and posted before I had a chance.

I was really disappointed by the lack of full res live view.

I was hoping to use Panasonic's new HPG20 AVC-Intra recorder tethered to the Canon for high quality recording.

Love/Hate is the only way i can describe it.
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Old March 26th, 2009, 12:31 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Art Aldrich View Post
Love/Hate is the only way i can describe it.
I totally agree! I've never had such conflicted feelings toward a product. Even lens choices are challenging: do I want a Nikon for video or a Canon for stills? If a Canon lens, do I risk untwisting, or do I mess with a mylar gasket?

The saving grace is that with the right understanding of the camera, one can make gorgeous video with it - and do it in stealth in natural light.

The key is to figure out what it can do, avoid what it can't, and work around the stuff in between.

But still, I really wish they'd give us manual control. I'm sitting on my lens budget to see if they announce firmware updates this next month. I'd prefer to buy Canon lenses, but won't with the current control problems.
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Old March 26th, 2009, 12:37 PM   #4
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capture or monitor

are you guys talking about capturing the signal via HDMI using a Matrox or some such other device, or just monitoring the output via HDMI?
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Old March 26th, 2009, 01:11 PM   #5
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are you guys talking about capturing the signal via HDMI using a Matrox or some such other device, or just monitoring the output via HDMI?
In my case, I captured the HDMI output using a Blackmagic Intensity Pro card into a four drive RAID-0 array. But the image you see on the monitor is the same.

I would definitely not spend the money for an HDMI monitor for this camera. A 4x3 analog SD monitor is good enough.

That said, you can playback stuff from a card just fine. You just have to push "Info" after playback begins to get rid of the progress bar overlay.

The best approach for monitors might be to have an SD analog monitor on your rig and an HDTV for on-set review of what you shot.

BTW, I just picked up a 1080p 23" Acer computer monitor with DVI/HDMI/VGA for $219. Something like this would be perfect for on set review.
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Old March 26th, 2009, 01:14 PM   #6
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Here's a still capture of the HDMI output:
http://dirksnowglobe.com/images/arti...ture5DMkII.jpg
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Old March 26th, 2009, 02:58 PM   #7
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I was under the impression there was a way to get a full HDMI signal in real-time somehow but it was still plagued with an on-screen focus box or something. I could be wrong, don't quote me, but it had something to do with either (or both) using: (1) the face chasing focus in video (so not quick focus and not the focus you can use during shooting, but that third focus option for video) and/or (2) a different video mode from movie+stills (maybe even stills mode, which I believe you can still shoot a movie from, or maybe it was Exposure Simulation). Anyway, I someone posting about this at one point, maybe Guy.

Also, not that this solves any problems you list, but I believe you can capture full HDMI during playback. So, although that doesn't buy you anything in the field, it does provide possible workflow options in post.
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