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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 June 1st, 2009, 01:07 PM   #1
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Going from 5DMkII to Sony V1

In my tiny world, video shooting is 90% about birdflight, requiring fast autofocus and tight follow focus and OIS to counteract handheld and x20 zoom, a small range of effective shutter speeds, preferably a good fps range with under-cranking AND the sharpest possible HD images, that is, plumage detail, wing patterns during flight ... I hardly bother with video unless the light is bright. My XM2 and XL2 are not HD, & my XL2 is too heavy for handholding. My 40D produces stills, good enough for me and a few others.

I have been fiddling around with 5DMkII using 100-400 USM & EF 24-105 ...
but it is obvious that for video, most of it handheld, I should not even be considering the MKII. Everybody seems to agree that it needs to be rock-steady and most agree that manual focus is the only way to video with it.

Question: Tell me that the Sony V1 would or would not suit my particular purpose better, please? (I'm not asking you to vouch for my ability to use it ... that will always be my problem, challenge).

Any other suggestions or contradictions would be most welcome.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 02:36 PM   #2
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hello, I have l' xlh1 and I have sold mine sony v1 in order to buy 5dů an just choice!
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Old June 1st, 2009, 03:21 PM   #3
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The 5D is well suited for particular types of video - what you are describing seems to be the exact opposite of what it's suited for. None of it's advantages over other video cameras seem to apply to your needs, and several of it's disadvantages are specifically counter to your needs. I would guess that even the least expensive Canon HD camcorder would be a better choice for your specific situation.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 03:49 PM   #4
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Brendan,

Aside from autofocus, I think the 5D2 could work in some situations - specifically, when the bird(s) are against the sky. In that case, even though the bird is moving, you don't have straight lines moving across the sensor. Even if the bird is 100% steady in the frame, since the bird will move its wings, you'll still get some rolling shutter distortion, but because it's an organic shape, it should be invisible.

So, the questions are, how often is the sky in the background, and how steady are you able to track birds in flight with a long lens?

My 70-300mm IS lens has two modes: normal and tracking. The second mode should do the trick. I'd imagine that you're looking at longer, faster lenses. As long as it has the second mode, you should be fine.

Focus is the real trick here. With a good loupe, a long lens, stopped down a bit, I would think that focusing wouldn't be too bad when the bird is at some distance. It's when they fly toward or away from you that it would get insane. As you know, the turn of the focus control accelerates when things are close.

Personally, I don't know how you do it. I've photographed birds here in the Pacific Northwest, and I've never had any luck in flight. I can't track them, let alone focus or think. Even with a 300mm lens, when they're far enough away to be steady, they're too small in the frame. When they're close they're unpredictable.

I filmed a rabbit in my yard the other day with an 85mm lens. I was able to walk up very slowly and get close. Then he'd take off for ten or twenty feet. He'd go out of focus for a bit, but I learned to catch up pretty quickly, once I got the feel. Then I'd walk closer again. We played this game about ten or twelve times, before he ran into the bushes.

The unpredictable stuff is really hard. This clearly takes practice, but can be learned. I would say that framing is at least as difficult as focus though, when the unpredictable happens.

At least when you focus manually, you don't get back and forth hunting. That looks even worse that tracking focus badly by hand.

So, which lens(es) are you looking at?
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Old June 1st, 2009, 04:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Worm View Post
hello, I have l' xlh1 and I have sold mine sony v1 in order to buy 5dů an just choice!
If I could tote XLH1, Max, I would not need the V1 either.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 04:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan Donn View Post
The 5D is well suited for particular types of video - what you are describing seems to be the exact opposite of what it's suited for. None of it's advantages over other video cameras seem to apply to your needs, and several of it's disadvantages are specifically counter to your needs. I would guess that even the least expensive Canon HD camcorder would be a better choice for your specific situation.
That's the nail on the head about Mk II for my purposes. Thank you Evan.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 05:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan Marnell View Post
In my tiny world, video shooting is 90% about birdflight, requiring fast autofocus and tight follow focus and OIS to counteract handheld and x20 zoom
In January / February I shot a ten minute doco on native birds in a New Zealand conservation park. I shot it mostly with an XH-A1 (very similar beast to the Sony) and took along the 5d to give it a bash.

The short story is, the 5D was almost useless for this work. Unless your birds are perched in a tree, barely moving, you're really going to struggle with the 5D for a ton of reasons. The first that come to mind are the LCD (fixed in an annoying position for what you want to do, plus very difficult to see in sunlight). Second, you're going to find it hard to stabilize shots and avoid jello effect. You're also going to lose the convenience of a 20x lens, and auto-focus (one push) can also be very useful for shooting birds.

Then there's little things like built in NDs, zebras, ergonomics, all of which make the Sony a better choice.

What's more, the two great things about the 5D (low-light and DOF control) are out of play anyway. If your subject is in flight in the distance, you're not going to get great foreground/background separation anyway.

Also, the 5D takes great images but it's not a res-king in video mode. It's actually softer than the V1 (it can be perceived as shaper due to DOF control, but actually there's less detail in the image). I shot images of Seals / birds from 50m and the XHA1 consistently gave more detailed / sharper results than the 5D with prime lenses.

On the other hand, when I shot controlled, close ups of lizards / plants / insects that allowed foreground / background separation and set-up time, there was no contest, the 5D images were amazing. Also amazing were candle lit shots in a cabin in the mountains.

But for what you want to do, I think the 5D will be hugely frustrating and you'll miss great shots.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 05:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
Brendan,
... So, the questions are, how often is the sky in the background, and how steady are you able to track birds in flight with a long lens?

My 70-300mm IS lens has two modes: normal and tracking. The second mode should do the trick. I'd imagine that you're looking at longer, faster lenses. As long as it has the second mode, you should be fine.
......Focus is the real trick here.
...The unpredictable stuff is really hard. This clearly takes practice, but can be learned. I would say that framing is at least as difficult as focus though, when the unpredictable happens.

... At least when you focus manually, you don't get back and forth hunting. That looks even worse that tracking focus badly by hand.
Bits of success with the unpredictable are shown at Brendan Marnell | the Internet Bird Collection ... shot with XM2 (GL2) handheld, focus is not bad but you can see how soft the SD images are.

Any favourable or unfavourable comments on V1, please?
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Old June 1st, 2009, 05:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Josh Dahlberg View Post
......... Unless your birds are perched in a tree, barely moving, you're really going to struggle with the 5D for a ton of reasons. The first that come to mind are the LCD (fixed in an annoying position for what you want to do, plus very difficult to see in sunlight). Second, you're going to find it hard to stabilize shots and avoid jello effect. You're also going to lose the convenience of a 20x lens, and auto-focus (one push) can also be very useful for shooting birds.

Then there's little things like built in NDs, zebras, ergonomics, all of which make the Sony a better choice.
.... Also, the 5D takes great images but it's not a res-king in video mode. It's actually softer than the V1 (it can be perceived as shaper due to DOF control, but actually there's less detail in the image). I shot images of Seals / birds from 50m and the XHA1 consistently gave more detailed / sharper results than the 5D with prime lenses.

On the other hand, when I shot controlled, close ups of lizards / plants / insects that allowed foreground / background separation and set-up time, there was no contest, the 5D images were amazing. Also amazing were candle lit shots in a cabin in the mountains.

But for what you want to do, I think the 5D will be hugely frustrating and you'll miss great shots.
That's a great help Josh. I need to hear as much about the V1 as possible now that Mk II is for jobs other than my usual.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 09:17 PM   #10
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Brendan,

Along with the Canon XL check out the Sony EX-3, Z7 and JVC GY-HD range. Having interchangable lenses and an adapter from Mike Tapa or Adaptimatix for 35mm lenses will give you incredible range for bird shots.

Dan
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Old June 1st, 2009, 10:13 PM   #11
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That's true Dan, but at two/three times the price. I imagine if Brendan is looking at the V1 budget is a big factor.

The V1 is a very nice little camera for the money. It's weakest area is probably low-light, but that won't be a major issue for you. You probably won't find a better option for equal money.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 10:46 PM   #12
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Josh,

Secondhand JVC GY-100s and 110s are quite cheap now. Whilst I wouldn't normally recommend these cameras as they are 720p, but on a budget they will produce startling results with an adapter and 35mm lenses. You will need to manual focus but pretty much all BBC and Discovery nature footage is shot manual focus anyway.

I would move this to the JVC and Sony sections of the forums for more details.

Dan

(Lesser Kestrel, Sony PMW EX3, Nikon 600 f5.6 on Vimeo is from a EX3, the JVC will give similar results.)

Last edited by Dan Chung; June 2nd, 2009 at 03:25 AM.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 03:14 AM   #13
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If I ever reach "exotic bird land" I'll be sorry I don't have interchangeable lens facility ... though I could bring my XL2, but all the "interchangeables" are too heavy for handholding, I suspect, aged 70.

Z1 is 12x optical zoom; V1 with x20 has an advantage for me.
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