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Old July 3rd, 2009, 05:21 PM   #1
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Contemplating 5dMkII Purchase...

I am in the market for a new HD camera to shoot a narrative short film. I am considering the HPX 170, the JVC HM100 or the 5DMkII with Zoom H4n. I want to know what the biggest drawbacks are of using the 5D. Obviously doing double system sound and not having 24p are downsides, but other than that, what are the barriers that I would have to overcome if I went the 5D2 route? I have a shoestring budget and would love to spend only $2700 on the camera! (I already have canon glass from years of owning other canon dslrs for stills photography)

Thanks for any insights!

-Steve
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 05:30 PM   #2
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For one thing, it's pretty much a given that you won't be making any focal length changes (zooms) during your shots, since there is no motorized zoom lens for this camera. And your shots will be limited to no more then twelve minutes each. Neither of these limitations is a big deal for narrative filmmaking, though.
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 05:56 PM   #3
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Steve,
I was just like you about trying to making a decision a couple months ago between the Canon HF S10 and the 5D Markii.............at the time I went with the HF S10 b/c there was no solution to the manual control issue. To tell you the truth I was pretty pleased with my new purchase until they released the firmware update for the 5D....I said, well I'll be D^%# ! i just bought the HF S10............So what do you know??....I just bought the 5D last week b/c that was my 1st choice from the jump.......so know I have both.......I'm excited...I say 5D Markii all the way dude! lol Now I'm just trying to figure out which lense to buy b/c I'm new to the DSLR market.
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 06:18 PM   #4
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Steve, didn't you do the Tilt-Shift video in Santa Barbara (go Gauchos!) If so, you'll love the possibilities with the 5D2.

Regarding audio, take a look at the juicedLink CX 231 with the free Magic Lantern firmware in the camera for recording directly. For external recorders consider a Zoom H4n. Then again, maybe you already have an existing camera that you can use for audio - and behind the scenes!

Stability is critical with the 5D2. Use a good tripod/dolly/jib when you can. Only go handheld at 35mm or wider, and use a shoulder rig, if possible. Consider a Hoodman Hoodloupe for shoulder setups.

If you edit with FCP, transcode to FCP. Otherwise, get NeoScene from Cineform. The native MOV files are just too slow for comfortable editing.

Spend some time with the Picture Style Editor. At a minimum, use a style with lower contrast than Standard. You can shoot RAW photos, play with the picture styles, load three custom styles into the camera, and get that look upstream of the encoder.

Enjoy!
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 06:19 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
you won't be making any focal length changes (zooms) during your shots, since there is no motorized zoom lens for this camera.
Good point, I hadn't thought of that! Although, I could still do some fairly smooth short zooms with a follow focus unit, maybe?
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 06:26 PM   #6
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If you edit with FCP, transcode to FCP. Otherwise, get NeoScene from Cineform. The native MOV files are just too slow for comfortable editing.
Enjoy!
Hi Jon! Yes, that was me with the Tilt Shift video.

Workflow is another concern for me. What codec would you transcode to and what do you use to transcode? Compressor? MPEG Streamclip? I have some manual Zeiss Contax lenses I have adapted for Canon EOS, do you think I can still do all the manual settings without Canon glass with the electronic connection between the glass and the body? Also, how difficult is nailing critical focus with the 5D2?

Happy 4th of July!

-Steve
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 06:56 PM   #7
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What codec would you transcode to and what do you use to transcode? Compressor? MPEG Streamclip?
I use NeoScene from Cineform. It costs about $100. Videoguys has it for $100. It's supposed to transcode faster than ProRes HD. If you run FCP, ProRes HD is there for free. Look at some of the threads here for tips on how to use it correctly. If you don't do it right, you'll get crushed blacks or messed up gamma.

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I have some manual Zeiss Contax lenses I have adapted for Canon EOS, do you think I can still do all the manual settings without Canon glass with the electronic connection between the glass and the body?
The Zeiss lenses will work great. Many here prefer Zeiss glass for video because of the quality of the focus ring for video use. The only thing you lose is the built-in falloff correction for EOS lenses. As long as your glass is good or you stop it down a bit, you'll be fine.

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Also, how difficult is nailing critical focus with the 5D2?
The 5D2 has a 5x/10x zoom function. Press that and you can absolutely nail the focus. Mark those spots and the results will be excellent. Trying to follow a sugar-high child with an 85mm lens at f/1.2 live would be another story.

Because of different focal lengths, f-stops, distances, monitors, stability rigs, subjects, and abilities, there's no one answer here. The best approach is to do some test shots and see what works for you.

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Happy 4th of July!
To you too!
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 08:02 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Steve Lewis View Post
I am in the market for a new HD camera to shoot a narrative short film. I am considering the HPX 170, the JVC HM100 or the 5DMkII with Zoom H4n. I want to know what the biggest drawbacks are of using the 5D. Obviously doing double system sound and not having 24p are downsides, but other than that, what are the barriers that I would have to overcome if I went the 5D2 route? I have a shoestring budget and would love to spend only $2700 on the camera! (I already have canon glass from years of owning other canon dslrs for stills photography)

Thanks for any insights!

-Steve
Steve,

I have an XLh1, HV30 and recently picked up the 5d. And while the H1 and the HV30 have their strengths - the 5d blows them away. I shot a family wedding last weekend with the HV30 and the 5d. I fed the audio to the HV30 and wasn't planning on doing much with the 5d, but then I just started playing with it. And the images were incredible.

I have a 70-200 F2.8L, an 17-40 F4L, a Sigma 15mm fisheye, and I just picked up a 50mm 1.4. The 5d is ostensibly my wife's still cam, but holy crap... if it's possible to fall in love with piece of equipment, i'm there.

I just used the 50mm 1.4, because I was shooting hand held mostly. The thing about this camera that in my opinion trumps everything else is both the incredible low light performance and the ability to shoot shallow dof (since the firmware update). If you want to create video that doesn't look like video, and have a limited budget, then you need this camera.

I use Neo Scene to transcode to .avi for Sony Vegas, and recorded on two 8gb ExtremeIII cards.
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 08:53 PM   #9
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Oh yeah, you'll need at least one CF card and a spare battery is nice.

Some buy Chinese knock-off batteries, but most don't have the chip, and that can make firmware loading a problem. I'm a purist and got a Canon battery. At a minimum get one with the chip.

For cards, some with Extreme III 8GBs have had problems, but as Ken demonstrates, that's not always the case. There are many reports of problems running Magic Lantern with large cards. I'm running Extreme IV 4GB cards with no problems.

As it turns out, you can record video to a fairly slow card, but if the card is too slow, firmware updates are a problem.

Anyway, you must budget for cards, and should for a battery.
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 09:58 PM   #10
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The only thing you lose is the built-in falloff correction for EOS lenses.
My understanding is that even EOS lenses are not corrected by the camera when shooting video. You are stick doing it in PP with any lens.

I would guess it was too CPU intensive.
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 10:24 PM   #11
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Thanks for the info guys! Yeah, I'm pretty close to pulling the trigger on the 5D2. I'm running Final Cut Pro, so I would like to work in ProRes HQ. Could anyone point me to a thread or post about the proper workflow for the 5D2/FCP? Do FCP and Cineform play nice together?

I would certainly stick with Canon batteries, but what about the Transcend cards? Can I use the cheaper CF cards, or should I invest in the higher-end Sandisk cards? I think the Transcend is rated at 133x.
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 10:39 PM   #12
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I am using Kingston ElitePro 133x 16 gigs with good success, no problems. I have stayed away from 32 gig cards because I am using Magic Lantern, and it seems to have issues with bigger cards. But that may even be true of the Stock firmware too...
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 10:52 PM   #13
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My understanding is that even EOS lenses are not corrected by the camera when shooting video.
I've heard otherwise, but have never tested it. I'll add this to my to-do list...
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Old July 4th, 2009, 09:51 AM   #14
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Could anyone point me to a thread or post about the proper workflow for the 5D2/FCP?
Actually we have a number of ongoing discussions already in progress covering this topic.
A targeted search or a simple browsing of the forum index should readily reveal them.

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Do FCP and Cineform play nice together?
Refer to this discussion: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/1012962-post25.html -- post any replies directly to that thread, please.

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what about the Transcend cards? Can I use the cheaper CF cards, or should I invest in the higher-end Sandisk cards?
Refer to this discussion: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/canon-eos...ash-cards.html -- post any replies directly to that thread, please.

Hope this helps,
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Old July 4th, 2009, 11:22 PM   #15
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My understanding is that even EOS lenses are not corrected by the camera when shooting video.
Something is happening when it's enabled though. I saw 3 strange dark bands on screen when shooting a white wall with the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS L - turned off the falloff correction and they went away.
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