Assessment of the 5D2 by the BBC (Alan Roberts) - Page 4 at DVinfo.net

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Old October 6th, 2009, 06:56 PM   #46
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But in Vimeo were looking at video compressed more than broadcast. Turn down camera defaults, expose correctly, use UDMA cards, and don't shoot picket fences.
And we are starting to see broadcast 5DII. I do not expect to be horrified.

edit: We are apparently about to see a Saturday Night Live and a Frontline with 5DII footage. These are both significant network shows. So at least in the US we can see how it looks to the end viewer.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 07:08 PM   #47
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The broadcast Planet Earth I saw looked good, although I was looking at the superb shots more than the technical quality.
And surprise that is what 99% of the intended audience looks at as well. Sometimes we handicap ourselves so much by thinking that everyone notices or even cares about the minute things we see. I have a high performance motorcycle, I hear all the critics in the mags saying it can't do this or that..... You know what, it is light years ahead of what I would ever be able to comprehend or do, it's not even worth listening to. I can roll right on by pretty much any situation that most on their "Super Bikes" would hit the brakes. I know how to ride and every now and then take a decent picture......

Ansel Adam's used a View camera..... Others went with 35mm......


"Big negatives... creative control... photographers love using view cameras. Unlike a standard 35mm camera, the lens and film plane of a view camera are adjustable. These adjustments can change the point of view, plane of focus and even the shape of the objects being photographed."
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Old October 7th, 2009, 11:28 PM   #48
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The broadcast Planet Earth I saw looked good, although I was looking at the superb shots more than the technical quality.
I might not have been clear - I also thought Planet Earth looked great, on both broadcast and blu-ray. It's the Ken Burns National Parks documentary that looked surprisingly bad to me, especially when you compare it to other recent docs like Planet Earth. Many of the shots lacked detail and dynamic range - not the archival footage, but stuff that looked as if it was shot specifically for the series.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 12:03 AM   #49
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Has anyone done zone plate testing for aliasing with the 7D, and if so, how does it compare to the 5DMkII?

If it is an issue of software processing of the image from the sensor, perhaps there has been an improvement from the 5DMkII to the 7D.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 10:46 AM   #50
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edit: We are apparently about to see a Saturday Night Live and a Frontline with 5DII footage. These are both significant network shows. So at least in the US we can see how it looks to the end viewer.
The saturday night live opener looked ok when the shots were static, but broke up quite a bit when there was fast motion. As did the commercials, and the music performance when they shot through flames, and pretty much anything similar since my local cable company started recompressing the signal to fit more HD channels in less bandwidth last year. In other words, the 5D faired no worse than any other source to my eye.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 05:44 PM   #51
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I might not have been clear - I also thought Planet Earth looked great, on both broadcast and blu-ray. It's the Ken Burns National Parks documentary that looked surprisingly bad to me, especially when you compare it to other recent docs like Planet Earth. Many of the shots lacked detail and dynamic range - not the archival footage, but stuff that looked as if it was shot specifically for the series.

OK. But, I still maintain that the 5D2 footage is an order of magnitude better than the Planet Earth Blu-ray.

AVSFORM do not rank Planet Earth anywhere near the reference group. I often refer to the AVSFORUM PQ Teir ranknigs before I buy a Blu-Ray. One I collected a few top tier titles I quickly learnt the difference between top notch PQ, and ordinary (eg Planet Earth).

To get back on topic. I suspect the BBC would be happier if the 5D2's footage was also softened like that on Planet Earth.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 06:11 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Evan Donn View Post
It's the Ken Burns National Parks documentary that looked surprisingly bad to me, especially when you compare it to other recent docs like Planet Earth. Many of the shots lacked detail and dynamic range - not the archival footage, but stuff that looked as if it was shot specifically for the series.
My understanding is that some the Ken Burns stuff was actually shot 8mm as reported in another thread here, at post 8:

Ken Burns' 'National Parks'
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Old August 28th, 2010, 06:02 AM   #53
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My view is that the BBC ought to look across the pond at what primetime networks are doing.

The final episode of the current series of "House", arguably the most popular prime time show in the US at the moment, was famously shot exclusively with the Canon 5D Mark II.

I still think the BBC could accept the camera's footage once some kind of post process was applied to the edited footage to reduce aliasing on deeper DOF shots. To me, it just seems as though the BBC are being overly pompous about technology which is infinitely cheaper that other pro cameras, yet still produces stunning results.
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Old August 28th, 2010, 07:37 PM   #54
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I still think the BBC could accept the camera's footage once some kind of post process was applied to the edited footage to reduce aliasing on deeper DOF shots. To me, it just seems as though the BBC are being overly pompous about technology....
That's not possible. That's what was trying to be got over in the earlier posts.

The problem with aliasing is that unlike most other picture artifacts, it may not look too bad in itself - but it can cause nasty problems with compression in a broadcast chain. Think of it like some inherited conditions (such as colour blindless) - an individual may have the gene, but be totally unaware of it, but able to pass it to a descendent in an active form. In the case of aliasing on motion pictures the real issue is that the aliases move in the opposite direction to the (moving) object creating them - that is very bad news for a compression system, and it just isn't something that can be dealt with in "some kind of post process ". It's not a case of being pompous - if a broadcaster was to make extensive use of such cameras, they'd have to up their average bitrate to maintain quality. The cost of doing that is likely to more than just saying "this camera is not approved".

Some posts ago I said the following - "And don't be misled by what the pictures look like straight from the camera, it's how they will stand up to further processing that is key. A user may think they are not troubled by aliasing - then get a phone call saying "that material you supplied us with yesterday...... yeah, looked good, didn't it......but, the funniest thing, I saw it at home and it looked really bad compared to what that other guy shot on his HDV camera......." " That's where the problem lies. It MAY all work out fine.... but it may go very wrong.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 01:04 AM   #55
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For an example of the sort of quality that the BBC requires check out these screen grabs from some footage shot with the new Canon XF305 which has just been approved by the BBC. The level of detail & lack of moire or aliasing is streets ahead of the 5DII For those interested, the Canon XF300, XF305 (inc. real wedding test-drive clip)
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Old August 29th, 2010, 11:59 AM   #56
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I guess "House" reruns will never show on the BBC.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 12:50 PM   #57
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I guess "House" reruns will never show on the BBC.
They won't actually as all the series of House so far have been bought by commercial TV stations. The episodes get first showing on the pay-TV channel Sky One & then re-runs get shown on the Free To Air channel Five.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 05:57 PM   #58
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I guess "House" reruns will never show on the BBC.
:-) I'm sure if they wanted something badly enough (from the point of view of content) they'd accept it. Exactly the same as material gets shown from low quality POV and hidden cameras.

But that's a world different from commissioning something specifically. Different because here cameras are being specified as what they *wish* to be used for all the reasons specified before.

As far as the earlier Planet Earth comments, then that (AFAIK) was shot with a mixture of HDCAM and tape Varicam, at a time when they were both state of the art. The Varicam was seen as somewhat soft (with it's 960x720 recording), but it's other features made it realistically the best tool of the time for the job. If the programme was being made now, I'm sure they'd insist on a higher quality technically - probably HPX2700 for anything that needed slo-mo - and as soon as a quality 1920x1080 camera with full varispeed capabilities comes along, that's likely to be the new standard.

But the problem with current DSLRs isn't something as simple as just being a bit soft - it's the compression uncertainty that moving aliasing brings.
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Old August 30th, 2010, 12:18 PM   #59
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My understanding is that the 5D will be used heavily this year in House productions- not as the sole camera for a particular episode, but to instead intercut with the film footage. They appear to be confident to be able to do that. As I recall, this was posted somewhere in a Phil Bloom blog or tweet, but can't recall for sure.
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Old August 30th, 2010, 12:31 PM   #60
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:-)
As far as the earlier Planet Earth comments, then that (AFAIK) was shot with a mixture of HDCAM and tape Varicam, at a time when they were both state of the art. The Varicam was seen as somewhat soft (with it's 960x720 recording), but it's other features made it realistically the best tool of the time for the job. If the programme was being made now, I'm sure they'd insist on a higher quality technically - probably HPX2700 for anything that needed slo-mo - and as soon as a quality 1920x1080 camera with full varispeed capabilities comes along, that's likely to be the new standard.
None of the Planet Earth producers have ever told me they thought the Varicam was "soft", who have you been talking to? One of the producers making the cinema release "Earth" from the Planet Earth footage told me that on the big screen the Varicam did struggle a bit though.
The Varicam is still the main camera for all BBC NHU big budget series, in fact "Life", the successor to Planet Earth was shot almost exclusively on tape Varicam, and they are still being used, although there has been a big move towards the 2700.
You're certainly right about when 1920x1080 with 60P or more comes along it'll be the new standard, no doubt about it (as long as it's 2/3" and CCD), but we ain't there yet.

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