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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 October 28th, 2009, 02:03 PM   #16
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By that measure it only saves 10% of the "available" data, since the sensor is 21MPixel and 1080p is 2MPixel. It does this by only processing one pixel out of every block of nine, offereing the same bayer pattern at reduced resolution to the video compression subsystem. This results in more aliasing artifacts, but properly scaling the 21MPixel image would require way more processing power.
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Old November 7th, 2009, 12:10 PM   #17
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I'd put my $5000.00 into making sure I have a really really good script. Then I'd woo a really good cinematographer with my great script. Let him worry about the camera.

I'd agree with the learning curve bit as opposed to buying at the last minute. You really want the camera to be second nature, and that means you need to spend a lot of time with it (all the while making sure you have a great script). Buying something now means it will probably begin to feel like second nature by next spring. We are not talking about a simple upgrade, but a very different beast (ie a SLR).

best of luck
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Old November 7th, 2009, 01:00 PM   #18
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I'd put my $5000.00 into making sure I have a really really good script. Then I'd woo a really good cinematographer with my great script. Let him worry about the camera.
I would absolutely agree with this. It's easy to get caught up in the tech of the filmmaking game. I've produced two no-budget indie films, the first of which I bought two DVX100s for, and my lesson has been that the camera is a consideration in getting your film made, but I would place it about 10th in your list of priorities, assuming that your real goal is to produce and distribute your film.

That being said, I do wish I had a 5D MKII on both of our films - it just didn't exist yet... ; ).
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Old November 7th, 2009, 01:30 PM   #19
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In any discussion of what has made some of the best indie films successful, camera choice is simply not a factor.

But to answer the original question, my choice is the 5D MkII. As a photographer I just feel that anything short of a full frame sensor seems like a stop-gap choice. Now that the 25p issue will supposedly be solved, I think that the 5D also makes sense for indie filmmaking again because the full frame and the need for wide angles.
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Old November 7th, 2009, 02:36 PM   #20
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For many, many years, a filmmaker was someone who told others what they wanted done and watched and judged as those people did that. The "director" was the "filmmaker" - not the camera ops or the grips or the sound recordists.

Today, it's more likely that a "filmmaker" is the person who's actually going to be shooting the images.

If you want to be the first kind of "filmmaker" then you should wait until the very last minute before deciding on your camera. Hopefully, if it's the new whiz-bang model that blows everything else away - there will be SOMEONE who knows how to operate it involved in the production.

If you want to be the second, more modern kind of "filmmaker" than you have to come to grips with the reality that unless you own and operate your own camera RIGHT NOW - you're losing ground to all the competitors who ARE learning every single working day how to better operate and understand their gear.

There's never any substitute for experience - so you've got to decide which kind of filmmaker you want to be and start getting experience in THAT area RIGHT AWAY.

Good luck.
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Old November 7th, 2009, 11:07 PM   #21
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I totally agree with Bill - when I say wait until you need the camera I don't mean 'wait until you can get the perfect camera before you start making films'. I'm assuming you have something you can shoot on in the meantime. I just mean if you have a specific future project in mind and you're planning to upgrade your camera for that project I'd wait until you're close to the actual project before making a decision. How close to wait is something you have to decide based on your own skill and experience.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 11:30 AM   #22
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If you want to be the first kind of "filmmaker" then you should wait until the very last minute before deciding on your camera. Hopefully, if it's the new whiz-bang model that blows everything else away - there will be SOMEONE who knows how to operate it involved in the production.
I agree with Bill for the most part, but I just don't think it's your job as a director (first kind of filmmaker) to buy a camera for your DP... just as you wouldn't buy mics for the sound guy and eye-liner for the make-up person. Even on an indie production you'll want good people around you. The kind of motivated DP you'll need will most likely have his own gear. Instead of looking for a DP who knows how to use a 5D, I'd sooner look for a DP with his own camera. Only in the very rare circumstance where a particular camera is essential to a film, would a director even begin to specify a particular camera (ie a Pixel 2000 film festival). I also maintain that there is probably nothing like a real good script to attract good people (with good gear) to your project.

As much as I enjoy some of the work presented on this forum such as Bob Davis's "Voyage" or "Lumière" by DigitalRev, they essentially have no script. When you really think about it, relatively few feature films will ever be made with the likes of the 5D, not because it isn't good enough, but simply because the cost of the camera is a relatively small factor overall in a feature film budget. Practically speaking with the money you'd need to buy a 5D and all the film-type of accessories to make a movie with an SLR type camera, you could rent a RED with prime lens etc...

The amazing technological advances of the past 10 years have not brought any significant increase in indie films, perhaps because being a "second kind" of filmmaker (writer/director/operator) is far more difficult than it appears, because it means mastering some diametrically opposed skills (visual/literary, technology/people). It would appear that Renaissance people are few and far in between, and when they do appear they seems to make good use of existing technology, as it is only one part of an overall artistic vision. Meanwhile most of us would just feel lucky to be able to achieve some recognition in one aspect of production.

By the way if you want to be a "second kind" of filmmaker, read "Digital Film-making" (2007) by Mike Figgis, it really delves into what it is to be an operator/director. He talks about the kind of freedom he felt working with the little Sony PD100, Before him you had Rick Schmidt's "Feature Filmmaking at Used-Car Prices" (1988) telling us what we could do with a 8mm camera... same wisdom just as applicable to the new breed of DSLRs.
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Old November 9th, 2009, 08:37 PM   #23
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> When you really think about it, relatively few feature films will ever be made with the likes of the 5D, not because it isn't good enough, but simply because the cost of the camera is a relatively small factor overall in a feature film budget.

So you don't consider indies to be features? The indies I've been involved in have near-zero budgets.
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Old November 9th, 2009, 09:41 PM   #24
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I bought the 7D now to learn how to use it and will likely relinquish it to 2nd cam status once a dedicated video camera shows up. I'm learning a lot for a $3K investment and I'm sure it will have good use for both still and movie usage even after the new generation shows up.

I still miss my XHA1 on occasion. 20X, L-Glass, XLR inputs, built in ND filters..... but the 7D's image when-it's-right, is sweet. Can't wait to get this or a better image with the form factor of an A1! Until then, I'll work to improve my focus instincts with insane DOF. Love the portability and low profile of the 7D.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 03:34 AM   #25
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> The indies I've been involved in have near-zero budgets.
Of course Indies are features, but near-zero budget doesn't mean you're making a making your film in a vacuum: people have gear, film schools have gear etc. I would argue that it is easier to find good gear than to find/write a very good script for an indie feature. As HD video from DSLRs increasingly approximates 35mm film, this may only exasperate the weaker aspects of your production. Along with your gorgeous image, people will expect gorgeous camera movements, gorgeous sound etc.

For me, the real advantage of a DSLR for Indie film is perhaps it's form factor, the fact that it can allow you to shoot in public places less conspicuously (legalities aside).
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Old November 12th, 2009, 04:53 PM   #26
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Just to clarify, I've shot 4 features, the latest which just wrapped post (shot on the JVC 100). Sold all of 'em so far and God willing will sell this one. Used bunches of cameras, including film, but I haven't used any of the HD DSLRs.

Love working with video versus film, and I'm very pleased with the JVC's image, one I'd say is fairly close to super 16mm film.

If you've never tried to sell an indie feature, I can assure you the question "What's it shot on" is right up there with "Who's in it?" and "What's it about." Never been asked once about a script - they don't care. Distributors care about one thing only - can they sell it, can they market it. Period.

I agree a good script is a wonderful plus, but ultimately that's not what matters most - what matter most is can you sell your film. And to my mind, making the picture pretty is a huge huge part of it. And the most technical part of the process.

The size of these DLSRS is a double edged sword - the JVC, whatever else it is, is a beautiful looking camera. When that sucker is up on a tripod with a matte box, the average Joe on the street knows immediately that a "real" movie is being made. And usually, that's an advantage (I don't work in LA). People will go out of their way to help. All actors (yes, even beyond Kefer) tend to "get it up" a little more for a big camera than a smaller one. So for me, the form factor goes to "true" video cameras.

No, what I'm really interested in is image quality. After all is said and done, does the Mark II - with it's CMOS sensor and wonky compression scheme - make a better picture then a camera like the JVC or EX-1?

Thanks again guys for all the advice... And yeah, the JVC is for sale (sad face).

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Old November 16th, 2009, 07:08 PM   #27
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I wouldn't sell that JVC if I were you, for the reasons you've already said (sex appeal) and also its resale is unfairly low. The three cams I've owned in the last few years are Canon 7d, HD100, EX3. The Sony looked the best, but not by much at all. JVC second best. 7d, so far, worst but it has best low light and shallow focus ability. EX3's shallow focus ability is better than JVC but it's not quite strong enough -- which is why people are still using adaptors on them.

Also, I agree that distributors care less about scripts than they do about posters, teasers and hooks, but at the same time, if you want your movie to have any sort of legacy, legs, mojo, or chance to go beyond the bargain bin at Blockbuster, script matters more than anything else. Good movies do not come from mediocre scripts, in every case, scripts are the limiting factor -- even a great actor can't transcend bad material.
On the other hand, if the goal is live to fight another day, the script can be compromised.
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Old November 17th, 2009, 01:46 AM   #28
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Even on an indie production you'll want good people around you. The kind of motivated DP you'll need will most likely have his own gear. Instead of looking for a DP who knows how to use a 5D, I'd sooner look for a DP with his own camera. Only in the very rare circumstance where a particular camera is essential to a film, would a director even begin to specify a particular camera (ie a Pixel 2000 film festival).
Can't agree with this. Some of us own cameras and some don't, but I would actually be wary of a DP who owns a particularly camera and pushes it for every job. Each project that I am approached to shoot will present certain challenges and parameters and I will likely consider multiple cameras that best suit the project and work with the producer to cost those out, then present the pros and cons of each system. I do own some gear but I only push it for those jobs where I think it is the right choice.

One of the main reasons that producers like DP's with their own camera package these days is that they can bait them to do the job on the cheap, either by lowering their own rate or the rental rate or both. There has been an explosion of new DP's who believe that owning the package validates them, but as always, the quality of work, personality, management skills etc. are more important than the gear package (and sometimes that can work against you, if the gear goes down or fails to get the job done satisfactorily for one reason or another).

Of course when one has little to no money to make a film, it is attractive to hire an all-in-one package like this. But I do feel that it is important to make sure that a DP has experience using plenty of cameras other than the one he owns unless the director or producers have worked extensively with that camera and consider it a proven entity. I think we are all aware at this point of the limitations of the DSLR's and those should be made absolutely clear to all involved before embarking on a project, otherwise it can easily come back to bite you (I have heard of a few projects shot on the 5D that have not been considered successful).
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Old November 17th, 2009, 03:27 PM   #29
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Charles & Brian, thanks for your input. I guess my only response is that every camera has it's little foibles (some more than others), and that I could get more out of a JVC right now than the RED, even though RED is the better camera. There's always a learning curve when you use a camera you don't own or normally use.

And Brian I agree w/ you, the crazy low prices for a used JVC 100/200 is mind-blowing to me. I've already told a couple of young film makers that buying one on ebay is their best bet of "getting into the game."

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Old November 17th, 2009, 04:20 PM   #30
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And Brian I agree w/ you, the crazy low prices for a used JVC 100/200 is mind-blowing to me. I've already told a couple of young film makers that buying one on ebay is their best bet of "getting into the game."

john
It's great camera with a great image, and it's physical presence can't be dismissed. For example, I filmed my kid's football game and two different people offered jobs -- based on not my good looks but the camera's. It's happened more than once. Most people don't know JVC from GMC. They just see a cool black camera that looks expensive. And then when they say, "Wow, nice camera" I say "Yes, it wasn't cheap but I love it" to which they say "Really? How much?" I shake my head and lament "A lens alone is $7,000." They go "Wow..." Of course, I don't mention that I just have the stock lens, and not the Fujinon 13x.

Personally I think the camera suffered from some early bad buzz, most of which was self serving boosterism -- it got started on the wrong foot. By the time Walter Graff showed that it beat the overhyped HVX200, people had dismissed it. And that has carried over into the used market.
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