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Old March 31st, 2010, 10:58 AM   #1
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aliasing and heavy artifacts in canon dslr video's

i am in a quandry. my background is still photography, with a nikon system and the best lenses. i also had a canon xha1 hdv, and just sold it. love the images, very little artifacts with minimally slow panning, wave action along the coast. i was going to migrate to the canon 5d, 7d or rebel having saw great vimeo footage. michael fletcher, philip bloom etc. then i read several articles after googling on dslr aliasing, moire and artifacts in movement. i went back to vimeo..and sure enough, picked up immediately the papual new guinea short on vimeo by fletcher..very noticeable aliasing on waves, and movement.

i am not sorry i sold the hdv tape canon xha1, but hugely disappointed in that i will not be able to go to a dslr for video use. i back pack in to remote areas and it is no fun to carry 20 pounds of camera gear plus the tent, food etc etc.

so i am throwing this out there....filming ocean surf coming in, streams..harlequin ducks in streams, sea otters in wave motion from a kayak, are all going to be heavily laced with artifacts and unusable stock footage. what i saw on several websites were awful once they pointed out the color artifacts on a slow receding wave wash in a sunset, and many other examples. then the shot the typical brick house with shingled roof and again moire was overpowering the images. so what do you recommend? dslrs are not doing what they are purpoted to do? or limited with shallow dof and close ups ...what about landscapes, sea scapes, wind blowing through waves, grass...? they will all be heavily interlaced with artifacts that will ruin the images.

i am considering waiting for the newer canon xha1 tapless system to be announced? maybe the weight and wait will be worth it? those of you who have used both..what is your input? i am a nature photgrapher and videographer, whre movement is a given. thanks in advance for your thoughts. bill
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Old March 31st, 2010, 12:56 PM   #2
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Bill, you have mentioned a hot topic. I boils down to your definition of good or "good enough"

I think a lot of people would come away after seeing the New Guinea short thinking the images were amazing, others like yourself see the limitations of this hybrid camera.

Myself, I see it as a larger issue of what is the standard these days? It used to be three camps, Film, Broadcast and everything else. Each being more restictive from a quality perspective. That seems to be blurry these days.

Clearly these cameras make nice images, but what determines nice? In an environment where the end user sees Youtube as a growingly dominant form a media viewing, the 5D is more than enough, even with its faults.

Then we read about larger productions like "24" applying this camera and it gains more credibility. But are we now allowed to have these faults when in the past they would be shunned?

I do not think there is animosity as often stated towards these cameras, I think there is a measured hesitation knowing that some "rules" in terms of image purity are being bent. This is from an economic origin I believe. "24" uses these cameras because they are small, but most importantly they are cheap. If they were small and not cheap the story would not be as strong.

I think this segment will be completely different in a few years, this is just the first wave.

I am sure this debate will have some varied opinions as well.

Last edited by Tim Polster; March 31st, 2010 at 02:43 PM. Reason: Left out "not" in a sentence
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Old March 31st, 2010, 01:05 PM   #3
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This is all hashed out every time there is a technology shift. There was an outcry in the film community when the first features where shot on Panvised F900s. There was an outcry in the audio community when we went from analog to digital capture. The shift in the still photos industry was met with disdain, and then nearly worldwide acceptance as the technology caught up.

Same thing here. DSLRs will get better. Sensors in the big cameras will make their way into broadcast and prosumer cams. And we'll see the next jump to UHD at 4k or so. It's already begun.

"Good enough" is set by those with the money and power. So you just play the game. Ten years ago, I would have needed to shoot film to get the images I get now on the EX1. Who knows what the next 10 years will bring.

Go shoot compelling footage on your 5D/7D. See what happens.
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Old March 31st, 2010, 01:21 PM   #4
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Tim - everything you mention is correct. It's a trade off though of certain image characteristics for other ones - and it really comes down to your preference, and your audience's.

For me the size advantage, low light/noise performance and lens choices mean my XHA1 sits on the shelf. When I shoot I watch for and try to avoid certain things that I know will cause excessive moire and aliasing, but when I can't avoid it I'm willing to live with it and I've never had a viewer complain about it. But my audience is either online - for both paid and personal work - or small scale digital projection for a general audience. In both cases if the audience is complaining about minor technical flaws it means I've failed as a storyteller, not as a technician.

If I were shooting stock footage I wouldn't go 100% with either camera. You can certainly get some amazing stuff with the 5D that would make great stock footage, but you'll also probably get a lot that wouldn't pass a technical examination. Landscapes, deep focus with a lot of detail, tiny moving highlights, etc - you're going to be better off with the XHA1. One issue though is you can get much better wide-angle lenses for the 5D - so even that may depend on the subject more than the type of shot. Shooting stuff with mostly available light will present a dilemma as well - you'll hit a point as light fades where you have to make the call between more noise (XHA1) or possible aliasing (5D).

So unfortunately we're at a kind of midway point - in a couple years you probably won't have to make these tradeoffs. Right now though the best option is really having access to both cameras, and if you can't you have to start making decisions about what's most important to you and your audience/customers.
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Old March 31st, 2010, 01:24 PM   #5
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DvSLRs are great for shallow DOF shots. (There are no aliasing artifacts in blurred areas.) They are also great for giving access to many affordable lenses. They are also stealthy.

If you're not taking advantage of the DOF, lenses, or stealth, then you're better off with a traditional video camera.
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Old March 31st, 2010, 01:41 PM   #6
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I agree with Perrone. Just go out there and do it!

The 5D or 7D or D3s will all provide most of what you are after, and also are great tools for stills & video capture for solo treks into wild areas...and certainly capable of bringing back pro-grade footage. Yes, they have limitations, but for the size of package, weight and costs in providing an awesome image quality in both stills & video for travel, then look no further.

Despite some of the aliasing in waves in the footage (and remember that this has been compressed for Vimeo steaming) the "Images Of Papua New Guinea - Scene 1" movie clip in my view is superb and is strong enough to provide a powerful and emotional message back to the viewer. I'd be surprised if anyone watching it in full-glory HD on a large HD screen would not be impressed by the true scenic beauty and splendour captured by the 5D and selection of lenses used.

Yes, the XL-h1s or latest upgrade of XLA1 will also provide awesome travel/adventure footage in the right hands...but you complain about weight and size for backpacking etc. The 5D or 7D both can equal the XLA1 or H1 for bulk and weight when pimped out with extras, but it can also be carried in a basic lightweight mode with very little bulk, and tucked nicely in the pack with a few lenses and maybe a tiny shoulder brace or mini steadicam. The travellers dream combined tool! :)
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Old March 31st, 2010, 01:45 PM   #7
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There are some very good, objective posts in this thread, I hope it is read by those looking at Canon DSLR's as it's probably one of the best balanced discussions that I've seen on the topic. The only thing I will add as another stock footage shooter is that many broadcasters simply won't accept Canon footage at this point in time, primarily due to aliasing issues. Corporate and other productions really don't care as long as the shot looks OK.
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Old March 31st, 2010, 02:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
If you're not taking advantage of the DOF, lenses, or stealth, then you're better off with a traditional video camera.
Low light, too, of course. Also, I forgot to mention time lapse - that's one area where there's simply no comparison to any current video cameras. With an inexpensive intervalometer remote you can shoot time lapse video at the full sensor resolution with none of the aliasing
issues that plague normal video, and the extremely high resolution allows you plenty of room to add camera moves in post.
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Old March 31st, 2010, 02:49 PM   #9
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thankyou for the input, but i was ready to go canon and use my expensive nikon lenses with adapters. then i saw the following sites that really helped me. the first
1. XDCAM-USER.com alias.
2. DVXuser.com - Articles at the very bottom of the page. there are two shots taken on the beach..with a canon 5d, and another of a sunset backwash that demonstrated unacceptable color artifacts.

i can take stills, stitch them and play with them in vegas for panand zoom etc, but much of my shooting is ie caribou in the high country of jasper, wind, movement of the animals, a slow pan, detailed alpine flowers...and sea otters off vancouver island close up in a kayak. i shot them with the xha1 thankfully, but it had potential for tapes (panasonic hd ) to drop out...thus my desire for a solid state.

believe me if i didnt have to contend with the aliasing i saw in the no. 2 example of beaches with water movement, i might have thought the canon 5d can handle it. but now i am really cautious, thinking i should wait until NAB and a possible card reading xha1 type.

i dont download to u tube, but want to gain prospective clients with rare and well shot wildlife and landscape videos...many of them with water, falls, wave movement on the bc and se alaskan coast. my budget is somewhat limiited, but packing all the heavy gear too is an issue. any other thoughts are appreciated, and so rather than have a bunch of different cameras i should maybe stick with the nikon system for stills and what? thanks again for everyones input. bill
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Old March 31st, 2010, 03:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Evan Donn View Post
Low light, too, of course. Also, I forgot to mention time lapse...
Oooh. Good ads!
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Old March 31st, 2010, 04:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
If you're not taking advantage of the DOF, lenses, or stealth, then you're better off with a traditional video camera.
Or you also like to make photographs, that's another reason, heh... <SMILE>
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