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Old April 26th, 2010, 12:16 AM   #1
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Questions about the 5D and 7D

Hey everyone,
I am mainly a event and corporate video production company but I am creating a short film this fall.
In looking for a camera to shoot the film with, I decided upon the Sony EX1r before finding that the DSLR cameras have great shallow DOF. DOF is important to me, but if the 5D has so shallow DOF it would be a pain for a small crew then would the 7D be better but still have lots of shallow DOF coming from the Ex1r?

My question is regarding the users of both the 5D and 7D.

*How much shallower DOF with the 5D in %?

*Would a 24-105mm lens be fine for film work or would I need more, perhaps a 70-300mm as well?

*I understand that the camera heats up and then you have to wait for this, is this a issue on the 7D as well?

Basically if the the DOF is shallow enough on the 7D I think I would get that at a cheaper price but wanted to check with everyone else. I am floored with seeing the 5D sample footage on Canon's website though!

Please advise. Thank you.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 12:38 AM   #2
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Silas.

I shoot the 5D. I have a range of of Nikon prime lenses that I have bought on Ebay over the last year and a half. I haven't paid over $100 for any of them. These are older non AI lenses that I have bough adapters for, and they are great glass.

Thing is, if you don't want quite so shallow a depth of field with the 5D, you close down your lens a bit. So instead of shooting at F1.4, you shoot at F 2.8 or f5.6.

Also remember that your "normal" lens for the 7D would be around a 35 mm. I do have an F 2.0 35mm Nikon I shoot with my Canon 5D, but it appears clear to me that you won't inexpensively find any thing at F 1.4 or under to shallow depth of field for that "normal" range. Lenses are even slower for the wider lenses and zooms available- starting at F3.5 to F4.0 and going up.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 12:45 AM   #3
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Basically I am trying to see if the 7D might have great shallow depth of field for a short film and also I am interested in the cheaper price.....but sounds like the 7D lenses are more expensive basically then...?

Have not seen much 7D footage yet either....
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Old April 26th, 2010, 12:45 AM   #4
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Here is a calculator for comparison

Online Depth of Field Calculator
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Old April 26th, 2010, 12:51 AM   #5
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Actually, the 7D has about the same depth of field that you would find on a 35mm film camera, since the width of its sensor is closer to the with of 35mm film, than the 5Ds. The 7D is a great camera, plus it has some things the 5D doesn't, ie., 60 fps 720p... which is great if you are looking to do slow motion in your film. The 7D will still be miles ahead of the EX1 in terms of shallow depth of field.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 12:56 AM   #6
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Awesome - so the 7D with the basic 24-135mm lens should still provide great shallow DOF and at a great price sounds like...
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Old April 26th, 2010, 12:56 AM   #7
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I am not sure how you are planning to do sound, but with the 5D, you have an advantage in that it has more sound control with the latest firmware update. Even more, a non destructive firmware hack is available, called Magic Lantern, that allows a pretty high quality sound capture in the camera. I have been working with that and have a growing confidence in it.

Are you doing one of the October "A Place Called Sacramento Films" this year ?
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Old April 26th, 2010, 01:01 AM   #8
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IMHO, the 5D2 is the best choice if you want to shoot with fast, wide primes. The 7D is the best match for f/2.8 zooms. Since you don't want the super shallow DOF of primes, the 7D (or T2i) is probably your ticket. Take a look at the EF 17-55/2.8 IS lens. You could easily shoot an entire drama with that lens.

One thing to keep in mind is that you will want a good light kit. f/2.8 is a bit slow in dark situations.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 01:05 AM   #9
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Chris
- the sound thing is probably something to consider.... I have not heard of the "A Place Called Sacramento Films" but the film I am working on will go to Sundance Fest. I do really like the 5D shallow DOF. Is it as much pain to focus as they say? I would imagine that would be really tough on a small screen.


Jon
- thanks for the info. I like the shallow DOF but was hoping for a better price - all the same the 5D is not a bad price for what I ve seen too! Hopefully whatever lens I get will be able to knock light down to get shallow DOF easy without blowing things out.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 01:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silas Barker View Post
Awesome - so the 7D with the basic 24-135mm lens should still provide great shallow DOF and at a great price sounds like...
Yes, but if you are looking for wide angle, remember, the 24mm is only is equivalent of a 38mm lens on a regular 35mm still camera. So you won't be able to get very wide. Your multiplier is 1.6. So to get the equivalent of a 24mm wide on a still 35, for the 7D you will need to get down around 15mm. Those ranges can get expensive.

One other camera to consider is the new Canon T2i. It the same size sensor as the 7D, shoots same frame rates, and is half the price at Best Buy...You can buy it with a 18- 55mm for about $899.00. I am planning to buy for slow motion needs. Its a less sturdy camera, and doesn't have as many adjustments, but is still viable for a budget production.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 01:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silas Barker View Post
Chris
- the sound thing is probably something to consider.... I have not heard of the "A Place Called Sacramento Films" but the film I am working on will go to Sundance Fest. I do really like the 5D shallow DOF. Is it as much pain to focus as they say? I would imagine that would be really tough on a small screen.
Silas

I monitor with a 7" Marshall, or a 15inch BestBuy cheapy monitor. 5D was never intended as a film camera, and Canon,. probably because of resources issues in the camera system, has the HDMI output switch to 480i during recording. WIth follow focus and standard film techiques, focusing can be mastered.

Watch the May 17, 2010, finale of House, which was shot entirely with the Canon 5D. You will get a pretty good idea of what can be done.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 02:07 AM   #12
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The reason that I mention that lens is that I find that 28-85 is the core focal range for dramas, f/2.8 is as slow a lens as I would want, and IS is a nice feature to have. On the 7D, the 17-55 focal range is roughly equivalent, and you get f/2.8 speed and IS.

For the same $1k, you can get something like the EF 28/1.8, 50/1.4, and 85/1.8, which suit the 5D2 well. You don't get IS with those, but you get large apertures, which let you shoot in very little light.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 02:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
Yes, but if you are looking for wide angle, remember, the 24mm is only is equivalent of a 38mm lens on a regular 35mm still camera. So you won't be able to get very wide. Your multiplier is 1.6. So to get the equivalent of a 24mm wide on a still 35, for the 7D you will need to get down around 15mm. Those ranges can get expensive.
However at the long end the 1.6X multiplier does effectively give you cheaper/longer telephoto lenses e.g. a 200mm lens on the 7D is equivalent to a 320mm on the 5D. Of course this is probably of more use for wildlife documentaries than your narrative drama:-)
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Old April 26th, 2010, 03:54 PM   #14
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Chris,

Can you decribe the follow focus method - does that basically mean that you manually focus during the shots? I am wondering if its possible to focus with a one-two man crew?

Jon & Nigel -
So far I have not seen stunning footage from the 7D as I have with the 5D - just look at the samples on Canons website for the 5D and its quite shattering!!! I'll probably go for the 5D after I save up a bit longer. The 7D is impressive but the 5D just looks so much more amazing from what I ve seen thus far.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 09:42 PM   #15
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Depends on the shot of course. I have a DIY LCD close up viewer that I bolt to the hot shoe. Similar to the Hoodman Products:

Cinema Kit Pro-Hoodman Corporation

I can shoulder mount like I showed here, or in many other DIY I have done since then:

YouTube - CBarcellos's Channel


Things have changed since this DIY solution and Zacutto, Cavision, Redrock, and may others are now producing rigs for hand holding DSLRs.

But the follow focus is a fairly standard set up for manual shooting via cinema shooting techniques, which includes a marking wheel for repeatable shots after blocking. I have just ordered an update to this low cost solution, and will see how it improves a couple of issues I was having.
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