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Old November 17th, 2010, 03:07 PM   #1
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5d MKII w/16-35 or 60d w/11-16 and Merlin

I have a big series of tight interior shots coming up and am thinking of purchasing one of these rigs for the shots. I am also looking for a still camera to shoot time lapse and stills for clients. And of course budget with return on investment is always a concern.

The cameras they would have to match is the EX1/Nano, Sony 700, and future 35mm.

My current choices are:

Canon 5d MKII
Canon EF 16-35 2.8 L
Merlin

or

Canon 60d (Understand this is new and not a lot of people have used it, so be nice to hear from 7d people also.)
Tokina 11-16 lens
Merlin

From what I have seen the Tokina 11-16 is a little softer with more distortion at the edges then the 16-35. You would expect this for the price difference. Also the field of view is not as wide but very close.

Be nice to have input from shooters who have shot with both?
Also who have used the Merlin Rig?
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Old November 18th, 2010, 11:35 AM   #2
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Couple of thoughts:

1. Angle of view might be similar, but there's likely more distortion with the wider lens on the cropped camera, no?

2. How important is slow motion to you? The 5D2 is not so good in that department because of no 720p60 (I think the 60d does that? But not sure?).
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Old November 18th, 2010, 12:22 PM   #3
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Thank you for the reply Bill,

Agree there might be more distortion with the (60D, 7D) vs the 5D. This could be a factor.

As for slow motion I don't think I would use this camera for Slo-Mo. I would use one of my video cameras for over-cranking.

One thing I did not mention is my use ratio. I would expect 1/3 Video at 30p, 1/3 Stills, 1/3 Time-Lapse.

Talking with Abel Cine Tech in NYC where I buy most of my gear, they said I should consider the build quality. The 60D is not a tough as the 7D, and the 5D is another step up. I travel for work a lot.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 01:25 PM   #4
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My good friend flies a 5D with 16-35mm on a pilot and it's awesome. I have edited a bunch of it and that's the ticket. I fly my 7D with 11-16 on a Blackbird and it looks good but not the same league. I have actually started using my canon 28mm 1.8 on the 7D and it looks great just not as wide as it could be at times.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 02:02 PM   #5
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I've had and used the 5DmkII since it first came out - hands down it is my favorite HD camera for several reasons - I work around the hassles or use the EX1, 3 or HDX 900 with the nanoflash when necessary.
Full frame makes it the camera to use although the 7D and 60d are very close.
The 5d has been around awhile and I keep waiting for someone to do a real 5D kind of video camera - real full frame using all the existing lenses out there. With xlr connectors and timecode too.
With the wide angle lens requirement shallow dof isn't such an issue so.....
If I had to choose before the end of the year I'd go with the 60d and Tokina 11-16. The camera has an articulating screen which is a big help and the camera and lens together are less than a 5D body - an amazing value. Leaves you with some spare change for whatever the upgrade to the full frame 5D might be.
I'm not familiar with the Merlin but have handled my 5DmkII on a glidecam HD4000. It worked very well but the 60D would be easier with the movable lcd for monitoring and framing.
With either camera for architectural interiors (no motion to worry about) you can shoot bracketed RAW for HDR if you'd like. With large RAW files you can make nice digital moves in your video editing program.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 03:44 PM   #6
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Thank you Robert and Denis great info.

Robert do you have any clips with the 11-16 and 16-35 so I can see the difference? I will check out the Pilot along with the Merlin, the space is very tight boat interiors.

Denis nice to know you are so happy with the 5D for video, from what I have read you are not alone. I also shoot with EX1/3, Sony F800, Red One, and Varicam for some of my productions. So for you to be so happy with the 5D and work around that is impressive.

Appreciate the suggestion for the 60D with regard to cost savings and waiting on the next 5D upgrade. A couple of questions:

1. The 60D has one processor and the 7D and 5D have two. This should make a big difference in the stills and time-lapse correct? A lot of my video clients ask for high res stills during shoots and wonder if one processor might not stand up, I don’t know?

2. I already have three extra LP-E6 batteries from a 7D I only owned for a few weeks, never really used it, which is a shame. Those batteries won't work with the 60D only the 7D and 5D. Also have a Canon TC80N3 remote. And if I buy glass for the 60D it won't work on the 5D so I would have to start over with glass. Sounds like I am talking my self into the 5D.

3. I am seriously looking at the new Sony F3, which offers everything you are asking for in a Super 35mm camera. Are you interested in this rig?


4. Very interested in how you do this? Is there a tutorial on this process it is new to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis OKeefe View Post
With either camera for architectural interiors (no motion to worry about) you can shoot bracketed RAW for HDR if you'd like. With large RAW files you can make nice digital moves in your video editing program.
I agree the flip out and rotate screen is a very nice feature. But if I can shoot RAW stills and make what you are talking about above then that solves my monitoring problem and the stills become the important factor with my purchase.

Again thank you both for taking the time to help me out.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 05:07 PM   #7
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Only the 7d has 2 processors not the 5D
60D use the same battery as 7D and 5D, don't know about the remote
I think he is talking about pan and zoom your large still of the interior.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 05:18 PM   #8
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Thanks for the corrections Khoi, two mistakes on my part.

I was not sure if Denis was talking about panning through a still or had a different system, thats why I asked the question.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 06:49 PM   #9
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I will see what I can find footage-wise from each. Know that the pilot puts you in a whole different league of Steadicam. I don't think it would be a problem space-wise.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 06:55 PM   #10
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Robert thanks,

I checked out the Pilot and you are right it is a different league, it looks excellent. Now to dig in deeper.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 09:47 PM   #11
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when does a post become a manifesto? sorry for the long reply

Hi Paul -
there are a lot of High Dynamic Range examples: search for the HDR video versions, (not the HDR motion video versions which will make you nuts).
Slow pans across a perfectly lit room shot without lights are stills all clumped together. Many (or most) are shot as stills; big RAW files, converted to HDR with Photomatrix or similar software then imported to Final Cut as an image sequence. Thousands or even tens of thousands of images converted over hours by the computer. That gives you options - if you keep a large file size you can digitally move over a single image or a series of images since they are each bigger than our video 1920 x 1080 size.
If you use a slider that moves slowly ;shoots; then moves again - Kessler Oracle, Dynamic Perception slider - the lateral motion is done as a series of RAW or large jpeg files (whatever you set up to do). It is not a digital move on a photograph, but a digital move on a big series of photographs as you might do panning or zooming on HD footage for SD delivery. With big files you can do a push in or start tight and pull out - every frame is bigger than HD and those thousands of exposures that may have been 2 minute, 2 second or 1/4 second exposures play back as 24p, 30p - whatever.
Amazing possibilities, frankly it all sometimes/often hurts my head. Full motion realtime video HDR is now apparently possible. But it will make you insane. Simply stated - don't try this at home unless you have many hours and brain cells to spare. Oh, and dollars - did I forget the dollars?
Another brain splitting (at least for me) possibility is to shoot inside too tight quarters with a fisheye or other extreme wide lens then use photoshop, mapping to correct and straighten out the image(s) - (un fisheye all of it). If the boat you are shooting, or at least the camera in relation to the boat is not rocking and you have a good tripod you could make huge RAW files at whatever exposure you need - maybe 2 minutes@f22 all day long; fix the fisheye look, create a High Dynamic Range so the ports (highlights) are not blown out while all the nooks and crannies are properly exposed. Batch process for a few hours or overnight, import as an image sequence, then go to town moving all over the boat or cabin in post.
Scary.
Here is a link to earth shaking change in our art/business (you may have seen it - if so can you resist looking at it again?).


That is actually a series of stunning stills shot with a 5D (I think but really could have been a Canon 1dvxyz or whatever that is, 5D, 7D, Rebel 550 /TI something what ever THAT is or the 60d.
There are some nice full motion shots in this done with a RED. But hey - that stuff was limited to real time acquisition. Great, impressive, nice, but not earth shaking.
Some more earth shaking great stuff -

YouTube - Mirage Boardshort 2 - Behind Mirage

this done with cheapest Canon DSLR available. Well, actually 52 of them (which all added together cost less than an XDcam 800 and a decent HD lens).

I've got to go lie down, my head is beginning to hurt again - too much good stuff happening almost too fast to follow.
As Yogi Berra once said, "the future ain't what it used to be".
The 5DmkII is wonderful (and somewhat magical - it revived my photo/video brain). But it is yesterday's last great camera, now, tomorrow or very, very soon.
Exhilarating, ain't it?
As for the Sony F-3? Meh. Proprietary lenses or really expensive PL lenses with an adapter. Not full frame. Lots of money by the time you're done. Buy that and I have a 600ws/300XD /350XD/700HD/700aHD/700XD/800/900HD/950HD I'd like to sell you.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 10:45 PM   #12
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Here's two quick examples...mainly to see the 11-16 on a crop and 16-35 on the 5D
Steven's is the pilot and he's been practicing...mine was literally the first thing I shot on the blackbird so don't compare the Steadicam styles.



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Old November 19th, 2010, 10:03 AM   #13
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Hi Denis,

Wow what a great post, informative, entertaining, and fun. It shows creativity in a forum response, which is very rare. Thank you for taking the time to move me forward on this project.

High Dynamic Range is a new still area for me to explore, which I will deeply. But no worry I will take naps when overloaded or go out and run a high heart rate with physical activity instead of high heart rate from frustration at the screen.

This is one more reason to go 5D in my eyes. HDR, Time-Lapse, and Stills are at least 2/3 of the cameras use now with your post higher. And if a new 5D MKIII ever comes with HDMI live out the 5D MKII will still have plenty of use.

As for sliders I dove into that area last Spring. Purchased a Dana Dolly when my buddy Doug Jensen did the same. I took mine and motorized the cart and motorized the pan. I have the ability to change speeds/direction on the go and can also change the ratio of the speeds for each shot. The run is any where from 4í to 20í at this time. I have not used a HDSLR on the rig yet only EX1 and F800. My next blog post will be on my setup and where I am headed with it. Now with a 5D I could go smaller and lighter and fit it in the boat interior for this job and ship it easy. And then take another nap when the ideas overload me. Fun stuff!

I like the fisheye mapping to correct and straighten out the image on a 180 deg FOV, wow. Agree this is scary good idea and would be a knock out view of a big interior. Time to spend more on Lynda.com with Photoshop.

Thanks for the link to Tomís TimeScapes video. I have seen this before but it never gets old. I frequent Tomís forum, lurking. This is where I learned all the inís and outís of powering my dolly. Tom is a huge help and does the best time-lapse I have ever viewed. And he shares his knowledge, which always shows a confident, experienced, well rounded person.

I did see the Mirage Board short short and what great thinking out of the box. Again Timeslice sharing their knowledge is fantastic. It all makes perfect sense.

Ah Yogi what a great perspective on life. The 5D has me thinking in new creative ways and I donít even have the camera yet. I started with stills with a dark room at home shooting film too many years ago to mention. Wow another nap is needed.

The F3 has been mentioned by two clients as a possible camera for shoots next year, will see. I should have a chance to see one when Doug tests it for Sony. It makes sense to me.

Oh you are selling a 700aHD, interested in trading for one of my ***!^462Super900mm.

Denis I really appreciate you taking the time to post and all the fun creative ideas you have sparked.


Hi Robert,

The Pilot and Blackbird seem to be a great tools for the smaller cameras. I tried a different brand years ago but did not have the time to learn it properly. A large group of my clients ask for this often. Time to try one out and the Pilot makes sense with budget, and for the 5D and EX1/Nano.

Appreciate you taking the time to post clips. It looks like you are busy with family which is great. Enjoyed your site.
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Old December 6th, 2010, 10:50 PM   #14
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Steadicam Merlin setup

Does anyone have a Canon 60D/Tokina 11-16 combo on their Merlin? To save time and sanity I'd like to know the setup recipe. Tiffen doesn't provide one for this combination on their website. Responses much appreciated.
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Old December 7th, 2010, 04:32 AM   #15
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I have both a Merlin and most recently a Pilot. I struggled with the Merlin - heavy to hold and finicky to keep balanced.

The Pilot is fantastic. Just a joy to use. I lets you concentrate on getting the shots rather than overcoming your physical limitations.

Have flown with 7D and 5D and can't recommend it highly enough.
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