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Old December 15th, 2010, 07:27 PM   #1
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5D II vs XH-A1s

I know I am in the 5D forum, and know this has been around but please stay with me a second, this is very specific.

I recently owned two Sony EX1r's but due to the fact that 95% of my income comes from photography and the other 5% or less comes from video weddings I decided to sell one of the EX1r's and add a 5D II to my pair of 1D IV's so it could serve dual roles. I also have lots of great canon glass.

I shot a wedding video saturday and was amazed at how much better my 5D II footage is than my EX1r.

My 5D II is equipped with Zacuto Z finder and follow focus, so not a bare body.

So regardless I plan on selling my ex1r with super low hours and going with something less while the camera is still worth something, just can not justify having such a pro camera when I only do 4-5 basic weddings a year, not even cinematic type weddings.

I would love to just go with 5D II's, knowing I have the 2 1d IV's if I need a backup or 3rd video to deal with the 12 minute limits. I also have a SD 302 mixer, Zoom H4N and Sony PCM-D50 with wireless mics and shotgun mic.

My biggest questions is this, and wondering if someone has tested this and can save me some guess work.

Can a 5D II get a good amount of DOF to say cover a stage show where people are moving. I know I could not use a 50 mm at 1.2 but in comparison to a camera like the XH-A1 shot at a gain of 6-9 how wide of a dof could you go with a 50mm or 35mm

If I could get to f4 I believe I would be fine, giving me 15 feet or so with a 35mm lens at 15 foot.

So not trying to be too confusing, could you shoot a 5D II at f/4 under the same light you could shoot a XH-A1 wide angle using a gain of 6-9 and get comparable footage.

I would love to go complete DSLR, this is the only thing holding me back, I can deal with the manual focus, short clip length etc just need to be able to get a decent amount of dof at times and want to make sure this can be done with dslr, if not will probably go with a Canon or Panny.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 08:05 PM   #2
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Denny, I can't help but ask -- you say you have two 1D Mk. IV's -- have you tried
shooting video with them? They are much superior to the 5D Mk. II in low light and
can handle a stopped-down aperture better than any other D-SLR you can buy today.
I'm curious why you chose a 5D Mk. II when you already have a pair of excellent
HD-capable 1D Mk. IV cameras.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 09:29 PM   #3
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I have shot a little video with them, but again I am a photographer who adds basic video, so my #1 priority is getting great images. The 1D IV's are the perfect wedding camera IMO and very busy through out the day, not likely to be on a tripod with a Z finder attached.


The 5D's can be set up for video and not used any other way that day. I would have a hard time swapping cameras, the dual card slots are my peace of mind for stills, Not saying at the reception I could not use a 1D IV to shoot some video if needed, or at a critical part of the ceremony.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 09:55 PM   #4
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I hear you -- I just thought that a third 1D Mk. IV body dedicated
just for HD video use might have been a pretty good way to go.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 12:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny Kyser View Post
... could you shoot a 5D II at f/4 under the same light you could shoot a XH-A1 wide angle using a gain of 6-9 and get comparable footage
Yes by adjusting the ISO settings on the 5DII, and I'd hazard a guess that you'll be very pleased with the performance of the 5DII. But unlike the XH-A1, the 5DII can exhibit aliasing, moire & CMOS jello issues, that's the trade-off.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 03:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
I hear you -- I just thought that a third 1D Mk. IV body dedicated
just for HD video use might have been a pretty good way to go.
I have to say I was also under the impression that the 5d was a better video camera than the 1D IV, could have been false information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski View Post
Yes by adjusting the ISO settings on the 5DII, and I'd hazard a guess that you'll be very pleased with the performance of the 5DII. But unlike the XH-A1, the 5DII can exhibit aliasing, moire & CMOS jello issues, that's the trade-off.
Would you say the trade off is worth it?
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Old December 16th, 2010, 10:33 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Denny Kyser View Post
I was also under the impression that the 5d was a better video camera than the 1D IV, could have been false information.
Rest assured, there is *no difference* in the way HD video is
implemented on any Canon D-SLR; they're all identical, from
the Rebel T2i on up, with the exception being the 1D Mk. IV's
superiority in low light over all of the other models. Hope this
helps,
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Old December 16th, 2010, 12:25 PM   #8
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There is nearly no difference. For instance, the 5D2 doesn't do 720/60 while other models do. The 5D2 has larger photosites than the EF-S models (7D, T2i, etc), so it has slightly less noise at the same settings.

The video implementations of the various models are like identical twins. They're genetically identical, but have their minor differences.

To me, the primary differences are price, sensor sizes (and their impact on lens selection), and features. For instance, the 1D4 and 7D keep their HDMI outputs at HD while recording, which is important if you primarily use external monitors. You can run Magic Lantern on the 5D2 and now the T2i, but not the other models.

But I wouldn't sweat the difference between the models and their general picture quality. They all offer similar advantages and problems (aliasing, jello...)
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Old December 16th, 2010, 01:03 PM   #9
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I watched some very good videos on this subject on the Zacuto website, I believe it was film fellows camera shootout. I was amazed at how well the 1D IV did, at high ISO's 5D II was no slouch but these two were better than the 7D according to the pros.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 01:19 PM   #10
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As Chris notes, the 1D presents a few things that might make them perfect for what you are trying to do--you'll be able to use a wider focal length than the 5D to get the shot you need on the stage, and you can shoot at a higher ISO, both of which will increase depth of field.

Jon, my experience has been that the 1D exhibits the least amount of jello of the three cameras--but I believe the 5D shows less moire. I've been meaning to do a series of tests with all three but have never gotten around to it. Maybe some day.

In the meantime, the 1DMKIV remains my primary camera of choice.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 02:05 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone, I cant help but feel with the glass I have, and 3 DSLR bodies that are capable of HD video I am moving in the right direction. Enough so that I just listed my ex1r package on ebay.

I will probably go with a Panny HMC150 and a few Zeiss lenses for now, this will give me the best of both worlds. I do want a fairly decent source that is capable of recording for an hour, and prefer to stay tapeless.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 03:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
Jon, my experience has been that the 1D exhibits the least amount of jello of the three cameras--but I believe the 5D shows less moire..
I believe it. The 1D4 has a 16MP sensor, while the 5D2 has 21MP. With fewer pixels to process and a smaller chip, the scan time can potentially be faster. It also has two DIGIC IV chips, allowing HD HDMI and 720p60. The additional chip might also allow faster scanning. I would guess that the 7D has a bit less jello than the 5D too.

From what I can tell, the 5D2 skips 2 of 3 lines and bins 3 photosites per pixel horizontally. A 10MP sensor would be better: it would only skip every other line. However, with a 16MP sensor, it has to skip one line in some locations and two lines in others. That would technically give less aliasing than the 5D2, but would make the aliasing more ragged. Visually, ragged aliasing is more unattractive than consistent aliasing.

If you get a chance to do the tests, let us know. BTW, the best scan time test is done easily by filming a flat background and manually triggering a flash unit. Rather than a wobble test, which is hard to compare because of different angles of view, a strobe test will yield hard numbers.

The trick is to get some instances where the whole flash strobes within a single frame and other instances where it starts on one frame and ends on another. By counting the lines of the flash in both cases, you can measure exactly how long the sensor is idle.
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Old December 17th, 2010, 03:10 AM   #13
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so if less pixels can be advantageous for video, could there be a way to utilize the photo option in the 5D that allows for pics at 10 megapixels for video?
hmmmm....
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Old December 17th, 2010, 10:18 AM   #14
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There are three ways to get fabulous video from a high-res sensor, like in the 5D2. One is possible today...

1) Take RAW photos using an intervalometer (timer). Assemble the photos into a timelapse. You can get the highest possible resolution without aliasing, assuming that your software tools include a good downsampling filter.

2) Take that software downsampling filter from item (1) and implement it (or a simpler version of it) in the camera. That lets you scan all the pixels on the sensor to accurately create the 1080p video. Two problems: the current sensors are too slow, and the processing isn't that strong.

3) Window the video down to a smaller area on the sensor, say, a 1080p window. It won't alias, but your 50mm lens now has a 150mm view. It also won't be as super sharp as possible, but aliasing will be very low. or non-existent. Image captures from video would have a similar quality to RAW photos cropped to 1920 x 1080.

For now, shoot timelapse!
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Old December 17th, 2010, 10:30 AM   #15
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As an example of someone doing just that:
Timescapes Timelapse
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