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Old June 21st, 2011, 08:26 AM   #1
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moving to 5D mkII from Z1/EX1r - advice

I am considering moving to the 5D mkII

I am not a pro but have used Z1 and EX1r in the past, and I wonder how some of the limitations of the 5D come into play and how people work around those.

specifically I understand there's a video length limitation of approx 12 minutes - isn't canon planning to remove this via firmware?
secondly there doesn't seem to be an efficient way to do live autofocus while recording
then there is the odd 30p (and not 29.97) rate (less of a problem as I don't really plan to intercut with other camcorders, plus I think 24p has been added)

I absolutely love the image quality of the videos I see around shot with this camera and especially the low light capabilities, but I am slightly concerned about the above before pulling the trigger (I am also considering the Canon XF100 which is in the same price league albeit a completely different animal)

finally: are there are "issues" specifically related to the 5D MkII I should be aware of, coming from traditional camcorders?

any thoughts welcome
Fed
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Old June 21st, 2011, 08:59 AM   #2
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Re: moving to 5D mkII from Z1/EX1r - advice

Fed,
Just do a search, there are volumes of info. I would say simply give yourself 6-8 months before you really need to use it and it should be plenty of time to get use to any limitations, but there is so much info on this board, anything typed in this thread would be redundancy.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 11:39 AM   #3
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Re: moving to 5D mkII from Z1/EX1r - advice

Hi Fed,

To answer your questions, the 12-minute limit is here to stay - at least for this generation of DSLR. The camera shoots at rates of 23.976, 25, and 29.97 fps. There is no autofocus. Also, it has aliasing due to line skipping.

All of these issues make it less than ideal for event shooting. I shot a 90-minute event recently with the 5D by running a cheap AVCHD camcorder on a fixed tripod with a wide view. I was able to cut back to the "safety cam" when I needed to start/stop and change cards.

It's really like shooting with a film camera - focus is manual, DOF can be shallow, you can only shoot for so long, and you want to record audio on a second device (for long form anyway - no gaps allowed.)

DSLRs are much better for short clips that can be edited, shallow DOF that blurs aliasing out of most of the scene, and an impressionistic style that makes shallow DOF and out of focus shots attractive.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 11:44 AM   #4
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Re: moving to 5D mkII from Z1/EX1r - advice

thanks a lot.
as for the fps I read a quite informative article by Bloom where he complained about the 5D using 30 and not 29.97?

other issues have to do with recording sound which seems to be inadequate at most...
some people use external recording sources altogether... (http://philipbloom.net/2009/05/23/ho...mk2/#more-3281)

would be interested to know if there is an accepted best solution for this one
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Old June 21st, 2011, 01:39 PM   #5
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Re: moving to 5D mkII from Z1/EX1r - advice

Federico, what kind of videos are you shooting? Remember that a camera is a tool, and you need the proper tools to achieve your goal efficiently. It's possible to putt with a driver, and it's possible to cut down a tree with a pocket knife. But trying to work with the wrong tool is wasting a lot of energy and time. Personally, I don't see the 5DII as a replacement for the EX1, I see it as an addition to your arsenal. Seeing a gorgeous image with the 5DII alone doesn't justify replacing the EX1.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 01:46 PM   #6
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Re: moving to 5D mkII from Z1/EX1r - advice

Sony and Panny have both released super-35 videocameras recently that compete with the 5D Mk II... at this point in time I would be looking for something with the DOF of the 5D, and the videocamera features of a real videocamera. Just my $0.02.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 01:53 PM   #7
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Re: moving to 5D mkII from Z1/EX1r - advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Federico Perale View Post
as for the fps I read a quite informative article by Bloom where he complained about the 5D using 30 and not 29.97?
I bet that article was written before Canon's sw update -- as Jon pointed out, it now shoots; 23.976, 25, and 29.97 fps.

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Old June 21st, 2011, 07:06 PM   #8
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Re: moving to 5D mkII from Z1/EX1r - advice

Regarding audio, you can get excellent dialog into the camera using Magic Lantern software and a juicedLink preamp. It has a low cut enabled, so it's not as good for full range music. You can also record separately. Most people use a DR-100 or H4n, though the FR-2LE is a very nice step up.

IMO, you want the preamp if you are shooting solo and a separate recorder if you have a sound person. If the audio will be so-so anyway (like at a trade show), you can record into the camera using Canon's manual audio gain. (That feature came with the frame rate firmware update.) If you want top audio, run Magic Lantern for lower noise.

Another option is the Rode Videomic Pro. It's a nice on-camera solution for ambient sound when traveling light.

But it really comes down to what you shoot. If you shoot photos and time lapses, and want shallow DOF, having a DSLR is great. If you don't care about photos, one of the new, large sensor camcorders may be the better choice. And if you don't care about shallow DOF - and aren't willing to put up with the headache of critical focus and clips where you missed focus - a small chip camcorder is the way to go.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 04:47 AM   #9
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Re: moving to 5D mkII from Z1/EX1r - advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
Regarding audio, you can get excellent dialog into the camera using Magic Lantern software and a juicedLink preamp. It has a low cut enabled, so it's not as good for full range music. You can also record separately. Most people use a DR-100 or H4n, though the FR-2LE is a very nice step up.

IMO, you want the preamp if you are shooting solo and a separate recorder if you have a sound person. If the audio will be so-so anyway (like at a trade show), you can record into the camera using Canon's manual audio gain. (That feature came with the frame rate firmware update.) If you want top audio, run Magic Lantern for lower noise.

Another option is the Rode Videomic Pro. It's a nice on-camera solution for ambient sound when traveling light.

But it really comes down to what you shoot. If you shoot photos and time lapses, and want shallow DOF, having a DSLR is great. If you don't care about photos, one of the new, large sensor camcorders may be the better choice. And if you don't care about shallow DOF - and aren't willing to put up with the headache of critical focus and clips where you missed focus - a small chip camcorder is the way to go.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peer Landa View Post
I bet that article was written before Canon's sw update -- as Jon pointed out, it now shoots; 23.976, 25, and 29.97 fps.

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thanks to everyone. ok so the framerate has been fixed and apparently also the manual audio gain (although it quite difficult to access in the menu? not sure)

my only requirement is small footprint, that's why I sold the EX1r.
I need something agile as I travel a lot -- I have spent a lot of time comparing footages from the 5D and the XF100 and I have to say the 5D is a winner (for me), but the XF100 seems more "complete"...
they are comparable in terms of price so that's why I am kind of stuck.

is Magic Lantern a replacement "independent" firmware? is it safe to install?
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 11:02 AM   #10
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Re: moving to 5D mkII from Z1/EX1r - advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Federico Perale View Post
ok so the framerate has been fixed and apparently also the manual audio gain (although it quite difficult to access in the menu? not sure)
Yep, the manual audio gain is a bit quirky to get to -- it looks like an afterthought, because it was an afterthought. But still, it's one of the fixes (along with manual aperture) that I'm very pleased with.

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Old June 22nd, 2011, 01:25 PM   #11
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Re: moving to 5D mkII from Z1/EX1r - advice

I find ML to be safe. I install it, film, turn off the cam, pop the battery, and it's removed from the camera. You can store a config file that maintains the desired state. The biggest problem is that you have to have it on your card. If you format the card in-camera, then you need to re-load ML on the card.

The ideal preamp for run 'n gun is the juicedLink DT454. I used mine at NAB and didn't bother to run ML, since the noise on the show floor was higher than any Canon preamp noise. I was able to mount the JL to my Redrock Event rig near my chest. I brought a wired lav for interviews and could have used a short shotgun in the other channel had I wanted ambient audio. I plugged some in-ear monitors directly into the preamp. I set a fixed gain in the camera (one click above minimum) and could easily reach the knob on the preamp to adjust gain.

For higher quality and round-trip monitoring, I would run ML for each recording and would plug headphones into a headphone amp driven by the 5D2. It's slightly more bothersome than the Canon firmware method, but not too much of a burden.

I much prefer using a preamp to separate recording when running solo. With a separate recorder, I've gotten out of sync - I record into the camera, but only get to a standby state in the recorder. Once filming and framing, I can't glance at the recorder to check it. On the DR-100, when the battery goes low, you still hear the monitor, but it stops recording. A preamp is much simpler. You just need to turn it on to get a signal. If you don't turn it on, you can't hear the sound, so you know it's off or that it needs a new battery.

BTW, if you have a separate person to operate the recorder, I really like the FR-2LE. It's super quiet. And it has separate STBY and REC buttons, so it's foolproof. It's big and plastic though. You can't bolt it to the camera. It's a classic, over the shoulder, field recorder and would flop around if you tried to carry it along with a camera rig.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 04:27 AM   #12
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Re: moving to 5D mkII from Z1/EX1r - advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
Another option is the Rode Videomic Pro. It's a nice on-camera solution for ambient sound when traveling light.
what about the Rode Videomic Pro Stereo?
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 03:59 PM   #13
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Re: moving to 5D mkII from Z1/EX1r - advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Federico Perale View Post
what about the Rode Videomic Pro Stereo?
I haven't tried the Rode yet. When I shoot "full" audio I usually use a tiny Ambient shotgun mic (discussed here: "Tiny mike" question) along with a Sennheiser lav mic (discussed here: http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-eo...cs-anyone.html) both directly into the camera through Ambient's tiny passive mixer (only gain controls and high-pass filters), and then I "freewheel" a Sony PCM-D50 or a PCM-D1 (http://www.amazon.com/Sony-Professional-Portable-24-bit-Recorder/dp/B000ETK872) that I sync up later in post.

I'm quite happy with this setup, except for its weight and for being quite fragile. Here's how it looks all put together:



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Old June 25th, 2011, 11:11 AM   #14
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Re: moving to 5D mkII from Z1/EX1r - advice

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Originally Posted by Peer Landa View Post
I bet that article was written before Canon's sw update -- as Jon pointed out, it now shoots; 23.976, 25, and 29.97 fps.

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Correct! That article from Philip Bloom's blog is dated May 2009 i.e. over two years ago.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 05:15 AM   #15
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Re: moving to 5D mkII from Z1/EX1r - advice

We have Z1U's, V1U's XF100's, and 5D MKII's..... Love the MKII... hands down some of the best footage we've shot w/o using an actual video camera. Stay away from the Z1U... time to upgrade to solid state. If you dont like the idea of messing with a MKII and want to move to a full blown video camera... go with the XF! Just my 2cents :)
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