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Old March 21st, 2012, 03:43 PM   #1
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First impressions + rough and ready sample

Sharing a rather ramshackle Canon 5D Mark III test for my DVinfo friends (blocked everywhere else, including Vimeo!). Just a quick run around town with my very obliging and gracious friend Angela to test a newborn 5D3.

Tested on the spur of the moment with no support available, hence handheld. Specifically, I wanted to see how the footage held up to an over the top, rough and ready grade (shots are clearly not intended to match - I just wanted to push the footage about). Disclaimer: I'm not a colourist.

Lenses: Zeiss ZE 25/2 & 50/2
ISO range: 100-1000
Profile: sharpness 3 (range 0-7), Contrast -4, Saturation -2
Codec: All-I 1920x1080@25p
CC: FCPX colourboard (imported native footage to timeline, rendered/output to ProRes 422, Compressed for Vimeo to H264@18000kbps)


The technical/feature differences are well documented, so I'll stick to offering a few image quality impressions... first the good:
* Moire has (as advertised) been well and truly dealt with (this was the reason I gave up my 5d2/7d for the Gh2). I couldn't find any to speak of, great! This alone wins me over.
* aliasing is still apparent, but well suppressed, as are all image artifacts. A cleaner image than the 5d2 all round.
* high ISO is, as advertised, astonishing. The 2 stop advantage over the 5d2 sounds about right. ISO3200 is perfectly usable (personally I never strayed above 1250 on the 5d2)
* appreciably less jello - I think if I'd shot this video handheld with the 5d2 it would have been very messy, rather than merely amateur :-)

The not so good (as expected):
* dynamic range is no better than the 5d2 in video mode (even at the lowest contrast setting, blacks are still crushed and whites blown out).
* about the same resolution/detail as the 5d2... I have a Gh2 and XF300 which both stomp all over the 5d3 in resolving power.

Overall though, the lack of moire, banding and other artifacts meant the footage stood up much better in the edit suite. It's no C300 but for 95% of what I do the extra dynamic range and detail of the C300 won't make a difference (where the hole in my pocket would).

One note: with the 5d2 I always turned sharpening to minimum to reduce moire. When I tried this with the 5d3 (level 0) footage was a tad too soft. Sharpening at 2 to 3 seems to be the sweet spot. Above this digital nasties creep in.

A few frame grabs so you can get an idea of resolution at 1080:
Attached Thumbnails
First impressions + rough and ready sample-1.jpg   First impressions + rough and ready sample-2.jpg  

First impressions + rough and ready sample-3.jpg   First impressions + rough and ready sample-4.jpg  

First impressions + rough and ready sample-5.jpg   First impressions + rough and ready sample-6.jpg  

First impressions + rough and ready sample-7.jpg   First impressions + rough and ready sample-8.jpg  


Last edited by Josh Dahlberg; March 22nd, 2012 at 07:12 AM.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 04:56 PM   #2
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Re: First impressions + rough and ready sample

Great! Thanks, Josh -- much appreciated. My 5D3 arrived at my dealer yesterday, but I've been too busy with DVi to pick it up! Hopefully tomorrow... I'm pretty anxious to get my hands on it. Meanwhile, sure like what you've put together here.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 05:57 PM   #3
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Re: First impressions + rough and ready sample

Enjoy your Mk3, Chris... when you finally manage to unwrap it! :)
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Old March 21st, 2012, 09:37 PM   #4
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Re: First impressions + rough and ready sample

Some more shots from today, this time with tripod. Very similar image to 5d2, sans-moire :-)

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Old March 21st, 2012, 11:14 PM   #5
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Re: First impressions + rough and ready sample

I think it looks sharper, at least the ability to have the in camera sharpening turned on without introducing artefacts makes it look sharper.

Regardless of actual resolution pixel peeping, its a beautiful looking image.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 11:31 PM   #6
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Re: First impressions + rough and ready sample

Thanks for posting Josh! I think your video is the first MKIII video that I thought looked better than a MKII. Nice looking footage.

But, just when I was going positive about the MKIII, I watched the next video you have on Vimeo with the GH2 being recorded with the PIX 220. Now that is some detail!! Makes me realize how good the GH2 is.

I did not know one could use a PIX 220 with the GH2. I do not want to derail your thread but could you shed some light on this? Maybe in a PM?

Thanks again.
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 12:15 AM   #7
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Re: First impressions + rough and ready sample

Thanks guys,

Tim my thoughts on the Gh2 + Pix combo are mid-way down this thread:
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/panasoni...mware-25p.html

To be honest, right now I'm in two minds about which way to go (I don't own a Pix yet, it was a demo unit). Love the detail of the the Gh2 + Pix220 (fine texture is really something at 1080p) but mini-HDMI is a rather treacherous connection to have to rely on, and the 5d3 does indeed make pretty pictures.

Here's a little moire test. You can just see a smidgen of moire in the first shot, but I really had to push the 5d3 to make this happen. The 5d2 would have had a panic attack with this shirt!


And a full res frame grab:
Attached Thumbnails
First impressions + rough and ready sample-5d-today.jpg  

Last edited by Josh Dahlberg; March 22nd, 2012 at 07:15 AM.
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 02:54 AM   #8
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Re: First impressions + rough and ready sample

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Dahlberg View Post
One note: with the 5d2 I always turned sharpening to minimum to reduce moire. When I tried this with the 5d3 (level 0) footage was a tad too soft. Sharpening at 2 to 3 seems to be the sweet spot. Above this digital nasties creep in.
I think that this is why people are complaining that the 5D3 footage they are seeing is soft. It's because they are immediately dialling down sharpness like they do on the 5D2. Just assuming that all the settings will be the same is wrong. I bet people will still be sticking to the old voodoo ISO160/320/640 etc too. It's a new camera & we need to evaluate it all over again.
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 03:59 AM   #9
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Re: First impressions + rough and ready sample

I think so too Nigel...
and this test from Josh show me a picture I absolutely happy to work with...
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 04:56 AM   #10
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Re: First impressions + rough and ready sample

Excellent stuff Josh and extremely useful for people like me trying to work out if the 5DMkIII should be on my buy list. Thank you for your efforts.

Looks to me that the old 5D "magic" is still there for sure. No problem with the soft look either - lots of sharp detail in those shots. Phew, thank goodness for that!!! It's been a puzzling few days viewing some of the other early footage that's appeared around the web looking soft.

Nigel is right of course, new camera model, whole bunch of new settings that need to be worked out to get the best out of it. Maybe you owners should start a thread about settings?
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 06:22 AM   #11
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Re: First impressions + rough and ready sample

Looks great! Dark, short beards always look terrible on the 5D2. Looks great on the 5D3.

One reason this doesn't look soft is that it's not posted right next a 5D2 shot. Aliasing makes things look falsely sharp. Since real audiences don't view films side by side with multiple cameras, the stand-alone look is what matters.
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 06:38 AM   #12
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Re: First impressions + rough and ready sample

Thanks Andy/Markus,

Yes Jon, my thoughts are the 5d2 resolves no more real detail, but the aliasing sure makes it look sharper.

Here's a couple of quick (actual size) screen grabs of a usb stick on my desk. The soft one is with the 5d3 at sharpening and contrast both at 0 (where I would usually set them on the 5d2).

The sharper image is with contrast two notches up and sharpening at 3 (of 7). Big difference! So you can dial in sharpness much more to taste with the 5d3... or shoot soft and crank it up in post.
Attached Thumbnails
First impressions + rough and ready sample-0.png   First impressions + rough and ready sample-2.png  


Last edited by Josh Dahlberg; March 22nd, 2012 at 07:17 AM.
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 06:59 AM   #13
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Re: First impressions + rough and ready sample

And before bedtime... a couple of quick night shots (mounted on a bag, hence lopsided). The first scene is ISO 1600, the second is 3200 and a touch over-exposed.

I didn't push it any higher because personally I have no need for greater than 3200 (these shots at f2 make the street look brighter than it is - these are dimly lit venues), and frankly, I wasn't expecting it to be so good. I'm not really a high ISO freak, but it's nice to know high ISO shooting is viable if needed.

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Old March 22nd, 2012, 08:47 AM   #14
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Re: First impressions + rough and ready sample

To further back up what Josh wrote about the camera making it seem lighter than it is, look at this video at about 1m 15s - where you see how dark it really is where this guy was filming - and then a few seconds later to see what the 5DMkIII can do with the ISO pumped up. Very impressive!

My guess is that the military and intelligence agencies will be ordering a few for covert filming operations...;-)

Canon 5D Mark III raw footage - YouTube
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 09:01 AM   #15
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Re: First impressions + rough and ready sample

These are the first 5dmkiii samples that are actually in focus and/or the camera not constantly whipped around. Low and behold, gee, what do you know? The camera's image has some resolution.

Thanks for these really useful tests.
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