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Old March 23rd, 2012, 01:40 PM   #31
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Re: Soliciting Comments on Startup 5D System

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Hurley View Post
If your daughter is going to ply her trade in CR I would suggest getting some sort of rain gear for her kit. I had a bad experience shooting some surfin down in Dominical. Got caught in an afternoon storm.
She'll be in CR late summer/early fall (yes, the middle of the rainy season) to work on that wildlife rescue ranch project, then I think she's off to Australia where she's trying to get an internship lined up.

Your advice is well taken. Dessicant packets and ZipLoc bags for a starter. I've seen some rain covers from Kata. Do you have specific suggestions?
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 02:52 PM   #32
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Re: Soliciting Comments on Startup 5D System

don't forget memory cards! not sure they were on the list.
for audio, the zoom is great and you can record with the onboard mics and two external mics, with different levels to ensure 'safe' levels.
the new Rode mic that doubles as a recorder looks like an interesting solution also, but not sure it is available yet...
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Old March 25th, 2012, 12:48 AM   #33
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Re: Soliciting Comments on Startup 5D System

Regarding sound recording, I see three options...

1) For run 'n gun with a camera mounted mic - Rode Video Mic Pro.

2) For solo shooting using pro, XLR mics - a juicedLink preamp and Magic Lantern firmware. This provides very good quality dialog recording with slightly less noise than the H4n. With a separate recorder, there is the possibility to get the camera and recorder out of sync. (Recording video but not audio and vice versa.) With a preamp, you're less likely to have operator error.

3) For shooting with a team - an external recorder. It allows the sound person to work independently of the camera. Which recorder? Depends on budget and other factors.

For narrative work, I'd cross #1 off the list. Usually, you'll be shooting with a team, so #3 is best. But some often shoot solo. You can put a mic on a stand or use lavs as a solo shooter. If this is the case, then #2 is a good way to go.

As always the best answer depends on the question being asked. :)
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Old March 25th, 2012, 06:11 AM   #34
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Re: Soliciting Comments on Startup 5D System

Almost all of my filming is solo without help from a seperate sound team, so I've had to work out ways to record high quality clean sound without the aid of shotgun mics on boom poles etc.

For "run 'n gun" type filming with a 5D, I prefer to use a Zoom H4 fitted to my special Cinecam brace and record directly from the inbuilt H4 stero mics. This enables me to work hands-free, and have the H4 pointing directly at the action while at the same time keeping the mic at a decent distance from the camera & lens noise.
I also use a similar set up when I'm filming a roving interview, where I'm always in close proximity to the person talking.

If it is a 'roving-type' interview where I'm chatting to the person but filming us both at the same time (this takes practice!) - I fit the 5D to a monopod and fit the Zoom H4 inside a special removable pocket attached the the monopod. The monopod in this case is not placed on the floor/ground but held at arms length so that I can swivel the camera around to also film myself as well the person I am talking to.

Occasionally I will fit a Sony clip mic to myself (directly wired to the XLR port of the Zoom H4) and another wireless clip mic the person I am filming so that we can also continue to record clean and strong sound at further distances from each other. In this case I will use a tripod if the camera is static, or the Cinecam brace if I need to walk around with the camera.

For instances where I am filming two people outdoors at varying distances from the camera, I use two Sony radio receivers (WRR 805 & 810) connected to the Zoom H4 via XLR sockets, and two seperate Sony wireless clip mics (2 X Sony WRT 805 with 2 X Sony ECM 77b or ECM 44b) to each of the 'actors'. This enables them to be at varying distances of up to a maximum of 300 metres from my camera (150 metres is safest to prevent any 'pops' or sound drops).

When I am not using the Cinecam brace to support the camera & Zoom + wireless receivers, or when I'm filming solo at night, I will fit a Canon VL-10Li video light into the hotshoe of the Canon 5D, and clip a Zoom H4 onto the top (My H4 & VL-10Li are fitted with dual tracks of double-sided industrial heavy-duty velcro strips).
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Old March 25th, 2012, 07:41 AM   #35
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Re: Soliciting Comments on Startup 5D System

I think the 2nd kit looks much more suitable.

One thing nobody has picked up on yet though is the backpack - it wouldn't hold half of that stuff listed. It would be lucky to hold the camera and 3 lenses, and I can tell you from experience that the top pouch on that bag will barely hold her purse and a water bottle.

A good backpack is essential - something like the Lowepro Runner 350 would hold the camera and lenses plus the monitor and mic, and has straps on the outside to attach a tripod while its on your back. Plus she'll have plenty of room left over for spare batteries, the charger, a drink bottle, CF cards, a lens blower, a spare tripod plate and all the other assorted bits of junk that I dare not leave home for a shoot without.

I'd also throw in one of the cheap $30 loupes from ebay, for those times when she doesn't have the time, space, or care to setup the SmallHD. The little loupes are great because they add a solid third point of contact, which allows you to ditch the shouldermount and go really lightweight for those times you just want to grab the camera and run or when going minimalist is necessary.
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Old March 25th, 2012, 07:44 AM   #36
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Re: Soliciting Comments on Startup 5D System

And just to add to my previouse post, you can never have too many batteries and CF cards (or SDHC cards, if you got for the MKIII)
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Old March 25th, 2012, 08:11 AM   #37
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Re: Soliciting Comments on Startup 5D System

I have a number of bags, especially if I have a vehicle nearby. The main two are a LowPro Nature Trekker AW and one of my big Kata bags. If I can only carry one bag I generally take the KT BP-502:


BP-502;Backpack KT BP-502 - GDC | Kata Bags

The KT BP-502 can carry an amazing amount of equipment. But this when full is very heavy so would be too much to carry for most females, so the smaller LowePro would be better, or even to fit equipment in a number of smaller bags and only take what is needed for each filming job. But as always, often the gear that is left behind is what you'd wished you had packed! :)
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Old March 25th, 2012, 08:32 AM   #38
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Re: Soliciting Comments on Startup 5D System

these may be useful:

Vello Dual Shoe V Bracket (12.5 cm Wide) CB-450 B&H Photo Video

http://www.amazon.com/Lexar-FIREWIRE-COMPACTFLASH-RW019-001-Package/dp/B0000VYJTM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332682267&sr=8-1
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Old March 25th, 2012, 12:01 PM   #39
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Re: Soliciting Comments on Startup 5D System

I know I said I wasn’t going to say any more but somebody has to think about the birds!!

The most important thing that you must consider is what John said “It depends what you want to do” You did say birds didn’t you? When I think birds I want all the magnification I can beg borrow or steal and still make it look good. Going off on this excursion with 200mm max on a full frame camera with a subject matter of birds? I don’t think so….Everybody that thinks this 5d set-up that is being bantered about is the best tool for THIS job raise your hand.

Oh yes, rainy season in the tropics. I can’t imagine the Glad-bag set-up necessary for a rain cover on the 5Diii/200mm 2.8 lens/monitor/audio and all the wires necessary to make that work. The term “handy” doesn’t spring to mind.

But could somebody PLEASE post a photo anyway of a similar rig with rain cover attached where you can view the monitor and operate the controls? Can I get an AMEN to putting that idea to bed brother?! The two times I had my “Cinema Rig” out in the rain an assistant held the rain cover, it was large, looked kind of like an umbrella and said Titleist on it.

Part of the problem is you pretty much already decided the 5d was the way you wanted to go for whatever reason and now what’s happening is everyone is trying to help shoehorn that into a kit for your daughter.

Now I must confess I am the biggest equipment junkie going and for some reason if it has Canon on it I have some deep seated NEED to own it. I have owned every type Canon video camera produced in the last 20+ years except the C300 (and it’s early yet) and I have two ex wives who will sign an affidavit supporting that fact. And since I first started out as a photographer, my addiction to lenses and bodies is worse than video cameras. Yes I need help but so do others on here.

So I guess I want you to think like this: You’re at the Canon store and you can pick whatever you want, price be damned. Almost every day you will be filming something, you’re not exactly sure what, but you need to be ready. Now you need to carry this daily, through the woods, on a boat, up a tree, in and out of your car, rain, snow, sleet or hail.

The first day out you jam that bag so full of stuff, you get another bag. Hell, we have access to the Canon store, put it all in there! But after a very short while you realize you have way too much stuff and figure you can get it down to a single bag, Well yes, this new bag does have WHEELS but doesn’t really weigh more than 60 pounds.

More time goes by and you start weeding-out what you don’t need because you really think you should be able to fit everything in a shoulder bag. The “most with the least” so to speak, something you could actually carry. More weeding-out goes on, items are exchanged for others. Finally, it’s gotten down to one bag and you can do every thing that you need to do!

For someone who is looking for a camera and accessories, the best thing that others can do to help is tell you what they carry in their shoulder sized bags. But for us to really answer that question we need to know what you are going to do with your “bag”. Some on here have multiple bags and they aren’t quite sure which bag’s contents to give.

For my style of documentary work which includes photos and video, I need a good range of wide to telephoto. Interviews with multiple cameras, the occasional night time city scene, pretty much a do-all kit. It also fits easily in a bag you can actually carry and stow in the overhead compartment with no cramming. It also comes in under your budget.

XF100 – $2995 Great little camera, codec and wide standard lens. A little short on the magnification (10X) but has a 1.5x digital zoom that is very usable. Works very well as a night time “city life” camera, just do a search. Add an inexpensive IR light and it can create some really funky footage. Just be careful you don’t trip. Great for the vampire crowd, it just creeps me out. The whole camera set up with mic and battery weighs less than the 70mm-200mm 2.8 lens alone. Need a rain cover where you can work the controls? The Petrol PR405 works very well. I also use the .8X wide angle Canon adapter that’s a real nice accessory.

This camera is 10 seconds from bag to “rolling” which can be very advantageous if documentaries are your thing. It usually takes me that long to find the right hole to plug the monitor in on my “cinema rig”.

T3i $625 (60D also) All the stills camera 90% of people will ever need and photos from it are good enough for anywhere. Articulating screen is great for video. This is the best Canon camera if you need some reach for video. With the 3X crop and the two lenses I carry, it’s great. Haven’t met a person in the business who could consistently say what Canon camera a video was shot on. And to the average person watching they haven’t a clue.

15-85 Canon EF-S Lens-Bought on a whim a couple years ago after it was announced (I told you I had a problem) and not sure if it’s an extra sharp copy or what but it’s much better than its price. At around $750 it has the heft of an “L” series lens, 72mm filter and a 24mm-136mm equivalent zoom range. It also turns into a very nice 400mm lens with the 3X crop factor. Great for your second camera in interviews and can assume main duties in a pinch. It’s saved me more than once. (That’s 24mm-408mm for those that are counting)

70mm-300mm L series 4-5.6 $1500. Really like this lens and its small size. The thing to remember with the 3X crop factor is there is no loss of light. Need a 300mm f4 lens? This will do it. At 70mm on the T3i/60D with its 1.6 sensor it’s really 112mm. Add the 3X crop factor and its 336mm f4. After comparing it to my 300mm F4 L series lens shooting video I immediately put the 300mm on Ebay. Good riddance! I’m sure part of the reason not to include the crop factor on the 5d is to protect lens sales. (And if that ever changes, so will this bag!)

You want birds you say? How about 1440mm at 5.6? (300 X 1.6 X 3 = 1440) With the range of ISO on this camera you can still make the outside a little brighter than what your eyes see in that critical first and last light when so many things wild are most active, or when it’s raining.

There’s also a Rode SVM, Sennheiser 416, wireless set-up, headphones, batteries etc in the bag. It all fits in a Lowe Pro Slingshot 300 that anyone (even a girl) can carry and is accepted on any plane. The bags dimensions are 16” long, 12” wide and 8” high. I have attached a couple of photos showing the bag full and what's in it. Anybody want to try to come up with a set-up that can do more in less space? I would love to see it.

Welcome to the forum and what you are doing for your daughter is great. This site has some of the greatest people and probably the most experience with different types of video gear than anywhere in the world. Sometimes we get a little overboard with new stuff ( LOTS of people have my same sickness) but the important thing and one of the most valuable is the experience they have garnered on gear you THINK you want to buy.

Now my do-as-much as possible bag is different than my wedding bag and yes I still have customers who require the Cinema rig bag on looks alone. And yes the XF300 will come out on different occasions but for a film student just starting out with documentaries traveling around the world, maybe the 5D isn't the best choice.

Doesn't anybody care about the birds? I love this place......
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Old March 25th, 2012, 12:53 PM   #40
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Re: Soliciting Comments on Startup 5D System

Thanks David...A couple of clarifications. The rescue ranch project is not a back country wildlife shoot. These are captive wild animals that have been abused or injured and are in a facility designed to nurse them back to health and restore them to the wild if at all possible. I doubt if there will be a need for any long range shooting in the rain. Also, my daughter has a strong political focus and is most interested in projects with a social message. I suppose most of her work will be in relatively controlled situations. And, she has been a still photographer for quite a while. I could be wrong, but the 5D seems like a good compromise for someone just starting out on her own.

Is the Lowepro Slingshot 302 AW a better choice than the Lowepro Pro Runner 350 AW?
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Old March 25th, 2012, 08:39 PM   #41
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Re: Soliciting Comments on Startup 5D System

Steve,

I've shot at rescue ranch type facilities before and if they are really trying to reintroduce the animal, they want as little human contact as possible. With more telephoto you can shoot from a position that is with the animals and caretakers best interests in mind. But if you can't get footage of the thing you want to save what's the point?

I didn't mean to stress the telephoto aspect, I just thought it needed a little explanation. Wide for me is more important but sometimes there's a real need to get closer.

And it seems that maybe you and your daughter already agreed on the 5D iii camera, I hope she enjoys it as much as I will mine.

As far as the bag is concerned I think you should get which ever is bigger. At least an extra hole or two after what you finally decide. Good luck!
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Old March 26th, 2012, 12:52 AM   #42
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Re: Soliciting Comments on Startup 5D System

Steve, regarding the backpack, I use the Fastpack 250. I'd recommend either this or the Pro Runner 350, depending on the lenses she plans to use. The 250 works for six-inch lenses like the 100L, but not for the longer, telephoto zooms. The 250 has an open area up top that can hold odds and ends while the 350 is 100% dedicated to still camera gear. Also, the 250 allows side access to the camera. I can carry the camera, four lenses, accessories, follow focus, and a shoulder rig, and fit it (barely) under an airline seat. The 350 is slightly bigger and might not fit in planes that have bulges for entertainment systems.

To me, the most important aspects are lenses, sound, and stability. Regarding stability, I recently picked up the Silk Pro Pod 600 aluminum monopod, which is short enough to fit in my carry-on luggage. It's solid (many carbon fiber monopods have wiggly joints), and weighed about the same as the one solid $300 carbon monopod I sampled. Yes, a tripod is more stable, but would require a good case and would force me to check my luggage on every flight.

I also use Redrock's The Event rig. I can rest the monopod on my belt (or the ground) to take the weight off my back. On the ground, the camera can pan, but tilting is limited. In the belt, you have more freedom of movement. To walk, you need to remove the monopod from the belt and use your arms as shock absorbers. The inertia of the monopod adds a bit of stability.

If your daughter is not tall (I'm 6'2"), she might need a belt with a "holster" to rest the monopod in.

When on the monopod, I use the left handle of the rig and rest my right wrist on the right handle while controlling the follow focus. The Hoodman x3 Loupe provides another point of contact. (It's good, but the Z-Finder is nicer.) When using the monopod, I don't really need the shoulder/chest attachement of The Event, but I still recommend it. You can adjust the handles and shoulder bar into a fixed "tripod" for locked down shots. You just have to be creative to find a table or car to set it on. Of course, it's great for on-the-ground shots. :)

For a political feel, I like the idea of shooting handheld. It's visceral and present. Shooting from a tripod can feel dull. A Steadicam, slider, or jib can be too slick.

Regarding lenses, I really like the 100L handheld. It's not so big, heavy, expensive, and flashy as the 70-200 zoom, and it's faster than the 24-105 zoom. Also, it allows macro shots, which might be handy when showing people working with their hands. For the 70-200, I'd want a tripod. The 24-105 is usable handheld. (I've used it without monopod assist.)

With the 5D2, I'd stick with f/2.8 and faster lenses. With the 5D3 (and it's extended ISO capabilities), the 24-105/4L would be excellent. Add a fast 50mm and you're set.

Best of luck with your purchases!
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Old March 26th, 2012, 08:14 AM   #43
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Re: Soliciting Comments on Startup 5D System

Thanks, Jon. A lot to think about. I haven't seen many other recommendations for the 24-105mm f/1.4L. Do others think it would be a good choice for the 5D Mark III and suitable for low light video?
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Old March 26th, 2012, 09:04 AM   #44
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Re: Soliciting Comments on Startup 5D System

The 24-105 is a great all round lens for the 5DIII due to its useful focal range and image stabilisation (which is extremely useful with a monopod or hand-held). Personally I prefer it to the 24-70 that I currently own. For most situations it's the perfect match for a full-frame camera.

However, with a maximum aperture of f4 It's a poor choice, relatively speaking, for low-light shooting. Indoors with reasonable lighting is fine, you can boost the ISO of the Mark III to compensate. But for real low-light situations (dimly lit streets, candlelight, lanterns etc), you'll want something faster. That's why Jon suggested adding a fast (ie: f1.4 or 1.8) 50mm lens, because it will cover those very low light situations.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 10:58 AM   #45
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Re: Soliciting Comments on Startup 5D System

Thanks, Josh. What do you think of a combination of the kit lens, a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 and a Rokinon 85mm f /1.4 to cover most normal and low light situations? I've seen some great reviews of the Rokinon.
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