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Old September 16th, 2012, 11:51 AM   #1
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EVF delay is killing me

I'm sure this is probably an issue that has been discussed ad nauseam for years, but I just started using my Mark II to shoot events (weddings, parties, etc.) and am just now starting to deal with this issue.

I bought the SmallHD DP4 4.5" EVF/Monitor, which I generally think is great, but the delay from when I start recording to when I see the image on the monitor is killing so many of my shots.

This type of work is really about capturing "the moment", which might be a hug, or a smile, or a split second reaction, etc.
In so many instances, I can see it coming. I know it's going to happen. I anticipate it, and see the shot on my EVF, hit 'record', watch the screen go blue for what is probably only 2 or 3 seconds, but feels like 20, and by the time the image reappears, the moment is over.

Editors hate me. And, I don't blame them. I find myself just letting my camera run as I'm searching for a shot, or at the very least, all my shots have a few seconds at the beginning where I'm floating around waiting for the image to reappear. A lot of these events have 3 or 4 shooters filling up 4 cards. The editors obviously don't want to go through all my footage of my camera running unnecessarily as I find the shot because I don't want to deal with the delay.

I assume the delay is caused by the output changing from HD to SD when the camera starts recording? Or maybe a function of the HDMI? Which, I assume means there isn't really anything I can do, and this isn't an issue with this brand of EVF in particular?

I used to shoot with the Zacuto Z-finder, but I dont like always having the camera at eye level. But, I might have to go back to it.

Anyway, I'm assuming this is just something I have to deal with, but if anyone has any suggestions - either technical or just shooting style - I would appreciate it.

Also wondering, just out of curiosity, if this is also the case with the Mark III?

Thanks.
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Old September 16th, 2012, 04:16 PM   #2
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Re: EVF delay is killing me

Todd,

I have the mark III and have only just recently purchased my EVF, so don't take my answer as red as I've only used it on a few jobs so far. However I have to say I haven't noticed any delay whatsoever yet. Perhaps after a bit more heavy use I'll come back and update the thread.

I wish I could compare my set up with the mark II, but alas I sold both of them a few months ago.

The EVF I'm using is the Zacuto one with a Z-finder pro.

Although I'm sure it doesn't make a difference, you don't say what length your HDMI cable is.
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Old September 16th, 2012, 09:22 PM   #3
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Re: EVF delay is killing me

Todd,

This is because the 5D changes resolution from HD to SD when you hit record, this is not the case with newer cameras or the 7D.

One way to solve this is to use magic lantern, and it has a feature that always have your hdmi out at vga res, so there will be no delay to the hdmi out. I have this feature on when I use an external monitor on my 5D with magic lantern the final release version.

So to compensate for the reduced resolution via hdmi, magic lantern provides focus aids like peaking, zoomed windows which they call magic zoom, it has a zoomed picture in picture so you can tell when its focus.

Try it. It is stable and has a lot of new features that make the 5D mk2 practically a "new camera."

If you need help with installation, I can help you through it.
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Last edited by Ted Ramasola; September 16th, 2012 at 10:27 PM.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 01:12 AM   #4
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Re: EVF delay is killing me

Thanks Ted. I will have to look into Black Magic a little more. I've always been a little nervous to install a third party software.

How difficult is it to reinstall the original Canon software after install Black Magic, if I decide I don't like it for whatever reason?
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Old September 17th, 2012, 01:16 AM   #5
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Re: EVF delay is killing me

Technically, the hackers didn't touch the firmware of the camera, just piggy back on it.

Magic lantern is on the CF cards you use. Its well implemented that it boots up automatically after initial setup, it feels like the real system.

If you want it out just take out the cf with ml, after you follow uninstall sequence in the menu.

Trust me, you'll like it. ;) I was a skeptic like you and didn't install it until new developers like Alex came onboard and created the Unified version and changed the user interface and added a ton of features.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 01:22 AM   #6
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Re: EVF delay is killing me

I use Magic lantern together with the mosaic filter on my 5DmkII.

So a $385 anti alias filter + free software = a camera that gave me reason NOT to spend for a 5D mkIII.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 03:36 PM   #7
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Re: EVF delay is killing me

hmmmm....interesting.

Usually on these events, the producer hands my a set of cards at the beginning of the shoot and leaves with them at the end, so I'd have to find a workaround for that.

But, it's good to hear from someone who uses it and likes it.
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Old September 18th, 2012, 03:15 PM   #8
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Re: EVF delay is killing me

and, of course, by 'Black Magic', I meant 'Magic Lantern'.
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Old September 20th, 2012, 03:12 PM   #9
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Re: EVF delay is killing me

I use a DP6 SmallHD with my MkIII and there is no delay when hitting record... as stated above it's the resolution change that causes it. No way around it if you are using a different camera... but I'm pretty sure the camera is recording while you see the blue screen if that's any consolation...
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Old September 20th, 2012, 03:24 PM   #10
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Re: EVF delay is killing me

There is a force HDMI that works with magic lantern. As some of you know when you press record the cameras output resolution goes from full hd quality to sd quality and this is what gives the lag. please someone correct me if i'm wrong. Or explain better.
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Old September 20th, 2012, 03:36 PM   #11
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Re: EVF delay is killing me

Interesting...
I don't use Magic Lantern so I can't vouch for that, but to the OP last question, the 5D MkIII doesn't have the record lag issue.
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