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Old March 8th, 2013, 09:29 PM   #1
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5D Mk III for Stills and Run-and-gun?

I am looking forward to owning a 5D mk III soon. I have always considered dslr's too fidgety looking for run and gun, or even weddings. But with the reviews of the Mk III, suddenly my attitude is changing. Nice having a positive attitude, but I need to be grounded in reality. I have spent countless hours piecing together the pros and cons, but not enough word from people who actually own one. If you have one word of advice or info for a first time user, what would it be? And what can I do with the 5D that I can't do with a video cam of the same price range.

I started out filming military retirement ceremonies, and some corporate stuff, but now do mostly band videos for YouTube, showroom acts, dancers, mostly in dark places.I'm being asked more to do stills and more cinematic looking shoots. I now find my Canon XHA1s's to be outdated and unfit for my work. I appreciate all I read here and in other forums, but I hope I can still ask the questions that most of you have answered many times already. With technology moving so fast, even with the same equipment, i need to stay fresh.

Last edited by Alex DeJesus; March 8th, 2013 at 10:48 PM.
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Old March 9th, 2013, 01:46 AM   #2
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Re: 5D Mk III for Stills and Run-and-gun?

Well, yes, but. I own one, love it, but here's my advice. I assume you want DOF, to be considering this for R&G. If you want to do run and gun with it, buy the 24-70 zoom or one of it's competitors, and maybe a Sigma wide angle 10-20 mm. I also recommend a Zacuto viewfinder, along with $2000 of other accessories, including a wired lav and Rode Videopro Mic. Then ask yourself if you would have been better off buying a C100. Anyway, I still love it, and yes, it takes incredible stills. But it's not my favorite run and gun. You still need the lenses for the C100. So the prices are not what you might think going in.

It is better than my 7D. And a bit more convenient than my XF305. But the 305 takes much better quality images. Hands down. Only difference is, the 5D beats it in DOF.The 305 wins if I need lots of DOF, like a scene where I want everything in focus to set the stage for the talent.
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Old March 9th, 2013, 06:58 AM   #3
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Re: 5D Mk III for Stills and Run-and-gun?

Have you looked in to the Sony EA50? rather than the Canon 5D MK3?

Interchangeable lenses, large sensor. And it is capable for run and gun.
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Old March 9th, 2013, 08:43 AM   #4
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Re: 5D Mk III for Stills and Run-and-gun?

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Originally Posted by James Manford View Post
Have you looked in to the Sony EA50? rather than the Canon 5D MK3?

Interchangeable lenses, large sensor. And it is capable for run and gun.
Yes, I looked at the EA50 - looks great! And def possibility to replace my 2nd XHA1s. But I still need to shoot stills (pardon the pun). The other reason for having a DSLR is that I think videographers are now almost expected to have one in the arsenal, and to be able to talk 'shop' with photographers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Bergstein
If you want to do run and gun with it, buy the 24-70 zoom or one of it's competitors, and maybe a Sigma wide angle 10-20 mm. I also recommend a Zacuto viewfinder, along with $2000 of other accessories, including a wired lav and Rode Videopro Mic. Then ask yourself if you would have been better off buying a C100.
Man, I salivate at the thought of a C100! Don't tempt me. But I would need the same lenses and accessories as the DSLR - except fot audio. With the 5D, it is more affordable, and I can then get a C100 later to match it. I'm not so sure a Sony or JVC would match the Canon picture and color-wise. I could be wrong.

I considered the kit lens 24-105 IS f/4 L that comes with the 5d. My only concern is that I could shoot at higher ISO to compensate for the slow lens. Otherwise, I don't know if there is a competitor to the 24-70 F/2.8L that is priced any better, do you? Then, a 70-200 would be necessary. The two lenses new would cost more than $4,000. I do most of my work in low light.

NAB is in my town next month. Thanks so much for helping me get my notes prepared. I have noticed some drastic price drops in most of these existing cameras. I wonder what surprises are in store?
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Old March 9th, 2013, 08:50 AM   #5
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Re: 5D Mk III for Stills and Run-and-gun?

Good idea from James!! I have two EA-50's BUT I like the form factor for shooting

I think the bottom line will be HOW you shoot run 'n gun ... Most 5D videographers I see at weddings will either be on tripod or on a monopod but I have yet to see them running around handheld.

My EA-50 "B" Cam is almost always on my shoulder as it's designed for that and if that's what you are used to then I think anyone would struggle with a 5D shooting freehand ..that's why I use EA-50's ... I tried shooting freehand but really struggled with DSLR's and I truly think one would be way better off always on at least a monopod ... if you are a free shooter like me then look at what James has suggested but if you are prepared to shoot from a platform then the Mark III will be hard to beat!!

Chris
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Old March 9th, 2013, 09:03 AM   #6
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Re: 5D Mk III for Stills and Run-and-gun?

In most cases I would have the 5D on a tripod. By run-and-gun, I mean setup time and ease. I would love to shoot shoulder mounted! - haven't done so since my Canon XL1s

EA50 sounds like a sleeper for Sony - lots of good comments, very few cons. And easy to use Canon glass I suppose?
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Old March 13th, 2013, 01:21 PM   #7
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Re: 5D Mk III for Stills and Run-and-gun?

I would concentrate on making sure you can focus properly. Especially in a shallow DOF situation, you can't trust your on-board LCD screen at all. No matter what lens you get, make sure you either get a nice monitor or EVF or you will have some not so pleasant surprises when you view your footage at full screen.
I use a SmallHD DP6 which has a really nice focus assist feature (lots of monitors have this sort of peaking focus assist, but I think SmallHD's version is a little nicer)
Especially in run-and-gun situations, you can switch to this focus assist and keep one hand on the focus barrel/follow-focus and keep rolling if you want to.

You can of course use the digital zoom to go in for a critical focus and this works great, but you can't do that while recording. You'll have to stop recording, check focus, then start rolling again... If you are trying to catch natural b-roll of "real people" this doesn't work at all. As soon as they see a camera they stiffen up and by the time you are set, you loose the spontaneity of your shot. If you can keep rolling and follow focus you stand a much better chance at getting nice impromptu b-roll.

If you have time to set your shot and check focus, you can get by with just the LCD screen and digital zoom to check focus.

Everything else is "nice to have" but if your shots are not in focus, nothing else matters.
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Old March 13th, 2013, 01:25 PM   #8
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Re: 5D Mk III for Stills and Run-and-gun?

The next thing is:
Forget the camera has any Auto controls. This is a recipe for disaster. Learn how to operate in manual mode!

:)
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Old March 14th, 2013, 09:06 AM   #9
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Re: 5D Mk III for Stills and Run-and-gun?

Good posts so far. Approach "run and gun" very cautiously.

Focus, focus, focus. This is the main reason why the 5DMKIII is tough to operate out of controlled environments. Until you use a full frame camera it is tough to know just how shallow the field of focus really is. Add on the lack of being able to trust the LCD 100% for focus and it is quite a difficult tool.

I can use the LCD with a hood/loupe for controlled shooting and trust the focus if I magnify before pressing record. But you can not magnify after pressing record. So a faster pace shooting environment would just be guessing :8

The camera is a nice companion to the XF series. I am trying to match the colors but have found it to be a little tricky. Especially matching the WB on a shoot.

DSLRs will NEVER be a direct replacement for "normal" video cameras. This needs to be an internet wide sticky! But they can do some wonderful things.
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Old March 14th, 2013, 10:51 AM   #10
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Re: 5D Mk III for Stills and Run-and-gun?

Maybe I should have used a different term than 'run-and-gun' because I probably wouldn't ever run around with this camera - even with the improved auto-focus of the mark iii. I meant mostly with minimal setup time in ENG. I would use it as a B-Cam to a 3-chip video camera, or vise-versa. I would also most likely put it on a tripod in a semi-controlled mostly static situation.

I shoot mostly stage shows, lounge bands and dancers. Both cameras side by side. One for closeups and the other wide. Why not another video camera? Because I also need to shoot stills, and in some situations, 'look' like I'm shooting stills. And occasionally to get a more cinematic look. So, in other words, I need to be able to cover ENG situations as well as more controlled cinematic work, and shoot stills with a combo of camcorder and DSLR.

I could throw all my eggs in one basket and just use one large sensor camcorder as long as it can do all of the above, and not cost over $8 thousand including lenses

And thanks to this forum, I am seeing things I wouldn't have thought of on my own
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Old March 14th, 2013, 11:03 AM   #11
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Re: 5D Mk III for Stills and Run-and-gun?

That's good to hear Alex, sounds like a better use for the camera than "run and gun". Even though you can still do run and gun with the 5D3, you just have to be aware of some of the "gotchas" that come along with it. That camera works fantastic in low light too, which sounds like it may be an added bonus for your situation!

I'll stand by the focus statement though, even when you take your time you need to be extra aware of double checking critical focus. If you are careful with focus and exposure, you will love the images you get from the 5DM3!!

Good Luck!
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Old March 14th, 2013, 06:56 PM   #12
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Re: 5D Mk III for Stills and Run-and-gun?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex DeJesus View Post
I shoot mostly stage shows, lounge bands and dancers. Both cameras side by side. One for closeups and the other wide. Why not another video camera? Because I also need to shoot stills, and in some situations, 'look' like I'm shooting stills. And occasionally to get a more cinematic look. So, in other words, I need to be able to cover ENG situations as well as more controlled cinematic work, and shoot stills with a combo of camcorder and DSLR.

I could throw all my eggs in one basket and just use one large sensor camcorder as long as it can do all of the above, and not cost over $8 thousand including lenses
Alex, you may already know this but the EA50 also shoots 16MP stills.

I'd also consider the Sony FS100 with native E-mount lenses (good autofocus when you need it, cheap, f/1.8, optically stabilized in 2 cases) + a NEX still camera body for stills. That way you can share lenses and decrease cost and weight. A used NEX-5n body these days (same sensor as EA50 I think) costs next to nothing ($350?) in the context of what you're looking at.

And the E-mount you can adapt Canon full frame lenses to also if you want. The FS100 used is going for USD 3000 these days -- a real bargain. And it's so small and light that when I use it, I'm often mistaken for shooting stills. Its ergonomics have been much maligned, but it's really not so bad if you just shorten the loupe.
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Old March 18th, 2013, 12:43 PM   #13
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Re: 5D Mk III for Stills and Run-and-gun?

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Originally Posted by Al Bergstein View Post
, and maybe a Sigma wide angle 10-20 mm..
The Sigma 10-20mm is an APS-C lens and will not work at all on 5d3.
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Old March 18th, 2013, 12:47 PM   #14
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Re: 5D Mk III for Stills and Run-and-gun?

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Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
. But you can not magnify after pressing record.
You can actually if you use the free Magic Lantern software. You can magnify windowed in the LCD or have the magnified zoom come on automatically when you touch the focus ring.
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Old April 26th, 2013, 10:28 PM   #15
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Re: 5D Mk III for Stills and Run-and-gun?

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Originally Posted by Shawn Clary View Post
You can actually if you use the free Magic Lantern software. You can magnify windowed in the LCD or have the magnified zoom come on automatically when you touch the focus ring.
This 'free' Magic lantern software - I don't understand. Does it get installed into the camera like firmware? If so, does it interfere with the normal firmware supplied by Canon? And are there any warranty issues?
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