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Old April 13th, 2013, 01:17 AM   #16
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

24-105 IS and a zacuto along with the extremepro cf cards is sll i need for a basic kit. Go right intothe sound input with a short shotgun or lav.for the mkiii.p. bloom recommends a zacuto Stiker. I use a monopod, or tripod.
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Old April 18th, 2013, 11:09 PM   #17
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

I agree with Jon and Nigel that the #1 accessory is a good monopod. It is more stable than a shoulder rig, takes the weight off your arms, and is far more convenient when you need to quickly change to handheld or tripod or change lenses. Rigs need things tightened, adjusted and balanced for things like lens changes or swapping out batteries. They are cumbersome, and when shoulder mounted or handheld they require you to let go of the handles to push any buttons on the camera which then throws your rig off balance entirely. Plus you end up with all sorts of combinations of baseplates on your rig, tripod, camera body, lens, etc. With a monopod, you can slide the camera off and slot it straight onto the tripod in seconds (assuming they are the same brand and use the same baseplate).

I wouldn't bother with an external recorder. Do any of the Canon DSLR's even offer a clean HDMI feed yet? I know the mkIII has a firmware update on the way to allow it, but we don't even know for sure yet how beneficial it will be.

If you don't know what a Zacuto Z-Finder is, you probably don't need one. You might be better off with one of the $30 LCD loupes that are available.

External monitors and EVF's have some advantages like focus peaking, and more mounting options, but are certainly not essential. You might want to try shooting with just the camera LCD and a loupe for a while to see whether or not your style really needs either a monitor or EVF.

To summerise, my advice is to shoot light and simple. I rarely have anything more than just the body, lens, LCD loupe and a mic or light in the hotshoe. I have Manfrotto tripod and monopod, and multiple base plates so that every lens or body is ready to be mounted on either within seconds. If, down the track you find you really need to add something, then you will understand exactly what and why you need it. But if you just go out and buy a bunch of fancy toys to build a cool rig, you'll gradually end up leaving more and more of it in your camera bag.
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Old April 26th, 2013, 03:09 AM   #18
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

I cannot imagine following someone around with a monopod hanging from my camera, adjusting the height constantly... but I realize we all have different styles, desires and ways of shooting...
I have an old Varizoom LSP shouldersupport, a 'one-armed-bandit' meaning that one arm sits on my abdomen, taking the weight off my arm and letting me adjust whatever needs adjusting without throwing the balance off... I have the Small HD DP4 sitting on the camera's hotshoe, with the viewfinder. I use the Manfrotto quickrelease plate-system and attached one to the Varizoom LSP. The Manfrotto baseplate has a few threaded holes that I never used before -actually never even took notice of- and in one of them I screwed in a small magic arm that holds a Zoom H1 for general sound and serves double duty as an extra grip arm.
I have a pouch on my waistbelt holding a Zoom H4n with a Sennheiser receiver and some extra assorted batteries. This is a pretty tight, quick-to-setup and well balanced system, more versatile and I imagine smoother than working with a monopod. I have shot some very steady stuff zoomed in, albeit with the 24-105, which has image stabilization. I think the key thing here is that support arm resting on your abdomen and that shooting from the shoulder is still the fastest and most natural way to shoot.
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Old April 26th, 2013, 06:46 AM   #19
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

Even if the monopod/tripod isn't hitting the ground, they provide some much needed weight. For us, the shakiness is such a problem with the light DSLRs that the extra weight is a huge benefit.
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Old April 26th, 2013, 12:10 PM   #20
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

I've got three ways that I use a monopod:

1) Extended to the ground for interviews and "static" shots.

2) Extended to my belt for "human tripod" shots. I can easily pan, tilt and track motion with this method. I can also crane up/down to some degree. I'd like to get a flag carrier or sling for improved support.

3) Collapsed and held just below the camera for walking shots. This is similar to a SteadyTracker solution, which is like a Steadicam without the vest/arm and with your hand/wrist acting as a gimbal. Hold at the balance point and it adds distributed mass. If I were to attach "wings" to the bottom with weights at the ends of the wings, it would help rotational stability as well.

For the first two setups, I use a loupe. I remove it for setup #3.

BTW, I can also include a rig. I skip the rig when I want to be fast and light. For the full setup, I attach Redrock's The Event and follow focus between monopod and camera. With the belt method, I now have two handles, the loupe, the chest pad, and the monopod in the belt for stability. Most importantly, the monopod takes the forward leaning weight off my back. It's a much better and more stable solution than putting yet more weight over the shoulder. To go from this mode to walking with setup #3, I just lift the camera off my belt and pop off the Zacuto loupe. Pop the loupe back on, put the pod in the belt, and grab the handles and you're back to the stable/standing method.

Anyway, the "adjusting the height constantly" hasn't been a concern. When in interview mode (#1), It's generally adjusted so I can stand comfortably and I just lift and set as I move around. One length covers modes 2 & 3. The only exception is when kneeling or sitting in a chair with the pod on the ground, but the length change is quick anyway: hold the camera where you want it, unclamp the leg and extend to the floor, clamp, shoot.
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Old April 26th, 2013, 12:49 PM   #21
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

...and then there's the Dougmon. Dougmon Camera Support System

I met Doug at NAB and he loaned us their stabilizer for a day. It includes a sling so it can do the belt mode. It extends the mass, so it can be used in a SteadyTracker kind of mode. It can also flip upside down so you can "walk the dog". It does something the monopod can't: it provides a handle and forearm support for shooting from the belt.

My son really liked it - especially the forearm method. Adjustment is super fast. Doug would put it on and as fast as you say "one, two, three" he would have the three adjustments done. (True!) Doug uses it for reality show shooting.

It wasn't as ideal for me. I had the following personal shortcomings at NAB:
* Wearing a sport coat, reading glasses, lanyard and badge - and a bit claustrophobic
* Old eyes that don't close focus
* A bad back
* Tall
* My 5D2 lacks a fold-out screen

With the sport coat and junk, the sling was a bit too much. Also, it didn't allow me to put the forearm piece on quickly or comfortably. And with bad eyes and no foldout screen, the forearm method wasn't right for me. I reallly depend on a loupe! And because I'm tall, I wasn't able to extend the unit with sling quite long enough to be fully comfortable. And if I'm not standing up straight, my back hurts.

But the problems were mainly due to my shortcomings and the lack of a foldout screen. In a t-shirt, thermals, or a dress shirt (as my son wore), it would have been a completely different experience. And oh I wish my eyes were 20 years younger!

Compared to a monopod, the advantage of the Dougmon is that it adjusts to a variety of configurations and angles super fast and it offers the forearm setup for waist level shooting. The advantage of the monopod is that it can stand on the floor for semi-static shots. If you want more movement and more angles, the Dougmon and a camera with a foldout screen are the way to go. For a straighter shooting method with your eye on the loupe, the monopod is my preferred solution.

As always, know your goals and choose your weapons to fit. :)
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Old April 26th, 2013, 07:16 PM   #22
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

Well, I finally got the camera last Friday and what a beauty it is! I bought the kit with the 24-105 lens, since I had no lenses at all. Now, I just have to figure out how it works. It's my first DSLR, and all I've ever used has been traditional video camcorders. I was hoping it would be a little lighter. This thing is a monster with the kit lens it came with. I will be adding the L70-200 IS soon. And a 50 mm if I really need to go light.

After having it a week, I don't see how I can hand-carry this camera for video. Only for stills. Not even with a monopod. It's too fidgety. There are way too many unfamiliar buttons and controls all over the place. I can tell it's going to take a while before I can use it proficiently. I may have to take a photography course or something.

I am not understanding how the autofocus talks between the camera and the lens. Viewfinder mode AF seems a lot easier to use than Live view (with the stock 24-105 lens). I live, I can't tell if AF is even working, mainly because my vision is getting worse - and because it does not beep letting you know it's in focus. I understand the mirror is flipping up, blanking the screen. I thought there was some kid of focus assist.

I'm ranting only because I'm obviously not a photographer and don't know my way around a DSLR. I will def keep reading here for tips
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Old May 1st, 2013, 06:34 AM   #23
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex DeJesus View Post
After having it a week, I don't see how I can hand-carry this camera for video. Only for stills. Not even with a monopod. It's too fidgety. There are way too many unfamiliar buttons and controls all over the place. I can tell it's going to take a while before I can use it proficiently. I may have to take a photography course or something.
One of the hardest things I find when using the mkIII compared to the the mkII or 7D or 60D (or any other Canon DSLR) is that they changed the button for focus assist zoom from the AF point buttons which sit right under your thumb on the other cameras, to the playback zoom button, located on the left hand side of the camera. This means operation of mkIII is a lot harder and requires a second hand on the camera body far more often. I've heard that you can assign this function to the set button but the times I've rented one I could never figure out how.

If you can figure out how to re-assign this function, operation becomes very simple - one hand on the lens, one on the body. Index finger sits on the top wheel to adjust shutter speed and ISO (you'll quickly get used to finding the ridged ISO button without looking), while your right thumb hovers over the record button, aperture wheel and zoom button. Practice makes perfect though!
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Old May 1st, 2013, 11:54 AM   #24
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

Alex,

You're exactly on the right track. Study photography, whether from a class, books, the web, friends, whatever. The 5D3 is one of the great DSLRs, so learning to understand it from a photography perspective will help you appreciate its design.

I also recommend that you get a 50/1.8 lens (it's cheap!), if not a 50/1.4. My first lens on the 5D2 was an f/4-5.6 zoom and I quickly learned that I much preferred fast primes. For only a small additional cost, you'll then be able to experience both worlds. (Just be aware that the focus ring on the EF 50/1.8 is as bad as there is. There are much better, though more expensive, options.)

You mention that a monopod wouldn't be stable enough, even though you have an IS lens. One thing to consider is context and object tracking. Regarding context, one might not always want a totally stable shot. Robert Zemeckis is known to label camera shake in the script with numbers from 1-10, depending on the feel of the scene. Regarding object tracking, when shooting a static scene, like a statue in a park, every micro-vibration is noticeable and annoying. Track a runner in that same park and a monopod will seem as stable as can be. It's a common mistake to shoot a static scene in one's home for a test and to make decisions from that. If your target footage is of people, do your tests with people in typical scenes.

I've shot standing interviews with tripods and monopods. The monopod gives a feel that there is a human behind the camera, but the shake isn't bad or annoying. I like it at a tradeshow as it gives the feel that "we went to the tradeshow", as compared to "here is a marketing presentation". In drama, a bit of camera movement adds tension and a feeling that the actor isn't alone. But there's a reason that people rent Fisher dollies for Hollywood work. When you want super-smooth motion in a relatively static scene, it really does need to be as close to perfect as possible.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 06:15 PM   #25
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Wiley View Post
One of the hardest things I find when using the mkIII compared to the the mkII or 7D or 60D (or any other Canon DSLR) is that they changed the button for focus assist zoom from the AF point buttons which sit right under your thumb on the other cameras, to the playback zoom button, located on the left hand side of the camera. This means operation of mkIII is a lot harder and requires a second hand on the camera body far more often. I've heard that you can assign this function to the set button but the times I've rented one I could never figure out how.

If you can figure out how to re-assign this function, operation becomes very simple - one hand on the lens, one on the body. Index finger sits on the top wheel to adjust shutter speed and ISO (you'll quickly get used to finding the ridged ISO button without looking), while your right thumb hovers over the record button, aperture wheel and zoom button. Practice makes perfect though!
I totally agree. It only makes sense to focus assist on the right side to shoot video...but remember, they keep telling us this is a still camera that just happens to shoot video as well. ;-)

In the menu, select the orange camera icon, between the wrench and star. At the bottom of the second screen is Custom Controls. Hit SET and in the second column you will see SET. Select SET and choose the magnifying glass. Now you can focus with your left hand while using focus assist on your right hand. I just wish this feature worked with Magic Lantern. ML still requires the magnifier on the left side, but at least with ML you can use a zoom in feature while recording.
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Old June 27th, 2013, 10:57 AM   #26
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

Filters? Audio?
Thanks for starting this thread; it has been very helpful to me, and is re-shaping what I have been thinking is necessary.
What about filters, or filter sets. I am currently looking at a ND set of 1.2, 3, 6, and 9, and a UV filter. How necessary is a Polarizer?
For Audio, I am looking at ta Zoom H4n, or the Tascan D60. I like the Tascan because of the way it "fits" the 5dIII, but like the Mic setup on the Zoom.
I am looking at buying by this weekend so any responses are helpful.
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Old June 27th, 2013, 12:33 PM   #27
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

Get a variable ND filter with 82mm size and then use step rings. That size will fit most lenses you will be using.
Zoom is out with a new recorder, I think it's called H6 and you can mount different mics to the recorder. It looks nice (don't know how good it is).
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Old June 27th, 2013, 01:44 PM   #28
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

A polarizer is great when shooting around glass when you want to ditch the reflections. It can make the sky more dramatic, but the effect isn't uniform with wide lenses. You can also use a polarizer as a faux ND.

UV filters are nice to have per lens, simply as a protection device. When stopping down for that money shot, I'll often remove the UV filter to have one less piece of glass in the stack.

Regarding ND filters, the low ISO range of the 5D (2 or 3) is so good that I start with an ND 0.9 and don't bother with 1 or 2 stop filters. You can use a polarizer for about 2 stops, except in the rare case that polarization harms the shot. An additional 1.2 or 1.8 ND is handy if you do timelapse photography. That allows you to shoot very long shutter times to get the classic 180 degree motion blur, rather than stutter motion.

Another consideration is diffusion. I use a Glimmerglass 1 for a very subtle effect. GG3 is a bit too severe for my tastes. GG2 is only available in a 4x4 format. It's nice for adding a bit of dreaminess and making people look attractive. You can also add diffusion in post, but when you know that it's right for the shot, it's easy to add.

Finally, if you shoot B&W, a yellow, orange, or red filter can give you a classic, vintage look. On the 5D2, there are digital filters, but there's a problem with the pixel order for monochrome video in that cam. Maybe the 5D3 does it right. Either way, filtering before the lens limits the spectrum and reduces chromatic aberration. Recording monochrome gives far superior results compared to filtering the color in post. (All the bits go to luma. It's all at the full 4:x:x sample rate. Filtering chroma back into your image would mean mixing low bandwidth x:2:0 data back into the scene.)

The minimum kit, for me, is the ND 0.9 and circular polarizer. They solve common problems of too much light and reflections. I keep the UV filters on at (almost) all times. I like having the GG1 filter, but could do this in post. I can use the GG3 filter if I ever want an intentional, angelic bloom from a backlight. My color filters are specialty items for B&W only.

For NDs I'd either go for the small fixed set (like 0.9 & 1.2 or 1.8) + polarizer or a variable ND, if you want quick setups and run & gun. I wouldn't get a finely spaced fixed set.
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Old October 2nd, 2013, 03:40 PM   #29
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

Thank you for the Kudos on the Dougmon System! We would love to have more DSLR users try the Dougmon - even with the suit and tie :) The arm is actually made to adjust from bare arms to artic wear so would have fit, and with the sling you could have raised it up and fit to your eye with a view finder back as well. We offer the Dougmon for a 30 day trial and you get your money back if not fully satisfied with the return of the system in new condition. Also have dropped the price. B&H has it in stock! Thanks again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
...and then there's the Dougmon. Dougmon Camera Support System

I met Doug at NAB and he loaned us their stabilizer for a day. It includes a sling so it can do the belt mode. It extends the mass, so it can be used in a SteadyTracker kind of mode. It can also flip upside down so you can "walk the dog". It does something the monopod can't: it provides a handle and forearm support for shooting from the belt.

My son really liked it - especially the forearm method. Adjustment is super fast. Doug would put it on and as fast as you say "one, two, three" he would have the three adjustments done. (True!) Doug uses it for reality show shooting.

It wasn't as ideal for me. I had the following personal shortcomings at NAB:
* Wearing a sport coat, reading glasses, lanyard and badge - and a bit claustrophobic
* Old eyes that don't close focus
* A bad back
* Tall
* My 5D2 lacks a fold-out screen

With the sport coat and junk, the sling was a bit too much. Also, it didn't allow me to put the forearm piece on quickly or comfortably. And with bad eyes and no foldout screen, the forearm method wasn't right for me. I reallly depend on a loupe! And because I'm tall, I wasn't able to extend the unit with sling quite long enough to be fully comfortable. And if I'm not standing up straight, my back hurts.

But the problems were mainly due to my shortcomings and the lack of a foldout screen. In a t-shirt, thermals, or a dress shirt (as my son wore), it would have been a completely different experience. And oh I wish my eyes were 20 years younger!

Compared to a monopod, the advantage of the Dougmon is that it adjusts to a variety of configurations and angles super fast and it offers the forearm setup for waist level shooting. The advantage of the monopod is that it can stand on the floor for semi-static shots. If you want more movement and more angles, the Dougmon and a camera with a foldout screen are the way to go. For a straighter shooting method with your eye on the loupe, the monopod is my preferred solution.

As always, know your goals and choose your weapons to fit. :)
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Old October 23rd, 2013, 07:38 PM   #30
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

I have a 5D MarkIII and a c100. I like using the 24-105 because it has a nice range. But I also have a 28 f/1.8 and an 85 f/1.8 primes that I shot with. The 28 is wide enough and the 85 makes for nice interviews. At times I will use a zoom 4hn and do sound slides or marry the sound up video via Plural Eyes.

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