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Old February 10th, 2009, 02:43 PM   #1
camera test for indie-feature, with 5Dm2...seriously.
Hunter Richards Hunter Richards is offline February 10th, 2009, 02:43 PM

This isn't a great test but I just wanted to see if it was possible to shoot a feature with the 5dm2- both in usability and image quality. We made this really fast so please forgive any poor framing or editing, this is just a quick test!
(I rented the camera)

We originally had a budget for shooting film, it got halved and halved again and halved again.... I looked for a solution because I really want this film to happen (a friend and I have been wanting to make this for over a year)- so I tested the 5Dmark2 and I was extremely impressed with it. You can read more about the test on the video's description and how I managed to have full manual control as well as 24p through conversion.

But to make it short, we projected on a pretty large screen the 1080/24p footage and everyone was blown away- its shocking to think that you can get this kind of image for the price. We are now moving into full-blown pre-pro and I will be blogging daily when we start photography. I know I will receive some criticism for choosing to shoot a feature with the 5dm2, but I believe we can tell a great story with it- despite its short comings.

Link: american | disciples, camera test # 1 on Vimeo
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Old February 10th, 2009, 02:50 PM   #2
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ok, so standard questions...

Camera settings? How did you do the conversion to 24p? Lenses used? Did you use a follow focus? I notice at least one pretty fast and accurate rack focus.

Thanks
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Old February 10th, 2009, 03:19 PM   #3
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Hi Jeremy-

You will find most of those questions answered in the video description on the vimeo page.

I didn't use a follow focus for this, just a camera and lens (I plan on building a mini shoulder rig and using my little chroszeil follow focus and other accessories though when I actually buy the camera)

Camera sharpening was turned off, and the contrast and saturation were both lowered. I used a 10-bit prores workflow and did a roundtrip with color. I then converted the finished 10-bit 30p master to 24p using compressor with the highest quality frame rate conversion options turned on in frame controls.

Lenses were all nikon mount 300mm f2.8, zeiss 50mm f1.4, and 17-35mm f2.8.

Thanks for checking it out.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 03:36 PM   #4
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Nicely done - especially as a quick test.

One thing to consider is a different profile for the night scenes. The 5D MkII is so sensitive in the dark, and has so much low-light saturation that it doesn't seem like night - assuming that you would want a darker, more mysterious feel.

Fellini could have shot his movies at night with this camera. ;)
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Old February 10th, 2009, 03:44 PM   #5
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camera test for indie-feature, with 5Dm2...seriously.

Hi Hunter,
A good job. I have also been asked to shoot a feature on the 5dmk2 later this year so very interested in what you are doing. Please keep us updated as things progress. Also I'd be interested to know what you are thinking to do sound wise.
Good luck
All the best
Mark
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Old February 10th, 2009, 03:57 PM   #6
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Hunter, that's some nice footage. I'll be doing an extended project with this camera this summer as well. Good to see your results, they look great.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 04:48 PM   #7
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Very nice.

How did you control ISO and shutter?

And how did you retain settings on multi takes?
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Old February 10th, 2009, 06:09 PM   #8
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About the shutter/iso situation and keeping things consistent across multiple takes;

There are only 3 "modes" to use this camera in:

"1/50th shutter mode"- just press the lock button when it reads 1/50th and you can have any iso at that shutter speed.

"Iso 100 mode"- if there is enough light (like outdoors) the camera will set to iso100, you just lock the exposure and then move the dial to set shutter. I was using a polarizer outside which knocked off a few stops to help me shoot at 1/60th- I also could have used a .6ND or .9ND on a brighter day.

"Iso 200 mode"- same as above but you turn on "highlight tone priority" mode and now you can default to iso200 instead of iso100, which is fine for lighting most interiors.


I'm also getting the scene to read close to my ideal exposure anyway, so all I do is press the lock button before each take and most of the time its already set where I want and if its not, its only a little roll on the thumb dial on the back.

I will mostlikely shoot all of the interior scenes at iso200 at 1/60th, all of the outdoor scenes at iso 100 @ 1/60th and all of the night scenes at the necessary iso and 1/50th.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 06:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olof Ekbergh View Post
And how did you retain settings on multi takes?
I'm not sure how Hunter did it (edit: I was writing when Hunter was posting), but I recommend this method:

* Offset the exposure compensation (-2..|..+2) setting.
* Point the camera at a light and press AE Lock when it gets to the desired shutter speed or ISO.
* Adjust the exposure compensation as needed to hit your target settings.

You have to remember the values and make sure that you achieve the same values each time with the above manual procedure. The camera is incapable of retaining the settings by itself.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 07:07 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Hunter Richards View Post
I will mostlikely shoot all of the interior scenes at iso200 at 1/60th, all of the outdoor scenes at iso 100 @ 1/60th and all of the night scenes at the necessary iso and 1/50th.
I like this combination.

Note that 1/60 (displayed) is actually 1/80. Personally, I like this speed for 30 fps. It adds just enough shutter effect to emulate 24 fps. Note that 1/48 @ 24fps and 1/80 @ 30 fps have the same "gap" between open shutters of 1/48 sec.

1/80 + 1/48 = 6/480 + 10/480 = 16/480 = 1/30

Also note that 1/40 and 1/50 displayed are the same thing (about 1/45.) This is a bit blurry at 30 fps to my eye, but it's really the only choice for dark scenes. In general, I'll take the blur over another stop of gain and noise.

For our short, everything was indoors or outdoors at night. I don't believe that we had enough light to shoot the indoor scenes at 1/60 (1/80 really) and 200 ISO. We were at 1/40 (1/45) and 500 ISO, give or take. Noise levels are nice and low as long as it's under 1,000. But if you have enough light for 200 ISO, you can get that sweet 1/80 shutter speed.

All the best with your production!
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Old February 11th, 2009, 11:22 AM   #11
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Good luck. I will be watching your progress because I am planning to shoot a full feature with this camera too. Though I am still in the script stage buts it good to learn something in advance and so that I can prepare better for my shoot.
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Old February 11th, 2009, 09:00 PM   #12
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Nice work. Best conversion I have seen to date.
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Old February 11th, 2009, 10:34 PM   #13
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ok quick question, on the shot where they are at the lake and about to throw a rock in on the white sky above the valley, it looks like there is a lot of noise, but maybe it's bugs or something or an artifact of the compression?
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Old February 12th, 2009, 01:02 PM   #14
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Hi Hunter,

We're seriously considering the 5D Mark II for our project as well. I will be looking forward to your blog. Thanks for sharing!
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Old February 20th, 2009, 05:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter Richards View Post
About the shutter/iso situation and keeping things consistent across multiple takes;

There are only 3 "modes" to use this camera in:

"1/50th shutter mode"- just press the lock button when it reads 1/50th and you can have any iso at that shutter speed.

"Iso 100 mode"- if there is enough light (like outdoors) the camera will set to iso100, you just lock the exposure and then move the dial to set shutter. I was using a polarizer outside which knocked off a few stops to help me shoot at 1/60th- I also could have used a .6ND or .9ND on a brighter day.

"Iso 200 mode"- same as above but you turn on "highlight tone priority" mode and now you can default to iso200 instead of iso100, which is fine for lighting most interiors.


I'm also getting the scene to read close to my ideal exposure anyway, so all I do is press the lock button before each take and most of the time its already set where I want and if its not, its only a little roll on the thumb dial on the back.

I will mostlikely shoot all of the interior scenes at iso200 at 1/60th, all of the outdoor scenes at iso 100 @ 1/60th and all of the night scenes at the necessary iso and 1/50th.
You can just let it default to 1/40 shutter if you want, which the 5D2 likes to do. The number it shows when you press the shutter button is what it would use if you shot a still.

When you start recording it picks a value from a very limited set of values. For example, Jon's thread with the turntable shows that when it says 1/40 or 1/50, it is really using something between 1/40 and 1/50, which he calls 1/45. I'm am optimist and I'd like to think it is 1/48, which is ideal 180 degree motion blur for 24fps.

You should really read Jon's thread on shutter speed and mine on ISO. The results are interesting.

Jon's on shutter speed: http://dirksnowglobe.com/articles/12
Mine on ISO: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/1000334-post34.html
Using mylar to fix aperture: http://tinyurl.com/clcmsd

By the way, reading the entire threads are also very useful. Without Jon's threads I wouldn't feel like I have full control as I do now.
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