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Old May 19th, 2009, 11:24 AM  
Salt Flats running vid.
Derek Weiss Derek Weiss is offline May 19th, 2009, 11:24 AM

5DMII, Steadicam, a short bit of helicam.
Salt Flats on Vimeo

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Old May 20th, 2009, 07:30 AM   #16
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Chad,

The heli is a small electric with 600mm blades (Trex) with a custom front mount. It weighs about 13lbs in flight.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 12:52 PM   #17
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Very interesting how you kept your lady's colours of skin, hair & gear accurate, while the desert was blown out but the background hills and sky stayed in reasonable colour. The 5D2 manual might tell me how you did it but have you time to tell me the technique?
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Old May 20th, 2009, 01:09 PM   #18
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Brendan,

We were shooting from Noon to 4pm with the sun very high in the sky. The salt flats are very much pure white, obviously because it is all salt. So meter for the skin tones or just slightly above and the rest gets clipped. The hills in the background are very dark brown to nearly black which again helps with an almost bichromatic landscape.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 02:45 PM   #19
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That is helpful Derek, thanks.

Now I'm getting serious about investing in 5D2, especially after seeing how you retained image quality (after Vimeo) with your Triathletes. At a range of distances it was possible to see muscles moving even in sepia ... could help me get and hold sharp focus of big birdflight. I must read up about follow focus/peaking/zebra lines or whatever else might help ... your suggestions could be precious to me and others?
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Old May 20th, 2009, 04:11 PM   #20
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...I must read up about follow focus/peaking/zebra lines...
Once you start shooting, the support is weak - No HD output for monitoring critical focus, no zebras, just an SD output on the LCD screen. It's best to use a HoodLoupe or external SD 4x3 monitor (if you can find one with a true 480 lines.)

The camera does well before you record though. It has 5x and 10x magnification, which helps you mark your focus points. You can take a photo and check the histogram to check levels and confirm that the color balance isn't ridiculous.

One of the strongest features - if you are brave enough and have enough time to use it - is the custom picture profiles. You can take a RAW photo, tweak it with the profile editor and save it in the camera. That processing then occurs in the 14-bit domain, before the h.264 encoding. You can tweak sharpness, contrast, tone and saturation, mess with the luma curve, and select certain color regions to modify. It's challenging though. You might approach the luma curve or color corrector with a certain vision, but the software often doesn't let you get there from here.

That said, if you can master the custom profiles, you can potentially get very close to your desired look. You can then make fine adjustments in the 8-bit domain, rather than trying to push too few bits too far.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 05:59 PM   #21
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Once you start shooting, the support is weak - No HD output for monitoring critical focus, no zebras, just an SD output on the LCD screen. It's best to use a HoodLoupe or external SD 4x3 monitor (if you can find one with a true 480 lines.)

"The Hoodloupe looks good to me."

The camera does well before you record though. It has 5x and 10x magnification, which helps you mark your focus points.

"How does auto-focus behave in Live View? Is there even an X in centre screen?"

You can take a photo and check the histogram to check levels and confirm that the color balance isn't ridiculous.

"Checking with histogram is a good suggestion."

One of the strongest features - if you are brave enough and have enough time to use it - is the custom picture profiles. You can take a RAW photo, tweak it with the profile editor and save it in the camera. That processing then occurs in the 14-bit domain, before the h.264 encoding. You can tweak sharpness, contrast, tone and saturation, mess with the luma curve, and select certain color regions to modify. It's challenging though. You might approach the luma curve or color corrector with a certain vision, but the software often doesn't let you get there from here.

"Are those features for stills only or can they be applied to video? I like h.264 but I never use RAW and it's my ignorance of luma that deters me from the curves."

That said, if you can master the custom profiles, you can potentially get very close to your desired look. You can then make fine adjustments in the 8-bit domain, rather than trying to push too few bits too far.

"Custom settings may take me a while to decide. But 8-bit and 14-bit domains are foreign to me at this stage."
Thank you for all the insights. Looks like I'll be nagging you as long as I get away with it ...
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Old May 20th, 2009, 08:49 PM   #22
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Derek,

What's the longest lens/focal you use on the Helicam/MKII?
Or do you just keep it all super wide?

Cheers,
Jeff
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Old May 20th, 2009, 09:49 PM   #23
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Thank you for all the insights. Looks like I'll be nagging you as long as I get away with it ...
I've got to admit it. I'm obsessed with the 5D Mark II. There's no limit...

Speaking of which, here's the latest on the 5D MkII shutter: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/canon-eos...part-ii-6.html

And you can see my first exploration into shutter speeds here : Canon 5D Mark II Shutter Exposed on Vimeo

I've done more tests, and plan another video, in time....
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Old May 20th, 2009, 10:51 PM   #24
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Derek,

What's the longest lens/focal you use on the Helicam/MKII?
Or do you just keep it all super wide?

Cheers,
Jeff
I primarily use the 24mm and 35mm prime. If the winds are light, rarely a 50mm.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 05:19 PM   #25
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5DMII, Steadicam, a short bit of helicam.
Salt Flats on Vimeo
Well done. Great steadycam work! Very balanced. It is a difficult task to do a decent follow focus on a steadycam. I love your clean picture and lots of white spaces used. Very impressive!
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Old May 24th, 2009, 03:14 PM   #26
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The heli is a small electric with 600mm blades (Trex) with a custom front mount. It weighs about 13lbs in flight.
Derek, very nice indeed -- I even like the editing. Do you happen to have a snapshot of the helicam rig?

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Old May 24th, 2009, 03:19 PM   #27
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Once you start shooting, the support is weak - No HD output for monitoring critical focus, no zebras, just an SD output on the LCD screen. [etc.]
Jon, it's comprehensive info like this that makes you my hero. Thank you so much for yet another thorough write-up.

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Old May 24th, 2009, 08:59 PM   #28
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Jon, it's comprehensive info like this that makes you my hero. Thank you so much for yet another thorough write-up.
I'm glad to contribute!
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