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Old August 31st, 2010, 11:03 AM   #1
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3rd EX1r or 5D Mk II for Concert?

I am renting extra cameras to use alongside my EX1 and I am very intrigued by the 5D, but I don't know how well it would work. My initial thoughts are that I would be its operator and use it 80% on-stage and the rest on our camera deck, maybe locked off as wide.

A problem with that idea is that I wanted to use an on-camera light to go among the crowd for some shots.

I would rent the RedRock Shoulder Mount and SLR Offset for the Canon and I would rent the Litepanels MicroPro On-Camera LED. For lenses, I'd rent: Canon 24-70, 70-200 IS II 2.8, Canon L 100-400, Battery Grip and 2 32GB CF cards.

Any thoughts on using the 5D rather than an EX1r for a concert-type event?

Thanks
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Old August 31st, 2010, 03:44 PM   #2
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I own a 5D, an EX1 and a PMW350 and have some experience with filming live concerts. In my opinion you'd be best served with an EX3, it's an excellent all-round camera, has great auto-focus and very good audio. Concerts are challenging to begin with (low light, crowd, audio,) so you don't want to compound the issue with a camera primarily designed to take pictures.

If you already have 5D of your own, I'd say "sure, bring it along", but it's not a dedicated video camera, and thus it poses some real challenges (focus) for first-time users. Likewise, if a friend was filming a concert and you went along with your 5D, you'd probably get some interesting shots, they could incorporate into their film.

I love my 5D, but think it really shines as a video camera in some very specific circumstances such as wild-life filmmaking (incredible lens choice at unmatched price-point) and for fiction. Otherwise, for general video work, I grab my PMW350 and EX1.

my 2 cents worth
Best of luck
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 11:48 AM   #3
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I shoot with both EXcams and 5DmkII, I have now for more than a year.

If you have some time to let the shooter learn all the tricks to using the 5D then I would say go ahead. But I would not expect good results from the first shoot.

The hardest parts are getting exposure right and focusing. It is very different from a "real video camera", but it can be done with some test shooting. Hook it up to a good ref monitor to figure out how to use the exposure indicator and the histogram. After a while you can get exposure and focus perfectly.

The 5DmkII is a fantastic low light cam. It is also extremely important to nail focus. The DOF is minuscule compared to a 1/2" chip cam. So you really have to nail it. the 5x and 10x enlargement does this well. If you are on stationary sticks a follow focus with markings can make it really easy to set up multiple q-spots. Roaming bear in mind that even a wide angle lens can have a narrow DOF unlike a 1/2" chip camera.

This is why I suggest shooting for a couple hrs in challenging situations before doing a paying job.

Also spend some time matching the 5D to your PP in the XDcams, this can take a bit of experimenting and is best done on a set of scopes. It is much easier if you are close when shooting than to try to fix it in post.

Just my thoughts.
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 11:59 AM   #4
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Thank you Olof. Your comments are perfect, and thanks to them, I certainly will not be renting a 5D. I don't want to go through all this effort to try and make the 5D 'fit in'.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 05:07 PM   #5
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Steve, then you should "rent" me and I'll bring my 550D with a 50/1.4 and give you some amazing beauty shots (that the EX1 is incapable of producing) that will intercut very well with your EX1!
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 05:48 PM   #6
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I agree with Aaron, it shouldn't be too hard to find an experienced DSLR shooter these days.


"Any thoughts on using the 5D rather than an EX1r for a concert-type event?"

So I recently did a gig for a company that shall remain nameless. The event company really liked the aesthetic I was getting with the DSLR work I had done for them and I thought it might be a nice way to shoot the opening session. Usually these are shot with 2/3rd inch cams and it looks real nice but the presenter is always "blending in" with the background. I thought we could get a bit more visual separation with a DSLR


For this event the background was a big projection screen so I used a 7D with a Canon L 70-200 2.8. I used a follow focus and a Small HD DP1 for focus and It worked very well - although focus is a lot tougher than with a 2/3 inch chip cam. The event company loved the look.

I say the well known criticisms of the 5D/7D/t2i are valid but don't give up on them because they are a bit trickier to work with. If you like the aesthetic I say try one out.
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Old September 4th, 2010, 02:47 PM   #7
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^^^Good stuff Burk! The selective focus capabilities that we have finally been given allow us, the filmmaker, to dictate what we want the viewer's attention to remain fixated on.
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Old September 5th, 2010, 04:05 AM   #8
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A few months back I was part of a twelve camera shoot of the live "Glee" concert at Radio City Music Hall. I was the only camera not tethered into the control room setup (all cameras recorded iso, but the director saw all images except mine). I had the 1DMKIV on my lightweight Steadicam rig along with my Litepanel Mini and was doing all crowd shots, as well as runs down the aisle towards the stage.

Shooting at 2500 ASA I was able to get footage of the crowd with the most minimal house lighting on (often just the bleed from the stage was enough to get exposure). It was tricky when shooting back towards the stage, which would often blow out at that ASA, but I rode exposure as necessary. The Litepanel helped add a little bit of fill when needed. I lived on the Canon 24-70 the whole time, which allowed me to get wides of the house as well as closeups on audience members.

Without question it was much more of a struggle to manage than a traditional camera in this environment; the zoom range was significantly limited compared to a 2/3" zoom, and focus was of course much more critical (my focus puller worked remotely of course, but was able to steal looks at my monitor when possible). However, the ultimate sense from the director was that we were able to pull out shots that would have otherwise been a black hole with a conventional camera, which gives them much more material to tie the crowd in than one would normally have (this was a big sing-along show).

To echo previous comments, there are definite limitations and complications, but it is possible to achieve a look that the EX1 cannot.
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Old September 5th, 2010, 05:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Courtney View Post
^^^Good stuff Burk! The selective focus capabilities that we have finally been given allow us, the filmmaker, to dictate what we want the viewer's attention to remain fixated on.
Can I just be the dissenting voice to say I find the background being out of focus looks unnatural?

If you were in the auditorium, your eye wouldn't see the background out of focus like that. If I'm going to sit down and watch a 40 minute presentation, I want it to appear as if I was actually there. If he was standing still, it might work but as soon as he starts to move it all just looks quite odd.
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Old September 5th, 2010, 02:48 PM   #10
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I disagree Marcus because in real life, we have three dimensions to visually work with. In film/video, we have two. When you're sitting in the audience, your eyes will focus and track the subject who is standing well in front of the backdrop. Consequently, most people won't be distracted by the backdrop or drawn away from watching the subject and instead focus on the background even though you can physically focus on the backgound and not the presenter.

With two dimensional film, there is no spatial separation between the subject and the background. And without selectively focusing on the subject (at the expense of the backdrop), the viewer will be more inclined to be distracted by the (fully in focus) background. Selective focus restores some sense of spatial separation between subjects as much as is possible in two dimensions.
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Old September 5th, 2010, 03:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Durham View Post
Can I just be the dissenting voice to say I find the background being out of focus looks unnatural?
try a little experiment, no technology involved, only your eyes.

put an object in front of your eyes, about a foot away and have the background at least few feet away. Now look at the object. Does the background seem sharp and in focus?

now look at something in the background, does the object in front of your eyes seem sharp and in focus?


I hope that after this small experiment you'll realize that what we do is nothing more than slighlty exaggerate the way we actually look at the world around us.
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Old September 5th, 2010, 04:15 PM   #12
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Double post
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Last edited by Marcus Durham; September 5th, 2010 at 04:18 PM. Reason: Double post
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Old September 5th, 2010, 04:17 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Zoran Vincic View Post
try a little experiment, no technology involved, only your eyes.

put an object in front of your eyes, about a foot away and have the background at least few feet away. Now look at the object. Does the background seem sharp and in focus?

now look at something in the background, does the object in front of your eyes seem sharp and in focus?


I hope that after this small experiment you'll realize that what we do is nothing more than slighlty exaggerate the way we actually look at the world around us.
I'm not going to get into a long and protracted debate about this on what is a forum about the EX1 but if I am in a large auditorium I can assure you that the speaker certainly won't look like like he has just been pasted over the background and look disjointed from his surroundings. I can differentiate him from the background at a distance because I see in 3D. Granted if something is close then focus comes into play, but just as with a camera, at distance the effect becomes less and less. Through the eye it also looks far far more natural to the brain when I look at a close up object.

This is what I mean about "cool effects" for the sake of them. Rather like when TV stations first got Quantel or when colour was introduced and suddenly everything was as garish as possible.
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