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Old April 16th, 2011, 02:50 PM   #31
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Re: New challenges for wildlife videographers

Well with NAB done for another year, & with no new interchangeable lens cameras from any of the manufacturers, it looks like i am stuck with the same choices. Go with a DSLR & work with less than ideal ergonomics & less than ideal video compression. Or do i buy either a Sony HVR-Z7 or a Canon XLH1s or even an EX3, & work with an external recorder?? I can keep filming in the meantime with my XH A1, but a camera with a lens i can change would be ideal for greater focal lengths & something i can bypass the HDV codec with is what i'm after.
What opinions does everyone have on which way to go?
Thanks in advance,
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Old April 16th, 2011, 03:33 PM   #32
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Re: New challenges for wildlife videographers

I'm currently playing with a Canon 60D. I just shot the Sitka Alaska Sac Roe Herring Fishery with it in a pouring rain storm. The quality of the video is stunning. I'm currently shooting Bald Eagles and waterfowl with it using the 100-400 lens. 1920 x 1080 at 30p. The camera will shoot 1280 x 1080 60p, but I haven't tried it yet.

For wildlife and birds, I wish I had a camera like the 60D years ago. Having the DOF for wildlife and birds is no big thing for me. But, again, the video quality! The video looks much better than from a Canon A1 or any other camcorder I have seen.

Due to health problems which effect my vision, I am forced to use the AF, which seems to work great for me. I did have problems with it once trying to shoot a gray sea otter on gray seas on a gray day.

This week I'll try a close up Macro Lens.

If you get a chance, borrow a 60D for awhile like I did, and give it a try.

The only drawback are the Raw .mov files which require a hefty cpu. I have been using the Canon Bundled Software which comes with the 60D to load the clips onto a computer, then as a first edit, I trim each clip using the same software. Adding the already trimmed clips to the Vegas 8c timeline to create a intermediate file for further editing.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 04:08 PM   #33
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Re: New challenges for wildlife videographers

Hi David,
Thanks for your input. How are you finding the ergonomics of the 60D compared to using the XH A1? Also, have you been doing any long range stuff with it? I just wonder if there is enough reach with these larger sensor DSLR's for doing long tele work. I also have a bit of a worry with the compression of the video. While i also think the footage looks great, i would imagine trying to push it in post would create problems not unlike using HDV footage.
I was really hoping for a smaller sensor camera in the 1/3" or 1/2" range recording to solid state media from one of the big boys to be announced, but allas, it didn't happen.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 06:22 PM   #34
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Re: New challenges for wildlife videographers

My physical limitations force me to always use a tripod. So I have no idea how the camera would do hand shooting on the run.

I use a canon 100mm-400mm lens for birds. I'm experimenting with 1.4 Extender.

I can edit the Raw .mov files in Sony Vegas 8.c, but it's slow, and a little jerky in the preview window.

I'm importing from a Scan Disk 16 gig flash card using the Canon ZoomBrowser EX which shows the clips as thumbnails, which is nice. I also use the "Trimmer" function in the Zoom Browsers which works very well. I review and trim the clips in the ZoomBrowser, discarding what I don't want to keep.

I can do basic editing with the .mov files in Vegas 8.c. I have rendered from Vegas 8.c to: CineForm v6.0, MainConcept mp4 1280 x 720 30p, Sony AVC Blur Ray 1920 x 1080 60i, and HDV 30p, and it all looks great.

When I get a chance, I'll make a demo mp4 1280 x1080 30p and put it up on YouTube.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 10:11 PM   #35
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Re: New challenges for wildlife videographers

Here are some clips from the Canon 60D.



Original 1920 x 1080 30p files from the camera. Dropped unto Vegas 8.c timeline, and rendered to mp4 1280 x1080 30p.
No additional editing.
Original sound.

The 5:27 minute clip took 22 minutes to render to the mp4.

Lens: Canon EF 100-400mm and a Canon EF-S 60mm Macro

The close-up head shot of the Bald Eagle was with a Canon 1.5 Extender.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 11:27 PM   #36
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Re: New challenges for wildlife videographers

Hmm, thanks David. You sure have some nice clips there! When you say 1280 x 1080, do you mean 1280 x 720, as in 720p? Do you find this setting to be what you prefer?
Another question. How far away are you from the bald eagles in the beginning of the video with the 100-400mm lens & is that with the 1.4x extender?
With the XH A1, i find i am wanting a much greater focal length even with the 1.8x Raynox extender, so i was thinking along the lines of a smaller chip changeable lens camera. Only problem is that i would really like to go tapeless, & the only 2 1/3" chip cameras are both HDV. Leaving the EX3, which i think is a very nice camera, but i was hoping for something new to have come out by now, that's all. Oh well, maybe i have to look at trying out something like a 60D as you suggest, & see if it will do the job for me until something more like i'm after comes to market.
Regards,
Bryce
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Old April 17th, 2011, 08:11 AM   #37
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Re: New challenges for wildlife videographers

do you mean 1280 x 720, as in 720p? Yes, my brain short circuits sometimes.

My advice would be to try and borrow a 60D for a few hours. Try it out first.

Anyway, I have decided to buy one.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 12:15 PM   #38
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Re: New challenges for wildlife videographers

Without a doubt, if you cannot repair the XL-H1, I would go for a DSLR. Either the Mk IV, 7D or 5D. My choice is the full sensor 5D Mark II. The huge crop factor was always an advantage with the Canon XL range of camcorders, but it also added many other problems. Filming without that crop factor means that you need to get closer to the subject, but with less distance between lens and subjects comes a massive increase in quality - less air turbulence and heat ripples, more contrast, less problem with wind, and a host of other adavantages. I've learnt through decades of SLR stills photograhy how to get closer to subjects, so know how difficult it can be... but it is always worthwhile. I found that fitting a 300mm or 600mm Nikkor to the Canon XL body or with the 20X lens, often brought me extremely close to wildlife, but it also sometimes made me lazy, and I always knew in the back of my head that if I spent more effort getting closer, or waiting in the right place longer, then that same wildlife shot with a shorter lens would increase 10-fold in quality and impact.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 03:03 PM   #39
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Re: New challenges for wildlife videographers

The Canon 60D has the Fully Articulated LCD Display which was a big selling point for me over the 7D or
5D.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 05:17 PM   #40
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Re: New challenges for wildlife videographers

Swinging the LCD Liveview screen (if the 5D had one) would mean that I would need to remove my Hasselblad chimney finder each time. I prefer to leave this in place to aid manual focus. Whenever I need to view the screen at awkward angles or for even viewing and framing the screen at a distance (behind or in front of the camera) I simply use my remote Liveview screen.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 06:47 PM   #41
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Re: New challenges for wildlife videographers

David, Tony, thank you for all your feedback with this. I still have a few reservations about the DSLR's, namely, the ergonomics. I am worried that i may miss shots due to not being able to control the camera in the heat of the moment. Also & most importantly is the compression artifacts so common with these cameras. I was thinking of an external recorder for any new camera i might purchase to avoid the camera's compression. Is there any way of recording an uncompressed signal from any of these DSLR's?
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Old April 19th, 2011, 08:09 AM   #42
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Re: New challenges for wildlife videographers

Hi Folks,

I have been trying to shoot wildlife now for nealy 1.5 years with a DSLR on videos, i understand the form factor and yes i would prefer the video camera more.
Supplementing my footage wth the Panasonic HMC 80 to get some of my shots.

Saying this i am seeing new EVFs in the market i can imagine the advantages it can give to the DSLR shooting , can any one who has used a EVF throw some light on this,
I am tilting towards the EVF but can benifit on my decision based on experience of the folks here.

Kindly let me know.
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Old April 19th, 2011, 09:58 AM   #43
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Re: New challenges for wildlife videographers

As best as I know at present there is no way to record the uncompressed signal from a DSLR. This has been discussed on the nanoFlash forum and it seems that no camera will transmit this over the HDMI output while one is recording.

I have used the 7D for well over a year, and the XL-H1 with nanoFlash for over six-months and in most cases I greatly prefer the XL-H1 nanoFlash combination, but there are situations such as recording falling snow, etc. that I prefer the more filmic look of the 7D. With that being said, I have serious reservations about spending the money on an XL-H1 class of camera, should Canon ever bring out a replacement for it that records to memory cards. The DSLRs do well enough that I am not sure that I personally can justify the expense. It also seems for difficult to get acceptable results with any of the EOS telephotos with the HD cameras than it was with SD because of atmospheric disturbance, or less than perfect focus. I can still get acceptable results with these lens if everything comes together right, but while they were usually my first choice with the Canon L2 and the XL1-s, they are now used only as a last resort.
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Old April 19th, 2011, 06:42 PM   #44
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Re: New challenges for wildlife videographers

Hmm,
It sounds like i may have to look seriously at getting a DSLR & give it a go! I will keep hoping that a proper video camera comes out that will be more suited to filming wildlife but in the meantime, i think i will just stick with my XH A1 & try to supplement it with the more filmic look of a DSLR.
Of course, i could always look at a Sony EX3......Hmm what to do??
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Old April 21st, 2011, 04:53 PM   #45
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Re: New challenges for wildlife videographers

Glad i changed from a T2I/550D to a GH2, far more user friendly and much better video quality.
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