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Old January 14th, 2009, 07:30 AM   #1
Ben and Sally - a 5D Mark II wedding video
Matthew Ebenezer Matthew Ebenezer is offline January 14th, 2009, 07:30 AM

A couple of days before he was scheduled to shoot Ben and Sally's wedding, my good mate and photographer James Day received his new 5D Mark II. Katie and I were in Armidale with him at the time and helped James test out the camera during Samuel and Olivia's engagement shoot.

To cut a long story short, on Thursday the 8th, Katie and I drove the 4.5 hours back to our home in Toowoomba. That night I chatted to James and he suggested that I shoot Ben and Sally's wedding with the 5D Mark II. He'd actually suggested it while we were in Armidale but for some reason I didn't really think about it. Silly me.

So, on the 9th (day before the wedding) I jumped in my car for a 12 hour round-trip to Coffs Harbour, NSW in an attempt to be (one of) the first in Australia to shoot a wedding video using only the 5D Mark II.

We picked up some ND filters on the way to the wedding and I basically learned how to use the camera as I shot the groom getting ready. Unfortunately the ND filters weren't the correct thread size so I resorted to blu-tacking the filters to the lens. DV Rebel indeed :)

To say this camera has totally blown me away is a huge understatement. It's not without its issues but working around them isn't too difficult. I was so impressed that I ordered one today.

A few thoughts:

- There's no better feeling than shooting wide open at f1.2
- There's no worse feeling than blowing a shot because you were shooting at f1.2
- Super crushed blacks and blown out highlights are tough to avoid - better to embrace them
- A super steady hand is required (not that I have one), especially with the 85mm 1.2 - it's a very twitchy lens. The 50mm 1.2 is much steadier
- Audio is passable at best
- A variety of ND filters are a must in order to shoot as wide open as possible
- The footage was an absolute bugger to convert and edit - I'm on the PC using Premiere Pro 2.0 and Aspect HD. 50+ crashes later I managed to finish this clip.

I'm sure there are more things I could mention but it's late and my brain is fading. Hit me up with a message or a comment to find out more.

Ben and Sally - a 5D Mark II wedding - HD on Vimeo

Cheers,

Matthew.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 08:08 AM   #2
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Looks great, obviously, but first thing's first, gotta love the guy in the bathing suit.

My biggest concerns are more about delivery since the image quality is undisputedly wonderful. Just a couple of questions, if you don't mind.

How does the final product vary from the type of product you normally deliver? Does the couple receive a highlights video or short form edit? Do you find yourself shooting more or less with the 5dII than with a camcorder?
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Old January 14th, 2009, 09:09 AM   #3
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Looks great, the image quality is undisputedly wonderful.
Er - am I alone in asking for the camera to be kept still and letting us see the subject gently move? Does this 5D combo have no image stabilisation that can be activated? I realise that the jitteryness might be the style you're after, but is it the style Ben and Sally want to see? Only asking.

tom.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 10:31 AM   #4
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Matt: Awesome video! Compared to the engagement video, the post-processing looks much more refined.. Did you guys do any special processing on the sun flares or was that out of the camera?

Very 16mm-ish. No steadicam - awesome! I think we're seeing way to much back to back to back types of steadicam sequences nowadays..

Some annoyances..
-camera flashes and CMOS do not make good bedfellow. Nothing you can do about that.
-I see more jello effect than usual for a 5D2 clip. Very strange.. I'm pretty sure I've seen quite a few hand held videos that has less jello effect than this.
-Crushed blacks... have you guys applied the various workarounds for crushed blacks? It would be very dissapointing if ALL videos form the 5D2 will have this characteristic.

For wedding shooters who like to shoot handheld, perhaps it is worth it to get one of those gyro stabilizers? I wonder how well they work or what their shortcomings are...
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Old January 15th, 2009, 06:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
Er - am I alone in asking for the camera to be kept still and letting us see the subject gently move? Does this 5D combo have no image stabilisation that can be activated? I realise that the jitteryness might be the style you're after, but is it the style Ben and Sally want to see? Only asking.

tom.
Hey Tom,

Thanks for checking out the video.

I guess it comes down to personal preference. I like the handheld style and really embrace it in my videos. I'm not interested in making a technically perfect video. Truth be told I'm not talented enough to do that. What I want to create is something with feeling that evokes the emotion of a couple's wedding day in a style that I want to produce. For me, the handheld style suits the type of videos I want to make.

As for what couples want to see ... it's up to them whether they book me or not. Plenty of boring-cam operators out there permanently joined at the hip with their tripods for them to choose if that's what they're after ;)

Cheers,

Matthew.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 06:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Matthew Craggs View Post
Looks great, obviously, but first thing's first, gotta love the guy in the bathing suit.

My biggest concerns are more about delivery since the image quality is undisputedly wonderful. Just a couple of questions, if you don't mind.

How does the final product vary from the type of product you normally deliver? Does the couple receive a highlights video or short form edit? Do you find yourself shooting more or less with the 5dII than with a camcorder?
Hey Matthew,

Thanks for checking out the video and for your comments.

This was the first thing I've shot with the 5D Mark II - and it was a borrowed one. Hopefully mine arrives in the mail tomorrow.

As for final product ... I'm looking at offering something around the 5 minute mark. And then still offering a full-blown production (still short-form edit) with steadicam etc ... for a higher fee.

To explain, I'm the videographer half of a photo/video studio. In 2009 we'll be focusing a lot more on photography with me 2nd shooting stills at most weddings. The 5D Mark II enables me to shoot a bit of video and offer that to couples as an add-on.

In my market videography is often not even considered by brides and is often one of the first items cut from a budget. With the type of videos I have been producing in the past it's tough to charge what they're actually worth. From a business perspective I can continue being a starving artist or I can evolve with the times and embrace this new technology to add value to our photography.

For me, the 5D Mark II is the solution I've been looking for. It enables me to still offer video but to offer a finished product that is less time intensive for less money - without cutting corners on quality.

That's my thoughts so far.

Cheers,

Matthew.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 06:45 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Yang Wen View Post
Matt: Awesome video! Compared to the engagement video, the post-processing looks much more refined.. Did you guys do any special processing on the sun flares or was that out of the camera?

Very 16mm-ish. No steadicam - awesome! I think we're seeing way to much back to back to back types of steadicam sequences nowadays..

Some annoyances..
-camera flashes and CMOS do not make good bedfellow. Nothing you can do about that.
-I see more jello effect than usual for a 5D2 clip. Very strange.. I'm pretty sure I've seen quite a few hand held videos that has less jello effect than this.
-Crushed blacks... have you guys applied the various workarounds for crushed blacks? It would be very dissapointing if ALL videos form the 5D2 will have this characteristic.

For wedding shooters who like to shoot handheld, perhaps it is worth it to get one of those gyro stabilizers? I wonder how well they work or what their shortcomings are...
Hi Yang,

Thanks again for checking out the video.

No special filters on the sunflares - only colour grading in post.

Yeah, CMOS and camera flashes suck :( I found that out the hard way as the bride came down the aisle.

Your comment about the jello effect is interesting as I don't really notice it at all. Maybe this is because I started using the D90 and the 5D Mark II is so much better in that area.

Regarding the crushed blacks, this is the first footage I've shot with the 5D Mark II. And the first footage I edited on my PC so I haven't tried out any of the workarounds yet. It was such a pain to convert and edit the footage in the first place that I was just lucky to get this clip finished without going crazy.

I'll hopefully receive my 5D Mark II in the mail tomorrow and will be able to do some more testing - hopefully figure out a much better workflow.

Cheers,

Matthew.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 12:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Matthew Ebenezer View Post
Regarding the crushed blacks, this is the first footage I've shot with the 5D Mark II. And the first footage I edited on my PC so I haven't tried out any of the workarounds yet. It was such a pain to convert and edit the footage in the first place that I was just lucky to get this clip finished without going crazy.
What sort of workaroudn are needed to work wit the h264 footage for your NLE (and what NLE?).
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Old January 16th, 2009, 09:59 PM   #9
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What sort of workaroudn are needed to work wit the h264 footage for your NLE (and what NLE?).
I'm not sure if there are workarounds for the PC yet - i.e. to recover the blacks and highlights.

I'm editing on the PC using Premiere Pro 2.0 and Aspect HD. I used Cineform HD Link to convert the raw 5D files to Cineform 24p. Not sure if this was bad or not but my computer crashed so many times it was ridiculous.

Playback was in realtime with no issues - but random crashes drove me crazy. I'm waiting for my 5D Mark II to arrive and then I'll play more. In the meantime I'm looking into switching to Mac and using Final Cut Pro. So over PCs!

Cheers,

Matthew.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 10:41 PM   #10
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Matthew -
DVinfo has a pretty extensive section dedicated to the 5D, and I think there are some workarounds for the crushed blacks that have been discussed - you might save some time by perusing that neighborhood if you haven't already!

Are you sure your wife is going to let you shoot the 5D <wink>? It looks like a pretty fine still camera along with the video functions.

The camera definitely has a "look" to it, but it's not bad by any means. I'm not thrilled by the crushed blacks I've seen, but I wouldn't complain about them. The CMOS rolling shutter issues aren't anything I haven't been living with for a while already, and actually I'm more intrigued by the full frame stills...

Thanks for posting some "real world" samples, and FWIW, your business model makes a lot of sense, being able to offer crossover "media" services is probably the future!
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