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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old May 22nd, 2009, 07:54 PM   #1
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5D Mark 2 setup

Hi guys,

I have seen too many great stuff done on 5D mark 2 now.. and it seems that all the great studios are using it so it must be worth the money..

I bought an extreme just recently and have been very happy with it except the fact that i can not use it for wedding days cause its too bulky and heavy.

so, I guess I'd like to ask for input from everyone to overcome my reasons not to buy 5D in the first place.

my reasons were:

1. I live in AU, therefore 25fps clashes with 30fps and also with other footage shot with my A1

2. the live view cannot be tilted down or up so you can only shoot around eye level

3. its very unstable to hold, therefore have to invest in a rig costing around US$500 (dvmultirig pro I guess??)

4. I have to invest in canon lenses while i already got nikon manual old lenses although just yesterday i figured that you can buy adapter for it (silly me) will this work nicely guys??

5. Audio is a bummer, but I have heard some good decent audio from it now.. and I think we won't really be recording main audio through this camera, must be from the A1.

6. I was under impression that a new model might come out soon that offers tiltable display like the nikon's.

7. its a photo camera for god's sake!

If you could share your setup with 5d Mark 2 including the lens and all it would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Santo
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Old May 24th, 2009, 05:00 PM   #2
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I would love to see some of the peoples set ups who use the 5d mk II at weddings. I think this thread is a great idea.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 05:54 PM   #3
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I shot my first wedding last week with the 5D. Here's my impression

I shot solo and had three cams. the 5D, XH-A1 and an HV20. For the bride prep, I alternated between the 5D and the A1. Using the 5D was a challenge to work with mainly because of the time it took to set up exposure for EVERY shot. I used the Canon 24-105 lens as well as a Nikon 85mm 1.8. For the ceremony, I kept the 5D in the bag. I just couldn't risk messing anything up. I alternated again between the A1 and 5D for the rest of the day. Lessons learned

1.) The shots produced with the 5D that were properly exposed and in focus were fantastic. Just not enough of them but that should come with more experience with the camera
2.) The 24-105 F4 worked great until the reception. Its just not fast enough for low lighting. The 85mm 1.8 on the other hand was amazing however the DOF is so shallow that it was hard to keep anything in focus, especially the dances. I did learn a trick though by the end of the night and that was once I got my subject in focus, let go of the focus ring and just move with your subject to keep the same distance.
3.) I built a two handled DIY mount for the 5D which worked great and gave me a nice smooth hand held look. I also mounted it with a quick release plate so I could swap it quickly with my tripod and monopod. I'll send a photo and build list if your interested.
4.) Audio was ok as long as you keep image stabilization OFF. It's pretty much unusable with it turned on. I used a seperate Zoom H4 field recorder for most of my audio though.
5.) I shot the XH-A1 in 30f mode hoping the footage will be matchable. For the anything rendered for the web it looks pretty close. DVD will be another story when I get to it.
6.) I Love my XH-A1!!!!!

Art
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Old May 24th, 2009, 05:59 PM   #4
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IF you could go back would you buy the 5d again, or would you buy another xh-a1.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 06:06 PM   #5
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Given all the great work out there shot with the 5DII there really is no excuse not to produce amazing work even with it's limitations.

"1. I live in AU, therefore 25fps clashes with 30fps and also with other footage shot with my A1"
I live in South Africa and the 5DII (30FPS) footage mixed well with my XHA1 (25FPS). Use Cineform to solve you frame-rate worries.

"2. The live view cannot be tilted down or up so you can only shoot around eye level"
This did not stop me from falling in love with the footage I got, after you shoot 5DII everything the A1 gives you sucks, the 5DII video looks 3D.

"3. its very unstable to hold"
This camera lives on a tripod! forget about hand-held, a Steadicam also works "sorta".

"4. I have to invest in canon lenses while i already got nikon manual old lenses"
Canon lenses are awesome you won't be wasting any money, they are incredibly sharp, old manual lenses just don't compare in sharpness.

"5. Audio is a bummer"
Why are you using audio from this camera? I don't understand why people complain about the audio, use your A1 or get a H4n or R-44 to record your audio on. You are going to be playing music over whatever you shot anyways.

"6. I was under impression that a new model might come out soon that offers tiltable display like the nikon's."
If I know Canon forget about tiltable displays, I don't think Canon will be releasing anything new anytime soon.

"7. its a photo camera for god's sake!"
Takes beautiful photos, in commercial productions photos play an equal role next to video. Videos/Photos is the same thing with a different work-flows, learn to take stunning photos and your videos will look better too.

I have used the 5DII side by side with my A1 and it's definitely a worth every cent, stop thinking about it and just buy the camera, it's another tool to get the job done, it won't replace the A1 however you won't be able to live without it either. If you want to blow people away get a 5DII, if you are happy with average don't. Achieving perfect exposure is not all that hard either, comes with practice, there is a trick to it, no one camera gives you everything.

The first time I shot with the 5DII I was able to get these:
http://www.vimeo.com/3258952
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Old May 24th, 2009, 09:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louis Maddalena View Post
IF you could go back would you buy the 5d again, or would you buy another xh-a1.
No regrets at all on the 5D. I'm still on the learning curve but I think ultimately both cameras will have there place. I'm shooting another wedding this week with a second shooter who will be handling the A1 which will allow me more time with the 5D.

One other thing you need to keep an eye on is how much time you have remaining on the CF card. I haven't figured out how to do this yet. I had a card fill up on me at an inopportune time last week. Have plenty of cards on hand and format each before using. I didn't do this and ended up with some corrupt files.


Art
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Old May 24th, 2009, 10:10 PM   #7
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So there is no display feature that tells you when you are running out of time / out of time on your cards?

I am seriously considering buying one of these cameras... How do you like the camera's performance in the low light situations at the reception hall.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 09:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louis Maddalena View Post
So there is no display feature that tells you when you are running out of time / out of time on your cards?

I am seriously considering buying one of these cameras... How do you like the camera's performance in the low light situations at the reception hall.
The camera does tell you time remaining on the card- I just found it. Low light performance is amazing with a fast lens.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 10:45 AM   #9
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Ok so basically we agreed that its worth the dime...

Thanks for all the info.. its great to hear people's experience with the camera

now.. i heard people are getting problems when using the camera in bright sunlight. how do you overcome this? putting ND filter will be a bummer right..

Thanks

Santo
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Old May 27th, 2009, 08:25 AM   #10
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Yeah the current soln is to add ND filters. You could get a variable ND filter to save some time but they dun come cheap. I too integrated the 5D2 for 3 weddings now and the footage trashes even my beloved EX1. I live in PAL land too, and I am able to work it out with EX1. Plus the fact that full manual control is coming to 5D2, there really isnt much to hold back.

The next problem is workflow. I shoot solo half the time, so u really have to work out some process that suits your editing style.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 04:25 PM   #11
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New firmware coming out in June which will give you full manual control, just another reason to buy a 5DII.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 08:54 PM   #12
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Sean,

yea.. ND doesn't come cheap.. i hear you..


its just that the cost of buying the lenses is holding me back now. but like what you guys said, the fact that you can do manual exposure later on will maximise the use of the digital lenses.

I guess I'm pretty much sold... the only thing that I need to think about now is to whether i'm buying a new pilot first of a 5D first. we'll see.. :P

Santo
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Old May 28th, 2009, 04:54 AM   #13
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You can always rent, it's really cheap to rent compared to the EX1. Costs me $60 per day, while an EX1 costs $250 per day.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 06:14 AM   #14
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unfortunately the price of renting the 5d is not that cheap here. its around 150 with only 24-105mm lens. great idea though!
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Old May 28th, 2009, 06:26 AM   #15
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OK, what about those of us who have gone down the Nikon route. Surely, Nikon HAVE to come up with an answer and maybe steal some ground back by having exposure control and the other wants as standard. Anyone heard anything on that score?
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