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Canon EOS Full Frame for HD
All about using the Canon 1D X, 6D, 5D Mk. IV / Mk. III / Mk. II D-SLR for 4K and HD video recording.

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Old January 23rd, 2009, 03:02 PM   #1
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A Reasonable Compromise

I'm a big Canon fan and always have been, owning multiple XL1, XL1s, Xl2, DSLRs etc. In fact I was delighted to recently sell my two Nikon DSLR bodies to go Canon again. I only switched to Nikon DSLR in the first place because of the extensive Nikon lens collection that we built shooting with 35mm adapters in recent years.

The internet is buzzing with new 5D2 sites, Canon hacking sites trying raise funds to hack manual controls, and lot's of general frustration over the lack of any meaningful control while shooting HD with this great new camera.

As a business consultant and mediator I don't like to frustrate or incite frustration. I like to look for reasonable "win, win" solutions.

From my perspective one issue (as strange as it is) is already resolved - Nikon lenses with EOS adapters now deliver full aperture control over the 5DII. I would expect that that would be untenable from Canon's perspective but that's another matter.
But there are two very real problems in terms of producing quality work with this camera that could easily be addressed in firmware.

One is the issue of the random and unrepeatable shutter speed. We all know what shutter speed means to the look of a shot, 180 degrees, etc. The problem with random shutter is that shot to shot there can be an inconsistent look to any project with multiple clips - meaning virtually any project.

The other issue is even after "tricking" your camera into doing what you want, those settings are immediately lost after hitting stop and the whole process has to begin again making for a very unintuitive and uncreative environment - it's simply counter-productive.

So, how about a simple request - an update that allows for the priority of the Auto function in HD to be reversed, allowing for shutter speed to be the first affected parameter rather than ISO; and a simple hold to your current settings until you change them as is common on virtually every camera I know of at any level.

It's not my business whether Canon has a strategy behind restricting manual control in Movie mode but this improvement would maintain the camera as an Auto only HD camera while allowing a consistent look shot to shot and save lot's of frustration and missed shots and problems in post.

This is too nice of a camera to limit unnecessarily and I'm guessing Canon didn't see it as such in the development. Allowing shutter speed as the auto priority would allow for a consistent and repeatable 1/60 and make shooting at least under 800- 640 ISO reasonably easy. And simply allowing us to maintain those settings would give us a reasonable working environment as professionals and serious amateurs.

Win, win?
Jim Giberti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 23rd, 2009, 05:25 PM   #2
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This could be the basis of a good proposal, though I'm not sure that I get all the details. from a requirements viewpoint here is what we need:

* Set and forget. Make me jump through hoops to get the settings I want once, but not for every single shot. It's annoying, makes me look the fool, and wastes everybody's time.
* Set the desired aperture on a Canon lens. I'd rather buy Canon lenses than Nikons. That would give me the best solutions for my stills as well as video.
* Set the desired shutter. This is critical for a consistent artistic look.
* Set the desired ISO. If the camera shot RAW video, I wouldn't care. But to get the best out of an eight bit output with an S-curve, setting the desired ISO is critical.

So, all three parameters must be consistently settable. Maybe the order isn't important. Maybe the key is that exposure compensation set the second variable. Here's the idea:

Step 1) Shine a fixed amount of light into the camera. The first parameter changes quickly and settles. The second parameter changes. Finally parameter #3 changes. The amount of light is chosen to get parameter #3 to the desired stable level.

Step 2) Now change the light setting greatly. Parameter #1 changes. Hit AE-Lock. Hopefully, you captured the right setting. If not, go back to step 1.

Step 3) Adjust Exposure Compensation to set parameter #2.

Step 4) Record, stop and record again to your heart's content.

Step 5) After you disable AE-Lock, leave Live View, or turn off the camera, it reverts to auto.

Personally, I think the better solution is that when the mode dial is set for Manual, and Live View is in Exposure Simulation, the video should use those settings - or the closest settings available. All other modes remain "as is."

Whatever the solution, however, the four requirements above (*) stand.
Jon Fairhurst
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 05:46 PM   #3
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I bought an EF L series 24-70 Canon lens to use for stills and general "get to know" with the 5d Mk II. I'm going to be investing more money in lenses, and, unless Canon does something to solve some of these control issues, those new lenses are going to be manual aperture Nikons instead of state of the art Canon EFs.

Somehow I think if they knew that they were losing sales on potentially several thousand dollars in lenses from just ONE customer, and that my scenario is undoubtedly being repeated many, many times over, they would be moved to implement this seemingly very simple change via firmware. I can't see giving the OPTION of full manual control to the user as creating any kind of problem for them. It's just having the camera respect the same user-dictated parameters when recording motion as it respects in certain still modes. Exposure is the user's responsibility, but then that's the whole point.

I'm not knowledgeable at all in these areas, but I would be shocked if the essential work on this would take more than one afternoon by one programmer at Canon. And it would make not only the camera but Canon EF lenses a much more attractive option.
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 06:32 PM   #4
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Agreed Elizabeth. Conversely, I wrote earlier that I was ready to trade up my Nikon lens collection and reinvest in Canon primes and fast zooms that would be both photographic and filmmaking lenses. But once I realized there was no control using Canon lenses, instead of investing thousands in Canon glass I simply spent a few dollars for EOS/Nikon adapters and problem solved.

It's certainly what anyone buying the 5D2 for HD will do as well. Canon is a smart company and has also proven to be a responsive company in listening/monitoring these types of concerns - specifically at dvinfo.

Unlike some, I would be surprised if Canon didn't modify the Movie Mode to make it more controllable. Not to make it a video camera, but to allow professionals to work smoothly with it as opposed to fighting it and tricking it.
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