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-   -   C300 with Canon L lenses vs. 5D Mark 3 with Zeiss Primes (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-eos-full-frame-hd/510139-c300-canon-l-lenses-vs-5d-mark-3-zeiss-primes.html)

Trent Watts August 21st, 2012 11:25 AM

C300 with Canon L lenses vs. 5D Mark 3 with Zeiss Primes
 
I've got a gig coming up where I have a budget to rent some equipment. I'm going to use one of the combinations above. I already own the Canon L lenses. The final video will be displayed in a movie theater. The final resolution will be 1920 x 1080. But am wondering basically about the 4k sensor with l lenses vs a full frame sensor with canon l series. the video will be in black and white, so what will give me the sharpest image with the most dynamic range?

Burk Webb August 21st, 2012 12:16 PM

Re: C300 with Canon L lenses vs. 5D Mark 3 with Zeiss Primes
 
"Sharpest image with most dynamic range" - best bet is the C300 and L glass.

That being said, either of those choices are more than capable of jaw dropping results.

Nigel Barker August 21st, 2012 01:15 PM

Re: C300 with Canon L lenses vs. 5D Mark 3 with Zeiss Primes
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Trent Watts (Post 1749376)
I've got a gig coming up where I have a budget to rent some equipment. I'm going to use one of the combinations above. I already own the Canon L lenses. The final video will be displayed in a movie theater. The final resolution will be 1920 x 1080. But am wondering basically about the 4k sensor with l lenses vs a full frame sensor with canon l series. the video will be in black and white, so what will give me the sharpest image with the most dynamic range?

The C300 - without a shadow of a doubt. I have both cameras & while I love the 5D3 it's not a patch on the C300 for image quality. The resolution is much higher so there is far more detail. It's also good for at least another couple of stops of dynamic range.

Jon Fairhurst August 21st, 2012 01:54 PM

Re: C300 with Canon L lenses vs. 5D Mark 3 with Zeiss Primes
 
The key words here are "black and white". If you shoot in monochrome with the 5D3 with color filters, rather than mixing x:2:0 chroma into 4:x:x luma in post, you can get excellent results with a 5D. (I have the 5D2.)

Jon Fairhurst August 21st, 2012 04:07 PM

Re: C300 with Canon L lenses vs. 5D Mark 3 with Zeiss Primes
 
...I'm back.

Regarding resolution, the C300 might be slightly more crisp, but don't get overworked on this point. Nobody will see a side by side comparison between the 5D3 and C300 versions of your film. Add a bit of sharpening to the 5D3 video and you'll be golden. If you look at older black and white films, you'll note that they aren't all that sharp. When the image is too sharp, it can look like video, rather than film.

Zeiss vs. Canon lenses won't make a big difference in sharpness - unless your focus puller is more accurate with Zeiss vs. Canon. Buzzed focus is a bigger potential problem than lack of camera resolution.

Dynamic range, however, could be another story. Fortunately, with black and white, you can use color filters to help manage the tone scale. Naked, the camera might see white clouds and a dark red face. Add a Red 23A filter and the face and clouds will be very close in tone.

That said, the 5D2 (I don't have the 5D3) doesn't let you modify the Picture Style curve of the Monochrome mode. You can turn contrast to the minimum, but that's it. That really forces you to manage the relative tones with filters and to nail the exposure. But when you do, you're there. You might play with the gamma in post and might even use a power mask to isolate an object, but you'll largely be preserving those precious 8 bits. On the other hand, if you shoot super flat and add an s-curve in post, you'll have more safety for your exposure, but you risk contour rings in the mid-tones. Nailing those 8-bits in the camera means that you get all 8-bits on the screen. And frankly, there's little excuse not to nail exposure in black and white when you have a histogram available in the camera.

Then again, I don't even know if the C300 has a low contrast option in Monochrome. If not, it's 8-bits vs. 8-bits. Of course, with 4:2:2 color and a better codec, the C300 is the far better camera for shooting in color and going to B&W in post. Then again, you'll be monitoring a color image on set if you do that.

B&W film shooters had to look at a yellow, red, or greenish image in the eyepiece. With digital, we get to see the (near) final, black and white image when using color filters an monochrome mode. That can help you see exactly where you might want more light or shadow.

Anyway, try some tests in monochrome with some color filters (possibly an orange-yellow 16 if you want to buy a single test filter.) Add a touch of sharpening in post and play with the luma curve and power windows to generate the final image. I think you'll be amazed at what a clean image you can get from the 5D.

Bob Willis August 21st, 2012 09:08 PM

Re: C300 with Canon L lenses vs. 5D Mark 3 with Zeiss Primes
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nigel Barker (Post 1749390)
The C300 - without a shadow of a doubt. I have both cameras & while I love the 5D3 it's not a patch on the C300 for image quality. The resolution is much higher so there is far more detail. It's also good for at least another couple of stops of dynamic range.

Definitely the C300.
And since you already have the Canon L glass that combination will give you great sharpness and dynamic range.

Trent Watts August 23rd, 2012 09:56 AM

Re: C300 with Canon L lenses vs. 5D Mark 3 with Zeiss Primes
 
Thanks for the help everyone! I've decided to go with the C300!

Jim Martin August 23rd, 2012 01:01 PM

Re: C300 with Canon L lenses vs. 5D Mark 3 with Zeiss Primes
 
And don't shoot in B & W......do it in post. I had a client a few years back say he was going to shoot his project in B & W and I said don't, just turn the color off on your monitor....as I explained to him, you might think it's a good idea on the set and you might be convinced that B & W is "perfect for your project" but often a great idea on the set is not a great idea by the time you get to post. He thanked me for the caution, but shot it B & W anyway.....3 months later he stopped in and asked me who was a good colorist in town.

Jim Martin
Filmtools.com

Bob Willis August 23rd, 2012 01:38 PM

Re: C300 with Canon L lenses vs. 5D Mark 3 with Zeiss Primes
 
Yep, always leave yourself options. So easy to go B&W in post.

Jon Fairhurst August 23rd, 2012 03:33 PM

Re: C300 with Canon L lenses vs. 5D Mark 3 with Zeiss Primes
 
It depends on the camera. For the C300, with good colors, a good codec, and 4:2:2 color, it might make sense to do it in post. With the 5D2 (and VAF, FWIW), it didn't take a deep test to confirm otherwise. There is no comparison between shooting Monochrome with a Red 23A and shooting Neutral or CineStyle and doing red filtering in post. The Monochrome method produced stunning results. The Normal picture style was visibly worse. CineStyle converted to B&W in post was quite poor. And don't bother with the digital color filters in the Monochrome picture style on the 5D2. It's implemented wrong and gets the lines/pixels out of order. There's just no contest on the 5D2. (Hopefully, the digital color filters are done properly on the 5D3. They probably are, given that the whole pixel scan was redesigned to eliminate aliasing.)

Also consider that classic B&W filmmakers would never shoot on color film and convert it in post to a black and white theatrical release. In that case it's not just about film and processing costs, but you can get finer grain and sharper contrast with monochrome film of a comparable speed. Yes, it's a different situation (mainly cost), but it demonstrates that whether you shoot or post in B&W depends on the tools. There's no blanket rule to do it in post.

I think the key is to really know what you want and to do good tests if you will shoot in monochrome. If it's a film noir, orange-yellow 16 or red 23A might be your go-to daylight filter. For horror, a 25 or 25A is the way to go. A 25A underexposed is the classic day for night filter. Yellow is the neutral look. Green tans the skin. You don't need to master or use them all, but one should know their genre and look before they say, "action!"

The other challenge is exposure. Digital makes it pretty easy because you see the (near) final image on the LCD - even with colored glass in front of the lens. A monochrome histogram clearly tells you your levels. (This is much easier than for film, where you will see a red, orange, yellow, or green image in the viewfinder.)

The remaining challenge is to nail your skin tones. Because the picture style adds an S-curve, it's critical to keep the skin tones in the middle of the range to preserve detail. With a red or orange filter, it's easy to overexpose the skin. With a green filter, it's easy to go too dark. Yellow is the easiest to work with as it simply brings out the blue skies without lightening the skin too much. Yellow also only loses one stop, so it's easier to light. In general, green loses 2 stops and red 3, depending on the filter. Fortunately, you can crank the ISO much higher with monochrome than with color picture styles, so the light loss isn't as bad as one might think.

So, yeah, if one doesn't have experience with monochrome shooting and with color filters and doesn't do the testing, saving it for post would be safer. But I don't think one needs to do a ton of testing to get this right. Test your actors in sunlight, shade, and indoors. Test special conditions like day-for-night. Determine your genre and look and see how far you can go with gamma (curve, really) correction in post.

Another tip is to use gray-tone costumes as they will stay consistent. They shot the first two seasons of Superman in black and white - and George Reeve's costume was in tones of gray rather than blue and red. :)

Anyway, if I were shooting on a ONE/Scarlet/EPIC (and probably Alexa & F65), I'd shoot in color. On the 5D2, Monochrome is the way to go. For film, I'd go monochrome. On most everything else, I'd recommend testing. And if you do shoot in monochrome, spend the time to learn how to expose well while keeping skin tones in the sweet spot.

Bob Willis August 23rd, 2012 07:25 PM

Re: C300 with Canon L lenses vs. 5D Mark 3 with Zeiss Primes
 
1 Attachment(s)
Jon,
Now I know how you type so fast.

Jon Fairhurst August 24th, 2012 01:07 PM

Re: C300 with Canon L lenses vs. 5D Mark 3 with Zeiss Primes
 
My biggest problem lately is finding good phone booths... :)

John Carroll August 28th, 2012 02:19 PM

Re: C300 with Canon L lenses vs. 5D Mark 3 with Zeiss Primes
 
For black and white in post, add a HUE/SATURATION filter before you remove the color. You can get great control over your black and white tones by playing with the reds, yellows and greens this way.
Essentially like shooting with the color filters, but without the commitment.


Sorry if you guys already knew this little factoid, but thought I would mention it in case some of you didn't

Jon Fairhurst August 28th, 2012 03:34 PM

Re: C300 with Canon L lenses vs. 5D Mark 3 with Zeiss Primes
 
Yeah, that works great - when you have good looking color info. On the 5D, the chroma is lower-res x:2:0, generally has more noise than the luma, and has larger, coarser macroblocks. On a higher-end camera, the color quality and resolution are likely better and the post approach becomes more viable.

There's another reason for using glass color filters though - dynamic range. Imagine a bright day with light overcast while shooting a person in the shadows or backlit. By using a red or orange filter ahead of the lens, the clouds are taken down by two and a half to three stops. The face, however, is already orange in tone, so it might only lose a half to one stop. In effect, it buys you a couple of stops of DR before you get clipping or noise from the sensor. This might not matter under controlled light, but can be very helpful outdoors.

Tony Davies-Patrick August 30th, 2012 04:36 AM

Re: C300 with Canon L lenses vs. 5D Mark 3 with Zeiss Primes
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob Willis (Post 1749751)
Jon,
Now I know how you type so fast.

Lol! I love that one, Bob!


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