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Using 20D for on-set reference


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#1 Cameron Speaks

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 05:06 PM

Hello all,
I recently purchased a Canon 20D and was thinking about using it as a exposure reference on my student production. I already have a person shooting stills with their own 20D, i just want to see what the lighting feels like before we roll film. Does anyone have any experience using digital SLR cameras in this way? I've heard of using polaroids, but i don't have access to any.

Knowing that the lens magnification is X 1.6 for 35mm, wouldn't be about .10 off of 16mm?

Any suggestions?

Thanks for your time
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#2 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 01:59 PM

Hello all,
I recently purchased a Canon 20D and was thinking about using it as a exposure reference on my student production. I already have a person shooting stills with their own 20D, i just want to see what the lighting feels like before we roll film. Does anyone have any experience using digital SLR cameras in this way? I've heard of using polaroids, but i don't have access to any.

Knowing that the lens magnification is X 1.6 for 35mm, wouldn't be about .10 off of 16mm?

Any suggestions?

Thanks for your time


I would say to not trust the colors fully, unless you understand how to white balance the camera just right. (think grey card with SFX lights)

You are on the right track though. I have my 300D with me on all set's and it comes in handy to show instand feedback, or just take set shots.

I worked on a toyota shoot with the Ultimate arm (camera crane on a truck), and mounted right above the camera, was a Canon ( I couldn't tell what it was though). And it was remote controlled, taking a ton of shots for instant feedback.

If you are using it to mount next to the camera, go for it. Use that digital Still camera as a tool, and a learning device.
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#3 zrszach

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 02:24 PM

Hello all,
I recently purchased a Canon 20D and was thinking about using it as a exposure reference on my student production. I already have a person shooting stills with their own 20D, i just want to see what the lighting feels like before we roll film. Does anyone have any experience using digital SLR cameras in this way? I've heard of using polaroids, but i don't have access to any.

Knowing that the lens magnification is X 1.6 for 35mm, wouldn't be about .10 off of 16mm?

Any suggestions?

Thanks for your time


Well, if you have an extra $750 per week or $2000 per month in you budget you could rent a KLMS. But if that is not an option you should probably stick with the medium you are shooting on. film stills for film shoot. Digital stills for digital shoot. It all depends on what you need your pictures to tell you. It used to be that RGB color labs would sell 35mm movie loaded into film cartridges for your 35mm SLR. You could probably do the same thing yourself, all you need is a small roll and a bulk loader.

That's my 0.02

Edited by zrszach, 19 January 2006 - 02:26 PM.

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#4 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 02:34 PM

I use my Canon 10d this way all the time. I don't trust the LCD monitor on the camera, so I load the stills into my laptop for viewing. I find it's perfectly adequate for judging exposure.

It's very popular with directors as well, as they can see a clear hi-res image of the shot, rather than what they get off the video tap.
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#5 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 04:00 PM

I use my Canon 10d this way all the time. I don't trust the LCD monitor on the camera, so I load the stills into my laptop for viewing. I find it's perfectly adequate for judging exposure.

It's very popular with directors as well, as they can see a clear hi-res image of the shot, rather than what they get off the video tap.


+1.

Like I said earlier though, set your white balance manually. Like setting up a grey card light (work light), you need pure uncolored light to blance off it (tungsten if indoors), this way if you are using CTB, or CTO or REDs', any colors for that matter, they won't be changed with the camera's internal color temperatures (looking too warm or too cold).

Bueno.
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#6 Michael Louis Hill

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 09:08 AM

What would you set the shutter at and the iso? i'm not sure if it would be the same iso as the film stock yeah?

I tried doing this the other day but had trouble figuring out the shutter and he aperture for that matter. not sure if the light meter gives off the same reading for the digital aperture.
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#7 Thomas Worth

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 06:28 PM

What would you set the shutter at and the iso? i'm not sure if it would be the same iso as the film stock yeah?

Set your shutter to either 1/45 or 1/60, depending on what the shutter angle is on the motion picture camera. For example, at 24 fps with a 180° shutter, the camera is exposing each frame at 1/48 sec. My Konvas, however, has a 150° shutter, which at 24 fps exposes each frame at approximately 1/60 sec.

If you don't like the motion blur that comes from handholding the still camera at these slow shutter speeds, you can always compensate with a wider aperture. So, if you're shooting a scene at T4 on the motion picture camera, and the lens on your still camera is fast enough, you can snap stills at 1/100 sec at f/2.8. This will give you sharper images if you have an unsteady hand. This will only work if you're using a high quality zoom lens or primes on the still camera, and if you are shooting a scene at T2 on the motion picture camera, you're pretty much stuck with the 1/45 - 1/60 shutter since lenses don't get much faster.

The ISO / ASA rating is the same for film and digital. My Canon D30 doesn't have a "500" ASA setting, so I use 400. For judging exposure, I find that it is close enough.

Regarding white balance, a digital still camera has settings for tungsten (3200K) and daylight (5500K). Since you are going to be shooting on either of these types of films, I don't see a need to manually white balance. However, if you are using color correction filters on the camera (like for fluorescent lights), then you will need to manually white balance to get accurate color. I don't really worry to much about color, however. I use the digital SLR mainly for judging exposure.

Just as a side note, the sensors in the Canon D30, D60, 10D, 20D and Digital Rebel are almost the same size as the 35mm academy aperture. So, you will get a similar field of view using still camera lenses with the same focal lengths as the motion picture lenses.
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#8 Michael Louis Hill

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 09:16 AM

Set your shutter to either 1/45 or 1/60, depending on what the shutter angle is on the motion picture camera. For example, at 24 fps with a 180° shutter, the camera is exposing each frame at 1/48 sec. My Konvas, however, has a 150° shutter, which at 24 fps exposes each frame at approximately 1/60 sec.

If you don't like the motion blur that comes from handholding the still camera at these slow shutter speeds, you can always compensate with a wider aperture. So, if you're shooting a scene at T4 on the motion picture camera, and the lens on your still camera is fast enough, you can snap stills at 1/100 sec at f/2.8. This will give you sharper images if you have an unsteady hand. This will only work if you're using a high quality zoom lens or primes on the still camera, and if you are shooting a scene at T2 on the motion picture camera, you're pretty much stuck with the 1/45 - 1/60 shutter since lenses don't get much faster.

The ISO / ASA rating is the same for film and digital. My Canon D30 doesn't have a "500" ASA setting, so I use 400. For judging exposure, I find that it is close enough.

Regarding white balance, a digital still camera has settings for tungsten (3200K) and daylight (5500K). Since you are going to be shooting on either of these types of films, I don't see a need to manually white balance. However, if you are using color correction filters on the camera (like for fluorescent lights), then you will need to manually white balance to get accurate color. I don't really worry to much about color, however. I use the digital SLR mainly for judging exposure.

Just as a side note, the sensors in the Canon D30, D60, 10D, 20D and Digital Rebel are almost the same size as the 35mm academy aperture. So, you will get a similar field of view using still camera lenses with the same focal lengths as the motion picture lenses.



Thanks for the info. i'll try it out this weekend.
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#9 Matt Frank

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 03:52 PM

I use a Nikon D100 in this manner with the ISO matching my film speed at 1/45th of a second and the results are helpful, but not always perfect. I was filming a dark skinned woman in daylight and the Digital still looked terrible with almost no detail in her face, but I trusted my meter and experience more than the digital still and shot it without taking into account the digital still. When I got the film back it looked great. So while I think it is very useful, it is not perfect.
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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 07:30 PM

Hi,

I don't really understand this. If video cameras were unacceptable for judging exposure for years, why are digital stills cameras, using identical technology, acceptable now? Any DSLR reacts to light much more like a decent video camera than film.

> I don't trust the LCD monitor on the camera

Okay, very sensible...

> so I load the stills into my laptop for viewing.

...which will be absolutely no better. It's still a fantasy.

I think everyone's convinced themselves that the DSLR approach works without actually putting that laptop next to a proper grade-one CRT in the edit suite and noticing how utterly inaccurate it is.

Fine preview tool, but it isn't telling you anything in any way accurately.

Phil
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#11 Filip Plesha

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 09:10 PM

Any DSLR reacts to light much more like a decent video camera than film.


I don't understand how is it that movie people are always the ones who see this, and photographers often don't. Are movie people a special breed with altered vision, or are photographers just the stupid kind whose eyes work in 5-bit? How can someone be a photographer and have such narow vision.
Is it because only the best get to work on movies, yet anyone can be a photo pro?
I've seen tons of so called photographers who have a vision no better than a deer or a cow.

The photography of the next decades will look like screenshots from a TV show.

Every time I go to photo.net critique forum and take a look at the latest images, all I see
is video screenshots

Why has the general taste changed so much in the last 10 years? The video look used to be something
undesirable, now it's more desirable and film look is becoming the undesirable "out" look

What is more funny is Kodak is one of the major promoters of this video look in still photography.

Who do I blame that for?
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