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Opinions on House 5D footage?


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#1 Jason Hinkle (RIP)

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 10:29 PM

Did anybody watch the finale of House to see how the 5D looked? I'm a big fan of the Canon DSLRs, but I have to say the footage didn't look quite as beautiful as the usual episode of House. That's not to say it looked bad at all. Also most of it was set in a dark exterior instead of the usual bright hospital setting, so it had a totally different look. It seemed like a lot of it was graded very blueish for the night exteriors. It's likely that I was scrutinizing a lot more than usual too.
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 10:41 PM

I caught the end of it and didn't realize it was the 5D footage. I did notice how "different," it looked, a lot "slicker." I didn't not like it, but I much prefer the shows usual look. Maybe i'm just stubborn. I will say, in the final scene, on the bathroom floor, I really liked how Mr. Laurie's eyes popped nice blue. Seemed like there were a lot less mid-tones. Could've been lighting but I think, obviously, the camera itself just records a lot less information than MP negative (obviously).

I think they also benefited a bit by showing it @720p, hence again down-rezzing it which would've covered up some of the compression artifacts . I did see some blocking in some scenes, and me thinks a little bit of aliasing. I gett my HD over the air, no cable compression or anything of the sort and I just got/calibrated (with bars and some nice wratten filters on my eyes) my 40" Bravia TV, and I'll say the colors looked ok -v- other episodes of house. some of the makeup didn't sell as much (bruise on his cheek looked faked)... and that's really all I got on it from the tail end.
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#3 Vincent Sweeney

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 10:52 PM

In the middle of watching it now. Pretty shocked that this is a $2500 camera with still lenses. Viewing it on a newer 46" plasma in HD via cable, never watched the show before.

So far the biggest issue for me is that it might have been better, overall, to use a 7D as the DoF seems overly shallow at times. The AC's really got a workout on this one. Few other issues, some wobble in handheld but not much, banding too but was that the camera?

What if no one knew it was an SLR? What would people say then?
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#4 Mathew Rudenberg

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 11:13 PM

So far the biggest issue for me is that it might have been better, overall, to use a 7D as the DoF seems overly shallow at times. The AC's really got a workout on this one.


Gale shot a lot of it on 1.0 and 1.2 lenses WFO specifically to get that shallow depth of field... so it was a choice more than a mistake. There were several wide shots that felt a little soft as well...

I have to say I was skeptical beforehand, but I think it looked very impressive - it certainly doesn't hurt that the sets and lighting lent itself to a contrastier look then the show usually has. I felt like the hospital stuff really showed how much more contrast the 5d has then their regular footage, although it may have been graded for that.

Some of the slightly wider angle close ups with the full frame sensor were rather incredible, unlike anything I've seen.

It makes me a little uncomfortable that it looks as good as it does - I still find the 5d hard to work with considering its monitoring issues, amongst others. Still I can't honestly see any reason footage of that quality isn't suitable for television.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 11:28 PM

I watched half of it in the 720P HD broadcast -- I'm surprised at how good it looked, knowing the limitations of the 5D. The darker, higher contrast scenes in low light hid some of the weaknesses, increased the sense of sharpness. It was only in some flatter, softer-lit wider shots that I thought it was a bit soft, the close-ups look very sharp, all that dirt & dust rendered quite nice. I liked the shallow focus look too, it helped focus your attention on the actors' eyes.
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#6 Gavin Greenwalt

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 11:42 AM

I haven't seen a good HD feed yet, only saw it on SD. The only egregious stuff I noticed was focus but who knows how much of that is just trying to shoot /1.2 with a FF35 sensor and how much was due to trying to use stills lenses.

Wasn't a fan of the shallower DOF, but that's just an aesthetic opinion. It just made it feel too much to me like it was all shot on a greenscreen.
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#7 Christopher Santucci

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 09:29 PM

What if no one knew it was an SLR? What would people say then?



Exactly.

.
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#8 Andrew Rieger

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 01:39 AM

I thought it looked good but there were some focus issues here and there. Other than that, it was quite impressive considering the cost of the cams. It looked good in HD but theater projection of 5D footage really shows off some of the flaws but I know that the Canon's will get better as they invest more in the technology. Keep in mind that Canon never designed the 5D's video mode for productions. Expect future versions to resolve many of these problems.

Once red's Scarlet shows up on the scene, expect Canon use professionally to take a hit until Canon fixes many of the problems.
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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 04:08 PM

Given the swingeing cheapness of British TV (while simultaneously being very very expensive) I probably won't get to see this in HD until about the year 2050.

However, one thing does spring to mind. There's been an awful lot of waxing lyrical about how difficult it was to deal with the shallow focus of the 5D, the Canon L-series lenses, the Bartech remote focus equipment, and how wonderfully everyone did.

But the thing is, and in fact the thing that's characteristic of the 5D, is that there are people shooting it all over the world who don't have L-series glass, Bartech remote focus gear, or the vast amounts of time and money that are lavished on House, including me. The first thing I ever shot on a 5D involved me operating and pulling focus on a 300mm Tamron zoom, which wasn't a great lens to start with, and yes we will be compared to multimillion dollar productions no matter how unfair it is. What we don't do is whine about it on the internet; we crack on and get it done.

I'm struck by the notion that if we took the camera department off House and put it on some of the stuff I do, they would be utterly, utterly helpless.
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#10 Michael Most

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 12:00 PM

... What we don't do is whine about it on the internet; we crack on and get it done.

I'm struck by the notion that if we took the camera department off House and put it on some of the stuff I do, they would be utterly, utterly helpless.


Thanks for reminding me that all of us who work in Los Angeles are really talentless hacks compared with your clearly superior skills, knowledge, and resultant level of success. I had begun to think that some of us actually knew what we were doing. Clearly, compared to you, we're all just babes in the woods and everything we get is purely the result of luck. Next time I see Gale Tattersall or any of his crew, I'll congratulate them on being lucky enough to somehow get their show on the air.
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#11 Christopher Arata

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 12:34 PM


The first thing I ever shot on a 5D involved me operating and pulling focus on a 300mm Tamron zoom, which wasn't a great lens to start with, and yes we will be compared to multimillion dollar productions no matter how unfair it is. What we don't do is whine about it on the internet; we crack on and get it done.

I'm struck by the notion that if we took the camera department off House and put it on some of the stuff I do, they would be utterly, utterly helpless.


I don't think anybody was whining, just explaining the challenge. In all fairness gale wanted the shallowest DOF as possible, so you can't really compare yourself with a 70-300mm Tamron Zoom that is probably around an f/4-f/5.6 to the guys on house working between an f/1.4 - f/2.8, point being you had more DOF they had less.

Personally I think it looked great! Also it was my favorite House episode yet, & not because it was shot on a 5D, that doesn't matter. The story was great.
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#12 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 01:13 PM

Also it was my favorite House episode yet, & not because it was shot on a 5D, that doesn't matter. The story was great.


Ultimately, that's ALL that matters. The worst story in the world shot in IMAX will still suck. The best story in the world shot with a consumer grade Magnavox "Movie Maker" will get that kid a three-picture deal.

It's all about choosing the best most proper tool for the job (which means not only technical concerns, but also financial and ergonomic) and getting all the shots for the day within the parameters of the technology, the schedule, and the budget. I promise "you" (everyone out there), that not one single non-combatant (not in the professional film industry) viewer who watched HOUSE either noticed that it was shot with a different technology or would give a crap if they found out.

Canon, RED, Panaflex, ARRI, Aaton... the audience doesn't care. They just don't. That's partly why all the kvetching about "line skipping" and other very techy talk just doesn't matter. In the grand scheme of things, it just doesn't. I mean, if Cameramen also plan to go to each venue (screening) and every television/computer monitor on the planet to personally adjust the settings so that every nuance of color and contrast is rendering "as intended,"... ok, then it might matter. But has anyone ever watched a movie on an airplane? :lol:
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#13 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 02:31 PM

Thanks for reminding me that all of us who work in Los Angeles are really talentless hacks compared with your clearly superior skills, knowledge, and resultant level of success. I had begun to think that some of us actually knew what we were doing. Clearly, compared to you, we're all just babes in the woods and everything we get is purely the result of luck. Next time I see Gale Tattersall or any of his crew, I'll congratulate them on being lucky enough to somehow get their show on the air.

 

Yes, that really was intended to be Most bait.

I don't intend to deconstruct everything that was said here, but I must just pick you up on one point of order: it isn't Gale Tattersall's show, it's not his crew's show, it is, according to Wikipedia, Universal Media Studios' show and it is owned wholesale and controlled by some (likely extremely unpleasant) people in business suits who probably care nothing - nothing whatsoever - more than that it makes money. So please, let's not make the assumption that big US studio drama is good or successful because anyone in charge really give a damn.

Anyway, that's not really the point. These people have effectively unlimited access to absolutely everything, and as such, well, you'd damn well expect it to be good. It would be highly offensive if they didn't produce near perfection, to be honest (the fact that at least the first several episodes of Lost looked like absolute arse is an example I tend to raise at moments like this). The sheer level of remuneration involved makes every mistake - every poorly-matched cut, every unwanted lens flare, every focus buzz or grainy bit of end-o-the-day underexposure that's been dragged up in the transfer - that much less excusable. Yes it's good. Of course it's good. Anything less would be repulsive. You might as well applaud a bird for flying.

What I resent about this is that I know many people - better people than myself, but let's be honest, myself also - who work harder, for longer hours, on worse material, for less money, less recognition, and, most depressingly of all, no matter how hard they work, less satisfying results. People will run themselves ragged for a shot that they know in the end is going to be less than stellar in order to express nothing more than that most unfashionable of sentiments - a sense of personal honour. I could name names, but I won't, because you wouldn't have heard of any of them, which is rather my point, I think.

So no, Michael. I'm never going to beat you in terms of the number of people who watch my work on television, and I'm not going to look like a fool trying, but I know who are the nicer people to work with, and I know who are more deserving of the praise that's heaped upon your pal Tattersall as a matter of course. Some of them work in Los Angeles, too.


P


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#14 georg lamshöft

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 03:28 PM

When I first heard about it, I thought it was a cheap marketing trick pushed by Canon because they talked always about shallow DoF but only mentioned f2.8-zooms (~DoF of S35 @ f2) but using >f1.4-lenses on a full-frame-HDSLR is of course a different thing.
I think it was well photographed (as always) but added a very specific look due to it's equipment - maybe it was the right choice for this specific episode but I think normally, equipment has to allow for a wide array looks - 35mm seems to be the superior choice in this regard, IMHO. I think the lack of tonal range & DR was quite noticeable (even with crappy SDTV).

"the audience doesn't care"
Well, they don't care about cinematography as well... But I think, at least on an unconscious level they feel the difference between a 35mm-show and one of the many HD-cam shows (mostly not sourced from HDSLRs, of course), ESPEACIALLY when video-content becomes more popular - it stands out, it feels more "cinematic", friends that know nothing about cinematography, HDSLRs, RED or 35mm have agreed on that.
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#15 Tom Hall

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 05:28 PM

the audience doesn't care.


The audience might not care but their brain does.

Public Enemies. Terrible.

When you say the audience doesn't care it that means you don't have very much respect about the audience. While the average person can't tell you what makes Inception look different from Baby's Day Out doesn't mean they don't find Inception much more satisfying of an experience.
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