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5D MKII


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#1 phil hawkins

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 10:27 PM

Can someone explain to me why everyone is so giddy over the 5D MKII video output given that:

1) It records video at resolutions that are less than some other 1080i dedicated video cameras in the same price range... (2 megs 5dMKII vs 2.9 meg for the Sony HVRA1U.)

2) Horrible audio/audio connections

3) No monitor

4) No autofocus

5) records maximum 12 minutes continuous vs 45 for DVCAM models (DPReview 5D MKII Specifications)

I like the use of the Canon "L" lenses, which is a great thing... but can someone clarify for me in simple technical terms why everyone is so ga-ga? It just seems like the hassle factor is very high in all other aspects of using the 5D MKII as a video source. Plus, I'd like to see a side-by-side output comparison of dedicated 1080i cameras in the same price range of the 5D MKII. Is this available on the net somewhere? I am obviously missing something...
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 03:51 AM

A shallow depth of field and sensitivity. It's a development of the 35mm adapter market, those devices tend to soften the image anyway, but you don't have the transmission loses on the DSLR.
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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 07:54 AM

Also, fairly good dynamic range and decent highlight handling.

I suspect that the pictures from a 5D are, overlooking the aliasing at least, better than people usually get out of groundglass adaptors.

P
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#4 Joe Hancuff

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 07:07 AM

Well as a 5D MKII shooter, my scenes never have the need to go over 12 minutes so that's not really an issue. If I'm doing some sort of videography, I'll use a proper video camera, but for cinema where my scenes are only a few seconds to a minute and some change max, that limitation never bothered me.

As far as audio is concerned I use a 5.1 mic on cage and my recordist uses a separate recorder for the boom and shotgun. I only use the 5.1 for ambiance and since the AGC was killed in the big firmware upgrade in June the audio is flatly responsive and predictable. I know that there are XLR breakout cables or adapters that you can buy that have both input and output but I haven't fully investigated those.

One of the biggest reasons you'd want to use a rig like this is yes, it's only 1080p, but the sensor is HUGE for 1080p. Light gathering is amazing and the ability to not only get the depth of field of say a 1.2L lens but to also utilize the light gathering ability of a 1.2L lens rivals any adapter rig on a standard camera.

I do have one gripe though, monitoring through the HDMI port isn't 1080p it's 480p... if you play back from the camera to the monitor it's 1080 but it defeats the purpose of spending so much money on high resolution field monitors.

As far as auto focus is concerned, that's a feature used more by videographers imho. I have a RedRockMicro follow focus on my rig and it does fine for pulling focus in most scenes. I have my own hang ups with that but that's outside the scope of my post. :)
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#5 phil hawkins

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 09:32 PM

Well as a 5D MKII shooter, my scenes never have the need to go over 12 minutes so that's not really an issue. If I'm doing some sort of videography, I'll use a proper video camera, but for cinema where my scenes are only a few seconds to a minute and some change max, that limitation never bothered me.

As far as audio is concerned I use a 5.1 mic on cage and my recordist uses a separate recorder for the boom and shotgun. I only use the 5.1 for ambiance and since the AGC was killed in the big firmware upgrade in June the audio is flatly responsive and predictable. I know that there are XLR breakout cables or adapters that you can buy that have both input and output but I haven't fully investigated those.

One of the biggest reasons you'd want to use a rig like this is yes, it's only 1080p, but the sensor is HUGE for 1080p. Light gathering is amazing and the ability to not only get the depth of field of say a 1.2L lens but to also utilize the light gathering ability of a 1.2L lens rivals any adapter rig on a standard camera.

I do have one gripe though, monitoring through the HDMI port isn't 1080p it's 480p... if you play back from the camera to the monitor it's 1080 but it defeats the purpose of spending so much money on high resolution field monitors.

As far as auto focus is concerned, that's a feature used more by videographers imho. I have a RedRockMicro follow focus on my rig and it does fine for pulling focus in most scenes. I have my own hang ups with that but that's outside the scope of my post. :)


Great response, Phil, just what I was looking for. Low-light image quality and dynamic range... makes sense. thanks!
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#6 Joe Hancuff

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 08:56 AM

Great response, Phil, just what I was looking for. Low-light image quality and dynamic range... makes sense. thanks!


Did you just call me Phil? You're Phil, remember? I'm Joe. :P
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#7 Chris Durham

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 09:54 AM

Can someone explain to me why everyone is so giddy over the 5D MKII


No, I really can't...
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#8 Hampus Bystrom

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 07:53 AM

No, I really can't...


Yeah, it's really hard to understand isn't it? A light-weight 1080p camera with great lowlight capabilities and interchangable high quality lenses for a fifth the cost of an EX1. Just an all around great camera for the struggling indie filmmaker who can't afford film or RED... I'm also clueless as to why people like it

[/SUPER-SARCASM OVER]

Edited by Hampus Bystrom, 06 September 2010 - 07:53 AM.

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#9 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 11:35 AM

Yeah, it's really hard to understand isn't it? A light-weight 1080p camera with great lowlight capabilities and interchangable high quality lenses for a fifth the cost of an EX1. Just an all around great camera for the struggling indie filmmaker who can't afford film or RED... I'm also clueless as to why people like it


Although getting it to a useful video camera does cost more than the base stills camera price. That said, if you're making films that suit these cameras they'll do good work for you.
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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 06:46 AM

A light-weight 1080p camera




Well, I think that's sort of the issue, isn't it? I'd be the first to affirm that it isn't really a 1080-line camera (in early 2009 I think I called it "not high def, but def-and-a-half" in an interview). I don't think anyone's under any illusions that the technical specification is anything other than fairly mediocre; the interest that exists is solely because of the pictures being so nice subjectively.


So, I'm not that sure it is about it being a cheap 1080 line camera. It may be about it being an extremely cheap reasonable-definition camera with extremely nice depth of field, noise, and dynamic range characteristics.


P


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#11 Hampus Bystrom

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 07:19 PM

I'd be the first to affirm that it isn't really a 1080-line camera (in early 2009 I think I called it "not high def, but def-and-a-half" in an interview)


Now you'll have to excuse my ignorance here, because my technical proficiency isn't that great, but I've heard this before. How isn't this a 1080p camera? It records 1920x1080 doesn't it? I mean I tried wikipeding (what's the verb of that?) it and it says plain and simple "The 5D Mark II is the first DSLR to feature 1080p video recording".
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#12 John Sprung

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 08:30 PM

How isn't this a 1080p camera?


Have a look at the Marconi charts that David Mullen posted a while back. Vertical resolution is significantly lower than horizontal on this camera. My understanding is that they just discard lines in order to make it fast enough for motion, which results in severe vertical undersampling. There's a lot more to this than just counting pixels.




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#13 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 09:03 PM

Really clever tricks, such as projecting patterns directly onto the surface of the sensor using very high precision semiconductor photolithography equipment, suggest that the 5D uses somewhat irregularly-shaped (though all identical) bins of pixels when in motion mode. I don't really know. It isn't very important.

What it's really about is this: I can take a standard def camera and scale it up to 1080p, but you wouldn't really call it a 1080p camera. Similarly, the picture from a 5D doesn't really have 1080 lines of information in it, and a Red doesn't really give you 4K of RGB picture, it just gives you an output image that's 4096 pixels wide. We're talking real resolution versus how you choose to record and view it.

P
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#14 Anthony Brooks

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 09:46 PM

What a question....heh

Well...lets see. It's more lightweight (as said above), tapeless workflow (WITHOUT the need of a huge hard drive to mount somewhere on the rig)...obviously if you bought a 5D or 7D, either you're not worried about sound OR you have really good sound people. I mean lets be honest, who professionally uses the on-board sound from ANY camera?

I could get into the whole sensor/resolution debate but its pointless. As it stands now, we all (if not film) prefer to shoot RED. Not everyone is at a point where they can just purchase, but renting is fast and easy. If you prefer to own it was definitely better (if you were purchasing a camera a year ago) to buy a 5D and use the best pieces of glass on the market more interchangeably without having to fork over and extra $3k+ for the best lens adapter mods ON TOP OF a $6k+ camera AND MORE for accessories...only to spend more buying or renting the best pieces of glass on the market. You'd might as well finance a RED if you wish to continue buying PRO HD Cameras.

The climate is/was/will always be ever-changing...and with innovation comes set-backs with ANY rig you buy. Just have to make smart decisions that are also congruent with what you're able to buy. If you ask me, I'd rent more anyway and let the Rental Houses take the depreciation hit once pieces of equipment fizzles in and out...unless of course you own RED

Edited by Anthony Brooks, 05 October 2010 - 09:48 PM.

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#15 Anthony Brooks

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 09:57 PM

So much of these conversations end up talking about resolution...years back it was frame rates...heh. Most are only reading numbers that are given to you by the manufacturers when they're the only ones that know FOR SURE. More thought should definitely go into filming quality projects. Because lets be honest, once something hits the internet it gets even harder to tell what was shot with what.
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#16 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 10:21 PM

As it stands now, we all (if not film) prefer to shoot RED.


No we don't.

Some of us choose our camera systems as appropriate to the project. Sometimes that's Red, sometimes it isn't. No matter what you hear about the Canon 7D or 5D, it is not the second coming. Same goes for the RED camera. They are just tools.
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#17 Rick Crane

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 08:43 AM

No we don't.

Some of us choose our camera systems as appropriate to the project. Sometimes that's Red, sometimes it isn't. No matter what you hear about the Canon 7D or 5D, it is not the second coming. Same goes for the RED camera. They are just tools.


Actually it's not what I've heard that sold me on the 5D Mark II, It was seeing the results with my own eyes. The full frame sensor is simply amazing and really lets you see the full range of the lenses that you use. The depth of field is fantastic, and there is no other camera with a sensor this size..Even the Red camera's sensor isn't this big. It really makes a difference in a side by side comparison, which I have done on several occasions.
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#18 Chris Keth

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 09:05 PM

The full frame sensor is simply amazing and really lets you see the full range of the lenses that you use.


It's a sensor. Not that amazing.

The depth of field is fantastic, and there is no other camera with a sensor this size.


Actually the depth of field is just physics. It's not f-ing magic. Just to keep accurate count, vistavision has this size frame and 65mm has this size frame and larger if you want to keep track of super-panavision's anamorphic 65mm.

It really makes a difference in a side by side comparison, which I have done on several occasions.


It also makes an image which your focus puller can't keep sharp. It's too much of a good thing. If you want to shoot a lot of beautiful static frames, it's awesome. If you actually want movement in your motion pictures, you better get to a T4, at least, on a 5d with good lenses before you can expect a minimum of buzzes and even that will come with a lot of marking, measuring, and rehearsal time.

Edited by Chris Keth, 16 October 2010 - 09:08 PM.

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#19 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 09:45 PM

I don't know about the sensor. It's technically rather inept, with serious problems. On the other hand, as I've said a million times, it does look subjectively very nice. It makes an image that pleases the eye, again, its technical problems aside, in a way that few other things do. Red doesn't create such a pretty picture.

I do agree that the depth of field is crazy, though. I've talked several people down from buying a 5D on the basis that it's so hard to keep sharp. The ability to have lots of focus control is nice; shooting vistavision all the time is a pain in the neck. People buying a 5D are doing it for the price point and they are not, by and large, the sort of people who will have money for ninja focus pullers. It is quite sensitive which does let you stop down but on balance I'd say get something smaller.

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#20 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 03:03 AM

Actually it's not what I've heard that sold me on the 5D Mark II, It was seeing the results with my own eyes. The full frame sensor is simply amazing and really lets you see the full range of the lenses that you use. The depth of field is fantastic, and there is no other camera with a sensor this size..Even the Red camera's sensor isn't this big. It really makes a difference in a side by side comparison, which I have done on several occasions.



Fantastic is a subjective term, what may fantastic in one picture may be awful in another, the right depth of field depends on what you wish to achieve. A very shallow depth of field can make the characters appear isolated, which I suspect may be the affect they were trying to achieve in "House". Focus pulling is an issue, especially with stills lenses with short and inaccurate scales, it's something to be taken on board it you're shooting on a tight schedule and a less experienced focus puller.
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