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5D Mark II and Jimmy Jib


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#1 Brian Baker

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 04:58 PM

Hey community -- been a while since I've posted, hope everyone is well and busy.

A shoot I'm helping put together is considering renting a 40ft Jimmy Jib, in order to capture the magnitude of a 10,000+ person event. The producer's thought was to use the Canon 5D Mark II for this shot -- but I'm pretty sure that the 5D doesn't have the proper "interface" to enable remote control capabilities (pan, tilt, focus) of the Jimmy jib.

Would anyone be able to confirm or deny this? I'm not entirely sure if the two can mesh electronically -- my only experiences with the Mark II and jibs have been with small Porta-Jib setups (Manual operator + manual boom arm.)

Thanks kindly!
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 06:47 PM

The pan and tilt on a Jimmy Jib is an intrinsic part of the camera head; there should be no problem with that. I believe the 5D gives you a composite output which should be adequate for the operator to frame, if not focus.

Most Jimmy Jibs I've seen use either the supplied servo focus arrangements, which are designed to mesh with the gearing on a cine or broadcast video lens, or a third party radio remote focus of the Bartech/Preston sort of ilk, which works in much the same way. If you're using still photography lenses, this may be a problem, because those lenses won't by default have gearing and you will have trouble judging HD (or HD-ish) focus on a composite feed. There are various proprietary attachments you can strap onto still photography lenses which will get you out of this problem, or you can look for different manual lenses which have gearing by default, as well as inbuilt hard stops to prevent you running over the end of an infinitely-rotating still photography lens's focus control.

You will also need to sort out some sort of record start/stop arrangements - I'm not sure what the situation is with remote start on the 5D as I've never had to do it, but I think there are some devices available which use the infra-red remote control, or you could look into firmware mods that allow you to do it in other ways.

Quite doable, but you'll need to work on that remote focus (and potentially iris and zoom) control unless you're willing to be stuck with super-wide angle lenses and fixed focus.

P
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#3 Brian Baker

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 07:50 PM

Phil,

Thanks a lot for your response. I knew there was some sort of mis-match that needed to be accounted for, but wasn't sure what.

I'll pass the info along to my producers. They may be fine with staying super wide and at a high f/stop the whole shoot -- seeing as all they're focus is "magnitude" and they'll be shooting outdoors and in direct sun all day. If not,

They are using photo lenses on the 5D, so this is a concern to look into. But good thing is we have access to another HD camcorder -- don't know the model or specs, but I do know it is a professional video camera, aka an actual video camera =D That'd be nice option because it'd also let the Jib Operator zoom in/out.

I'm not sure about the remote start situation either -- but the obvious work around of manually start/stopping the camera is always there...

Again, thanks for your advice. We appreciate it.

BtB
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 09:05 PM

You can also look into the Compact Prime lenses which have the canon mount and are geared cine-style and cine throw lenses. Well worth the rental.
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#5 DJ Kast

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 10:16 AM

Jag 35 has also made some remote control zoom and follow focus systems that are around 500 bucks. might be worth a look if you dont end up shooting with an actual video camera. :D
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#6 DJ Kast

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 10:21 AM

Oh! As far as the starting and stopping of the camera, I think a Professor Farnsworth has invented something called the fing-longer for that.
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