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Messages - joema

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EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Understanding Video Autofocus
« on: April 18, 2014, 08:56:06 PM »
Except in this case I was already wide open (f/2.8 on an f/2.8 lens), and without a flash installed (5D has no popup). Something else is happening.

In Live View or video shooting, there is only contrast detect AF. That becomes even more difficult in low light, or a low exposure. Probably to help the one-shot video AF obtain a focus lock, the algorithm is "if current exposure is below a certain level, momentarily increase ISO". It may also momentarily decrease shutter speed -- I don't know. It does cause a momentary brightening on the LCD, but not always.

Since the 5D3 AF system is designed primarily for stills, this fluctuation has no effect in that shooting mode. In video it does cause a slight disruption, but that was likely not a design priority several years ago when the design was frozen.

The 5D3 AF behavior is obviously not necessary, as other contemporaneous designs like the D800 don't do that. However they don't have perfect video AF either, and for serious DSLR video you typically use manual AF.

Back when the 5D3 was designed (possibly around 2010), the designer's viewpoint may have been a high-end HDSLR is normally not used for casual video, most serious videographers manually focus, and the then-available technology did not permit fast reliable video AF in a shallow DOF situation at an achievable price point. Thus they may have used a somewhat rudimentary single-shot video AF system, and the brightness variation during video AF was a stopgap to improve AF lock performance. I'm just guessing.

Time and technology march on, and it's likely the 5D Mark IV will have a greatly improved video AF system. Newer cameras like the Lumix GH4 and Canon 70D show improved video AF is possible in DSLR or similar cameras. However those cameras (even though newer) don't have the low-light performance of the 5D3.

The problem is at that market segment you have to deliver superb low light performance, and anything you put on the sensor like phase detect pixels could theoretically degrade that. There are also issues with legacy lenses and how well they can be made to work for video AF. E.g, the 70D or Lumix GH4 only produce best video AF performance with certain lenses.

...I  was told it doesn't autofocus in video...

The 5D3 will autofocus in video, both before and while rolling. However this is single-shot AF, not continuous AF and you must trigger this by pressing the AF-ON button. That single-shot AF can be either contrast detect or phase detect (quick mode, if not rolling).

If done while rolling video, a slight brightness glitch will be recorded, which you'll either have to accept or edit out.

For casual hand-held video, image stabilization is vital. I would strongly suggest you use a 24-105 f/4 or similar lens which gives IS plus a decent zoom range.

You can put the camera in programmed auto and just shoot video. However the shutter speed will not be maintained at 2x the frame rate (1/60th for 30 fps). This may cause strobing effects for moving subjects under some conditions. http://tylerginter.tumblr.com/post/11480534977/180-degree-shutter-learn-it-live-it-love-it

Also in bright conditions the aperture will stop down, so you lose the cinematic shallow depth of field. Maintaining a wide aperture *and* 1/60th shutter speed generally requires a variable ND filter for outdoors. However this is yet another manual item you'd have to control. For pro video work we always shoot fully manual (except sometimes auto ISO), check exposure using zebras and focus using color peaking on an EVF. However that's too much hassle for a vacation video.

You'll have the 5D3 with you, and likely you don't want to take a separate camcorder, and want something better than a cell phone video. Just using full auto will at least get some footage. Make sure you take extra batteries because they are consumed much faster in video mode.

As already stated the build-in mic is limited, even a less expensive hot shoe mic would be better. Using IPB (not All-I) at 1080p/30 or 1080p/25 is probably best. You will likely be displaying it on a 30 or 25 fps viewing device.

I suggest you shoot some test material in various conditions beforehand to get accustomed to how it works.

I might run it through Davinci....do the color correction/grading and then export out for use by either FCPX or Premier....but not sure if the IPB workflow is that straight forward?...I would prefer to grade after editing of course....however, the footage I've shot...needs video noise reduction....I'm buying the NEAT Video de-noiser, and it runs either on FCPX or Premier...I've found Resolve won't handle all the edits and effects you put in with FCPX, etc...requiring one to edit, grade and then send back at least on last time to FCPX to add those effects back in....is it easier to just grade all out of camera footage in resolve and then send that to the NLE for editing (I might try Premier this time, trying to learn that tool)....

I shoot most of my 5D3 documentary video using IPB, sometimes up to ISO 12,800. In general it looks very good, and to me ALL-I isn't worth it.  I have NEAT, which works well in Premiere Pro CS6 -- it's just an effect you add to the timeline clip.

As already stated, if at all possible you don't want to:

(1) Grade all your footage: On a very small project with 2:1 shooting ratio, you might be able to do it. On a larger project with a higher shooting ratio, it would be impossible: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_ratio

(2) Import and grade rendered footage: Re-editing any rendered footage is a hassle. Neither CS6 nor FCPX have scene detection. You'd have to re-razor each clip, that's a lot of work, and easy to make mistakes. For a small project it's doable but isn't a scalable solution.

I use CS6 but work collaboratively with people using FCPX. They are both good products, but have very different UI philosophies. If you are familiar with FCPX, I'd suggest prioritizing finding a solution to the Resolve round-trip issue, not switch to CS6. The main advantage of CS6 is it enables Windows platforms, which might have certain cost or feature benefits (FCPX is Mac only). If you are solely Mac based, CS6 runs there but I'd suggest sticking with FCPX unless you have a compelling interest in learning CS6 or other factors necessitate it.

I did a quick query on FCPX and Davinci Resolve, and apparently there are several videos describing how to do it. Have you checked those?

...I want a camera that I can ALWAYS carry around in my purse and one can't really do that with a 60D. Also, I will be buying the Fuji X-ex1 for $800 with a lense from a family member. So does this change anyones thoughts on Fuji X-EX1 vs Canon SL-1?

I borrowed a NEX-6 and used it on vacation. The EVF is very good, video is decent, low light capability is good, panorama and built-in HDR good, an the 16-50mm kit lens is extremely compact. It is one of the few APS-C sensor cameras with a zoom lens that can stored in a purse or large pocket.

That said I didn't like it. The UI is extremely menu oriented, with the Setup menu having so many pages the scroll bar is just a tiny sliver. While I got pretty good results, it felt like a gadget not a camera. A number of NEX-6's have a "camera error" flaw which locks up the camera if the electronic front curtain shutter is used. It can only be fixed by returning it for service.

I haven't used a X-E1 but have used a friend's X20, which has a roughly similar control layout. The Fuji felt like a camera and was pleasant to use.

The SL1 is very small for a DSLR and is a good alternative to enthusiast mirrorless cameras. It is much less expensive than the NEX-6 but will definitely not fit in a pocket or purse with the kit lens.

You will probably be very happy with the X-E1. Another pocketable alternative is the Sony RX100 II. Despite any possible UI issues, it is very small, has a 1" sensor, and I've seen many great shots from them. However it does not have a built-in EVF or OVF.

...EVF Pro looks like what I need, but that cost is steep. If I start making real money from these videos i'll have to invest in one.

I also agonized a long time before getting it. It is the best money I've ever spent on DSLR video. It absolutely transforms my ability to nail focus and exposure, plus the additional contact points helps stabilization.

You have other options at lower price points. The Zacuto Z-Finder (several models available) are good. There are competing products from Hoodman: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/573167-REG/Hoodman_H_LPP3_HoodLoupe_Professional_LCD_Screen.html and Cinevate: http://www.cinevate.com/store2/cyclops-viewfinder.html#sthash.RQV9s3yl.dpbs

RedRock Micro announced an EVF back in 2011, but they have not shipped it yet: http://store.redrockmicro.com/EVF

Cineroid has an EVF that's a little cheaper than the Zacuto: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=982065&Q=&is=REG&A=details

Your best low-cost approach is an LCD loupe of some kind. This also avoids the HDMI sync delays (a few sec) when you switch between still and video mode.

it would be nice if the af  points lit up when  the subject was in focus.   and then we could compose based on af  point location  and adjust the focus ring and stop when it lights  up.

The AF points are deactivated and physically removed from the light path when the mirror is up in video mode. This diagram is with the mirror down, but you can see when the primary and secondary mirrors flip up (Live View mode), no light reaches the phase-detect AF sensors: http://leongoodman.tripod.com/d70/dslrchartweb500.jpg

As already stated, ML will give focus peaking assistance, however it's not available in a stable build on some cameras, and not available for the 5D3 running 1.2.1 firmware. This means you couldn't have clean HDMI out, or use cross-type AF point at f/8, or any other features and enhancements of 1.2.1.

One solution is using a clip-on LCD loupe to magnify the LCD. Several companies make these; I've used the Zacuto Z-Finder which is good.

Another solution is a field monitor which has focus peaking built in. Yet another is an EVF.

The Zacuto EVF Pro is my preferred solution since it provides another point of contact to stabilize the camera, shields your eye in bright conditions, is more private than a field monitor, plus has focus peaking and zebra exposure aids.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: 7D vs 5Diii for video?
« on: October 19, 2013, 04:18:57 PM »
When people talk about broadcast standards they mean the published standards which broadcasters such as the BBC will accept as main camera footage for a broadcast program....So there is a reason that people don't call 4:2:0 material broadcast standard - because broadcasters wont accept full programs shot that way. I'm pretty sure last time I read them properly they specified a data rate of 50mb/s too...

There is no single broadcast standard. There are many individual broadcast standards, elements of which are determined arbitrarily and without technical foundation.

There is no clearer example of this than the BBC not accepting high-def 720p material, even when captured with true broadcast *studio* cameras. No matter what the color space, no matter how high the bit rate, the BBC views 720p as "non-HD", and will not permit it except in small snippets. This is despite ABC, FOX, ESPN, and A&E broadcasting exclusively in 720p.

In fact Oscar-winning movies such as Black Swan, parts of which were shot on a Canon 7D, cannot be shown on BBC One HD for this reason. That movie was also nominated for an Oscar in cinematography. See attached frame grab and matching production still.

BBC Content Delivery Guidelines: http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/dq/pdf/tv/tv_delivery_of_programmes_to_worldwide_v1.0-2011.pdf

Discussion: http://www.britishcinematographer.co.uk/articles/125-the-great-debate-16mm-film-p2.html

Of course the BBC is free to set whatever standards they want. For all I know, they may soon decide to only accept 4k at a gigabit per sec.

However I don't see how the BBC issue relates to whether a 7D, 5D3 or any similar camera is suitable for the type of video 99.9% of the people here are shooting. If you are producing "A" camera content for BBC, a DSLR won't suffice. Who here is doing that? If not, then why be influenced in the slightest by those standards, which obviously have little relationship to producing highly meritable material.

....Moreover as someone else said, beware of IS noise, the rode video mic mounted to the hot show WILL pick it up; make no mistake!...

I definitely disagree with that. I have shot many hours of material with a 5D3, hot shoe-mounted Rode Video Mic Pro and 24-105 and 70-200 2.8 IS II, both with IS on. I have never heard any audio noise recorded from the lens stabilization micro motors. Maybe you could hear it in a quiet room shooting an interview, but that is not the situation the OP described.

The OP made clear he'll be shooting hand-held and monopod video, and using the 70-200. Without IS it is very difficult to get usable material hand held, and even monopod shots with the 70-200 can be shakey. In the scenario he described the proven need for stabilization is more important than the unproven problem of audio noise from IS. I have spent hours in post scrubbing through hand-held and monopod DSLR video shot with non-stabilized lenses, trying to find usable clips. Without IS your % of usable material is much lower.

If he uses a hot shoe-mounted EVF, the Rode mic wouldn't be mounted there anyway. It would be on a simple bracket like this one which further removes it from the camera: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=918053&Q=&is=REG&A=details

..."the largest gathering of brides, in wedding dresses"...and then a pub crawl afterwards...This is in Sept, starts at 4pm....goes through evening...as the evening goes on....what do do about lights? and with me on foot for quite a bit of distance...I can't carry a ton of equipment by myself, and I'm likely to be a one man band here. I have my manfroto monopod with fluid head...I'll be bringing that...I have my sling bag...and figure I can carry my 70-200mm f/2.8.....my 17-40mm f/4....But I have no portable lights. Should I invest in some sort of small, portable LED lights?

I got a wedding reception at a dark venue with a 5D3, Manfrotto tripod, 17-40, 24-105 and 70-200 2.8 IS II. The material looked good even at ISO 12,800. Yes there was some noise but it's so dark you can't get the footage any other way and it looks atmospheric. Mic was Rode VideoMic Pro, but audio wasn't vital since much of the final material was covered by music added in post.

If you need to capture spoken word audio, using a remote mic or external recorder is good, if possible.

I used manual focus and a Zacuto EVF Pro, which was very useful. The 70-200 2.8 is a superb video lens even in crowded venues since it allows highly selective focus on the subject. It makes everything look cinematic.

I have LED lights but did not consider those since it can be intrusive if you want candid material. For more formal shots they're very helpful.

IMO using manual focus and a focus aid such as a loupe or EVF are vital for this type of event.

As others said, you really need another camera or assistant. Changing lenses all the time is a good way to miss key happenings.

If you have no recharging opportunities, you'll need at least three batteries, preferably four or five. It's better to not even try and recharge -- it's just one more drain on your limited bandwidth.

Whatever your configuration, you'll need practice before the event to make sure it all works. It is extremely easy to forget to turn on an external mic, forget how to change ISO while rolling video, forget how to adjust mic gain when the quick control dial switches to touch mode, etc.

For a loupe or EVF, all the fittings, screws, cables, etc. should be thoroughly checked out and practiced beforehand. If an EVF or field monitor is used, they have their own menus, modes and controls which should be well practiced.

Remember the 70-200 requires a tripod adapter (which comes with the lens); don't forget to take that. Have several quick-disconnect plates so you don't have to change from camera base to lens tripod adapter.

If it's the Manfrotto 561 BHDV monopod, test the ball mount thoroughly and make sure it doesn't stick or pop. Some of them do and can easily spoil a take by imparting a jerk to an otherwise-smooth pan or tilt motion. If it sticks you may be able to lubricate it, but do all that beforehand.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Canon XA20/XA25
« on: June 21, 2013, 09:04:49 AM »
Has anyone here had a chance to try the new XA20 or XA25 (only difference - apart from the price - between the two is the HD/SD-SDI output)? If so, what are your thoughts?

The XA20, XA25 and HF G30 all use the same optics and image processing. They will be released on June 30. My co-worker will be getting an XA25 and I'll get a G30. We do documentary work and will use those in addition to our 5D3 and D800 DSLRs. I have the HF G10 now, and it's an excellent camera and if shot properly cuts together with 5D3 footage acceptably.

Whether you need SDI output depends on your work environment. We already have a monitors, EVFs, etc that use HDMI. SDI is a much better designed interface, both mechanically and electronically, and is the standard for pro video. However BlackMagicDesign.com makes converters.

The XA cameras are nice because in the real world you frequently end up hanging stuff off your camera (mics, lights, interface boxes, etc), plus often need XLR inputs and channel-selectable audio inputs. The handle provides mounting points for that. OTOH if you don't need that, the G30 produces similar image quality.

I'll try to post an update next month after we get these and evaluate them.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: ALL-I or IPB?
« on: June 20, 2013, 11:56:34 AM »
If you WERE shooting LOTS of motion (indooor sports, for example) with the 5dIII, what would be your 'ideal' workflow, settings? Output goal is both web viewing and DVD's.  I have Premiere PRO already... and was debating value of NINJA 2 for HDMI output recording to improve upon my previous attempts...

You might consider 720p/60, which gives smoother motion and good 1/2 speed slo mo. Re encoding (IPB vs All-I vs uncompressed to Ninja vs raw), ML raw is pre-Alpha, so I wouldn't trust it for a production shoot. All-I is theoretically better for motion than IPB, but whether in reality this would be visible at DVD resolution is unclear. Uncompressed HDMI might be better yet, but the issue is can you tell the difference at the final output resolution, and (if so) is the degree of improvement worth it?

I use Premiere Pro CS6 on a 4Ghz Windows machine and have no problem editing either IPB or All-I, without transcoding.

I looked at your videos; if you have access to a 2nd video camera or HDSLR, you could do a two camera shoot with one wide and one hand-held for close-ups. I have cut between a 5D3 and Canon HF G10 camcorder, and it looks OK. Premiere Pro multi-cam editing is much easier than manually cutting. Hand-held essentially requires an optically stabilized lens like a 24-105 f/4 or 70-200 f/2.8 IS II. Otherwise you could try a tripod or monopod.

I have a Canon 60D + 50mm F1.8 lens

I shoot today. Damn!! Over exposed!!...I wanted the blurred background look
The aperture was pushed up to a higher value and no longer changeable...What am I doing wrong?

This is a very common problem, especially for new DSLR videographers. It can be especially confusing if you're used to a camcorder. On a consumer camcorder the depth of field is deep, so you don't lose much by stopping down, some have built-in ND filters, and more adjustable video gain.

A flexible solution for DLSRs is using a variable ND filter. On this variable ND shootout, the Tiffen was well rated. I use it on my 5D3 and it's very good: http://www.learningdslrvideo.com/variable-nd-filter-shootout/

The other solution is stopping down but using a longer focal length. I sometimes shoot interviews at 280mm @ f/4 on my 5D3 which is equal to 175mm on your 60D. If you had a 70-200 f/4, at 175mm you could stop down to f/8 at a 20 ft camera-to-subject distance and have about the same depth of field as 50mm @ f/1.8 at 10 ft: http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

F/8 is 4 1/3 stops darker than f/1.8 so that might be enough to maintain your shutter speed -- on a cloudy day, but not in bright sun.

As a last resort you can increase shutter speed and sometimes on an interview or static subject you can get away with it, but it's risky. It can cause strobing, especially if anything is moving -- even out-of-focus tree leaves in the background.

The problem is a sun-lit subject is incredibly bright. You don't notice this because your eyes are so adjustable. They can handle starlight at 0.0001 lux to a sun-lit beach at 100,000 lux -- a billion-to-one range. Without aids like a ND filter, a video camera cannot handle this.

At a fixed shutter speed and ISO 100, a sun-lit subject will need either 1/8000th sec or f/22 or some combination to balance the exposure. If you want f/1.8, your 60D might over-expose even at 1/8000th, it's maximum shutter speed: http://www.calculator.org/calculate-online/photography/exposure.aspx

I'd suggest something like a 70-200 f/4 lens, coupled with a variable ND filter. That gives you (a) More flexibility at subject-to-camera distance, (b) Ability to stop down and maintain shallow DOF, (c) Variable ND to dial down light and maintain a wider aperture.

1080p is 1920 x 1080 at 30 frames per sec (rounded off), 720p is 1280 x 720 @ 60 frames/sec.

The TV networks ABC, FOX, ESPN and A&E use only 720p/60. Most others use 1080/30. So both 1080/30 and 720p/60 are truly HD and both part of the ATSC HD standard.

1080p/30 gives higher static resolution but lower temporal resolution. At certain rates of camera or subject motion, the effective resolution of 1080p/30 will drop below 720p/60.

In general I'd suggest using 1080p/30, and create the Premiere Project for that resolution and frame rate. For brief slow motion sequences use 720p/60, which plays smoothly at 1/2 speed. You can drop 720p material into a Premiere 1080p project. You can intercut between the two types although each 720p clip will require upscaling, else it will look slightly window boxed.

On many DSLR cameras aliasing (the stair-step jaggy effect on straight lines) is worse at 720p, so that's another reason to prefer 1080p unless otherwise needed.

Once the project is finished you can render the output at whatever resolution you want. E.g, for Youtube H.264 at 720p/30 is much more time and space efficient than 1080p/30.

For playing the video in a classroom you can render an MP4 file at 1080p/30 and play from a laptop or other device. However at the typical classroom viewing distance it's unlikely they could see the difference between 720p and 1080p, or maybe not even DVD at 480p.

If you have Premiere Pro and ability to burn a Blu-Ray and the classroom has a player you can burn a Blu-Ray disc.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: DSLR Video Questions.
« on: June 03, 2013, 11:37:11 AM »
Although I am a professional DOP working on RED, Alexia etc, I now am doing a job for the first time on DSLR ...5d3, 1dx Zeiss 14 2.8, Zeiss 35 f1.4, Zeiss 135 f2 (on its way)

I shoot lots of video documentary material using the 5D3. Despite your experience, a video DSLR is complex. You'll need to practice all the modes and "switchology" ahead of time.

If you shoot any hand-held or monopod material, an optically stabilized lens is important. I use the 24-105 f/4 and 70-200 f/2.8 IS II a lot; they are both good. The 70-200 is big and expensive but the images are beautiful. It facilitates getting shots of opportunity. If you're doing mostly scripted narrative work, that's less an issue.

Quote from: sanj
Lexar 1000x 32gb UDMA 7 card

You will need at least three 32GB 1000x cards -- per camera, maybe more. That's for 1080p/30 IPB video (the most space efficient type). If you use ALL-I which takes about 3x the space, you'll need more.

I'd also suggest a USB 3.0 CF card reader. I use this one; it works well: http://www.amazon.com/Hoodman-Ruggedized-Steel-Superspeed-Reader/dp/B005UEB6OK Make sure your PC accomodates USB 3.0. If not USB 2.0 will work it's just 3x slower.

Despite all the talk about lower-compression formats, I find that IPB looks very good and avoids the complexity of All-I, HDMI external recording or raw video.

Batteries: besides the CF card, you'll need several LP-E6 batteries. If you get a Zacuto EVF Pro, it uses the same battery. For two DSLRs, I'd suggest a total of four extra batteries minimum, preferably six. Add one more for the Zacuto EVF, which (unlike the DSLR) will last all day on one battery.

Quote from: sanj
A three year old Imac for editing.

I use Premiere Pro CS6 on Windows 7; my PC is about three years old but is a quad-core 16GB machine at 4 Ghz with a GTX-660 video card. Your performance will depend on what editing software you use.

Quote from: sanj
I will be going to small villages and shoot lifestyles of people as artistically as I can. Mostly decent light, occasionally low light.  I will shoot lots of interviews with audio. I have a focus puller and lighting assistant.

You'll need an external mic,  whether recorded in camera or external. I've used a boom-operated Rode NTG-2 shotgun to both camera and external Zoom recorder, also Sennheiser EW 100 ENG G3 wireless lav: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/618735-REG/Sennheiser_EW_100_ENG_G3_A_Evolution_G3_100_Series.html, and the cheaper Canon WM-V1 wireless bluetooth lipstick mic: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/751267-REG/Canon_5068B001_WM_V1_Wireless_Microphone.html

After using all that, my preference for interviews is the Sennheiser G3 concealed in a clipboard which the interviewer holds near the subject. Camera is backed off from the subject using a 70-200 f/2.8 at 200 mm @ 2.8. This is not a covert interview, the subject knows both mic and camera are there. However getting the camera out of their face gives more natural response. Having the mic non-visible (vs a boom-operated shotgun in their face) also helps. Camera is typically hand-held (for brief interviews) or monopod-mounted.

Quote from: sanj
1.   Do I need another monitor besides the LCD on the camera to check focus etc?

Yes. You can either use a field monitor or LCD. I've used both and my preference (by far) is the Zacuto EVF Pro. It's a professional-quality tool and has adjustable diopter, focus peaking, zebras, one-touch zoom, etc: http://www.zacuto.com/zfinderevf
http://store.zacuto.com/z-finder-evf-pro/  You'll need a "Gorilla plate" and LCD mounting frame. Talk to Zacuto; they'll help you out.

Quote from: sanj
2.   Which is the best slider for price for DSLR?

I use the 40.5" Kessler Stealth slider; it has adjustable tension and is well made: http://www.kesslercrane.com/product-p/stealth_standard.htm

Quote from: sanj
3.   Which is the best way to record audio? Do I record on camera or external recorder and sync using a slate? I have a BeachTek DXA-SLR available for free. Is it any good?

My colleague uses this on his D800; he likes it. For simple productions I see no problem with recording audio to camera input (using an external mic). For multi-cam shoots you only need one camera with primary sound, on the other cameras the onboard mic is OK for sync'ing to that.

DO NOT use audio automatic gain, set input gain manually. Monitor all audio with headphones.

Note the 5D3 audio controls are tricky: when not rolling, the thumb wheel "click" controller adjust it. When rolling, the thumbwheel switches to a touch-sensitive, accessed via the "Q" button. Practice ahead of time.

DSLRs typically record one stereo audio track. If you want to record ambient sound plus the interview vocals you'll need to split this to L/R using the BeachTek or have another recorder.

For syncing audio/video or multi-cam audio, I've used PluralEyes; it's not perfect but helps: http://www.redgiant.com/products/all/pluraleyes/

Quote from: sanj
4.   Should I use Magic Lantern software or original Canon RAW? If magic lantern, then which version?

ML is not available in production version for the MK III. It's a great product but I would not use the current pre-alpha version for critical work. I definitely would not use raw video (only available via pre-alpha ML).

Quote from: sanj
5.   What is the ideal ISO for video? And if not ideal, what is the acceptable range for noise free work.

If you need to get the shot, you can use fairly high ISO. I have shot wedding and documentary video at 12,800 and it looks good. You'll need to make test shots in the field to verify they're OK for your standards.

Quote from: sanj
6.   Is 1/50 the only shutter speed to work at or it does not matter?

Your shutter speed should be the closest available speed to 2x the frame rate. E.g, 1/50th sec for 1080p/24, or 1/60th sec for 1080p/30. Not using this can cause a strobing effect like the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. See 180 deg. shutter rule: http://tylerginter.com/post/11480534977/180-degree-shutter-learn-it-live-it-love-it

Quote from: sanj
7.   Will my Imac be ok for the edit? I will not buy an Imac now until it is refreshed, but just want to prepare myself on the speed of edit.

As stated above it depends on your editing software and iMac memory/disk config.

Other items:

You'll definitely need a variable-ND filter or drop-in filters on a matte box. I use the Tiffen variable ND filter; it works well. However it conflicts with the lens hood, so if you need both a 3rd party lens hood or matte box is needed. Note the ND filter is mandatory. You cannot shoot video outdoors at wide aperture without one, unless you vary the shutter speed which isn't desirable.

In general the best camera mode for video is manual, with auto ISO enabled. This gives some auto-exposure freedom, yet locks the shutter speed for the 180 deg. rule. Do not shoot in programed mode or aperture priority, which will allow the shutter speed to float.

For slating the shot, I use the Movie*Slate app on an iPad. It is very sophisticated and can do many things, inc'l upload the shot list to your PC and optional wireless timecode: http://www.movie-slate.com/ Slating shots works best for pre-arranged setups. It does not work for quickly-emerging shots of opportunity.

For fluid situations if you slate multiple cameras and start rolling, you can easily burn up lots of battery and memory waiting for the event to happen. DSLRs will time out after 30 min which breaks the take, which squanders the slate's synchronization benefit.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Microphones
« on: May 31, 2013, 06:26:48 AM »
...I'm going to make some videos.  They will be of someone talking.  They will be made indoors with no other distracting sounds that need to be blocked out...

I use a Rode NTG-2, Rode VideoMicPro, Zoom and Tascam field recorders and several wireless lavs inc'l Sennheiser G3. For your situation I would not recommend a shotgun mic, whether camera-mounted or boom-mounted. Rather I'd suggest a Canon WM-V1 wireless "lipstick" mic: http://shopper.cnet.com/headphones-headsets/canon-wm-v1-wireless/4014-6468_9-34581063.html

It's only about $210, and produces great sound. You may not need wireless right now, but it's a big convenience and you'll end up using it much more than a cheap wired mic.

Contrary to popular belief, the strength of a shotgun mic is NOT sensitivity. They are not like an audio telescope. Rather they're good at rejecting unwanted noise. The goal in positioning a shotgun is put the broad side toward the noise. Thus you see them positioned at 45-60 deg. below the subject pointing up, or 45-60 deg. above the subject pointed down. Shotguns often have a rear pickup lobe which picks up unwanted sound from the rear -- another reason for the 45 deg. aiming convention.

In a room without much noise there are still often acoustic issues -- echoes, etc. This produces a hollow, cheap, "amateur camcorder"-type sound. Getting the mic close to the subject is the answer. This can be wired, wireless, shotgun, lav, etc. However of all these I find the wireless lav or even the Canon WM-V1 is often the most convenient.

Another approach is a separate audio field recorder. A Tascam DR-08 is only about $90, and works much better than an on-camera mic. However you have to position it *close* to the subject, keep it out of the frame, etc: http://www.amazon.com/Tascam-DR-05-Portable-Digital-Recorder/dp/B004OA6JW0 Then in post you must sync the audio and video.

Make sure you monitor the audio with earphones or headphones when recording. Ideally use manual input audio gain, if your camera supports that. Auto gain control on audio often causes clipping, flat-topping, and ramps up gain during pauses in speaking which increases background noise.

Sound is critically important in video. If you think about old grade C low-budget movies, poor audio is the main tipoff of the low production value. To paraphrase Yogi Berra, video may be 90% visual but the other half is audio. Viewers are actually more accepting of poor quality video than poor audio.

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