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Messages - dmills

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Software & Accessories / Re: Eye-Fi Card Reliability
« on: February 10, 2014, 07:53:49 AM »
Gotcha, thanks for the reply. I don't know if I'd say the reliability is 'bad'. It's more that, like you said, it takes some time before the different devices start playing nice. I've found that if I'm consistently taking photos (at least 1 photo every 10-15s), it will work (mostly) without fail. It's more that when they take a break or there's some downtime, that it doesn't want to pick things back up where they were.

Any recommendations for a portable router anyone?

Software & Accessories / Eye-Fi Card Reliability
« on: February 10, 2014, 02:38:10 AM »
I've been using an eye-fi card for about a year and a half now, and generally, it's been ok. Here's what I do:
With my 5d3, I shoot full-size RAW to my CF card and Medium JPG to my eye-fi 8gb card in the SD slot. I don't (usually) shoot professionally, but I do shoot photos related to my job as a school principal. (Events, etc) For most of my personal photos, I want and use the RAW photos. For most of the school photos, I just take the jpgs as they are and use those (even Medium JPG are plenty big enough for photo album size photos, and web).

Bringing it back to the eye-fi card, when I am shooting events where I'm sitting down and watching, I love to have the eye-fi card sending to shutter snitch. My wife and I can view the images as I'm shooting them, and she can even share them on facebook/blog post straight from the event while I'm shooting. These events aren't in places with wi-fi, so I rely on the eye-fi card's ad-hoc network.

And now my question: Though the reliability is generally good, I notice that the eye-fi card and the ipad seem to fairly often lose connection. I can fix the problem by opening up the ipad settings and reselecting the eye-fi network, but I wondered if there was a way to boost the reliability of the setup. Would adding a wireless router into the mix (Eye-fi -> Wireless Router -> Shuttersnitch) make things more reliable? Or would adding in another device actually complicate matters? Also, would there be any affect on the speed of the file transfers? I know that the base components are still the same, but I wondered if the eye-fi card having to create its own ad-hoc network slowed the speed compared to just connected to a wireless network.

Does anyone use a portable wireless router with an eye-fi card + ipad with any success? The only thing I could find on the forum was a post (with no replies) saying that every option was unreliable. While I haven't found that to be the case, I wondered what other people in similar situations were doing.


I'd also recommend the 100L as being the lens that would fit both your macro and fashion needs.

That being said, depending on how much other work you do, you may find that a different lens + an extension tube might suit your needs better. You didn't mention whether you use a full-frame or crop sensor camera. While the 100L is a fantastic lens, it won't give you the shallow depth of field that the 85 1.8 would give you.

When I shot primarily on a 60D, I found the 24-105 to be my most useful lens (Even though I owned a 70-200 2.8 IS II). Now that I shoot mostly with a 5D3, my go to lens is the 70-200.

So, in summary, I'd say that if you ONLY need a lens for the two uses you mentioned (macro + fashion), the 100L is your best bet. If you shoot much of anything else, especially outside the studio, and you have a full frame camera, you might be better served by the tremendously more versatile 70-200 + extension tube (just the 12mm, you don't need the 20mm)

EOS-M / Re: The New EOS M Firmware in Action
« on: June 20, 2013, 11:18:27 AM »
Too little, too late imo

I have been shooting in Raw the past 6 months.  So someone correct me if I'm wrong, but white balance only affects the jpg image... I think.  So if you are shooting in raw, it won't matter.

You're (mostly) correct. The small caveat is that if you're shooting in the wrong white balance mode for RAW, it means that you MUST go back and change it in post-production. While that's not difficult to do, if you're in a location where you can set it, and it just looks good from the beginning, it's one less thing you have to do in post production. Another minor advantage is that if you're working with models/clients where you're occasionally showing your image to them from the back of your camera, it's nicer to have it look better (ie. with correct-ish white balance). That being said, white balance can be fully set in post production when shooting RAW, whereas it's "burned in" when shooting jpg.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Stills photographer Doing some video
« on: May 28, 2013, 09:12:32 PM »
Thanks, this is some great advice. Basically, I'm getting my equipment prepped for this right now. I have a suction cup mount for my gopro as well, so I'm going to slap that on the wall and just keep it recording when there are kids in the area. This will give me some wide angle scene setting shots (in theory). I also have my 8-15, which, at 15 is a pretty useful lens, provided I don't pan much (as the panning motion on a fisheye can be a little disconcerting).

Seeing as I don't have ANY stabilization equipment, and just a ball head for my tripod, I was thinking of getting most of my shots from the tripod. Putting the camera on there, finding something interesting, framing it, hitting record, and not moving it. Then, when that action is finished, move the tripod, find something else, rinse and repeat.

I also put together a "string" stabilizer that I can step on to help somewhat stabilize high up and low down shots, but I was thinking that I should probably use the 24-105 for anything handheld since it's the only one with IS (other than the 70-200). Since I'll need to be focusing manually by physically turning the ring on the lens,  and in my handheld tests where I was holding the 5d3 and the 70-200 in one hand while focusing in the other, it didn't seem all that stable, I wondered if I should use that combo solely on the tripod. Any thoughts about that?

Everyone has been really helpful. Thanks so much!

As for advice encouraging me to take it slow, I definitely intend to. In my experience, though the equipment doesn't make the "photographer/videographer/carpenter/etc", there's a reason why the pro "insert profession here" uses that equipment in the first place. Like learning anything new, I want to eliminate variables and focus on skills at the beginning, but the more I play with shooting video, the more I realize that holding the camera with my right hand, focusing by turning the ring with my left and trying to figure out if it's even IN focus without shooting the whole video magnified WHILE trying to keep it stable is freaking hard lol. Getting the footage more stable, and focusing with more accuracy and smoothness, especially with the assistance of the equipment that I already have, is my top priority.

As for things like the slider, If I do end up getting it, I won't be using it in time pressure situations in the beginning, but rather when I have time, an empty building (or a long rehearsal), where I can do a move 100 times, try it out, and if everything sucks, no one will even ask me about that footage. I've shot weddings and other "job" type things enough to know that if you're screwing around with equipment when the client is expecting you to be starting, you've got a PR problem on your hands.

The reason I mentioned the crane at the beginning as that it seemed to have interesting applications for both photo and video. Still, it doesn't fit my budget at the moment, and doesn't address my two immediate needs of "improved stability and focusing accuracy and smoothness" as well as some of the other equipment on my list.

Thanks again for the advice, and keep it coming. You guys have really been helpful, and I really appreciate it!

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Stills photographer Doing some video
« on: May 28, 2013, 03:29:11 AM »
Um, I went to meet with the client today, and they told me that there's a big event tomorrow that they only do once a year. (Basically they're doing a graded ballet exam thing, and though I can't be inside the exam, they want to get kids reactions before and after the test). So, long story short, they want me to go and shoot video of the event, which will be basically a room with a bunch of nervous kids before a test, they go in as a group, and then I sit around waiting for 15-20 mins, and they come out looking relieved. I can catch 2-3 groups running this pattern, so I can hopefully improve on mistakes that I make each run as well.

I currently have none of the video equipment that I listed that I was interested in buying, and I have no way of getting any of it by tomorrow. I only have a photography tripod, and it's a ball head (crappy for panning). Any advice on getting the most out of the equipment that I have? I spent 5 minutes making a "string" stabilizer so that I can step on it and get reasonably better pans. I don't want to "look" like crap while I'm shooting this video, and string from my camera is about as low-budget as I can look.

Any advice about picture styles, things to shoot, etc?
I read some stuff online and set my picture style to -4, -4, -2, 0 for now. I do have a lot of nice lenses for indoor use, but I'm a little nervous about using f1.4 or 1.2 for video without an evf to see if I'm even in focus. I was thinking of mostly using the 24-105 since it has IS, and will be more forgiving, as well as maybe using the gopro up in a corner somewhere to record some of the "room feel". For audio, I was thinking of just having the H4N in the room picking up ambient stuff, since the focus won't be any one person talking. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance for the short notice help!

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Stills photographer Doing some video
« on: May 27, 2013, 09:11:49 PM »
The follow focus that I have is called the "Fifty Dollar Follow Focus". I got it on Kickstarter.

Here's a review of it:

I'm sure that it's by no means the "best" (or even necessarily great) follow focus, but it's the one I have.

Because of how quick it is to set up, and how it seems easy to move, that may make a difference?

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 6D vs. 600D with good lenses?
« on: May 26, 2013, 10:10:23 PM »
Though they are similar in features, one important advantage that a 60D has over a 600D is that it has a top LCD screen. To me, this is a no-go for the 600D. The top LCD allows you to quickly see what aperture, shutter speed, iso, focus mode, evaluation, etc, etc. You're at (as well as shots remaining and battery life). I simply wouldn't buy a DSLR without that.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Stills photographer Doing some video
« on: May 26, 2013, 11:44:49 AM »
Since I already have a follow focus, and I need a way to mount it (need rails), I wondered if a matte box is something that I'll "definitely" need. I'll be shooting all of my video indoors for this first project as well, if that matters.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Stills photographer Doing some video
« on: May 26, 2013, 10:47:37 AM »
This is exactly what I was looking for. I really appreciate you taking the time to put together such an informative post, as it's bound to help lots of other people also doing similar things. Thanks so much!

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Stills photographer Doing some video
« on: May 26, 2013, 04:36:31 AM »
I'm going to be doing the editing. I've done editing before, and am comfortable-ish with premiere, though most of my work has been done in after effects. As far as editing, and even camera settings, I may ask about that later. For now, this is more of a budget and equipment question.

Thanks for the answer though, and if you have any suggestions for settings, that'd be great too.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Stills photographer Doing some video
« on: May 26, 2013, 03:31:13 AM »
Hi All,
I've done still photography almost exclusively and have a 60D and a 5D3. Soon, I'm going to need to do a little bit of video for a website that I'm working on. The job will be for a ballet studio. I don't have any questions about the photography, as I'm confident there, it's more about video. Here's the type of work I'll be doing:

One (or maybe a few) short 30-45 second clips showing the dance studio, and some classrooms, and what it's like.
Two "dancer profiles" featuring interviews, some shots of them warming up and performing, etc. Maybe 1-2 minutes each.

Just to help out, I'll list my equipment, leaving out stuff like extenders/flash etc:
5D3, 60D
70-200 2.8 IS II, 85 1.2 II, 24-105 f4, 24 1.4 II, 8-15 f4, 10-22.
I also have a gopro 3 (which may or may not be useful for this job)
I also have a variable ND filter, as well as a cheapy set of drop-in Cokin filters.

For audio, I have a Zoom H4n, an RE20 mic, a Shure SM93 Lavalier mic, and a set of paired Rode NT5 condensers. I also have a pre-73 MK2 pre-amp.

I have a somewhat cheapy LED video light as well.

Now, I want the video to look good, but I don't know a lot about it. I'm willing to invest a bit of money (because this job is paying well overall, and it's a tax write-off), but video isn't going to be my full-time job anytime soon. Basically, I don't want to buy crappy stuff i'll need to replace the next time I do a project, but I also can't afford to drop $10k on video stuff. I think a budget of $1500 would be about the max I should spend.

Here are some of the things that I was looking at/thinking about getting. My main question is, what, if any of things things are necessary/would help my video look more professional? Is there anything else that's important that I forgot? Is there anything on this list you wouldn't recommend, or would recommend something else?


A rhino slider: My thought was that a slider would be a cheap-ish way to provide nice looking moves that would take care of a lot of the kind of shots I'd need.

I've also been interested in doing some time-lapse though, and have had my eye on the Dynamic Perception Stage Zero bundle ( Since my uses are primarly photography, would you recommend getting the Stage Zero and trying to make it work as a normal slider as well as for time-lapse, or should I get the Rhino slider (or some competitor) and worry about time-lapse later?

2) Proaim 6 Camera Cage with Tripod Mount

My thought was that this would make it easier to get low angle shots while (let's be honest) making it look more professional, and match my clients expectations of what "video work" looks like. Also, I have a follow focus that I got a great deal on a while back, but I don't have a rail system, so in order to use that follow focus, I need rails anyway.

3) A cheapy matte box maybe something like that? It's only $35. Is the matte box really something worth spending a bunch of money on? I know many of them take drop-in ND filters, but the ones that do are a lot more expensive, plus I doubt the filters I have would fit.

4) Tripod Head
I have a Benro tripod, and it's pretty sturdy. I'm not sure if it'd be good enough for video (this is based on the fact that I don't often see video people using photography tripods, rather than on any knowledge)
I was thinking about this one:
Manfrotto MVH502AH

5) Atomos Ninja 2

If I understand correctly, this records straight from the HDMI out, and records to an attached HD. This seems like a big advantage, but is it overkill for this kind of job I'm looking at now? (especially with no other jobs on the horizon necessarily) Should I wait until later on when I get a few more jobs like this, or is the quality increase worth it from day 1, even over certain other things?

6) Kessler KC-Lite 8.0 Camera Crane
Seems useful for both photography and video, looks like, and it's relatively inexpensive at $400.

7) Zacuto Z-Finder / DP4 / ?
EVF? Non-EVF? Necessary at this stage?

8 ) External Video Monitor

Other thoughts:
Other than the small LED light I have, I only have speedlites (oh, and a Fenix TK45 flashlight, which is actually pretty bright)

Any other important things i'm missing? Any questions that I'm too inexperienced to know to ask? Any other things I should know?

Thanks so much!

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Preorder the EF 200-400 f/4L IS 1.4x TC
« on: May 14, 2013, 12:19:11 AM »
I can't afford the lens, but $649 for the case?! Sign me up!

Lenses / Re: Canon 85L II AF speed on 5D III???
« on: May 02, 2013, 09:03:20 PM »
It's slow, but it's never been so slow for me that I've missed a shot. You just have to be realistic about what you're using it for. I've even shot some indoor sports with it, but you have to remember that with such a shallow depth of field, you'll want to take a few more shots than you would if you're shooting at f2.8 or f4. I've shot 95%+ of my images with it at f1.2 though, so take that advice with a grain of salt. To my way of thinking, if you're using it much above f1.2, then you're not getting anything out of it you couldn't get with the faster focusing f.18 or a 70-200 2.8...

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