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Messages - Policar

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The shadow noise it adds is so trivial, and would be 1000 times worse on color negative, once printed.  I use this for virtually everything I shoot during the day, but I don't shoot professionally.  To me the clipped highlights look a lot worse than a little shadow grain that is unnoticeable when printed.

I turn it off when shooting video at 3200 ISO or over or when shooting indoors at high ISOs.  Almost never shoot raw, though.

And if I understand it correctly, I can indeed simply reproduce this by shooting at iso 100 with 1ev underexposure and then apply a tone curve in postprocessing?!

Not sure if it would mimic the process 100%, especially since we don't know exactly what curve Canon uses, but it would probably be very, very similar and more flexible.  But yes, basically, highlight tone priority just turns down the ISO a stop then tags your images as being shot with it.

If your style requires clean shadow detail, expose to the right or use HDR.  If I ever shot landscapes digitally (I might some day!) I'd shoot 100ISO and expose to the right.  But for most of what I shoot (jpeg and video) it's fine for me.

I don't know if this is implemented in more expensive bodies than my 60d - but htp doubles the iso and applies a non-linear curve so that highlights get more resolution while the shadows are compressed. In good light, I used to use it all the time at the beginning ("why not?"), but then discovered that the darks get so little resolution that raising them in postprocessing introduces noise or banding.

It doesn't double the ISO, it halves it (hence 200 ISO being the lowest available with this feature--the camera is really shooting at 100ISO in this case) and then applies a curve that doubles the exposure of everything but the highlights, which roll off smoothly.  I love it.  If you bracket or shoot raw and expose to the right instead of exposing for the shot it's kind of pointless, but if you shoot jpeg and videos or ever use auto exposure outside it's amazing (if you shoot raw you can just expose at -1EV, granted).  If it weren't for Canon's noisy circuitry it wouldn't mess up the shadows, but unfortunately it does just a bit.  But most landscapes worth shooting have a very low scene dynamic range so for that just expose to the right and shoot raw since you might end up shooting at "50ISO" or something after pulling the image digitally and you can get nice contrast and tonality that way.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Entry-level video production
« on: April 14, 2012, 05:43:22 PM »
And some lavs for sure.  Clients love lavs because they make you look professional and they have great sound quality in difficult conditions.  Sound is crucial.  And furni pads are nice.  LED lighting is all the rage now, also carry gels, diff, etc. and a nice tripod--super important.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Entry-level video production
« on: April 14, 2012, 04:23:32 PM »
Sounds like they have more business sense than photographic savvy, in which case they'll do fine.  So long as they can deliver a consistent and marginally better product than their clients themselves would produce and seem professional along the way they will do okay and grow and improve.  All the why-you-can't advice in the world will only dissuade, so just encourage and provide the basics.  Paul McCartney never learned to read music and the Beatles did okay.  Most producers and directors don't know their f stops or lenses when they start, either.  With a dSLR you can expose fine by eye (and btw most cinematographers don't trust Sekonic meters, Spectra is the industry standard, but you don't need anything at all for videography) and if you're shrewd you can easily pick up lighting techniques and composition by watching the competition's reels--or hire someone with more experience until you can do it yourself.

They'll do fine.  Their clients don't know what f-stops are either, and don't care.  There are a million film students who know all the technical stuff and will work for nearly free, but artistic pretensions and technical stubbornness just get in the way (and business savvy people can hire these people dirt cheap anyway).  His clients will care about a professional business approach, professional website, and reliability.  That's what I'd reinforce.  Sounds like a fine kit, btw.  National ads are shot on the 7D regularly so it's not a matter of gear, either.

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 1D C suggested price!!!
« on: April 13, 2012, 09:33:24 PM »
Don't get me wrong, I love the 5d3 and think the ISO and aliasing improvements were video upgrades enough. As a still camera you'd have to pry it away from me. Here's to hoping the 5d4 will do true 1080p come three years fromb now

We'll get real 1080p, focus peaking, and everything else we all want three years from now, but then we'll all want 4k or HDR or something, which the high end cameras will have.  When we had the dvx we wanted HD, when we had the EX1 we wanted DoF adapters, when we had those we wanted speed…it won't stop, and filmmakers should stop waiting and start shooting.  (Not that I wouldn't love a little more resolution and focus peaking, myself.)

The issue is that there's a huge market comprised of amateur, student, and casual filmmakers and all of them would like to be shooting on $3,000 Alexas instead of dSLRs--but manufacturers of high end gear have to differentiate it somehow so rental houses will buy high end instead of cheaper cameras.  There are two ways in which they differentiate expensive gear--adding features only "pros" really need on expensive equipment and actual legitimate crippling of low end gear.  I feel like the 5D Mark III isn't nearly as crippled as everyone claims and that if those people who criticize it turned around and tried to shoot an actual narrative film on red (or particularly on film) they'd have a new perspective on the process and what expenses and priorities matter when you're not shooting brick walls.  Sure, the red is king of test shoots, but under time constraints, its advantages diminish for no budget work.  Relative to 35mm film, which is even more difficult to shoot, the Epic and Alexa are pretty awesome to work with, but they're still not point-and-shoot.  And of course 35mm shot properly (for instance, Tree of Life) still looks better than anything other than 65mm shot properly.  So money and effort do buy you something.

But still: working with high end gear is a pain for what are increasingly diminishing returns.  Even if a red epic cost $5000, I'd be wary about using it on a no-budget set.  Batteries last 30 minutes.  File sizes are huge.  Transcoding takes forever.  You need to meter since it's got enough latitude that the monitor will lie to you.  You need external monitors in the first place.  You need to conform and grade properly.  Way harder to hit critical focus in 4k.  Art design has to be better to hold up to that resolution.  It's not a one-operator camera, let alone a one-man crew camera.  That's why so much red footage on the internet is just glorified tech demos and test shoots, it's too hard to make a cheap project on it or an Alexa without money or at least a good crew.  The c300 does seem to hit a nice middle ground, so does the f3/fs100, but even then you've got more work cut out for you.  If you can afford the high end gear, and a full crew and post house to support it, yes…there are benefits over a dSLR, obviously.  If you can't, consider your priorities; is your story so good it needs 4k and HDR for you to tell it, or is it so lacking you need 4k and HDR to hide its weaknesses in technical perfection?

I'd like a little more resolution (or even better in-camera sharpening would be enough) in the 5D Mark III, but all these bells and whistles (high speed, 4k, log modes, etc.) are just more trouble than they're worth to me on smaller sets that can't rent better.  And, fwiw, the fs100 already does it all at under $5,000 but no one is terribly interested in it because it doesn't give great spec.  The two+ stop improvement in low light performance with the 5D Mark III is a revolution in terms of real production needs (say goodbye to the genny truck and those 12k HMIs for night exteriors, we can make do with M18s and residential power now), but it's not on a spec sheet so no one cares.  And of course, M18s are still $10,000, and actors and crew members are priceless...  The 1D C seems reasonably priced to me, and will sell well to its intended market, which I'm unfortunately too poor to be part of, but if I had that money I'd invest it elsewhere, anyway, because I'm not a test shoot kind of guy.

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 1D C suggested price!!!
« on: April 13, 2012, 06:35:54 PM »
Currently, I will be renting a C300 the next movie I shoot (or the 1D C to shoot at 1080) and that's going to run nearly $3,000 for a 1 month shoot. I would've definitely preferred to lump that onto the cost of my 5d3 and had an infinite amount of time to practice the camera and the ability to schedule a reshoot without re-renting.

Sure, but $3000 is peanuts compared with craft services ($30,000 or so for an ultra low budget feature, obviously somewhat less for micro budget) or even the lowest-paid crew member's rate for a one-month shoot.  I get what you're saying, but $3000 for a c300 is trivial in movie budget terms.  And then you're saving tons of money by being able to rent a smaller G&E package (due to increased sensitivity over film) and hire fewer grips, and then saving gobs more in post and from not buying film stock.

And that said, incorrigible film snobbery aside, the more prestigious festivals will take a "grittier" video look over a polished one nine times out of ten.  That's why the internet is flooded with red tech demos but most festival shorts are shot on dSLRs.  So while a super 5D would be nice, the market for one simply boils down to people who want it but don't professionally need it.  It already supports the photographer/videographer market, is good enough for a crash cam on theatrical releases (and a main camera for national ads!), and the c300 is inexpensive for the cinema market if you need the extra features. 

Fwiw, the highlight handling on the 5D is great with highlight tone priority turned on, imo it's pretty close to the Red MX at normal ISOs and even if it clips a bit earlier the rolloff is way smoother.  It's not great with highlight tone priority turned off, though.  If you have significant clipping issues it's operator error, bad lighting, or a matter of poor art direction (or artistic decision, blowing out windows, etc.).

Do I wish the 5D Mark III's image were just a bit sharper, though?  Very, very much....

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 1D C suggested price!!!
« on: April 13, 2012, 12:42:00 PM »
I'm pretty surprised by how many people want RAW 4k video on a shoestring budget.  Canon may be correct in pricing some people out of the market... I imagine a lot of cameras being returned once individuals realize that they can't possibly keep up with all that data.

I'd gladly sell my 5d3 and pay $8,000 for a 5d3 sized DSLR with true 1080p video detail similar to the C300.  I'm not ready to turn my house into a data center to shoot the micro-budget movies I can shoot.

I wonder how many people who are clamoring for raw video have actually had to shoot and process it.  It's possible, but it adds a lot of time to your workflow.  Editing is extremely slow, vfx have to go later in the pipeline (after color), you have to worry about conforming and EDLs and all that good stuff, and color becomes a serious and involved step, not just a "throw magic bullet on it" type thing.  The process sucks, which is why people hire out post houses.  Do you get more quality from it?  In theory...  Is it worth it to you?  How much time and money do you have...   So yeah, I'd rather have a sharp 1080p dSLR than some crazy 4k raw contraption.  Or even 1080p prores rather than 4k mjpeg.

That said, would you really pay an extra $5,000 for a little more sharpness?  If you're shooting for broadcast or a camera for theatrical, you can probably afford a c300.  The 5D III is fine for web.  I mean, it really should be sharper and the lack of focus peaking, zebras, etc. is surprising, but it's not terrible.

These are two cameras for two different markets--digital cinema and videographer/dSLR op (ENG, weddings, no budget, anyone who's paid to take both stills in videos, etc.).  The dSLR "revolution" was started by people in the latter camp, but all these new products (which look awesome, fwiw) are targeted toward the former.  I wonder if the 5D III's shortcomings are a result of not wanting to confuse the two markets, or simply due to the fact that the 5D Mark III is a still camera first and Canon didn't think anyone would be too critical of the video if they fixed its most glaring flaw (aliasing) and slightly mitigated some other problems.

Canon wants to charge me $30 for a replacement and customer service took about 30 minutes to get me there, sending me back and forth again and again between departments.  All I need is a plastic lug to fix the strap, you think they'd have extras.  Not only that, they no longer stock OEM straps for t2i cameras, said I'd need to buy a more one without even knowing what it will look like.

I have had nothing but terrible experiences with these guys.  Cameras are fine but customer service has been consistently abysmal, every problem I have.  Yes, I'm ranting about a trivial issue but I'm so fed up with Canon's consistently bad service I'm ready to switch brands.  Anyone else had such bad experiences?

The dedicated video cameras can't do what a full frame dSLR can do; if you want that cinematic look, then a FF dSLR gives that to you in spades. The dedicated video cameras -- well they look like video. Unless you want to pony up for the high end cameras, such as the C300.

The FS100 is about $4500 and has a super35 (APS-C) chip, derived from the F3.  It's a killer sensor, amazing SNR, low skew, and the exact same size sensor as super35 film.  I don't think it gets much more cinematic than that, short of actually shooting on film.

The 5D III and Nikon adapters is the easiest option, but for high quality work it's a bit hacked together.  I know.  I own this set up and plan to sell it soon for something else.  It's not bad, but with the FS100 available so affordably it's hard to recommend.

The 5D III is amazing for low light (although the character of the grain is garbage) but resolution is a mess compared with a proper video camera.  Only really bad in a gift horse context (720p-ish), but still not great...  Adapters are okay but infinity focus gets screwed up so your AC will hate you and the rear element of Nikon lenses can hit the mirror.  Hackable to work, but no good for a professional environment.  A 24-70mm f2.8 zoom will do you for 80% of purposes, though, and a 70-200mm will handle most of the rest (excepting ultrawides and fishes or primes for speed--rent those).  That said, a normal prime kit is 17/18, 25, 35, 50, 85, and on full frame that becomes 28, 35, 50, 85, 135...and you already have every other lens in that kit, so that would do you with a D800.

Consider the FS100 (and an additional ultra wide) if your interest is video exclusively.  Also invest in a light kit, reflectors, a proper tripod, sound, and a book on lighting for video, all of which will matter much more than the difference between relatively comparable cameras.  Other toys (sliders, big lights, grip gear, etc.) can be rented.  The ROI on lights and lenses beats camera bodies by some insane margin in terms of visual impact and, in particular, resale.

EOS Bodies / Re: Is 5DIII softer than 5DII?
« on: April 01, 2012, 03:25:40 PM »
ah...ok...thank you for the information...so, I won't loose time for others body tests...

I'm starting to think that canon used a stronger anti-aliasing/moire filter to make a better video output than the mk2 version. And the stills are suffering for it...

Have you tried comparing results between raw and jpeg?  I've found jpegs to be okay from the 5DIII.  It's pretty bright outside maybe I will give this a try...

Lenses can have better color rendition than other lenses beyond what can be corrected for in post; sensors can have better color rendition than other sensors beyond what can be corrected for in post.  Whether the people posting these comments are right or not, in theory their ideas are sound.

Sensors can have stronger or weaker (or more or less IR sensitive) filters in front of their photo sites.  The more frequencies the color filter rejects (the deeper it's tinted), the more vibrant the colors the camera can reproduce--and the less sensitive the camera is to light.  DXOmark's "portrait" rating measures for this exactly (in theory).

Lenses can be more or less corrected for aberrations, and not just garden variety CA; apochromatic and superachromatic lenses should have dramatically reduced longitudinal chromatic aberration (any lens with ED glass or ULD glass or fluorite should have LoCAs substantially mitigated) and that means as the image goes out of focus its out of focus areas take on magenta/green tints.  A properly corrected lens will not have this!  And that means everything, in focus or otherwise, should be almost perfect in terms of color, and areas that are just out of focus but still smaller than the circle of confusion look better, too...so really everything looks great.

I used to shoot Fuji 4x5 and 120 Velvia.  I stopped shooting film a year or so ago and miss it tremendously.  Velvia has color rendering that, however inaccurate, looks like nothing else.  If you look at Velvia's sensitivity curves they're incredibly narrow and reject most light.  And so photos taken with Velvia have amazing saturation and vibrance.  Just the richest, most outrageously deep colors (and contrast; it had extraordinary d-max).  I also shot with a set of apo-sironar-s, with ED glass, and the lenses and the IQ is intense.  Here's an image shot on 4x5 velvia with such a lens:


Can your dSLR produce colors like that?  I doubt it.

But it can get close.  Optically, better.  The Coastal Optics 60mm f4 is corrected for visible and IR/UV light and produces the most beautiful colors, better corrected than any other lens I know of.  I've seen images taken with it and a Nikon D3 that have amazing color, noticeably better than most even in web size.

Coastal Optics

Lenses / Re: Why are video lenses so fat?
« on: March 24, 2012, 02:06:51 PM »

A Cine lens is designed to correct for this, so the image is perfectly the same - throughout the entire focus range.  This correction is difficult and expensive... and adds no value if you're a still photographer.

I wonder if this process would help a macro shooter when focus stacking?

It would be useful.  The issue is, to correct focus breathing, you have to essentially turn a prime into a zoom and have the lens zoom out as it focuses closer.  The reason you still see focus breathing in a lot of movies is because it's SO expensive to correct for it completely.

I'm guessing these Canon lenses don't correct for breathing and are essentially rehoused L series lenses.  I have no evidence of this, though.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon Cinema EOS 4K Camera [CR1]
« on: March 24, 2012, 02:05:03 PM »
Maybe with the 4k resolution, they needed more space for dual Digic 5s and a larger battery?

...and XLRs? (doubt it) I agree, they probably need the extra space but I would rather see the 5D form factor with a thicker body rather than taller. More like a box shape. A dumbed down C300. If it's made for cinema it should do it 100% since no photographer is going to buy the camera.

A lot of professional photographers crossed over into videography with the 5DII, 7D, etc.  There's a lot of market for delivering both stills and video.  Red was way ahead of the curve with their modular systems, the issue being that they took a while to deliver and the Epic is too awkward for a lone operator to use effectively as a still camera (how many wedding photographers shoot on the Scarlet or Epic)?  But they've identified a market that exists and continues to grow.  There's a lot of desire for a video/stills system--and I wonder how many sports photographers would use a 4k (APS-C) crop from the 1DX's sensor to extract stills.  Sure the image quality would suffer and AF wouldn't be possible, but you could get some amazing moments.  I, for one, would use this camera for stills and video, and I think since it's essentially a pumped up 1DX anyway, spending an extra bit of money to have the 1DX's feature not crippled would be worth it over not saving a ton and not having a still camera at all.

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