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Messages - peederj

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16
EOS Bodies / Re: 5D Mark III with Continuous RAW Video Recording
« on: May 13, 2013, 01:39:06 PM »
14-bit RAW on Canon 5D Mark III vs. factory default - Night Image Quality & Dynamic Range on Vimeo


The A/B test to do is the RAW version vs. the HDMI out using Cinestyle, recorded to the Ninja 2 in 220Mbps ProRes HQ and graded in post with the proper LUT. Because anyone who cares about getting the most IQ out of the camera will be using that setup (or something very similar) rather than internal...of course the RAW is going to kill the miserable internal codec.

And BTW, all my testing has repeatedly shown ALL-I and IPB are 100% identical IQ on the 5D3 internal. Haven't seen anything credible to refute that...I think it's just Mbps marketing to counter the GH2 hack.

17
EOS Bodies / Re: 5D Mark III with Continuous RAW Video Recording
« on: May 13, 2013, 12:36:38 PM »
I wonder why the Canon legal team would look the other way on this hack since it's on the 5D3, but throw down the hammer whenever hacking the 1D X is mentioned?  :o

Well first of all the 1DC is just Canon's hack on the 1DX. I don't buy that there is some required heatsink, that's window dressing. They don't want 3rd parties competing for sales of hacks at that price point ($5,000+).

The second thing is the 1DX has a proper downsampler for its video rather than the 5D3's pixel binning. Which is necessary given the sensor dimensions (unless they wanted to go back to the hideous 1st gen line skipping). And so a hacked 1DX recording less lossy compression (with more actually distinguishable pixels, and more luma/color levels, in more situations) would give the C series a run for its money while this 5D3 hack is just going to please the ambitious kids that think they're getting a bargain. For those kids $3000 for a 5D3 is a lot of money and about all Canon can expect out of them. But people who will buy a 1DX are professionals that will prefer going C-series and Canon wants to usher them that way (for their own benefit I may add) rather than have them confused by kids and their hacks.

18
EOS Bodies / Re: 5D Mark III with Continuous RAW Video Recording
« on: May 13, 2013, 11:55:13 AM »
and might be better than the C300 and definitely better than the BlackMagic Cinema Camera.

The BMCC still has more than a stop better DR (than the 5D3), and as of now, more resolution for continuous shooting. And while the c300 is a much easier camera to use, BMCC's best image blows the c300 out of the water.

Oh please not more BMCC Koolaid. The C300 image (especially recorded externally) is one of the cleanest 1080p images in the entire business with virtually no moire or false color artifacts and lovely color science. The BMCC fanboys (some of whom are or were apparently secretly in the employ of Blackmagic Design) keep repeating nonsense but repeating something ad nauseum does not make it true. IQ test: hand a better DP (who isn't taking money or gear from either company, and who didn't learn what they know from reading online forums) a C300 and a BMCC and see which one s/he hands to the intern to shoot BTS.

Yes even Andrew (who I think, to his credit, is too random a figure for anyone to consider buying off) has declared the BMCC dead with this new hack. It's just about as annoying to use as RAW on a BMCC and the 5d3's a much better sensor and camera. I think even the official HDMI out from the 5D3 recorded into a Ninja 2 is a superior image to BMCC RAW.

RAW is really not all that as so many people insist. If the only choice is between RAW and JPEG, ok, we all choose RAW. But ProRes 422 HQ 10 bit with a log gamma is every bit as good as RAW in practice, and vastly more practical. JPEG (and the video version MJPEG) is very lossy like H.264 is, and 4:2:0 AVCHD is very constricting in post. But the system we have working today with the 5D3, recording the entire pixel-binned sensor in 8 bit 422 with Cinestyle onto a Ninja 2 in ProRes HQ is quite a nice image. (Though not nearly as nice, lowlight or otherwise, as the C series image externally recorded.)

This RAW hack will give only an incremental improvement over that, in one of two ways. You will get 12 bit color but still it will be subsampled to 4:2:2 (not exactly RAW in my book, which I define as "a lossless record of all sensor information"). And your dynamic range will be stored in full fidelity 14 bit as opposed to being mapped to a gamma...gaining you about 1 stop in practice and a bit less propensity for banding than using the Cinestyle/Ninja approach. Worth constantly swapping costly CF cards and then having huge post hassles for? Maybe in an extreme HDR run-n-gun situation where it would be more hassle to use gels/lights/reflectors/butterflies to control DR.

The other thing against this hack is, if they are using the full sensor, they must be downsampling (binning?) to 1080p or similar resolutions. Which will give at least some of the 5D3 soft video look. Either that or they are cropping (and I understand at least in some settings they are) to the native resolution of the sensor. This cropping to 1:1 pixel is going to be terribly noisy and will require NR in post. You can also get this cropping/digital zoom trick with the current HDMI out, by zooming in 5x or 10x in focus assist and recording the zoomed image (which comes out 4:3 but you can crop in post) and it is noisy too.

Overall I think this is a good development only because it silences a lot of idiocy coming from the Blackmagic fanboys. I don't know how their paid operatives will spin this, other than "We don't force you to use hacks! We're on your side!" Well the entire Blackmagic camera line is a series of hacks so that doesn't change much. If ML is able to make this really pleasant in practice (perhaps with a hi-def codec...I will have to see how MJPEG looks) then this will replace the HDMI out/Ninja option for people not needing long shooting times. But I don't see any scenario where this hacked 5D3 is a superior image to a C300 or C100 + Ninja 2 under any circumstances. That's silly talk.

19
Lenses / Re: Canon EF 12-24 f/2.8L [CR1]
« on: February 27, 2013, 08:48:49 AM »
I dunno about you but given the loss of DOF and light gathering on a crop sensor, I prefer my lenses to be faster on them, not slower. Also the crop tends to be forgiving of fast and wide lenses' edge blur and vignetting wide open. Bring on the 2.8!

20
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Canon C100 praise & annoyances
« on: December 06, 2012, 06:53:48 PM »
Fimmakers shoot with film cameras, videographers shoot with video cameras. The C100 is a video camera, not a film camera.

I imagine you diligently write your local paper every time their movie reviewer calls something a "film" when it was actually shot on RED or Alexa. Do they print your letters? Does the editor respond to them?

21
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Canon C100 praise & annoyances
« on: December 06, 2012, 12:14:07 PM »
peeder,

Any chance you have any RAW footage recorded from the ninja for us to check out/download? I have only been able to find in-camera recordings.

The Ninja records ProRes, not RAW. For Canon RAW capture, you will need the $25000 C500 and an external recorder such as the $4000 Aja Ki Pro Quad. The amount of data such uncompressed RAW generates is staggering, but the Aja will debayer to ProRes as well if you wish.

The C100's output is 8 bit 4:2:2 and appears to use the entire 1080p resolution (all pixels seem to me to be well-resolved, as opposed to the 5D3 where you're getting maybe 80-90% of them). Canon log maps the full 12 stops of DR to the 8-bit output, which isn't much loss of fidelity given 8 bits sRGB gamma normally handles about 11 stops. When recording internally the codec is the main limiting factor on what you can do in post...the artifacting, especially chroma subsampling, is quite ugly when you push things. But when captured on the Ninja I have full latitude at all ISO settings, just bringing up a fine and very even noise floor which is no problem whacking with NR if needed.

It's a crying shame that people will judge the C100 based on the internal recording, because the most capable people are too busy making money with their cameras to post proper test results and analysis. Sadly I'm afraid I'm in that category, I would like to share results but it's too much of a hassle for me at the moment. But I have done these tests and I'm confident you will repeat my findings.

22
Herp derp shows how much I know...  :o

But regardless of what's possible with HDMI, the Canons and external recorders are limited to 1080i60 8 bit 4:2:2, and a benefit of the Ninja is, given a sharp, contrasty signal to evaluate, it can deinterlace and pull down 23.98p out of it. With other systems (e.g. Blackmagic Hyperdeck Shuttle) you have to deinterlace and find the proper cadence to do the pulldown manually in post. Win for the Ninja.

23
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Canon C100 praise & annoyances
« on: December 04, 2012, 10:15:27 PM »
Thanks tjc. Nearly all pro cameras use external recorders anyway, so learning to enjoy the Ninja is part of the transition. The IQ with C100/Ninja/CanonLog is absolutely better than that from the C300 internal. In fact people have reported that Canon tweaked the color science on the C100 so that its color rendition has fewer problems than the C300's even external. It may end up very, very close to a $25,000 C500's external image debayered to 1080p. I haven't either of those to confirm. But be assured I am independent of all these companies or dealerships, and I do not praise something easily.

If you can live with the above complaint list, and are willing to add the Ninja, I am confident you will adore this camera. Really, for 1080p24 I consider the problem solved.

24
By the way, you can see the red effect that you describe in another video I did. It shows a way to greatly help with the type of blocking that you describe around red, especially when applying a sharpening filter. The solution is to use a very weak color blur filter prior to sharpening. https://vimeo.com/42314148

Handy...thank you again Jason. The era of struggling with codecs and artifacts is thankfully coming to a close but we will still have situations where these techniques help. Educating each other about where this damage is coming from will put a lot of pressure on the manufacturers to fix it as we see with the 5D3 announcement. Canon wouldn't have given in on that last year.

25
Well the camera HDMI outs are 1080i60 and not progressive for whatever reason.

Thank you Jason for your detailed reports and example video. To test whether something is 420 or 422 I suggest shooting red & white text next to black & white text in the same frame, using text printed with enough resolution and zoomed out enough for its edge to be beyond the limit of sensor resolution. If the red & white (I actually like white on red, stop signs are often used for this) is significantly blockier looking than the black & white when zoomed 300% then you are at 420 but if it's close in resolution you are at 422. Equal in resolution would be 444. This way I have confirmed the HDMI out of the C100 is 422 and Canon announced the 5D3 clean HDMI firmware will indeed be 422.

422 is a bigger win than a lot of people seem to think, 420 is a massive thwack to color quality ime. If you only care about 720p web video then just shoot internal codec and be happy.

26
EOS Bodies - For Video / Canon C100 praise & annoyances
« on: December 02, 2012, 07:43:32 PM »
First off I want to note how overjoyed I am with the C100. Canon Log mode is awesome, and the integration and quality when paired with the Atomos Ninja 2 external recorder is breathtaking. The C100 seems completely designed around the Ninja 2 to the point that I am never going to use the internal SD cards as anything other than safeties. Media for both are cheap as chips and batteries for both are too, which is refreshing given the absolutely professional results recording this sensor (the same as in the C300 and C500) in Canon Log mode to ProRes 422 HQ at 220Mbps. The ergonomics and build is just a joy...this is what it should be like, no more mussing with DSLRs or fiddly cheap camcorders or overweight and overpriced and high maintenance pro cams. Lovely. Pleased as punch.

If you want great quality 1080p24 video with the lowest pain-in-the-arse factor ever, buy a C100 and Ninja 2 and use Canon Log with View Assist to ProRes HQ. Use custom white balance, use the NDs instead of dropping below the native ISO of 850, and expose for the highlights. Compose your shot and follow focus using the various focus assist features of the C100 and/or Ninja. You're all set, your video will be captured beautifully with full use of the 12 stops of dynamic range, there'll be no transcode time into your Mac-based NLE, and all options for pulling a custom look will be available in post without penalty. For all this, the total cost of ownership of the camera and recorder, plus enough battery power and storage for six hours of continuous shooting time without an offload, is just $8000.

Nothing else touches that at this quality, at this low-light capability, and with this build and workflow/ergonomic factors. For pro-level cameras from RED or Sony you are looking at $8000 just for a few hours' worth of the media.

Now the praise indicated, let's get right down to what sucks.

First of all, there's no slo-mo at all. You can shoot at PF30 (a'la 30p wrapped for HDMI) and get subtle slomo conforming to 24p, but the FS700's 240fps for 1080p, while limited to 10 second bursts, is real slomo. Other than that you can have the FS700 I don't want one.

There's only 1080p. It's a very well done, high res 1080p when recorded on the Ninja. But there is no opportunity for cropping in post to recompose a shot while maintaining full 1080p resolution as there is on a 2.5K or 4K camera. Cropping is a side effect of smoothcam-style stabilization in post among other things, which you might think such a relatively compact camera would be used for.

The rolling shutter jello is still a problem on this as most CMOS cams, it's not so bad but it's not so terrific either.

The built-in viewfinder is a joke. Usable only in a pinch. The Zacuto EVF is a nice plus, though awfully low-res. Zacuto has made a loupe for the onboard screen but it looks fiddly to me and not as solid a solution as theirs for the 5D3. I am getting a Hoodman cover for the Ninja to see if that helps in sunlight. Atomos is supposedly developing a sunshade or loupe for the Ninja as well.

There is no digital level as there is on the 5D3 and even RX100. Getting a shot level is quite important in film when you are operating with only 2MP of resolution. Back to spirit (bubble) levels then?

The side-grip is the same as for the C300. It feels nice but it's hollow and resonant and the buttons and aperture dial are quite noisy for film use. The handle should be filled with acoustic dampener (I may try) and the dial declicked.

You can remove the side-grip and put a thumb rest in its place, but if you do, there's no way at all to adjust the ISO/gain. For some inexplicable reason they did not include ISO+/ISO- in the list of things you can assign custom buttons for, and as it is you must use the joystick to set ISO. You can set the Iris+/Iris- to buttons instead of joystick, but that's also fiddly. You also can't assign the four joystick directions and press to other buttons, which would let you simulate the joystick on buttons 1-6. So they want to get you used to having the side grip always on there even though they picture the camera without it on their own product page, perhaps to make it look less like a DSLR.

The Mag (#7) focus assist button is right next to the joystick like we enjoyed on all DSLRs prior to the 5D3 (which inexplicably banned its use). It works very nicely, allowing peaking and even monochrome focus assist while recording (without showing up even on the external recording). However, inexplicably, the zoom location can't be moved around in the frame like you can on the DSLRs. How hard would that have been? Since this wasn't on the C300 firmware either, my speculation is they explicitly banned it from the C100 firmware until the new C300 firmware is published, so as to not infuriate C300 owners.

Several buttons that I would use only rarely (e.g. Status and Custom Picture etc.) are for some reason not assignable. ??? You need a button to reassign to take stills, and you have to assign Headphone +/- to buttons or else be stuck menu diving. So why not allow all the buttons to be reassigned?

The internal mics on the top handle are quite poor. A Rode Stereo VideoMic Pro is highly recommended by me as an add-on, and as a further benefit, it can be plugged right into the Ninja, which will happily record 4 channel audio direct into the ProRes .MOV, using the 2 channel XLR preamps (with 48V or line options) or the 3.5mm jack on the camera body for the other two sources. The Rode is also smaller and lighter than the top handle if you want audio while staying minimal. the XLR preamps on the top handle are fine enough.

You can't monitor video waveform and audio record level at once, it's either or. I would like to have a view that is all waveform/scope and also offers the audio, and rely on the Ninja or external EVF for the image.

There are no odd frame rate settings or internal timelapse like on the C300. I guess they had to cut something.

The custom white balance setting is essential and will be in constant use, but for some reason they decided they want the whole frame to be white/gray to set it, rather than just a spot in the center of the frame like e.g. Sony uses. It can be hard to fill a frame with a neutral card with the right light, that would require a camera move or zoom that may be difficult. Please give us spot white balance customizing.

White balance indicators "A" and "A" are...uhm...a bit identically named for such different things, no? Why not use "1" and "2" instead of A and B for the custom settings.

Continuous Autofocus right now is on the pitiful level of the T4i, not even. But they say they are working on that. It's not a priority for most filmmakers, but if you're going to do it for your new STM line, please do it right.

Physical points of weakness for the hardware include the plastic door on the top handle, the tiny pins on the camera side of the EXT jack, and the plastic casing around the battery compartment. Otherwise (neglecting the common sensitive points like the sensor and LCD screen) it's very well designed and built and should last a long time.

Which I intend to use it for, the remainder of the 1080p era. It's a veritable footage shovel, with the great low-light, built-in NDs, integrated handles and ergonomics, not to mention the great quality and workflow the Ninja provides...I'm all set for 1080p24 capture. I would appreciate Canon's attention to these concerns which largely can be resolved in firmware updates, and for a professional product should be. Thank you.

27

I do have one other thing that I don't understand.  If I have all my AV gear hooked with HDMI....how do I have 1080p images on my big plasma tv....if the protocol of HDMI as you mention can only handle 1080i information?

It is deinterlaced by the TV, though usually the TVs are displaying 30p and so it doesn't need to do the 3:2 pulldown, just every other frame.

This really depends on what your output is going to be. And of course where you are. In the UK we don't use 30p - its 25 - and because it's what material is broadcast at, its what most clients will ask for.

And the BBC requires intraframe HD material to be 100mb/s+ (50 for long gop material) so using the hdmi out of 5dmiii should be acceptable.

...and you're describing a reverse 3:2 pulldown - reverse as the tendency was always to go from film (high quality 35/16mm material) to video rather than vice-versa (crap low quality video to film)

Thanks for the 4:2:2 link - that should mean you have a lot more leeway to grade footage harder. Will be very interesting to see what emerges in April... And also thanks for the C100 thoughts, I've don't know anyone with one yet.

Right, there are two regions of the world based on the frequency of AC power used. 240V (e.g. in the UK) is usually 50Hz and 120V (e.g. in the USA) is usually 60Hz. The streetlights and other things flicker at the rate of the alternating current, so they match the frame rates (or make perfect halves e.g. 25fps for 50Hz) to avoid the flicker. Canon cameras are world cameras and can shoot at both frame rate standards.

The C100 (also switchable to 50Hz) is really just a dream camera, better I think than the C300 unless you need the SDI and the internal recording to 50mbit or the odd frame rates. It's as if the C100 was designed around the Ninja, the Ninja solves all its problems beautifully... Anyone criticizing the C100 that isn't recording onto a Ninja and using Canon Log (cinema lock is the most foolproof way, though they could still screw up white balance and exposure given the competence of some of these online reviewers) really missed the boat. Canon should just slip a Ninja into the C100 box and prevent such adverse opinions.

I think I'll post a thread on the C100 covering it in more detail.

28
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: CF or SD or ext for video on canon 5d mkiii?
« on: December 02, 2012, 04:04:07 PM »
There is no clean HDMI on the 5D3 until April, so external recorders are not possible until then. When that happens, the Atomos Ninja will be the obvious choice IMO. I love mine with the C100.

Video is not data intensive enough to lock up a cheap class 10 SD card. The 5D3 sadly does not support UHS-1, so buying anything beyond class 10 won't help on the capture end (though it can offload faster with a fast reader). I think 133x CFs are OK for video too, but I use 400x. I would like 1000x CFs because those might handle RAW stills faster without locking up the camera, but I'm not sure.

29
HDMI is a data transfer protocol standard, just like TCP/IP or USB. And it's a dumb consumer-level standard...its professional sibling is called SDI. And on the C300 you get both options, and Atomos makes a higher end Ninja they call the Samurai that just does SDI instead of HDMI. HDMI was for HDTV, which for legacy reasons uses 1080i60, sending half the lines 30 times per second, alternating with the other half (all interlaced together) also 30 times per second. There is nothing a camera or anything else can do to alter the protocol...that's how the machines have all agreed to talk, and because it's so dumb a standard, you can expect any HDMI monitor or whatever to understand it.

But we don't want to shoot 30p or 60i (both are offered on the C100 btw), for cinema the standard frame rate is 24p, which gives a nice familiar texture and blur to motion when captured at a shutter angle of 180 degrees (1/48th of a second or 1/50th on the 5D3 is close enough). So how does one send a 24fps signal over a 60i protocol? I forget the technical term (you can google all of this of course, and please do) but they essentially just repeat frames alternating 3 repeats and 2 repeats to match the timing difference of 30:24. And the receiver, to deinterlace that redundant 1080i60 stream to 24p (23.98 is the actual rate on the Ninja also due to legacy concerns with synchronization) must figure out the cadence of repeats and drop the appropriate redundancies, leaving a steady and even stream of progressive frames.

The Ninja has to do this empirically off a moving image being sent so it can see which images are repeats and which are new and drop the proper ones. HDMI can't communicate that information sadly, meaning the Ninja waits with record disabled until it gets enough contrasty motion to see what to do.

As for your growth plans, I understand dipping your toe in, but a lot of this only makes sense when you have the full professional rig in front of you and understood, and then you can learn to make do with less. Good luck with your exploration however you go about it.

30
The Atomos Ninja 2 costs $1000 and comes with everything you need, and also provides a very useful 2nd monitor with peaking, false color etc. It's small and the batteries and media are cheap as chips. Six hours of recording ProRes HQ onto a bog standard 500GB 2.5" laptop drive. SSD optional. Pressing record on the C100 starts and stops recording automatically on the Ninja. Your laptop is going to be a complete pain in comparison, plus you will need some form of HDMI capture ability for it.

The only minor annoyance with the Ninja 2 is it needs to analyze a moving image to properly deinterlace to 23.98fps 1080p. The HDMI standard is 1080i60, and the C100 (and 5D3) are going to have to send that format out regardless. You can record that directly but deinterlacing in post is a pain. So instead with the Ninja 2, you can have it deinterlace and record 23.98 fps directly, which is wonderful, but every time you power both the camera and the recorder on, you will have to wave your hand in front of the lens a bit for it to figure out how to do the 3:2 pulldown.

A nuisance but that is the only nuisance...everything else is beautifully optimized and integrated. You can name the project, camera, scene and shot directly on the Ninja and the take number will auto-increment. Timecode is fully supported. It's a professional solution. The Hyperdeck Shuttle 2 is actually bigger and far less featured, and while it's half the price (with the needed mount plate) it mandates the use of SSDs which make up for the difference. Also, for the 5D3, they may continue to insist on turning off the internal LCD when using HDMI, so with the Hyperdeck you won't be able to see what you're shooting. Get the Ninja.

But if you don't care at all about ergonomics and workflow, why are you caring so much about image quality? Do you just shoot product shots or something in one studio?

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