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Messages - JasonATL

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EOS Bodies - For Video / Audio on 5D Mark III - noisy in-camera pre-amp?
« on: August 20, 2012, 10:20:55 AM »
It seems that the 5D3's pre-amp can be quite noisy, at least when combined with my Beachtek DSA-XLR pre-amp. So, I sat down to try to see how to get the best results.

Here's a video I made of my tests. https://vimeo.com/47819373

The solution seems to be to set the 5D3's pre-amp as low as possible using the manual audio (microphone) controls. At zero, the audio is off. So, I set it to +1 click above off. To get a signal, though, I had to use the headphone out on my Beachtek, rather than the line out. The apparent (I don't know how to test this technically) signal-to-noise ratio defintely seems good, or at least better, in this configuration.

To get the same signal using the line out (rather than headphone out) on the Beachtek, I had to have the 5D3 set to about +1 or +2 clicks above center (50%). As you see (or hear) in the video, the pre-amp noise is really high at that setting.

Oddly, the pre-amp noise gets WORSE as you lower the manual control from +2 to +1 clicks above center.

My takeaway is to use as low a 5D3 audio setting as possible. However, I wonder if the unconventional headphone out from the Beachtek could cause problems that I haven't thought of or that don't show up (or sound off) in this test.

Any thoughts? Experiences? Suggestions for a better configuration?

Third Party Manufacturers / Does Zeiss glass ever go on sale?
« on: August 14, 2012, 07:57:35 AM »
I don't think I've ever paid the "normal" retail price for Canon glass, as it seems like they run rebates or sales a few times per year - and I rarely need to purchase a lens under a deadline.

I'm looking to buy a new Zeiss lens, but haven't seen them go "on sale" (e.g., rebates, etc.), but haven't been watching prices too long. Has anyone ever seen Zeiss glass go on sale?

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Recording time cornfuzion?!
« on: August 06, 2012, 08:46:29 AM »
Paul has given you some very nice advice. Having used DSLRs to record live events, I can say that it can be done. However, I think you should definitely consider Paul's advice to consider the XF100 (or the more expensive XF300) series.

My assumption is that you will have camera operators and that the you would prefer an editing workflow that is relatively straight-forward.

I have the Canon 5D Mark III and have used it for live event recording. It will record 29 mins continuously (and as Paul said, across mutliple files, but without any gaps). After 29 minutes, the recording will stop and then automatically start back up. The pause between those two clips is about 5 seconds in my experience.  Magic Lantern installed on a 550D/T2i or 600D/T3i (or 60D or 5D Mark II) can be set to restart recording after those camera's 11 minute segments. The gaps between clips for ML seem shorter to me than the 5D3 (and, presumably the 650D/T4i's). If target is TV, I don't recommed cutting the bitrate via ML to lengthen the recording time. It takes planning to make sure that these gaps do not overlap.

You could mix-and-match an XF100 or XF300 with 3 DSLRs. I've done this using a Sony PMW-EX1, a 5D3, and 600D/T3i. But, this makes post-production quite a challenge. The nice thing is that you have a continuous A-camera, with no drops in sound, off of which you can sync the other cameras. The downside is having to color-correct in post-production to make the cameras match. In the church's case, assuming limited windows in the church, the lighting should be constant from week to week. Thus, some color presets could be set after a lot of testing and these would presumably not stray to much. The only main post work is to sync and then edit (my recommended workflow).

Set far enough back and framed with enough zoom, you should have a fairly shallow depth of field with a good video camera such as the XF100 or XF300 (or the Sony PMW-200), provided there is some distance between the subject and the video screen, as Paul mentions. For other cameras, such as one focused on the congregation, you don't need (and perhaps don't want) shallow depth of field for the projection screen reason anyway. Same might hold if you place the other B cameras at angles that exclude the projection screen (e.g., to the side of the speaker, one on the choir, if any).

I love DSLR's for the shallow depth of field and look they get. But, I only shoot live events with them (along with my EX1 as the primary camera) because I can't afford additional proper video camera just for live events - and I don't shoot that many live events. In a way, I pay for this in post-production time. Many wedding videographers use DSLRs. But, they might only have a couple of cameras for an event that is relatively short and the artistic quality or look matters a lot to them. And, they have a lot of skill in shooting with them - and probably would not dream of relying on the DSLR's autofocus. Add in autoexposure and the good sound you will get (without spending extra money) with proper video cameras. I wonder how much skill you can expect from 4 camera operators, week in and week out?

Finally, as has been documented and discussed here, DSLR's do not have full HD resolution. This might or might not matter to you, depending on whether you are delivering HD for broadcast. But, at some point in the next few years, it might matter to someone. The Sony PMW-EX1 that I spent a fortune (to me) on 5 years back is still delivering a nice picture in good light and, as mentioned above is still a capable workhorse for its intended use.

In the end, I would not rate this situation as one in which a DSLR is the right tool. Again, it can be done as I've laid out above. But, I'm not sure you're really setting things up for the best result. If the budget and other considerations dictate, then so be it. But, having 4 identical cameras all with the same profiles and white balance and continuous recording would make delivering a program for broadcast each week much more efficient and, probably, with better quality.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Magic Lantern v2.3
« on: July 27, 2012, 11:09:28 AM »
Anyone wanting to try it, just pay the $10 its worth every penny. 

I don't begrudge anyone that doesn't pay or chooses to pay the least amount. I just wanted to put in a word for the ML folks to encourage people to donate and to consider donating more than the minimum.

The more support they get, the more features and support we as a community of Canon users get.

I'll add that, unlike "free" sites that we use on the web or apps that we use on our smartphones, there is no ad support model that ML can rely on (and they certainly aren't getting support from Canon).

I e-mailed one of the external recording device companies recently to encourage them to "donate" a 5D3 to the ML team - making the argument that their sales would likely increase dramatically if ML could hack a clean HDMI out for the 5D3 (I know I'd buy the external recorder). Their response was effectively, "Gee, we'd really like to, but we can't support something would need to be installed on a camera when it isn't officially sanctioned by Canon." Fair enough. Just goes to show that ML really needs us to support it and not just by using it.

In short, the generosity of ML users is needed to keep the ML ball rolling.

The obvious (and best, I think) answer is to wait, since you're asking people to compare a 5D2 with an unknown.

I'm considering the same thing. Of course, you might be in a much more time-sensitive position than I. Fact is, I don't NEED a new camera.

But, in the sport of these types of discussions, I'll give you some thoughts that I've considered.

Do you use Magic Lantern?

Key argument for me in favor of 5D2: If you use Magic Lantern and rely on its peaking and histogram functions in video a lot (and perhaps its timelapse and myriad other functions), then I think this argues in favor of the 5D2. Magic Lantern is available for the 5D2 today and is unlikely to be available for the new camera, if at all, for another year (just speculating here) after release. Some might say to wait to see if Canon puts any of these features on the new camera. I simply don't see that happening, given Canon's track record.

Do you struggle against moire/aliasing, or have you adapted your shooting style to minimize it to an acceptable level for you?

Key argument for waiting: The new FF camera MIGHT have some of the improvements of the 5D3 with regard to moire/aliasing. My wife has a 5D3 that she lets me use from time to time. The lack of moire/aliasing is really nice and the image is nice to work with in post. This is the only thing that has really caused me to wait, other than simply not wanting to spend more money on a camera. Then again, you might wait and find the new camera's image is essentially the same as the 5D2. It isn't clear that anything will be lost, since the price is rumored to be about the same as the current 5D2 and there are so many 5D2's out there that you should be able to pick one up used, should the new FF lack some features that you really want/need.

Heck the new FF camera MIGHT even have more apparent sharpness or resolution than the 5D3. But, I find this possibility far less likely. If it did, Canon would have a hard time keeping them on the shelf.

To record 1080p, you need the ninja 2 with the latest firmware and remove the CF card. Otherwise the D800 will throw 720p or 1080i. So if you were recording that, you need to re-do your test :) This information is in the manual too.

No, I didn't record on an external recorder. I was monitoring on an external monitor that reported dropping to 720p when I hit record. Internal recording from each camera is used (internal quality set to "best" for the Nikon and IPB for the Canon). Apples-to-apples.

I was actually surprised at how similar these two were. The moire from the D800 is just plain disappointing. Resolution of both is disappointing, too. In the end, it is the entire package that matters. I still find myself using my 5D3 and have not picked up my EX1 since - and the EX1 resolves full 1080p. In fact, I will be putting my EX1 up for sale. For a buyer who must have full 1080p and likes the look of the EX1, they will be getting a great bargain.

Can you re-title the topic to VIDEO resolution comparison?

Sure - I've tried. I thought that posting in the "EOS Bodies - For Video" section would make that redundant, but I didn't think about the topic showing up on the side-bar. Thanks for the suggestion.

A colleague lent me his new Nikon D800, so I shot video of my resolution chart with it to compare to my (okay, my wife's) 5D Mark III.


My take is that there are some aspects of the D800 video PQ that make it appear sharper, but on closer inspection, its true resolution looks to be perhaps 50 lines or so more than the 5D Mark III? The aliasing issues are clear, even (especially?) on the resolution chart. As with the 5D Mark III, the D800 is a nice cam.

Oddly, the HDMI output appeared to switch to 720p when I hit record. Perhaps I didn't have a setting right, as I thought it was supposed to have "clean" (full resolution) output via HDMI.

Attached is a frame grab of the 200% zoom with light sharpening.

I agree with your friend. The image from the T4i appears to be no better than the T3i (and no worse, either). If this is your primary concern - which it sounds like it is - then I think your friend's advice to go for the lower price camera body and spend some money on a good lens makes a lot of sense. I am also assuming that your friend with whom you have discussed this knows more about your preferences and how you intend to use the camera than I, as a complete stranger, can understand from one paragraph. As you can read in other threads here, my advice could be different if you happen to really want a touch screen and autofocus (and perhaps have other preferences related to still photos). Regardless, the T3i is an excellent camera to start making your own films.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: 60D vs. 650D
« on: July 18, 2012, 08:09:36 PM »
Videoshooter is right. This is a fair comparison and I originally overstated the difference when I said "apples to oranges." Indeed, when I bought my 600D, I weighed it against the 60D. For video, it has the same picture quality. As wickedwombat points out, the focusing points (more on the 60D) could be an issue for stills.

As for the incremental ISO points, this is actually a reasonably big deal for video. The best ISO's for video are 160, 320, 640, and 1250. The 60D has these, but the 600D only has these with Magic Lantern. With Magic Lantern, you are only left with the 9 focus points as the advantage. With the 600D, I think the 3x zoom to fix moire in video outweighs this. As pointed out, you can take the savings and buy a good lens or two, which will last longer than the camera and will be money well spent when you decide to upgrade the body in a couple of years (or less).

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: 60D vs. 650D
« on: July 14, 2012, 11:22:54 PM »
First, I will assume that you actually mean 60D, instead of 600D (aka Rebel T3i). This is somewhat of an apples to oranges comparison, as the 60D is a prosumer camera, while the 650D is a consumer camera (and I say that with all due respect for its capabilities). I personally have a 600D (and a 550D and a 5D Mark III). The 60D's build quality is said to be quite a bit superior to that of the 600D or 650D. The image sensor in the 60D is the same as the 600D and the image quality from the 650D appears to me (from posted video samples) to be no better than the 600D (or 60D).

Second, it appears to me that the new technologies in the 650D are the video auto focus and touch screen. If these are things that you really want, then I would say that the 650D is a step forward. I suggest searching Vimeo for some videos of the autofocus in action to make sure it works as you would need it.

For me, I don't consider the 650D a step forward. Indeed, for me it is a bit of a step backward. I say this because Canon did not put one of the 600D's key features on the 650D: 3x digital zoom. All DSLR's suffer from aliasing and moire issues. Canon almost completely eliminated it in the 5D Mark III. But, the 600D, 650D, and 60D all have it. But, with the 3x zoom feature on the 600D, you can nearly eliminate aliasing/moire. See https://vimeo.com/35111205. Again, the 650D does not have this feature and the 60D does not have this feature either.

Worse, I've not seen any evidence that Canon has made the 650D less noisy (i.e., better in low light). Therefore, I see no new technology that really results in better video quality over the 600D (which has the same video quality as the 60D).

Finally, if you are not aware of Magic Lantern, you should look it up. It is a very useful third-party firmware that can be installed on both the 60D and 600D today. Magic Lantern has many features that are very useful for video (and many for stills, especially timelapse). It is not yet available for the 650D.

So, if you weren't already considering the 600D/T3i vs. the 650D/T4i and 60D, I suggest that you add the 600D/T3i to your list. Good luck as you do your research and decide on which of these great DSLR's work for you.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Insane video noise canon 5d mark iii
« on: July 13, 2012, 10:34:20 AM »
I suggest shooting at ISO 160 (and its multiples). Noise is about as bad as it gets at low ISO's at ISO 125. See this video that compares noise at different ISO's for the Mark III: https://vimeo.com/39581579

As Policar points out, this is normal and, at reasonable exposures and bringing back the contrast in post, the noise effectively disappears. Finally, I would make sure that HTP is off, which it probably is if you're shooting at ISO 125.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: How to Live - 5D3 short
« on: June 29, 2012, 10:20:16 AM »
John - I'm sure you're very proud of this, as you should be. It is very well done all around. The pacing of the editing was excellent and the shots were great. I really like how you seemlessly mixed things like fractals and space with live action.

Of course, it would have been much better if the 5D3 weren't so soft!  ;)

[Since sarcasm is hit or miss in written form, let me be clear that the last comment was totally sarcastic - the 5D3 shots were beautiful.]

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: t4i - lack of samples
« on: June 25, 2012, 09:56:37 AM »
This camera has been out for a few weeks now and I am still on the fence.  I have found mainly a handful of sample videos, none of the particularly revealing or useful.  I am a Rebel Xsi owner who is impressed already with image quality so my sole criterion is how well the video stacks up.  I am waiting for better videos.  I have a couple lenses which is why I want to stick with Canon, but one is full frame and the other is the EF-S so it is not a large loss if I switch to a different system - I just want a video/still camera that does both well.  I have no upgraded in 4 years so I want to make sure the next purchase will do well for the next 4.  Is there anyone who has used the video and liked the quality of video?  I have yet to see a video with the 40 mmm stm in action.

There is another thread that shows one short example of T4i footage. To me, it appeared to be no better than the T3i, which I have. I really like the T3i and mainly use it for video. Whether the T4i is a significant upgrade vs. the T3i in terms of stills, I don't have any idea. Having said that, I doubt you can go too wrong with the T4i. My main reservation regarding video and the T4i is that it suffers from moire and aliasing, as does the T3i and T2i. However, with the T3i, there is at least a way to shoot it so that you don't have moire, by using the 3x zoom feature. Neither the T2i nor the T4i have this feature.

But, you could, for around $150, try out the T4i and 40mm lens yourself. Check http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/canon/cameras. I haven't used them, but have heard and read good things about them and plan to use them in the near future. Alternatively, order from a reputable dealer, such as B&H, that has a reasonable return policy.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: 650D (T4i) or 600D (T3i)
« on: June 20, 2012, 02:50:42 PM »
From a video point of view I would be interested in if the new 650D is any cleaner in the shadows and at higher ISO's.  The Q-scale function also interests me (user set video bitrate)
I don't run ML.  Camera does all I need without it, so for me that wouldn't be a deal breaker.

Paul - You make very good points. The Q-scale is interesting. Since you mentioned that you don't use ML, you might or might not already know this: ML allows you to set a higher (or lower) bitrate on the 600D/T3i (which sounds like the Q-scale).

By chance, I was experimenting with this recently and it works - though not without some qualifications. The ML bitrate multiplier has been reliable for me at 1.4x (with audio on). Of course, this comes with a resulting larger file per minute of video. With audio disabled, I was able to go up to 2.3x reliably. I can achieve 3.0x in a low dynamic range environment (even with audio). Of course, the benefits of a higher bit rate are also less apparent in the latter case.

The highest (video-only) resulting average bit rate that I was able to achieve without the camera stopping the recording was a little north of 100 Mbps. Again, I shot at 3.0x indoors, but the resulting bitrate in that situation was only around 70 Mbps. Quite nice resulting picture, though not night and day compared to 1.0x. And, a test at 0.2x at 7 kbps was completely watchable, though I wouldn't ever use it for a serious video. Of course, the bit rate can't solve the 600D's moire/aliasing problems nor can it increase the actual resolution. But, it does what it does.

I mention this in case you tried ML a long time ago and might consider it again, given your interest in Q-scale. The latest version (from December) has been very stable on my 600D.

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