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Messages - syder

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16
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: 7D vs 5Diii for video?
« on: October 20, 2013, 08:06:15 PM »
If an when we ever get our c camera (and it probably will be the c100) I'll look at putting a ninja into the package.


I see a huge trend that folk want to do what Philip Bloom does, whether they need to or not.  Lots of folk hanging ninjas off their 5D3's using ML hacks to run massive bandwith footage through resolve to show five mates on vimeo.

I'm at the corporate / commercial level, and just don't have the need or the time or the hard-drive capacity.

Bloom gets a lot of totally unfair criticism these days... He wrote a really good article about why 4K and RAW are totally over the top for most people at the moment http://philipbloom.net/2013/10/10/4kraw/

Quote
Let’s start with raw

PROS:

WAY better dynamic range than most cameras.

Huge flexibility in post.

Can help mistakes made on shoots or help us get past issues we couldn’t overcome.

It opens up many creative options in really hard shooting environments, making my life as DP easier often and this is not about laziness.

CONS:

Generally cannot be edited natively, proxies are needed after going into software like DaVinci resolve to interpret the raw data and tweak them before exporting to the proxy format. This is very time consuming.

Much larger files than compressed codecs meaning lots and lots of cards. Though there are raw compressed options out there like R3d and cineform which I am expecting will be licensed and put into the new 4k BlackMagic Production Camera.

The huge cost in acquisition media and the enormous cost of storage on top of this.

You need to learn new skills. This is almost a pro actually. Working with raw is not as easy as many think. Education is key here.

It’s not magic. You still need to know how to expose properly and I actually think a light meter comes into its own here, knowing how many stops of light difference there are between the shadows and the highlights. STILL hold the highlights more than the shadows for most raw cameras as a rule.

People will want to shoot everything with it, then hit a massive bottleneck on their projects in dealing with files. It will be a hard but necessary lesson.

Now the pros and cons of 4k

PROS:

Incredibly detailed images, 4 times that of HD but they are not obviously so.

Fantastic ability to crop in post. Something I do on all my interviews for docs now that I shoot 4k for them. I am not shooting 4k docs – just 4k talking heads. I can then go in for tights or back out whenever I want in the edit. Way better.

“Future proof” I am bit hesitant about this as I see very little need for future proofing most of my work. Now for high end drama and big docs then yes. Do it.

You have a higher end format to sell to clients. Sometimes an advantage. Not always though…see cons.

Scaling down to 2K in post often yields quite stunning results.

CONS:

Inefficient codec mean massive files. Even efficient ones are pretty big, which means expensive cards and lots of storage.

Inability to edit natively for the vast majority of people. Proxies are used which of course adds time.

Most production companies I have dealt with cannot take it.

Almost nobody can actually watch 4k. I can’t.

It can lead to lazy cinematography. Although I use the crop to help me in interviews, this is not due to being lazy but to give me options. You should never forget the tight shots because you can crop. The whole aesthetic changes. The depth of field remains the same so it doesn’t look like a true close up

You need to be even more skilled, as mistakes are easier to spot.

Incredibly unforgiving and harsh. Showing the flaws in everything, especially people. Fantastic for beauty shots etc..for drama it’s actually too detailed and causes the DP many issues.

Needs a really big screen to really see the difference.

Will it actually take off as a consumer format for the home? I am very pessimistic about this.


Unless I've missed a very recent development the ML hack can't record onto a Ninja II (it bypasses the Canon ADC so can't be output through HDMI) - it's onto 1000x CF cards only... And PB has always said that for professional work running ML is questionable at best - and the RAW workflow is effectively too hit and miss reliability wise and just too slow to be worthwhile. If you're making a living shooting material and really need RAW then buy a BMCC or something which is designed to do it.

I agree about there being a slightly odd online community making super high quality RAW videos for a few friends on Vimeo, but then I guess it's people being hugely excited about the fact that they feel that can generate images which technically are of a similar quality to those made by high end production companies using gear costing 10x as much as their 5DM3. The fact that the content is rubbish doesn't matter to them, but hey each to their own. At a technical level it is interesting as an example of the ways that open source communities can enable forms of creative activity, in terms of content, super malleable home video footage of someone's kids is still bland (hence the 5 views).

And as PB points out, not only is ML a bit risky for something you're getting paid for (dropped frames, corrupt CF cards etc being far from unheard of and at a professional level totally unacceptable), but a RAW workflow using Resolve to generate proxies to edit before a final pass through resolve to spit out a super high quality master is something which is totally useful for a feature, or a high budget drama series, or even a potentially a polished short which you're going to sending to festivals worldwide, but is an overcomplication and waste of time in many circumstances, and one which in a commercial context will often mean losing more money (through time spent and the necessary computational power to work on 14bit files and storage for them) than you would make back in extra work/higher prices.



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.


BBC HD broadcasts in 1080i. They don't accept 720 as HD material for broadcast because it would have to be upscaled. That hardly seems like rocket science.

People in the UK who run production houses likely to work on material for television tend to ensure that their workflows will conform to the specs of the BBC as it's still where a lot of well paid work ends up being screened. I'm sure the same applies in the US for their major broadcasters. I know at least a couple of people who have posted here produce tv content in the UK, so this is relevant to them. It isn't to me anymore as I've left the UK and now work in a university.

...and Black Swan not being on BBC HD has nothing to do with the use of 5D/7D B-roll footage. It's because the main cameras for the film were 16mm Arri film cameras and BBC HD wont accept 16mm transfers as high definition material.

17
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Canon EOS C100, C300
« on: October 20, 2013, 07:34:34 PM »
What is going to happen with the CANON C300, C100 now that Sony release the PXW-Z100 4K for $5,500. Are we expending an another firmware update or maybe change the prices again. Any ideas?? What could happen with EOS c100 and c300, (RAW Footage, slowmotion at 1080p (pleaaase :P), Color Information 10bit color,)

Lets try... Nothing.



the Z100 is a 1/2.3 camera which is great for newsy type workflows and some documentary work. It will do 4K and has a very good codec, but it isn't a cinematic camera, and the fixed lens is great for run and gun versatility but not for the wealth of creative possibilities you have with the EF mount.

In short, it has very little crossover with the C100/C300, it's a 4K successor to the Z1 - not a competitor to large sensor cinema cameras. The C100 will still give you a filmy type look for indie web-based productions and the C300 will still be favoured for drama/broadcast work that doesn't need/have budget for an Alexa/RED.

18
Technical Support / Re: Brick Wall.
« on: October 20, 2013, 07:22:43 PM »
When I've had similar issues involving complaining partners frequently being unhappy that days out would involve staying very still and apparently not doing anything, I found that giving them a second body and letting them wander off to go play made my life a lot easier and her days a lot more fun.

But also taking breaks (especially when video is work and photography can feel a lot like an extension of work) is important and useful. For me being always on means burning out. In a way, now that video isn't work (or at least making videos for clients isn't a way of paying bills) I'm feeling far more motivated to go and take pictures or work on my own projects.



19
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: 7D vs 5Diii for video?
« on: October 17, 2013, 12:24:55 AM »

even the c100 is crippled with a non broadcast codec but with a ninja you get to a broadcast level.


Dang!  Dang & Blast.  I don't know of any camcorders other than some settings on P2 and XDCAM that actually shoot in a broadcast codec (certain settings of MPEG2 for most digital broadcasts)

I've never quite understood the term 'broadcast codec' in relation to cameras.  And I've had stuff broadcast shot on dv dvcam hdv digibeta xdcam xdcamhd dvcpro dvcpro50 HDCAM EOS H.264.

I know certainly the broadcast editors I work with wouldn't generally thank you for RAW files.  I think it's this years trick.

I wouldn't get too hung up on what broadcast quality is.  The C100 is.  A 10 year old z1 is.  The key is the intermediate and editing codecs.  It'll be squished back to MPEG2 levels anyway before broadcast.

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. They do accept lower quality footage from B-cam material which comprises less than a certain amount of a broadcast, but for a complete program to be aired you are looking at.

From the BBC guidelines...

3 Technical Requirements - Video
3.1 Video Standards
 
3.1.1 High Definition Format 
• 1920 x 1080 pixels in an aspect ratio of 16:9
• 25 frames per second (50 fields) interlaced - now known as 1080i/25.
• colour sub-sampled at a ratio of 4:2:2
The HD format is fully specified in ITU-R BT.709-5 Part 2.

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.

Sure you can broadcast material shot on far lower specs on the God channel or other backwater parts of freeview/cable. And they do show snippets of people's mobile phone footage and CCTV on the news. But you can't shoot a complete show for BBC One HD like that.

20
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: 7D vs 5Diii for video?
« on: October 09, 2013, 04:15:13 AM »


More recent tech, better high ISO, better & more GOP options (DSLR video is either very compressed or very very very compressed, the 5D3 at least lets you choose the least bad option) and the option of RAW video output if you are really very serious.  There is far less moire / aliasing on the 5D3 (do not believe anybody who tells you there is none) and there is a headphone socket for audio monitoring...


The form factor of DSLRs is terrible, with menus, controls on the wrong side, lens filtering etc, poor audio options. etc etc.

The 5D also gives you the option of adding an external recorder and shooting Prores/DNxHD 422 - at far higher bitrates and with a superior chroma subsampling ratio which does give you significantly improved footage compared to the internal codecs. Nowhere near the quality of the 14 bit 4:4:4 RAW with ML - but a lot less hassle.

The form factor of DSLR's is either great or awful depending on what you're doing. They're flexible enough to be small and discrete if needed, or they can be pimped out with a rig, mattebox, evf, follow focus etc. 

Things like audio really depend on what you want the camera for. Most fiction/high budget documentary stuff will have a separate sound guy who will be quite happy to record sound onto a separate device. One man band at an event - then the crappy audio can be an issue. It's easy enough to remedy with a separate sound recorder tbh - but this does mean a little more work in post (which if you're banging work out on tight deadlines will be a pain in the ass) and having some kind of rig setup.

The big question though, is what do you want the camera for? A Sony F65/Red Epic pisses all over a 5D in just about every way imaginable, but if you're on your own you wont be able to operate it probably and so the 5D would be a more appropriate option for the gig (more so a C100). Tools don't exist in isolation from the context they're used in, and you need to think about what will be the right tools for the jobs you'll be taking on.

21
Hey,  thanks,

yes I actually find a short documentary of the complete day my main interest, the couple gets only the raw material and this trailer )an d some Photos). I don't have too much interest in animated pigeons and menus on a DVD or so  ;D so this get's a bit longer than a typical trailer.

My RAW process is similar to yours, exept I export to JPGs and add them to QT7 and then PRORES. Not really satisfying, but the results are outstanding :)

Good work on the wedding video :-)

Playing with MLRAW, my workflow recently has been

RAW - rawmagic or cinidng - import into Resolve and grade - export from Resolve as Prores or DNxHD - NLE (Avid/Premiere)

It's much better than having to use AEX or similar - pretty close to the BMCC workflow... It's still a lot slower than going straight into an NLE, but if time (and storage) aren't issues it isn't a massive quality of life issue.

You could then go back from Avid into Resolve - on a bigger project (rather than just testing workflows and IQ)  I wouldn't want to grade every shot before cutting (although you could chuck out anything unusable from resolve - the new edit functions in resolve 10 look vaguely interesting).

22
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Finally did a few paying jobs now what?
« on: September 03, 2013, 09:55:14 PM »

The other thing you'll need for professional work is a thick skin.  A paying client would have tore you a new @rsehole if you presented some of the stuff you've posted.  And some will do that even when the work meets their brief and meets a professional technical competency.
It takes lots of things to go pro (from my experience in video that is) and a good camera is the least of it.

^^ this.

...and I'd add in bucketloads of patience and an unflinchingly polite and positive attitude in the face of frustrating situations...

For when you've met the brief and the client changes their mind and keeps wanting changes made because it turns out they want something different from what they've asked for... For when you have to deal with bridezilla over a year long period where she gets increasingly stressed out by having to organise her big day... For when due to circumstances beyond your control things look a little lame (there were three people at your corporate event... how do you expect it to look busy when there was no-one there?)... and for generally dealing with some fairly odious and obnoxious people who will be paying your bills for the time being.

Sure you'll also find clients who are a joy to work with, respect you and your work and make your profession fun and economically rewarding, but especially when starting out (as you don't have a load of clients who you enjoy working with on a regular basis and for whom you're their go to guy) you will probably have a few nightmares.

23
Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Getting a Shotgun microphone
« on: August 18, 2013, 06:39:27 AM »
It might help if you shared some info on what you want a mic for...

24
Forgot to mention this.... Turn IS off on your lens or it will become part of your soundtrack.... Or better yet, get an external mike, or take a phone, get a sound recording app, and let it sit by the people and mix it in at production time.

Thanks for all of the advice!!
I have the Rode videomic I keep on the shoe....I got a Rode stereo mic, if I had help I'd set that up too maybe...

On the other hand, I'm guessing this will mostly end up a montage with music over it...so, sound likely not that big a deal.

I'm meeting with the organizer this weekend to see what's exactly expected. this is a non-paying gig for charity.

On rental lenses....what would be the best to get?

85  f/1.2?  50 f/1.2?

I have the 85 f/1.8...so, should I got for renting the 50 f/1.5....

I was hoping since my 17-40mm, while being f/4...would still be usable at the wider angles...?

Thanks for all the advice so far.

C

I know he rode video mic is a well regarded mic, but please be aware that if you are in a noisy area, like a bar, it's not much better that the built in mic unless its on a boom pole..meaning it won't get the job done. 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!.  If money is an issue get yourself a cheap wired lav mic like the audiotechnica; believe me it will make a world of difference!

???

The OP said this was going to be a montage shot to music. WTF is he going to be mic-ing up?

If you're recording dialogue in a crowded bar your suggestions are sensible, but that isn't the case here.

Similarly, for an unpaid charity gig, telling people they NEED a second camera, assistants and to hire/buy in a load of L lenses is comically over the top. My advice would be that if it isn't a paid gig, unless you specifically want material for a showreel or similar, then not to bother renting gear, or buying anything especially for this.

As with any project, scope out your locations in advance, if possible with your camera so you can take a few test shots to see how the lenses you have will deal with the lighting conditions.

25
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Canon C100 praise & annoyances
« on: August 13, 2013, 05:35:25 PM »
Way, way, way overpriced for what you are getting.  I have Canon dslr's, and was considering the C100 until Blackmagic reduced the price of their Cinema Camera to $1,995.

I will consider purchasing Canon again in the future if they come back to reality with their pricing structure.  Way too expensive for what they give you.

It aint overpriced if you're a pro and you make a living using cameras for anything other than fiction/something where you have total control over the light. For the extra investment over a BMC you get a camera which actually handles nicely, has ND filters, professional audio inputs, is fantastic in low light (whereas the BMC is significantly worse than DSLRs at high iso)...

The $3k difference in cost is about a weeks worth of work for many people. And for events/documentary/weddings the investment will be well worth it, as the BMC's limitations will really show up there.

That said, the BMC is now so cheap, that it's a no-brainer for a lot of people. If it gets you one job you'll make most the money back on it. That said, the weird controls, stupid crop, rubbish ergonomics and poor low-light performance will still deter a lot of people.



26
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: BMD 4K, EOS C100 or 5D3
« on: August 13, 2013, 05:24:05 PM »
Visually a C100 is a lot closer to an Alexa than an EX1 was to a Red One a few years back.

For the blue moon occassions where we'll need an alexia, we'll hire one.  You make good points and I'm pointing generally to the c100.

I wish I could say that I needed an Alexa even once in a Blue Moon... I almost forget that my previous place of work had a Scarlet - I shot some tests with it, but never ended up using it for anything because of the extra crew and post requirements it demanded.

Hope your accountant comes back with a thumbs up  :)


27
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Reviewed
« on: August 13, 2013, 05:19:14 PM »
This lens is brilliant, especially for video. Microcontrast is so good wide open.

For most video I'd take IS and a wider focal range over a wider aperture in a standard lens.

28
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: BMD 4K, EOS C100 or 5D3
« on: August 12, 2013, 05:02:01 PM »
Either image quality is important, or it's not. In this case, it doesn't sound like it's that crucial (if it were, you would have stated the minimum quality needed).

Image quality is important.  Our films are played to an assembled audience of up to 1000 people, and are frequently broadcast as part of a programme edit.  And I do this at present from my 7D and T3i (and ENG and HDV)

I'm not going to composite.  Beyond colour correction off my header qpcard reel I'm not going to grade anything.

Image quality is important.

Do I need RAW, no. 

I'm just sorry I gave the impression that, as a professional cameraman, that image quality wasn't important.

If you've only shot with the 5D3 then maybe you aren't best placed to provide a helpful answer?

And in terms of ease of use?

I've done the DSLR route,  love the large sensor look for certain things.  Hate the handling, hate the ergonomics, hate the cobbled on audio, hate the WB procedure.  Nothing about what I shoot is about 'ease of use' it's about buying something designed for the job.

You say 'if I were a pro shooter'?  What are you then? Shooting to show your pals on vimeo?

I'm not being chippy, but to throw in a line like 'Either image quality is important or it's not'...

..thats divisive and going to get a response.

Sorry, I was just trying to be helpful. I made sure to tell you my experience so you could put it in perspective. I didn't mean to suggest that you would be okay with bad image quality. The choice is between 1080p AVCHD and the more high-end formats. You said you don't need RAW, so that would seem to be a big argument for C100.

What I notice here in the advice is you have two camps. The first camp assumes you want the maximum image quality. The second camp assumes you want ease of use. Maybe there is a third camp that believes there is a camera that has both the highest quality and ease of use. Take it for what it's worth but I don't see evidence that there is an under $6000 camera that has it all. And I think the comments here (from "pros" and stupid annoying know-nothing-amateurs (like me)) seem to back up that hypothesis.

Look - if you want zomg ultimate image quality you're buying something like a Sony F65, Arri Alexa or waiting for the new Red Dragon sensor. None of which can be had for anything like 6k. This also is only really relevant if you're making films which will be shown on cinema screens (or maybe big budget tv drama).

As a professional you use the correct tool for the job at hand. Based on what Paul has already said about the types and volumes of work he does, that's probably the C100. Whose image quality is actually still pretty damn good (as in way better than most cameras that people were making perfectly competent and watchable content with a couple of years ago), even if on paper it sounds unexciting.

The BMC 4k on the other hand sounds fantastically exciting, but is likely to be useful for a far less diverse series of circumstances. Compared to the C100 its ergonomics are crap. Compared to the C100's low light abilities (which are amazing) the BMC will almost certainly be crap (as it doesn't actually exist yet we cant say for sure). The lack of ND filters and professional audio (read phantom powered balanced xlr) inputs on the BMC also sucks. 

Now if you're making shorts/fiction where you have control over your lighting conditions, time to set things up precisely, a separate sound crew and the post facilities and additional time (as a pro time spent grading and creating proxies is worth money as its time not spent working on other projects) to deal with the 4k raw footage there's a very strong argument for getting the BMC 4k.

On the other hand if you're shooting events or documentaries where you regularly have to deal with crappy (or at least far from ideal) in-situ lighting, record your own sound, and work handheld regularly then the BMC is a terrible camera for your needs. As is a Red Epic.

There isn't one-camera that fits all occasions (or even two cameras which cover two separate camps), and there is more to cinematography/videography than resolution, codec and colour depth.

Part of the issue here is likely that with the proliferation of decent S35mm and FF35mm sensors and cameras which use interchangeable lens systems, image quality (which is still a bit of a bleurgh term imo) has generally improved so much over the past few years that in many cases you don't gain that much more by prioritising it over everything else. Visually a C100 is a lot closer to an Alexa than an EX1 was to a Red One a few years back.




29
EOS Bodies - For Video / Resolve Now Accepts Raw files from 5Dm3
« on: July 18, 2013, 10:22:54 PM »
From http://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=7075.0

DaVinci Resolve v9.1.5 will accept raw files shot on the 5dm3 and then converted with the various free raw2dng apps out there.

What does this mean?

Well rather than have an absolute dog of a workflow using raw sequences in AEX which take an aeon to compile even with a beefy workstation, you can now load your dng sequences into Resolve Lite, a free version of one of the most powerful colour grading tools out there, which only lacks a few of the features found in the full version (4k support which is irrelevant anyway, the noise reduction it has, which isn't).

So you can perform a rough grade of your material using tools which are immensely preferable to using adobe camera raw, or using lightroom for sequences (you can keyframe changes over time). Then output a high quality prores of DNxHD file and go into your NLE of choice. If you want, you can use those as proxies and return to resolve to perform a final grade off the raw files (using the transcodes as proxies).

Effectively this is the same as the BMC raw workflow. I haven't been able to test this (I've just moved to NZ and my workstation is halfway round the world in a shipping container - my 4 year old laptop is nowhere near up to spec to run resolve) but am looking forwards to having a play when it eventually arrives).

30
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: BMD 4K, EOS C100 or 5D3
« on: July 16, 2013, 08:05:47 PM »
XML out (I'm guessing from your previous post about a 32bit NLE that means you're using FCP 7) should work fine - although you can also export and detect scene changes.

Out of interest, if you are with FCP7 have you spent much time working with Color - it's actually really quite good (when it was Final Touch before Apple bought it it retailed for some obscene amount). Resolve is more powerful (its nodal system is better for really complex grades then the room based Color system), but the workflow from FCP7>Colour is so quick and easy (and less resource demanding to run) that it might be worth a look first.

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