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Author Topic: Stills photographer Doing some video  (Read 4739 times)

dmills

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

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

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

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

I have a somewhat cheapy LED video light as well.

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

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

1) http://www.rhinocameragear.com/Rhino%20Products/DSLR%20Gear/Camera%20Sliders/Rhino%20Slider%20Carbon

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

I've also been interested in doing some time-lapse though, and have had my eye on the Dynamic Perception Stage Zero bundle (http://dynamicperception.com/products/stage-zero-6-foot-bundle). Since my uses are primarly photography, would you recommend getting the Stage Zero and trying to make it work as a normal slider as well as for time-lapse, or should I get the Rhino slider (or some competitor) and worry about time-lapse later?

2) Proaim 6 Camera Cage with Tripod Mount
http://www.amazon.com/Proaim-Handle-Camera-Cameras-Camcorders/dp/B005DN8B2S/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1369552546&sr=8-2&keywords=proaim+6

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

3) A cheapy matte box
http://www.amazon.co.jp/Koolertron-DSLR%E3%82%AB%E3%83%A1%E3%83%A9%E3%83%9E%E3%83%83%E3%83%88%E3%83%9C%E3%83%83%E3%82%AF%E3%82%B9-Matte-Canon-Olympus-Pentax/dp/B008MHLYB2/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1369552852&sr=1-1-fkmr1&keywords=proaim+6 maybe something like that? It's only $35. Is the matte box really something worth spending a bunch of money on? I know many of them take drop-in ND filters, but the ones that do are a lot more expensive, plus I doubt the filters I have would fit.


4) Tripod Head
I have a Benro tripod, and it's pretty sturdy. I'm not sure if it'd be good enough for video (this is based on the fact that I don't often see video people using photography tripods, rather than on any knowledge)
I was thinking about this one:
Manfrotto MVH502AH
http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B006TZE0UQ/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=AN1VRQENFRJN5

5) Atomos Ninja 2
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/858661-REG/ATOMOS_ATOMNJA002_Ninja_2.html

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

6) Kessler KC-Lite 8.0 Camera Crane
http://www.kesslercrane.com/product-p/100041.htm
Seems useful for both photography and video, looks like, and it's relatively inexpensive at $400.

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

8 ) External Video Monitor



Other thoughts:
Other than the small LED light I have, I only have speedlites (oh, and a Fenix TK45 flashlight http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003URQEBO/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1, which is actually pretty bright)

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

Thanks so much!
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 05:12:41 AM by dmills »
Photos | 5D3 | 7D2 | GoPro Hero3 | 8-15 | 10-22 | 24 1.4 II | 24 2.8 STM (Pancake) | 24-105 | Sigma 50 1.4 Art | 85 1.2 II | 70-200 2.8 IS II | Sigma 120-300 2.8 OS | x2 III | 600EX-RT x2 + ST-E3 | lighting accessories, umbrellas, etc

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Stills photographer Doing some video
« on: May 26, 2013, 03:31:13 AM »

Drizzt321

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Re: Stills photographer Doing some video
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2013, 04:01:53 AM »
Were you planning on doing the editing? Or were you going to send that out? I'd recommend sending it out, and talking to whoever is going to be doing the editing first to get their recommendation on what settings to use as they may have some preferred picture style (such as Cinestyle).
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dmills

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Re: Stills photographer Doing some video
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2013, 04:36:31 AM »
I'm going to be doing the editing. I've done editing before, and am comfortable-ish with premiere, though most of my work has been done in after effects. As far as editing, and even camera settings, I may ask about that later. For now, this is more of a budget and equipment question.

Thanks for the answer though, and if you have any suggestions for settings, that'd be great too.
Photos | 5D3 | 7D2 | GoPro Hero3 | 8-15 | 10-22 | 24 1.4 II | 24 2.8 STM (Pancake) | 24-105 | Sigma 50 1.4 Art | 85 1.2 II | 70-200 2.8 IS II | Sigma 120-300 2.8 OS | x2 III | 600EX-RT x2 + ST-E3 | lighting accessories, umbrellas, etc

joema

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Re: Stills photographer Doing some video
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2013, 10:36:59 AM »
...little bit of video for a website that I'm working on. The job will be for a ballet studio...One (or maybe a few) short 30-45 second clips showing the dance studio, and some classrooms, and what it's like...
Two "dancer profiles" featuring interviews, some shots of them warming up and performing, etc. Maybe 1-2 minutes each....I have a somewhat cheapy LED video light as well....I think a budget of $1500 would be about the max I should spend....what, if any of things things are necessary/would help my video look more professional? Is there anything else that's important that I forgot? Is there anything on this list you wouldn't recommend, or would recommend something else?

I do video documentary production using some of this equipment. Comments:

Your stills background is a plus. Stanley Kubrick started as a still photographer, and his skills in composition and lighting helped in cinematography.

Accept the first pieces you do won't be as good as you want. It will be a learning experience.

There are a few simple techniques which can help to set your material apart from humdrum stuff. This by itself won't make it great -- that's up to your artistic ability. However these technical methods (some of which you already know) can inject some polish and pizzazz. They inform the viewer (whether they understand it or not) this wasn't shot by a kid with a camcorder.

(a) Use rack focus where reasonable: http://www.criticalcommons.org/Members/jbutler/clips/CSI20090226qq00_10_19qq_MPEG-SC.mp4/view

You don't need a follow focus for this, although it can help. A variation is a "focus reveal" where you fade into sharp focus, often used while a narrator is talking.

(b) In editing, use J-cuts (audio advance cut) and L-cuts (video advance cuts): http://vimeo.com/videoschool/lesson/239/j-cuts-and-l-cuts

(c) Use two-camera shots for interviews. Cut between them in post. Don't use the same framing on each camera.

(d) For interviews make sure you frame correctly, with the top border at top of subject's head, and with "look space" (open space in front of their face). In general main interview camera should be a 5 o'clock or 7 o'clock position. The b-camera can be more offset L/R or high/low, or even be a roving hand-held camera. If hand held you generally want an optically stabilized lens like the 24-105 or similar.

(e) Tip for informal stand-up interviews: get a partner to conceal a wireless lav mic in a clipboard while interviewing subject, and you stay back with the 70-200 f/2.8 at 200mm. Note this is NOT a clandestine interview -- the subject knows you're there and the mic is there. However by keeping the camera out of their "personal space" and the mic not obvious, it produces more natural, conversational results. Shooting at f/2.8 also helps blur out background distractions.

(f) Generally use a wireless lav mic for interviews. A hand-operated shotgun mic on a boom is better in some cases, but takes another person to run it.

(g) Monitor with earphones your main audio. It is much easier to get the audio right then spending hours with  a spectral editor trying to clean it up in post.

(h) Use your GoPro creatively: get some 120 fps shots for slow motion of dancers. GoPro can also take time-lapse stills for building a sequence in Premiere Pro:  Create a time lapse video in Premiere Pro

(i) Get plenty of b-roll shots: close-up of hands lacing up ballerina slippers, close-up of feet walking across floor, high angle shots from rafters looking down at dancers, shots of dancers entering studio, establishing shots of studio exterior, etc.

(j) Use shallow depth of field extensively, where appropriate. E.g, out-of-focus dancers in background, and subject interview in foreground. You can also rack focus from one to the other.

(k) Get a cheap black background and consider shooting interviews against that. This is easy and looks professional. However it must be used cohesively with the other material, otherwise the transition to on-scene interviews and black backround interviews is jolting: How I Create A Totally Black Background

(l) Consider using three-point lighting for formal interviews, or two-point bolstered with natural light. Be cautious about mixed lighting temperatures that are difficult to fix in post: Video Lighting Basics - Three Point Lighting

Other comments and suggestions:

Shoot video in manual mode -- not aperture priority or programmed -- with AUTO ISO on. Make sure shutter speed is 2x the frame rate, e.g, 1/60th for 1080p/30. This follows the "180 degree shutter rule" and avoids odd, strobing effects: http://tylerginter.com/post/11480534977/180-degree-shutter-learn-it-live-it-love-it

If scene is too bright for f/2.8 (because ISO won't go low enough), use a neutral density filter. Don't balance  the exposure by increasing shutter speed.

Practice, practice, practice before the actual shot. DSLRs are complicated to operate for video. You don't want to fiddle around with camera modes, cables and quick-release fittings in the field. This should be second nature before going. E.g, know how to adjust audio volume level on both cameras -- while shooting and before shooting. The 5D3 is particularly tricky because the controls behave differently when shooting video vs in standby.

Before leaving home, compose a rough "shot list" of shots you want. Hand-draw storyboards (stick figures perfectly OK). Don't wait until you're on set to begin the creative process. Of course you can deviate from your shot list as required, but do as much creative brainstorming beforehand. If possible visit the site beforehand to get ideas.

Suggestions about other hardware you mentioned:

(1) Rhino slider: I use a Kessler Stealth slider: http://www.kesslercrane.com/stealth-s/141.htm

Sliders are good but one more thing you have to manage. It's nice to have one that does vertical slides, and has adjustable tension.

(4) Tripod head: I use the Manfrotto 504HD head and 546B tripod. The 502 is probably OK for your purposes.

(5) Atmos Ninja 2: I would not get this; it's a great product but you don't need it for this project and it won't add significant value, yet will inject production complexity. On your limited budget there are other items with greater cost/benefit ratio.

(7) Zacuto Z-Finder: I use the Z-Finder Pro EVF. It's expensive but gives focus peaking, exposure zebras, facilitates low and high angle shots, eyecup adds a 3rd contact point to help stabilize hand-held shots. Also doubles as a small field monitor. It also has built-in adjustable optical diopter. I personally prefer it over a field monitor, although I've used both. http://www.zacuto.com/zfinderevf
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 10:41:49 AM by joema »

dmills

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Re: Stills photographer Doing some video
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2013, 10:47:37 AM »
This is exactly what I was looking for. I really appreciate you taking the time to put together such an informative post, as it's bound to help lots of other people also doing similar things. Thanks so much!
Photos | 5D3 | 7D2 | GoPro Hero3 | 8-15 | 10-22 | 24 1.4 II | 24 2.8 STM (Pancake) | 24-105 | Sigma 50 1.4 Art | 85 1.2 II | 70-200 2.8 IS II | Sigma 120-300 2.8 OS | x2 III | 600EX-RT x2 + ST-E3 | lighting accessories, umbrellas, etc

dmills

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Re: Stills photographer Doing some video
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2013, 11:44:49 AM »
Since I already have a follow focus, and I need a way to mount it (need rails), I wondered if a matte box is something that I'll "definitely" need. I'll be shooting all of my video indoors for this first project as well, if that matters.
Photos | 5D3 | 7D2 | GoPro Hero3 | 8-15 | 10-22 | 24 1.4 II | 24 2.8 STM (Pancake) | 24-105 | Sigma 50 1.4 Art | 85 1.2 II | 70-200 2.8 IS II | Sigma 120-300 2.8 OS | x2 III | 600EX-RT x2 + ST-E3 | lighting accessories, umbrellas, etc

sevvo

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Re: Stills photographer Doing some video
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2013, 12:56:44 PM »
To complement the slider, and assuming you have more than one tripod, I would suggest adding a tripod dolly to the mix. It will allow you to smoothly and quickly change location.

If you have a monopod, it can be re-purposed as a boom for your mics with:
- a five dollar flash shoe/tripod adapter
- 1/8th-inch cable extender (spaghetti style)
- bike handlebar action-camera mount
- hook-and-loop/velcro zip ties


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Re: Stills photographer Doing some video
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2013, 12:56:44 PM »

joema

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Re: Stills photographer Doing some video
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2013, 01:57:19 PM »
Since I already have a follow focus, and I need a way to mount it (need rails), I wondered if a matte box is something that I'll "definitely" need. I'll be shooting all of my video indoors for this first project as well, if that matters.
Here is the problem with some rail systems and follow focus: If you will be switching lenses between 24-105 and 70-200, those require two different mount points. With 24-105 and smaller lenses you typically mount to the camera base. With 70-200 and larger you usually mount to the lens body via a ring. If a geared follow focus is mounted, this complicates switching lenses. If someone has a solution or suggestions, I'd like to hear it.

You also need to ensure your follow focus does not interfere with left hand access to the zoom ring. I've got a Zacuto rig but sometimes I think the simple zip-tie stick-type solutions are the best, e.g:

http://www.focusshifter.com/follow-focus-dslr/

I've also seen people using these follow focus rings by hand, without any attached focus gear. You can put one on the lens's zoom ring and one on the focus ring, and just turn them by hand. That gives better control than just using the bare zoom ring, yet avoids the complexity of rail mounting a follow focus:

http://cheesycam.com/cinematics-lens-gear-rings-for-follow-focus/

Re matte box, IMO that's lower priority. You can probably get by with a lens hood -- except for out of doors, when a variable ND filter may conflict with the lens hood.

Re tripod dolly, those are OK and sometimes you can do motion shots. However unless the floor is *very* smooth or the dolly wheels quite large and flexible, it often causes vibrations that spoil the shot. The viewer's eye is very sensitive to any vibration, jerkiness or lack of smoothness. You can digitally stabilize a little of that in post, but it's an additional time-consuming step and can introduce artifacts.

Re the monopod, that's a good idea. I use the Manfrotto 561BHDV-1, which has a fluid head. It's very nice and compact -- more mobile than a tripod. The swivel ball on mine sometime momentarily sticks, which causes a jerk in pan shots. I've used other 561s that don't do this; maybe I could lubricate mine to prevent it.

Note you can easily accumulate so much equipment that you don't have time to use it on site. If you get distracted trying to bolt some equipment together you could lose a fleeting shot of opportunity. I've gotten some good shots with a slider and dolly, but missed shots while setting up all that hardware.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 02:06:41 PM by joema »

dmills

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Re: Stills photographer Doing some video
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2013, 09:11:49 PM »
The follow focus that I have is called the "Fifty Dollar Follow Focus". I got it on Kickstarter.

Here's a review of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGy2D-ZRqtI

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

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

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Re: Stills photographer Doing some video
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2013, 03:29:11 AM »
Um, I went to meet with the client today, and they told me that there's a big event tomorrow that they only do once a year. (Basically they're doing a graded ballet exam thing, and though I can't be inside the exam, they want to get kids reactions before and after the test). So, long story short, they want me to go and shoot video of the event, which will be basically a room with a bunch of nervous kids before a test, they go in as a group, and then I sit around waiting for 15-20 mins, and they come out looking relieved. I can catch 2-3 groups running this pattern, so I can hopefully improve on mistakes that I make each run as well.

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

Any advice about picture styles, things to shoot, etc?
I read some stuff online and set my picture style to -4, -4, -2, 0 for now. I do have a lot of nice lenses for indoor use, but I'm a little nervous about using f1.4 or 1.2 for video without an evf to see if I'm even in focus. I was thinking of mostly using the 24-105 since it has IS, and will be more forgiving, as well as maybe using the gopro up in a corner somewhere to record some of the "room feel". For audio, I was thinking of just having the H4N in the room picking up ambient stuff, since the focus won't be any one person talking. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance for the short notice help!
Photos | 5D3 | 7D2 | GoPro Hero3 | 8-15 | 10-22 | 24 1.4 II | 24 2.8 STM (Pancake) | 24-105 | Sigma 50 1.4 Art | 85 1.2 II | 70-200 2.8 IS II | Sigma 120-300 2.8 OS | x2 III | 600EX-RT x2 + ST-E3 | lighting accessories, umbrellas, etc

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Re: Stills photographer Doing some video
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2013, 05:53:37 AM »
I would learn to walk before trying to run.

Forget the sliders etc just now, and the crane.

Get the basics right, composing for stills and composing for video is different.

Think in 3's.  3 shots make a sequence.

Know what the line is, and how not to cross it.

Foget cages etc. cumbersome, expensive, defeat the advantages of a small compact body.

Put the 24-105 on your 5D3 and your 70-200 on your 60D.  Shoot at f4 where possible.  Keep the shutter at 1/50th (PAL) or 1/60th (NTSC)

Consider putting your LED light on a stand or tripod rather than on the camera.  If your subject is looking left to right in the frame (as you see it)  put the light slightly to the right of the camera.  Just above eye level (or perhaps higher if they wear glasses.  If they are looking right to left, have the light on the left of the camera.

Put your mic on stand, just above the edge of frame pointing at your subjects mouth.

For low angle shots a fig rig is ideal, and makes a reasonable bash as a rig as well (don't bother with the sympla version, older basic version is fine)

Keep it simple.  Shoot repetitve motions, take control, ask them to repeat a move, shoot it medium straight on, wide and low, tele and high.  Each of your 3 shots should have a different height and different perspective to cut well.

Watch reflections. Ballet is a burger for this!

Get this right.  Get used to the caveats of video.  It's not anything like stills.  Get the basics right then if you must, get fancy with movements.

Axilrod

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Re: Stills photographer Doing some video
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2013, 12:23:55 PM »
Here is the problem with some rail systems and follow focus: If you will be switching lenses between 24-105 and 70-200, those require two different mount points. With 24-105 and smaller lenses you typically mount to the camera base. With 70-200 and larger you usually mount to the lens body via a ring. If a geared follow focus is mounted, this complicates switching lenses. If someone has a solution or suggestions, I'd like to hear it.

I just gear up all the lenses that I'm going to be using and my RedRock rig adjust accordingly, but that all depends on what kind of setup you have.  But traditionally I've never had problems swapping lenses on the rig.
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Axilrod

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Re: Stills photographer Doing some video
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2013, 12:31:18 PM »
I know you had a lot of questions and a lot of them have been answered, but one thing stuck out to me, the Dynamic Perception dolly.  I have to say, if you are going to be shooting your first production and want to use the Stage Zero in addition to everything else, DO NOT do that, the Stage Zero can be very confusing if you aren't experienced with it and the last thing you want to do is spend a bunch of time fumbling around with that thing.  If you are set on using it, make sure you experiment with it a good bit before you try to use it professionally, but if you do get it down it's pretty easy to set it and forget it, just don't take it out if it's your first time using it. 

You should be fine transitioning from stills to motion, the rules of composition and lighting stay the same you are just ALWAYS recording instead of there just being a frame here and there.  It sounds like you are good in terms of gear, just make sure you get the proper stability gear (tripod, rig, slider, etc.).


Couple of other things:

Rhino Slider - This is a must (or some kind of slider), slider shots add a TON of professionalism to your videos.

Matte Box - I would say this isn't really necessary, I have $30k+ in gear and in the hundreds of shoots I've done in the past few years I've never thought "man I really wish I had a matte box."

Atomos Ninja - This is probably the least necessary of everything on the list, using an external recorder with the 5D3 does nothing for image quality, it just gives you a more edit-friendly format. You should be able to edit the IPB H.264 files natively no problem with a halfway fast computer.  Or you can shoot ALL-I for an internal "edit-friendly" format.

Kessler crane - Great product, but I think it may be overkill for you.  Make sure you really want to continue with video before you buy gear like that.  Also, this is something that would require an extra crew member on shoots, keep in mind it's tough to set up, use, and break down all this gear by yourself. 

Zacuto EVF I love this thing, it has peaking, zebra stripes, and lots of other cool features, I noticed my footage was consistently in focus more when I used this over my monitors.  Regardless of whether you choose an EVF or monitor, you NEED something external to monitor on, don't try to use the screen on the back, that's asking for trouble.  The LCD is so small that it makes everything look better than it really does, I can't tell you how many times I've seen people "think they had the shoot," only to pull it up on a big screen and it looks like crap. 

I would say most important stuff would be:
Good tripod with fluid head
Monitor
Couple of articulating arms
Slider

Least necessary:
Mattebox
Atomos Ninja
Crane

I think you're good on audio and don't need anything more than that.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 12:39:53 PM by Axilrod »
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Re: Stills photographer Doing some video
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2013, 12:31:18 PM »

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Re: Stills photographer Doing some video
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2013, 02:23:48 PM »
I would echo those who have said to keep it simple on your first shoot, and maybe your second, or third...

While many of your stills knowledge will help you with video, it is a very different beast. There are so many things you can't cheat in video, things that you will notice in post, etc.

If you can find someone (preferably who knows what they are doing) to concentrate on audio for you, it will take a lot off your shoulders. Especially in this first day where you won't be interviewing and won't be able to use your lavs.

Trying not to vary ISO, fstop, and leaving shutter speed at 1/50th or 1/60th (depending on framerate) within a scene will go a long way in making your shots match to cut in post. Sudden changes in DOF or grain can be jarring. It's more forgiving in documentary style shooting like you are doing, and it's more important to get the shot, but it's still something to keep in mind.
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joema

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Re: Stills photographer Doing some video
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2013, 06:46:35 PM »
....they want to get kids reactions before and after the test)...which will be basically a room with a bunch of nervous kids before a test, they go in as a group....
Your 70-200 at f/2.8 is a very powerful tool. Frame down a line of kids waiting, then manually rack focus from the nearest to the farthest.  The LCD is fine for that -- you don't need exact fixed focus, as you're constantly changing it.

Use the 5D3 Custom Controls (C.Fn2:Disp./Operation) and program the "Set" button to magnify. Set button is in the center of the wheel. That way before starting a take you can briefly punch in magnify to check focus. Unfortunately this doesn't work while rolling video.

If you find a single subject in a crowd of kids, go in close at 200mm @ 2.8, use magnify to check focus, roll video and zoom back slowly. You can also zoom in, check focus, back off to 70mm, roll video and zoom in slowly. Sometimes you get lucky and catch an expression at the right moment.

Get close-up shots of hands being nervously clenched, ribbons tied in hair, etc.

At the other end of focal range, go wide and close. You've heard you can't be too rich or too thin? In video you can't be too wide or too close :) A 17-40 f/4 or 16-35 f/2.8 is good for this; you don't have one but I've gotten lots of good close-up low-angle shots using the 24-105 at 24mm.

A nice (if sometimes overused) post-production technique is split screen. It's good for summarizing the entire panorama of activities at an event. A common method is book-end by opening and closing with the same effect, say a 2x2 split screen. It's especially powerful if combined with the right music. Almost any material can be used for this, but the more you have to pick from the better.

A common mistake for stills shooters transitioning to video is leaving insufficient head and tail footage. After you finish a take, keep shooting for several seconds before you stop rolling. Likewise try to roll several seconds before the take starts (if it's a known event). Obviously for fleeting shots of opportunity, just get what you can.

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Re: Stills photographer Doing some video
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2013, 06:46:35 PM »