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Author Topic: DSLR Video Questions.  (Read 2777 times)

sanj

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DSLR Video Questions.
« on: June 03, 2013, 07:48:15 AM »
Although I am a professional DOP working on RED, Alexia etc, I now am doing a job for the first time on DSLR and have so many questions and need all the help you all can provide. Please help!

The gear available to me:
5d3, 1dx
Zeiss 14 2.8, Zeiss 35 f1.4, Zeiss 135 f2 (on its way)
Fluid head tripod.
Lexar 1000x 32gb UDMA 7 card
A three year old Imac for editing.

Nature of job and crew:
I will be going to small villages and shoot lifestyles of people as artistically as I can. Mostly decent light, occasionally low light.
I will shoot lots of interviews with audio.
I have a focus puller and lighting assistant.

I want efficient frill free equipment that does the job. However, keeping gear light is not the first requirement, getting professional output is.

The edited videos will be viewed mostly on internet and at times projected on a mid size screen.

My questions:
1.   Do I need another monitor besides the LCD on the camera to check focus etc?
2.   Which is the best slider for price for DSLR?
3.   Which is the best way to record audio? Do I record on camera or external recorder and sync using a slate? I have a BeachTek DXA-SLR available for free. Is it any good?
4.   Should I use Magic Lantern software or original Canon RAW? If magic lantern, then which version?
5.   What is the ideal ISO for video? And if not ideal, what is the acceptable range for noise free work.
6.   Is 1/50 the only shutter speed to work at or it does not matter?
7.   Will my Imac be ok for the edit? I will not buy an Imac now until it is refreshed, but just want to prepare myself on the speed of edit.

ANY help is appreciated sincerely.

Thank you!


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DSLR Video Questions.
« on: June 03, 2013, 07:48:15 AM »

Leejo

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Re: DSLR Video Questions.
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2013, 09:49:54 AM »
My questions:
1.   Do I need another monitor besides the LCD on the camera to check focus etc?
Not 100% necessary, but useful. The more you focus pull the more necessary one will be.
You can view at upto 10x for the initial focus.  Eyepiece LCD viewfinders such as Zacuto are available as well

2.   Which is the best slider for price for DSLR?
sorry not my area - try Planet5D or similar websites
3.   Which is the best way to record audio? Do I record on camera or external recorder and sync using a slate? I have a BeachTek DXA-SLR available for free. Is it any good?
External recorder - you can sync then using a slate or software such as pluraleyze. can't comment on the Beachtek
4.   Should I use Magic Lantern software or original Canon RAW? If magic lantern, then which version?
Canopn does not record RAW Video. Regardless of whether you record RAW or not the Magic Lantern is recommended for the 5D3 (not available for the 1DX) for focus peaking etc.
5.   What is the ideal ISO for video? And if not ideal, what is the acceptable range for noise free work.
ISO160 or multiples thereof if required
6.   Is 1/50 the only shutter speed to work at or it does not matter?
You can set the Framerate in the camera - so depending on your output you would set the shutter speed at double that.
7.   Will my Imac be ok for the edit? I will not buy an Imac now until it is refreshed, but just want to prepare myself on the speed of edit.
Can't answer that - but I suspect it would be a little slow for RAW Video editing

Further - one Card ?? You will need several - or a stack of them if recording RAW Video....

ANY help is appreciated sincerely.

Thank you!


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sanj

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Re: DSLR Video Questions.
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2013, 10:53:39 AM »
My questions:
1.   Do I need another monitor besides the LCD on the camera to check focus etc?
Not 100% necessary, but useful. The more you focus pull the more necessary one will be.
You can view at upto 10x for the initial focus.  Eyepiece LCD viewfinders such as Zacuto are available as well

2.   Which is the best slider for price for DSLR?
sorry not my area - try Planet5D or similar websites
3.   Which is the best way to record audio? Do I record on camera or external recorder and sync using a slate? I have a BeachTek DXA-SLR available for free. Is it any good?
External recorder - you can sync then using a slate or software such as pluraleyze. can't comment on the Beachtek
4.   Should I use Magic Lantern software or original Canon RAW? If magic lantern, then which version?
Canopn does not record RAW Video. Regardless of whether you record RAW or not the Magic Lantern is recommended for the 5D3 (not available for the 1DX) for focus peaking etc.
5.   What is the ideal ISO for video? And if not ideal, what is the acceptable range for noise free work.
ISO160 or multiples thereof if required
6.   Is 1/50 the only shutter speed to work at or it does not matter?
You can set the Framerate in the camera - so depending on your output you would set the shutter speed at double that.
7.   Will my Imac be ok for the edit? I will not buy an Imac now until it is refreshed, but just want to prepare myself on the speed of edit.
Can't answer that - but I suspect it would be a little slow for RAW Video editing

Further - one Card ?? You will need several - or a stack of them if recording RAW Video....

ANY help is appreciated sincerely.

Thank you!


Thank you so so much.
This takes me to few other questions:
Which monitor should I buy which can stick on top of camera?
Which version of Magic Lantern? (I believe the latest is in testing)
I do not understand "set the frame rate in camera"
Yes, I need multiple cards. If I was working 12 hour days and recording 5-6 hours of RAW video, how many 32 GB cards does that translate into?
THANK YOU.

joema

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Re: DSLR Video Questions.
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2013, 11:37:11 AM »
Although I am a professional DOP working on RED, Alexia etc, I now am doing a job for the first time on DSLR ...5d3, 1dx Zeiss 14 2.8, Zeiss 35 f1.4, Zeiss 135 f2 (on its way)
I shoot lots of video documentary material using the 5D3. Despite your experience, a video DSLR is complex. You'll need to practice all the modes and "switchology" ahead of time.

If you shoot any hand-held or monopod material, an optically stabilized lens is important. I use the 24-105 f/4 and 70-200 f/2.8 IS II a lot; they are both good. The 70-200 is big and expensive but the images are beautiful. It facilitates getting shots of opportunity. If you're doing mostly scripted narrative work, that's less an issue.

Quote from: sanj
Lexar 1000x 32gb UDMA 7 card
You will need at least three 32GB 1000x cards -- per camera, maybe more. That's for 1080p/30 IPB video (the most space efficient type). If you use ALL-I which takes about 3x the space, you'll need more.

I'd also suggest a USB 3.0 CF card reader. I use this one; it works well: http://www.amazon.com/Hoodman-Ruggedized-Steel-Superspeed-Reader/dp/B005UEB6OK Make sure your PC accomodates USB 3.0. If not USB 2.0 will work it's just 3x slower.

Despite all the talk about lower-compression formats, I find that IPB looks very good and avoids the complexity of All-I, HDMI external recording or raw video.

Batteries: besides the CF card, you'll need several LP-E6 batteries. If you get a Zacuto EVF Pro, it uses the same battery. For two DSLRs, I'd suggest a total of four extra batteries minimum, preferably six. Add one more for the Zacuto EVF, which (unlike the DSLR) will last all day on one battery.

Quote from: sanj
A three year old Imac for editing.
I use Premiere Pro CS6 on Windows 7; my PC is about three years old but is a quad-core 16GB machine at 4 Ghz with a GTX-660 video card. Your performance will depend on what editing software you use.


Quote from: sanj
I will be going to small villages and shoot lifestyles of people as artistically as I can. Mostly decent light, occasionally low light.  I will shoot lots of interviews with audio. I have a focus puller and lighting assistant.
You'll need an external mic,  whether recorded in camera or external. I've used a boom-operated Rode NTG-2 shotgun to both camera and external Zoom recorder, also Sennheiser EW 100 ENG G3 wireless lav: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/618735-REG/Sennheiser_EW_100_ENG_G3_A_Evolution_G3_100_Series.html, and the cheaper Canon WM-V1 wireless bluetooth lipstick mic: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/751267-REG/Canon_5068B001_WM_V1_Wireless_Microphone.html

After using all that, my preference for interviews is the Sennheiser G3 concealed in a clipboard which the interviewer holds near the subject. Camera is backed off from the subject using a 70-200 f/2.8 at 200 mm @ 2.8. This is not a covert interview, the subject knows both mic and camera are there. However getting the camera out of their face gives more natural response. Having the mic non-visible (vs a boom-operated shotgun in their face) also helps. Camera is typically hand-held (for brief interviews) or monopod-mounted.

Quote from: sanj
1.   Do I need another monitor besides the LCD on the camera to check focus etc?
Yes. You can either use a field monitor or LCD. I've used both and my preference (by far) is the Zacuto EVF Pro. It's a professional-quality tool and has adjustable diopter, focus peaking, zebras, one-touch zoom, etc: http://www.zacuto.com/zfinderevf
http://store.zacuto.com/z-finder-evf-pro/  You'll need a "Gorilla plate" and LCD mounting frame. Talk to Zacuto; they'll help you out.

Quote from: sanj
2.   Which is the best slider for price for DSLR?
I use the 40.5" Kessler Stealth slider; it has adjustable tension and is well made: http://www.kesslercrane.com/product-p/stealth_standard.htm

Quote from: sanj
3.   Which is the best way to record audio? Do I record on camera or external recorder and sync using a slate? I have a BeachTek DXA-SLR available for free. Is it any good?
My colleague uses this on his D800; he likes it. For simple productions I see no problem with recording audio to camera input (using an external mic). For multi-cam shoots you only need one camera with primary sound, on the other cameras the onboard mic is OK for sync'ing to that.

DO NOT use audio automatic gain, set input gain manually. Monitor all audio with headphones.

Note the 5D3 audio controls are tricky: when not rolling, the thumb wheel "click" controller adjust it. When rolling, the thumbwheel switches to a touch-sensitive, accessed via the "Q" button. Practice ahead of time.

DSLRs typically record one stereo audio track. If you want to record ambient sound plus the interview vocals you'll need to split this to L/R using the BeachTek or have another recorder.

For syncing audio/video or multi-cam audio, I've used PluralEyes; it's not perfect but helps: http://www.redgiant.com/products/all/pluraleyes/

Quote from: sanj
4.   Should I use Magic Lantern software or original Canon RAW? If magic lantern, then which version?
ML is not available in production version for the MK III. It's a great product but I would not use the current pre-alpha version for critical work. I definitely would not use raw video (only available via pre-alpha ML).

Quote from: sanj
5.   What is the ideal ISO for video? And if not ideal, what is the acceptable range for noise free work.
If you need to get the shot, you can use fairly high ISO. I have shot wedding and documentary video at 12,800 and it looks good. You'll need to make test shots in the field to verify they're OK for your standards.

Quote from: sanj
6.   Is 1/50 the only shutter speed to work at or it does not matter?
Your shutter speed should be the closest available speed to 2x the frame rate. E.g, 1/50th sec for 1080p/24, or 1/60th sec for 1080p/30. Not using this can cause a strobing effect like the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. See 180 deg. shutter rule: http://tylerginter.com/post/11480534977/180-degree-shutter-learn-it-live-it-love-it

Quote from: sanj
7.   Will my Imac be ok for the edit? I will not buy an Imac now until it is refreshed, but just want to prepare myself on the speed of edit.
As stated above it depends on your editing software and iMac memory/disk config.

Other items:

You'll definitely need a variable-ND filter or drop-in filters on a matte box. I use the Tiffen variable ND filter; it works well. However it conflicts with the lens hood, so if you need both a 3rd party lens hood or matte box is needed. Note the ND filter is mandatory. You cannot shoot video outdoors at wide aperture without one, unless you vary the shutter speed which isn't desirable.

In general the best camera mode for video is manual, with auto ISO enabled. This gives some auto-exposure freedom, yet locks the shutter speed for the 180 deg. rule. Do not shoot in programed mode or aperture priority, which will allow the shutter speed to float.

For slating the shot, I use the Movie*Slate app on an iPad. It is very sophisticated and can do many things, inc'l upload the shot list to your PC and optional wireless timecode: http://www.movie-slate.com/ Slating shots works best for pre-arranged setups. It does not work for quickly-emerging shots of opportunity.

For fluid situations if you slate multiple cameras and start rolling, you can easily burn up lots of battery and memory waiting for the event to happen. DSLRs will time out after 30 min which breaks the take, which squanders the slate's synchronization benefit.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2013, 11:39:50 AM by joema »

Drizzt321

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Re: DSLR Video Questions.
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2013, 11:44:23 AM »
My questions:
1.   Do I need another monitor besides the LCD on the camera to check focus etc?
Not 100% necessary, but useful. The more you focus pull the more necessary one will be.
You can view at upto 10x for the initial focus.  Eyepiece LCD viewfinders such as Zacuto are available as well

2.   Which is the best slider for price for DSLR?
sorry not my area - try Planet5D or similar websites
3.   Which is the best way to record audio? Do I record on camera or external recorder and sync using a slate? I have a BeachTek DXA-SLR available for free. Is it any good?
External recorder - you can sync then using a slate or software such as pluraleyze. can't comment on the Beachtek
4.   Should I use Magic Lantern software or original Canon RAW? If magic lantern, then which version?
Canopn does not record RAW Video. Regardless of whether you record RAW or not the Magic Lantern is recommended for the 5D3 (not available for the 1DX) for focus peaking etc.
5.   What is the ideal ISO for video? And if not ideal, what is the acceptable range for noise free work.
ISO160 or multiples thereof if required
6.   Is 1/50 the only shutter speed to work at or it does not matter?
You can set the Framerate in the camera - so depending on your output you would set the shutter speed at double that.
7.   Will my Imac be ok for the edit? I will not buy an Imac now until it is refreshed, but just want to prepare myself on the speed of edit.
Can't answer that - but I suspect it would be a little slow for RAW Video editing

Further - one Card ?? You will need several - or a stack of them if recording RAW Video....

ANY help is appreciated sincerely.

Thank you!


Thank you so so much.
This takes me to few other questions:
Which monitor should I buy which can stick on top of camera?
Which version of Magic Lantern? (I believe the latest is in testing)
I do not understand "set the frame rate in camera"
Yes, I need multiple cards. If I was working 12 hour days and recording 5-6 hours of RAW video, how many 32 GB cards does that translate into?
THANK YOU.

One thing to note is that the Magic Lantern RAW recording is currently unstable and not even available as a pre-built alpha. At the moment they highly recommend not using it for anything important. It's also only available on the 5d3, not the 1DX, so make sure you take 1 or 2 backup cameras just in case. You'll also only get ~6 minutes per 32GB from what I hear, so you'll need a huge stack of them, and lots of external HDD to make 2 copies after each day. If you shoot 6 hours of video per day, you'll be over 2TB of total space which is 68 32GB cards. Due to not filling up the entire card, you'll probably need 75-80 cards to be safe. Then you need to download each and ever card to 2 separate HDD, which means you'll be burning using 2 3TB drives a day (although you can use the extra space left over for the next day).

I know you said need professional results as opposed to lighter weight, but why not go with the Canon C500 which offers a RAW output mode. I think you need an external recorder to record in RAW, but it'll be with fully supported workflows, and it's not a huge camera from what I understand, only slightly larger than the 1D style body. Plus you can have your EF lenses as well on it.

For any field needs, your iMac will likely struggle for any RAW files, even the fully supported C500 RAW files. Even if you max out the RAM, the CPU is going to be fairly old, especially compared to the new Intel CPUs that are just about released. If you insist, you might want to look at a small PC with a top end CPU and decent graphics OpenCL/CUDA card with gobs of RAM that you can use to convert the RAW footage to ProRes or whatever you're preferred editing format is. And don't forget your backup requirements for that, which will be just as substantial as the RAW footage.

So all in all, you'll need a car-load of hard drives to cart around all of your RAW footage, a small cluster of fast (but can be small) machines to convert all that to a format that can be edited. And then you actually need to edit all that footage, which you'll ideally need something quite a bit newer than your current iMac.

Or...you can use the 1DC/C100/C300/C500 with their higher quality 1080p compressed output which will save yourself a ton of hassle, save a ton of space for required backups, and still have great quality for your needs. You probably should still have a better machine, but the one you have is more likely to manage OK.
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Re: DSLR Video Questions.
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2013, 12:40:44 PM »
Haven't read through all the replies so sorry if there's some things already covered:

It is recommended (I would, along with many users) to install ML onto the camera, read through the manual the team provides and get used to the way the camera functions with it. Without manual control over even the basics of Aperture will be a pain, and people have dealt with that by disconnecting the lens from the camera slightly by just rotating it. This endangers the lens from falling off accidentally.

Image stabilized lenses can help if you don't have any rigs at the time and are going hand held. But I suggest against the use of IS while using such lenses, especially for narrative productions, as the IS is built for photography and not optimized for video use. It will yield stable shots, but when there's some movement, there will be "jumps" and very unnatural movement while the gyros figure out how to get a stable view. Doesn't feel cinematic and almost like Post processed stabilization sometimes. Perfectly fine for event coverage or on-the-go journalistic/broadcast work though.

Yes you would need another screen especially to save your back (or gear) by having to get smack behind the camera. Just having a better angle for monitoring helps, but I don't have any suggestions, there are several well rated ones for around $200, so really anything above that in price range should be good, just depends on your needs, and weight should still be considered when traveling even tough image quality is a priority.

For sound recording using an external to record directly into the camera is standard practice, but I record both in camera and external and sync in post. In case the external has a problem or the recording just didn't turn out then there's the in-camera to fall back to.

Sliders - I've been looking at getting a better one myself, and trying out one in a shop I will likely go for the Edelkrone Slider+ as it's super smooth and stable, short for easy transport too. And is pretty cheap compared to most other sliders that are usable. Otherwise you should look at the Kesslar slider options, some are very good for the price as well.

Back with the 5D Mark II the ISO settings were a bigger deal, now with being the low light beast, 5D Mark III noise isn't much of a factor to be concerned over. Naturally dynamic range will drop at higher ISOs, and as it was said above as well starting at 160 and going multiples of that should be good, but I don't think following that method is important anymore since the 5DII. You should stay between 200 ~ 800 for most shooting, while up to 3200 can yeild very usable/acceptable results. You can go beyond that, but the already soft image of the faux-1080P of the 5DIII will start to show more.
Again, don't worry about the noise for this camera, 1600 and below to keep it simple though.

Your iMac - It should do fine, well, depends on your RAM, video card and processor but I'm using a 4 year old MBP and it does fine. But that depends on what's usable, if you're on a tight schedule then get yourself a Mac Pro and upgrade it as much as you can and even then you would want more speed :)
If you're coming from RED and Alexa then you probably worked with better codecs and compression, maybe even RAW. 5DIII outputs in MOV with .h264 and although works fine will slow down any system as is, you will benefit from transcoding to ProRes first then editing, but again coming from better systems you won't be able to do a whole lot of grading in post. For recording just watch out for those blown highlights, but I suggest slightly overexposing the shots in general as the sensor is better with maintaining highlight detail over shadows.

Now also mentioned there's a firmware hack out that allows for Cinema RAW output from the camera, and again is still in ALPHA and not fully functional/available yet. And your current card will only yield you a matter of minutes with RAW anyways. But, get more cards, at least have more than enough recording room, I wouldn't want to remind myself about the lack of space and just not shoot potentially usable material.

Finally, there is no ML for the 1DX, but the video function of that camera is well regarded, just not "the camera" for video users so I don't hear so much of that, so there will be less material out there on shooting video with that camera.
And batteries, get plenty, in video mode (just having the screen on even) DSLRs just guzzle battery juice

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Re: DSLR Video Questions.
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2013, 06:07:28 AM »

My questions:
1.   Do I need another monitor besides the LCD on the camera to check focus etc?

Nope.  Shades of need I suppose, but I get by without it.  My interview camera is usually on a tripod so plenty of time to live view check, and I find the viewfinders on DSLRs sufficient to adjust on the fly.

2.   Which is the best slider for price for DSLR?

3.   Which is the best way to record audio? Do I record on camera or external recorder and sync using a slate? I have a BeachTek DXA-SLR available for free. Is it any good?

Beachtek DXA-SLR is good, I find the beachtek works best with AGC control on and the camera set to auto. You need to filter, or sacrifice the left channel (so mono mic into right channel) but this gives me clean audio.  Used manually I was getting noise.

Monitor from the 5D3 directly so  you are getting the sound through the cans that the camera is recording.  It bolts to the camera. Can work without power, you have one record button etc. If travelling light, and if an eye on overall costs then there is no reason not to use it.

 
4.   Should I use Magic Lantern software or original Canon RAW? If magic lantern, then which version?

5.   What is the ideal ISO for video? And if not ideal, what is the acceptable range for noise free work.

Lower the better.

6.   Is 1/50 the only shutter speed to work at or it does not matter?

Is perfect for PAL at 25fps.  If you are shooting for NTSC, then 1/60th is better.  You can use faster shutters or one stop slower, but the most fluid results will be with shutter following the 180 rule.  Faster shutters may also cause you problems with certain types of lighting.

7.   Will my Imac be ok for the edit? I will not buy an Imac now until it is refreshed, but just want to prepare myself on the speed of edit.

OS? 3 years old is probably 10.6.  Will run Adobe Premiere CS5, you want a 64 bit app to go with the 64bit machine and 64 bit OS, this opens up all your RAM which will decrease rendering time and really help you cut your H.264 files natively out of the camera.  It will run FCPX (double check GFX card but should be ok) but I can't speak for that other than to say Apple are a bunch of ash-holes for screwing over legacy FCP users.

You will want an external drive, and you are limited to FW800, or removing the optical drive and running an E-SATA connection to a faster device like an SSD in external enclosure.


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Re: DSLR Video Questions.
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2013, 06:07:28 AM »

sanj

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Re: DSLR Video Questions.
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2013, 07:51:02 AM »
Thank you all for such SUPER helpful replies. I am soaking it all in. I still have ten days before the shoot and will spend next few days going over all of this again and again.

Appreciate!

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Re: DSLR Video Questions.
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2013, 07:51:02 AM »