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Author Topic: Need some Video Advice for the 7D  (Read 2851 times)

This is the Edge

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Need some Video Advice for the 7D
« on: March 31, 2012, 05:52:52 PM »
We have a 7D with the 17-40mm F4L and a 70-200 IS II F2.8L. So far our limited attempts with Video have been poor. I'm using Phillip Bloom's suggested 24fps setting and I'm still not getting the quality I've seen with other people's 7D videos. I'm speaking specifically to image quality vs. framing, handeling of the camera, use of lenses, etc. I'm thinking its mainly a post processing issue. I have a lot to learn in the other areas of filming of course.

We have Lightroom 4, Photoshop CS6 Beta and iMovies. I've seen that a lot of Pros use Adobe Premiere as one of their main editing tools. I guess I could download a demo and see if that gives us better results.

We are headed to Europe on Vacation and then I'm head to Maui right after that for work so I would like to figure out a way to record some of these memories. Any advice/tips would be greatly appreciated.

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Need some Video Advice for the 7D
« on: March 31, 2012, 05:52:52 PM »

bluegreenturtle

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Re: Need some Video Advice for the 7D
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2012, 08:57:54 PM »
Can you be more specific?  The quality is either there in the clips out of the camera or it's not - the editing software doesn't matter.  Maybe post a clip and describe what you don't like?

Jedifarce

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Re: Need some Video Advice for the 7D
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2012, 10:01:51 AM »
We have a 7D with the 17-40mm F4L and a 70-200 IS II F2.8L. So far our limited attempts with Video have been poor. I'm using Phillip Bloom's suggested 24fps setting and I'm still not getting the quality I've seen with other people's 7D videos. I'm speaking specifically to image quality vs. framing, handeling of the camera, use of lenses, etc. I'm thinking its mainly a post processing issue. I have a lot to learn in the other areas of filming of course.

We have Lightroom 4, Photoshop CS6 Beta and iMovies. I've seen that a lot of Pros use Adobe Premiere as one of their main editing tools. I guess I could download a demo and see if that gives us better results.

We are headed to Europe on Vacation and then I'm head to Maui right after that for work so I would like to figure out a way to record some of these memories. Any advice/tips would be greatly appreciated.

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You'll probably need to go with a flat picture style like Technicolor's Cinestyle which gives you more latitude in post. http://www.technicolor.com/en/hi/theatrical/visual-post-production/digital-printer-lights/cinestyle

Axilrod

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Re: Need some Video Advice for the 7D
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2012, 11:58:53 AM »
Yeah you definitely don't need to be shooting on the standard picture profile.  Also if you are shooting at 30 fps you need to use a shutter speed of 60 (1/60th) and if you are shooting 24fps use a shutter speed of 50 (1/50th).  Try sticking to ISO's in multiples of 160 (160, 320, 640, 1250) but I wouldn't go over 800 for professional work on the 7D. 

I have a feeling that the f/4 of the 17-40 may be holding you back.  Since the shutter speed stays fixed, your next method of letting in more light is lowering the aperture, but f/4 is the limit.  So if your shutter is at 1/50 and your aperture is at f/4 and you're image is still underexposed, then your only option is to increase the ISO.  But the higher you increase the ISO, the more noise is introduced.  This leads to all kinds of bad image quality, but a little added lighting can help tremendously in keeping your ISO as low as possible. 

Also, don't use the standard picture style.  Use Neutral, turn the sharpness absolutely all the way down (to the far left) and cut the contrast and saturation down a couple of clicks (maybe -2 from center).  Turning the sharpness down is crucial.  Standard picture style tends to crush the blacks so you end up losing tons of shadow detail.  I like cinestyle for some situations, but if you're shooting with limited light it can end up introducing quite a bit of noise.  And there are some situations that you may not have time to do much color correction and with Cinestyle you HAVE to grade it.  I know the Also make sure you have auto lighting optimizer, highlight tone priority, and noise reduction stuff turned OFF.  Use Kelvin manual white balance.   

If it's "not the quality you're used to seeing online," it's because a lot of the videos you saw were shot with very expensive primes, which let in more light (which allow you to shoot at lower ISO, which leads to less noise/better picture) and are much sharper than zooms.  Also, stabilization is a big thing, DSLRs just don't have the ergonomics to operate handheld and still get good results.  You need at least a tripod with a fluid head or some type of shoulder rig, and a follow focus with an external monitor or evf to get the type of results you are looking for.

If the footage doesn't look good off the card then it's not a post-processing issue.  I rarely do much in post to affect the image quality, and generally when I do color correction it's just minor tweaks to the white balance and levels.  iMovie is a pretty basic editor, if you use that now I would suggest upgrading to Final Cut Pro X if you do upgrade.  It will be much easier for you to learn than Premiere or Avid.  I've been using Final Cut Studio for almost 10 years, but I've used Avid and Premiere and think they are both equally capable, FCP was always my preference.  I hated FCPX at first but now that I've gotten used to it, it's absolutely insane how fast I can cut projects.  I went from cutting 2-4 music videos/day to 10-15.  But the thing is, your footage should look pretty good coming off the camera regardless of what editor you end up putting the footage in.  Unless your export settings were totally out of whack then I would focus more on your in camera settings. 

These cameras are not the type of video cameras that you just point and get movie-like results, I've spent thousands and thousands on accessories to make my cameras function more like video cameras.  It's definitely not an "automatic" camera, you have to pick your settings carefully and not let the camera decide too much for you.  You just have to remember that these cameras are always still cameras first and video cameras second, it takes a lot of trial/error and studying to get the type of results you're looking for. 
« Last Edit: April 02, 2012, 12:05:30 PM by Axilrod »
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Matthew19

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Re: Need some Video Advice for the 7D
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2012, 01:50:25 PM »
I shoot video elusively with DSLRs. I wouldn't touch Cinestyle unless you really have to. Most of the big boys abandoned it after seeing the problems with banding and skin tones. Some of the best vids out there are shot on Netural or standard, but ALWAYS turn the contrast down all the way. I actually leave sharpness at 3. Because of the aliasing, these files don't look good sharpened in post. Still Motion does the same thing in their wedding videos.

You should take a fast prime with you on the trip. Thats really what makes these cameras stand out. a 50 1.8 would be cheap. I'd also buy a polarizer and maybe a grad ND or two for your landscape stuff. I just got back from the Caribbean and had good results. Here is a link to the unfinished test video if your interested.  - Edit for Andrew

bluegreenturtle

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Re: Need some Video Advice for the 7D
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2012, 02:05:34 PM »
I shoot video elusively with DSLRs. I wouldn't touch Cinestyle unless you really have to. Most of the big boys abandoned it after seeing the problems with banding and skin tones. Some of the best vids out there are shot on Netural or standard, but ALWAYS turn the contrast down all the way. I actually leave sharpness at 3. Because of the aliasing, these files don't look good sharpened in post. Still Motion does the same thing in their wedding videos.

You should take a fast prime with you on the trip. Thats really what makes these cameras stand out. a 50 1.8 would be cheap. I'd also buy a polarizer and maybe a grad ND or two for your landscape stuff. I just got back from the Caribbean and had good results. Here is a link to the unfinished test video if your interested.  - Edit for Andrew

That's pretty great Matt.  5D, though?

Matthew19

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Re: Need some Video Advice for the 7D
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2012, 02:18:06 PM »
Thanks. It was the 5d with the 16-35 2.8 ii and 70-200mm f/4.

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Re: Need some Video Advice for the 7D
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2012, 02:18:06 PM »

This is the Edge

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Re: Need some Video Advice for the 7D
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2012, 12:55:49 PM »
Great stuff! Thanks for all the information and feedback. Unfortunately, we didn't pack the tripod to Paris so I'm not counting on much video here. We are going to just shoot the basic tourist stuff I guess (pictures).

Maui is another story. I will bring the tripod. If I have time I might rent a prime.

My poor attempts were all low light. I need to try in good light for starts. I get the garbage in/garbage out concept. Good post processing isn't going to save a poorly shot video.

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KacperP

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Re: Need some Video Advice for the 7D
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2012, 02:29:48 PM »
I use 60D. Fast lens is a must. In interiors, even during daylight I have to use my 28mm f 1.8 prime to have high quality videos. F4 zoom will probably be fast enough only for daylight outdoors.
Standard picture profile does not work well. I prefer CineStyle from Technicolor, or Neutral/Faithful sometimes.
Som of my advices:
- ISO as low as possible.
- Do not use highlight tone priority in video. It does virtually extend dynamic range, but amplifies dark tones, and increases noises - harshly visible in shadows even in low ISO.
- Noise reduction - consider it when using higher ISO settings in lower light... You must try and see what looks you will like better. I usually consider some minimum noise reduction at ISO 800-1600.
- Consider a rig - handheld pointing is not terribly stable. Tripod is nice for photos in general, but only for some videos. Shoulder rig/steadicam can make difference. See some older Hollywood movies when actors had to approach static camera and say their parts (cameras back then were large and bloody heavy) and compare to modern day Nat Geo documentaries with calmly dynamic camera :)

bluegreenturtle

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Re: Need some Video Advice for the 7D
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2012, 05:30:48 PM »
It depends on what you're doing.  I shoot documentaries and corporate pieces professionally (and have for years) and never shoot without a tripod with a fluid head.  I'm a steadicam operator too (not one of those little handheld things) and I use that occasionally but it's a special effect for what I do.  But never hand held except for the occasional shot when it's braced against something else.  You just can't with a large sensor CMOS camera - it looks like hell. 

I typically shoot interviews at f 1.4 or 2.8 depending on the light and the subject/background if using a 7D, f 4 or so if using FF.   You need to light though usually, and up the f a little as really I'm usually gambling (and have lost, sometimes) when shooting at those shallow of DOF, slight movement will pull the subject out of focus, and if I'm conducting the interview at the same time, I can't adjust every little time they move.   I use a Vari-ND outside often to allow the lens to remain open (if a subject or close up b roll) or just stop down for vistas, as you would with a still camera. 

Matthew19

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Re: Need some Video Advice for the 7D
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2012, 06:02:42 PM »
Lots of video guys dig the Manfrotto 561bhdv-1 monopod.


I should also mention that I've seen some hand held work that is ok. For example I took my camera into a restaurant, it was my nieces birthday, I used my elbows on the table to prop the cam when they brought out her cake. It looked great and there was no way to get the shot otherwise. If you can prop yourself up then handheld can work.

bluegreenturtle

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Re: Need some Video Advice for the 7D
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2012, 08:48:12 PM »
I think handheld is totally fine for personal stuff or more intimate (more emotional content) work.  I just can't get away with it for my clients.  When I shoot music videos I use some handheld.

I use miller solo legs with a cartoni focus head.  Cost more than my camera.  And I'm beginning to feel like it's overkill for travel. 

ruuneos

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Re: Need some Video Advice for the 7D
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2012, 03:21:34 PM »
I like to use After Effects or Premiere with custom preset with HD settings and I can't complain with quality of video.

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Re: Need some Video Advice for the 7D
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2012, 03:21:34 PM »

gibbygoo

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Re: Need some Video Advice for the 7D
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2012, 05:56:26 PM »
What is it about the 7D that makes you want to use it as your vacation video camera? Think about what those precious memories mean to people who don't care about cinematic depth of field. Be honest--that shallow dof is the only reason any of us care about these cameras. In every other way, they are marginal to downright crappy. It's getting old. If you want to capture fleeting moments on your vacation, I can't think of a worse choice than a dslr. Get a Vixia or something and have fun.

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Re: Need some Video Advice for the 7D
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2012, 05:56:26 PM »