Never doubt the power of a DSLR for movies again

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Sam Posten, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I've been reading up and watching tutorials on Color Timing / Grading myself in anticipation of getting Final Cut when Nikon finally catches up to Canon on the video side. There's a lot of good info out there, but it really doesn't seem all that fundamentally different than what most stills guys are doing in Lightroom and Aperture already. Obviously the more crazed you are about being consistent from frame to frame the harder it becomes, but since I don't intend to do this professionally I think I'll be able to get satisfying results for my own needs.

    http://digitalfilms.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/color-grading-effects-demystified/
    http://philipbloom.co.uk/tutorials/grading/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_grading
    http://www.fcptips.com/final-cut-pro/color-grading-wmagic-bullet-looks-video_874e973c8.html
    http://www.fcptips.com/final-cut-pro/color-grading-wmagic-bullet-looks-video_874e973c8.html
     
  2. DavidJ

    DavidJ Producer
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    The big difference on the still side of it is that you can shoot raw and have great latitude and control in post processing. On the video side you are working with a compressed file and color space. This limits you quite a bit. One of the cool things about the RED cameras is that they essentially give you "video raw."
    (I had a more detailed reply earlier in the day, but I was foiled by the disappearing reply box and this is the best I've got now. /img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif)
     
  3. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I heard a rumor that the next canon DSLR would have a Video Raw similar to Red. Exciting times if you geek out on stuff like this as I do!
     
  4. DavidJ

    DavidJ Producer
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    That would be very exciting (puts up hand indicating geek status) indeed. Video on DSLRs is already having a huge impact and this would just make it more desirable to more pros.
     
  5. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    I have not been able to get excited about the idea of video on a DSLR. However, I think that is more my issue than the concept, since I have little desire to use our existing camcorder, either. My wife ends up using the camcorder when we travel, and I'll edit the video afterwords. We usually end up watching the video only once, but will look at photos of a trip over and over.
     
  6. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    The rumors that seem to be coming out of Canon are that their next generation of video cameras designed to replace the XL and XH series cameras, will be based around the CMOS chip used in the D7. It will be the first prosumer level camera to have an APS-C sized chip, giving the camera depth of field characteristics closer to that of a super 16mm camera. Of course this would be in a much more production friendly package than the D7. The other rumor is that Canon is moving away from the HDV format and going to something more like HDcam.

    I hope that these rumors are true. If so I will be upgrading my XH-A1s right quick.

    Doug
     
  7. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    The problem with putting CMOS chips into a regular handycam is the Jelly Effect:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolling_shutter

    Both Canon and Nikon are slowly finding fixes to that, but I don't think they have a solution that will work on a consumer handycam where it's expected to be in motion constantly, unlike the HD-DSLRs which are being used on tripod mounts or at least somewhat stabilized.

    Here's where I first read about the Video Raw... I've seen it amplified a few times since then...
    http://www.canonrumors.com/2009/09/raw-video-for-5d2-7d/
    http://www.canonrumors.com/2010/02/canon-prototype-full-frame-dslr-shooting-raw-video/
    http://blog.planet5d.com/2009/09/rumor-a-raw-or-sraw-video-recording-module-for-the-canon-eos-5d-mark-ii/
     
  8. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Yes and believe it or not the Red One uses a CMOS chip suffers from the same issue. There are several software tolls now that eliminate the problem all together in post. Its really a non issue. I have an HV-30 that I use as a car mount camera and other things where I don't want to destroy my more expensive cameras. It uses a CMOS chip. I rarely if ever notice the rolling shutter effect. At 24p you really don't can't see it. The fact of the matter is that CMOS is slowly but surely replacing the CCD even in professional production cameras.
    Doug
    BTW I'm not talking about Canons consumer grade handy cams (though I do use one in the HV-30 now and then) I'm talking about their somewhat higher level professional, or prosumer grade cameras.
     
  9. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Understood, but there is always a trickle down of the tech used in the pro/prosumer stuff to the consumer end. And I believe you when you say that the tools for jelly removal are effective (like Apple's anti shake appears to be on the consumer end, it's the same principle). But it's one more step and one more trip through mucking with the pixels which is what a RAW format would be designed to minimize... Tho you'd still get the advantage of higher dynamic range with the raw format and could conceivably 'do it all' in one trip with the right tools...
     
  10. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    You are absolutely correct Sam in that the fewer steps on the way to the final image the better. But the kind of shots that would require correction for a rolling shutter issue, at least on a feature film, are few and far between and would also be a fairly fast moving shot that any mucking up would be lost in the blur. However today there is so much manipulation of the image in the DI process, I would imagine that it would be just one more step in the process.

    Of course the Canon prosumer video cameras aren't going to be shooting raw. What they do however, is provide the independent filmmaker with another affordable tool, eliminating the need for DOF adapter to get 35mm depth of field characteristics.

    By the way I just did a quick look, the Panavision Genesis, Arriflex D-21 and the Thompson Viper, all use a CMOS chip.

    Doug
     
  11. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    College classmate in a Canon 7D Fight Choreography Test (on the losing end, unfortunately /img/vbsmilies/htf/frown.gif ):
     
  12. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Will check that vid later!

    The community is exploding over this stuff:
    http://philipbloom.co.uk/2010/03/08/the-la-hd-dslr-meet-up-lots-of-pics-taken-with-noktor-f0-95-lens/
     
  13. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Love the remote follow focus!!!

    Doug
     
  14. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    You have one and love it or love the idea of it?
     
  15. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Love the the idea that you can get one for a DSLR. The whole DSLR being used as a production camera is going to become more and more attractive as 3rd party companies start making the additional tools needed to make the camera production friendly.

    Doug
     
  16. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Absolutely. It's frightening how much more easy/affordable it is getting to be to make good looking, filmic quality content, and yet how hard it will remain to create GOOD stories =)

    For my own personal amusement it will be awesome. For those looking to break through to commercial success it will just be another tool. But I really am stoked to have these new capabilities within reach...
     
  17. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Color timing the 5d Tutorial:
    http://greyscalegorilla.com/blog/2009/11/how-to-color-correct-footage-from-your-5d-or-7d-with-after-effects/
     
  18. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    This is kind of a watershed moment in the short history of HD-DSLR. A gathering of industry bigwigs puts the current crop (but no RED?!?!?) up against 2 kinds of beloved film. Film still 'wins' the torture tests in many ways but the experts agree that many of the digital shortcomings can be minimized by smart direction. Philip Bloom's Skywalker Ranch videos are shown as an example and demo'd on the Skywalker 45' screen to great effect.

    If you've got a half hour and care about such things, it's an interesting (if a bit 'talky') look, and part 2 should be here soon.
    http://www.zacuto.com/shootout

    Sam
     
  19. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    The Red isn't a DSLR.
    Doug
     
  20. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I guess. Technically you are right because there is no mirror box / prism (hence no R) BUT there is no mirror / prism in the 4/3rds GH1 they tested either =) Rather than calling them SLRs Red calls their products Digital Stills and Motion Cameras while the 4/3rds guys and others are calling theirs EVILs Electronice Viewfinder Interchangeable lenses...

    It remains to be seen if the mirror and prism will be an evolutionary dead end long term or not. On one hand the precision they provide today are hard to overestimate, on the other the ability to miniaturize the camera box are hard to underestimate. As LCD panels mature will they kill optics? We simply don't know but I think its clear that it will happen on the consumer end a lot faster than on the pro end, which is a 180 from how these types of things normally trickle down...
     

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