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Video from the Canon 5DMkII


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#101 loftus

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 06:48 AM

Here is a link to Canon's white paper on the 5dmkii (and the 50d in the same doc). Sure it's Canon's line, but hey it's their camera...it's interesting to read their perspective on where the camera is positioned.

If nothing else it also reads as if Canon sees a future in it's hybrids. And underwater photographers even get a mention...

Hey Darren, the link does not work for me.
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#102 photovan

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 06:58 AM

Hey Darren, the link does not work for me.



OK, the link should work now.
Canon's white paper on the 5dmkii (and the 50d in the same doc)....

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#103 Drew

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 07:07 AM

7.6 does fix it... but breaks my media composer :)

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#104 photovan

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 07:23 AM

7.6 does fix it... but breaks my media composer :)


And saw posted on the dvinfo forum that the clips now crash Vegas...

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#105 Drew

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 12:49 PM

It's killing a lot more things:
http://www.macfixit....090121223437550

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#106 Ferg42

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 03:32 PM

I've just come back from a week in the Red Sea with the 5D Mark II in a self-converted Ikelite original 5D housing. It was really a family beach holiday, but I managed to sneak in with the new toy a few times. I've edited together a few shots on vimeo (click through to watch in 720p).



The camera worked well and I was happy with the footage. It takes a bit of getting used to. I'm happy to share details of settings I used, lenses etc if anyone's interested but it's late now, so I'm off to bed.

Cheers

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#107 photovan

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 03:38 PM

Great work fergus, maybe a first? I'm downloading the wmv to check it out as we speak... yes please share all the settings when you wake up.

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#108 photovan

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 03:50 PM

Note to Mac users, I downloaded the wmv and it opened by default in a windows media player, and played really badly. So I opened in the current version of Quicktime and played very smoothly.

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#109 TheRealDrew

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 04:10 PM

Very nice and I have been looking at that camera now for a couple of months. Really thinking about it and seeing that and some of the photos in the other thread......

#110 Ferg42

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 03:39 AM

A few more details on the settings I used:
For those not familiar with the camera's video function- it is pretty automated with little possibility of manual control. Normally the camera selects the shutter speed, aperture and ISO itself. It tends to default to one of the following apertures: the lenses widest aperture, f5.6, f16 or f22. This is often far from ideal. Also the camera cannot continuously focus during recording of video, you have to prefocus in liveview before you start recording.

There are a few workarounds you can use to help with this. I tended to fix the aperture at an appropriate setting for the lens and light conditions before the dive. I did this by setting the desired aperture in AV mode, then holding down the DOF preview button and disconnecting the lens. The lens is then locked at the aperture and you can tape the contacts with some thin sellotape and replace the lens. You then lose autofocus, lens exif data and aperture control. Under this setting the shutter speed is locked at around 1/50th . With fisheye lens and fisheyes with a teleconverter, which is what I used a lot, the depth of field is so great that I tend to just prefocus manually on my fin and leave it there for most of the dive, unless I have a really close subject, when I'll re-focus using the live view magnification. I generally settled on f8 for most fisheye shooting.
With the macro lens I taped it at f11 and used lights. I found this much more difficult, but there again I'm not particularly experienced at shooting macro video. It's obviously critical to steady the camera on something. DOF is very thin, so focus is critical. It's probably OK on static subjects, but fast moving fish are very frustrating! I've fitted a tripod thread to the housing, so I think that will get some use for macro. With such good high ISO video capability, f16 might be worth a try with bright lights.

I used a magic filter for the fisheye shots and white-balanced in the normal way, taking a still shot at the appropriate depth, so it was on custom white balance mode.

One potential frustration is that zoom lenses will be difficult to use in video mode, because you would ideally need to access both the zoom ring and the focus ring. On the next trip I might try the 17-40mm and leave it fully electronically connected, and see how the video works out.

I used a low contrast and low saturation picture style and then boosted saturation a little in post.

For editing I batch converted all the .mov clips to cineform .avi's with cineform neo scene. They then behaved perfectly in Sony Vegas Studio (latest version), and render times were not too long (on a quad-core PC with 8 gb ram).

All in all I was pleased with how it worked out. When pushed for baggage allowances I feel I can often leave my video camera at home. But you really need to set up for either video or stills at the start of the dive. On exception is that when using a magic filter on a fisheye, you can easily get good quality stills and video on the same dive. You can also grab video clips when set up for stills, but you have to accept the limitations of lack of control over settings. Also, I didn't really get the chance to give the low-light capability a good work out, but my feeling is that it will produce some very nice results where other video cameras would struggle. The HD video looks pretty clean at ISO1600 above water.

I hope this is some help to those still considering splashing out on this camera. It looks like the ergonomics are fantastic on the new aquatica and seacam housings. I would love to try it on one of those, but for now the bank-balance tells me to stick with the ikelite!
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#111 photovan

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 04:17 AM

Excellent insight Fergus, thank you for all the detail. We'll look forward to hearing more of your experiences.

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#112 loftus

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 05:46 AM

I'm not a video guy, but what's it going to take to make this as easy to use and functional as a regular video camera. I'm not sure I understand why more normal video functionality, especially focusing and zooming were not part of the package. Is it just a matter of needing a faster, bigger processor? It seems the electromechanical aspects of being able to control zooming and focusing - at least manually - would be separate from the actual recording process.
What happens if you just use a manual focus / zoom setup?

Edited by loftus, 27 February 2009 - 06:13 AM.

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#113 Ferg42

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 07:02 AM

I'm not a video guy, but what's it going to take to make this as easy to use and functional as a regular video camera. I'm not sure I understand why more normal video functionality, especially focusing and zooming were not part of the package. Is it just a matter of needing a faster, bigger processor? It seems the electromechanical aspects of being able to control zooming and focusing - at least manually - would be separate from the actual recording process.
What happens if you just use a manual focus / zoom setup?


Loftus, I think a lot of people have been wondering the same things... my understanding is that the Mark II is primarily a still camera, but just one with the ability to record HD video as an added extra. I think Canon did this just as an add-on to the live-view functionality. It just records the liveview feed.
As for zooming and focusing you can both zoom and manually focus whilst recording video above water. All I meant was that inside my housing I can have both a zoom ring and a focus ring on simultaneously.
I think a lot of people have been making a big deal about the limitations of the video feature when in fact you can get pretty good video both above and below water with a bit of thought and planning. Whether you think you can use it as your primary video device really depends on your subject matter and style of filming. As for the autofocus thing- it's not a big deal. I think a lot of professional uw cameramen use primarily manual focus in many situations.
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#114 bmyates

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 10:50 AM

Excellent information, Fergus! I think you ended up with some really nice video, especially for a first outing! I thought I recognized Magic Filter-looking footage in a few spots - looks like that's a good option for many circumstances.

One question. You said:

...I used a low contrast and low saturation picture style and then boosted saturation a little in post.


Can you explain why you did it that way (perhaps I'm showing my ignorance of videography)?

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#115 Ferg42

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 11:45 AM

Excellent information, Fergus! I think you ended up with some really nice video, especially for a first outing! I thought I recognized Magic Filter-looking footage in a few spots - looks like that's a good option for many circumstances.

One question. You said:



Can you explain why you did it that way (perhaps I'm showing my ignorance of videography)?


Sure- The picture styles, like 'landscape', 'standard', 'portrait' etc which you can select in the menu, each have various settings for contrast, saturation, sharpness etc. (They're only really relevant for jpeg's, not for RAW). Whichever style you've set for stills is also carried across to the video. You can also create your own custom picture styles.

The .mov video files initially suffered from a problem in that the quicktime codec misinterpreted them which resulted in very contrasty images with crushed blacks and blown whites when played back on the computer. People started to use low contrast settings to counter this problem. However, it's now largely been fixed by the latest update to quicktime, so it's not really so important now. I think you still preserve a bit more latitude for corrections in post-processing if you shoot on a low contrast and low saturation setting. But I've yet to really experiment with different profiles in an underwater context.
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#116 photovan

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 12:01 PM

Sure- The picture styles, like 'landscape', 'standard', 'portrait' etc which you can select in the menu, each have various settings for contrast, saturation, sharpness etc. (They're only really relevant for jpeg's, not for RAW). Whichever style you've set for stills is also carried across to the video. You can also create your own custom picture styles.

The .mov video files initially suffered from a problem in that the quicktime codec misinterpreted them which resulted in very contrasty images with crushed blacks and blown whites when played back on the computer. People started to use low contrast settings to counter this problem. However, it's now largely been fixed by the latest update to quicktime, so it's not really so important now. I think you still preserve a bit more latitude for corrections in post-processing if you shoot on a low contrast and low saturation setting. But I've yet to really experiment with different profiles in an underwater context.


I used James Miller's "Winter Sun" Picture Style for my pseudo underwater clip. I found Mr Millers Picture styles via the hdinfo forum which has a good 5dmkii sub forum (you want to see the camera being used well for video, go there)

Here's where you can download James Miller"s Picture Styles.
This was made my Mr Miller back in the pre QT7.6 days to get a flatter look, as Fergus has said.

You can make your own in camera or with the Canon-supplied Picture Style Editor software that came with the camera.

Picture styles are a still photography thing :P not usually considered by RAW shooters. But even if you shoot your RAW still only, you will see the result, as the playback on the LCD uses the chosen Picture style to display the RAW image.

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#117 ttsalo

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 07:24 AM

There are a few workarounds you can use to help with this. I tended to fix the aperture at an appropriate setting for the lens and light conditions before the dive. I did this by setting the desired aperture in AV mode, then holding down the DOF preview button and disconnecting the lens. The lens is then locked at the aperture and you can tape the contacts with some thin sellotape and replace the lens. You then lose autofocus, lens exif data and aperture control. Under this setting the shutter speed is locked at around 1/50th . With fisheye lens and fisheyes with a teleconverter, which is what I used a lot, the depth of field is so great that I tend to just prefocus manually on my fin and leave it there for most of the dive, unless I have a really close subject, when I'll re-focus using the live view magnification. I generally settled on f8 for most fisheye shooting.

Thanks for the information. I'm just wondering why you need to stop down to f/8 when using the fisheye? I have a 5D II with an Ikelite housing and I have done just some pool tests, but so far it looks like there's no reason to not just use the auto settings for wideangle work (I have a Tokina 17/3.5 and 6" dome).

#118 Drew

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 07:32 AM

That's a nice lens TTSalo but don't you think the 6" dome is a little too small for such a wide lens? Esp for stills? How are your corners? What diopter are you using with the lens?
With the 5D2, using the FE with locked settings will not give you the flexibility when you are shooting more dynamic scenes. Trusting the auto feature while using the custom presets and exposure compensation is probably the more practical solution... either that or wait for the Nikon D400 or Canon 1 series Mark IV or 60D which I'm sure Canon and Nikon will concentrate more on the video side.

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#119 ttsalo

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 09:20 AM

That's a nice lens TTSalo but don't you think the 6" dome is a little too small for such a wide lens? Esp for stills? How are your corners? What diopter are you using with the lens?

I'm using it without a diopter. Corner sharpness is not very good at the full aperture of f/3.5, for still photography I usually stop down 1.5 or 2 stops, but with the video it looked good enough wide open. 2 megapixel video at 30 fps is more forgiving than 21 megapixel stills...

I actually loaned an Ikelite 8" dome from a friend and shot a number of test stills with it and my 6" dome using different apertures and surprisingly the image quality was identical between these. I also tested the 17-40L in the 8" dome and I couldn't see any sharpness benefit there either. And the 8" dome is enormous compared to the 6" dome.

With the 5D2, using the FE with locked settings will not give you the flexibility when you are shooting more dynamic scenes. Trusting the auto feature while using the custom presets and exposure compensation is probably the more practical solution... either that or wait for the Nikon D400 or Canon 1 series Mark IV or 60D which I'm sure Canon and Nikon will concentrate more on the video side.

I think it's very likely that there will be a new firmware that allows aperture (and shutter+iso) control in the video, if not from Canon, then some third party. People have hacked video shooting into cameras that had no video mode to begin with, it can't be too hard compared to that.

Anyway, I'll be shooting some video on Baltic sea wrecks next summer, and I think it's likely that I'll be in any case shooting at f/3.5, 1/30 and hoping that there's enough light so that the ISO doesn't have to be cranked so high that the noise becomes a problem... and since this is pretty much what the auto mode does, so I might as well use that.

#120 Ferg42

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 10:23 AM

Thanks for the information. I'm just wondering why you need to stop down to f/8 when using the fisheye? I have a 5D II with an Ikelite housing and I have done just some pool tests, but so far it looks like there's no reason to not just use the auto settings for wideangle work (I have a Tokina 17/3.5 and 6" dome).


I stopped down to get as big a depth of field as I could, without pushing the iso too high- I think on auto it would have gone for 5.6, which still gives a reasonably large DOF with a fisheye. But yes, the auto setting probably would have done an OK job in most situations. I just like to feel like I have some control over the settings.
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