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Video from the Canon 5DMkII


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#121 Berkley

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 03:26 PM

Wow, this 5D mkII thread is deep! Here's a few thoughts and news...

I spoke with Aquatica this weekend and they will have a solution to access both AF-ON and the star button. This final production model has been greatly improved over the last 3 weeks thanks to Aquatica's willingness to implement user feedback. Hat's off to Aquatica!

As previously mentioned in this thread... the 5DmkII is a great still camera with an exciting video option. Photographers looking to shoot a little video will be very happy with housing designs such as the new Aquatica. Users looking to run this camera primarily for video will likely find the need to jump through a few hoops in technique and customization.

The topside video crowd is very excited with the 5DmkII as it gives them exceptional image quality, lens selection, and the ability to shoot very low depth of field and thus achieve more of a film look. However, underwater optics in the 35mm format require us to shoot f8 or higher to maintain reasonable sharpness in the corners in wide angle. Our macro lenses will want f16 or higher for tight shots. Most serious video shooters will likely use some of the popular topside mods to run manual aperture and focus such as adapting Nikon F mount lenses (manual aperture, but also limited to manual focus). Backscatter is currently working on customization geared specifically to these hardcore video folks.

However, one doesn't have to be a hardcore user to get good video from the 5DmkII. In the right conditions it can be point and shoot, but a few tweaks will help.

Here's some tips and thoughts for photographers looking maximize the video feature. Please consider these shooting techniques as starting points. As we all get more time with this camera, and share notes, we'll certainly come up with more successful techniques.

Live view is very functional, but has limitations that are compounded underwater:
- Auto focus in live view is slow at best and can be downright impossible on moving subjects
- Auto focus while recording can cause radical exposure shifts even with exposure locked
- Auto exposure while recording is jumpy and will drop frames if aperture is changed (EOS lenses)
- Manual exposure can be simulated, but limited auto exposure lock and ISO compensation (thus interest in Nikon F lenses)

Here's an example of a wide angle shooting technique:
- Perform manual white balance in photo mode
- Capture and lock focus in photo mode when possible (faster, more accurate, allows viewfinder use)
- Switch to live view mode
- Half press shutter to see exposure info
- Point camera at different light sources to vary auto aperture value (f value choice will vary with conditions, below f8 will produce increasingly fuzzy corners)
- Press exposure lock
- Adjust exposure compensation to dial in the background blue. (Exposure compensation will adjust ISO and/or shutter speed to brighten or darken the exposure)
- Adjust video lights (or your focus light) brightness to balance fill the foreground subject
- Press record

We'll eventually post a detailed article on our test results with gear and techniques. Despite the 5DmkII's lack of full video control, I believe we're about to see some amazing video shot this summer.... especially by photographers. The limited controls and lens selection will shape a whole new look in video, and that's exciting.

Cheers,
Berkley

#122 loftus

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 03:43 PM

Here's some tips and thoughts for photographers looking maximize the video feature. Please consider these shooting techniques as starting points. As we all get more time with this camera, and share notes, we'll certainly come up with more successful techniques.

Live view is very functional, but has limitations that are compounded underwater:
- Auto focus in live view is slow at best and can be downright impossible on moving subjects
- Auto focus while recording can cause radical exposure shifts even with exposure locked
- Auto exposure while recording is jumpy and will drop frames if aperture is changed (EOS lenses)
- Manual exposure can be simulated, but limited auto exposure lock and ISO compensation (thus interest in Nikon F lenses)

Here's an example of a wide angle shooting technique:
- Perform manual white balance in photo mode
- Capture and lock focus in photo mode when possible (faster, more accurate, allows viewfinder use)
- Switch to live view mode
- Half press shutter to see exposure info
- Point camera at different light sources to vary auto aperture value (f value choice will vary with conditions, below f8 will produce increasingly fuzzy corners)
- Press exposure lock
- Adjust exposure compensation to dial in the background blue. (Exposure compensation will adjust ISO and/or shutter speed to brighten or darken the exposure)
- Adjust video lights (or your focus light) brightness to balance fill the foreground subject
- Press record


Should come with a warning ' Don't try this when you're narced' :drink:
Nikon D800, Nikon D7000, Nauticam, Inons, Subtronic Novas. Lens collection - 10-17, 15, 16, 16-35, 14-24, 24-70, 85, 18-200, 28-300, 70-200, 60 and 105, TC's. Macs with Aperture and Photoshop.

#123 Drew

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 08:15 AM

The topside video crowd is very excited with the 5DmkII as it gives them exceptional image quality, lens selection, and the ability to shoot very low depth of field and thus achieve more of a film look. However, underwater optics in the 35mm format require us to shoot f8 or higher to maintain reasonable sharpness in the corners in wide angle. Our macro lenses will want f16 or higher for tight shots. Most serious video shooters will likely use some of the popular topside mods to run manual aperture and focus such as adapting Nikon F mount lenses (manual aperture, but also limited to manual focus). Backscatter is currently working on customization geared specifically to these hardcore video folks.

Berkley
What lense were you testing that you had soft corners for? 16-35? 15 FE? 14?
Shooting with anything more than 21mm, corners don't seem to be an issue with the 1D series u/w. Since the 5D2 video mode changes ISO/Tv then Av last, it'd be wiser to shoot with a lens that is at least f4 and above to get DoF back.
With macro, to get back DoF, lights are going to be necessary and VERY powerful lights too. One method I managed to try was to have a white card to expose the subject but at -1.5 - 2 Ec. Then lock settings and use Ec to knock it back 1 or 2 stops depending on subject. As you say, when Av changes, the video gets funky. Another pain with the 5D2 that the AE locked settings reset once the 4GB limit is up, which means one has to be careful not to hit the limit but stop and hit set again.
Also users will also have to use CF IV-2 to switch AF-ON to AE-Lock for one of the C* custom settings so that when they shoot stills, they can switch back to AF-On functionality while u/w.

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#124 Bent C

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 09:06 AM

My dive buddy a couple of weeks ago at Sipadan used an Ikelite 5DmkII. The housing worked very well. He shot a number of short vidoes (school of jacks, green turtle, bumpheads) and they turned out great.

/Bent C


Here is a short example with the school of jacks:



/Bent C
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#125 Drew

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 10:17 AM

Nice clean vid Bent. Who was the guy who swam into the school?

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#126 Bent C

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 11:53 PM

Nice clean vid Bent. Who was the guy who swam into the school?


That would be me!! However, I didnīt really swim into the school, it was more like the school swam around me. I guess that could be debated though from the video operators point of view :drink:. Also, maybe somewhat surprising given the evidence, I find myself much slimmer and with a lot more hair on the head in real life!!!

After diving a whole week with a CMAS "Trois Etoile Plongeur", who more or less used most of the above water time to harass me on my lack of "straight leg fin kicking" (which seems to be a big deal in his version of the CMAS diving curriculum) I kind of see what he was getting at.

/Bent C

Edited by Bent C, 22 March 2009 - 11:59 PM.

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#127 AndreSmith

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 09:24 AM

Here's an example of a wide angle shooting technique:
- Perform manual white balance in photo mode
- Capture and lock focus in photo mode when possible (faster, more accurate, allows viewfinder use)
- Switch to live view mode
- Half press shutter to see exposure info
- Point camera at different light sources to vary auto aperture value (f value choice will vary with conditions, below f8 will produce increasingly fuzzy corners)
- Press exposure lock
- Adjust exposure compensation to dial in the background blue. (Exposure compensation will adjust ISO and/or shutter speed to brighten or darken the exposure)
- Adjust video lights (or your focus light) brightness to balance fill the foreground subject
- Press record

We'll eventually post a detailed article on our test results with gear and techniques. Despite the 5DmkII's lack of full video control, I believe we're about to see some amazing video shot this summer.... especially by photographers. The limited controls and lens selection will shape a whole new look in video, and that's exciting.

Cheers,
Berkley


Hi Berkley

Thanks for that excellent guideline. Pretty much the way I have figured it out as well.

Just a question about the step of adjusting exposure compensation to dial in the background blue. Can you accurately see the right colour blue at depth like you can out of water? I mean if you have made the correction underwater to what looks good to your eye on the LCD, will that necessarily be correct?

Also wondering what you think of doing the white balance in live view in the K scale adjustment?

With respect to the battle of video exposure with 5D2, I think that starting with -2 Exposure compensation before pointing your camera at a bright source to try and force the smaller aperture will be a good thing. The reason for this is that most lenses seem to have a big f-stop jump, typically from 5.6 straight to 16 as the algorhytm tries to compensate for bright exposure ( I wrote about this in an earlier post ). So I think that f16 is going to be better than f5.6 ( at the expense of a higher ISO which seems quite forgiving) and therefore, once you have locked the exposure at f16 you will need to brighten the image considerably and having 4 stops of exposure compensation ( rather than just two ) may well be required.

Would really appreciate any further tips and advice as the experience grows.

Thanks

#128 Drew

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 11:59 AM

Andre
The problem with the 5D2 is that it locks aperture at the len's maximum (f1.4 for 24mm f1.4 etc) and manipulates ISO and shutter first before adjust aperture. The other issue is by underexposing too much, when it comes time to push up, it may drop shutter speed to 1/40, which is crap for anything that moves underwater. Drawing that balance is going to be key to getting the right look from this camera.
For uw WA, a fast lens isn't desirable because of how the processor works. Using a f4 + WA lens will probably make life much easier than the ultra fast WA. The Sigma 12-24 f4.5-5.6 and Canon 17-40 f4L look promising for UWA. The corners will be mush from 12-18mm but 19-24 should be fine. The 17-40 should have good corners even at f4. 90° is where the corners get mushy behind a dome port.
Other options include putting a TC converter on the Tokina 10-17 or Canon/Sigma 15mm FE. It should still have over 100° FOV but the curved image should clean up the corners. Of course, it'd have to be +1 Ec. It also depends on which dome port you use. The bigger the better.
The good thing about shooting video on the 5D2 is that there's lots of NR in the video (even with NR off) so the mushy corners should be covered slightly.
With normal non-UWA, I think the 24-70 Sigma Macro will be very interesting. As is the kit 24-105 with a +2 diopter. UWA is of limited use for video and my personal fave focal length is 17-24mm for WA.

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#129 AndreSmith

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 01:45 PM

Thanks Drew
That sounds OK but wouldn't you be be concerned with the DOF and focus issues if you are shooting at f4.0 at 19-24 as you suggest above? Seeing as you only have fixed focus, trying to get a smaller aperture for bigger DOF is surely important. But I hear what you are saying about shutter speeds - what would you say is the minimumum acceptable speed?.
With the Canon 17-40 your only possible f stops are f4.0, 5.6, 16 and 22. It really is too bad that we cant use sweet f8 - as that will give you a very acceptable compromise. Wouldn't it be great if Canon could update their firmware or somebody could write a hack to fix that??
It would be interesting to see what the videos looks like that are coming out now that the housings are becoming available. I dont think unfortunately that the exposure information for the video is stored as EXIF so unless it is specifically noted by the photographer we wont know.

#130 photovan

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 03:42 PM

re corner sharpness v aperture "choice" or lack there of....

Corner sharpness gets worse/more apparent the higher the capture resolution, hence the continued quest for the best solution for wide rectilinear lenses on FF.

With 1080p, we are only dealing with a comparatively low res capture of 2MP per frame (1920x1080=2,073,600=2.0736MP), so I think we'll "get away" with a lot more than we are used to with 21.7MP stills.

But for me, like many, this is purely theory at the moment :)

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#131 Drew

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 03:43 PM

Well the silly shutter speed is limited to 1/30-125 and chosen by 1/focal length. Plus I don't think it's accurately showing the shutter speed. Too much motion blur for 1/60.
I don't have a DoF chart for 8" domeports with me but f5.6 should have decent DoF with a 17mm focal length.

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#132 photovan

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 03:48 PM

... Plus I don't think it's accurately showing the shutter speed. Too much motion blur for 1/60.....


From what I've been reading over on the hdinfo forum over the last few months, the displayed shutter speed has nothing to do with the actual shutter speed :)

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#133 Drew

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 11:30 PM

Well housing a Nikkor lens with a Canon adapter isn't that difficult. All you need is to ensure that there are focus and aperture gears, which can be adapted from existing lens gears. You'd lose flexibility and AF obviously but I'd use it for wide only. Macro you'd have lights and a modicum more control.
The problem with using a manual lens is that it becomes less versatile as a ViDSLR. 4 mths later and the firmware hack isn't anywhere in sight despite promises of money etc. So don't hold your breath. With the economy in such shape, the manufacturers may hold back new camera intros to clear inventory channels.

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#134 carlcarl

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 09:27 AM

Though I don't fully understand what you have been discussing, I still learn something on how to better control the quality of the video. Can anyone suggest a compact and reasonable good video light for 5dm2 UW usage.
Thanks a lot.

#135 GoinDown

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 03:30 PM

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.


Is it not true that dedicated FE ports can be made smaller than 'superdome' sized ports for rectilinear WA lenses, as it's all to do with dome port theory and the virtual image and the reduced FOV when a land FE is taken underwater which is different to rectilnear WA lenses?? How does this stack with the Tok 10-17 FE on a FF ??

And has been mentioned resolution is reduced for video which means that corner sharpness is less of a problem anyway. Seems that apart from different camera technique for video, there is also a whole new subject to re-learn when dealing with different lense/port setups for video work on a FF stills DSLR !!
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#136 Drew

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 08:53 PM

Yes, a FE port designed by Seacam was 6", but it was curved more and it didn't perform as well for the 15mm FE from Canon vs the 16mm FE from Nikon. The lens TTSalo mentioned was a rectilinear 17mm, not a FE, which is why I brought up the dome port. The 10-17 will vignette badly all the way to 15 or 16mm and give you 100° FOV. Some have tried a 1.4x TC
And yes, the resolution on the 5D2 is pretty ordinary at under 750 lines x,y. However I've seen some softness in corners in my limited testing, when there is something to see. Usually it's not a big problem for most but it's there.
One of the big draw of this camera (for me anyways) was the ability to flip use between stills and video. Solely setting up for video with manual lenses from nikon etc, reduces it to a video camera with limited settings and a useless 21 MP DSLR. My preferential setup is to use a 17-40 or 15mm FE with focus gear setup, use the optical VF to focus then shoot video.

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#137 Autopsea

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 11:08 PM

If anyone is intrested, I did a topside short video with the 5D2 and 15mm fisheye with a friend (I filmed, he is the actor and editor).





I will post more when I'll have time to do more underwater video, but with the 15mm it sounds nice as far as I tested.

#138 GoinDown

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 03:19 AM

Yes, a FE port designed by Seacam was 6", but it was curved more and it didn't perform as well for the 15mm FE from Canon vs the 16mm FE from Nikon. The lens TTSalo mentioned was a rectilinear 17mm, not a FE, which is why I brought up the dome port. The 10-17 will vignette badly all the way to 15 or 16mm and give you 100° FOV. Some have tried a 1.4x TC
And yes, the resolution on the 5D2 is pretty ordinary at under 750 lines x,y. However I've seen some softness in corners in my limited testing, when there is something to see. Usually it's not a big problem for most but it's there.
One of the big draw of this camera (for me anyways) was the ability to flip use between stills and video. Solely setting up for video with manual lenses from nikon etc, reduces it to a video camera with limited settings and a useless 21 MP DSLR. My preferential setup is to use a 17-40 or 15mm FE with focus gear setup, use the optical VF to focus then shoot video.


Well there's nothing better than real world trial and error (if you've got the cash)! I am eagerly awaiting to see what Canon will do to enable manual control of aperture and shutter for the video for the 5D2, that will make video twice as useful.

I'm surprised at the lack of UW video to observe so far (I can only find a handful of shrt clips), I thought that people would be rushing to post onto vimeo and youtube following release of housings from most of the major manufacturers, c'mon guys where's your vids???
Now: Canon 5D Mk2, 15mm FE, 16-35 Mk2 (+2 Diopter), 100mm IS, Subal, FE2 Dome, 75 ext, 100mm Flat Port. DS-125's, DS-160.

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#139 Autopsea

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 04:11 AM

c'mon guys where's your vids???


No idea how to post pross video, and no time to learn so far, but I'll post when I'll finally understand something about it (guess I'll use Premiere CS4 but JEEZ it's so impossible to understand anything in it, even beeing quiet good with photoshop and camera raw).

Edited by Autopsea, 13 May 2009 - 04:12 AM.


#140 GoinDown

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 04:45 AM

No idea how to post pross video, and no time to learn so far, but I'll post when I'll finally understand something about it (guess I'll use Premiere CS4 but JEEZ it's so impossible to understand anything in it, even beeing quiet good with photoshop and camera raw).



From what I've read from the topside video forums for this camera, one of the best methods of manipulating the output is to transcode it into an intermediate format using something like Cineform Neoscene http://cineform.com/neoscene/ which is available on a 7 day trial. That way your average hardware and software can actually do something with the high bitrate HD output. Apparently it also helps with the crushed blacks issue. It's a shame that Canon didn't provide this kind of software as free with the 5D2 package !
Now: Canon 5D Mk2, 15mm FE, 16-35 Mk2 (+2 Diopter), 100mm IS, Subal, FE2 Dome, 75 ext, 100mm Flat Port. DS-125's, DS-160.

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