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AndreSmith

Canon 5D Mk II Underwater Video

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I have had my 5D2 just over a month now and have been spending quite a bit of time with it shooting both stills and video. I am looking forward to getting my new toy underwater – Ryan tells me that the Subal housings should be ready in March. So while I eagerly await the arrival I have been giving some thought as to how the 5D2 will be underwater. There is a plethora of information available on the web on shooting 5D2 movies but nothing yet on underwater movie recording.

 

Let me state right off the bat that I am a long time UW photographer but really know squat about video. So I may be way off the mark with some of my findings and would be very happy to be corrected on any issues. I would fit into the camp as one of those who say “ I would love to shoot underwater stills with the 5D2 and hey, if I can take a bit of interesting video when the opportunity presents that would be a nice bonus! “

 

Just to get some 5D2 topside thoughts out of the way first: I am very happy with the stills I am getting – as expected stunning IQ and improvement over 5D1 with respect to resolution, frame rate, LCD displays and noise. Whilst I can see an improvement in noise I am still a bit disappointed as I still have to run some of my Basketball pics http://andresmith.speedalbum.com/Kal%20BB%...January%202009/ shot at ISO 1600 -2000 through Noise Ninja. My biggest annoyance is that Photoshop CS3 doesn’t work with 5D2 CR2 Raw files so I currently have to convert all the CR2 files to DNG first – a long and painful process. Grrr - I had no intention of upgrading to CS4!

 

For 5D2 Video I have learnt a lot from experimentation and as well as plenty info on www. Good basics are at http://www.usa.canon.com/dlc/controller?ac...;articleID=2186 . There is lots on trying to control video aperture, shutter speed and ISO - here is an interesting clip in this regard http://www.vimeo.com/2530166 . I think it is reasonable to say that 5D2 topside video can provide some amazing HD video in selected conditions, even in low light, and provide unusual video effects with blurred backgrounds in some situations. But if you want to shoot the kids birthday party you should probably rather use your camcorder. There are just too many difficulties with focus and control over exposure parameters.

 

So what about underwater video? The following will all be important:

1. Underwater video light source/s.

2. White balance adjustment

3. Focus

4. Control over f stop, shutter speed and ISO

5. Keeping your rig still enough

 

Underwater Video light source

I think the jury is still out on the best way to do provide adequate light for stills and video. There is talk of strobes that might be able to provide both. For simplicity and cost effectiveness I plan on using my two Fisheye Fix HG20DX lights along with my regular strobes but I am sure there are probably better solutions out there.

 

White balance adjustment

Also many methods out there but for the 5D2 underwater you could do a custom white balance from a still shot. Alternatively you can adjust the Kelvin scale in Live View Mode and actually see the result on you LCD. This is cool ( I am just not sure how accurately your eye sees this at depth – videographers please chime in)

 

Focus

Big problem. Possibilities are:

-Autofocus live mode – no good, waaaay too slow

-Autofocus live face detection mode – as above

-Autofocus Quick mode. ( Press AF-ON in Live Mode) This works well and you can zoom in on the focal point easily. Problem is that it is now fixed there during the Movie mode ( fishy please don’t move !! ) . But I think that is what we are going to be stuck with. Hopefully with wide angle lenses we might be able to use the hyperfocal distance principle of getting a DOF with everything in focus. That of course implies some degree of f stop control which is the next big issue.

-Manual focus – well maybe, but you are going to have to be really good at that!

 

Control over f stop, shutter speed and ISO

Underwater we are definitely going to need some control here – eg for macro you are going to have an adequate DOF to capture decent video.

The issue is complex and frustrating to control these parameters. Basically Canon has some weird algorithms to control exposure and you have a very limited ability to manipulate these settings. If you are interested see the demo mentioned earlier http://www.vimeo.com/2530166 .

When you turn on Live Mode the camera sets the following exposure parameters (btw to see this info you must half depress the shutter button) in the following sequence:

- Aperture is chosen as the smallest f stop of the lens attached ( So if you have a Canon EF 100mm macro lens the f stop will be 2.8 )

- Shutter speed is chosen as the nearest number equal to the reciprocal on the lens’s focal length ( 1/100 in the example above )

- ISO is then determined for proper exposure

Now as exposure needs to be adjusted the camera first alters the ISO and shutter speed sequentially and when the shutter starts falling out of the 1/25 to 1/125 range the f stop then changes, and so on for the next required adjustment. Your hope of obtaining the right f stop and usable shutter and ISO requires you to present the lens with changing light and while it is adjusting to lock the exposure at that instant with the Exposure Lock ( * ) button. Bringing it back to the actual intended light condition may then require Exposure Compensation (which does work in Live View but not in Movie Mode) for correct exposure – IF YOU ARE LUCKY! Then those settings are used when you start recording the movie. Only God can help you if the exposure changes during the recording.

The web information is mainly about trying to maintain large apertures for video and ways of doing that. Going the other way, i.e. selecting smaller apertures, as we typically require underwater, is even more difficult I think. You would have to hold the camera up to the sun or point a light at the lens and then lock it at the right moment.

But here is another even weirder thing. The f stops that the camera uses are bizarre to say the least. For a given lens it seems to have only 4 f stop choices. The largest and smallest apertures are two of these choices and then there are two others at the slower and faster ends of the spectrum. I have tested all the EF full frame lenses that I have that could be used underwater. This is what it looks like:

 

Canon 17-40mm: 4, 5.6, 16, 22

Sigma 15mm FE: 2.8, 5.6, 16, 22

Tamron 28-75: 2.8, 5.6, 16, 32

Canon 50mm F1.4: 1.4, 4, 5.6, 16, 22 ( Yes there are five for this one ????)

Canon 100mm macro: 2.8, 3.5, 10, 29 !!!!!!!!!!

Canon 100mm macro with 1.4 teleconverter: same as above

 

So you may notice that we are SOOL if we want our beloved F8 that we use so often underwater. And where is sweet F16 and F22 for macro?? Can you imagine how much light you will need for F29 even if you could lock the lens there?

It would be interesting if other people can list their lens information here – maybe there are some better numbers around

 

Keeping your rig still for shooting

We will need well balanced and near neutral buoyancy rigs and then maybe a tripod…

 

OK so I am floating around having a lovely dive taking some beautiful piccies of the reef when all of a sudden behind a rock two lesbian mermaids appear in a passionate embrace. No problem – I am the video man! So I

Turn on my video lights

Then turn on Live View

Then set a Custom White Balance

Then point the camera up at the sun, half depress the shutter, watch the exposure numbers changing through the bottom bifocal part of my mask and then easily lock the exposure.

Then I point the camera back at the lovely ladies and turn the exposure compensation dial to get them just right.

Now I hit the AF ON button to get perfect focus. But I do have to ask the beauties to hold a bit still as they are getting rather over excited.

Now all I have to do is attach my tripod and steady myself against the rock and start recording some amazing never seen before HD footage!

 

OK that was just tongue in cheek. Hopefully it would be lot simpler and maybe if we just let everything run on auto it may not be so bad. Maybe the often wished for Firmware updates may appear!

 

Looking forward to some encouragement!!

Andre

Edited by AndreSmith

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Andre,

 

Good post- I agree that acheiving good quality UW video with the Mark II is going to be a challenge. I too have the camera and am currently working on adapting my old ikelite 5D housing.

I've had pretty much the same thought process as you. I'm thinking that it'll probably be a case of setting up the camera for either stills or video in advance. For video I was thinking that for instance with the Sigma FE 15mm I would tape the contacts after setting the aperture to f11 or so, and leave focus on manual. By my calculations this could give me a depth of field range anything from about a foot from the dome to nearly infinity. However, this was based on shooting in air- not sure how and dome underwater affects this, if at all. When I shoot with a dedicated video camera at wide angle I use locked focus in any case to avoid hunting.

As for lighting, I'd either go with my HID lights or use a magic filter, depending on situation. As with a regular camcorder white balance would be manually set each time you change depth.

For macro I'd again tape the lens, but at f16 or so, use manual focus and lights and probably a small tripod.

It's definitely not going to be as quick and straightforward as a dedicated vid cam for those grab shots, but I think for carefully set up shots under controlled conditions it might yield some lovely results.

In any case, I'm looking forward to hearing how others get on with it. And I'm hoping those mermaids are going to be patient.

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Thanks guys for your ideas; definitely puts a damper on my initial enthusiasm. Ferg, it would almost seem easier to dive with 2 setups and your videocam setup clipped to your BC then try to rig the system for video only.

It looks like at the moment this is going to work best for very specific, controlled and preplanned situations. Not unlike some of my attempts at HDR underwater.

I'm waiting to see what you guys produce, thanks for doing it.

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Thanks guys - some excellent info! I think a lot of us initially thought, "Oooh, goody! A great still camera that can instantly transform into a camcorder for some quick video!" Obviously, that uw photo/video nirvana is still a few generations away. I think what we'll find is that the 5DII is a great uw still camera, and once in a blue moon might be used for uw video (in fairly special situations - e.g., if the mermaids were chained to the reef or otherwise unusually cooperative - at one distance/depth/exposure). That's still makes it a great tool...just not "ideal."

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I dunno guys. I do think you are making it out to be much more dismal than it is.

Many videographers shoot in manual focus, relying on DOF to keep things in focus. With a 15mm FE, everything about 4 ft in front of the lens port til infinity if focused at 7 ft even at f2.8.

As for control of shutter, aperture and ISO, unless you are shooting under/overcrank, the noise is not going to be objectionable at even 1600ISO.

The WB issue I can't really say for now since I haven't got the housing yet. But if the Canon handycams do so well on AWB, then why shouldn't the 5D2? In fact, most shooters use small singe sensor camcorders often use auto everything, including AWB.

It's a very decent camera for video, precisely because of the slr implementation. It requires a bit of a rethink on how to shoot but it's not difficult. I'm ecstatic to have a B or C cam that doubles as a still shooter. Now let's wait for the housings to see if there are any handling issues.

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I dunno guys. I do think you are making it out to be much more dismal than it is.

Many videographers shoot in manual focus, relying on DOF to keep things in focus. With a 15mm FE, everything about 4 ft in front of the lens port til infinity if focused at 7 ft even at f2.8.

As for control of shutter, aperture and ISO, unless you are shooting under/overcrank, the noise is not going to be objectionable at even 1600ISO.

The WB issue I can't really say for now since I haven't got the housing yet. But if the Canon handycams do so well on AWB, then why shouldn't the 5D2? In fact, most shooters use small singe sensor camcorders often use auto everything, including AWB.

It's a very decent camera for video, precisely because of the slr implementation. It requires a bit of a rethink on how to shoot but it's not difficult. I'm ecstatic to have a B or C cam that doubles as a still shooter. Now let's wait for the housings to see if there are any handling issues.

From what has been written about the benefits of a DSLR and it's lenses shooting video, it would seem that relying on wide DOF with a Fisheye will negate one of the attractive features of obtaining the perspective and OOF background etc of DSLR lenses. Macro sounds like it will be even more difficult underwater, except for reasonably static setups. Following the Vincent LaForet blog it seems pretty clear when given the choice of the 3 cameras, RED, Panasonic and 5D, the 5D was only chosen for pretty specific static situations, and that was on land. I'm not trying to be critical, just questioning. I hope it turns out to be easier and better than it sounds.

Edited by loftus

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It appears I view the camera with a more positive outlook than most - the conclusion I came to, along with a few others at DEMA, was that the 5DII may very well open the door to capturing behavioral traits of a variety of super-macro species. While typical camcorders are limited by the amount of stackable diopters, it's not unthinkable to quickly throw a 2x teleconverter (or more!) on a standard macro lens with the 5DII and use a manual focus gear as one normally would. Granted, light will be at a premium, but no one expected it to be easy! :)

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It appears I view the camera with a more positive outlook than most - the conclusion I came to, along with a few others at DEMA, was that the 5DII may very well open the door to capturing behavioral traits of a variety of super-macro species. While typical camcorders are limited by the amount of stackable diopters, it's not unthinkable to quickly throw a 2x teleconverter (or more!) on a standard macro lens with the 5DII and use a manual focus gear as one normally would. Granted, light will be at a premium, but no one expected it to be easy! :)

Don't you expect to have a lot of difficulty with focus with super macro if the subject moves at all? Possibly a DX format like the D90 may be more forgiving.

Edited by loftus

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Topsides I use Leica R glass on my 5D. This requires both manual focus and manual aperture. As I'm interested in the 5DII for some video work coming up what do you think are the possiblities of using wide-angle R glass (or other MF lenses) on the 5D for shooting video?

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Don't you expect to have a lot of difficulty with focus with super macro if the subject moves at all? Possibly a DX format like the D90 may be more forgiving.

I don't expect to have any difficulty - I'm not buying a copy! :)

 

I think it may take some practice for those that don't shoot a lot of manual-focus macro, but it's certainly a current method for underwater photographers.

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The WB issue I can't really say for now since I haven't got the housing yet. But if the Canon handycams do so well on AWB, then why shouldn't the 5D2? In fact, most shooters use small singe sensor camcorders often use auto everything, including AWB.

 

A red filter/Magic Filter and AWB would be an obvious answer (as it is for uw camcorders in many instances, esp. wide angle), and my thought was that you could just slap one of those on when doing dives where you'd expect to be shooting video. OTOH, that sort of screws up still shots (at least those with strobes). You could shoot them anyway (RAW) and try to correct the WB in Photoshop, but that's a less-than-ideal solution because I assume the red filter would interfere with true color correction...

 

On a separate-but related-subject, I must say that getting a 5DII (which I recently did) has made me decide to start studying hyperfocal distances for different lenses I intend to use with it. Seems to me that being able to quickly estimate the hyperfocal distance (at least for wide angle lenses) would be REALLY handy when shooting video of things like sharks/mantas with this camera. I really like this camera! It's just got a bit of a learning curve as far as shooting video, and--being a bit of an old dog--I'm having a tough time learning these new "tricks." :)

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.... Seems to me that being able to quickly estimate the hyperfocal distance (at least for wide angle lenses) would be REALLY handy...

 

maybe we need an UW Nikkor to EOS adaptor.... they had those great dof indicators that moved as you changed aperture.. :)

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White balance for video isn't particularly problematic with this camera, I've been using it lots for indoor shots with tungsten lights. You just shoot a still of a white slate (or even a bit of reef seems to work OK, or at least it did on my old 5D). Then use that for a custom white balance. It then uses that most recent custom white balance for the video. I'm sure it will work well with a magic filter.

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From what has been written about the benefits of a DSLR and it's lenses shooting video, it would seem that relying on wide DOF with a Fisheye will negate one of the attractive features of obtaining the perspective and OOF background etc of DSLR lenses. Macro sounds like it will be even more difficult underwater, except for reasonably static setups. Following the Vincent LaForet blog it seems pretty clear when given the choice of the 3 cameras, RED, Panasonic and 5D, the 5D was only chosen for pretty specific static situations, and that was on land. I'm not trying to be critical, just questioning. I hope it turns out to be easier and better than it sounds.

Well before listening to anyone else, ask why anyone is even comparing a $50k system to a $5k system to $3.5k system. Over/undercrank, RAW codec, long than 4gb recording, available housing etc etc. It's choosing a camera for a particular job. For shallow DOF, the 5D2 will be king since the sensor is bigger than the other available cameras. You want OOF backgrounds, pull the focus in. It's simple. Ever had an OOF shot with a fisheye? I have and the sharks was 3.5m long and completely OOF because AF focused on something which was stuck on the domeport.

The biggest issue for macro is subject focus tracking. That is the advantage of having gobs of DOF with a smaller sensor. With +11 diopters on a camcorder, you run into DOF issues as well. Again, it's knowing the camera and what it can do. Every camera has limitations and it's up to the user to workaround or not shoot using the camera that can't shoot the shot they want. This is exactly what La Foret is doing in Hawaii.

 

 

Topsides I use Leica R glass on my 5D. This requires both manual focus and manual aperture. As I'm interested in the 5DII for some video work coming up what do you think are the possiblities of using wide-angle R glass (or other MF lenses) on the 5D for shooting video?

Paul, if you can live with auto shutter and run the risk of light flicker from 50hz UK bulbs, plenty of people are doing that in weddings, newscasts, doco etc. Just stay away from focal lengths of 35 or more, if you have an unsteady hand or can't shoot with a tripod.

 

OTOH, that sort of screws up still shots (at least those with strobes). You could shoot them anyway (RAW) and try to correct the WB in Photoshop, but that's a less-than-ideal solution because I assume the red filter would interfere with true color correction...

Why can't you filter the strobes to match the lens filter as most would do in that situation with stills anyway? A 30CC magenta will blue up the strobe and the filter will be balanced. Then when using video lights, you just use AWB.

 

I do notice one thing that Alex Mustard and Peter Rowlands will be very happy with... a lot of people are using magic filters as the de facto filter name vs URPro or red filter. :)

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Andre,

 

Good post- I agree that acheiving good quality UW video with the Mark II is going to be a challenge. I too have the camera and am currently working on adapting my old ikelite 5D housing.

I've had pretty much the same thought process as you. I'm thinking that it'll probably be a case of setting up the camera for either stills or video in advance. For video I was thinking that for instance with the Sigma FE 15mm I would tape the contacts after setting the aperture to f11 or so, and leave focus on manual. By my calculations this could give me a depth of field range anything from about a foot from the dome to nearly infinity. However, this was based on shooting in air- not sure how and dome underwater affects this, if at all. When I shoot with a dedicated video camera at wide angle I use locked focus in any case to avoid hunting.

As for lighting, I'd either go with my HID lights or use a magic filter, depending on situation. As with a regular camcorder white balance would be manually set each time you change depth.

For macro I'd again tape the lens, but at f16 or so, use manual focus and lights and probably a small tripod.

It's definitely not going to be as quick and straightforward as a dedicated vid cam for those grab shots, but I think for carefully set up shots under controlled conditions it might yield some lovely results.

In any case, I'm looking forward to hearing how others get on with it. And I'm hoping those mermaids are going to be patient.

Thanks for your thoughts Ferg. I am still hoping to be able to have a reasonably shot at stills and video on the same dive. I do see some potential for wide angle but cant yet figure out how we could do macro.

If you are going to go with video only and you want to do a predive selection of lens f stop you have mentioned taping the contacts. You have probably heard of this but another way is to select AV mode and set your f stop, then press the depth of field preview button. You then ever so slightly disconnect the the lens while holding the lens release button. This will then disconnect the contacts and the lens will stay at the set f stop. I have tried it any it does actually work but the danger is of course over loosening it and letting the lens fall off - could be rather scary seeing your lens bobbing around in the port!

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It appears I view the camera with a more positive outlook than most - the conclusion I came to, along with a few others at DEMA, was that the 5DII may very well open the door to capturing behavioral traits of a variety of super-macro species. While typical camcorders are limited by the amount of stackable diopters, it's not unthinkable to quickly throw a 2x teleconverter (or more!) on a standard macro lens with the 5DII and use a manual focus gear as one normally would. Granted, light will be at a premium, but no one expected it to be easy! :)

Hi Mat - I am hoping to figure this out! From my explanation about the way the camera sets f stops you are going to get 2.8 as your aperture when you turn on Live Mode underwater. Surely there is no way you can conceivably shoot macro or even less supermacro with that miniscule DOF. In fact I have had a real life experience with this before when my strobes failed on a dive when I was shooting macro with my 40D. There were plenty Pygmies around so I tried to do some available light ( plus my focus light ) shots. The best exposure parameters in this situation that I could get was F 2.8 , shutter about 1/60 and ISO 1600. I had the advatage of AI Servo autofocus and shooting at 6.5 frames per sec with my 40D. I shot about 150 shots this way and I got only one keeper that had acceptably sharp focus! Surely then we will have to get a smaller aperture but with the difficulty into tricking the camera in to locking that aperture and the poor selection of 4 f stops the camera offers, I just don't see how it could be done. (Yet !!!) :)

Edited by AndreSmith

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From my explanation about the way the camera sets f stops you are going to get 2.8 as your aperture when you turn on Live Mode underwater. Surely there is no way you can conceivably shoot macro or even less supermacro with that miniscule DOF... Surely then we will have to get a smaller aperture but with the difficulty into tricking the camera in to locking that aperture and the poor selection of 4 f stops the camera offers, I just don't see how it could be done. (Yet !!!) :)

 

That is my conclusion from everything I've seen, too, Andre!

 

If the 5DII allowed you to restrict the f stop to a min/max stop via its function menu (like the 1D/1Ds Mark III do!) AND if that setting would apply both to still and video, you could just choose one of the higher f stops and that might solve (or at least help) the DOF problem. But unless Canon comes out with a firmware update for the 5DII that includes a new function like that (I'm not going to hold my breath!), I see video uw as something you would only want to attempt with wide angle lenses, e.g., for reef scenes or quite large subjects...

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From my explanation about the way the camera sets f stops you are going to get 2.8 as your aperture when you turn on Live Mode underwater.

I imagine you might be able to point a bright focus light directly into the lens, and lock exposure as mentioned for increased depth of field?

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I imagine you might be able to point a bright focus light directly into the lens, and lock exposure as mentioned for increased depth of field?

 

Yes but it is really is very very hard to do. ( Even as I sit at my desk here in a dry enviroment!) The exposure numbers scroll so unpredictably with the change of light that it will take you quite a while to capture your desired f stop ( and as mentioned they are not really desirable - I think for Canon 100mm macro lens the best you can wish for is F10 ) . But even then you may end up with an unusable dark exposure when you go back to your subject - if it is not going to be correctable by two stops of exposure compensation adjustment you may well not have sufficient exposure. But lets say you got this all right and you can sucessfully take your movie clip. Now as soon as you stop recording the exposure lock information is lost and you will have to go through the same process all over again for your next video recording!

 

Right now, honestly, I see the method of predive setting of the f-stop with loosening of the lens in DOF preview as desribed earlier, and then used with manual focus, as the best way to do macro video.

 

Got to be something better! As Bmyates says we need to join in prayer for a firmware rescue!

Edited by AndreSmith

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While I am one of the very last persons to limit how people shoot, I do think people have to realize video has elements to the image that still doesn't. First of all, getting 2:1 macro of a very small subject (eg H. bargibanti) is great for stills as there is only 1 shot at a time. With motion pictures, we are trying to capture behavior or the movement. With that in mind, extreme closeups of the subject would be a cutaway vs the master shot. You want to have enough screen space for movement or whatever the behavior. Dutch angles are creative ways of shooting but you can't do verticals as the media is forever going to be TV/Cinema screen format.

Unless you have a tripod hammered into the bottom and a ball head, you are not going to be able to capture motion of any subject that is small and moves. To be smooth you need to back off a bit from the subject, which eliminates camera shake and gives the subject entry and exit space.

Framing for motion is pretty similar to still images, where you have more negative space toward the front of the subject than behind. Remember that the aspect ratio is 16:9, so you have quite a bit of space, which requires more framing thought.

A 100mm on the 5D is equal to about 700mm on a 1/3" camcorder. Don't just think of getting close but how to shoot behavior and motion.

In the following thread, I shot a pygmy seahorse moving in ambient light, no filter. I was using the equivalent of 738mm and a +4 diopter. I can easily get a half body shot but tracking the subject would've been impossible.

http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=23629

Point is that using 50 or 100mm macro 1:1 is already better than any camcorder out there, however, the best macro clips are usually in controlled circumstances. It is the nature of video and the camera even at f 22 will have the same issues.

Oh in case you think AF is going to help you, I shot that clip with AF on and you'll see it hunting a bit... I switched it off and shot 2D instead to keep DOF constant.

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Paul, if you can live with auto shutter and run the risk of light flicker from 50hz UK bulbs, plenty of people are doing that in weddings, newscasts, doco etc. Just stay away from focal lengths of 35 or more, if you have an unsteady hand or can't shoot with a tripod.

 

Well I have some uw shooting which will require a 'tripod' (I've used a base from www.overxposed.com fitted with a small B&S and arca style QR) and will be fairly static. I will almost certainly use Kowalski xenons for illumination and am wondering about using a Leica R 19mm and 60mm macro as I can have custom focus and aperture gears built. Does this sound like a feasible set-up? Any suggestions? (I usually use video cameras supplied by the production companies but the idea of using good wides and macros which I can set up to my satisfaction really does appeal. - I could also use non-AF Nikkors I suppose).

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Well before listening to anyone else, ask why anyone is even comparing a $50k system to a $5k system to $3.5k system. Over/undercrank, RAW codec, long than 4gb recording, available housing etc etc. It's choosing a camera for a particular job. For shallow DOF, the 5D2 will be king since the sensor is bigger than the other available cameras. You want OOF backgrounds, pull the focus in. It's simple. Ever had an OOF shot with a fisheye? I have and the sharks was 3.5m long and completely OOF because AF focused on something which was stuck on the domeport.

I think Vincent La Foret's choices, reflect some of the difficulties / limitations of using this camera for video, not just additional features available on the more expensive cameras. In fact the main clip he shows using the 5D of O'Neil on his bed does not showcase any DOF concepts, or other 5D benefits does it?

Of course I've seen fisheye's OOF, I'm simply questioning the concept here of having to use hyperfocal distance to ensure the image will be in focus throughout the clip, as this will negate the desired effect of having shallow DOF with a DSLR..

Edited by loftus

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Well I have some uw shooting which will require a 'tripod' (I've used a base from www.overxposed.com fitted with a small B&S and arca style QR) and will be fairly static. I will almost certainly use Kowalski xenons for illumination and am wondering about using a Leica R 19mm and 60mm macro as I can have custom focus and aperture gears built. Does this sound like a feasible set-up? Any suggestions? (I usually use video cameras supplied by the production companies but the idea of using good wides and macros which I can set up to my satisfaction really does appeal. - I could also use non-AF Nikkors I suppose).

Paul anything that can keep the housing still is great but I'm sure you know with video, tracking the subject is the most crucial element. Nikkor manual lenses will work too. Without know what you are going to shoot, your set up seems logical. Tracking shots will be the headache if you have to do that. Otherwise if you can get the gears made and ports to work, it should work... then you can tell me where and how. :)

 

I think Vincent La Foret's choices, reflect some of the difficulties / limitations of using this camera for video, not just additional features available on the more expensive cameras. In fact the main clip he shows using the 5D of O'Neil on his bed does not showcase any DOF concepts, or other 5D benefits does it?

Of course I've seen fisheye's OOF, I'm simply questioning the concept here of having to use hyperfocal distance to ensure the image will be in focus throughout the clip, as this will negate the desired effect of having shallow DOF with a DSLR..

Jeff, I haven't watched every video, only the first clip but I don't need to. The 5D2 is a compact and light low light camera which I'm sure he put a fisheye on with a boom to get any overhead shots. If I had a production budget that allowed a Red One, I'd use it without hesitation as the A cam. Everything else would be B or C cam. It's the better camera. It'd better be at $50k++.

Sorry Jeff, but I don't understand what you are saying. If a housing for the 5D were available, Larry would still use the HVX for the overcrank because they want the slo mo sequences. Nothing of that short clip indicated to me that a camera without overcrank could've done nicely. Possibly in post if they shot at high shutter speed (which the 5D2 can't do anyways), but otherwise, all those shots required overcrank cameras.

If you are saying the soft background look is what you are after, then even the Red or HVX would fail on WA shots. Every shooter worth their weight in salt would use rely on DOF and MF on WA shots for fear of the AF hunting. The Red doesn't even have AF. If you want to soften the background, then pull focus in. But again with WA, the effects will be minimal. The limitations of the 5D2 are not as bleak even with only a few manual controls.

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