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Bobby Shore

7D resolution vs sony EX 3

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hey guys,

 

this thread has definitely become pretty interesting. I shot some tests yesterday (see this thread for more info), basically EX 3 and 7D side by side for an available light night ext. that's being printed to 35. I'll get the print next week and post results in the linked thread.

 

All that being said, the ins and outs of HD via DSLR, 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, or whatever sized pro or consumer video camera, it's really all subjective at the end of the day, and specific to each and every project. Definitely interesting to read everything you guys are writing though, thanks.

 

bobby

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Michael Most, I'm just curious if you bother to even read my posts with an open mind, or if your entire goal in interacting with me is to quickly make a contrarian point? As far as I can recall, both here and at Reduser, you have never, ever agreed with me on anything. From my point of view, it grows tiresome.

 

From my point of view, it's almost the opposite. I make an attempt to provide relatively unbiased, reasonable observations. But whenever I post anything - whether it's a reply to something you said or not - you seem to immediately jump in to contradict or challenge me. So yes, it is growing tiresome.

 

I said that the camera is not 1080p, and I stand by that. Shoot some charts and prove me wrong. I'm not sure why your other points are aimed at me.

 

I don't need to shoot charts, because others already have. And I'm not arguing with the notion that it's not full 1080p resolution. I am saying that I've seen some awfully nice imagery from both the 5D and the 7D, shot in real conditions, projected on reasonable size screens and/or shown on rather large plasma monitors, intercut with footage shot on Red and other cameras, and to my eyes and everyone else in the room - sometimes a rather large group - the real life images were more often than not more than acceptable.

 

Anyhow, here is a "shockingly nice" and "surprisingly robust" image I was able to acquire on my 5D2 in video mode in the early days when the camera came out. I only had to drive 300 miles and walk through half a mile of slick, ankle deep mud for the pleasure of having these shots ruined by this camera.

 

You had a bad result. That doesn't mean that everyone who uses it has the same bad result. Perhaps there were other problems with your particular camera. Perhaps not. All I can say is that for every problematic still posted on an Internet forum, I've seen many, many shots that are surprisingly robust. That doesn't make it perfect, just as a few problematic shots don't make it awful. Personally, I wouldn't really want to use it for anything other than some small personal projects. But that's just me, because the fact is that it's being used for an awful lot of things these days, including many commercials, music videos, specialty shots on shows like 24 and Southland, and the entire main title for Saturday Night Live. So not everyone considers it as unusable as some of the posts here would make it appear.

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I think Mike is a fashion follower.

 

Phil, I thought your days of sitting in front of a computer and reveling in hurling personal insults were over. Apparently not.

 

The 5D is a Hot Toy, and he works for people who see no further than that, so he's more or less required to like it. It's genuinely amazing how some people do this, managing to turn commercial imperative into what appears to be a strongly held and genuine view.

 

Fact: I don't work for any particular company at the moment.

Another Fact: I have never to this point personally worked on, assisted on, or participated on with or without pay anything shot on a Canon DSLR. I have, however, had the opportunity to look at a lot of footage shot by people who know how to shoot, and against my better judgement and all logic, come away somewhat impressed. Which is why I said some of the things I've said. I've never been one to jump on bandwagons. If you actually took the time to read and think about some of the things I've said over the years you would understand that.

 

I have too much regard for logic and critical thinking to be able to do this. Unfortunately it appears to be a prerequisite to success.

 

And I guess you're implying that I don't. Believe what you want. I know you will anyway, whether it's an informed opinion or not.

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You had a bad result. That doesn't mean that everyone who uses it has the same bad result. Perhaps there were other problems with your particular camera. Perhaps not. All I can say is that for every problematic still posted on an Internet forum, I've seen many, many shots that are surprisingly robust.

 

Ha. So it was my fault, right? :rolleyes:

 

You're funny, dude.

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Ha. So it was my fault, right? :rolleyes:

 

You're funny, dude.

 

I think you are looking for a fight that isn't there. Mike's point is just that this camera IS being used for selective shots and certain projects in the industry and it seems to work for them -- not flawlessly, but acceptably -- for what people wanted at the time, and sometimes the shots made with the camera are quite nice.

 

This isn't a technical debate about whether it's "true 1080P" or what the artifacts are, it's simply a statement of fact, that the camera is finding use in the industry and people have gotten results that they deem usable, acceptable, nice, whatever. Mike isn't saying that you are doing something wrong with the camera or anything like that, nor has he denied that it can create artifacts like the ones you posted.

 

There are two extreme arguments that show up all the time on the internet -- one is that some piece of technology is flawed and therefore not good enough for anyone to use, and the opposite is that it's good enough that everyone should just accept the flaws.

 

The truth is in the middle somewhere -- the technology we use today can and should get better, there is always room for improvement, but on the other hand, production marches on with the technology at hand and people will make almost anything work for them in the right context.

 

If someone said the Canon 5D was good enough to replace existing 35mm and other digital cameras, I'm sure Mike would jump in and point out why that was not true. But if someone says that the Canon 5D cannot ever be used to shoot moving images because it's not true 1080P and it has artifacts, I'm sure Mike would jump in and point out that it is being used already with decent results in the right circumstances.

 

I'm for better tools are much as anyone, I see room for improvement in the RED, the Genesis, the D21, you name it... but I also work in the real world where I have to make these tools work for me, and if I had a project where the 5D may give me some interesting shot that the other cameras can't, I'd give it a try.

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I think the reason I'm so vexed by this is that to the best of my mind, Mr Most has a record of being exceedingly intolerant of good-enough solutions, yet suddenly...

 

P

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I think you are looking for a fight that isn't there. Mike's point is just that this camIf someone said the Canon 5D was good enough to replace existing 35mm and other digital cameras, I'm sure Mike would jump in and point out why that was not true. But if someone says that the Canon 5D cannot ever be used to shoot moving images because it's not true 1080P and it has artifacts, I'm sure Mike would jump in and point out that it is being used already with decent results in the right circumstances.

 

I'm for better tools are much as anyone, I see room for improvement in the RED, the Genesis, the D21, you name it... but I also work in the real world where I have to make these tools work for me, and if I had a project where the 5D may give me some interesting shot that the other cameras can't, I'd give it a try.

 

Thank you, David. That is indeed what I've been trying to say. I thought I was being pretty clear about it. Apparently not.

 

On the subject of an "interesting shot that other cameras can't," I attended a presentation yesterday in which a major visual effects company talked about their use of the 5D for 360 degree panoramic backgrounds. Because of the low cost, they can go out with 9 camera rigs (completely cost prohibitive if one wanted to use high end HD cameras for that) and pack the entire thing into one relatively small case. But even more cleverly, they combine the high resolution still mode with the lower resolution movie mode by firing off a still during movie capture, thus assuring identical photographic conditions for both and allowing for a seamless match. They can then use the still capture for stationary items like buildings or geographic features, and the moving image for things like street traffic, crowds, and other moving items. This is very, very useful in creating virtual environments, and some very convincing footage was used to demonstrate the technique.

 

It's not always "either/or." Sometimes it's about seeing possibilities and being clever enough to take advantage of them.

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I think the reason I'm so vexed by this is that to the best of my mind, Mr Most has a record of being exceedingly intolerant of good-enough solutions, yet suddenly...

 

This isn't about "good enough". This is about new tools that allow for certain things that weren't practical before. For many - not necessarily me, but many - it's also about what the original promise of Red was in terms of putting tools capable of things like shallow focus and good low light capability in the hands of "the masses", namely, the ones for whom even Red is far too costly. And finally, it's about providing something else in the toolbox that really does create a new niche. Nowhere have I advocated using these things as an "A" camera on a major production (even though some people might actually think of doing that). In fact, I have gone out of my way to point out how inappropriate that would be at this stage of its development. But if you read my reply to David, you would see that these things are about possibilities, and the way they can be used productively, even in their current state, is to look for those possibilities if you have a need for them.

 

If you're looking for intolerance, I'm not your guy and never have been. What's appropriate for high end television and studio motion pictures is not necessarily appropriate for tiny guerilla productions. But what's used in those productions can sometimes be used for limited applications in the higher end world. That's not a change in my position, it's always been my position.

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I've already acknowledged the usefulness of the camera when I said, "Honestly, if some indie band came to me right now and said, "Let's go shoot a music video at Joshua Tree in low light" I would probably just do it on a 5D2. Keep the DOF shallow, avoid moire bait, etc."

 

Again, my main point on this thread was that the 5D2 is not a "1080p" camera. I think we are all in agreement on that?

 

As far as looking for a fight with Most.. hardly. I just find it odd that 100% of his posts at Reduser and here regarding me are disagreements with something I have said. I would think at least 1% of the time I might get something right? :lol:

 

Anyway, I'm not into arguing on the internet. If someone like David thinks I am out of line, then I probably am. The only thing I know about Most is that someone I respect has told me he is a valuable contributor at CML and someone to listen to. So I'm trying! ;) No hard feelings, I hope.

Edited by Tom Lowe

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Interestingly I have had more paying gigs this year with a 5DMKII than a RED, however I am still shooting 35mm film 80% of the time. It's really down to budget if I can't shoot 35mm film I need something far cheaper usually the choice is a 5DMKII or an EX1/3.

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Again, my main point on this thread was that the 5D2 is not a "1080p" camera. I think we are all in agreement on that?

 

Yes. The only difference in our views is the level of significance that actually represents in light of other things that these devices bring to the table. And the answer to that depends on what it's being used for and how it's being used.

 

No hard feelings, I hope.

 

Not from me.

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Why don't you try and remember that, Mike, next time we're discussing a subject like - oh, I don't know - grading things on Dell TFTs, and the "level of significance" that represents in context.

 

P

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I only had to drive 300 miles and walk through half a mile of slick, ankle deep mud for the pleasure of having these shots ruined by this camera.

 

Looking at that still, at least on my computer, it doesn't look ruined. Maybe the reflections in the water are a little strange, what do you find wrong with it? I lived for many years in San Pedro, and saw sunsets over the ocean every day. Multi-colored reflections off distant moving water can look strange when you freeze them.

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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Looking at that still, at least on my computer, it doesn't look ruined. Maybe the reflections in the water are a little strange, what do you find wrong with it? I lived for many years in San Pedro, and saw sunsets over the ocean every day. Multi-colored reflections off distant moving water can look strange when you freeze them.

 

 

 

-- J.S.

 

it looks really horrible in video. Some kind of chroma aliasing.

 

You can reduce it with an adjust layer or mask removing chroma luma but it's tough because they are panning tilting and dollying shots. It's a well documented issue. Trouble for me is that it's exactly what I like to shoot -- high-frequency waves in golden light.

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... As the camera skips lines awful moire patterns, like i.e. cloth, appear from cranking up the sharpness in the menue. Just keep it at its lowest level. Resharpen if necessary in post. ...

I'm not sure what you've said is correct. I may be mistaken, but I think the following is how it actually works:

 

Typically, the sharpness/detail feature in video cameras doesn't cause aliasing & moire, it just adds (usually ugly) edge enhancement to it, making it look worse than it already is.

 

Decreasing the sharpness/detail setting softens the entire video frame and can be a good idea when you want more natural-looking video which isn't artificially enhanced, but it doesn't change the basics of how the camera constructs video frames.

 

As discussed elsewhere in this thread, Canon DSLRs are reported to construct video frames by binning pixels, not by line skipping. In a scene containing lots of real detail, this results in relatively severe aliasing & moire artifacts. These artifacts can't be removed by adjusting the camera itself or in post. The artifacts are baked into the video frames.

 

Further, the way DSLRs construct and compress video frames results in relatively low resolution video which can't be "fixed" in post -- it can't later be made higher-resolution than really it is.

 

Increasing sharpness/detail in post makes video appear artificially sharper via edge enhancement, etc. (which can be a good thing, or not), but this process also makes artifacts of the original aliasing & moire proportionally more visible, too.

 

Alternatively, one might selectively blur an area within the video frame in post to mask aliasing/moire artifacts, but at the expense of losing real, useful detail one might have preferred to see in that part of the frame.

 

Likewise, defocussing the lens slightly during the shoot can blur or eliminate aliasing/moire, but the result is out-of-focus video. Sharpening this video in post doesn't magically re-focus the video, it just artificially-enhances it. Again, sometimes this is acceptable, but it might not be ideal.

 

I think the above is correct. :-)

 

However, if not, please advise.

 

My primary purpose throughout this thread has been to bring these issues to the attention of less-experienced shooters and others considering using or purchasing a DSLR cam for video production.

 

It's OK with me if folks use these tools for video production, but I'd also like them to know what to expect -- and this thread only touches on a few of the many drawbacks of these cams -- so they can make informed decisions throughout the process.

 

Other than DOF control, light sensitivity, small size & weight, and a low price -- which can be very useful & valuable characteristics -- the many shortcomings of these cameras work _against_ creating good-looking video.

 

That's why the fact that some DPs are making good-looking video using DSLRs is much, much more a testament to the skills of the DP & their crew than it is to the capabilities of the current crop of DSLR cameras! These DPs & crews have my respect!

 

As for the DSLR manufacturers, well, as Monty Python said: "I f*rt in your general direction!" :-)

 

 

EDIT: Added "light sensitivity" as a DSLR benefit.

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I was just thinking about when the 5D might be interesting for me, and because of its low-light capability, one idea was to shoot nighttime driving plates for rear-projection car scenes -- with the projected background generally throw into soft-focus, I think a lot of the artifacts would be minimized, and probably the 30 fps rate isn't going to be much of an issue.

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Hi David: I like your idea, but I can't help thinking this would be especially appropriate if the driving scene takes place during a fierce windstorm, hurricane or monsoon, and the car is driving into the direction of the wind.

 

That way the telephone poles, sign posts, trees, buildings and such will be tilted (due to CMOS rolling shutter skew) appropriately.

 

Just joking! :-)

 

But seriously, as always you have a great idea!

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...., and probably the 30 fps rate isn't going to be much of an issue.

 

They have a 24/25 fps firmware upgrade coming in the first half of next year, too.

 

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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Trouble for me is that it's exactly what I like to shoot -- high-frequency waves in golden light.

 

That's going to be tough for any color masked single chip camera, be it Canon, Red, or even Arri or Panavision. With backlit waves you have extremely bright specular highlights on the crests and dark shadows in the troughs, with sharp boundaries between them. That'll punch through anybody's OLPF.

 

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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That's going to be tough for any color masked single chip camera, be it Canon, Red, or even Arri or Panavision. With backlit waves you have extremely bright specular highlights on the crests and dark shadows in the troughs, with sharp boundaries between them. That'll punch through anybody's OLPF. -- J.S.

Hi John: Thanks for this heads-up.

 

Please "learn me" here: If it's true -- and it seems likely -- that the OLPF in a DSLR is tuned for high-res digital stills, not 2K (let alone 4K) HD video, then doesn't it follow that DSLRs will have a far, far worse time of it attempting to reproduce such a scene compared to a typical digital cinema video camera?

 

Or, are the artifacts which "punch through" not proportional (or perceived as proportional) to the huge difference between a 12-25 megapixel DSLR digital still and a 2K - 4K digital cinema video frame?

 

Thanks for help wrapping my brain around this. :)

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That's going to be tough for any color masked single chip camera, be it Canon, Red, or even Arri or Panavision. With backlit waves you have extremely bright specular highlights on the crests and dark shadows in the troughs, with sharp boundaries between them. That'll punch through anybody's OLPF.

 

Well that scenario has become sort my new personal zone plate test. Hand me a camera and I will go shoot a golden sunset behind rippling, high-frequency water waves. Only the strong can survive. ;)

 

David, you know, in terms of the driving plates, the new 1Dm4 might be even before. It's low-light capabilities are even better than the 5D2, as you may have seen in Laforet's video.

 

One area where the 5D2s and 1Dm4s could work really well, I think, but where no one seems to really be using them, is in black and white, ala "Sin City," for example. You could shoot outdoors, at night, at ISO 6400, and the B&W would probably hide a lot of the color noise, lack of DR, etc.

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If it's true -- and it seems likely -- that the OLPF in a DSLR is tuned for high-res digital stills, not 2K (let alone 4K) HD video, then doesn't it follow that DSLRs will have a far, far worse time of it attempting to reproduce such a scene compared to a typical digital cinema video camera?

 

Yes, definitely, in any camera the OLPF is designed for the sampling grid of the chip. The thing I can't tell you about because I don't know is how they're downconverting on the fly to HDTV resolutions. If they're doing something very quick and dirty, like discarding samples, or just adding up adjacent samples, then the OLPF will be for the wrong Nyquist limit. In that case, you could certainly help it out with a diffusion filter of your own in front of the lens.

 

OTOH, if they do a good downconversion with a nice digital filter, they can deliver more top octave sharpness than a camera with HD chips. This has to do with how OLPF's have to start rolling off at N/4 to be out by N/2, while digital filters can use both positive and negative coefficients to get a much steeper "brick wall" curve. But do they have the processing power and time to do an approximation of sin(x)/x with enough taps? I don't know, and I don't think they're telling.

 

Yet another wrinkle for Bayer masked chips: On a Bayer, you have two Nyquist limits, one for green, and a lower one for red and blue. Practice is to OLPF for the green record, which is the most important for luminance and sharpness, letting the red and blue alias. In that sunset over water example, if you get different saturated colors bouncing off the waves, that red and blue aliasing might pop up and bite you.

 

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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But do they have the processing power and time to do an approximation of sin(x)/x with enough taps?

 

I sincerely doubt it, at least at video rates.

 

P

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An interesting example of the 7D when its used within conditions that it can handle.

 

Hecq Vs Exillion - Spheres Of Fury

 

damn, that was some pretty good lookin' footage. I kinda feel sometimes (maybe just in this thread) there's too much tech talk and not enough of the imagery and work that actually makes us want to keep shooting. Tenolian, thanks for posting that link. Do you have any info on the shoot? We're they using some sort of hand held rig, follow focus, etc., or was it just the camera? Best part was the credit tribute to Predator. Thanks for that man.

 

came across this a couple weeks a go, pretty different look than the one Tenolian posted, but I think it looks really nice:

 

perya

 

Bobby Shore

mtl/la

www.bobbyshore.com

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