Archive for March, 2012

Update: James has had a full day’s shooting now with the modified 5D Mark III. Check out the footage above.

Warning: please wait for this to all shake out. Don’t hastily modify your 5D Mark III without the necessary technical knowledge and research. Opening the camera voids the warranty and risks irreparable damage.

James Miller has decided to open up his brand new Canon 5D Mark III, tear it down and remove the blurring anti-aliasing filter from in front of the sensor. It does seem like a particularly strong optical low pass filter on this camera, which produces very soft results in video mode.

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Sony NEX FS700

Above: the current FS100 (pictured) will get a 4K companion at NAB

At NAB 2012 next month, Sony will shake the digital cinema market to its core. Sony’s answer to the C300 is a 4K Super 35mm update to the FS100. It will be available in June for a provisional $8000.

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David Hockney at his DSLR video bank

Above: artist David Hockney at his DSLR video bank

For his latest work David Hockney shot video with a rig of nine 5D Mark II DSLRs provided by his fine art printing solutions supplier Ted Chau.

The work is for Hockney’s new exhibition currently open at the Royal Academy in London. Similar to his photography and painting – the video piece is a large montage of 18 canvas-like video displays, showing DSLR footage shot by the artist in Yorkshire, England.

In this interview Ted Chau talks to EOSHD about the project and Hockney’s use of DSLRs.

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Nikon video rig from Redrock

Above: Marketing ploy alert! RedRock Micro’s new ‘Nikon gold’ branded rig for shooting video on the D800

In an interview with the British Journal of Photography, Nikon are really talking sense. It has taken a few years! Let’s listen to what Nikon group marketing manager for the UK, Jeremy Gilbert has to say about the company’s direction with their DSLRs and video.

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Canon NAB 2012 invite

First the Story Continues now the Next Evolution Is Here. This is an invite posted by HD Magazine for NAB 2012. In it Canon asks a select audience to attend dinner, where they will unveil details of a new camera – widely speculated to be their debut 4K cinema camera to compete with Red.

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5D Mark III Settings Vault

Get ‘Cinema Mark III’ by EOSHD in the 5D Mark III Settings Vault

I’ve created a section of the site for recommended 5D Mark III settings, including the all important picture profile settings that I personally shoot with. These are general purpose settings – the ones I use most often.

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Above: the Olympus 12mm F2 in action on the GH2

Here’s a gear guide along with a round-up of footage for low budget shooters. There’s a big difference in price between the very capable Panasonic GH2 and the new 5D Mark III. One is $800 new and the other $3500. All the discussion so far has been about the camera – is it worth $3500? Well unless you’re going to drill a hole in your lens cap and do pinhole photography, it all comes down to the price of lenses not the body.

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Sony FS100 rig

NAB 2012 is a few weeks away. Nobody can be sure what is going to come out of it. May be a lot, maybe not. But one thing is for sure, if you look at the market right now – Canon have a hole to fill. Where is their Sony FS100 competitor?

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5D Mark III

Check out Gizmodo’s take on my GH2 / 5D Mark III comparison video

Here’s a quick guide to the things I’ve found useful with my 5D Mark III video shoots so far.

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Today I shot this comparison between the 5D Mark III and hacked Panasonic GH2 with EOSHD Unified Patch. The results are all in the video.

Now you just need to factor in overall aesthetics to your decision, which are important. Personally I’d say that full frame sensor aside there is no reason why I like the 5D Mark III’s cinematic image more than the GH2′s. But I do need a full frame camera! It is another look, another option.

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Nikon D800

Freelance BBC shooter Johnnie Behiri has had his hands all over the new Nikon DSLRs recently and has been keeping me informed about their pros and cons. The big news here is just how good the Nikon D800′s video with cutting edge Sony sensor is relative to its big brother the D4.

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5D Mark III - sharpening in post

Good news – Technicolor CineStyle works with the 5D Mark III already. The picture profile loads in the same way as before on previous Canon DSLRs. You will need to install the EOS Utility from the CD that came with your 5D Mark III to put CineStyle on your camera.

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Nikon D800 1080p grab

Above: frame grab from Longshan’s Temple shot on the Nikon D800 in Taiwan. Click here to go to the Vimeo page and to download the original.

These findings have rather taken me aback.

Not only is the Nikon D800′s video quality far better than the Nikon D4 and more detailed than the 5D Mark III, the low light performance of the raw sensor data is nip and tuck with the Nikon D4 despite having double the megapixel count.

Even more surprising is that the D800 just scored the number 1 position overall on DXOMark… out-performing a PhaseONE digital back!

Needless to say this camera is now on my radar.

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Digital Cinema Cameras - Guide

Disclaimer: I usually say don’t wait – shoot with what you can get now, the best you can afford. But March 2012 is an unusual month because NAB 2012 is around the corner in April. The picture may change somewhat. Bear that in mind!

The candidates are:

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The 5D Mark III is the long awaited 4 years in the making successor to the one that really started it all. Have Canon managed to keep the DSLR video flame alive?

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I now have my Canon 5D Mark III and I’m working my first piece of cinematography that I’ve shot with the camera, called Spring Revolution. The shoot is work in-progress but I have some initial impressions of the camera which I’m happy to share right now…

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5D Mark III

Sam Morgan Moore (check out his take on this here) has sent me some high quality grabs direct from his ProRes footage today. Origin, the first 5D Mark III batch to land in London. The workflow was H.264 to ProRes 4:2:2 to TIFF then to high quality JPEG. I have to say image quality is really nice, a great base to work from and very gradable indeed. ISO performance even at 6400 is stunning with a very fine film-like grain.

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Fuji X Pro 1 - X mount exposed

There is more to this camera than meets the eye. In my first look I was rather taken aback by the eccentricities of the camera and just could not work out what it offered over the cheaper NEX 7. Now in a surprised double-take, I am beginning to believe it is actually the best mirrorless on the market for stills. And the 1080p video mode – once you know the limitations – is capable of producing incredible results.

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Nikon D800 uncompressed HDMI video

Slowly the new DSLRs are giving up their mysteries as they land in the laps of lucky pre-orderers who thanks to Canon and Nikon have had to blindly throw $3000 in their general direction, hoping that the camera does what they want. So next time if you are listening Canon and Nikon, tell us right from the start about things like image quality, scaling to 1080p and HDMI output quality.

Anyway, rant over! Here is the first professional test of the Nikon D800′s mythical uncompressed HDMI output.

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NEX 7 ReWo Cage Prototype

If you are interested in the NEX 7 cage get in touch with Philip and Wondo at ReWo’s website here

The NEX 7 just became more attractive on a professional film set. Here is the ReWo cage for the Sony NEX 7. The shots below are of the most recent prototype. You may remember ReWo from the professional GH2 cage (see the EOSHD review).

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Digital Bolex D16's Elle Schneider

I had the chance to interview Elle Schneider today of LA based Digital Bolex. Their D16 camera is a 16mm Bolex using existing off the shelf components and raw processing software developed in Canada. It shoots 12bit raw with no rolling shutter, although the sensor is much smaller and less sensitive than the one in the 5D Mark III.

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Bolex D16

Now I love this kind of enterprising spirit. A passion for filmmaking, a passion for technology and a “let’s build a rocket” mentality. The Digital Bolex project which seeks to build a digital cinema camera for indie filmmakers has now succeeded in passing their $100,000 target in just 24hrs – helped by taking pre-orders for the camera at $2500 each. In fact it is set to break $200,000 in just 48hrs. A runaway success…

Will the customers get what they paid for? There are many ways to look at the Digital Bolex. Here are my 10 perspectives…

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Fuji X Pro 1

Canon have been on the record to say that the only rival they fear is Fuji (because of their expertise in sensors). Canon want to fear them and I want to like them. If only the GH2 was this good looking.

Unfortunately I am having quite a hard time liking my X-Pro 1 when she is sitting side by side with the superb Sony NEX 7.

Does it offer enough over the Sony NEX 7 to justify the price tag?

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The Leica M Noctilux which costs $11,000 is a full frame F0.95 photographic lens. The SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE T0.95 is a full frame F0.92 lens designed for cinematographers with Leica M mount which retails for $3,000 – a third of the Noctilux.

It is quite a different lens to the Voigltander Nokton 25mm F0.95 for Micro Four Thirds. It covers a full frame sensor and APS-C mirrorless cameras like the Sony FS100 and NEX 7 whilst the Nokton vignettes on anything larger than Micro Four Thirds. I shot the above film on the Panasonic GH2 with Iscorama 36 anamorphic attached to the SLR Magic CINE but I am also using it on my NEX 7 and Fuji X Pro 1.

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JVC 4K HMQ10 samples

Here are some frame grabs from the JVC HMQ10 4K camera which is the first semi-pro 4K camera, that breaks under the £4K mark.

The frame size is 3840×2160 and it is the biggest step up in resolution yet seen for video standards.

4K makes the difference between 720p and 1080p seem minuscule!

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Metabones EOS adapter on NEX 7

UPDATE: Metabones inform me they have fixed the latest adapters with an anti-reflective part. If your adapter suffers from reflections, if yours has any of the issues below, simply contact Metabones and send your adapter back for a service

As if the initial non-functioning firmware with the NEX 5N and NEX 7 wasn’t bad enough, it appears Metabones will have to completely re-design the recent EOS lens to E-Mount adapter.

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Nikon could steal a few 5D Mark III pre-orders just by putting clearer information out and some sample clips. The Nikon D800 has a few tricks up its sleeve which may improve the soft moire ridden video quality we’ve seen so far from it.

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5D Mark III jello

This Japanese test is quite revealing. Rolling shutter is reduced by half.

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(Please download the original 5D 1080p file, it only streams in 720p. No artistic value. Not representative of final firmware. No salesman will call.)

Looks like someone didn’t get the memo!

In the last few hours the first 90Mbit 1080p Quicktime file was made available from a pre-production 5D Mark III.

The subject matter is mundane but finally we get to see what the true resolution of this camera is like.

The test is shot at ISO 3600. Here’s my verdict…

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I was able to try out the 5D Mark III for myself today in the UK at the Focus On Imaging show. I also had a talk to one of Canon’s technicians about sensor downscaling, HDMI output and more.

Is it truly the big improvement on the 5D Mark II for video everybody is hoping for?

I also got my hands on a Nikon D800 and Fuji X Pro, more on those after the break…

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Canon G1 X

It is a testament to how demanding the camera market place is of manufacturers at the moment that Canon could bring out a large sensor compact like the G1 X and for me to have quite a few major gripes about it.

This is the best image quality we’ve ever seen from a camera in the ‘compact’ class. Although the Panasonic GX1 with 14-42mm PZ comes pretty close for around the same price. Video wise, image quality at 1080/24p is actually rather detailed and can be almost DSLR standard but it is not a match for the GH2 because of heavy aliasing, a slow fixed lens and a lack of manual control.

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Here is a shot from Japan which was shot with both the 5D Mark II and 5D Mark III (with beta firmware) by a camera reviewer. The cleanness and lack of noise is something quite remarkable.

Are we in for a incredible low light treat – a truly ground breaking camera?

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Canon 5D Mark III vs Nikon D800 video mode

For the vast majority of DSLR shooters these cameras are a lot of money so it is important to get the right one. Often it could be a small feature that sways it for your individual needs so it is never right to say that one camera is ‘better’ for ‘everyone’. It isn’t as cut and dry.

However it is possible to be objective about image quality. I’d say the 5D Mark III definitely has the better internal codec and resolution.

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Canon 5D Mark III

The maximum bitrate of the 5D Mark III in video mode has been revealed, and other breaking news…

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The Canon 5D Mark III officially released - with end of March release date

Canon announce the 5D Mark III – EOSHD takes a first look

I thought I would die before this camera was released.

Continued strong sales of the 5D Mark II put paid to a revolution for the line, or an earlier release date. So the 5D Mark III is a very evolutionary camera. If it isn’t broke – don’t fix it. People do tend to forget what a power house the 5D Mark II was for video, and especially stills and many current owners are well satisfied.

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5D Mark III sample videos

Available for pre-order now at Adorama

Release date end of the month, approx. 30th March

The Canon 5D Mark III is now official. The embargo has been lifted and a slew of information has hit the internets, very little of it new. The proof of the 5D Mark 3′s capabilities are entirely in the image.

1st Sample video here ‘Radball’

2nd Sample video here ‘Mario Nette’

3rd Sample video here ‘Color of Hope’

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5D Mark III Review

This is great news for video on the 5D Mark III. The encoder is completely new and features the ALL-I Intra frame recording mode (like AVC Intra) that the Canon 1D X supports, at half the price of that body.

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The GH2 Patch Vault

Download the patches from the GH2 Patch Vault here

I’ve now finished testing and have refreshed the EOSHD GH2 Patch Vault with my latest patches. These are now simplified into just two – a high performance AVC Intra 88 Mbit EOSHD Unified patch and a 44 Mbit EOSHD Vanilla patch. I’ve also added an updated installation guide which is designed to be as simple and as to-the-point as possible.

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The EOSHD Panasonic GH4 Shooter's Guide
The EOSHD 5D Mark III Raw Shooter's Guide
The EOSHD Sony A7 Series Guide to Full Frame Lenses
The EOSHD Panasonic GH3 Shooter's Guide
The EOSHD Anamorphic Shooter's Guide - Second Edition
More EOSHD Guides