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Canon 1DX II - Video Camera Perspective - Mini interview on the missing details


Guest Ebrahim Saadawi
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Right....a mirrorless camera with a viewfinder you can't see through!

Ergonomically all DSLRs (cameras that use a mirror to provide through-the-lens viewing) are not optimum for film-making.  In movie mode you have to hold the camera away from your face to see the rear screen, and something as heavy as the 1DX with a typical full-frame lens is going to weigh around 5 or 6 pounds, multiplied by the lever principle - the further away you hold a weight from your body while standing-up, the greater the strain on your back.  I know all about this because I owned the big Nikon D750 with the heavy kit lens, but returned it because it was killing my back when recording videos. 

Well what camera is "optimum" for filmmaking in your eyes? An Alexa needs several people to operate, so does a Red Epic. (If you want to use follow focuses and a proper monitoring for the director). You will get back strain with every damn camera out there if a DSLR kills you! Are you gonna hold the Alexa up your face all day?

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I got this info from a guy who just tested the 4K video capabilities of the camera:

"It records all formats to CF card also. I tested it today.
The 60fps @ 4K would bog down my card after about 10 seconds. But I think if my CF was just a little bit faster is would be able to hang. the 24fps and 30fps @ 4k will shoot forever. It’s awesome."

So the expensive Cfast cards are only needed for 4K 60p.

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I got this info from a guy who just tested the 4K video capabilities of the camera:

"It records all formats to CF card also. I tested it today.
The 60fps @ 4K would bog down my card after about 10 seconds. But I think if my CF was just a little bit faster is would be able to hang. the 24fps and 30fps @ 4k will shoot forever. It’s awesome."

So the expensive Cfast cards are only needed for 4K 60p.

This is GREAT news, i was hoping for this really. I wonder how sandisks extreme pro 160mb/s would perform as i have couple of these for 5d3 ML raw and they are 100 percent reliable.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Very Fast CF cards work just like on the 1DC MJPEG. These cards are still damn expensive and the 1DC needs the best of the best otherwise huts recording.

So the media solutions for the 1DXII is highest-end Compact Flash cards or CFast 2.0 (which are high-end/fast anyway and handle the 1DXII easily)

For anyone buying his camera for video: FACTOR IN MEDIA COST . 

It can be 5000$+ for doc/interview/event type work! 

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If CF cards  works nice with video mode and gves some ability for 4k/60fps bursts like 15-20 seconds there are some cheaper solutions until CFast cards became cheaper (at least for some lower budget shots). For ML raw recording with 5d3 i use nextodi portable data bank which copy CF 128GB card in around 24 minutes. I have 2TB HDD installed inside (i can swap them in 30 seconds) and i was able to easily collect 2TB data in couple of days during vacations. With 2 128GB cards i could work almost continously as 128GB lasts for about 25 minutes of 1080p 25fps raw (5GB/min, about 670mbps - 1dxII has 500mbps in24/25fps so it should last a little bit longer, like 33 minutes). Very easy way without laptop. Internal battery lasts for about 500GB so i used USB power bank to keep it running all day.

Similar CFast solutions would be very, very expensive, the one i use cost around 300 pounds with 1TB HDD inside . Thats why i am extremely glad that CF cards works fine.

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Well what camera is "optimum" for filmmaking in your eyes? An Alexa needs several people to operate, so does a Red Epic. (If you want to use follow focuses and a proper monitoring for the director). You will get back strain with every damn camera out there if a DSLR kills you! Are you gonna hold the Alexa up your face all day?

Apparently you have never seen an Alexa.  Go and Google a picture of one being held by an operator.  The weight rests on the operator's shoulder and there is an electronic viewfinder designed to meet the eye in that configuration.

You can't carry a 1DX on your shoulder in its out-of-the-box form factor and the viewfinder doesn't work at all when in video mode.  You can buy a load of accessories to fix the ergonomics, but then if you are going to do that why not just buy a camera designed for video recording in the first place?  The 1DX is a stills camera with video as an add-on.  Poor out-of-the-box ergonomics for filming, a viewfinder that doesn't work in video mode, no peaking, no zebras and 95% of the native lenses (not counting the super-expensive "Cinema line") are not optimized for video (they are not parfocal, maximum aperture often changes with focal length, no powered zooming, etc.).  The huge sensor, which is wonderful in low light, unfortunately makes the depth of field very shallow so focus accuracy becomes critical. Also its size makes rolling shutter more likely. These are some of the reasons why the regular Alexa and Canon Cinema lines don't use full frame sensors.  Checkout the sample videos for the 1DX II - they appear to be carefully shot with the camera on a steady support and very slow panning (if any) to avoid rolling shutter artifacts.

Note that I have no problem with mirrorless SLR form factor cameras with electronic viewfinders being used for video; while they are not designed for shoulder mounting you can steady such cameras against the face so the lever principle does not apply; and they are generally smaller and weigh less than cameras with mirrors.

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4 hours ago, mikegt said:

Apparently you have never seen an Alexa.  Go and Google a picture of one being held by an operator.  The weight rests on the operator's shoulder and there is an electronic viewfinder designed to meet the eye in that configuration.

You can't carry a 1DX on your shoulder in its out-of-the-box form factor and the viewfinder doesn't work at all when in video mode.  You can buy a load of accessories to fix the ergonomics, but then if you are going to do that why not just buy a camera designed for video recording in the first place?  The 1DX is a stills camera with video as an add-on.  Poor out-of-the-box ergonomics for filming, a viewfinder that doesn't work in video mode, no peaking, no zebras and 95% of the native lenses (not counting the super-expensive "Cinema line") are not optimized for video (they are not parfocal, maximum aperture often changes with focal length, no powered zooming, etc.).  The huge sensor, which is wonderful in low light, unfortunately makes the depth of field very shallow so focus accuracy becomes critical. Also its size makes rolling shutter more likely. These are some of the reasons why the regular Alexa and Canon Cinema lines don't use full frame sensors.  Checkout the sample videos for the 1DX II - they appear to be carefully shot with the camera on a steady support and very slow panning (if any) to avoid rolling shutter artifacts.

Note that I have no problem with mirrorless SLR form factor cameras with electronic viewfinders being used for video; while they are not designed for shoulder mounting you can steady such cameras against the face so the lever principle does not apply; and they are generally smaller and weigh less than cameras with mirrors.

How old are you dude?

Old dogs can learn new tricks, you know?

Who programmed the thought that throwing something on your shoulder makes for best video camera ergonomics???

Who programmed into you that you need something right against your eye to be able to see what you are recording???

Try closing one eye and walk around for a while, see how much your cheeks hurt after awhile.

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Actually it's the autofocus / face tracking that's really the selling point. If it's good, you get more usable shots. At the end of the day, dynamic range, 10-bit color, 4K, all that stuff is wonderful, but if the shot isn't in focus, then those matter much less. 

At the end of the day, for most formats, lighting, framing, focus, camera movement all matter much more to cinematography. Imho.

Controllable and accurate autofocus will really open up creative possibilities and much more efficient shooting. Blocking matters less, actors are freed up from hitting marks, fewer takes due to missed shots, etc. Event, doc, sports video too. 

What would be a great video would be AF comparison between the 1DX II, A7R II, and the C300 II, in less-controlled shooting conditions.

 

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2 hours ago, mkabi said:

How old are you dude?

I smell a trollTrolls launch personal attacks like you just did; and they make comments that make no sense (read your own posts for examples).

The other possibility is that you work for Canon, and are getting paid to boost their new camera and rage at anyone who doesn't agree that it is totally awesome.  The 1DX II looks to be a fine stills camera, but is over-priced and under-featured for serious video work.

 

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

I smell a trollTrolls launch personal attacks like you just did; and they make comments that make no sense (read your own posts for examples).

The other possibility is that you work for Canon, and are getting paid to boost their new camera and rage at anyone who doesn't agree that it is totally awesome.  The 1DX II looks to be a fine stills camera, but is over-priced and under-featured for serious video work.

 

 

You like shooting with a shoulder video camera, we like shooting with a handheld DSLR-style camera.

If the entire core body design of the 1DXII is usage for you to shoot video with, and you're strictly opposed to add-ons, then it's clearly not the right camera for you, search on for something else. 

End of story. No trolling.

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3 hours ago, mikegt said:
1 hour ago, Ebrahim Saadawi said:

 

You like shooting with a shoulder video camera, we like shooting with a handheld DSLR-style camera.

If the entire core body design of the 1DXII is usage for you to shoot video with, and you're strictly opposed to add-ons, then it's clearly not the right camera for you, search on for something else. 

End of story. No trolling.

 

 

I'm sorry, but you are really missing the point here.  It's not about carrying a camera on your shoulder or not; it's about having something designed to be used so that it is steady and not a strain to hold for long periods while filming.

Any full-frame DSLR with a mirror is "out of the box" going to be uncomfortable to record video with hand-held for long periods of time since you can't brace it against your body; you have hold it some distance away to be able to see the screen. I never said I was opposed to add-ons; but good ones can add at least a grand to the price (a Zfinder alone costs around $500).  So now you have a big rig that you are carrying around that is going to draw some attention on the street.  And you are close to the price of a FS7, and even with no add-ons the 1DX II costs more than a FS5.

If you want to shoot video with a DLSR form factor their are better choices out there - the most obvious being the Sony A7S2.  It's half the price of the 1DX II, has all the video features Canon left out, is much smaller and lighter and has an electronic viewfinder so you can hold it against your body for stability; no add-ons needed (although some folks do build rigs for their Sony cameras).

And no, I do not work for Sony.
 

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"Any full-frame DSLR with a mirror "out of the box" is going to be uncomfortable to record video with hand-held for long periods of time since you can't brace it against your body"

That's just your opinion and not a given for everyone. It depends on shooting style and practice.

IMO,
DSLRs are small enough to shoot handheld all day long without being heavy. And you can easily steady it against your body the same way as a mirror less.

The point is, Using the EVF against the face on lets say a A7 is not the steadiest way of shooting. An external or tillable EVF is needed to really get steady shots that way.
When I shoot A7 with IBIS I still don't use the evf, because it isn't as stable as braising the camera against my body and using the back display.

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12 hours ago, mikegt said:

Apparently you have never seen an Alexa.  Go and Google a picture of one being held by an operator.  The weight rests on the operator's shoulder and there is an electronic viewfinder designed to meet the eye in that configuration.

You can't carry a 1DX on your shoulder in its out-of-the-box form factor and the viewfinder doesn't work at all when in video mode.  You can buy a load of accessories to fix the ergonomics, but then if you are going to do that why not just buy a camera designed for video recording in the first place?  The 1DX is a stills camera with video as an add-on.  Poor out-of-the-box ergonomics for filming, a viewfinder that doesn't work in video mode, no peaking, no zebras and 95% of the native lenses (not counting the super-expensive "Cinema line") are not optimized for video (they are not parfocal, maximum aperture often changes with focal length, no powered zooming, etc.).  The huge sensor, which is wonderful in low light, unfortunately makes the depth of field very shallow so focus accuracy becomes critical. Also its size makes rolling shutter more likely. These are some of the reasons why the regular Alexa and Canon Cinema lines don't use full frame sensors.  Checkout the sample videos for the 1DX II - they appear to be carefully shot with the camera on a steady support and very slow panning (if any) to avoid rolling shutter artifacts.

Well look at sample videos for the Alexa or actually the movies they shoot with it. They are all "carefully shot". No one is wielding the Alexa like a madman with a DSLR. And you actually can't. There is no way to hold the Alexa like a DSLR, true. But that's also a downfall. The Alexa needs a bunch of space, it's not a "small cam". Even the Amira that is easier is still a ... shall we say, considerably more of a box.

Arri_Alexa_camera.jpg

Looks real easy doesn't it? Stick that inside a car and shoot a closeup of the driver. Look at that thing! That's poor ergonomics. People need to rig Alexa's too, mostly because the director needs to see the image so sets are full of SDI- cables running everywhere. Focus accuracy? There's a reason Alexa users have separate focus pullers with separate monitors. With a 1dX II you can JUST PRESS THE LCD and it will focus where you press! And you call that "poor ergonomics". I call "Jack the focus puller" a poor ergonomic decision who also takes a human sized space from the van. He also needs to be fed!

I have shot with an Amira (not with an Alexa though) and even that effing thing is far from being an "easy and ergonomic" camera that doesn't need rigging. EVERY camera needs rigging depending on the shoot and you can forget about small doc- projects with the Alexa. People are propagating bs myths about "designed for video/film"- cams that are supposedly easier than DSLR's.They are "easier" (and slower) on a multiperson shoot where you need to have the director see the material on a big screen. But shooting alone? Oh no. It's actually easier to change the shutter/iso on the 5d/1d any dslr than on the Amira. Funny. 

 

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2 hours ago, mikegt said:

here - the most obvious being the Sony A7S2.  It's half the price of the 1DX II, has all the video features Canon left out...

It's way too small! The A7S2 also has the record button in a horrible place, you do documentary shooting and I will assure you that you will hit that button several times accidentally. Any sane person would rather shoot with a 1dxII than the a7s ii, ergonomics wise and if price was no object. I have no idea why you have so twisted ideas of ergonomics. Well lets list the bonuses of the ergonomics.

1dx II

+ Good size! Not too small, not too large. You can grab that beast like a man!

+ A good placement for record button (looking at you a7s)

+ Actually, all the buttons are placed great

+ You can throw it on the ground!

a7s II

+ ehm, it doesn't have a mirror? Wooptidoo.

 

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47 minutes ago, hmcindie said:

It's way too small! The A7S2 also has the record button in a horrible place, you do documentary shooting and I will assure you that you will hit that button several times accidentally. Any sane person would rather shoot with a 1dxII than the a7s ii, ergonomics wise and if price was no object. I have no idea why you have so twisted ideas of ergonomics. Well lets list the bonuses of the ergonomics.

1dx II

+ Good size! Not too small, not too large. You can grab that beast like a man!

+ A good placement for record button (looking at you a7s)

+ Actually, all the buttons are placed great

+ You can throw it on the ground!

a7s II

+ ehm, it doesn't have a mirror? Wooptidoo.

 

Electronic viewfinder, articulating screen, zebras, peaking, LOG, focus punch in while recording, and lighter weight.

I wouldn't buy either. Just balancing the comparison. ;)

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1 hour ago, hmcindie said:

It's way too small! The A7S2 also has the record button in a horrible place, you do documentary shooting and I will assure you that you will hit that button several times accidentally. Any sane person would rather shoot with a 1dxII than the a7s ii, ergonomics wise and if price was no object. I have no idea why you have so twisted ideas of ergonomics. Well lets list the bonuses of the ergonomics.

1dx II

+ Good size! Not too small, not too large. You can grab that beast like a man!

+ A good placement for record button (looking at you a7s)

+ Actually, all the buttons are placed great

+ You can throw it on the ground!

a7s II

+ ehm, it doesn't have a mirror? Wooptidoo.

 

 

This week I wrapped on 2 back-to-back music video shoots - both completely different (one was shot in an abandoned building, one at a harbour). 

The tool of choice was the A7SII, and I have to say, this camera (besides it's weak points like battery life), was an absolute revelation. The schedule was very very tight, so the low light capabilities and IBIS made shooting very fluid and fast. Slog2 managed the bright outdoor scenes really well. 

I don't use the back monitor, I use the Sony CLM-FHD5 (got it for cheap) clip and it's a great combination.

Used the 5-axis IBIS on the Ronin-M and the shots were ridiculously smooth. No bounce at all. Another great combination. 

On the 1DX II - I find it a very interesting camera - just a very different tool. That autofocus feature would be awesome for gimbal work, yet I would miss the IBIS a bit on the A7SII. But the Canon has the colours! But the Sony has Slog! But the Canon has 4k 60fps! But the Sony has E-mount! But the Canon has better stills! But the Sony is lighter! But the Canon is more rugged.....and so on....

To be honest, I'd probably get the 1DX II if it had C-Log and the initial rental was a successful experience. Stick it on an Edelkrone Pocket Rig 2 and use an LCD-loupe - job done. Having a small monitor on top is no big deal - works great on the A7SII. 

The Canon is completely workable for video and makes total sense if you love your stills too and have EF glass. The only issue is that cameras like the FS5 (now seems to have reduced price in the UK) can be had for less money and can be updated (soon) to raw recording.

On the topic of bigger cameras - they are designed for crews. Smaller cameras are better suited to your tiny crews as the big camera doesn't slow you down. That's obvious though. :) 

 

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5 hours ago, Mattias Burling said:

"Any full-frame DSLR with a mirror "out of the box" is going to be uncomfortable to record video with hand-held for long periods of time since you can't brace it against your body"

That's just your opinion and not a given for everyone. It depends on shooting style and practice.
 

Well, every post is "just someone's opinion".  But what I'm talking about is basic physics.  The further away from your body that you hold an object, the more stress it causes requiring increased force to hold it in the same position.

 

2 hours ago, hmcindie said:

I have no idea why you have so twisted ideas of ergonomics. Well lets list the bonuses of the ergonomics.

Your arguments might be more convincing with better grammar.

> You can throw it on the ground!

Throw a $6,000 camera with a $2,000 lens on the ground?  My friend, I think you need a straitjacket more than a camera.

 

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11 hours ago, mikegt said:

I smell a trollTrolls launch personal attacks like you just did; and they make comments that make no sense (read your own posts for examples).

The other possibility is that you work for Canon, and are getting paid to boost their new camera and rage at anyone who doesn't agree that it is totally awesome.  The 1DX II looks to be a fine stills camera, but is over-priced and under-featured for serious video work.

 

So asking rhetorical questions is trolling?

What do you call someone that calls someone else a "Troll"?

Or someone that says "Trolls launch personal attacks like you just did; and they make comments that makes no sense (read your own posts for example)" and "Your arguments might be more convincing with better grammar." (which was said to hmcindie).

By the way, I did not know that we were being graded in English 101, for our posts on a Forum.

If I insulted you, by asking you "How old are you dude?" I sincerely apologize.

Also, please refrain from reading any of my 'Yo momma jokes.' Cause that will definitely hurt your feelings.

 

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5 hours ago, mikegt said:

.  The further away from your body that you hold an object, the more stress it causes requiring increased force to hold it in the same position.

 

 

Exactly. And I hold a DSLR at the exact same distance as a mirrorless. Much more stable than using an a7 evf imo. Need an external evf to get it more stable. The key is to keep the camera close to your body. Give it a try.

 

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