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Frank5

Documentary for TV broadcast with EOS M1

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14 minutes ago, fuzzynormal said:

Since you know what you're doing you won't have any issue with a bump up in camera gear.  I still think you'd be okay with what you're doing as is, but I suppose it depends on the situation you have to navigate with your particular TV station.  Getting your footage up-to-scratch probably isn't an issue for you at all.

Having a great camera is nice, no doubt.  If you're good, you should own or rent a great camera.  Doing so if fun and awesome  --but to think automatically that something is unworthy because of the tech of how it's acquired?  I just don't buy into that.  Everything is relative.  

FWIW, I have a colleague that's been shooting an emmy award winning sports program for 5 years on 8-bit Canon DSLR's.  (some of their cameras are as low-brow as the T2i) They broadcast their show all over the TeeVee airwaves.  Source camera has never been a problem.

I don't think anyone is saying it's "unworthy." I just had my eos-m out yesterday and I still love the image it gives, but Frank has an opportunity to have his work televised and that network has specific camera guidelines, so in this instance, he would be out of his mind to stir the pot. 

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1 minute ago, mercer said:

I don't think anyone is saying it's "unworthy." I just had my eos-m out yesterday and I still love the image it gives, but Frank has an opportunity to have his work televised and that network has specific camera guidelines, so in this instance, he would be out of his mind to stir the pot. 

I'm sure he'll be fine.  

As it happens, I too am shooting for a doc series for broadcast.  (wish I was directing and producing, but thats another story) I'll clarify and admit that I'm not shooting a capital "N" Network show, but it's airing on an affiliate.

Our process involves creating an immediate intimacy with our subjects in the field, so I've parsed down my gear to the smallest footprint I can muster.  I'm shooting hybrid cameras for this job simply because it's a non-threatening thing to have in the environment.  I'm a goofy guy in the room with a small stills camera, not an obtrusive film crew, you know?  

Plus, I like having a camera with in body stabilization.  These two priorities allow me to accomplish this particular storytelling easier than what would be more unwieldy with more "pro" gear.  

Unless I told someone what it was shot on, none would be the wiser.  I mean, I suppose I know a pro could determine that I'm missing a few stops of DR, and a pro might realize a thin 8-bit image may have been pushed a little too hard in post, but (pot stirring aside) it works fine.

As I say, it's all relative.  

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6 hours ago, Damphousse said:

Oh, brother.  If you are willing to pay Comcast $80 a month for a highly compressed crap picture who is an idiot in this scenario NBC or you?

My advice is use 1930s technology called an antenna and watch NBC for free with a much sharper picture.  Does NBC have to come to your house and spoon feed you?...

Using Comcast as an excuse to do a pro job with an M1 is weak....If someone is thinking of doing this as a job I would probably just get a loan and buy a C100 mk II.  Use it for the project and sell it....

 

The networks have power over distributors like Comcast -- they simply choose not to exercise that power because quality is not a priority. If Comcast decided to cut the bit rate to 200 kilobits/sec to free up bandwidth for local shopping channels, thereby reducing the main program to a pixelated slide show, they'd get a call from the networks very quickly, as advertisers would be irate when viewers bailed. 

Re "who is an idiot" for not having an OTA antenna, a diminishing fraction of users have antennas, down to 7% by some estimates. The 93% of those you call "idiots" often have no choice and cannot practically use antennas. Since 1996 the FCC's Over The Air Reception Devices Rule says many HOAs can be challenged regarding antenna prohibitions but most people are not aware of this and cannot afford the hassle anyway: https://www.fcc.gov/media/over-air-reception-devices-rule

Another issue with OTA TV is the value of the occupied RF spectrum is huge, and many other players want that spectral real estate. You may call those not using OTA "idiots" but when that last OTA spectral real estate is grabbed for other purposes, you'll find yourself in that category.

http://www.tvnewscheck.com/article/91163/fate-of-ota-tv-hangs-in-the-balance-in-2016

http://variety.com/2013/biz/news/its-big-tv-vs-big-telecom-over-broadcast-spectrum-1200329490/

Re "do a pro job...just get a loan and buy a C100 mk II", that camera only does 8-bit 4:2:0 internally -- at only 24 megabits/sec. It would be rejected out of hand by the criteria the OP mentioned. Of course you can hang an HDMI ProRes recorder off it to achieve greater bit depth and chroma sub-sampling, but you didn't mention that.

Despite these limits the networks widely use the C100 and similar DSLRs (without any external recorders). The rules about bitrate and color depth are largely arbitrary and ignored whenever the networks so choose.

CNN using a variety of DSLRs and Canon C-series cameras: https://joema.smugmug.com/Photography/CNN-Moneyline-DSLR-Shoot/n-ffF2JW/

CNN using 5D Mark III: https://joema.smugmug.com/Photography/CNN-Using-5D-Mark-III/n-5JqGgB/

CNN field segment shot on C100: https://joema.smugmug.com/Photography/CNN-DSLR-Video/n-scsdxs/

ABC News shooting three-camera interview in front of White House: https://joema.smugmug.com/Photography/ABC-News-Using-DSLRs/n-BsScJC/

ABC Nightline using video DSLR: https://joema.smugmug.com/Photography/ABC-Nightline-Using-DSLR/n-HwH8hG/

2014 Super Bowl commercial for Gold's Gym shot using Canon DSLRs: https://joema.smugmug.com/Photography/DSLRs-shoot-Arnold-Golds-Gym/n-jzcNXR/

 

 

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Broadcast is a concept that now is dead. (Un)fortunately, most tech people at TVs are engineers and they want to have a say. But if your docs are properly graded and delivered on a decent codec, they probably can pass the technical tests. Truth is that for how much we masturbate our minds about cameras, once you watch the final video, nobody can tell exactly which camera it was recorded with in the beginning. 

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19 hours ago, joema said:

 

The networks have power over distributors like Comcast -- they simply choose not to exercise that power because quality is not a priority. If Comcast decided to cut the bit rate to 200 kilobits/s...

Dude... $50 antenna and problem solved.  Much higher quality is literally floating by your eyeballs for free straight from NBC.

19 hours ago, joema said:

Re "who is an idiot" for not having an OTA antenna, a diminishing fraction of users have antennas, down to 7% by some estimates. The 93% of those you call "idiots" often have no choice and cannot practically use antennas. Since 1996 the FCC's Over The Air Reception Devices Rule says many HOAs can be challenged regarding antenna prohibitions but most people are not aware of this and cannot afford the hassle anyway: https://www.fcc.gov/media/over-air-reception-devices-rule

Reading comprehension, my friend.  I asked you who is an idiot NBC or the person who chooses to pay for crappier picture quality AND complain while ignoring the free option the big bad corporation is beaming into their house.  Most people aren't complaining so they aren't idiots.  I don't usually sit around bitching about problems I can solve for free.

And I don't know what HOAs have to do with anything.  My antenna is about two feet long and sits on a table.  Why would by HOA care about it?  You can stick a gigantic antenna inside your attic and the HOA wouldn't even know about it nor care.  Honestly you should read up on electromagnetic waves and digital broadcasting before posting misinformation.  Everybody that comes to my house and sees my setup is actually surprised.  The impediment is ignorance not a big bad corporation.

Bottom line it's this guy's job.  Get proper gear, shoot the documentary, and then sell it when done.  Not worth thinking about nor arguing about.  Spend your energy on the creative stuff.

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18 hours ago, Damphousse said:

...I asked you who is an idiot NBC or the person who chooses to pay for crappier picture quality AND complain while ignoring the free option the big bad corporation is beaming into their house.  Most people aren't complaining so they aren't idiots.  I don't usually sit around bitching about problems I can solve for free.

No. You said "If you are willing to pay Comcast $80 a month for a highly compressed crap picture who is an idiot in this scenario NBC or you?....Dude... $50 antenna and problem solved".

That is not an option for the majority of viewers today. It may not be an option for you in the future, as the FCC plans on auctioning off the hugely valuable TV spectrum to wireless companies. They can do this because only about 7% of US households use antennas for OTA TV reception: http://www.tvtechnology.com/news/0002/cea-study-says-seven-percent-of-tv-households-use-antennas/220585

Quote

And I don't know what HOAs have to do with anything.  My antenna is about two feet long and sits on a table.  Why would by HOA care about it?  You can stick a gigantic antenna inside your attic and the HOA wouldn't even know about it nor care.

An indoor or tabletop antenna does not work for many users. Anyone interested in this can use the tools at http://www.antennaweb.org/ to examine their location and geography with respect to antenna type, size and compass heading required to receive local stations. You often cannot stick a gigantic (highly directional) antenna in your attic for several reasons: (1) Insufficient turning radius (2) Interference from metallic HVAC or insulation.

That said, a 4-bay or 8-bay UHF bow tie antenna can work well in an attic if (a) You have an attic (b) If all the stations you need are within a narrow compass heading range (c) All the stations are on UHF (some HD channels are VHF), and (d) There is no major interfering metallic ducting or foil insulation. I have a 4-bay UHF bow-tie antenna and mast-mounted preamp in my attic and it works fairly well, although all the stations I need are within a narrow azimuth range (hence no rotator required), and they are fairly close.

So many common factors often make it impractical to use an indoor or attic antenna. HOAs increasingly restrict outdoor antennas, however the 1996 FCC OTA reception rule says these can usually be challenged. Unfortunately most users are not aware of this: https://www.fcc.gov/media/over-air-reception-devices-rule

So hopefully you can see that people who pay Comcast $80 a month are not idiots, and the problem is often far more difficult than "Dude... $50 antenna and problem solved"

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Honestly you should read up on electromagnetic waves and digital broadcasting before posting misinformation.  Everybody that comes to my house and sees my setup is actually surprised.  The impediment is ignorance not a big bad corporation.

Besides being a professional documentary filmmaker, I have the highest class ham radio licence and have built many antennas by hand, including UHF, VHF and HF. I regularly teach classes on RF techniques, signals and modulation. I have installed many large TV antenna, rotator and low-noise mast-mounted preamp systems.

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Bottom line it's this guy's job.  Get proper gear, shoot the documentary, and then sell it when done.  Not worth thinking about nor arguing about.  Spend your energy on the creative stuff.

It's important to give the OP the right advice. The advice about "buy a C100 mk II" does not work for the OP, since that is not a permitted camera from the standpoint of his 100 megabit/sec criteria. Although unstated in this case, networks which levy such requirements also often require 10-bit 4:2:2, which the C100 Mark II also does not do internally. 

My main point was many networks have such little professionalism and commitment to quality they allow the distribution chains handling their licensed content to grossly degrade the image, while hypocritically demanding standards like 100 megabit/sec for submitted material. 

I wanted to ensure everyone knows some networks widely disregard this at will, as shown in the above links I posted. But this doesn't mean shooting on an EOS M1 or M2 is the best approach, since they just aren't optimal from either codec or operational standpoint.

If the OP literally must adhere to the delivery requirements (which likely include 100 megabit/sec and possibly 10-bit 4:2:2) he'll have to get a camera or combination of camera and recorder which support those. 

If transcoding is permissible then 4k 8-bit 4:2:0 can be converted to 1080p 10-bit 4:4:4: http://www.provideocoalition.com/can-4k-4-2-0-8-bit-become-1080p-4-4-4-10-bit-does-it-matter/ In that case he could probably use a GH4 which is a great camera if equipped with the right lenses and accessories.

If that is not permissible, then it will be very interesting to see how the networks react to the GH5, which apparently will hit every check box they have previously used to exclude "lesser" cameras. Will they raise the arbitrarily-enforced extreme delivery standards yet again? Or will they simply use approved and unapproved equipment lists and exclude the GH5 this way?

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On 9/17/2016 at 2:33 AM, Frank5 said:

...I am shooting everything with the EOS M1 and M2 and the Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 EX DG Lens on Cinestyle, loving the portability and unobtrusiveness...

Boy has this discussion gone way off topic for a while. I also like shooting documentaries with my EOS M1 and thought about what would happen if it could pass the broadcast test. I guess if the movie was compelling enough it wouldn't matter what it was shot on. Parts of Oscar winning docs were shot on iPhones and GoPros. 

I wanted to comment about all those recommendations for the EOS C100. It is a great documentary camera but it doesn't shoot 4:2:2. You can add an external recorder but then you can also do that with the EOS M, though it isn't really all that practical--you need Magic Lantern for a clean output and the camera's LCD blanks out when an external HDMI monitor is connected. In addition, it doesn't put out a 1920x1080 signal, it is slightly smaller so it needs to be blown up in post. Still, it should work and it would give most of the portability of the M while still delivering an acceptable 4:2:2 signal. There's something to be said about using what you're comfortable with.

Of course a C100 with an external recorder would be better and a C300 with or without an external recorder even better. After using a "real" cine camera it might spoil your appetite for DSLR's.

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