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Andrew Reid

Canon EOS R first impressions - INSANE split personality camera

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5 hours ago, Mattias Burling said:

Disclaimer: I dont like or want rolling shutter. I love the motion from the videos I shot with the global shuttered D16 and BMPC4K.

A fun fact I've told many times before, still applies so here it goes again :) 

One of the top, if not number one, TV shows in Sweden is a game show called "On the track" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/På_spåret).
Its a quite difficult show with questions about everything from food to sports in different geographical locations.  
Its been going on since 1987 with an average of 2 million viewers and a peak of 3.7 million.

In 1990 when the record was set that accounted for 43% of the population. Remove those to young and/or to old and we get pretty much everybody.

Three times every show we get to watch an up speed train ride and the camera is filming from within the train. It goes on until the contenders guess where the train is heading. So every week 2 000 000 people watch bent poles, crooked houses and leaning towers, for at least ten episodes per year.

Never ever ever ever, not once, nope nope nope, no no not a single time have I or anybody I know ever heard anyone point it out or simply said "have you noticed the bent poles?"

Camera nerds like us of course see it but no one else cares even a little bit.
My point is, if a camera ticks all your boxes but has a flaw like aliasing, RS or a bit of noise in the shadows. 
Then maybe its still good enough for your audience.

Imo it I rather have a camera I like with a bit of noise in the shadows than a camera I dont enjoy.

Haha that's all true, it's a pragmatic way to look at it.

There are two hats the same filmmaker can wear.

His work hat where he wants to get the shot and go home. The client is satisfied. The audience is satisfied. The filmmaker gets paid.

His Kubrick hat, where he wants the look of film, without issues, every shot has to be perfected, a certain look is desired - that's art.

The misconception is that pros care about image quality to put it number 1 on the list of camera features. Most don't. Even at the very highest-end of TV where you'd think a pro camera is most needed, most flick a switch and enable a compressed Apple codec instead of RAW, like on the Alexa.

I too would rather have a flaw in the image rather than a camera I don't enjoy shooting with, specs aren't the end of the story.

With my Kubrick hat on, the rolling shutter really pisses me off and I couldn't care less about whether a popular audience notices it.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I guess its the Kubrick or in my case Tarantino inside me that really is trying to like the X-H1. I would love to just stick with it. As a tool it easily ticks all the boxes. Specially with thr speedbooster. But Im missing that thing that makes me want to create with, not just get from A to B.

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Let's call it a Tarantino mode then - every camera needs one - something that's fun, addictive, imperfect, stylish and to be honest slightly ridiculous. If a camera is too well educated and too much in a straight jacket it fails at being fun to shoot with. That is a Sony. I have only really ever enjoyed the RX1R II, and the rest stays in the bag.

Whenever I talk about that elusive "camera-personality" I always seem to bring up imperfections a lot, so maybe Sony is just too good. I always seem to talk about grain or the Digital Bolex, but it's really more about how high image quality expresses itself - emotionally, rather than the numbers, and it is the same with ergonomics and functionality - less about specs - more about personality.

The X-H1 I have as well, and I like it a lot. There is however a very slightly clinical soul to it because of how damn sharp the 4K is and how utilitarian the body is. It could actually be too perfect? IBIS too stable. Image too detailed. Just too...... good?

Whereas the EOS R has serious limitations and deserves a lot of criticism for what it "could have been", it feels in-hand the closest to a full frame GH5 I've yet known, and when you put your palm out under the articulated screen offset to the side of the body, it's almost as if a C200 or 1D C image is unfolding in the palm of your hand like magic, and everything feels in the right place, and you know it "just works" and is in focus... And you know it can transform into a mirrorless 5D Mark IV at any moment for stills shooting.

Then you remember the specs - slow 30ms sensor readout with rolling shutter skew, no 10bit internal, 1.8x crop, so on... And it doesn't make a damn difference to the shoot which is unfolding on that screen or in the EVF. Reality is almost divorced from the specs sheets. It's very weird.

The colour. Canon have it very close to Kodak film, or a Leica M9 with the Kodak CCD. The way it handles two extremes of light temperature in the same frame is uncannily like film. There is no tricky wire-act between green and magenta. Warm tones and wood don't have a magenta cast, as if the camera is trying to avoid a green cast. It seems to have a wider bandwidth of colour temperature, in which it sits almost perfectly in the middle - neither too far one way or the other - just beautiful. Same with the 1D C, yet now we have the choice to drop to 120Mbit instead of 500Mbit MJPEG, but the colour magic is still there.

Also in handling the blacks, they never seem to completely crush. There is always a creamy, milky look to a dark window at night on the EOS R and 1D C, whereas on other cameras with superior specs, you might see sharp edges or noise or too much detail or too much absolute black.

Talking about defying the specs sheet - the Leica M9. Now it's 10 years old yet still has a more filmic nature and addictive shooting quality than most top of the range 2018 cameras. It does not have the perfect plastic still-life feel of a CMOS camera, it has a silk-like grittiness... a contradiction but it's true.

Now we have the Nikon Z7 which I am getting on with quite well, but again something is lacking. The outright paper specs are the best on this camera of all that I own (full frame mirrorless wise). But it feels a bit like a consumer gadget, with again a clinically perfect modern image. I can't wait to rough it up with some older lenses via an adapter. The 35mm F1.8 Z is amazing but it's so cut-glass posh. It's like a perfect blonde super model, when you know you'd have more fun with Emma Watson. I need to add some things to my Z7, to get it to show some personality. Maybe a cage, a lens adapter, and turn the IBIS off... Add some imperfections into the shooting process. Otherwise it's just too seamless. Where's the challenge?

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Funny you mention this 'personality aspect' of a camera. Like you guys I have and swap around many systems and some just kind of stick out in the fun factor department, like this EOS R (time will tell though as I'm currently in honeymoon phase). Fuji comes close, I'm very fond of the dials and whole Nikon FM2 / Leica approach. But for video, it's a little more quirky to use.

EOS R definitely feels like a mini C100/200. In fact i've got mine setup like my C100 with the Ninja star placed on the flash bracket under vertical grip.

 

 

IMG_0200.JPG

probably overkill for many, but i can just swap the atomos for a speedlite to get my terry richardson hat on or remove the grip altogether for a lighter setup.

love this versatility.

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12 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

I have only really ever enjoyed the RX1R II, and the rest stays in the bag.

Same here. Easily my favorite Sony to date. The original A7 is also very fun. With the MF speedbooster I wanted to shoot.

13 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

The X-H1 I have as well, and I like it a lot. There is however a very slightly clinical soul to it because of how damn sharp the 4K is and how utilitarian the body is. It could actually be too perfect? IBIS too stable. Image too detailed. Just too...... good?

I shot some high ISO video with it yesterday, just to test its limits. For kicks I put on a cheap 22mm f1.8 from a Chinese brand I no longer remember the name of. And that actually sparked a little bit of "fun" feeling while using it. At work I can live with it just being perfect, but at home I want the other stuff as well.

Ive decided to give it a chance and use it for some video work with adapted vintage and modern Chinese glass as well as ordered two native lenses so see if the confidence that brings also makes me wanting to use it more. Could be interesting to have both the X-H1 and the EOS-R for a while and see if what happens.

18 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Whereas the EOS R has serious limitations and deserves a lot of criticism for what it "could have been", it feels in-hand the closest to a full frame GH5 I've yet known, and when you put your palm out under the articulated screen offset to the side of the body, it's almost as if a C200 or 1D C image is unfolding in the palm of your hand like magic, and everything feels in the right place, and you know it "just works" and is in focus... And you know it can transform into a mirrorless 5D Mark IV at any moment for stills shooting.

My feeling exactly with the 6Dmkii. The output isnt perfect but it is very pleasing, warm and pleasing.

 

19 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Talking about defying the specs sheet - the Leica M9.

M8 as well imo.

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21 minutes ago, Mattias Burling said:

Same here. Easily my favorite Sony to date. The original A7 is also very fun. With the MF speedbooster I wanted to shoot.

Yup. When Sony went to the more utilitarian style body with the A7 II and onwards, they lost something. The original, slim, sleek, shiny aluminium bodies were lighter, more fun. They just needed a button layout revision, deeper button presses, better dials and a different screen articulation. However, Sony bulked up, perfected, refined, and came out with something completely and utterly charmless. As charmless as a German pudding.

21 minutes ago, Mattias Burling said:

I shot some high ISO video with it yesterday, just to test its limits. For kicks I put on a cheap 22mm f1.8 from a Chinese brand I no longer remember the name of. And that actually sparked a little bit of "fun" feeling while using it. At work I can live with it just being perfect, but at home I want the other stuff as well.

Check out the Speed Master 35mm F0.95. Expensive for a Chinese lens but a real keeper for X-mount. It has the super-high contrast bokeh of a Canon 50mm F1.2L together with a non-clinical rendering. Nice mix.

21 minutes ago, Mattias Burling said:

My feeling exactly with the 6Dmkii. The output isnt perfect but it is very pleasing, warm and pleasing.

M8 as well imo.

Yeah, but you can step up from the 6D Mk II and M8 while keeping the pleasing part of the image. The EOS R is definitely a step up from the 6D II and the M9 of course a step up from M8.

Both more expensive though!

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14 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Check out the Speed Master 35mm F0.95. Expensive for a Chinese lens but a real keeper for X-mount. It has the super-high contrast bokeh of a Canon 50mm F1.2L together with a non-clinical rendering. Nice mix.

I will look into that or something similar. 7artisans also have some great affordable glass. I had tons of fun with the 50mm f1.1 on my M8.

 

15 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Yeah, but you can step up from the 6D Mk II and M8 while keeping the pleasing part of the image. The EOS R is definitely a step up from the 6D II and the M9 of course a step up from M8.

Both more expensive though!

Ive actually had the M9 and the M9 Monochrome but both times switched back to the M8 :)

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1 hour ago, Andrew Reid said:

The X-H1 I have as well, and I like it a lot. There is however a very slightly clinical soul to it because of how damn sharp the 4K is and how utilitarian the body is. It could actually be too perfect? IBIS too stable. Image too detailed. Just too...... good?

I got an XH1 a few months back and (unexpectedly) replaced my gh5 with it for video. Although the image has a certain magic to its rendering I do find myself using only vintage lenses (Nikon ais with speed booster) and almost always some diffusion. It's almost like the colour magic gets you half way there but that hyper real sharpness that comes with oversampled 4k needs taming a little.

My last short I used a Blackmagic Micro cinema cam and to be honest never felt the need for any more sharpness or resolution. I have filmed half of my new short on the XH1 (4k, eterna,dr400, nikon ais, black pro mist') and so far although I really love the image I think I would go back to the low-fi bmmcc and Russian c-mount next time. 

Edit (I forgot I was posting in a Canon thread) ... I would still really like a play with the new canon to see how it's colour and lower natural sharpness lend to filmy pretty look on old lenses

 

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26 minutes ago, Mattias Burling said:

I will look into that or something similar. 7artisans also have some great affordable glass. I had tons of fun with the 50mm f1.1 on my M8.

 

Ive actually had the M9 and the M9 Monochrome but both times switched back to the M8 :)

Oh my God how can you give up a M9 Monochrome! 😕

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32 minutes ago, Mattias Burling said:

I will look into that or something similar. 7artisans also have some great affordable glass. I had tons of fun with the 50mm f1.1 on my M8.

Did you ever try the Voigltander 50mm F1.1 as well? I am curious how the 7artisans compares to that.

I have a Leica Noctilux F1 :)  But travelling with it is not the best feeling. Scares me to death, dropping it or having it nicked.

32 minutes ago, Mattias Burling said:

Ive actually had the M9 and the M9 Monochrome but both times switched back to the M8 :)

WHY? :)

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I'm no leica specialist but i think the M8's weaker IR filter gets you closer to M9M for B&W photagraphy..at 1/8th the price.

in a somewhat similar vein.. i much prefer the original 5D IQ to mark 2/3/4. the lower DR/resolution etc also masks older Canon glass flaws.

also prefer C100/300 original canon color matrix over the more neutral C200/C300II (thankfully EOS R provides both options in log settings).

same thing with original A7 vs A72/A73.

another case of specs don't always tell the entire truth.

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I know a very famous art photographer that still uses the mark 1 as his main tool, and believe me he could afford anything. it fits his aesthetic.

Lotta people cling on to their D700s for similar reasons. (something about those 12MP sensors).

Never selling mine, especially at current market value. Then again i'm a vintage/retro afficionado (still record music to tape with pre-MIDI analog equipment).

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20 minutes ago, Django said:

 Then again I'm a vintage/retro aficionado (still record music to tape with pre-MIDI analog equipment).

Boo, Hissssssssss. I loved the sound of the large reel tapes. But they did get noisy if you played them a lot of times. I lucked out and sold about 150 of them on ebay, mostly Jazz, Blues stuff before they turned to dust about 12 years ago. Some were from when I was in the Navy from 1966. Some woman for Chicago bought most of them. I think I sold them for over 1000 dollars to her. I had a Beatles one I got 150 dollars for alone, Rubber Soul. I had a Roberts 770x. That thing had been All over the world. Bought it as the PX store in Naples in 66 for like 275 Dollars. I just threw it away about 6 years ago. Damn thing weighed 50 pounds. That machine made a lot of people happy.

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17 hours ago, Yurolov said:

So for instance you have the 1dx mkii which can do 4k full frame

Only in theory. It's not implemented.

1.4x crop, 1:1 readout.

17 hours ago, Yurolov said:

yet there is a clear conscious decision to omit clog, completely unrelated to any hardware constraints. In the Eos R we do get clog 10 bit but we get a massive crop and terrible RS. They intentionally won't let you have both.

Why have C-LOG in the EOS R but not in the 1D X Mark II? That is more than double the price. Makes no sense.

17 hours ago, Yurolov said:

However, I think enough video people will still buy the camera for a variety of reasons (glass, color, reliability, ergonomics) and I don't think it will hurt the c200 sales too greatly - they are trying to have their cake and eat it too.

That's pretty much what I said :)

When you look at the kind of people who buy a C200 on the whole, Nino at Cinema5D maybe, who hates using DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.

People who rent.

People who have $7000 to spend and then some.

Why would a mirrorless camera without XLR jacks even come close to that market.

17 hours ago, Yurolov said:

Now if they did the 1dx mk ii in mirrorless form (and fuill frame) and gave us clog and 10 bit - I think for many people they would prefer this to the c200, and it will hurt sales of the c200 and their profit margin, which is why I have no hope for the foreseeable future until they at least upgrade their c200.  

No it wouldn't.

Look at Sony.

Did FS5 and FS7 and F55 users all dump their cameras for an A7 III?

The sales figures just don't show it.

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I think sony themselves have stated A7S series has eaten into FS sales, but they don't really care, it's still money in their pocket. for every FS sale, there is probably 100 A7S/A73 sold.

But C200 still has a major advantage aside from obvious ergonomics & I/Os: it shoots raw.

Now if Canon were to implement Canon Raw light in lets say a video centric mirrorless model, that would bridge the gap.

Pretty sure Raw (in a more friendly ProRes Raw, BM Raw, Canon Raw Light format) will be the next big thing in upcoming models.

 

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only owner i know shoots raw with it all the time. it's kind of the main feature and the internal codec is meh (8 bit 4:2:0) for a camera that price range.

i'd be a lot more tempted to shoot raw on a c200 than on a URSA/EVA1/FS7 that have really strong codecs.

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2 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

Did you ever try the Voigltander 50mm F1.1 as well? I am curious how the 7artisans compares to that.

I have a Leica Noctilux F1 :)  But travelling with it is not the best feeling. Scares me to death, dropping it or having it nicked.

WHY? :)

@Django nailed it. The M8 is a cheaper M9 without risk of corrosion. Unscrew the IR and voila, a pseudo Monochrome :)

I never tried the Voigtlander 1.1 but I had the f1.5 and it was awesome. But.. like we talked about. That "magic" that some lenses have. The 7artisans has mojo and magic coming out its as...le :

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