Jump to content
ghostwind

Canon gear advice for pro photographer getting into videography

Recommended Posts

I did look it up, and for those interested this is a great place to read about it with links to sources: 

https://www.provideocoalition.com/can-4k-4-2-0-8-bit-become-1080p-4-4-4-10-bit-does-it-matter/

What it comes down to (besides the math and all) is that it's always best to shoot in the highest format your camera offers, and downsample later in post if needed. I think we all know and agree on this.

My question has to do with Canon and their 1080p internal downsampling algorithms, that seem to make it soft on several of their cameras. In this case, is shooting 4K YCC422 10bit on the C300MKII and converting to 2K/1080p in post better than shooting in 2K/1080p RGB444 12bit? I will assume shooting in 2K/1080p RGB444 12bit should be better. Just as I assume the 2K/1080p RGB444 12bit from the C300MKII should be better than shooting 4K YCC420 8bit on the C200 and converting to 2K/1080p 444 8-10bit in post (in theory per the above) .

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs
8 hours ago, ghostwind said:

I did look it up, and for those interested this is a great place to read about it with links to sources: 

https://www.provideocoalition.com/can-4k-4-2-0-8-bit-become-1080p-4-4-4-10-bit-does-it-matter/

What it comes down to (besides the math and all) is that it's always best to shoot in the highest format your camera offers, and downsample later in post if needed. I think we all know and agree on this.

My question has to do with Canon and their 1080p internal downsampling algorithms, that seem to make it soft on several of their cameras. In this case, is shooting 4K YCC422 10bit on the C300MKII and converting to 2K/1080p in post better than shooting in 2K/1080p RGB444 12bit? I will assume shooting in 2K/1080p RGB444 12bit should be better. Just as I assume the 2K/1080p RGB444 12bit from the C300MKII should be better than shooting 4K YCC420 8bit on the C200 and converting to 2K/1080p 444 8-10bit in post (in theory per the above) .

I think it depends.  Partly because the compression may not treat each mode equally (4K has 4x the number of pixels as 2K, but may not have 4x the bitrate), plus other factors.

I shoot with the GH5, which downsamples everything from a 5K signal, so I've played in this space and recently did a resolution/detail comparison on that camera between the 5K 200Mbps h265, the 4K 150Mbps h264, and the 1080 200Mbps ALL-I h264 modes (all 25fps and 10-bit) and I found that there was no visible differences between the 5K and 4K, and when downsampled to 1080 there was no visible differences between the three modes.  This test was with real-world lenses and wasn't in lab conditions, so it was imperfect, but it was of a real person in real conditions so it was applicable to what I do.

In the end I chose to shoot 4K because h264 is easier to edit than the h265 codec (my main computer is a laptop), the framing on the 4K is easier to use for me in-camera, and even if posted in 1080, it would still be advantageous to me to shoot in 4K because I do a lot of stabilisation in post, so the extra resolution can help with this.  Also, if I'm recording in 4K and processing in 4K then I might as well publish in 4K so that I'm kind of future-proofing my projects.  As I record my family history there is a chance that these videos will still have some usefulness in years or decades, when 25K-3D-VR-AI-recreation-immersion-whatever will be a thing, so 4K won't be a "but can you see any difference" question anymore.

I'd suggest just trying them and seeing what you see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting that on the GH5 a 200Mbps 1080p is not noticeably better, that’s a heavy file. 

I feel in a way we are with video where we were with DSLRs before the original 5D came out and made full frame affordable. Also in then early to mid 2000s when people slowly transitioned from shooting JPEG to RAW. It took a few years,  but for stills it wasn’t so storage intensive.

But yeah, the future of video is also full frame and RAW. For the masses. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, ghostwind said:

Interesting that on the GH5 a 200Mbps 1080p is not noticeably better, that’s a heavy file. 

Think about it like this, to get the 200Mbps 1080 file, what happens is:

  • Camera captures a 5K image
  • Camera downscales the 5K image to 1080
  • Camera compresses 1080 to 200Mbps

That's not that different to this workflow:

  • Camera captures a 5K image
  • Camera downscales the 5K image to 4K
  • Camera compresses 4K to 200Mbps
  • Person downscales the 4K to 1080 in post

Both of these image pipelines start with 5K, both are limited to broadly similar levels of compression.  We know that a 200Mbps 4K image won't be as great at 100% as a 200Mbps 1080 image at 100%, but when you downscale the 4K to 1080, it takes 4 pixels from the 4K image to make 1 pixel in the 1080 image, so the amount of data per 1080 pixel is broadly the same.  There's also the point of diminishing returns with this stuff - try encoding a h264 file at something decent and then try at double or triple that bitrate and see what differences there are.   You may find they're less than you think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@kye Yes, you are correct. In your post you had said 150Mpbs for the 4K, but yeah, the 4K should be 4x the compression of the 1080p to look properly better. I say in general because there are other things at play in compression, but yeah. Perhaps it would have been better to have a 400Mpbs 4K and a 100Mbps 1080p on the GH5, because if done right, 100Mbps 1080p is quite excellent and no need for more really unless 12bit 444.

It's always a trick what to use, how to implement the compression, etc. And I believe it's also a marketing thing, in the case of Canon, a way to separate their model lineup. This is why the C300MKII is attractive, as it has many options. And the C200 is really meant for RAW/CRL, which I also believe is the future as @mrtreve also believes. But the future is not Cfast cards unfortunately, so that was not a good decision. C500MKII got it right with the cards.

In the end, I may just get the C100MKII and wait things out, as I believe now the next C300, will have CRL and even perhaps FF - two of the things where the industry is heading, as I said in my post above. FF and RAW for the "masses", meaning at $10K and under. Yes we'll have the Arris and others, and also the smaller Super35, M43, etc. sensors, just like we still have FF and APS-C in DSLRs, but FF needs to be more affordable in cinema cameras, and RAW the norm. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ghostwind
On the possibility of an upcoming (though I doubt see it for another at least another 2 years) C300 with full frame (which will never happen)... it sounds like your needs may be different, but I'll never buy another full frame sensor for video, especially run and gun docs. It's just too much work to keep everything in focus. And if you stop down, you certainly need a higher ISO - which can be it's own problem. 35mm is really quite perfect.

Anyway... great thread. Big thanks to both of you for you insights, digging and contributions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, ghostwind said:

@kye Yes, you are correct. In your post you had said 150Mpbs for the 4K, but yeah, the 4K should be 4x the compression of the 1080p to look properly better. I say in general because there are other things at play in compression, but yeah. Perhaps it would have been better to have a 400Mpbs 4K and a 100Mbps 1080p on the GH5, because if done right, 100Mbps 1080p is quite excellent and no need for more really unless 12bit 444.

It's always a trick what to use, how to implement the compression, etc. And I believe it's also a marketing thing, in the case of Canon, a way to separate their model lineup. This is why the C300MKII is attractive, as it has many options. And the C200 is really meant for RAW/CRL, which I also believe is the future as @mrtreve also believes. But the future is not Cfast cards unfortunately, so that was not a good decision. C500MKII got it right with the cards.

In the end, I may just get the C100MKII and wait things out, as I believe now the next C300, will have CRL and even perhaps FF - two of the things where the industry is heading, as I said in my post above. FF and RAW for the "masses", meaning at $10K and under. Yes we'll have the Arris and others, and also the smaller Super35, M43, etc. sensors, just like we still have FF and APS-C in DSLRs, but FF needs to be more affordable in cinema cameras, and RAW the norm. 

 

The GH5 has many many modes with different frame rates and bit depths, those are just the ones I chose.  The 200Mbps 1080 is great because it's ALL-I so is much better to edit with.  The GH5 also offers a 400Mbps 4K ALL-I mode, but it requires UHS-II SD cards that are ridiculously expensive, so I don't bother with that mode.  But as you say, 200Mbps 1080 is overkill, and for what I do so are many of the modes.  I guess that's like RAW for most people as well.

I know that getting a C100mkII wasn't what you really wanted, but given Canons market strategy, it's probably your best bet.  I think that you may end up changing to Sony or Panasonic in a few years time when your needs are likely still not met, but you can cross that bridge when you come to it, and a C100 is a good interim option.  

You may have to experiment with how well the 1080 scales up for vertical video for social media (and what resolution is required for vertical video - 1080 x 600 might be sufficient).  Should you still want to get a higher resolution and need to rotate the camera I would suggest that you invest in Area-Swiss style QR plates and have them on the bottom of every piece of equipment and on top of every mount so they are all interchangeable.  By doing this, you can get an L bracket and put two QR mounts on it and you will quickly be able to take the camera off the tripod, put the L-bracket on the camera and put the L-bracket onto the tripod and quickly be able to rotate the camera for any vertical video shots that you need for social media.  

I'd also suggest hiring one and doing a mock shoot and see how well it goes and how the footage grades for you.  C100 footage is fine but if you want to push-pull it a lot then it might require a change in how you light in order to get it closer in-camera to how you do things now with RAW image processing with your stills work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@User Hard to predict, but if Canon sticks with the C100/200/300/500/700 lineup, I can see the C100/200 keeping S35 sensors and C300 and up going to FF.  I think having options is the best thing, and if the FF sensor can also shooting in S35 crop mode (like the C500MKII), then nothing to worry about. When you need more DOF for a given aperture/ISO, go to S35 crop mode, otherwise stay in FF. Flexibility is good. Of course movies typically have more DOF than photos, because of the focus pulling nightmares involved, which in photography is not really an issue. But going forward it's hard to say. The move to larger sensors and future AF will allow films to have shallower DOF.

@kye Thanks for the advice with the vertical video / shooting. This is the part that still has me on the fence with the C100MKII among other things, in that I can't shoot 4K and crop a vertical 1080p as we discussed earlier. I can razz it up as you say, which may be ok for social media use though. But the EVF on it is awful, and the LCD in the wrong place for me (I like to cradle and brace the camera against my body when shooting handheld). With the C200, better form factor/LCD/EVF, and I can shoot everything in 4K YCC 420 8bit internal, and output as needed  = simpler workflow, 150Mps good for SD storage, less worries in a way. And I can always shoot RAW/CRL as needed - option is there. But yeah...damn C200! In any case, either would need an external monitor like the Ninja V so I can properly see the focus and framing and record externally as needed (e.g. on DSLRs, C100MKII, and possibly even C200 2K 10bit). 

It's hard to say what I'll do in a few years, but I don't see myself going away from Canon for my stills work, as I love the 1DXMKII and 5DMK4 and have so much glass as I listed in my first post. I've been shooting Canon 20 years now, with the 1V film camera being my first, and am so familiar with the ergonomics and like/prefer them to any camera out there. So that would mean to have 2 systems for photography and videography, if I go Sony or Panasonic, which is a pain. To be honest, on the stills front, I have no idea what Canon will do, but I don't even need more camera than what I have now. I don't want more megapixels, my lenses are plenty sharp, ISO is crazy good, etc. It's all diminishing returns from here in the photo world IMHO, unless you need some auto AF mode, but most pros never use that. I tried all AF modes withe the 1DXMKII when it came out, and still (like most sports photographers I know) only use the center AF with 4 point expansion at times. Keeping it simple!  Yeah the Sony A9 can do crazy fps, has a ton of focus points over the large sensor, etc. I used it, and hated it. Dunno.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, ghostwind said:

Of course movies typically have more DOF than photos, because of the focus pulling nightmares involved, which in photography is not really an issue.

What?! You do realize that is not the reason at all?

Maybe you should invest on a course or more books first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Kisaha said:

What?! You do realize that is not the reason at all?

Maybe you should invest on a course or more books first.

Now now Kishsha... is that what your cultured Roman forefathers would have said? We all know there are many reasons for shots with deep depth of field... ghostwind was just keeping us on our toes. Breath... or you might find yourself transforming into a Shell65 ;)

8 hours ago, ghostwind said:

C100MKII among other things... But the EVF on it is awful

Are you talking about the C100? Because the C100Mk2 has a different and very good evf and viewfinder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, User said:

Now now Kishsha... is that what your cultured Roman forefathers would have said? We all know there are many reasons for shots with deep depth of field... ghostwind was just keeping us on our toes. Breath... or you might find yourself transforming into a Shell65 ;)

Ancient Greeks, Romans later, and yes, education and knowledge was highly regarded on those societies!

In film and video you do not do whatever its easier, but whatever message you want to communicate through your tools.

In 20 years of pro experience and my University and other degrees I have never heard anyone saying "use that T stop because its easier", depth of field is another tool of film making, not a burden and I have done a little focus pulling myself on some projects (last one was 3 years ago on a feature documentary).

I have a lot of photographer friends that have turned to video and most of them do see the medium as moving photography, which isn't at all true.

One of those shoots everything wide open, everything, another one just bought a C200 and shoots everything on diffraction level because he is affraid he will be out of focus!

Photography is a static art, a capturing the moment affair, more related with paintings and sculpture, while video is more related with a music piece, moving through time and manipulate time through its "instruments"(=or cinematic tools), change of pace and tempo, e.t.c

I do not known who Shell65 is!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@User Actually the C100MKII - it's the one I've been playing with along the C200 at a local store here.

@Kisaha No need to be condescending. I mistakenly left out the word "your" before "movies", as in "your  movies" the movies (run & gun docs) @User was talking about shooting and why no desire for a FF sensor, and I was just agreeing basically that it's a pain to pull focus and not easy like in 1 still. I'm editing the post to put the missing word in, then hopefully you can relax and play nice, w/o assuming things about people you don't know, their experience, and writing on and on about it. FYI, cinematography was the first medium I was attracted to and films are what got me interested in photography. I know quite a bit about the process and the history. And to this day I'm more influenced by cinematographers than photographers, as I don't see them so differently as you do.  

Not to belabor the point, but now that you brought it up, it IS one of the reasons in many cases. Decisions are not just artistic, but technical, budgetary, etc. in nature too. Often times driven by other media - television for example if you look historically and how it's impacted DOF (among other things like aspect ratios). And in the last 10 years, the move to "bokeh" and very shallow DOF because of technology allowing it to be easier. So it's not just about storytelling, but it's a bit of a fad as of late due to technology. Like lifted blacks. But yeah, let's get back on point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haven’t followed this discussion closely but C100/C100mk2 with even a Ninja Star recorder will give you super sharp 4K downsampled 1080p with minimum compression.

Definitely the cheapest way to get the best FHD quality out of Canon ecosystem imo (ML RAW aside).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Django said:

Haven’t followed this discussion closely but C100/C100mk2 with even a Ninja Star recorder will give you super sharp 4K downsampled 1080p with minimum compression.

Definitely the cheapest way to get the best FHD quality out of Canon ecosystem imo (ML RAW aside).

I read some of your older posts when searching. Did you go to the C200 and if so how is it compared to the C100 you had?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

no, after going back & forth I went for a used FS7 with speed booster. I now get FF coverage of my Canon glass in up to 4K60p 10-bit.

I do miss DPAF & color science is nowhere near canon so may still consider C200/C300ii. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Kisaha said:

Ancient Greeks, Romans later, and yes, education and knowledge was highly regarded on those societies!

Right. And what caused the fall of those societies? It seems all is not as it used to be, and resting on the laurels of one's ancient culture while treating others in a condescending manner (and seeking to validate your ego) hardly seems the way... but we've gone over this before my friend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, User said:

Right. And what caused the fall of those societies? It seems all is not as it used to be, and resting on the laurels of one's ancient culture while treating others in a condescending manner (and seeking to validate your ego) hardly seems the way... but we've gone over this before my friend.

Yep, everything evolves but you go faster and higher if you stand on the shoulders of giants.

There are hundrends (even maybe thousands if you widen the research) of films and videos with certain artistic and technical decisions that anyone can watch and study, I am sure most here do anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

Yep, everything evolves but you go faster and higher if you stand on the shoulders of giants.

Tell that to the Germans who recently bailed the Greeks out of a catastrophic financial crisis stemming from massive corruption and inept policy.

 

38 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

There are hundrends (even maybe thousands if you widen the research) of films and videos with certain artistic and technical decisions that anyone can watch and study, I am sure most here do anyway.

I'd be careful with that logic, it implies that everyone has to have all their bases constantly covered before saying anything to anyone for fear of being ridiculed - which is what you've done with ghostwind. I certainly don't want or expect that in an online filmmaking forum.

Maybe have a look in the mirror and ask yourself, 'Do I seek my 'self worth' at the expense of others?'

Now please... back to point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, ghostwind said:

@kye Thanks for the advice with the vertical video / shooting. This is the part that still has me on the fence with the C100MKII among other things, in that I can't shoot 4K and crop a vertical 1080p as we discussed earlier. I can razz it up as you say, which may be ok for social media use though. But the EVF on it is awful, and the LCD in the wrong place for me (I like to cradle and brace the camera against my body when shooting handheld). With the C200, better form factor/LCD/EVF, and I can shoot everything in 4K YCC 420 8bit internal, and output as needed  = simpler workflow, 150Mps good for SD storage, less worries in a way. And I can always shoot RAW/CRL as needed - option is there. But yeah...damn C200! In any case, either would need an external monitor like the Ninja V so I can properly see the focus and framing and record externally as needed (e.g. on DSLRs, C100MKII, and possibly even C200 2K 10bit). 

It's hard to say what I'll do in a few years, but I don't see myself going away from Canon for my stills work, as I love the 1DXMKII and 5DMK4 and have so much glass as I listed in my first post. I've been shooting Canon 20 years now, with the 1V film camera being my first, and am so familiar with the ergonomics and like/prefer them to any camera out there. So that would mean to have 2 systems for photography and videography, if I go Sony or Panasonic, which is a pain. To be honest, on the stills front, I have no idea what Canon will do, but I don't even need more camera than what I have now. I don't want more megapixels, my lenses are plenty sharp, ISO is crazy good, etc. It's all diminishing returns from here in the photo world IMHO, unless you need some auto AF mode, but most pros never use that. I tried all AF modes withe the 1DXMKII when it came out, and still (like most sports photographers I know) only use the center AF with 4 point expansion at times. Keeping it simple!  Yeah the Sony A9 can do crazy fps, has a ton of focus points over the large sensor, etc. I used it, and hated it. Dunno.

A few thoughts for consideration:

  • I did a test where I zoomed into 4K footage by 150% and then matched it to a 4K shot with similar framing by putting on some sharpening, and it didn't take much sharpening at all to match, so taking a vertical slice from a C100 (without rotating the camera) would give you 608x1080 and scaling it up to 1.77x would give you a 1080x1920 and adding sharpening might be quite usable, especially after the client gets you to over-process it and then it goes through the compression algorithms of the various social media sites.
    You could do a test with your 1DX where you take a shot vertically in 4K, then go horizontally and frame it up with the same vertical FOV.  Downscale both to 1080, then take the horizontal one and crop/scale/sharpen it to match visually, then upload both to YT, Insta, FB, etc and then play them on an iPhone, iPad, iPad Pro and see if you can tell any difference.  It's a laborious test, but it will give you certainty on how flexible the resolution is.
  • Following on from @Djangos comment about an external 1080 recorder, that might give you a high-quality screen and choice over bitrates and codecs that gives you the right quality and file sizes in post.  Shooting directly to Prores (for example) may mean you can get high-quality files that you can edit directly without needing a powerful computer or to render proxies or render cache files etc.  Also, if you're shooting Prores HQ for example, it would mean that your quality from the vertical-crop/scale/sharpen would be much better, as well as ability to pull and push the image in post.
  • The variety of rigs you can use to help you cradle or hand-hold a setup is almost infinite, and by thinking about how to keep three points-of-contact but keeping the range of motion you want for your shooting style, you will be able to customise one (or more) rigs that will work for you, even if you have a monitor or external EVF rigged up on the camera.

In terms of where to go when you want 4K, I'd leave that to the future, considering:

  • We don't know what Canon will do (although we can guess, they are still guesses)
  • Scaling up video is a thing that people are working on - Resolve has an algorithm that people speak well of and there is now talk of AI-based upscaling (and Resolve already has AI-based time-stretching algorithms so they're already in the AI game), which means that you may get extra life out of a good 1080 setup before you feel the need to go 4K
  • I suspect the business model of video vs stills is still changing, which means that when you get there there might be other considerations or other business models that become feasible due to market changes.  VR, 3D, interactivity, and the disposability and shelf-life of media may change what is required or in demand, and you may find that the position within the market of your business, your clientele, or the range of products/services/market-sectors you work in may have changed.  All this could not only influence if you go 4K with your existing lenses or not, but also what type of camera, who you work with, and perhaps even your business may be different by this time.

I think a C100ii (with external recording if that's going to be of benefit) is a safe option for the moment.  The equipment will hold most of its value over the next few years, you'll learn a bunch, and the market will develop somewhat, so it's hard to see how this would be a bad move for you.  Even if in 6-months you realise you need to go bigger then it won't have cost you that much really.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

..well here is a recent test showing just that (C100 external to ProRes upscaled to 4K vs C200 4K internal):

other than high ISO noise level, IQ is astonishingly similar imo!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...