Author Topic: DSLRs for video  (Read 21284 times)

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pete

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Re: DSLRs for video
« Reply #45 on: March 14, 2011, 04:35:17 AM »
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yep. still $899, though the $100 discount has long expired.
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Ravi

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Re: DSLRs for video
« Reply #46 on: March 14, 2011, 04:36:00 PM »
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5DtoRGB

Looks like this software does a better YCbCr to RGB conversion than Final Cut Pro, Compressor, etc.

pete

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Re: DSLRs for video
« Reply #47 on: March 14, 2011, 10:11:09 PM »
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gathered the opinions and tests by them pixelnerds on the internet, this sounded like a waste of time.
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Ravi

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Re: DSLRs for video
« Reply #48 on: March 15, 2011, 01:43:50 AM »
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There's only so much quality you can squeeze out of DSLR footage hamstrung at the source by h.264, line-skipping, and 8-bit color. The reviews I've read about 5DtoRGB were mostly positive, though. I don't need it for the DSLR video projects on which I work (its supposedly quite slow), but I will play with the demo version at some point to see if I think its worth using.

matt35mm

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Re: DSLRs for video
« Reply #49 on: May 17, 2011, 10:55:40 PM »
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So, I don't like using DSLRs for video. I don't like the way they handle and I do not like the way the video looks (too harsh, heavily compressed, low dynamic range/latitude in exposure, jiggly jello problems).

But I still have this thing where it's like one of my eyes will drift over and look at them and consider getting one, while the rest of myself (including my other eye) just wants to walk away from it. The reason is that I also really want to get back into still photography, which I used to really love. I shot on film and really enjoyed it.

My IDEAL right now would be to get back into film photography, buy a film scanner and be able to play with images in the computer that originated on film, not because I think that would make the best quality or give me the most control, but I believe that it would be the most fun.

Of course, I also want a video camera. I want the Sony EX-1, which can be got on eBay for about $4200 or so.

If I were to do that in the ideal way, it would cost around $5000 for the separate film photography stuff (I already own a good film camera and a couple of okay lenses, but need the film scanner and a couple of other things) and for the video stuff. Not counting the slow and continual acquisition of lenses and having to buy and develop film forever.

That's when I start thinkin', "Well, for around $1000 for one of these DSLRs plus the cost of lenses, I can get photography and video equipment in one, albeit having to compromise on my ideal regarding both aspects of it (not wanting to do digital still photography OR DSLR video)."

Right now, I can't afford my ideal $5000+ solution, but I can afford the compromise of the DSLR. So my impatience is a factor, and I'd obviously rather not spend all my money on this stuff.

I have also thought about just renting my ideal video equipment, or buying it on eBay and then selling it on eBay after a specific project is finished. But this is unappealing because I really, really like just having a camera and being able to go out on my own and just shoot stuff whenever I feel like it.

Anyway, that's my little rant and if anybody has any advice, I'd like to hear it. People who have extensive experience with DSLRs--did you come to love it? Did you even hate it to begin with, or am I the only one that dislikes them? Even if you don't have any experience with any of these things, do you think it's better to compromise and be able to do both at a better price or hold out for the ideal? Keep in mind that all of this is just for my own enjoyment at this point and I have no particular projects or money-makin' schemes that require my ideal equipment. I would simply enjoy my ideal solution more.

I guess another alternative is to own the DSLR for my "whenever I feel like it" creative jaunts, and rent a better camera if I feel that I need better quality. One other plus for the DSLR is that I really like to just go out and shoot around, and that looks weird with a big video camera (and people will look at the camera and wonder what I'm doing and shit), but nobody gives a shit when it looks like you're taking still photos.

So this is some of what's been bouncing around in my head and I'd like to know what you all think, please. Thanks.

matt35mm

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Re: DSLRs for video
« Reply #50 on: May 17, 2011, 11:18:47 PM »
+1
Side note: I don't like a very shallow depth of field on video. It's another reason why I don't like most of the video that I see from DSLRs.

IF I were to shoot video on a DSLR, how can I maximize the depth of field? Can I maximize it to the point where I don't have to worry very much about focus pulling during a shot? I don't mean for dolly shots where I would expect to have to focus pull, but for things like when an actor moves his or her head (I see it all the time in DSLR video where the actor or the camera moves just a little bit and suddenly everything's out of focus). I want the depth of field to be deep enough for me not to have to use an external monitor to ensure focus.

I would like to shoot without adapters and mounts and various doodads.

(I sound like an old cranky man about this stuff, I know. I'm sorry.)

I know that there are firmware dealies and software that helps to give more control and smooth out some of the flaws (like the jellying). Does that stuff work pretty well?

polkablues

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Re: DSLRs for video
« Reply #51 on: May 17, 2011, 11:52:03 PM »
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If you want greater depth of field, just reduce the aperture setting. The reason so many DSLR videos have such a tiny depth of field is that given the ability to do something on video that they couldn't do before, people tend to overdo the hell out of it. Personally, I love that look, but like anything, it has to make sense as an artistic choice. But the shallow focus is by no means the only thing you can do with a DSLR, and if you want to go another route with it, they certainly have the capability.
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OrHowILearnedTo

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Re: DSLRs for video
« Reply #52 on: May 17, 2011, 11:58:13 PM »
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for a deeper DOF, shoot with a ton of high key lighting (so you can lower your aperture) and/or increase the ISO. It isn't a preferable look though, since you won't have a lot of contrast. But you can play around with the lighting in the scene, just make sure you subjects are lit well.

matt35mm

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Re: DSLRs for video
« Reply #53 on: May 18, 2011, 10:21:25 AM »
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Thanks, guys. I guess I knew that stuff from my photography experience, but I didn't really know exactly how this stuff translates to digital because I have limited experience with DSLRs. For example, my preferred way of getting deep DoF on film was simply to expose the image for a long time with the lowest aperture, from 5 seconds to several minutes (I was really into taking pictures of still things in low light). I'm not sure how much this is possible is digital photography. With video, I'd be hesitant to mess around with shutter speed because that would affect blurriness/stutteriness, etc.

I think I'll borrow a friend's DSLR and mess around with it for a while to get a better sense of how they work.

But I'd still like opinions on whether I should get a DSLR in the first place, considering my thoughts in my first post.

OrHowILearnedTo

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Re: DSLRs for video
« Reply #54 on: May 19, 2011, 10:26:45 PM »
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I completely agree with your complaints about DSLRs, even more so lately since I shot some 16mm and it makes the digital stuff look like shit. Bottom line though is, you still get a really nice image, affordable lens options, and pretty amazing flexibility for shooting on the day with a DSLR. If all you're doing is short projects I don't think you'd regret buying a 60d/7d.

I think md is our resident dop with experience with DSLRs so I'd suggest trying to get a response out of him haha

matt35mm

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Re: DSLRs for video
« Reply #55 on: May 19, 2011, 11:42:07 PM »
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Yeah I did a ton of research since asking about this and decided I'll get a 60D and shoot small things on it, see how I feel about it. If I hate it, I can sell it on eBay because these DSLRs are maintaining their resale value for a pretty long time. I'm also buying it refurbished from Canon so I'm not spending full price on it; I can probably sell it and lose maybe a couple hundred.

Some of my research pointed out various things that you could do to help with the inherent problems. For example, Technicolor created this freeware for a setting designed specifically to get the maximum dynamic range/latitude possible by recording the most information from the image and not worrying about getting it to look good on camera but to allow you the most room to play with in post. There's also freeware and other software that helps with this stuff in post. Not perfect, but I'm believing that I can get it to look good.

Also, I'm becoming convinced that the reason I hate most of what I'm seeing out of these cameras is that people have such a hard on for shooting in low light and shooting with the widest aperture for shallow DoF that they don't really care that they're blowing out their whites and making it look terrible. I feel like a keen eye and getting to know what the camera can do what what I want out of an image will help with a lot of these issues.

Truthfully, it's more than good enough for me to do my more freeform projects that I'll just put up on the internet. If I find myself doing something where I really need it to look much better, or if I feel like I absolutely need a very wide latitude in the image, I can rent a better camera. That'll be way down the line anyway.

So now I'm excited about getting this thing. Really, really looking forward to getting back into photography. Lately, I've been feeling like I have so much more to explore visually than I do with my writing.

polkablues

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Re: DSLRs for video
« Reply #56 on: May 21, 2011, 02:57:19 AM »
+1
Just bought a Canon 60D of my own earlier today. Haven't had a chance to play with it yet, but I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully I'll get lots of good Rapture pics and video!
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matt35mm

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Re: DSLRs for video
« Reply #57 on: May 21, 2011, 01:16:17 PM »
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Sweet!

Well I'll receive the 60D on Monday. But right after ordering it, I kept on researching and started looking more seriously at the Panasonic GH2. There's a consensus that it's not quite as good of a stills camera as the Canon 60D, but is a significantly better video camera. I've been looking a bunch of videos that were shot with it and I do like the look more than I do with the 60D. It resolves more lines of resolution (I think maybe twice as much), giving full progressive HD and getting rid of moire and having less of a rolling shutter problem, as well as obviously having more detail. I think there's more control over frame rates, as well. It seems like it is a pretty good stills camera, too.

Reviews are saying that, because it uses micro four thirds lenses, depth of field is a bit less shallow. That's a bad thing for most people, but a good thing for me!

I have other issues with it (it records to AVCHD, which I find a pain to work with--but then again I haven't worked with the H.264 that the 60D records to, so maybe both are a hassle, and the screen is low res), but I'm already suspecting that I'm going to have the 60D for a couple of months and then sell it and buy a GH2.

Here's a couple of comparison reviews:

http://dslrhd.com/2010/12/panasonic-gh2-vs-canon-60d/

http://www.eoshd.com/content/459-First-look-Panasonic-GH2-versus-Canon-60D

And a video:


pete

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Re: DSLRs for video
« Reply #58 on: May 21, 2011, 04:47:19 PM »
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well I heard after the quake it's harder than ever to get the GH2 because they're all on back order now or something is that true
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matt35mm

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Re: DSLRs for video
« Reply #59 on: May 21, 2011, 07:08:03 PM »
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It's very difficult, and I looked around and up and down and found a few. BUT, I just found out that a local photo shop has them in stock. They're closed for the day but I'm going to go tomorrow and buy one, and then return the 60D.

I've been looking at GH2 footage on Vimeo all day today and some of it is really gorgeous. In my opinion, it blows away the best 5D/7D/60D footage I've ever seen. There's a smoothness to the image on the GH2 where there's a harshness in the Canons. It resolves nearly twice as many lines of resolution by doing true progressive HD (I think the Canon's scan every other line and then creates the 1080 image out of that). It makes a big difference in stuff like leaves on trees and detail in clothing.

Examples:
http://vimeo.com/23657214
http://vimeo.com/23516112
http://vimeo.com/22806106

You can also shoot video while looking through the viewfinder rather than at the LCD screen, which I think I would like a lot.

 

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