w w w . i n d i a w i l d s . c o m
home
about Sabyasachi Patra
diary
forums
image gallery
contact IndiaWilds
Home
About
Diary
Forums
Gallery
ContactUs

User Tag List

Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Mark IV Review: Part III – Video

  1. #1
    Join Date
    24-11-08
    Location
    New Delhi
    Posts
    15,545
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default Mark IV Review: Part III – Video

    Canon EOS 1D Mark IV Review: Part III – Video

    In the third part of the Canon EOS 1D Mark IV review, I examine the video feature. Sceptics might say that the traditional video camera industry has been there for years, so how does it matter if the video or filming function is added to a digital SLR.

    When a filming option was included in the 5D Mark II for the first time, it caught the imagination of people. It became so popular that it even surprised Canon. Canon had to come up with firmware upgrades to 5D Mark II to fine-tune its video capture.

    Keeping these in mind, let us evaluate the pros and cons of video in the 1D Mark IV. Since most of our readers are primarily still photographers, I am including information about filming as well as how to adapt your Mark IV for filming.

    Pros:
    1. Sensor size:
    The sensor size of the 1D Mark IV is several times larger than the sensor in a video camera. Due to the large sensor, the depth of field is very shallow. So it helps in giving you control over how much area you want in focus and the bokeh that you get is nice. In comparison, the video cameras have got a small sensor and virtually everything will be in focus, so to speak. So it doesn’t give you that film look where a subject is moving in or out of focus.

    Due to the smaller sensor size in the video cameras, the effective focal length of your lenses increases by a factor of 7. So your 300mm lens acts like a 2100mm lens. So it becomes very difficult to capture wide angle views like the ones you capture with your DSLRs.

    2. Low light Performance
    The low light performance of these DSLRs is phenomenal as compared to the films. The high ISO abilities of the 1D Mark IV is very good and one can easily use the ISO up to 3200 and also at ISO 6400 if required. That means you have a better chance of capturing those scenes when the animals are more active. One can virtually shoot in near darkness. That pushes the boundaries of film making.

    3. Size and weight

    The size of a DSLR is less and you are able to shoot in cramped environments. So if you are in a cave, still you can use a wide angle lens and capture the image or film.

    4. Lens choice:
    You can use all your existing Canon lenses from your wide angle to your super telephoto lens.

    5. Files:
    The Full HD files of Canon 1D Mark IV (1980x1080 p) is future proof (at least for the next half a decade) as the broadcasters are still at a lower resolution level.

    Cons:
    6. Unninterrupted Recording time:
    The camera can record continuously for 12 minutes or 4GB whichever is earlier. This is due to the file format and not a Canon problem. Though this may not be a problem for most of the commercial advertising or film makers as each take rarely lasts that long. However, for a wildlife filmmaker, at times the scene may last longer.
    7. Ergonomics:
    As mentioned in the first part of the review of the 1D Mark IV, the DSLRs are primarily meant for shooting still photography. So you see through the viewfinder. However, for shooting video, you need to see through the LCD at the back of the camera. That necessitates camera to be placed or held in front of you depending upon your eyesight. Try holding a camera at a distance from you to look through the viewfinder, and then you will quickly realise that handholding becomes out of question. In sharp contrast, a video camera has been designed for a shoulder mount or to be held by hand with the LCD screen swiveling at any angle you want. I am sure Canon will come out with a swiveling LCD, but I don’t expect it soon.

    a. LCD Viewfinder:
    So to shoot video using the 1D Mark IV or any other such DLSRs with video capability, you need to use a LCD viewfinder like Zacuto, LCDVF, and Hoodloupe etc. These viewfinders attach to the back of your LCD and then you can press it to your eye and see through it like the way you see through the viewfinder of your camera. This also gives you another point of contact and hence stability. Of course, the primary benefit is to get the right focus, as the Mark IV or any other DSLR cameras with video capability don’t have full auto focus capability. The cost of the LCD viewfinders can vary from 100 USD to 400 odd USD.

    b. Follow Focus:
    If you thought focusing would be easy, as some of you may have tried manual focusing a few times while shooting stills, then you would be in for a rude shock. Rotating the focusing ring to get a smooth focus is not the easiest thing in filming. Switch on the live view and then try rotating the focus ring and you will get the idea. You may need to invest in a follow focus unit. An innocuous looking follow focus can set you back by a thousand odd dollars. And if you dream of shooting Hollywood quality films with your 1D Mark IV, then you have to invest more for a unit with much closer tolerances than a typical Zacuto and the cost spirals upwards to several thousand dollars.

    8. Time Code:
    There are also certain things that are needed in a video camera. For example, time code. If you are shooting a scene with multiple cameras, then timecode becomes necessary to sync it. Also, it helps you in noting the precise point where the interesting scene is. So you can note it and cut the scene later at those points. I am not expecting our readers to shoot with multiple cameras and sync later. So this may not bother them much.

    9. Tripod/ support:
    I use a Gitzo GT3530LS carbon fibre tripod and a Wimberly V2 head. Unfortunately, when you attach your Canon 1D Mark IV and the heavy EF 400mm f2.8 L IS lens weight 5.3kgs on it, you will quickly realise that though this is a great combination for still photography, it is not good enough for filming. If you are shooting in a windy situation and filming, then there would be jitters in your video. In still photography, you can discard one shot, however, when filming the entire sequence gets ruined. Also when you are panning your camera, you realise that the panning is not smooth. You then realise that the Wimberly V2 is not up to the mark, as you need a fluid head.

    So what does that mean in terms of costs? If you have a weak heart, then you are advised not to read further.

    A good quality fluid head like an OConnor (1030HD) will cost you about 5500 USD ie. upwards of two lakhs of rupees. A relatively cheap Miller DS-20 Fluid costing about 1100 USD will also work for people, if you don’t have stringent requirements. Ofcourse, you can use the Manfrotto 519 costing around 800 US dollars.

    Add to this the price of a tripod.

    If you thought, wildlife photography was costly, then wildlife filming is like breaking the bank.

    10.Matte Box:
    What is a matte box? Can you recollect seeing a rectangular box in front of the video cameras? Why do I need to use it? I already have a lens shade, so why do I need it?

    Well, you will discover that your existing lens shades would be inadequate in certain situations. Recently, I was filming with my 400 f2.8 L IS and despite the lens hood in shooting position; I still ended up with flickering lights.

    A matte box will also help in attaching special effects filters and neutral density filters. Of course, if you are shooting with a long telephoto lens, then you need to buy specific drop in filters. A matte box and French flag can cost you upwards of 1000 USD.

    11.Audio:
    a. Built in Microphone:
    The Mark IV has got a built in microphone. However, if you plan using the built-in microphone, then you will be in for a rude shock. The built-in microphone will pickup the noise of the Image Stabilisation, noise made while changing your aperture ring etc.

    b. Autogain:
    To compound the issue, there is a feature called Auto Gain. It will automatically change your sound levels. Now, you will ask how does that matter?

    Imagine, you filming a Crested Serpent Eagle on a tree. Suddenly, it calls. The autogain feature immediately lowers the sound levels, so the ambient sound level will drop down and you will hear the call, and after the call stops, the ambient sound level will be brought up again and you will hear it. That would sound pretty unnatural.

    c. Audio Output:
    Canon hasn’t provided an audio output from the Mark IV. That means you are unable to plug in your earphone and listen to the sound as it is being recorded.

    So what is the solution for audio issues?

    d. External Microphones:
    There is no way out but to buy external microphones. They come in all shapes and sizes depending upon your quality requirements and budget. It can vary from couple of hundred dollars (like the a Rode microphone) to a few thousand US dollars like the Schoeps SuperCMIT at 4750 USD. I have settled on a Sennheiser MKH 416. I think last week the price got reduced to 1000 USD.

    You should remember that the super cardiod microphones cannot pick sounds from several hundred feet away. Film makers use Foley in those situations. In case you want to record interviews, then you may need to pick up a Lavaliere microphone.

    e. Mixer:
    You would need an amplifier/mixer to connect your microphone and then the output can be recorded in a sound recorder or plugged straight into the camera. Plan at least about 400 odd USD for that.

    f. Sound recorder:
    The cheapest sound recorder with professional XLR inputs can cost you about 300 USD (Tascam DR100). If you want a much better quality like the ones used by Hollywood fellows, then you have to buy Sound Devices or a similar brand costing several thousand dollars.

    g. Head phones:
    You need to monitor the sound that is being recorded. So you need closed microphones. A popular Sennheiser one can cost you about 90 USD and upwards. Remember, that it is not advisable to use a noise cancelling microphone, as you certainly want to hear any noise that is creeping into your recordings.

    Well. Now you will tell me that it is better not to buy the Mark IV, as filming for some is the path to bankruptcy. Frankly speaking, you need not invest 10000 US Dollars immediately. If you don’t have a fluid head, then try to film with your camera in a locked down position. That is lock all the knobs of your camera and take short clips without attempting to pan. Change your focal length and try to tell your story. Also, there are some cheap clones made by some Indian and Korean manufacturers.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    24-11-08
    Location
    New Delhi
    Posts
    15,545
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default Problems to be fixed by Canon

    Problems to be Fixed by Canon:
    Canon can tweak its software to rectify a few problems that we face.

    12.Quickly shifting between Video and Stills:
    You can customize the Mark IV so that when you press the FEL button the filming starts. However, one should realise that for still photography we use a high shutter speed to get images sharp. In case of videos, we need a low shutter speed. So when I shift from shooting stills to video I can quickly start filming by pressing the FEL button, however, the settings are carried over from stills. So I have to first reduce the shutter speed and then press FEL button for filming. It takes time.
    Canon has made a provision that you can interrupt filming and shoot stills by pressing the shutter at any point of time. However, that means the still images will also be shot at low shutter speeds. That will result in still images not being sharp and unusable. If you are using a wide angle lens or an intermediate lens, then slower shutter speeds can be ok. However, if you are using a heavy 400mm f2.8 L IS lens with a 2x II Tc then you will realise that it becomes difficult to get sharp images at slower shutter speeds. It should be noted that the Canon 1D Mark IV requires higher shutter speeds than other cameras to get sharp images, primarily due to its higher resolution.

    What canon can do: Canon can come out with a firmware upgrade so that when I press the shutter button, the shutter speed should be as defined while shooting stills previously.

    13.Shifting video modes and use of 60fps at 1080p:
    At present I shoot at 1080p at 24 frames per second to get the film look. The options to shoot 60frames per second is not there at 1080p. You can shoot 60 frames per second only at 720p.
    Why do I need 60 frames per second? Imagine a bird in flight or some rapid action. At 24 frames per second the action won’t register properly. When you shoot at the higher 60 frames per second, the action will show up as slow motion and we would be able to appreciate the scene better.

    Unfortunately, at this point in time, we can’t move from 24 to 60 frames per second at the click of a button. Further, 60 frames per second can only be shot at a lower resolution ie. at 720p.

    Technically, 60 frames per second would place a bigger challenge on the Digic IV processor. Canon has to decide whether the current Digic IV processor is capable to do that or not. However, smoothly moving from 1080p Full HD to 720 p HD should not be a technical challenge. I think it is because, during the beta testing state, the Canon EOS 1D Mark IV camera may not have been used much by wildlife film makers.

    What Canon can do: A firmware upgrade to enable one of the buttons to help shifting from 24fps to 60 fps on the fly.

    14.Overheating:
    The LCD at the back gets heated up after shooting for some time. Though I have shot in Ranthambhore at 40 deg plus temperatures, but I haven’t recorded at a stretch for 12 minutes. I haven’t experienced the Mark IV stopping due to overheating. However, I am not sure about the impact on the image quality. When the sensor gets heated up, the noise is bound to increase. Even shooting still images with prolonged live view usage is going to increase noise in your still images. And the person who is going to shoot both stills as well as filming, there is a possibility of getting noise which would be evident when you pixel peep your still images.

    I will update this review as my understanding and experience continues to increase with the Mark IV.

    Conclusion:
    After reading this if you are getting a feel that Mark IV cannot be used for filming, then you are definitely wrong. I am just attempting to inform you all the pros and cons of this disruptive innovation introduced by Canon. It is certainly a game changer.

    This is the best Canon camera till date.

    The video is not just a function added to the camera. It is not only broadcast quality video but much more as the Full HD is yet to be adopted by major networks. It just changes our entire approach to documenting our wilderness areas and wildlife. This gives the common man an ability to create Hollywood quality clips, provided he/she understands its limitations and pushes the camera to the hilt.

    The First part of the review is here:
    http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3194

    The Second part of the Mark IV review is here:
    http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3372

    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    24-11-08
    Location
    Bangalore
    Posts
    15,195
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    A nice detailed review in layman terms. It will be certainly helpful, when I think of buying a Mark IV . Look forward to seeing some videos from you soon. Thanks for sharing.
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

  4. #4
    Join Date
    17-12-08
    Location
    Bangalore
    Posts
    4,589
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Mrudul, I hope you buy the Mark IV soon. Maybe, then you could think of gifting me your 50D...

    On a serious note:
    The analysis sure helps a layman. But what I was wondering was that if we do an overall cost benefit analysis of an HD camcorder vs the Mk IV (inclusive of accessories) in terms of video shooting for same quality, which would you think would fare better?

    The obvious Pros and Cons have already been put forward by you, but just an overall picture maybe?
    Regards,
    Bibhav Behera
    www.bibhavbehera.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    24-11-08
    Location
    New Delhi
    Posts
    15,545
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default

    The HD Camcorder and the Mark IV are two different products with different capabilities and should not be compared. A 1D Mark IV is not the product if you just want to shoot video and connect it to your TV to watch it. There are too many camcorders for it. Most of those dont even shoot progressive.

    The Mark IV or for that matter HD video in Canon DSLRs is in news because it gives you the capability that is there in some very expensive film cameras. The majority of professional video cameras in the $20,000 to $80,000+ range have 2/3'' sensors ie. sensor size approximately 8.08mm by 6.6mm with a 11mm diagonal.

    The EOS-1D Mark IV’s sensor size is 27.9mm by 18.6mm (33.5mm diagonal). So the 1D Mark IV sensor is about 9.8 times larger than the professional ENG (Electronic News Gathering) camcorders. Since you all know that larger sensor gives a shallow depth of field, the 9.8 time larger sensor size can give you an indication of how good it is.

    Apart from Depth of field the EOS-1D Mark IV’s larger sensor size results in amazing low light capability unheard of in the professional ENG cameras. For example in the Sony HDW-F900R CineAlta 24P HDCAM can only shoot at an ISO equivalent of 320. (It costs upwards of 76000 US Dollars).So imagine the ISO 3200 or ISO 6400 of the 1D Mark IV vs ISO 320 of the the Sony F900R. Now you understand why people in the industry are getting excited.

    So much so that for the first time, a major network in US had one of their prime time show finale filmed it with a DSLR (5dII).

    The Mark IV gives an opportunity to do a film with qualities comparable to such top end equipment used in Hollywood. Ofcourse, you need to pick up accessories, and skills too.

    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    17-12-08
    Location
    Bangalore
    Posts
    4,589
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Thanks for the update...

    I was thinking in terms of the shallower DOF and quality mostly due to the large sensor size.
    Regards,
    Bibhav Behera
    www.bibhavbehera.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    23-04-09
    Location
    Bangalore
    Posts
    1,054
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    I use a Samsung HD1010 camcorder. I chose this because of the 10x optical zoom, the ability to set ISO, and the ability to use exposure compensation.

    I use a Manfrotto fluid head and it works beautifully. When handheld (althought I hate to shoot video handheld) the Stabilisation function works quite well.

    I archive the full HD files (never recording more than 1.5 mts of video on a single file) and then convert them into 640 x 480 .mov files. I do basic editing in one program I then use a second program to add titles etc and publish the files on YouTube, Vimeo etc. These files are usually between 10 and 20 MB in size.

    Some vids are up on my company blog and I shall be adding Dhikala vids during the course of the coming week.

    Apana

  8. #8
    Join Date
    17-12-08
    Location
    Bangalore
    Posts
    4,589
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Isn't the HD1010 from Sanyo?
    Regards,
    Bibhav Behera
    www.bibhavbehera.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    23-04-09
    Location
    Bangalore
    Posts
    1,054
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Sorry, you're right; it is Sanyo

  10. #10
    Join Date
    24-11-08
    Location
    New Delhi
    Posts
    15,545
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default

    Finally after more than a year and a half shooting with the Mark IV, my first film is ready. Titled "A Call in the Rainforest", it is an 18 and half minute film, completely shot at 1080p at 24p. Here is the link to the preview: Inspiration for the Film – A Call in the Rainforest | Diary - Tales from India's Wilds

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 2 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 2 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •