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Canon Bringing Back Lens Aperture Rings for HDSLR Video

This is a good development for video Canon EF lens users. I use 6 EF lenses with my 60D for video.

An article from Photgraphy Bay talked about a new Canon patent:

“Anyone who has shot video with a Canon DSLR recognizes that smooth iris pulls are impossible while recording with Canon’s EF lenses. In one of the more interesting patent applications of late, Canon revealed that it is working on new lenses with aperture rings for adjusting aperture settings during video capture.

The new lenses with aperture rings utilize electronic control of the lens diaphragm rather than a mechanical aperture ring of yesteryear.

What’s not entirely clear is whether or not the aperture adjustments via the lens ring will offer step-less iris pulls. This feature is not addressed in the patent application. However, the presumption is that a new lens design for iris adjustments during video capture would offer much smoother changes than the terrible 1/3-stop clicks we get now out of the adjustments from the camera body.”

Read the full article at their site.

Optical Anti-Aliasing Filter for the Canon 5Dmk2

Now I don't have a 5Dmk2. This is something I would like for my 60D. It works.

Optical Anti-Aliasing Filter for the Canon 5Dmk2 from Glenn Przyborski on Vimeo.

Director/cinematographer Glenn Przyborski describes the VAF-5D2 optical filter and details its installation and removal from the Canon 5D Mk2 camera. Przyborski also clarifies aliasing and moiré pattern interference and shows examples of each. Anyone interested in this unique optical solution for the Canon 5D Mk2 should screen this short presentation.

Note that original Canon camera files and 1920×1080 H.264 versions of various test videos are available for download and evaluation at: przyborski.com/​mosaic_downloads.html

Mosaic Engineering's website: mosaicengineering.com/​

‘Captain America’ Action Shots Captured with Canon 5D Mark II DSLRs

Even though there are now video cameras with large sensors, it is nice to see the HDSLR being used. A Canon press release.

Canon U.S.A. has announced that the highly anticipated feature film, Captain America: The First Avenger, used Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR cameras to capture many of the movie’s action shots. Throughout the super hero action picture, the 5D Mark II was used to shoot motion sequences that were seamlessly integrated with the production’s 35mm film footage.

More compact and lightweight than traditional motion-picture cameras, the 5D Mark II offers creative advantages such as compatibility with Canon’s wide range of high-performance EF lenses, user-selectable frame rates, including 24p (23.976 fps), the standard for motion-picture cinematography, and full 1920 x 1080 HD imagery captured by the camera’s high-resolution 21.1-megapixel (36mm by 24mm) Canon CMOS sensor. According to Jonathan Taylor, second unit director/director of photography on Captain America: The First Avenger, these features made the 5D Mark II an excellent choice for the capture of dramatic POV (point-of-view) action shots.

“The challenge with a lot of action photography is getting the camera in the right position,” Taylor noted. “I’m always looking to get the camera into impossible-to-reach places because those kinds of shots make action sequences much more exciting. Most 35mm motion-picture cameras and even the leading digital cinematography cameras are just too big to get into interesting positions.” 

Action scenes in Captain America: The First Avenger in which Taylor used 5D Mark II cameras for POV shots include a car chase and crash, and a high-speed motorcycle pursuit. The small size of the camera enabled Taylor to mount it on the interiors and exteriors of moving vehicles to capture dramatic action shots. The camera’s size also ensured that it was “invisible” to the film cameras shooting the same scene from a distance.

“The thing with action is that the more angles you can shoot, the faster the cuts you can use, and the more energy you get into a sequence,” Taylor added.

Previously, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II cameras and EF lenses were used for action shots in the blockbuster hit Iron Man 2.

Does Image Stabilization work when shooting movies?

FF Intvu

Does Image Stabilization work when shooting movies? This question was asked on DV.net.

Yes, I wish more lenses had it. All this excitement over primes and none except the EF 100 Macro has it. Canon needs to turn the EF 24-70 f2.8 into an IS lens. I have the EF 24-105 f4 IS for that reason alone.

IS is one of the best inventions for video shooting. My use of it goes back to Sony's TR-101 Hi8 camera. I got shots with that camera I could not get with my Betacam.

Now with HDSLR's it is essential to have IS lenses because of the CMOS rolling shutter. I have had to edit a few videos where rolling shutter ruined shots I needed because the camera was handheld. This would not have been a problem with IS. I turn the IS on and it goes away.

I usually use my Canon 60D with out a rig for hand held. All of my reports from NAB for this site were done with the 24-105 with IS turned on. I also handhold my EF 70-200 f4 IS as well.

Also when using the 640×480 crop mode in the 60D IS is a great help because the image is so magnified. This was shot on a heavy DV6 Satchler tripod.

Here I am with my handheld rig. The camera is mounted on a CamCaddie which I brace against my body. I also have a Hoodman Loupe on my flipout LCD on my 60D.

@ Hoodman Booth 3

DSLR Camera Rigs

Have you got rig envy? Have you lusted after one of those shiny DSLR rail contraptions that seem to cost more than the actual camera itself? Terron Brown and Clayton Aiello's new rig will put an end to all that.

Forget the others, these guys have developed the ultimate in DSLR rigs. Have no idea on price or availability. There's nothing quite like it on the market. They have some good points.

DSLR Camera Rigs from Luke Neumann on Vimeo.

The Death of the HDSLR has been Exaggerated

Recent articles on the Death of the HDSLR seem to missing the point. By the way, the HDSLR revolution started 3 years ago with the Nikon D90 and Canon 5D Mark II.

Michael Murie wrote The death of DSLRs over at his Notes On Video blog. He writes about 3 video groups. “The DSLR community seems to be splintering intro three groups: those who are moving on, those who see it as continuing to be a viable – though limited – tool, and those that are mounting the ramparts in its defense.”

The first group did not want HDSLRS to begin with. They have the resources to afford what ever they want. They wanted large sensor video cameras.

The second group is always looking for a way of doing things better but not necessarily with cost in mind. This was the group that put up with expensive lens adapters on small sensor video cameras.

The assumption is that now that we have video cameras (the Sony PMW-F3, the Sony NEX-FS100, and the Panasonic AG-AF100) that shoot large sensor video, why use HDSLRs. Also, new external recorders record in higher bitrate formats than H264. Yes, these new cameras shoot great large sensor video with the convenience of a video camera, but HDSLR cameras have their advantages as well. (Some of us never did like the design and ergonomics of the video camera, especially inexpensive ones.) So I guess this article is in the third group, the defenders. Well, we are FrugalFilmmakers.

Some of the main reasons why we like HDSLRS is: small size, Price, great lenses that don't cost am arm and a leg, beautiful video, adaptability, image stabilization and of course they are a great still camera as well. They are also the cause of the greatest democratization of filmmaking ever created. Anybody with a good story can now tell that story without a lot of money. All of the video cameras are over 6000 dollars buy the time you buy what's needed to shoot with just the camera.

You don't need to buy into the argument that HDSLRs need all this extra gear to make them good filmmaking cameras. They do have their limitations, but then most cameras do. Either you live with them or buy something else. Not all cameras are for all shooters. I remember years ago looking through the viewfinder of my Nikon F3 film still camera, thinking it would be great to have the image in motion recorded with the camera. Well, now I have it. Will I still use video cameras, sure. My JVC HM-100 sits on the shelf most of the time now because it like the image I get off of my Canon 60D and my clients want the better image.

It comes down to what is best for you and what your clients are willing to pay for. Also it is learning how to use you gear to it's best advantage. Do I wish they would improve the HDSLR, Yes. Come on manufactures bring it on.

Another article Is The DSLR Dead? by Scott Macaulay from the Filmmaker Magazine writes “I ordered the much sought-after Panasonic GH2 camera in February, and I just got it last week. And now, only a few days later, the DSLR is declared dead!” He concludes, “…then go make a movie… on whatever camera you have.”

I want to mention one other reason: HDSLRS ARE FUN.

Talking to a friend of mine. He did a shoot and had audio problems. Another lost footage because of a bad SD card. Well, you have to treat HDSLRs with more effort than video cameras. They many look easier, but they are not. HDSLRs are not for the light hearted. They Do Not Behave Like A Regular Video Camera. Don't treat them as such. You must know your camera well and the other components well before going on a paid shoot. They do create wonderful images for a lot less, but Know Their Limitations. If you have not used one for audio, use double system until you are confident in recording with in camera audio. Check your media before going on a shoot. We have seen wonderful videos shot with HDSLRs by experienced shooters. The best thing you can do is Practice With Your Gear and then more practice. Become experienced.