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5D2 (non raw) For short film project, Need advice please
  • So I have a web project coming up that would really benefit from using a full frame sensor. I own a Canon 5d2 (w/ml/non raw), and a set of Samyang Cinema lenses. I know all to well about the moiré issues on the 5d2, which actually isn't a big deal for this shoot as it's a controlled environment. Raw is out of the question as the motion cadence looks choppy and horrible, at least it did a few weeks ago. Ideally I would normally grab the gh2 or g6 and go wide. But it still wouldn't have the full frame look that I have in mind. It's low budget, which means if I were to rent, it would be coming out of my pocket, as I figured my day rate with my bought and paid for camera package. However, It's been a long while since using my canons for paid work.

    After shooting mostly with Panasonic cameras, and so use to a super sharp image, I'm not sure what people think about the 5d2 these days for web delivery? A few years back, it seems like everyone was requesting the 5d2, but things have changed, is it still an acceptable image today? Should I shoot a test for the client, or am I overly critical of the softer image compared to the gh2? I can drive myself crazy with this shit. Just looking for opinions and advice from my peers thanks

  • 15 Replies sorted by
  • Have you asked in ML's forum? They have a 5DII specific subforum for any and all inquiries

  • IMO if you're mainly doing faces as opposed to highly detailed cityscapes, flowers etc. Then I see no reason you can't use the 5D2 for a project. However, I would suggest you spend a bit more time looking at ML RAW. It's such an improvement over the standard video that I can't imagine not using it. I don't know what you mean about motion cadence and again i'd suggest you go to vimeo and look at the tons of ML RAW test videos. I haven't read anything about choppy motion unless you have dropped frames.

  • If you've any spare change, then you might want to think about the mosaic engineering anti-aliasing filter for the 5dII. You can increase the in-camera sharpening with some surprisingly pleasing results if you don't want to go down the raw road.

  • Thanks Mr Bill, I have been looking at those, I love the raw image quality, but don't like the motion blur, or lack there of. There's something odd about the motion that I can't seem to accept. Maybe they have got it ironed out by now though.

  • @maranfilms, have you tried using a slower shutter speed? If you think the motion blur isn't smooth enough maybe that might help to make the motion blur more natural.

  • I've never heard of these filters affecting motion blur - don't really see how that's possible. Do you follow the 180degree shutter rule, and what frequency is the refresh rate of your viewing monitor?

  • I meant shooting raw, no issues with the filters;-)

  • Why would shooting raw affect motion blur at all? If there are the same amount of frames, and these frames are exposed for the exact same duration, and played back at the same speed, motion will look identical. What is that "cadence" I hear some people speak of lately?

  • the 5DIII had some cadence problems initially, with motion in the image causing some sort of screen tearing.. that was early on however, and I think ML fixed it in subsequent updates

  • i have the 5d3 and Im having a hard time letting go of the 5d2 (unfiltered raw image is unique)

  • IMO the improved image quality of ML RAW is THE reason to keep a 5D2, 7D or even to buy an old 50D. The value of such a purchase and the end result is very high. If I was going to do a project i'd use ML RAW. I absolutely LOVE the image and it's flexibility. If you really want to see what the ML RAW is about tho, i'd go to Vimeo and look at the many videos out there. I see nothing wrong with any of them in terms of Motion Cadence.

    If someone has a project that is mostly going to be talking heads on the wev then I don't think you need RAW. Just use the H.264 and worry more about tweaking the image color and sharpness in your NLE to bring it up to the best levels it can produce. The softness won't really be much of an issue for faces IMO. It really does matter what the project calls for. For the Web I don't see why you can't successfully use the H.264 video.

  • I can't deal with the added workflow of shooting raw, not to mention the moire is ridiculous, think it's bad in h264? shoot raw, it's much worse. I'm finished with the project now, and have to say, I think it looks good, the client was happy, the check is cashed and spent;-) On a side note, I recently did a test with a bunch of cams, and asked people that have no production knowledge which image they like the best, it was canon 5d2(h264) over every other model (gh2, g6, t3i, ect.. even a couple 1/3rd in chip cams) Not one person picked anything other than the 5d2. I guess it's easy to forget most have no idea as to what to look for when it comes to image quality, and most could careless, they only know if they like it or do not like it. It either looks good or it doesn't. It's all about overall aesthetics for non pixel peepers. I got so caught up in looking for the cons, I totally overlooked the pros. Lets not forget many productions have used the 5d2, if the image was good enough to cut with 35mm film then, it most certainly should be now, not that I'm shooting anything on 35mm film these days, but you get the point. I also found if your very careful, the 5d2 sharpens up beautifully, I was always under the impression it was not doable because of the aliasing/moire issues along with the codec limitations. Not the case. If I had the mosaic filter, Raw would be a good option (as long as the dng conversion process has been streamlined) and it appears they have the motion issues worked out.

  • @maranfilms, I think you really do need to look into the ML RAW current workflow and status of development. Also go look at test videos and films done using ML RAW. They are very beautiful in terms of color and character, not to mention the added detail. It all looks so natural and clean. Just spend a day looking at Vimeo and you'll see tons of stuff and some with various color grades that are very well done.

    DNG's are not a problem. There are several free programs that convert MLV to DNG. At that point I just load the DNG files which are in a folder into Resolve. In Resolve I have set up a Transcode preset and with that I convert the DNG to a LOG file using Cinelog, tho there are other LUT's like those from Visioncolor and I set White Balance and convert to ProRes or DNxHD. Now I have a smaller 10bit MOV. that is highly gradable. That's it really. I'm still very new to this but even I was able to figure it out and it's not hard or overly time consuming for the quality benefits. IMO it's entirely worth the effort.

  • Your example looks great!! Very nice compositions. What about the moire issue? many examples I've watched had terrible moire to the point it was not useable in my opinion. Lastly, would you be willing to make a short tutorial on the workflow you mentioned? Would like to see how quick and painless it can be with the software conversions. Thanks for posting;-)

  • I shot my short movie "Elementarschaden" in June 2013 with a much earlier Build on 5D2 and Zeiss Primes. If you are into RAW, you may know the app I developed back then, called "BATCHelor", for postprocessing.

    I can tell you, we had no moire problems, even with complicated patterns- I think it is all about those beautiful lenses, they make it all ok ;) Bottom line: If your lenses rock, go for raw.

    Also I had no problems with motion and blur. I think it is the same identical frame as H264 mode, just without the artifacts etc.