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Old Sep 10, 2012, 07:09 PM   #1
matteusclement
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5Dii Help - looks terrible

I don't have any video I can show yet (still in progress with clients) but I need some help.

I have seen some AMAZING 5dii footage.
I CANNOT get my footage to look anything like it.
It does look better than my old t2i footage but not like WOW better.

I am curious to know if I am messing something up along the way. Perhaps filters (ND/haze) or something in post?

I am using old pentax lenses from the 80's as I found they were just as good as the cheap modern sigma's & canon 1.8 I had around.

Can someone help me trouble shoot how to improve image quality?

BTW: Moire and Alaising are NOT what I am talking about so please don't mention it.

I am using Premiere cs6.
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try this:
take an empty pop can, place it on the floor, smash it flat, now try to pull it back to how it was.
see how it looks like crap? that's called compression
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 10:06 PM   #2
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Video quality isn't drastically different in day light. You notice the difference more in low light situations when you have to use ISO. Really it's hard to say what your problem is without seeing the video.
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 02:20 AM   #3
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FWIW, I've seen both amazing and crappy video come from DSLRs.

The majority of your image quality will be dependent on how your shots are lit and to a lesser extent, the quality of your lenses.

Any chance you might be able to post a short clip of what you've shot?
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 10:34 AM   #4
matteusclement
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Tecnicolor

I will post ASAP.

I just downloaded the technicolor user definaition profile. It's sweet. Really helps open up the dynamic range.
This seems to be a start.

Chunk - I agree about the lighting and lenses. Can you reccomend any lighting tips and/or tutorials?
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try this:
take an empty pop can, place it on the floor, smash it flat, now try to pull it back to how it was.
see how it looks like crap? that's called compression
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 11:47 AM   #5
handsome pete
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matteusclement View Post
I will post ASAP.

I just downloaded the technicolor user definaition profile. It's sweet. Really helps open up the dynamic range.
This seems to be a start.

Chunk - I agree about the lighting and lenses. Can you reccomend any lighting tips and/or tutorials?
Again, that mostly comes down to what you're trying to achieve with your lighting. Is this narrative work? Interviews? What's your framing?

The questions are endless. And there's no definitive "right way" to do things.

I would just try researching some cinematography books and/or articles.


Here are a couple of books that could get you started:

http://www.amazon.com/Cinematography-Kris-Malkiewicz/dp/0671762206/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1347381826&sr=8-7&keywords=cinematography

http://www.amazon.com/Film-Directing-Shot-Visualizing-Productions/dp/0941188108
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 12:19 PM   #6
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The 5D look people have become used to is often down to very shallow depth of field ( due to the full format frame). It's much harder to achieve in daylight than in lowlight situations.

Do you know how to achieve a shallow depth of field?

You have to have a fast lens, and shoot fairly open. F2 and less gives you a very shallow depth of field ( it also depends on the mm of the lens you are using, it's easier to throw the background out of focus with a longer (tele) lens)


In daylight you need to use ND Filters to control the f-stop
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Old Sep 13, 2012, 01:08 PM   #7
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Overexposed!

Your sky and highlights are clipped - way overexposed.
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Old Sep 13, 2012, 10:41 PM   #8
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Looking at the video, I do think a lot of it was shot over exposed. You may not always get color in the sky, but you can see a lot of the tops of the car blown out. Also, some of your shots just aren't quite in focus. Notice the shot where the person steps out the car and you show their foot hitting the ground (around :30 i think). You can see your really shallow depth of field and its not where the foot hits. As you shot with a shallow depth of field, your eyes start to see that the majority of the shot is out of focus unless there is actually something that captures your attention that is in focus.
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Old Sep 13, 2012, 11:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoak View Post
Well put, the shallow depth of field is very over done after the HDSLR revolution came about.

You have to learn when to use it, and when not to.

Keeping highlights under control is very important for a pleasing image
Agreed. I learned this the hard way. First video I discovered how difficult it is to pull focus on something that moves unpredictably. Like for example shooting an action scene at F/1.8 is a fairly difficult feat....I would only do this if no lighting was available but if I go to F/8-13 there is way more in focus so I don't have to worry about the talent flying in and out of focus inappropriately...that example can apply to allot of situations with movement...although I will admit sometimes shooting at a fast stop and practicing where to pull focus to keep your subject in focus while it moves the entire time can have a desirable effect (can't think of an example right now). If you use Magic Lantern zebra striping is a life safer in bright light...just a suggestion...clipped highlights aren't always bad per say...Id say 90% of the time you want to avoid it but sometimes it adds an effect for short scenes that might represent lesser quality video sources or a more "raw" look to it....dare I say We Were Soldiers had scenes with clipped highlights of the sky but thats what I remember from it and I believe that in some scenes it helped (obviously not when the airplanes came in to napalm the NVA as you wouldn't see the planes well but I believe it helped focus the views on not the sky but the gruesome war....movie was grainy as hell too! I loved the look.


Side note: When you say shooting "flatter" what do you mean by that? I have a few ideas but Id like to here what you mean as recently Ive been color grading more aggressively.
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 01:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Side note: When you say shooting "flatter" what do you mean by that? I have a few ideas but Id like to here what you mean as recently Ive been color grading more aggressively.
Shooting "flat" basically means that you're balancing a shot's exposure to maximize dynamic range, thereby avoiding overexposure, the crushing of blacks, the blowing out of highlights, etc. When these undesired things happen (especially in codecs that aggressively compress color, like H.264), you start losing color and shadow detail, making a color grade in post more difficult.
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 12:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by CaptainChunk View Post
Shooting "flat" basically means that you're balancing a shot's exposure to maximize dynamic range, thereby avoiding overexposure, the crushing of blacks, the blowing out of highlights, etc. When these undesired things happen (especially in codecs that aggressively compress color, like H.264), you start losing color and shadow detail, making a color grade in post more difficult.
Ah! Okay that makes sense. This is standard practice for me. Never really had a name for it though. But yeah H.264 can be a pain....I always recommend people, when they get their DSLR, go into the standard settings and lower the contrast, and sharpness all the way down....those are things you can do in post edit but if you let the camera do it, its burned in forever. Some people find it hard because their footage looks so "regular" but thats why we color grade . But man I wish DSLR's could record H.264 at 4:2:2...chroma key would be easier and color grading would be noticeably easier. Oh well! I can dream!
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 04:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matteusclement View Post

I am using old pentax lenses from the 80's as I found they were just as good as the cheap modern sigma's & canon 1.8 I had around.

.
I'm very curious. Did they look the same when mounted on your T2i or your 5D? Keep in mind that a lot of the "amazing footage" you speak of is usually taken with Canon's L series lenses which will give you much better detail and contrast (not to mention build quality). Personally, I don't see much wrong with the footage. If you want an edgier look you may need to be a little heavier handed with your grading. Stylistically I'd tighten up the people shots a bit more and open up the aperture for a narrower DOF. I'm guessing this is a clothing line? If so I'd focus a bit more on the clothing. Maybe he fixes hi his jacket (close up of his hand). Tighter shot of the shoes when they get out of the car. Don't be afraid to really get in there with weirdo angles. All those things will help with the edginess. Hope this helps!
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