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Old Sep 10, 2012, 08:09 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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Old Sep 10, 2012, 11:06 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, 03:20 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, 11:34 AM   #4
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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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Old Sep 11, 2012, 12:47 PM   #5
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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, 01:19 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 11, 2012, 08:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by yoak View Post
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
Yes, all my lenses are f2.8 and lower. 35mm 2.8 and a 50mm 1.8 (I have a 135 3.5 too)

It's not just the shallow DOF, it's the sharpness and vibrancy of colors. Let me get back to you folks once I have shot some new material.
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Old Sep 12, 2012, 01:14 AM   #8
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Chunk - I agree about the lighting and lenses. Can you reccomend any lighting tips and/or tutorials?
The Kris Malkiewicz book that handsome pete linked to is an excellent book on cinematography. In fact, it was one of my textbooks in film school.

Although this is an older book that deals with cinematic film, the basic principles in lighting and shot composition it discusses apply everywhere.
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Old Sep 12, 2012, 01:20 AM   #9
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here is a sample of work I did with the 5dii.
Pass: macrumors
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Old Sep 12, 2012, 02:11 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by matteusclement View Post
here is a sample of work I did with the 5dii.
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I just took a look at your video. Honestly, it's far from horrible - very decent for your first few go-arounds, in fact.

I would say your number one problem in your daylight shots is light control on your subjects. You'll want to familiarize yourself with the use of flags and bounce boards to better control your light. Even a simple bounce board made of inexpensive foam core can do wonders. Good cinematography books (like the ones handsome pete linked to) will explain these concepts and even illustrate examples on how to achieve certain effects.

In some situations, even daylight has be supplemented with artificial light, depending on what you're trying to accomplish (as weird as that sounds).

And of course, the key to getting better at lighting and shot composition is practice, practice, practice. You can even do this by setting up your shot and simply snapping stills to quickly see what things look like. Luckily, you've got the convenience of DSLR on your side. Back when I was in film school, digital video was mostly crap and we had to do this on film...and wait for the results.

Another good investment IMHO for any shooter/DP in my opinion is a good light meter. In my experience, they tend to be a lot more accurate than a camera's built-in metering.
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Old Sep 12, 2012, 02:42 AM   #11
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What are you shooting at most of the time? Is your shutter speed 2x your frame rate? Are you shooting flat and then color correcting in post? Do you sharpen in post? How are you focusing?

You don't want the smallest DOF possible all the time. You want enough room to have your subject in focus and sharp for most of your shots. So shooting at F1.8 with your 50 isn't a good idea for your medium shots.
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Old Sep 12, 2012, 10:01 AM   #12
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Nice footage from Chinatown.

Anyway...it doesn't look bad, BUT starting with the Technicolor profile will help. Also, and this is more of a taste/moderation issue with grading. I personally think you were heavy handed with the grading. Just to have a basic understanding of dynamic range (which is why you pay the extra money in the first place) will inform you that if you crush most of your darker greys to black and then crush most of your lighter greys to white you've flushed a good bit of your camera value down the toilet.

Use the Technicolor Cinestyle profile

Use the S-curve LUT (or adapt your own S-curve method)

Grade with an eye towards a slightly "flatter" or more grey image to keep more of your camera value in the final cut.
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Old Sep 12, 2012, 11:05 AM   #13
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Coming from a photo background but getting into video more and more, it looks like you shot too hot and blew your highlights past recovery. Shoot a bit darker and tweak with levels in post to keep shadow and highlight detail, just like you would shooting stills.

Also, noob video question: How do I get a technicolor cinestyle profile? I am using 5D Mark III and II
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Old Sep 13, 2012, 02:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainChunk View Post
I just took a look at your video. Honestly, it's far from horrible - very decent for your first few go-arounds, in fact.

I would say your number one problem in your daylight shots is light control on your subjects. You'll want to familiarize yourself with the use of flags and bounce boards to better control your light. Even a simple bounce board made of inexpensive foam core can do wonders. Good cinematography books (like the ones handsome pete linked to) will explain these concepts and even illustrate examples on how to achieve certain effects.

In some situations, even daylight has be supplemented with artificial light, depending on what you're trying to accomplish (as weird as that sounds).

And of course, the key to getting better at lighting and shot composition is practice, practice, practice. You can even do this by setting up your shot and simply snapping stills to quickly see what things look like. Luckily, you've got the convenience of DSLR on your side. Back when I was in film school, digital video was mostly crap and we had to do this on film...and wait for the results.

Another good investment IMHO for any shooter/DP in my opinion is a good light meter. In my experience, they tend to be a lot more accurate than a camera's built-in metering.
I believe what you say is true about outdoor lighting. Its tough to control. I have a battery powered LED that helps fill when I need. I have reflectors too.

Imhotep397 - I may have crushed the blacks, but that was my intention. I should have added that the college was looking to play this at college fairs in china w/o sound. It had to be "edgy".

diamond3 - yes to all your questions. I know f1.8 doesn't sprinkle magic sauce all over the shot. It's very selective. Use it to bring attention to something.

MattSepeta - google technicolor 5d
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Old Sep 13, 2012, 03:13 AM   #15
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I may have crushed the blacks, but that was my intention. I should have added that the college was looking to play this at college fairs in china w/o sound. It had to be "edgy".
The problem with this is that when you crush the blacks too much while shooting, you lose flexibility in grading. You've already got one thing going against you when shooting on DSLR: the codecs subsample chroma (color) to 4:2:0. So, the color is very compressed to begin with.

Many of the good DPs I know that shoot on Canon DSLRs get around this limitation by shooting flatter. More information gets picked up by the sensor and you can get more aggressive with the grade in post before noise and artifacts start becoming issues.
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Old Sep 13, 2012, 03:16 AM   #16
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What are you shooting at most of the time? Is your shutter speed 2x your frame rate? Are you shooting flat and then color correcting in post? Do you sharpen in post? How are you focusing?

You don't want the smallest DOF possible all the time. You want enough room to have your subject in focus and sharp for most of your shots. So shooting at F1.8 with your 50 isn't a good idea for your medium shots.
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
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Old Sep 13, 2012, 08:16 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by CaptainChunk View Post
I just took a look at your video. Honestly, it's far from horrible...
Looks good to me, maybe you are going for a different look? How about grading it in a CC app?
The only thing that bugged me was the logo at the end snapping in out of nowhere. I know thats being ticky tacky but Im wondering if you planned that?

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainChunk View Post
Many of the good DPs I know that shoot on Canon DSLRs get around this limitation by shooting flatter. More information gets picked up by the sensor and you can get more aggressive with the grade in post before noise and artifacts start becoming issues.
From my experience working with DSLRs and RED footage is that I can make black in post. The noise makes it harder so avoid it.
I love flat
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Old Sep 13, 2012, 12:23 PM   #18
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I did crush the blacks in post. I'm very aware to my image flat, thus why I am using the technicolor profile, which btw is awesome.

The logo popping up was me removing the original logo to put in a new one and forgetting to cross fade.

So it seems that I will work on the image and maybe borrow an L series lens to see if there is a quality improvement.

ThaNks for the help so far!!!
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Old Sep 13, 2012, 02:08 PM   #19
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Overexposed!

Your sky and highlights are clipped - way overexposed.
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Old Sep 13, 2012, 11:41 PM   #20
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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 14, 2012, 12:44 AM   #21
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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, 02:35 AM   #22
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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, 01:58 PM   #23
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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, 02:02 PM   #24
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...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!
A real dream is if they can shoot in RAW at anywhere from 24fps to 120fps.
Now thats a dream
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 05:18 PM   #25
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A real dream is if they can shoot in RAW at anywhere from 24fps to 120fps.
Now thats a dream
That dream is called the RED EPIC (although it does a bit more than that)
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