Need help choosing a camera (slr?) for green screen

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Ptit, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. Ptit macrumors regular

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    #1
    This is one bridge in technology everyone wants to finish building, the 4:4:4 / 4:2:2 / 4:2:0 where as most SLRs shoot a 4:2:0 with the accept-ion of Canon's 5D mkii having a larger full frame larger sensor shooting video for the rest and even the 5D is basically 4:2:0, now i read Canon's mkiii wil support 4:2:2

    as of date can anyone here tell me which SLR out there can do green screen as decent as a video cam and how long i can record, i forgot to mention most slr's are limited to 12 minutes as well.

    Cheers
     
  2. careypo macrumors member

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    #2
    The simple answer would be rent a Red MX or Epic camera instead of buying a DSLR. There are too many resolution artifacts with DSLRs that do line skipping to get to 1080p. If you have to buy a camera, I would get the Red Scarlet for Green Screens.

    However, the biggest factor in getting a good key from a camera is properly lighting. If you don't light and expose correctly, it doesn't matter how good your camera is. You won't be able to key a poorly lit and exposed green screen shot. You could make any Canon DSLR work, as long as, you light properly and expose properly.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Ptit thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Appreciate your response allot, i never knew about Red Scarlet

    I should of mentioned my budget too, around $1500-2000

    I was thinking a Canon 60D with a 18-200 Lens with Variable Neutral Density filter, or even a 50mm lens, you think i can pull off a decent green screen shoot, i also read that some company has created a LED lens with a custom screen that works flawless, but i do not know anyone to confirm this set up, had no chance to email friends in Cali working in studios to ask.
     
  4. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    This thing works perfectly, but will eat up you camera budget. A painted piece of plywood or a green died bed sheet well lit will do the trick as well.

    If you don't need broadcast quality nearly any camera will do the trick. I'd suggest something that shoots in an MPEG2 codec (HDV, XDCam, HDCam), AVCHD.

    Don't put all your money into the camera only. I assume you want to make a film, so you'll also need a decent audio kit.
     
  5. Ptit thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    You mean the LED light light set up?

    This is for music videos, recording the playback with a 2 beep at top of songs is all I need to cue them when editing., I'm not broadcasting live green screen just recording indoors with 3 soft boxes, 5x7 screen in the back, lighting seems fine but wondering if the slr issue where edges are not sharp can be resolved.

    For example, aside the fact damage is done while recording at 4:2:0 instead of 4:2:2 I have been advised in the past that a canon d60 with a 18-200 lens can do the trick, regardless of the canon 5d mkii and the full frame video on all slr cameras is pretty much the same deal, also aside the compression format.

    I'm more less asking for solutions like this, I know canon is about to release a 5d markiii with 4:2:2 set up before the end of this year including unlimited recording, audio controls like the d60, maybe even wifi but it's fantasy island still until it's actually a reality.

    I'm just after shooting the best green screen I can on a budget, I used the iPad and some canon compact cameras, a t2i and got cheesy results in premiere, FCP, iMovie and after effects, the best chroma was actually iMovie 9' was tricky to use it, I found out you could check advance editing and a chroma key option shows up, it was actually nicer then fcpx and FCP studio ( not testing 3rd party chroma)

    If you know a few set ups you can suggest please do share, the led light ring set up sounds kind of cool, which one i don't know .
     
  6. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    That thing costs about the same as your planned camera.

    It is not important what material your green screen is made of (I have used plywood, bedsheets, paper,...), it is more important how it is lit and that you victim stands far away from the green screen, and is lit separately. It is not very important either what camera you use (I got about the same results with a Canon XL1s, HV30 and Sony A1). The Chroma Sampling of the camera doesn't matter much either if you import your footage into ProRes.
    The best Chroma Key I got with FCP X/Motion 5 so far. It is great out of the box.

    Disclaimer: The scenario above is meant for distribution to DVD/BD or the web. Broadcast or big screen are a slightly different story.

    ----------

    You can find a lot of tutorials for Chroma Keying at Macbreak Studio, Creative Cow or Youtube.
     
  7. careypo macrumors member

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    #8
    I think your 60D is a good choice, but I think you need to spend more money on the lighting and the backdrop. You cannot use any green. It must be a very specific green color or it will not reach optimal saturation. You need a backdrop the is made for chroma keying not just any green bed sheet.

    You'll need at least two soft box lights for the backdrop and 2 or more lights for the talent. Lighting is the most important part of chroma keying. You will learn this the hard way when you pull your first key.
     
  8. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Not really. I normally use paint from the hardware store. You only have to tell the color mixer to give you a paint that consists of mainly green - not more than 5% of blue. Paint it in two layers, and you are good to go.
    Lighting and separation is more important than the color.
     
  9. alph45 macrumors member

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    #10
    you can key with any color as long as your subject isn't wearing/is the same color. Traditionally it's blue or green because people aren't blue or green, with the exception of the eyes.
     
  10. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #11
    I agree that the lighting is by far the most important aspect of pulling a clean key but if you are using a camera that is 4:1:1 or 4:2:0 transcoding into ProRes at 4:2:2 isn't going to improve the quality any. You'll just have 4:1:1 or 4:2:0 footage sitting inside a 4:2:2 codec.

    Working in a ProRes timeline could be helpful as it won't compound the codec problem but shoot with a lesser codec and hope to up the quality by transcoding into a better codec down the line.

    With that being said, has anyone mentioned that lighting is the most important part of this process?;)


    Lethal
     
  11. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    I wasn't aiming so much at the 4:2:2 aspect but the higher bitrate (less compression) in ProRes. I understand that you won't get back what your camera has thrown away in the compression to MPEG2 or h.264 act, but still...
     
  12. Ptit, Nov 6, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011

    Ptit thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    My green screen (s) and light kits are fine, just do not own a decent camera, i even shot with the iPad 2 with the lights and got away with one or two subjects at a distance for 720p youtube music videos.

    I read around that the Canon 7D is the only SLR Canon camera that outputs at 4:2:2 at 1080p via HDMi, http://cheesycam.com/canon-60d-vs-7d-hdmi-output-resolution-test/ the rest all do it a 480p :(

    The Canon 5D mkii can output the same as the 7d with Magic Latern's firmware, http://magiclantern.wikia.com/wiki/Magic_Lantern_Firmware_Wiki but how much is that ooohhh..freee, im tempted to buy a 5D its just a bit pricey

    Maybe the 7d is the best solution under $2000 bucks, the nano flash, led light kit are the price of a Canon 5dmkii., canons newer models next year that capture at 4:2:2 are 20k so that is out of my range.

    Any suggestions about the 7D, you guys have hands on with this camera?
     
  13. careypo, Nov 7, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011

    careypo macrumors member

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    #14
    Canon only puts badly scaled video out on the HDMI port. The new 5D MKIII is suppose to have a better output on the HDMI than any previous model. Green Screen shots fail on long hair and transparent objects. A good test is to place a plastic water bottle in the shot and see how well it keys. If you can key it out cleanly, then you have a good camera and lighting setup.
     
  14. Ptit, Nov 7, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011

    Ptit thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    nice to see a pro here, love it, why don't you make a few videos showing these tests

    So you think its worth it i get this from ebay:
    Canon EOS 5D MK II Body Kit + EF 24-105mm F4L IS USM + Kenko Pro 1D ND4 + ND8 filter = $3,325. / 2420€ includes FedEx shipping WW

    any suggestions welcomed, even if you think a video cam beats this for green screen.
    P.S. Notice i went over my budget
     
  15. careypo, Nov 7, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011

    careypo macrumors member

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    #16
    I think I got confused with all the EOS announcements from Canon. It looks like only the EOS 1D Mark 5 that has the clean resizing on the video. It has a new processor which resizes the video correctly rather than skipping lines. Talk about too many Ds and marks this and that.

    http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wc...on 1D mark IV camera&utm_campaign=Canon+EOS+D
     
  16. alph45 macrumors member

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    #17
    the hdmi output is for monitoring, not capture, and on the 7d works nicely for this job. as far as i'm aware your stuck with h.264 for capture which makes none of the dslr's ideal for keying, but based on your budget this is mute.

    btwn the 5dii and 7d i grabbed the 7d specifically for the 60fps at 720p but if that is not your need the 5dii outputs a nicer, full-frame image.

    that being said, some amazing results can be got from AE with proper lighting. Just transcode to ProRes 422.
     
  17. Ptit thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    720p is about what i am after actually, higher the better of course.

    i was trans coding to ProRess 422 before to import into fcp but for Af and Premiere i was just dropping the actual files.

    As for dslr use with green screen they really went at it here at this link, http://www.zacuto.com/shootout but i dont agree with everyone here, i see green in the girls hair still regardless of what all these people claim, did i miss something, they also claimed the 7D did the best of all in Green Screen, well one guy did anyway.

    what video or SLR camera would you recommend for shooting indoor green screen, can you recommend 3 budget cameras not exceeding $3200?
     
  18. handsome pete macrumors 68000

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    #19
    Is this a long term or on-going project you'll need this camera for? Because if not, then why don't you look into renting a camera for your greenscreen shots?
     
  19. Ptit thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    whats going on is i purchased a green screen kit with soft box continues lights for keeps, So its a long term project, i hope to rent out the space/studio, gear ad shoot often.
     
  20. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Does it have to be a DSLR? The Canon XF 100 gives you beautiful (for a single chip cam) 4:2:2 50mbps MPEG2 right out of the box.
    Costs $3k.
     
  21. Ptit, Nov 7, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011

    Ptit thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    yes i think im onto getting a normal camera, the guys at creative cow who work on films tell me the DSLR community is over hyping the technology, its not actually there yet but workable, great use with lens, time saving, all works faster but not their yet as far as clean green screen, the SLR shoot out link i posted was not convincing with Green Screen as well, i still see green in the girls hair they claimed their cameras recorded so clean and i had better luck with lower end DV cameras in the past.

    The only reason i was trying to find more info on SLRs for video was because they are smaller, bigger sensors, more portable, take great still photos, basically the future, but maybe in years to come i am told., not a decade but for the price im after may take a few years.

    You think its worth getting a used Canon XF 100 or a Panasonic HVX200?
     
  22. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    You had, since the Japanese tsunami, already problems to find a new one. B&H just has processed my order from two months ago.
     
  23. Ptit thread starter macrumors regular

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    #24
    your kidding, what a nightmare!
     
  24. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    Nope. Canon, Nikon and Olympus had production problems with their "pro" models. That tsunami has swept away whole factories - plus the no-go zone around Fukushima in which some of the factories were located.

    Back to topic on DSLR: I'm an ENG type of guy, so I won't be the one suggesting you to buy a DSLR. For me they are to clumsy for run and gun situations. They are fine for filmmakers if they can work around perceived or real technical shortcomings.

    In regards to hair and green: The biggest problem is with blond hair. I live in the middle of the Pacific, where people are dark, but you can do a lot while shooting already. Important is to light your green screen and talent separately, try to prevent green spill (hair light, back light and flagging help a lot). Modern day's software also helps you pull a great key. The spill suppressor in FCP6 was great already, but FCP X does a terrific job with keying.

    There's an interesting discussion on Macbreak Studio, and another one on Pixelcorps' YouTube Channel
     

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