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View Full Version : 5DMkII Test Review with Nikons/SteadyTracker



holyzoo
03-30-2009, 02:01 PM
This isn't any official production, just test footage. But those who never get tired of seeing more 5DMkII video examples, here's more:

http://www.vimeo.com/3927858

I tested with a bunch of Nikon primes and loved being able to adjust aperture without a hassle, and have the camera do the rest of the exposure control, then just lock it. I didn't have the right ND filters to accomplish slower shutter speed with the brighter sunlight.

Hand held with anything more than 55mm lens and everything turns into a mess. The SteadyTracker which I had first seen used by Barton Elton, met my expectations and I'm jazzed to have it now. I also tried out the MultiRig pro with the 5D and it is rock solid. Killer combo. Unfortunately I didn't have a chance to try the MultiRig Pro with an 85mm or 105mm lens - I'd predict it would still be a mess. But that's what tripods are for!

I also shot 1000s of photos this weekend which I may add to this thread. The photo quality is obviously tremendous. However, I would need to spend many more days to get used to fully manually controlling it. It's definitely not intuitive.

Back to video, I transcoded to DVCPRO HD and editing was easy on a Dual 2.5 PowerMac. Although the raw 5DMkII files played horribly on it. The 8-core Mac Pro at work has no problem whatsoever playing it, but it can't handle editing of course. I didn't see any moire, jaggies, or any bad macro blocking or encoding artifacts - nothing showstopping at all. In short, I'm blown away by the image and DOF. Absolutely stunning. Thrilled to be able to use my Nikon lenses easily without the RedRock Micro and HVX's horrible light handling, bulky weight, and hack setup.

I shot some HVX200 footage and tried cutting between them, and it's possible with a bunch of color tweaking. I could see mixing them when the HVX is needed to get deep DOF, overcranking, controlled shutter speed, etc. But resolution, light sensitivity, and the large sensor DOF characteristics just blow the HVX200 away. I've considered selling my HVX after seeing this footage, but the 5D is definitely not a replacement in many situations, especially critical professional scenarios with clients who don't even care about DOF, etc. That's when I'd go primary on the HVX, and go for special shots (time/patience permitted) with the 5DMkII.

My biggest gripe was the camera freezing and locking up when recording video. It happened maybe 6 times over the weekend shooting about 48GB worth of video. Had to eject the battery to bring it back to life. I didn't mind the lack of manual controls actually. Tricking it is pretty easy. And in bright light would just need to have ND filters to prevent fast shutter when you want slow. Regarding getting fast shutter in low light? It's somewhat possible by the time it gets to 3200 ISO.

The fixed LCD didn't piss me off as much as I thought it would, but it also meant I didn't go for any low angle shots. Oh well.

Outside of needing absolute control for meticulous camera setup, I love it, and see it as a tremendous creative tool. It's going to be this or the GH1, unless NAB announces something in the $5000 range that has a big CMOS sensor. Or I may just pull the trigger and score this if I can find it in stock.

Nearly sold....

-steev

DREWjoseph82
03-30-2009, 03:21 PM
Nice creeper faces, haha.

Emanuel
03-30-2009, 03:24 PM
The SteadyTracker which I had first seen used by Barton Elton, met my expectations and I'm jazzed to have it now. Hi Steev (how long...),

Which model?

E. :-)

Thomas J. O'Hara
03-30-2009, 04:00 PM
Funny story - I used to work for Imagination Entertainment in San Diego, it was a temp job and I was to go through all their artist/act demos and build a database. They had Soul in the Machine amongst the band demos. I remembered you from the days of building adapters (I'll always remember that one where you attached a gazillion parts to make the longest adapter ever) So ya, nice tests, footage is looking solid. This camera makes it easy. I'd like to try out some stabilizers, I guess I'll get my hands on these ones you're talking about sooner or later.

holyzoo
03-30-2009, 04:24 PM
Hi Steev (how long...),

Which model?

E. :-)

It's the SteadyTracker Extreme. I'd have to measure the length of it. It's about 2feet to 2.5feet long. It weighs about 7lbs without a camera attached. It's meant to be used with a heavier camera, but I found it to work just fine. It does make me wonder about the SteadyTracker Light with is only 3lbs without a camera, and would make things WAY easier. I was able to operate the Extreme for about 30 minutes with a lot of rests in between, and then I was totally done. Any more attempts would have probably given me an upper back muscle strain. To me, the SteadyTracker is in alignment with the 5DMkII itself - to get by with these tools on the cheap. The SteadyTracker is only $200-$250. And that beats the snot out of paying $2700-$5000+ for a good gimble/vest set up. The other thing is, you don't have to spend nearly any time setting up balance on it. I put a manfrotto plate on it full time, so i can just slide the cam on there, or take it off an throw it on a tripod, or the MultiRig Pro.

I'm just now thinking of how the rest of a rig might go, but I'm going to want to stick with the initial idea of keeping things simple. I'm not sure how I feel about all of this:

http://www.zacutoimages.com/p408746338/h7bf64d8#h7bf64d8

-steev

holyzoo
03-30-2009, 04:35 PM
Funny story - I used to work for Imagination Entertainment in San Diego, it was a temp job and I was to go through all their artist/act demos and build a database. They had Soul in the Machine amongst the band demos. I remembered you from the days of building adapters (I'll always remember that one where you attached a gazillion parts to make the longest adapter ever) So ya, nice tests, footage is looking solid. This camera makes it easy. I'd like to try out some stabilizers, I guess I'll get my hands on these ones you're talking about sooner or later.

Thanks for the good words. I'm glad Soul in the Machine have kept coming back. They keep progressing, and I end up progressing as well.

And yes... the damn adapter building days. Man, that was insanity! That all started for me in late 2004. Doesn't seem that long ago, but then again, it does. Question is, what will we be thinking about these early HDSLRs in 4 years.

-steev

Thomas J. O'Hara
03-30-2009, 06:07 PM
Question is, what will we be thinking about these early HDSLRs in 4 years.

-steev

We'll probably be saying things like "Damn, I can't believe we used to have to put our hand in front of the lens to get the exposure we want!"

PaPa
03-30-2009, 06:20 PM
God i love what this camera does, if only you could do 24p with it.

Kholi
03-30-2009, 06:44 PM
This isn't any official production, just test footage. But those who never get tired of seeing more 5DMkII video examples, here's more:

http://www.vimeo.com/3927858

I tested with a bunch of Nikon primes and loved being able to adjust aperture without a hassle, and have the camera do the rest of the exposure control, then just lock it. I didn't have the right ND filters to accomplish slower shutter speed with the brighter sunlight.

Hand held with anything more than 55mm lens and everything turns into a mess. The SteadyTracker which I had first seen used by Barton Elton, met my expectations and I'm jazzed to have it now. I also tried out the MultiRig pro with the 5D and it is rock solid. Killer combo. Unfortunately I didn't have a chance to try the MultiRig Pro with an 85mm or 105mm lens - I'd predict it would still be a mess. But that's what tripods are for!

I also shot 1000s of photos this weekend which I may add to this thread. The photo quality is obviously tremendous. However, I would need to spend many more days to get used to fully manually controlling it. It's definitely not intuitive.

Back to video, I transcoded to DVCPRO HD and editing was easy on a Dual 2.5 PowerMac. Although the raw 5DMkII files played horribly on it. The 8-core Mac Pro at work has no problem whatsoever playing it, but it can't handle editing of course. I didn't see any moire, jaggies, or any bad macro blocking or encoding artifacts - nothing showstopping at all. In short, I'm blown away by the image and DOF. Absolutely stunning. Thrilled to be able to use my Nikon lenses easily without the RedRock Micro and HVX's horrible light handling, bulky weight, and hack setup.

I shot some HVX200 footage and tried cutting between them, and it's possible with a bunch of color tweaking. I could see mixing them when the HVX is needed to get deep DOF, overcranking, controlled shutter speed, etc. But resolution, light sensitivity, and the large sensor DOF characteristics just blow the HVX200 away. I've considered selling my HVX after seeing this footage, but the 5D is definitely not a replacement in many situations, especially critical professional scenarios with clients who don't even care about DOF, etc. That's when I'd go primary on the HVX, and go for special shots (time/patience permitted) with the 5DMkII.

My biggest gripe was the camera freezing and locking up when recording video. It happened maybe 6 times over the weekend shooting about 48GB worth of video. Had to eject the battery to bring it back to life. I didn't mind the lack of manual controls actually. Tricking it is pretty easy. And in bright light would just need to have ND filters to prevent fast shutter when you want slow. Regarding getting fast shutter in low light? It's somewhat possible by the time it gets to 3200 ISO.

The fixed LCD didn't piss me off as much as I thought it would, but it also meant I didn't go for any low angle shots. Oh well.

Outside of needing absolute control for meticulous camera setup, I love it, and see it as a tremendous creative tool. It's going to be this or the GH1, unless NAB announces something in the $5000 range that has a big CMOS sensor. Or I may just pull the trigger and score this if I can find it in stock.

Nearly sold....

-steev

You and I are on the same wavelength. I agree with everything you've said. I bet you're excited about that GH1 articulating LCD huh? me too. Me too.

Emanuel
03-30-2009, 08:43 PM
It does make me wonder about the SteadyTracker Light with is only 3lbs without a camera, and would make things WAY easier. I'm just wondering if it can hold a 1.78 lbs camera plus lens (e.g. 24-105mm 1.5 lbs) or then a lighter wide such as the 11-16mm (Tokina with full frame coverage @16mm 1.26 lb). Even if with no much room for follow focus gear.

holyzoo
03-31-2009, 11:23 AM
I'm just wondering if it can hold a 1.78 lbs camera plus lens (e.g. 24-105mm 1.5 lbs) or then a lighter wide such as the 11-16mm (Tokina with full frame coverage @16mm 1.26 lb). Even if with no much room for follow focus gear.

Well certainly the SteadyTracker Extreme is a safer bet if you think you'll add on additional gear, like a LCD monitor. Only problem is the weight. Gotta do more front shoulder raises with 10-15lbs weights in the gym!