View Full Version : First 7D test shoot - too many questions!

07-17-2010, 05:48 AM
Hey all.

Just took my 7D out for the first time to do some test shots and video at a local jam night. My gosh am I impressed! Managed to get some really nice DOF transitions going between two guitarist and was pleasantly surprised at how intuitive it actually is to modify focus while shooting (something that I was a bit concerned about).

Obviously however I now have some questions. I make no excuse if any of these seem basic or beginner - I fail to see the point in making assumptions on a subject matter I'm trying to get in to!

1. All the footage I shot was in 720/60 as I wanted the choice of being able to slow down footage easily (to see if I could get some nice cymbal/guitar string movement, etc). Is that overkill? Should I do everything at 1080p instead (given adequate file capacity etc).

2. I have access to Premiere/After Effects CS4 (PC). I've read thread after thread as to what format to convert the footage to for editing with many, many differing opinions. I'm trying to find a middle ground (and trying to compile it in a way that hopefully we can get a sticky out of it), but does anyone have any links to any tutorials that would be better suited to letting me decide which format would be best for my purposes?

3. One of the concerns I have about the file conversion is file size. I understand the 4GB max on FAT32, and most laptops run NTFS. But just out of curiosity, as converting the file will create a larger file than the original, has anyone had problems with say, a converted version of a 4GB source file? (copying to other media, backups etc).

4. Does anyone have any tips for shooting in a low light environment? (I've attached some sample shots I took on the night). I only have the Canon EFS 18-135 (currently) and did try sticking to ISO 160/320/640/1250 on the night (which I believe are the sensors native ISOs so gives less noise).

5. I am very aware of the different colour representations different screens give. I only have a laptop and a limited budget, so was thinking about using my HDTV in the living room as a secondary monitor while editing. Would you recommend this? I have noticed before when viewing photos on the TV from the laptop that the colours seem extremely vibrant, which could be just as bad as using a muted display.

Whew! Thats about it I think. Any tips would be fantastically welcomed!



07-17-2010, 06:02 AM
First, welcome to DVXuser. Now, onto your questions which I will try to answer as simply as is possible.

1. The 7D only shoots 60 fps at 720p, it does not have a 60 fps capability at 1080p. Even still, it's probably better to pick and choose which shots you want to use slow motion on instead of shooting everything at 720p/60fps.

2. I don't have any links on hand, although I'm sure you can find a bunch on these forums. In my experience, the most widely used conversion codec is Apple Pro Res as it creates a high enough quality master to cut and adjust in post without creating a ridiculously high file size after transcoding. I'd venture to say that for 99% of the projects you'll do, converting the native H.264 files to Apple Pro Res for editing and post work will do you just fine.

3. I have never run across this problem and I don't know anyone who has.

4. Fast lenses are your friend. Canon's EF 50mm F1.4 is the key to success for shooting night exteriors in my opinion, as are most lenses in the sub F2.0 range. Good job sticking to the native ISOs, that will help you reduce video noise.

5. Properly calibrated monitors are few and far between these days, it's almost a given that something you shoot will look different on your TV than it will on your computer screen. The best thing I can suggest for your situation is to look closely, and be consistent with your settings.

07-17-2010, 07:24 AM
Welcome. Don't know if you're on the Mac or PC side. The CS5 suite from Adobe is great now. It can playback and edit the native 7D footage. CS4 requires transcoding and I had the best luck with transcoding to DNxHD when I was working with it. You can always just use these files as proxies if you want, replacing the footage you edit with with the footage you shot.

Be careful shooting 720p. That setting gave me the most moire out of all of them. I rarely use slo mo.

Get a set of fast lenses.

Try viewing your productions on many different types of monitor and get a good display at home. I used to have a friend at Best Buy who would let me come in and take a look at my work on their displays. This was before I had an LCD and a Plasma to look at in my studio.

If you're on a Mac, you don't have to use FCP. You can use the Adobe suite if you're going to be going between applications with your work. Been happy doing that for years now.

Don't worry about #3. Not a problem.

07-17-2010, 08:51 AM
Not trying to thread hijack here but just a quick question/confirmation on the OP questions...

Are the ISO's he listed the right ones (ie native) to be using? Put another way, are the ISO's he mentions the ones everyone seems to prefer? I am sure he is on the right track, I just wanted to ask if anyone else had found anything contrary or better.



07-17-2010, 09:20 AM
Not trying to thread hijack here but just a quick question/confirmation on the OP questions...

Are the ISO's he listed the right ones (ie native) to be using? Put another way, are the ISO's he mentions the ones everyone seems to prefer? I am sure he is on the right track, I just wanted to ask if anyone else had found anything contrary or better.



they are the right ones

07-17-2010, 09:26 AM
they are the right ones

Thank you.

07-17-2010, 09:30 AM

1.) like mentioned before, i would def stick to shooting at a higher res (1080p) and only handpick the shots i want to shoot in 720/60p for your mentioned reason.

2.) i would recommend cs5 over cs4 especially for this whole DSLR thing (premiere is great)

3.) no concern there

4.) you pretty much nailed the ISO's down, but as far as glass goes... i'd stick to primes and would recommend the same to you. fast primes. even a cheap 50mm 1.8 would do wonders in low light (my all-time favorite is the 85mm 1.2, if money is a problem then again stick to f/1.8 at least)

5.) cant comment on this, maybe if production isn't as serious this could slide, but def a problem if you want accuracy in color, etc... signal is different, so is the color and all... calibration perhaps? i would personally get a monitor and calibrate it as best as possible.

07-19-2010, 04:48 AM
Hey guys, many many thanks for the responses. Good to see that I'm attempting to do thing properly!

I am using Windows only and therefore cannot use that ProRes coden for editing (from what I've been able to see). I just dont want to convert into something thats lossy, and then have to export to a format that will deteriorate the quality further.

On the subject of which, what format would you recommend for exporting from Premiere? I'm stuck with CS4 unfortunately. Ideally I'd like to export at best quality possible - I'd rather end up with a large file and then reencode it to whatever format I like.

Regarding Q5, I've been recording music for years so I guess I'll just transfer the 'listen-to-it-on-as-many-different-speakers-as-possible' rule to the video side.

Again many thanks for your help so far. Hopefully I'll be in a position to reciprocate soon.



07-19-2010, 05:10 AM
A big mistake people keep mentioning is to stick with a 50mm prime. A zoom lens for a live event will ALWAYS be better for a prime as you have different focal lengths. If he wanted to get right on top of a band player on stage and get a full shot he could NOT do it with a 50mm. For all you people know he shot that at 18mm.

Don't worry about what people say, a little noise is find as to me it reminds me of film grain which looks wonderful. That perfect balance is all you need. Also remember there is nothing wrong with the kit lens and by looking at your pics the footage looks great.

Yes a 50mm prime will result in a sharper image but with that comes no IS and No different focal length. Personally I would NEVER use a 50mm for a live event as you need to get as close as possible to the stage to get the best shots and avoid a crowd.

The best lens would within a short range would be the 17-50mm by Canon, problem is it cost close to $1K. If you were going to use primes you better be quick in switching lenses and I would recommend having a 20mm or 30mm for live events as well as a 50mm as it is one of the sharpest lens created BUT you will need a rig as you can forget about going handheld with that lens