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View Full Version : Sick of my T2I , looking for alternative suggestions



fixxxer76
07-17-2012, 05:49 PM
Let me start by saying I am a hobbyist who likes to make short skits/films for fun. I do a lot of research and spend a lot of time reading about filming, lighting , using NLE's etc. I currently have a T2I (magic lanterned) with a nikon prime 35 f2.8, Canon 17-55 f2.8 and canon 50 f1.8. My problem is I cannot get great looking images. I have problems w/ sharpness resolution, and aliasing. I have the canon 17-55 which is supposed to be L series glass but I'm just not getting what I want. I know the h.264 codec for canon sucks so I'm asking What other people can suggest. I keep reading the GH2 (with hack) is great but that means I have to get a micro 4/3 converter or new glass, is that worth it? Should I spring for the Mark III? I feel like I would still have resolution and codec problems. Should I save up for the FS100? I'd like to stay under 5K. Any suggestions. Thanks

paulhouston
07-17-2012, 06:18 PM
Get a GH2 which seems to meet your requirements of sharpness resolution without aliasing. Also get some Panny and/or Zuiko lenses. Altogether they will be under $5K

ulisses
07-17-2012, 06:20 PM
Gh2

fixxxer76
07-17-2012, 06:20 PM
Forgot to comment on the fact that there might be a gh3 coming soon? should i wait for an announcement on that

maranfilms
07-17-2012, 06:31 PM
never wait for a camera. Its a waste of time. If you feel your canon is holding you back, then get a gh2 and call it a day. Even if there were a gh3 coming soon, you better believe you will be waiting for a while before you can even get your hands on one. This is how pani does it, it was like that with the gh1,2. It took me three monthes to get a gh2 after it was released. What is it about the Canon you feel is not good enough? What do you shoot? and do you have the ability to light your scenes or whatever. just curious as to why a hobbyist is hitting the wall with a very good camera.

fixxxer76
07-17-2012, 07:14 PM
I have led lights and shoot outdoors. However, when i bring my 1080p image into after effects and premeire it just doesn't look crisp or anything like what i see on vimeo from 5d's and Gh2's. At first I thought it might be my focusing , but I have since bought a viewfinder and use magic lantern for focus peeking. Nothing is sharp even though i use an L glass lens, shoot with enough light at low iso and sharpen in post. Maybe there is something wrong with my camera. Maybe I am missing something else. Yes, I am a hobbyist , but I would like to get the most out of doing it and not waste my time with images that I don't like.

unadog
07-18-2012, 02:03 AM
Love my Canon T3i and T4i. Beautiful images, great quality.

I lost a long post when my browser crashed.

Have a look at this, and read it through a few times. Then test, test, test:

http://philipbloom.net/2011/09/18/pictureprofiles/

Basically you should be shooting using the AdobeRGB color space, not sRGB.

Use the "Neutral" or "Faithful" Picture Styles, or one of the special Styles covered in the Bloom article: Flaat, Cinestyle, etc.

You want: no sharpening, low contrast, low saturation. Turn off the Canon "scene auto compensation" or whatever it is called if yiu have it.

Exposure should fit toward the right of the histogram without clipping, and without going too far to the left for the shadows (very little data at the "bottom")

You are trying to capture as much data as possible, then massage that in post to get the "look" you want. You are trying to avoid throwing away or damaging data in camera.

It would probably pay to spend 2-3 months mastering that camera and crating a look that you can love. Even if you do swap out later, you will learn a lot about customizing the image and working with color spaces and digital data.

If the pros can make the 7D work for TV, you should be able to get usable images from the T2i.

Good luck!
Michael

unadog
07-18-2012, 02:23 AM
Bloom has a rundown on most of the cameras. I'll link to it, but this is part of his take on the T2i:

Canon Rebel T2i/ 550dThe new kid on the block and a damn impressive one too.... This baby ups the game and is the first consumer DSLR that Canon have made with full HD and full manual control. Itís killer. With an image of almost comparable quality to the pro 7D it has taken the market by storm and rightly so.

http://test98362.philipbloom.net/2011/03/17/whichdslr/

Gillvane
07-18-2012, 09:24 AM
Here's some sample footage in a head to head test of most of the good cameras out there:

http://www.zacuto.com/shootout-revenge-2012/revenge-the-great-camera-shootout-part-two

A lot of it is subjective so really depends on what you like as far as a look. Also, from watching this you can see that about 80-90% of the "look" is done in post and with the right post production tools one camera can look pretty darn close to another.

Also, try this. Go screen something with a bunch of people, not film makers just people that watch movies, and then ask them to critique the cinematography. See if any of them actually notice the things you're talking about.

fixxxer76
07-18-2012, 11:16 AM
Unadog, thanks for the info. I do shoot cinestyle and try to slightly underexpose my image. I also love phillip bloom and have read his guides for t2i's. I don't know. Maybe its the way my computer is interacting with my monitor. I use a nvidia graphics card hdmi out to sony bravia 32". I will try to view my footage on other monitors/tvs and see if that helps. Gillvane , I have done what you suggested and the common person thinks the stuff I made "looks like a movie" So maybe I am being to critical. That's a good thing though, I guess.

unadog
07-18-2012, 03:02 PM
I don't know.

I understand completely! :)

In 1998, when i first started shooting color film 80%+ of the time (from almost all B&W), I moved up to the Mamiya 7II from a 645, and shot my first rolls of 6x7 slide film - probably Provia?

I got that first roll back and it just looked like crap. Partly the Mamiya 7II has a very funky meter, partly I was 100% used to the wide latitude of negative film. Here I had just spent $4,500+ on 2 bodies, 3 lenses, etc. The film with processing was $1 per frame, with a 20 frame roll and the need to do a 3 shot bracket. An the images looked like a $100 35mm film point & shoot and drugdtore 3"x5"'s.

I was pretty depressed, figured I knew nothing about photography (despite 20 years of experience and a bachelors degree), etc. Pretty traumatic.

Eventually I settled on shooting Portra 160NC for the huge latitude and low saturation, then developed a workflow in post to use curves get the look I wanted - contrasy, saturation, gradation, sharpening. The key was capturing as much data as possible up front, then finding the style/look/aesthetic you wanted in post. 160NC, Velvia, Cross Processing, etc.

I heard the same thing over and over again when the 20D, 30D, 1DsII, etc. were launched from various pros - "It took me a year to develop my own style based on XX camera. Now I have to go through that all over again. This constant upgrading is crazy!"

That was because we were all pretty new to color calibration (which I consider essential), color spaces (SRGB AdobeRGB, etc.) , data/image manipulation, combing, curves, etc.


I just got a Canon T4i and am still working out how to handle the files for video (from a stills perspective, it is almost a clone of my $8,000 1DsII 16MP from 8 years ago, as is the T3i, etc.)

What is worse, I have memory issues (from chronic pain), so I am trying to find a way to document the workflow/"looks" that I develop, my processing options in post, etc. to get some kind of "suite" of image looks(a "Look Book") based on what I think/feel/respond to. I have to try to write everything down.

It is somewhat counter-intuitive, that to do CREATIVE work that pleases you AESTHETICALLY, you need to take a deep dive into the TECHNICAL, and almost become an ENGINEER.

At least until you get control over the available tools, and can produce something that is pleasing to you. Then you (hopefully) go back to just being an image maker again, not an engineer, or your work is dull and boring ...

One process that I have found useful when I am "stuck", is to go out and make images/videos. Then choose the 1 (or 3) images/frames/colors/subjects - anything - that I like, and try to build on that.

Make more images, a project, around that, and kjeep building until you havea project or style that pleases you. In teh end, that is what is impoartant (when not doing paid work for customers.)

Great tools, but a steep learning curve to become "professional" enough to get the results you are after. All I can say is that it is encoyraging to see that others whose work and aesthetic we respect have gotten there, and seem satisfied with the tools. We are all in the same boat, in one way or another. Great tools available at very low cost compared to the film days, but they are challanging, and there is a lot to learn.

(If all else fails and you are stuck - copy what you admore until you find your own path!) :beer:

Now if I could just remember to check exposure and focus when I am shooting .... what a slippery slope with memory/cognitive impairment!!! :angry:

Good luck!

Best,
Michael

unadog
07-18-2012, 03:52 PM
Just found this too on the Bloom site. His "Christmas Shootout" from January 2012, with a ton of cameras and profiles. Including the 7D, GH2, etc.

http://philipbloom.net/2012/01/06/christmas-shootout/


Picture profiles used:
Sony NEX5N, Flat PP
AF100 RANGE PP
C300 C-LOG
GH2 Driftwood Hack nostalgia and dialed down
5Dmk2 Marvels Advance
7D Marvels Advance
FS100 G-LOG A
F3 AB-RANGE
F3 S-Log
Nikon D7000 Flat

Should give you a lot of info, and a lot to think about. Maybe just buy the Canon C300 and call it a day? :huh::)

Cheers!
Michael

jambredz
07-20-2012, 09:00 AM
I too wonder why you are not able to get good images out of your camera. I know I'm not so satisfied with the res of my 7d but every time I start feeling that way I look on some of my past work which i have lit well and it settles me. Res is not everything. example these shots from a commercial i did. https://vimeo.com/37853661 Proper lighting goes a loong way . I know I'm gonna prob end up with a gh3 or gh2 sometime next year (or something comparable for the price.) But thats not till next year. For now I try to hone better skills.

vision_filmz
07-22-2012, 10:33 PM
Let me start by saying I am a hobbyist who likes to make short skits/films for fun. I do a lot of research and spend a lot of time reading about filming, lighting , using NLE's etc. I currently have a T2I (magic lanterned) with a nikon prime 35 f2.8, Canon 17-55 f2.8 and canon 50 f1.8. My problem is I cannot get great looking images. I have problems w/ sharpness resolution, and aliasing. I have the canon 17-55 which is supposed to be L series glass but I'm just not getting what I want. I know the h.264 codec for canon sucks so I'm asking What other people can suggest. I keep reading the GH2 (with hack) is great but that means I have to get a micro 4/3 converter or new glass, is that worth it? Should I spring for the Mark III? I feel like I would still have resolution and codec problems. Should I save up for the FS100? I'd like to stay under 5K. Any suggestions. Thanks


It's not the camera, it's you... Many & I mean MANY people are achieving excellent footage with canons, stop worrying about the codec and learn it's weaknesses to use it's strengths....

Gillvane
07-23-2012, 10:30 AM
IMO, the only real next jump is Raw video. Raw let's you do a lot with the image in post, just like shooting Raw stills gives you so much more latitude than just shooting .jpg.

I'd get something that shoots Raw if you're not happy with your current DSLR footage.

nothing
07-23-2012, 11:23 AM
It really sounds like the problem is soft focus. Simply having a loupe and turning on focus peaking doesn't automatically solve the issue - sharp focus is still the hardest part of DSLR video shooting for novices.

What f-stop are you shooting at? Sometimes good fast lenses work against you if you don't know what you are doing.

Raw capability will do absolutely nothing to solve these problems.

antcuc
07-23-2012, 11:33 AM
Maybe post some sample footage so we can see what you're upset about? I have a t3i and 5dmii and have also shot with AF-100 and I think they are all very similar in terms of resolution/sharpness if you're shooting with good glass.

fixxxer76
07-25-2012, 11:09 AM
I believe it is soft focus, I try and use f stops around 5-8 to avoid to shallow depth of field, I honestly think there's an issue with my camera or 17-55 lens. I seem to get sharper images out of my cheap 55-250 ef-s. I am seeing issues with tack sharpenss in still images also. I also forgot that I had a UV filter on which may have been degrading my image.

heres a sample image , cinestyle , 17-55 2.8 lens.

57216

antcuc
07-25-2012, 11:52 AM
17-55 2.8 is a great lens, I've used it before without any problems. Your screenshot does look a little soft but we can't exactly determine how you shot it that day.

The best thing to do imho is take your camera out and do some test shots right now. Try it full wide, closeup and even medium. I would use a basic focus test chart like one of these: http://www.dsclabs.com/free_charts.htm

Test backfocus, if you zoom all the way in and focus, and pull all the way out and it's not still in focus, you have a problem.

Use a monitor, you can't rely on the camera lcd alone, unless maybe if you have a magnifying loupe.

And then post your results here if you need further reassurance.

And one more thing, if you find you do have a focus problem. It could be either the camera or lens. So borrow a friends camera and lens and do some cross testing.

fixxxer76
07-25-2012, 12:52 PM
I definitely am going to try these tests. Thanks

nothing
07-25-2012, 02:35 PM
Test backfocus, if you zoom all the way in and focus, and pull all the way out and it's not still in focus, you have a problem.


That lens is not parfocal, this test won't tell you anything useful .

unadog
07-25-2012, 02:45 PM
Use a monitor, you can't rely on the camera lcd alone, unless maybe if you have a magnifying loupe.

I never tried it with the T2i, but with my T4i, my 42" HD LCD TV makes a big, beautiful "monitor" via HDMI. The T4i images are just stunning there.

I assume it will work well for you if it auto syncs the display resolution, at least until you start recording. Not sure if the T2i kicks down then like the 5DII?

You could also try the 50 1.8 and compare that to the 17-55 on screen. Never used the 17-55.

I always had a bunch of L glass - 7 L lenses. The 24-70 is the one I like and trust the most. I am downsizing to 3 primes & 3 zooms for a more "consumer kit." The one L lens I will keep as my go-to lens for best quality is the 24-70 (Also keeping the 70-200 4.0 - instead of the 2.8 - because of weight.)


Michael