Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Converting Canon 5D Mark IV into a Video Camera for short film production. Best gear?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Converting Canon 5D Mark IV into a Video Camera for short film production. Best gear?

    Hello,

    I purchased a Canon 5D Mark IV last year to use as a stills camera.
    However, more and more I find myself using it for 1080p video production because of it's excellent DPAF, even if it's a little unbalanced to use out in the field with minimal rigging.
    At most, I've put it on a cheap shoulder mount or tripod and that's it. I've even preferred using it over something like a Sony FS5 because it just seems a lot easier to get a nice looking image with less post production time.

    Recently, I've been commissioned to produce a short film on a under $10K budget, which is quite exciting for me because I normally do special events and corporate video.

    I also have to deliver the final product in 4K.

    So that said, I have some questions that I was hoping advice or answers could be provided on because while I have used proper video cameras before, I haven't done as much DSLR filmmaking.


    #01:
    I am aware of the large crop of the 4K with the 5DmkIV. The widest lens I have is a 24-105mm, so from what I gathered the best lenses to overcome it so that you can get wide angle shots in 4K are:

    Sigma ART 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Lens for Canon (it's supposed to work out from what I read online? even though it's not full-frame)
    Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM
    Sigma ART 12-24mm f/4.0 DG HSM Lens for Canon
    Canon EF 11-24mm f4L USM

    It's my understanding all those lenses also work just fine with the DPAF. I had heard of the Tokina 11-16 F2.8 being recommended, but I wasn't sure if that one could do auto focusing.

    I have minimal crew on the camera side, so did not want to have to rely on manual only lenses and having a camera assistant to pull focus for every scene. What I've done so far with DPAF as a one-man band, I've been quite happy with.

    #02:
    I would like to invest in an external, on-camera field monitor to overcome the lack of zebras and histograms on the 5D Mark IV.
    Is there a definitive amazing monitor that does this?

    I've heard good things about the Small HD brand.

    Also, are there any external field monitors with touch screen you can "tap" to also do the DPAF?
    Does that technology exist?
    I suppose the alternative would be using the "Canon Camera Connect" app on my iPhone.

    #03:
    I will have to do some scenes outdoors, so would require ND filters. I would just be using my Canon EF lenses to shoot this -- I presume the simplest solution is just to place a screw-on filter on the lens itself instead of a whole matte box setup?
    I know from my experience with the FS100s that variable ND filters really make things unsharp, so it's better to use dedicated ND's.

    #04:
    Any recommendations on EVF's?
    If you use one of those Zacuto EVF's that clip onto the camera body, how do you use the DPAF? Or is it back to using your iPhone to do it?

    #05:
    Can you power a 5D Mark IV off a v-mount battery? What would be fantastic is if there was a rig that both powered and fit the camera, monitor and external audio recorder.
    Does such a thing exist without having to pick and choose bits and pieces from different vendors? A nice, all-in-one, if you want to make a frankenstein rig, this is what you need?


    Thanks!

    #2
    Just a few notes...

    - The camera has a histogram...cycle through the display options. (But a histogram with more information from an external monitor will definitely be better.)

    - No third-party external monitors for any camera offer touchscreen control over the camera's features unless the monitors are built to specifically work with the camera's hardware (i.e. RED monitor).

    - High-quality glass variable ND filters don't soften the image too much...I usually use a Tiffen 82mm with step-rings for various lenses. But solid NDs are known to be better.

    - I use a PowerBase70 battery to power all DSLRs/mirrorless cameras. It offers a 1/4-20 thread below the battery for a tripod plate and the camera sits comfortably on top with the built-in camera plate. I like to have the camera sit on the battery as it's a clean setup without having the battery hanging from rails. You'll need a correct regulated LP-E6 D-tap cable.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...0_Battery.html

    Comment


      #3
      Also about the 18-35mm...it will vignette when shooting 1080p in FF, but not 4K.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Budgieboots View Post
        I have minimal crew on the camera side, so did not want to have to rely on manual only lenses and having a camera assistant to pull focus for every scene. What I've done so far with DPAF as a one-man band, I've been quite happy with.
        Depending on the nature of your shoot, DPAF may or may not be useful, because the camera doesn't know what you want to focus on and when. Tokina recently released an 11-20mm f/2.8 APS-C lens, I have no idea how well it performs with DPAF though.

        Originally posted by Budgieboots View Post
        I would like to invest in an external, on-camera field monitor to overcome the lack of zebras and histograms on the 5D Mark IV.
        I got a 7" Lilliput 664/O/P because is was $110 on ebay; SmallHD monitors are substantially better, but their also quite a bit more expensive. Lilliput, Aputure, and FeelWorld make decent budget options that support false color, zebra stripes, and focus peaking.

        Originally posted by Budgieboots View Post
        I will have to do some scenes outdoors, so would require ND filters. I would just be using my Canon EF lenses to shoot this -- I presume the simplest solution is just to place a screw-on filter on the lens itself instead of a whole matte box setup?
        I know from my experience with the FS100s that variable ND filters really make things unsharp, so it's better to use dedicated ND's.
        It depends, not all VNDs are created equal. The SLR Magic and Genus Solar Eclipse are some of the best relatively affordable VNDs. Here's a variable ND sharpness test mini shoot out that I did. Cheap standard NDs have their own list of problems, so you have to dish out a bit of money for good filters either way you go. Matte boxes have their place, but you can often get by with just a good lens hood. If you want to use graduated or blender NDs, then you should probably get a matte box. I almost always use a polarizer filter on outdoor shoots, but it's kinda a taste thing, and they don't work for all shots.

        Originally posted by Budgieboots View Post
        Can you power a 5D Mark IV off a v-mount battery?
        Yes, Lanparte makes everything you need, great quality stuff, but it's kinda expensive.

        P.S. Look into MagicLantern hacks for your camera.
        Last edited by Imamacuser; 09-12-2017, 04:23 PM.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Imamacuser View Post
          P.S. Look into MagicLantern hacks for your camera.
          No ML for IV.

          Comment


            #6
            I appreciate the advice.

            Also as a point of interest, I found I could sort of get around the large MJPEG filesizes by transcoding it over to H264 when putting it on my computer.

            I've never used the FS7, but it's supposed to record it's 4K, 23.98fps content at 240mbps, so I used that as the data rate I down converted to from 500mbps.

            I think the FS5 has it's 4K at 100mbps.

            Out of curiosity, is there a defacto standard for 4K data rates? I recall once hearing that 100mbps is about the lowest you should go for 4K video content if you want to push it around later.

            Comment


              #7
              The results (image-quality) vary depending on the codec/format and the internal processing...some cameras just look better than others.

              But for reference, ProRes 422HQ (an industry-standard) is 707mbps in UHD (754 in 4K) @24p. Lower #s for regular 422 and higher ones for 444.

              If you can, you should really try to work with your original footage for the best results...unless it's just impossible to keep up with storage costs.

              Comment


                #8
                While I know that you did state you want to use your 5D4 to film the project, have you given thought or asked the people you are working for if it is in the budget to rent? If you wanted to stay in family, you could pretty easily rent a C300M2 w/ external recorder. Yes, it would cost more but it also might end up saving you some time in post. You also get some added benefits of not having to worry about/calculate for that 1.7x crop we 5D4 owners currently deal with. Also, kitting it out is will be much easier (IMO) as you'll have access to more and varied options. If you start buying V-mounts and other specialized items for your 5D4 I'd guess you'll start racking up some expenses quite quickly. Again, it might be worth it to just borrow a C300M2 from a friend or rent it.

                I also noticed that you didn't talk about audio/sound at all. The 5D4 isn't going to have the XLR inputs like the Canon Cinema Camera line has. Didn't know if you had accounted for that or not as it might be important.

                Congrats on landing the gig and all the best to you!

                Comment


                  #9
                  One word of caution. If you use up your budget buying gear, you won't have any left to produce this film.

                  With the few items you have questioned above I already see $4K of your under $10K budget being spent.

                  I have no idea about the other gear you have, but there are tons of things missing from your list.

                  If it were me, I would put together a hard budget for your film, production and post, befor I started a wild spending spree.

                  All the best!

                  Dave

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks everyone!

                    Yeah, regarding sound, it was requested from the producers that it be recorded on a separate device, so I've got my own personal Tascam DR60 + Sennheiser MKH50 to do that.
                    They also indicated that they would prefer it be time code synced, which is something I still need to figure out how to do.

                    I know there's a "Camera In" and "Camera Out" port on the Tascam, just need to figure out what cable goes where.

                    Where I live, renting options for cinema cameras are a little bit slim unfortunately. There's only about two DSMC1 REDs here and their always booked months in advance.
                    Easier to own your own gear in a lot of cases if you're using it frequently enough. It's also nice not to have to worry about getting all the gear back on Monday.

                    That said, you can rent Canon lenses quite easily here, so probably a smarter move financially to just rent the wide angle lens I need for a week.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The Tokina 12-28mm is $200 off right now and could be an option if f/4 isn't too slow.

                      https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._at_x_pro.html

                      With that price, the rental costs might be more renting a lens for a week vs. purchasing one. Of course, it depends on the glass though.

                      And again, you'd have to shoot in 4K (which you should be doing anyway because it's just so much nicer than the HD...even if you want to deliver in HD later).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Budgieboots View Post
                        They also indicated that they would prefer it be time code synced, which is something I still need to figure out how to do.
                        You need a timecode generator for your camera.

                        Originally posted by Budgieboots View Post
                        Where I live, renting options for cinema cameras are a little bit slim unfortunately.
                        There are a number of online rental houses that ship the gear to you (lensrentals.com, lensprotogo.com etc.), so the sky is the limit.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Imamacuser View Post
                          You need a timecode generator for your camera.
                          Yep, you'll need something like the Tentacle Sync to get timecode with the 5Dmk4.

                          With your MKH50 and Tascam DR60 you should be good on the audio front. Do you have a boom pole and long XLR cable? Do you have a person to operate the boom microphone?

                          Don't forget about lighting, wardrobe, lighting, transportation, lighting, location permits and (most importantly) feeding your cast/crew. And lighting. ;) Lots of $$$ to be spent there.

                          I would personally forget the on-camera external monitor and just rely on the built-in screen using the awesome DPAF face tracking. It's amazing what you can do with the DPAF these days. Instead, I'd just get a cheap 27" HDMI computer monitor to have on set to see the image larger for your crew. Makes a huge difference vs a relatively small on-camera monitor, and probably much, much cheaper. Use the iPhone app to control the camera remotely (make sure you have an extended battery for the iPhone).

                          I wouldn't bother with a clip-on EVF. Covers up the touchscreen. Not worth it.

                          That Tokina 12-28mm for $250 sounds like a great deal! Just make sure it can attach properly to the 5D4. It will certainly vignette when shooting in Full Frame, but not when shooting 4K.

                          For ND filters, I have the Breakthrough Photography ND filters and they're fantastic. Not as convenient as the variable ND filters, but no loss of sharpness or color cast is worth it to me.

                          For the footage, I would absolutely keep the original large camera files. You should generate H264 proxies for editing purposes (even in 720p for faster editing), but when the final edit is done, just re-link to the original media for the best quality. Absolutely do not throw away the camera originals.

                          Best of luck!
                          Last edited by Jaime Valles; 09-13-2017, 09:39 AM.
                          Jaime VallÚs
                          AJV Media
                          Video, Photography & Graphic Design: www.ajvmedia.com

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Lots of great advice here, thank you all.

                            However, while we're on the subject of filming with the 5D Mark IV...

                            Have any of you used the "Nebula 5100 Slant 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal with Built-In Encoder"

                            https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...tIIaAuD68P8HAQ

                            It seems promising for being able to run, basically your 5D body + hopefully the 24-105 lens.

                            My only frame of reference with gimbals though is using a Letus Helix Jr with the FS5 -- which has been fantastic, so I was looking at this as a smaller, more compact option than even the Helix JR + FS5 combo.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              if you would like to focus from and external monitor you could use a mobile device like and iPad or even something as small as an iPod Touch. with my 1DXmkII i had to buy an add on device ($700) in order to hook up to the mobile devices. it does work pretty good but there is a little bit of latency when you touch to assign or re-assign the AF square. still very workable. i don't know if the built in wireless capabilities are as good or as quick as the add on gadget i bought for my 1DxmkII though. the biggest negative i have about doing this is that it takes 60-90 seconds to go thru the process of linking the camera and iPad. in a rush its frustration and not always practical. the safest thing to do is keep both items from going to sleep as to not risk losing connection then having to go thru the process again to like them back up.

                              david

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X