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Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.

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Jared Cicon
Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 24, 2010 at 6:47:49 pm

Hi everyone,
I am entering a gear/equipment crossroads in my commercial production career. I am finally convinced that the 5DMarkII is the way to go. With the most recent firmware update it appears to have fixed the glitches and improved the performance to the point where there are no more excuses. Here is where I would appreciate some opinion.
1. I have produced national commercials, and with the philosophy of shooting 90% of the action on the stick. I have a 17 year background as a Wedding Photographer, so when I made the transition to commercial production, I simply kept the philosophy of letting the action tell the story instead of camera movement. However, considering that 10% of the live action will be off of the tripod, what would be the realistic purchase for me to achieve stability control when hand holding the 5D? I have seen some products from JAG ( http://www.cameratown.com/articles/DSLR_Cinematography3.cfm#axzz0uZI4KQqm ) and they seem a little pricey. Are there any options out there at a cheaper price tag, and what would constitute overkill, versus what I will really need in practicality?

2. I purchased a 14mm EF lens for a steal a few years ago and my wife has been under-utilizing it with her Rebel. so as far as a wide/fish I am set. I am looking into the 24mm-200mm, and the 100mm-400mm as the other two lenses I think I might purchase to complete my shooting range. I would like some opinion on these lens purchases and also if there is a Barlow lens that will allow me to double the value of the telefocal length with these EF lenses.

Thank you all for your time. I added a comment in the forum yesterday to an older post, and since I haven't heard any responses (and I usually do by now), I thought I would be more specific here with a new post. I appreciate the wealth of knowledge represented here at CC and loook forward to your opinions.

Jared


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Michael Sacci
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 24, 2010 at 9:25:59 pm

[Jared Cicon] " I am looking into the 24mm-200mm"
there has never been a lens in that range that was considered to be of any quality. Plus they are slow lenses, stay away from them.

Gear recommendations are all over this site. Jag35 gear is good quality but at the low end of the pricing scale. Zucato stuff at the high end. For handheld shoot even with a rig using lenses with IS is considered a must.

For the most part your thinking in the wrong directions, for video you need fast glass, adding a 2x extender kills the light and quality.

Spend more on quality glass, it is more important than the body.


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Jared Cicon
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 24, 2010 at 9:39:02 pm

Hi Michael,
Thanks for taking the time to offer your opinion. I surely understand where you are coming from. As a wedding photographer shooting medium format still photography for almost 2 decades I spent between $1,000-$2,500 apiece for several fixed focal length lenses. And this was in the early nineties mind you. So I do understand the importance of glass. What would your suggestions be knowing I need to cover the full telephoto range, since on set, I don't always have the luxury of moving the tripod. For the last several hours I have been researching and it was suggested I look into the EF 24mm-70mm 2.8 and the EF 70mm-200mm 2.8. Would you concur with this?

Do you have any specific recommendations regarding lenses for the commercial photography director?

Regarding a shoulder mount, could you tell me what you think about the HandySLR
http://www.youtube.com/user/5DFilmSchool#p/u/8/fDiVaV1wTDw ?

Thanks again for your time.
Jared


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Uli Plank
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 24, 2010 at 9:53:34 pm

The 24-105 with IS is pretty nice glass, albeit slow. But I wouldn't go any further in zoom range.

Director of the Institute of Media Research (IMF) at Braunschweig University of Arts


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Jared Cicon
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 24, 2010 at 10:03:07 pm

Hi Uli,
Not sure if you understand my situation. I must have telefocal ranges that exceed 105mm. There is no option. The application for the 5D is television commercial and short film production. What exactly do you mean when suggesting I shouldn't use zoom lenses over 105mm.
Jared


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Michael Sacci
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 24, 2010 at 10:23:07 pm

You cannot get one lens to cover 24-200 you have to do it with 2 lenses. If you need that coverage you should not be using DSLRs. I have been looking at the 24-105 f4 IS lens. for a solid all around lens but I also have fast primes if I need faster glass. So if you had the 24-105 you could get the 70-200. The other thing you have to keep in mind is that still zoom lenses don't work the same as video lens. If you are in focus at one end and zoom you my not be in zoom when zoomed out.

DSLR is really for film-like production, where you can move the camera or change the lens.


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Jared Cicon
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 25, 2010 at 1:57:11 am

Hey Michael, Thanks for the input. Yeah, sometimes we are in tight shooting situations that requires us to change focal lengths, but not necessarily in the same shot. As long as I have a set of lenses that cover the entire focal length spectrum, that I can switch out depending on my need I will feel good about going into any situation with the 5D. Does this make sense? There are also the external focus adapters on some of the shoulder rigs that you can use (or an assistant director can work while I shoot) to focus through a zoom action. Though not a perfect science, I have had to do the procedure on a video camera set to manual focus and can do it if I don't mind taking a particular scene a few extra times and then stopping to check the footage.

I am getting a lot of input from everyone and am very grateful for it.

Jared


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Phil Balsdon
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 24, 2010 at 10:31:32 pm

The main reason producers go for this camera is the depth of field properties from the large chip size.
To gain the most advantage you should get the fastest lenses you can. The 24-70 2.8 and 70-200 2.8 are excellent choices. You might also consider the 50mm 1.4 which is not expensive. The 16-35 2.8 is also a good option for wide angle requirements.

The zooms that offer longer focal ranges are generally slower but the 24-105 f4 does have an image stabilizer. Phillip Bloom has an article about using this lens for shooting interviews using the mage stabilizer for additional steadiness.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Jared Cicon
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 25, 2010 at 2:25:56 am

@ Phil B.
Hey Phil, thanks for adding your 2 cents to the register. I think I made a profit today, ha ha. Thanks for your endorsement of the two lenses. I seem to be tending towards purchasing them. They are such an investment though and it is why I came here to CC to get a consensus. Am I correct in assuming that (although I would rarely use the technique), the lenses will stay at whatever aperture I set manually while zooming the lens?

Thanks also for the tip and cost info. on the two other lenses. I wonder though if since I already own the fixed length 14mm EF, if between it, and the 24/70 & 70/200, I might be able to get by until I get to a place where I can afford more options. What is your opinion.

Also, I have received mixed signals concerning the EF 2x extender. What are your thoughts on it?...and except for the stop of lost light will the lenses still perform the same with it attached?

Jared


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Jared Cicon
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 25, 2010 at 2:52:57 am

@ Phil B.
Hey Phil, I went over to the B&H site and found the prices for the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens are all over the place. Within the B&H site itself the prices range from $1,900.00 to $2,400.00. I am sure it is because there are varying specs. Do you know what the exact names (Canon name) for the lenses I will need to use for my video purposes. [ 24/70 & 70/200 ]. And would the differences sink me if I were to purchase the wrong type of lens?
Jared


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Michael Sacci
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 25, 2010 at 4:11:50 am

There is a new version of the IS which is the highest priced, it has a special tripod mode for the IS, which smooths out pans. The old version does not have this.

For handholding even with a shoulder rig, IS is a must especially for the longer lenses. The extra for the tripod IS mode, while it is nice and useful it is not as important as the normal IS.

DSLRs bodies are cheap, making them work for video is not. Plan to spend 2-5K on lenses and accessories.


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Jared Cicon
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 25, 2010 at 4:19:05 am

Hey Michael,
So the most important aspects are having the IS and F2.8 instead of the older F4 as far as the 70/200 is concerned. Most people I have corresponded with have told me to expect to pay around $2,400.00 for this lens. Why do you think this ad for B&H is so low? What am I not seeing? http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/234444-USA/Canon_7042A002_70_200mm_f_...
Jared


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Michael Sacci
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 26, 2010 at 12:44:23 am

This is the $2400 lens
http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/professional/products/professional_cameras/ef...

vs the less expensive
http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/professional/products/professional_cameras/ef...

The more expensive lens has a better IS and has the tripod mount on the lens as standard.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/680103-USA/Canon_2751B002_EF_70_200mm...

If I had the money I would get the IS II lens but if I didn't I wouldn't regret getting the $1900 one either.


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Jared Cicon
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 26, 2010 at 1:09:47 am

Hey Michael,
Thanks for contributing to my education of this brave new DSLR world. I am going to try and swing the 70/200 with the tripod feature. Though 95% of my live action footage is 'still', I know one day I will shoot a pan and kick myself in the pants for not getting the best lens possible. Great info. Thanks again.

Any thoughts on that HANDY SLR? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDiVaV1wTDw)
Jared


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Jared Cicon
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 25, 2010 at 3:08:18 am

Hey Phil,
When you get a minute I would like your thoughts on this offer by B&H http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/583987-REG/Canon_2764B004_EOS_5D_Mark... Would this lens (the 24mm-105mm) and then also purchasing the 70mm-200mm be a good plan?
Jared


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Robbie Carman
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 24, 2010 at 10:21:37 pm

What are the lighting environments you'll be in? You mention weddings so its all over the place but you also mentioned commercial production which to me means controlled constant lighting. So try to get something to fit both those bills can be challenging.

I had for a number of years the 100-400 but recently sold it. And for a couple reasons I wouldn't add it to your kit for video.

1. Variable aperture 4.5-5.6. no biggie shooting photos sans flash and no big deal in studio environments were f/4 to f/5.6 could be just fine (although limiting your DOF possibilities). But should you do any zooms while shooting video with this lens you'll get a noticeable brightness shift. Shooting video I would if at all possible stay away from variable aperture lenses unless you know you won't be zooming during a shot and even then keep in mind you'll need to adjust after the zoom.

2. Push pull zoom is a pain in the ass!. Even though you can adjust the tension for it I spent half my time messing with the tension.

I think an option you should consider is the 70-200mm 2.8 IS (either the new or old one) or the 70-200 f/4 IS (slightly slower but sharper in my opinion) and couple it with a 1.4x extender (I'm not a fan of the 2x) On the 70-200 f/2.8 on a 5DMKII you'll get 98 - 280mm f/4 and on the 70-200 f/4 same focal range but f/5.6 still doable in ok light.

My last point is just something to think about. If reach is your issue how about consider a crop image sensor like the 7D. While I won't argue that the larger sensor on the 5DMKII allows for a slightly greater depth of field possibility, the 7D at 1.6 crop is like having the extender I mention above built in. Also if you'll be doing any photo work with the camera I think you'll find the 7D autofocus system superior to that of the 5D ...and yes I own both cameras.

Anyway food for thought

Robbie Carman
----------------
Colorist and Author
Check out my new Books:
Video Made on a Mac
Apple Pro Training Series DVDSP
From Still To Motion





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Jared Cicon
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 25, 2010 at 1:48:20 am

@ Robbie: Thanks for the information Robbie. Yes, the application for the 5D will be total commercial video production. I got out of Weddings four years ago. So in a zooming in-or-out situation I assume the 70mm-200mm will stay at 2.8 (or whatever aperture I pre-set) keeping me from having any exposure problem. Am I right to assume this? If this question seems a little sophemoric, you'll have to excuse me. I have been absorbing so many specs for so many different pieces of equipment my head is spinning.

I have read up on the 7D capabilities but something tells me that down the road I will crave the full sensor format and regret not getting it, and sense I will never be using this camera for anything but video production, I think the 5D just makes the most sense. You, of course though, brought up some very important points.

Jared


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Jared Cicon
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 25, 2010 at 2:10:50 am

@ Robbie,
Thanks for the information on the lenses. It is very helpful and will factor into my purchase decision. As you know, there is a ton of peripheralI gear I will need to purchase and I have a concern with one of them I hope you can help me with. I am currently looking into the HANDY SLR: http://www.youtube.com/user/5DFilmSchool#p/u/8/fDiVaV1wTDw My concern though, is that there is not enough room to mount the D5 when the BG-E6 battery grip is attached. How often do you think I would have to change the internal battery on the D5 during a daylong shoot if I decide to go this route?

Also, if you could turn me on to a place where I can read about the shooting day work-flow of data with the D5 and maybe suggest what kind/size of memory sticks I would need and how easy it is to dump the data, erase and re-use each card. Thanks for helping me with all of this. Kind of sucks for everyone involved when one of us rooks go off trail blazing into the wild blue yonder. I appreciate your help.

Jared


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Phil Balsdon
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 25, 2010 at 3:59:52 am

Hi Jared,
I know what you mean about pricing, I went through all the decision processes myself recently.

What I ended up with, using advice from a cinematographer colleague who has a 5D and a 7D was this:

I already own a Canon 20D and Canon lenses from 10 to 500mm of various types, but not the L series lenses.
The 7D does some things better for video than the 5D (720p 50/60 is one that is really useful for slo mo)
The sensor on the 7D is about the same size as Super 35mm film, so pretty good for shallow depth of field anyway.
At a saving of around $1000 this enabled me to buy some other accessories. Viewfinder attachment and rails and base plate from Genus was my choice (I'm not a fan of elaborate gadgets, I prefer to keep it simple. This enabled me to use my old Arri Matte box and film filters.
I already had a Zoom H4 so the audio issues with the 7D weren't a problem.

Finally I have a fair few Mamiya 645 lenses and Pentax SMC lenses from years ago, so I ordered adaptors from Fotodiox which work well in manual mode, not an issue for me, I never use auto settings for video. The 500mm Mamiya is especially good and the Mamiya adaptor was only about $80 the Pentax was only around $30. So if you have other quality lenses sitting around this is an economical way to get started.

There are a number of variations on the Canon 70-200 which hugely change the pricing, the IS (image stabilizer) function model being an expensive one to opt for, would you normally hand hold this? Or would you normally use the tripod?.

I must say though that after almost 40 years shooting on all types of video and film production, docos, features, ENG etc etc I am more inspired to go out and do things with this kit than I have been in years.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Jared Cicon
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 25, 2010 at 4:26:41 am

Hey Phil,
Excellent information. You put everything into a cool perspective that is easy to appreciate. I used to have a Mamiya 645 1000S. I sold it about 6 years ago for about $1,000.00. It was a fun camera to play with, and I liked that I got 30 frames from a roll of 220. For my wedding business I used Bronica. I still have all the fixed focal length lenses. Is there any conversion/adaptor rings that would allow me to use them on the 5D (probably not that lucky).

Anyways, I just asked Michael Sacci this and thought I should also ask you. This ad for B&H seems to be far underpriced for this lens when compared to what most people say I should expect to pay. Is is just because as Michael said, it doesn't have the new 'Tripod Mode'?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/234444-USA/Canon_7042A002_70_200mm_f_...

Jared


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Phil Balsdon
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 25, 2010 at 4:44:49 am

Bronica to EOS adaptor
http://www.fotodiox.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=21_29_32

My Mamiya 55mm looks amazing at 2.8, I'll putting some video online soon.

Re the 70-200 looks the one you pointed to is the older version, compare the specs, the new one is "improved" and shorter min focus distance. I turned down a discounted by Au$400 (20%) 16-35 the other day because it was the series 1 and Canon claim better specs, sharpness on the Mk2 version.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Jared Cicon
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 25, 2010 at 5:00:59 am

Wow! Thanks for that link. Thanks for the spec. suggestions. I want to make sure I make the correct purchase the first time around. So many specs. so little brain cells. The issue I see here, is that it appears I can get a bargain on a lens if I purchase it with the D5 body. Otherwise I'd love to buy the body alone and this Bronica adapter and see what the lenses look like through the sensor. And then you went and threw some 7D logic at me and now I am again vascilating back and forth between it and the 5D. To be honest though I'm probably leaning heavier to the 5D though, since I suspect it a safer bet that Canon R&D improvements will be focused more on the 5D in the coming months/years than the 7D. Just my suspicion.

Great info Phil. Can't thank you enough. Any thoughts on the Handy SLR? It looks great and the price is so much cheaper than JAG or others.

Jared


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Phil Balsdon
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 25, 2010 at 5:36:00 am

Advice in short from my 5D & 7D owner friend was "If you want the camera mainly for video buy the 7D, if you mainly want stills buy the 5D, but there's something a little extra about the pics from the 5D".

My decision was based on - I'll start with the 7D to see how it goes, I'll buy the appropriate lenses as the jobs require and if it really takes off I'll buy a 5D too.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Jared Cicon
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 25, 2010 at 5:45:39 pm

Phil, After sleeping on it I think I agree and see where you are going with the 5D/7D argument. I also remember just a few months back I had to rent a Sony EX-1 so I could shoot at 60FPS for slo-mo purposes. The 7D would have saved me $300.00. I am definitely leaning now towards the 7D, especially since it could serve as a quality back-up at a later date if/when I decide to purchase a 5D. In other words, all of the peripherals (lenses/gear) are compatible, so purchasing another 'D' body later makes good sense. I have just two more important questions I hope you can help me with.

1. AUDIO: What audio recorder would you suggest I purchase since I will now for sure be capturing audio separately, and how do I insure that I don't forget to start the sound recorder (on small crew jobs or jobs I shoot myself) every time I start recording video. Is there some sort of sync capability between the 7D and a recorder so both can start simultaneously? Also, if I end up with a few hundred clips of video to sort out. Is there a way to re-sync the sound that won't present a nightmare in post?

2. DOF: How much better is the DOF with the 5D compared to the 7D. And....compared to the mini-dv tape based system I use now (Sony HDRFX-1), will the 7D still blow away the DOF I have been able to get by using long focal lengths and a wide open aperture?

Thanks for your help Phil.
Jared


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Phil Balsdon
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 25, 2010 at 10:23:18 pm

Re Audio:
I already owned a ZoomH4. The newer H4n seems to be everyones favourite. It's light good quality sound etc. If I want it on camera I attach to the flash bracket with a Manfrotto ball mount. Always roll the sound before the camera (this is standard film shooting procedure). I use the DSLR slate app in my phone as back to any problems that I might have using PluralEyes in Final Cut Pro in post (not that I've had any).
Audio can be fed from the Line Out of the H4 with a cable and pad to the 7D audio in. If the sound recordist has the Zoom I use a Sennheiser radio mike to link the sound wirelessly with the receiver mounted on the camera or you can use a mike on the camera to record a guide track. (I already owned all this kit prior to buying the 7D).

Re lenses / depth of field:
I worked a lot of feature films and commercials as a steadicam operator, B camera op and second unit DoP. Mostly we shot at around f4. I figured that as the 7D is around the same size format it was fine. I'm not a fan of eyes in focus, nose and ears in soft focus. If I was cynical I'd accuse some people of claiming that if you don't have a 5D your not good enough purely based on this depth of field argument. Until the 5D, super 35mm film format size was about as good as you could get until IMAX, 70mm etc. I actually think the audio, low light sensitivity and minimal better image quality of the 5D are more important factors.

The difference between your Sony and the 7D will be significant, I've really only tested it against my JVC HD111 (1/3 inch CCDs) and there's no comparison. The 7D also seems have this better subtle tonal range thing about it when compared to other video formats.


Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Jared Cicon
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 26, 2010 at 1:15:19 am

Hey Phil,
Thanks for all the well thought out and reasoned information. What a great service the CC. I wish I knew more so I could contribute in kind. I have just about made my decision. It looks like the 5D will be the route I will take. I wish though that I would be able to see the full field of view from my 14mm that I found two years ago, and I wish the 7D had better sound. But notwithstanding those two shortcomings I am getting so much more value for the money. Again, appreciate all the advice.

When you post that footage with that lens you were talking about earlier in the thread, I'd love to see it. Send me a link. My email is ciconsr@yahoo.com. You can check out my reel at http://www.jaredciconfilms.com.
Jared


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Richard van den Boogaard
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 27, 2010 at 2:09:21 am

Hi Jared,

There are a couple of reasons why you should consider buying multiple camera bodies:
- It allows for double angles while shooting (kinda busy to handle, but doable)
- 7D has 1.6 crop factor, effectively extending reach with existing glass (e.g. 70-200 becomes sth like a 100-300).
- 7D has 50/60 fps: always nice to include a couple of slo-mo shots
- If one of the bodies breaks, you won't be without
- Buying two Canon bodies makes you eligible for Canons CPS (Canon Professional Services) program, which gives you priority support with repairs.

As stated here above, camera bodies are cheap; but shooting with DSLRs is not, considering all the extra stuff you need. Nonetheless, no other video cameras can beat their image quality and versatility.

Good luck.

Richard

Richard van den Boogaard
cameraman / editor / video marketing consultant

Branded Channels
W: http://www.brandedchannels.com


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Jared Cicon
Re: Advice for Lenses and Gear for the 5D for commercial production purposes.
on Jul 27, 2010 at 4:24:19 am

Hey Richard,
Between yourself, Phil, Michael and the rest of you pros, I have been given as much advice as a guy could hope for. My first purchase will be the 7D and relative kit. In a few months time I will add the 5D body. Can't thank you all enough.
Jared


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