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complete package for 5D for photo/video

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Craig Alan
complete package for 5D for photo/video
on Sep 1, 2013 at 10:24:14 pm

I'm planning on purchasing a 5D cam for our video/film club. I teach video at a HS. We have a very nice studio with plenty of professional lighting including an LED lit CYC wall and Leko/gobos, Diva lives, fresnels, grip equipment with flags, and diffusion, china balls, c-stands, etc. We're using P2 cams for video. We have tripods in the prosumer range, a good assortment of mikes and SD 302 mixers.

What would you recommend for a complete package for the 5D? I have no standing budget so when I get grant money I need to order everything I need or wait till money rolls around again which could be a long time.

Here is what Al Bergstein recommended on the Canon Camera forum. Loved his sample video shot with the Mark III, so thought it was a good place to ask. Still I'd like additional feedback since I'll learn from experience but can't just go out and buy extras.

Specifics on:
LENSES:,
If starting out I would get the Canon 14mm, the 24-105 and the 70-200. That covers the waterfront. For specific theatrical work, I'd add an 85 mm.


FOLLOW FOCUS:
There are lots of choices. Depends on budget.


MAT BOX:
Stay away from cheap india knock offs. I suggest Chrozial.


media cards:
I use nothing but Sandisk Extreme Pros. Have had others fail.


Camera bag:

Additional Batteries:

Any other accessories or advice going in would be great:

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Ryan Holmes
Re: complete package for 5D for photo/video
on Sep 2, 2013 at 3:21:24 pm

It always depends on budget! :-D Working at a school myself I understand about requesting money and you often only get one crack at it!

Lens wise I think those are all good suggestions. If you can spring for L-glass I certainly would. I have the 50mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm all L series and shoot them frequently. The optics are great on them and they perform as expected day in and day out.

I'm torn on follow-focus. It often depends on what type of shooting is happening. If it's more scripted and you can follow the action they make sense. If you're running and gunning sometimes they don't make sense because the added setup time is too long. I have one from Cinevate that is great, but we often don't use it just because of setup time (set the ring on the lens, adjust it, add rails to setup, rearrange setup on tripod or shoulder rig to accommodate follow-focus, etc.).

CF cards...I pretty much swear by Sandisk cards. In 5 years of using them they've never failed on me, ever. I would purchase the Sandisk Extreme Pro cards in either 32GB or 64GB flavors. However, if you're thinking of running the Magic Lantern hack on the camera to shoot RAW video then these cards don't have the necessary speed to write that data. The common consensus there is a company called KomputerBay which has 1000x cards....but they are notoriously inconsistent straight from the factory. If you're not thinking of the ML hack, then stick with Sandisk.

As for bags, I use Think Tank because I have to travel with the gear and they do great for security screenings, overhead bins, or just pulling around on set - http://www.thinktankphoto.com/categories/rolling-camera-bags.aspx

Batteries are cheap for the 5DIII so stock up. I tend to only by the Canon brand ones as I've heard too many bad stories about third party batteries failing, not charging, failing to hold a charge. If you're shooting or teaching people to shoot you can't have your power source dying in the middle of a production. Pay the $59 and get the goods. I would also recommend additional chargers. The 5DIII only has a single battery charger so you're recharging 1 at a time. Something like this lets you charge 2 at a time: http://www.amazon.com/PhotoPro-Charger-Canon-Camera-Batteries/dp/B007109ZA8...

My team never shoots a DSLR without having a bigger, easier to see screen attached. The on-board LCD is only 3-3.5" so it can be difficult to determine focus, especially if you're running your lens wide open. I recommend SmallHD screens as a necessary accessory for any DSLR shooter - http://www.smallhd.com

The DP4 is cheap and easily portable (runs off LP-E6 batteries just the 5DIII). Or you can go to the AC-7 and really pickup some real estate. I currently have 2 DP4's, 1 DP6, 1 AC-7 and I love them all! :-)

I'm assuming you're getting rails as for this so you might consider some type of shoulder rig unless all you do is tripod type work. Having a way to hand hold it more steadily can be important. Or you can even get a monopod so the camera has some float to it but remains steady overall (much more than trying to handhold it).

Just my $.02.

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
@CutColorPost


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Craig Alan
Re: complete package for 5D for photo/video
on Sep 2, 2013 at 11:30:57 pm

Ryan,
Thanks so much for your input.
I’d be interested in your assignments with students and workflow.
I want to use the 5D, for now, in the studio for model shoots, and single cam one-shot-at-a-time-film-style projects, and for a single cam op to get shots around campus. For activities, documentaries and so forth we’ll go with camcorders.
Is there a link where I can see the characteristics of each lens for this cam? Mainly the field of view of the different choices?
Is auto focus worth considering or, as I assume, is manual focus the norm?
The link you gave me to the onboard monitors look fantastic and seem to really understand the needs of shooting in the field. Not sure I can afford it right now. Are the colors/exposure levels/focus accurate or is it just for framing/composition?
I’ll keep it on my active wish list. I’m debating cutting one of my Panasonic AG-HPX250 P2 HD Handheld Camcorder packages to give me more room budget wise. The 250 package runs about $6000 each. But we are primarily running the video program around these so it’s not an easy decision.
In the studio, we have a very good broadcast monitor and a pro plasma monitor both HDMI and SDI inputs. So we will be using those for now.
I see the 5D has HDMI and A/V out. Would love to get a cordless HDMI out kit but it will have to go on wish list for now. Wish the 5D had SDI out. HDMI can be a pain during a shoot.
Are these the L series you speak of?
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=L+series+EF+mount+lenses&N=0&Initi...
This is the kit I’m considering if the 24-105mm lens that comes with it is a good choice:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/847546-REG/Canon_5260B009_EOS_5D_Mark...
It adds $600 over the just the body price but includes this lens that sells for $1500:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/397662-USA/Canon_0344B002AA_24_105mm_...
It has the red band around it so it is the L series. I think this will cover a good range in the studio style shoots from close to wide on a subject. It might not be powerful enough for all the outdoor shots a photographer might like nor a prime lens for better film style shots. However, in the studio we have a lot of good lighting so might help compensate for the slower lenses. I’m rationalizing because I need more coin. But if you feel my choice is not the most bang for the buck let me know.
How long does one battery last? In the studio we can even plug-in. Yeah cords are a pain but they are part of the discipline of setting a shot with a production team.
For now I’ve added an extra single charger and 3 batteries for a total of 4 Canon E-6 plus a power cord for long video shoots in studio. I also added the battery grip, which holds two of the batteries. Is this worth it? $275. Adds weight but maybe counterbalances the heavier front end plus we will be doing model shoots so changing to portrait view is a given.
On the media cards, the camera comes with SanDisk -
32GB Extreme SDHC UHS-1 (80MB/s). This is a SD card not a compact flash card. I’ve added one SanDisk 32GB Compact Flash Memory Card Extreme Pro 600x UDMA to the list.
Between the two, how many minutes of video will this give us?
I have a card reader. And we will be shooting in studio or near it so we can transfer the footage and erase.
Plus I’m assuming you can delete bad shots as you go?
The kit comes with an Oben ACM-2400 4-Section Aluminum Monopod. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/687350-REG/Oben_ACM_2400_ACM_2400_4_S...
And we have tripods. Wondering if we should also look for a good Photo tripod.
I’ll hold off in the rail system. Just can’t afford the whole package yet. We have flags and a lot of light control in the studio and for out of studio shoots its as you described. Simpler is better. For now.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Ryan Holmes
Re: complete package for 5D for photo/video
on Sep 6, 2013 at 2:54:24 am

[Craig Alan] "Is there a link where I can see the characteristics of each lens for this cam? Mainly the field of view of the different choices?"

You should be able to Google for something like this. With an APS-C sensor (7D, 60D, 70D, t4i, etc.) you're looking at a 1.6x crop factor on whatever lens you stick on there compared to a full-frame sensor (5DIII, 6D, etc.). So on a crop sensor came a 24mm lens becomes a 38mm, 50mm becomes an 80mm lens, etc.

[Craig Alan] "Is auto focus worth considering or, as I assume, is manual focus the norm?
"


I don't think the 5DIII has a auto-focus driver for the video portion of the camera (I could be wrong). And even if it does I never use it! :-) I'm not a big fan of auto-focusing on DSLR's.

[Craig Alan] "I’m debating cutting one of my Panasonic AG-HPX250 P2 HD Handheld "
The Panny's are solid camears. P2 is an industry standard. They are rugged, built for ENG-style shooting, and ingest well into any modern NLE. I don't think you'd go wrong using these cameras, but they are not cinematic in the interchangeable, shallow depth-of-field, larger sensor sort of way. These are small chip cameras (small by comparison to DSLR's) and produce more of a video look. Not a bad thing....just know what you're buying into to.

[Craig Alan] "HDMI can be a pain during a shoot. "

Yes. HDMI is a pain. It wiggles free, doesn't always handshake correctly, etc. It's a consumer connection not meant for the professional video market. But it's cheap, easy to license and compatible with a lot of external recorders/TVs, etc. So I understand why Canon used it. And remember, the 5DIII is a stills camera first and foremost. Video is still an afterthought on DSLR's.

[Craig Alan] "Are these the L series you speak of?"

Yep. Anytime the lens states something like: EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Lens - that means EF mount, the focal length of the lens (24mm), the fastest the lens can open up to (f/1.4), L is the high-end Canon series, and if you see a "II" that's the second generation of that lens (usually released in the last 5 years then. I use the L-series glass everytime I shoot. I had some non-L glass but I sold it as it's not as sharp and doesn't have as nice of a focus ring on it (and they're never as fast as L-series glass).

[Craig Alan] "How long does one battery last? "

I can shoot video for about 2-3 hours per battery. If you take a lot of stills having a battery grip is a smart move mostly for the added shutter button when in Portrait position.


[Craig Alan] "Between the two, how many minutes of video will this give us? "

One 32GB card will get you about 90 minutes of video.

[Craig Alan] "Plus I’m assuming you can delete bad shots as you go? "

You can. I usually just shoot, swap cards, keep shooting and toss footage back at the shop. It can be hard to judge how good/bad the shot is if you're looking at a 3" LCD in direct sunlight. Better to judge on a large monitor display a 1:1 pixel view.

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
@CutColorPost


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Craig Alan
Re: complete package for 5D for photo/video
on Sep 6, 2013 at 6:57:21 am

Thanks Ryan,

Confirmed my understanding. But when you are making important budget decisions you need that confirmation.

I really like the 250 pana cam and when I light correctly I've gotten some fairly artistic looking shots with it. I really think lighting is the key whether you go shallow or wide depth of field.

I ended up getting two of the pana 250s and the 5D III with the 24-105 L series lens. I'll add more when money becomes available. I had thought the prime lenses would be less expensive but they are not.

The problem I have with some shallow depth of field shots is that the b.g. can be distracting in a beautiful abstract bright graphic kind of way - you end up staring at it which is not the intended effect. It just seems to me that digital cams do not have the subtlety of film the way the b.g. blurs out. It just seems more natural and gradual with film. Also when you get to the point where the nose is in focus and the eyes are blurry it just calls attention to the camera rather than the scene. But I wonder if that is because today's cameras do not need as much light as in past and therefore less attention is paid to the lighting. I'm also thinking this problem will be more common as the industry moves to LED lighting. LEDs are great in many ways but it is harder to control what gets lit - they just seem to wash everything evenly. I'm really excited about getting a 5D. I was planning on getting a black magic cinema cam but some of my students are into photography and we've been doing model shoots so I thought it was time to go DSLR and use it both ways.

Thanks for your help!

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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