5D Mark II Adobe On Location
Is there a way to get 5D Mark II to work with On Location? Does a converter box exist for HDMI-Firewire?
1) The HDMI is an uncompressed video standard for TVs, etc. It competes with HD-SDI in low end professional camcorders and replaces or supplements component output in low end camorders.
2) The Firewire is data transport protocol. It competes with USB and is roughly comparable to USB 2.0. It is known as 1394a, Firewire 800, 1394b, exists, primarily on the Mac, and is double the speed.
3) DV and HDV are file formats, digitally recorded to tape. The tape holds around 2GB, which was much more than digital memory when it was introduced in the 1990s.
3) OnLocation, once called DV Rack, can read the DV, HDV, and in the recent version Panasonic's DVCProHD files in realtime over a Firewire. It then analyzes the result. The image analyzed is as recorded to the tape. OnLocation is saving the file in the same format it received it, with all compression, etc. applied by the camera.
4) You can import HDMI to a PC using a Blackmagic Design Intensity or Intensity Pro card. It can compress to one disk in MJPEG or in uncompressed format to a RAID 0 array. You get much better images that way because the input hasn't been compressed prior to being transmitted and the chroma subsampling is 4:2:2, matched only by DVCProHD in this class of camera. (See item 6 about the Canon 5D Mark II)
5) On a Mac, you can use Final Cut Pro to monitor the input. On a PC, you can import to Adobe Premiere Pro, viewing the image, but it doesn't provide realtime monitoring (to the best of my knowledge). It does have a full (IMHO better than FCP) set of monitoring and editing tools.
6) While most (all?) camcorders with HDMI and all with HD-SDI outputs output a captured video stream for broadcast or capture, the Canon 5D Mark II (and I believe the Nikon D90) output the more or less VGA image displayed on the Liveview screen. It is not the captured HDMI signal and overall is pretty useless. The HDMI can be used for playback, but you are probably better off just using the Canon's excellent 40Mb/s AVCHD file. The Nikon has a 25Mb/sec MPEG2 file...roughly the same has HDV.
All that being said, and with the 5DM2's lack of manual control, it still produces images that can't be matched with any combination of sub-$10k camcorder, lens, HDMI capture, and 35mm adapter. That is, you can use the same lens on the Canon that you use on the 35mm adapter, without the loses. The sensor is better than anything short of the best Cine cameras. The 40Mb/s AVCHD capture is better than any capture other than direct HD-SDI/HDMI, and is close enough that the difference isn't huge. The AVCHD 4:2:0 chroma subsampling would be the only thing it gives away, then only to XDCAM (not XDCAM EX), DVCProHD, HDMI and HD-SDI, and its appears to store a better or equal image than either of those.
...but it is limited to 30fps. If future generations of the camera will shoot 24fps, then we will see something that is really useful for digital cinema production.
Of course what would be really nice would be if Canon offered it with a PL lens mount... then one could use real cine primes, which are much easier to use (especially for follow focusing) than SLR primes. Very doubtful that part will happen, though, as Canon will likely want to restrict users to their own lenses. The 24fps though is more likely in a future generation (the Nikon already does 24fps).
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
@Todd Terry - re: cine primes - all the best finding those vistavision lenses to match the sensor size of the 5d.
Forgive me if I am wrong (I'm not a DSLR guy... yet) and if so someone please correct me... but doesn't the 5D have a super35mm-sized sensor?
If so, most any spherical 35mm cine lens would cover fine. My own set of Leitz-Panavision primes covers both the RED and Genesis sensors just fine, as well as real 35mm film frames.
Assuming that's true of the sensor size (s35mm sized, and not the wider-horizontal Vista size), ordinary 35mm cine lenses should have no trouble covering. The mounts on the other hand, could be more of an issue. I've only seen one instance where someone was able to successfully put a cine PL mount on a 5D body. It was a thing of beauty.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.