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See Know Evil: Shot a feature doc on DSLR's, ask me anything

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Thread started 06 May 2012 (Sunday) 13:42   
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charliecurran
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Hey yall,

So with my debut on the forum beyond a few lens purchases being a rather public flame war with Borrow Lenses, I thought it only proper to try giving back to the community in any small way possible for stirring up drama on the boards.

I'm a film student, and DSLR video has totally shifted the horizon for what's possible on student budgets. I've spent the last three years shooting really heavily on DSLR's (5DM2, 60D, 7D, 5DM3, and a few Nikons), and so I thought I'd do my best to share what I've learned.

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
http://charliecurran.c​om ...nnabeathing/balleri​na.gifexternal link
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(my last shoot on a 60D)

For the past six months I've been in production on a documentary called "See Know Evil," which focuses on the life and work of fashion photographer Davide Sorrenti. Below are a few screencaps from the doc to give you an idea of what we've been doing.

Currently I'm in the process of preproduction on a short horror film building a POV helmet cam for a 60D, homemade wireless HDMI transmitter and all.

So I implore you, ask me anything DSLR related from logistics, planning, performance, workflow, DIT management, etc. and I'll do my best to lend advice or find an answer for you.

- C

IMAGE: http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3iforrAtk1qfv61p.png

IMAGE: http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3ifpmWk7F1qfv61p.png

IMAGE: http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3ifqyCPYB1qfv61p.png

IMAGE: http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3ifrdvcMx1qfv61p.png

IMAGE: http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3ifrwgm231qfv61p.png

IMAGE: http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3ifskf1oU1qfv61p.png

IMAGE: http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3ift0tC401qfv61p.png

Post #1, May 06, 2012 13:42:47


"You do an awfully good impression of yourself."
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davtackett
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How'd you save that video above to .gif?

Post #2, May 07, 2012 10:44:30


50d x2, 55-250mm, Sigma 120-400mm & 150-500mm, 17-55mm f/2.8 IS

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charliecurran
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Hey David,

It's actually really easy to make gifs out of any DSLR footage you have lying around, or any footage you have actually. Using Final Cut I simply cut the file down to a few seconds (you really need to keep them short and sweet, especially if you'd like the gif to be larger...e.g. 640 pixel width, etc...) or you'll run into having to skimp on dithering/use a much smaller color palette.

Once you have the .mov file exported from Final Cut or your non-linear editing program of choice, you simply open it with Adobe Photoshop (This may be a feature new to CS5, I haven't tested it on older versions). Once opened in photoshop, you go to the "save for web and devices" drop-down and export it as a gif. You'll have to play with the features, exporting a gif at 1920 or 1080 pixel width is going to come out at something like 90mb's...so you'll have to get it down somehow (by reducing size, lowering the dither, switching from 128 to 64 or 32 bit color)...but just playing around it's fairly straight forward and you'll be kicking out gifs in a minute or two once you get the hang of it.

Don't forget that by default they won't loop...but that is an option to have it play "forever."

If you need any help just hit me up!
- C

Post #3, May 07, 2012 18:44:05 as a reply to davtackett's post 7 hours earlier.


"You do an awfully good impression of yourself."
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charliecurran
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Forgot to mention one thing...when cutting the video clip for export, if you can find a place to mask the loop it gives the image a lot more fluidity.

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
http://charliecurran.c​om ...athing/crystalcastl​es.gifexternal link
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO

Post #4, May 07, 2012 23:55:52


"You do an awfully good impression of yourself."
My Demonstration Reelexternal link
My Portfolioexternal link-
My Blogexternal link-
My Tumblrexternal link

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davtackett
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I don't have photoshop, only elements 9 and it won't open video and premiere elements 3 won't save as gif.

I do have pinnicle 12, it will let me make a flash video but there is no option to loop it.

So I guess I am out of luck.

Thanks for the info.

Post #5, May 09, 2012 09:48:34


50d x2, 55-250mm, Sigma 120-400mm & 150-500mm, 17-55mm f/2.8 IS

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Maverick530
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a POV helment with a 60d seems extreme lol, i have seen it done with the gopro though, and with the new hero 2 i think that shoots 1080p.

Post #6, May 09, 2012 11:17:53


6D |60D | 24-105 L | 50mm 1.8 | battery grip | 18-135 |bw! |

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Spicy61
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Wow, awesome. First and foremost, thanks for offering--your willingness to help is greatly appreciated!

I have a very simple question. How is it that some people achieve incredibly sharp, crisp video while others (like myself) have rather muddy video quality? What are we doing wrong?

My in-camera settings are dialed in to Philip Bloom specs to create a flat image. I'm shooting at 50 shutter speed and 24fps to achieve the film look. I believe my problem at the moment, apart from color grading and making the image pop in post production, is that I cannot get crisp, clear video.

Here is an example (hand held) using my 5d mark II and the 16-35mm lens with polarizing filter:

Video deleted

^ even at the 1080p setting it looks like garbage to me. the video simply is not clear or crisp. that vid is straight from the camera by the way. no processing or changing formats.

If you could help me I would greatly appreciate it.

Post #7, Jun 11, 2012 03:29:31




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Snafoo
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For one thing, you're panning way too fast to even do a proper evaluation. If you do such a quick pan with the zoom wide open, you're going to get distortion all over the place. Put the camera on a tripod and just leave it in one place for a while, then if you must, pan SLOWLY. Then re-post.

Post #8, Jun 12, 2012 21:45:00


Gear: 5DIII, 7D, 17-55 EF-S, 24-105L, 50L, Sig30, 70-200 2.8IIL, 100 2.8L, 580EII, other stuff.
http://jonstot.zenfoli​o.com/external link

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Spicy61
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Snafoo wrote in post #14571165external link
For one thing, you're panning way too fast to even do a proper evaluation. If you do such a quick pan with the zoom wide open, you're going to get distortion all over the place. Put the camera on a tripod and just leave it in one place for a while, then if you must, pan SLOWLY. Then re-post.

^ For sure. I will repost tomorrow.

Thanks for the reply Snafoo.

Post #9, Jun 16, 2012 00:21:16




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Spicy61
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Snafoo and company :) I have shot a new video with slower pan, please watch in 1080p:

http://www.youtube.com​/watch?v=5WdHrN7ofpMexternal link

Please advise and criticize. I am purely concerned about image quality at the moment, don't worry about the audio and such (those were just put together quickly). How do I improve the image? Add more sharpness? What I do prior to shooting is use the AF to focus and then that's pretty much it.

The vid above was with a 5d mark II and a 16-35mm with polarizer. in-camera settings: Philip Bloom settings.
Sequence preset for adobe premiere: Digital SLR 1080p24
Export settings for adobe premiere: Format H.264, preset: HDTV 1080p 24 High Quality

Post #10, Jun 16, 2012 21:28:32




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Maverick530
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for good sharp images, i would recommend expensive polarizers, and prime lens, or really expensive zoom lens,

Post #11, Jun 17, 2012 00:56:06


6D |60D | 24-105 L | 50mm 1.8 | battery grip | 18-135 |bw! |

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Spicy61
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Maverick530 wrote in post #14589859external link
for good sharp images, i would recommend expensive polarizers, and prime lens, or really expensive zoom lens,

^ Well, I am using the 5d Mark II, 16-35 L, and a $200 B + W polarizer so I do not have any excuse. The image should be crisp and sharp.

Post #12, Jun 17, 2012 01:39:18




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Snafoo
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Do you recall what f-stop you used for the video? I don't own the lens you used, but if you had it wide open in both zoom and aperture, that may cause some muddiness. I try to keep my aperture somewhere between f/2.8 and 8 to keep the image in my lens' sweet spot (depending on the DOF I want). And if you have the cash, definitely buy a high quality (read: expensive...) neutral density filter to give you aperture control without having to mess with shutter speed.

Image sharpness will fall off at the edges when you're zoomed wide open, which it looks like your clip may have been. Try different focal length settings and see how it affects sharpness.

Eliminating the polarizer as a culprit is easy - just record with and without it and compare the results. Same with the Phillip Bloom settings. Try filming in Neutral or Standard and see how the image sharpness is affected. If you're shooting in a flat style (Cinestyle, Flaat, etc.), I don't think sharpness should be affected (others may know better), but you'll probably end up fiddling with it more in post to get the color the way you want. Are you applying any sharpness in post?

General consensus (and what I ALWAYS do) is to focus using 10X zoom before hitting the record button. Yes, it's a PITA, but you then KNOW the lens is optimally focused on the spot you want. AF is, well, AF. You take what it gives you. You might also consider trying Magic Lantern; it provides a number of features to assist in focusing. Finally, and I mention this all the time - practice! Time behind the camera is ten times more instructive than time in front of a computer screen!

Post #13, Jun 17, 2012 07:13:32


Gear: 5DIII, 7D, 17-55 EF-S, 24-105L, 50L, Sig30, 70-200 2.8IIL, 100 2.8L, 580EII, other stuff.
http://jonstot.zenfoli​o.com/external link

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Spicy61
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^ Hmm. Thanks for the insights. I will look into Magic Lantern and I will try the 10X zoom/focus before shooting.

The video I posted in post #10 was shot at F8 by the way at 24mm so not fully open for zoom or aperture. Sharpness was added in post. I believe 50 strength, 10 radius, and 5 threshold. Something like that. Thanks for your help Snafoo.

Post #14, Jun 17, 2012 13:27:55




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Dfigs
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It looks as though your IQ substantially increased, Spicy61. Zooming in to 10x when using manual focus and a wide f-stop is something I do whenever possible; stills or video. That should certainly help.
OP: do you have any recommendations for loupes or LCD VFs? I am using a 5dmII and on a tight budget. However, I know these can be as useful as a ND filter at times. Thank you for following through on your thread!

Post #15, Jun 18, 2012 00:01:37




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