Tag Archives: Canon 5D Mk II

16mm vs Digital Comparisons

Film

Film

Digital

Digital

On The Magic of Film, Alex shot with his 16mm camera on black and white reversal, in addition to shooting on the Canon 5D Mk II. The film wasn’t developed in time for the bumper contest, but it came in recently and I decided to put together a cut using only the film footage.

The differences are pretty clear. This particular 16mm stock isn’t really supposed to be scanned at 1920×1080, so it’s a little soft, but it still holds up fairly well. The flashes of light from (what I assume are) exposure artifacts and spill, when they don’t ruin a shot, are quite charming.

Digital

Digital

Film

Film

Some of the film takes weren’t usable, and there was no way of knowing on set if the take worked – but on the 5D, because I was able to review the shots instantly, I found that I got more of what I needed. The film cut had to be fudged a bit in editing, and doesn’t work as well as the digital cut. The film cut does, however, feel more visually unified.

Flash Video

Watch the 16mm Cut

Unfortunately, in addition to not coming in on time, the lab that scanned the film telecine’d the output file, creating interlacing and pulldowns and a whole bunch of other garbage. They probably thought it was shot at 24fps, because telecine is a process used to convert 24fps to 30fps for television viewing. They told me to reverse-telecine the file, which would have removed a pulldown, except for the fact that the film was shot at 30fps to begin with, not 24, so now it’s completely mucked, plus the interlacing problems. It would really have been easier to just have gotten progressive tiff files for each frame, then I could have played it back at whatever speed I wanted without dealing with pulldowns. That’s just a whole lot of unnecessary steps. In the movie below, the interpolated frames are visible especially in the motion blur. I ran a deinterlacing process, the artifacts of which are visible on some of the edges. I may try to correct the whole thing eventually, but don’t have the time now.

In any case, the whole processes was quite an experience. It was really exciting to have my production shot on an older film camera side-by-side with the Canon 5D Mk II, very much the bleeding edge in digital video. What the original digital cut here! Don’t forget to VOTE for the bumper!

Color Corrections

Color Corrected

Color Corrected

Original

Original

Having just completed The Magic of Film bumper, here are some color correction comparisons. The footage had all been converted from the native h264 to ProRes 4:2:2 for easier editing, however, both compression methods started to break down the farther I pushed the colors; this is where RAW video would *really* be nice. The algorithms also broke down in shots that had a lot of movement and motion blur. Overall, however, the compression is passable, especially for web distribution, and the other benefits of using the 5D certainly outweigh the mediocre compression quality coming off of the camera.

Original

Original

Color Corrected

Color Corrected

As for the color itself, I wanted to go for a look for the footage that wouldn’t jar the audience during the transition to and from the black and white shots. I went for a warm duotone sort of desaturated look, bringing down the levels on the backgrounds so the subjects would pop a little bit more.

Greenscreen on the 5D

Footage from the Camera

Footage from the Camera

Continuing with the coverage of the 5D shoot, here’s a greenscreen element we shot a few days ago. The setup was ghetto; a portable screen, filled with wrinkles,  in the living room. On any other camera, the wrinkles would have caused problems down the line in compositing, but because we were able to put a 70-200mm lens on the camera, the screen was thrown completely out of focus. That’s not possible to do with prosumer camcorders without a multitude of adapters and accessories, you’d essentially have to put a better lens on the camera somehow. In all of the footage we’ve shot, the huge size of the sensor on the 5D compared to prosumer camcorders really shows in the visual look of the image and the amount of depth of field that is obtainable (take a look at some of the shots in the post below).

Matte

Matte

Because the screen was thrown out of focus, it was much easier to pull a clean key. The process was also much simpler; there wasn’t a need to pre-blur the green or blue channels to compensate for a 4:2:0 colorspace or other foolishness that accompanies prosumer formats.

I’ve been raving about it quite a bit, but working with this camera is such a breath of fresh air to someone who’s had to work through the godawful limitations of prosumer formats in a demanding visual effects context.

Magic of Film Shoot – 5D Camera Screengrabs

Having completed a shoot on the Canon 5D Mk II two days ago, I still stare with glee at the footage, amazed by the quality. Even though the project, a bumper for the SCAD Film Festival Bumper Competition, is not complete yet, I though I’d share some captures, straight from the camera.

After shooting on the 5D, and having just attended a lecture by DSLR video extraordinaire Vincent Laforet, I’m incredibly excited about using this camera again in the future. Because of the nature of this particular production, we also shot with a 16mm film camera my DP owns – I can’t wait to get the film back to compare the two cameras.