Wednesday, November 23, 2011

HDSLR Canon 7D, 5D - From the trenches

Here are a few observations about the HDSLRs Canon 7D and 5D, based on experiences on-location from our indie production. Though this is all very basic and already known information from various forums and DPs and pro-HDSLR users, we thought it might be good to share our views on these. Though we were initially skeptical about them, once we started work, we realized it is one of the best options for independent filmmakers, especially when you are going low-budget and/or experimental.

  •           Excellent Image quality(2K resolution) that looks like film (even Hollywood productions have been using the 7D/5D footage)
  •           Small, easily maneuverable in small spaces and can remain without being noticed
  •           Works very well in low light situations
  •           Big screen compatibility - Footage can be projected on big screens. This was a big question we had. So we tested the 7D and EX1 footage simultaneously at Real Image Media technologies, Chennai. The 7D stood up very well in comparison.
  •           Easy learning curve
  •           Camera accessories are relatively light-weight and can be made ourselves if we follow some Do-It-Yourself methods. We made our own dollies(track and tabletop), steadicams and the wheel cam rig, with help from youtube videos and the collective internet knowledge.

  •           Not very conducive for fast motion or action shots. You can, but you have to be selective about it.
  •      Slow panning also causes choppiness.
  •           Limited Lens setup but this will slowly change with a lot of new lenses(CP2) coming up. But again, they are expensive.
  •           Follow focus is very difficult considering the lenses that are compatible.
  •      Slow motion in full HD1920*1080 resolution is not recommended.
  •      When shooting outdoors, exposure has to be controlled consciously. Of course, this applies for any camera but with digital, take extra care. 
Gear used
Lenses used – 50mm Canon(F/1.8), 85mm Zeiss(F/1.4), 100-400mm L Zoom F/4.5-5.6 Canon, 12-24mm(F/3.5-5.6) Sigma(not recommended for 5D because of vignetting), 16-35mm Canon (F/2.8), Canon 24-105mm Zoom(F/4)

Two 8 GB Sandisk Cards
Kingston Card reader
Pics: One of our Cameramen, shoots a scene with the 5D and the DIY wheel cam rig. In the 2nd pic, the 7D is pictured with the 100-400mm L Zoom Lens and the 5D with the 16-35mm lens. The actors get ready for the take.



Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)xesrvai

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