Sion's Videos & Multimedia

  • Lebanon Vigil
    A short video on a vigil outside the Houses of Parliament, to protest against the recent Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
  • Beyond Words: Visual Literacy at the SS Robin
    A video report for the Times Educational Supplement on photography workshops for children organised by the SS Robin Trust, a photography gallery and media centre on a 19th Century steamship.
  • Shaken and Stirred
    A video report shot for the Daily Telegraph Travel Section website.
  • Afghanistan: Dawn to Dusk.
    A slideshow of my coverage of the war in Afghanistan in 2001.

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Comments

Ben Curtis

I admit I'm not fully understanding of the 24p vs 30p issue, but it seems to me everyone complaining about the 30p is saying this means the camera won't be good for making films and looks too much like "video".

Fair enough. But for news photographers wanting to occasionally shoot video that might be used for TV, isn't this a GOOD thing? I work for a wire agency and if I needed to shoot video of breaking news in a pinch to give to our TV operation for broadcast use, is it not better that I shoot video-like 30p? Or am I misunderstanding something?

Which brings me on to another question - the sort of filesizes HD produces are I believe way too large to deal with and transmit via e.g. satphone in the field, and most TV operations are still shooting standard TV, not even 720p let alone 1080P. I would want the option to shoot at normal (non-HD) resolution with the 5DMkII - anyone know if this is possible?

Agree that having the mic on the back makes no sense at all, and is probably a remnant of mics on previous cameras being primarily used for voice annotations. Presumably you could use an adapter like the Beachtek if you want to use XLR mics and have mixing functions, though of course that will make the camera more cumbersome.

http://www.beachtek.com/dxa4.html

If you used a separate audio recorder wouldn't it be highly difficult to sync up the audio and video afterwards?

All that said I think it looks like a great camera from a mostly-stills-but-occasional-video outlook, though am somewhat disappointed by the 4fps stills shooting speed - I'd been hoping for something more useable like 5 or 6fps, and suspect it's a deliberate decision not to cut into 1D MkIII sales. 4fps just isn't quite fast enough to cut it in hard news scenarios, but perhaps I could live with it in return for the camera's other advantages.

Do you have any further observations on it as a stills camera? Build-quality, image-quality compared to MkIII, etc...

I sure hope the photo of the photocopier display turned out great, because it sounds like incredible overkill to use such an amazing camera for this purpose!

Cheers,

Ben

Ben Curtis

I meant to add... It seems the Red Scarlet has been cancelled, perhaps as a result of the 5DmkII announcement, with an even more amazing but as yet unspecified product promised in its place...

http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2008/09/23/red-scarlet-camera-c.html

Sion Touhig

The film thing is just about the visual apprearance of the footage. Video is video whether it's 24p or 30p, it just looks different. 24p gives you 24 progressive (single) frames of video, so it scans the same as cinema film. Progressive footage is also crucial for nice clean framegrabs.

I'd say a separate audio recorder is the way to go as you need to monitor your sound levels on the fly as you shoot. You can also use it remotely as a 'wireless' mike.

I've synced sound on multiple cameras before and you just have to stand in front of the cam and recorder, clap and let the cameras run. As long as you don't turn anything off you can sync the sound from the timeline audio peak on your NLE.

At the Straits Times, we shoot DVCPro HD uncompressed Hi-Def on solid state cards and smash it down to size for web transmission after editing using Final Cut Pro, but any other NLE will do the same.

You can specify what compression to output the vid for your bandwidth. We have tight deadlines here but you can do this kind of stuff on a decent laptop, no bother.

I'd say you want to be shooting HD all the time - in resolution terms, you can always go down, but not back up. It would be a shame to capture some stonking news event only to find you were shooting on some poxy YouTube setting - and as its 1080p (progressive), you have a clean, non-interlaced video frame to snatch a framegrab, if you miss 'Le Moment Decisif' with the full frame still....

The build quality is good, I'd imagine slightly better than the 5D. The one I tried had a handgrip which made it feel good and solid for shooting steady vid.

Same batteries, they last ages, but you'll be burning juice using the chimp screen to frame the vid.

It's a full frame chip and although I haven't seen any stills, I'd imagine the image quality to be top notch. I have a 5D and if this better than that, I wont be complaining.

I always regarded the 1D machine gun range of cameras to be aimed at news photogs, whereas the 5D was aimed at magazine/features photographers. I suppose you could say that still stands with the 5D MkII

Dan Chung

Hi guys,

Long time no speak, back in the UK briefly after much fun in China.

I'll cut to the chase about 30p, the issue is not really about film 'look' at all for photojournalists. It's that 30p is not easily convertable to broadcasts standards in Europe and much of Asia. That is it doesn't easily convert to 25p, 24p or 50i.

So the scenario is that you get the footage you need somewhere far flung, then can't convert it in anything like good enough quality for your TV chums to use. Obviously if you have an absolute exclusive this doesn't matter, but for more day to day work its a problem. This is compounded with the fact that all other news footage will be 24,25,50 or 60 fps and if you want to mix footage with your 5D its a real problem.


It's also a real problem for wires who broadcast mainly in PAL, converting 30p is a non starter unless you have some pretty serious computer hardware.

There is a big plus to 30p, and its why it is becoming more common. Youtube and most other web video runs at 15fps, so 30fps gives smoother results. Look here http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Canon-HV30-frame-rates-put-to-test-on-YouTube-34599.htm#

24p is not perfect, but at least 24p to 25p is a common conversion, its been used for Hollywood movies for ever.

I can't believe Canon decided to do this, especially after they left 30p off the European release of the HV30 camcorder. It only has 25p whereas the US version has 24p and 30p!

Basically the 5D will make a great camera for web use, and indie film too. But for news wires its pretty much a non starter.

Dan

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