Cinematography : canon 5D by Shrirang Nargund

Shrirang Nargund

canon 5D

just observed that some cameramen are having problem maintaining focus on this camera especially while following the moving character. is it their lack of expertise or any other technical reason that should be taken care of? also can we record the good quality sound on this camera along with the video?

Kyle I. Kelley

Need to know a lot more about your shooting situation to answer this properly. If you're using cinema lenses with a proper follow focus and a large monitor, no it shouldn't be a problem. If you're using still glass, pulling from the barrel on a small LCD? It's nearly impossible. And no, the 5D can't record quality sound on its own.

Stuart Bicknell

Kyle's right. Sometimes those still lenses try to cover several fit with the turn of a hair, which is tough on the 5D's large sensor/shallow depth of field. If you're having issues with soft focus try going to a smaller aperature to help increase your focal range.

Andrew Sobkovich

The Canon 5D is harder to track focus with due to shallow depth of field. For the same viewing angle and f-stop, the Canon 5D has less depth of field than cameras with smaller approximately Super 35mm sized sensors. This is because the larger sensor of the 5D requires a longer lens focal length than a Super 35mm sensor size camera to give the same viewing angle. Using more light to allow the lens to be stopped down will compensate. You would need approximately 3x the amount of light in order to stop down 1.5 stops to have approximately equal angle of view and depth of field.

Asier Jon Odriozola

Thanks for the advice Andy. I've got a Canon 70D myself. How would you regard this camera on the same issue? Cheers Asier Jon

Kyle I. Kelley

70D has a smaller sensor, so it should be somewhat easier to focus with. Still has the same issues as I mentioned in my first post.

Asier Jon Odriozola

Thanks Kyle, much appreciated.

Andrew Sobkovich

Aiser, I agree with what Kyle posted. the 70D has a sensor that is approximately Super 35 sized so will have correspondingly greater depth of field than a 5D for the same viewing angle and f-stop.

Adrian Sierkowski

Another thing to think about is that often people when using the 5D think they don't need light, since the camera can perform so well on low-light. This leads to shooting at a wider aperture which decreases DoF and it becomes a loosing situation quickly. Even some of my best, union, 1ACs who have no problem shooting wide open on a film camera may have some trouble if I throw them into a low light situation on a 5D.

Shrirang Nargund

by this discussion, I think while shooting video on still/video cameras like 5D, DP should have the proper gear.

Dare Mojeed

using an external audio recorder is the best for getting the audio

Royce Allen Dudley

Most DSLR lenses are simply not ergonomically or mechanically correct for fluid focus pulls., with or without a FF knob. Correctly cine-barreled lenses present less issue to a pro. Older manual focus still lenses can work (I use them ) but require a delicate and practiced touch. Remember "full frame" DSLR cameras are actually 8 perf area.. in moves, that's VistaVision, not a normal shooting format at all; 35mm movies are 3 perf ( like APS C) and the related shallow focus at a given stop is also part of the problem in 5D world ; the size of the sensor / film frame is directly proportional to focus. Bigger frame, shallower focus ( at a given stop and field of view, because to get that same field of view the focal lengths become progressively longer ). That big 5D sensor is great for low light- but at the cost of too- shallow focus. If the operator would simply stop down, light a bit, and accept more depth the pulls become much easier. Also remember formats larger than 2/3", Super 16mm, MFT traditionally have a crew member assigned to pull focus who is not the operator. Just because the DSLR is small and cheap does not mean that job is unneeded. and the DSLR is in fact more often than not the worst choice on a budget. Lots of other great, cheap cameras out there in 2014. But we must not argue with City Hall ;)

Andre Hunt

When shooting my B&W short noir film with my Canon 5D Mark II, when it came time to shoot a fight scene (at night) with quick cuts and generous camera moves, I decided to use my Canon 310 Elph 1080p camera. I purchased a very heavy lazy Susan on eBay, (solid wood) mounted an LED light in the center of it, and held down my Elph camera at the edge with masking tape, tilted up a hair toward the center. After giving the lazy susan a big spin on the ground, I had my actors grapple with each other over it, in multiple takes, checking lighting and positions. The imagery we got was so insane that we all broke up. Most of it is edited out now, but I will toss it back into the preview. I did find a very unusual use for it at the end of the film. Because of using the Elph 310, everything remained in focus. Later, I held the LED in one hand and the Elph in another, and shot the fight upright, making quick moves based on the action. Again, everything was in focus. A little post in photoshop to bring down any hot lighting spots, but you could see that while shooting, and move your arm with the battery powered LED accordingly. No one notices the change of resolution from the full frame to the Elph, because of the decent lighting, and everything being in focus. Somehow, there's no camera shake. And it never looks slick. It looks like film. Take a look. Bum Rap - A Noir Fantasy. Doesn't play on mobile devices due to the use of two songs from the fifties, but my requests for sync permission have been sent....(it will however play on mobile from my stage 32 video page, miraculously, but you can't select high res...)

John Keedwell

Yes lenses are potentially the isue here. As mentioned cine lenses are designed differently,and keep focus in a zoom, and have different mechanisms. Incidentally I am putting the finishing touches to my Stage 32 WEBINAR happenng on the 29th April at 1pm PST. It is called "Intro to shooting on DSLR" and this is one of many areas of interest covered. Also sound recording, recording the data, rigs, and much more. It isnt advertised on Stage 32 yet, but it is happening. Get an early bird discount ! Talk soon. If there is any experience of DSLR shootuing you want to add then let me know and I will see how it can be included. best John Keedwell GBCT

Asier Jon Odriozola

Hi John Very happy to hear about your webinar. Might I ask how can I register? Also during your webinar, if you could please elaborate, about the best quality yet most affordable gear out there, and what in your view are the best options (basic-moderate-advance) kits, I think that would be terrific. Asier Jon

Ken Koh

you'll need a follow focus and someone to pull focus. check out zacuto.com. And record sound separately using the zoom h1n or similar

John Keedwell

Yes, ken, follow focus is a skilled art, and unfortunately a great many don't know how crucial it is.. If the shot is out of focus, or hunting through the focus then it is both distracting and unprofessional. If shooting a documentary then it may not work, depending on the subject,. Yet a drama, the lower depth of focus is desired as a "look" by many, (and is often why the Canon 5D is chosen due to the larger sensor size). the focus can be extremely critical at wider apertures and longer lenses. Again it all depends on the subject matter, how it is lit and the treatment of the visuals and story, so there is no one answer. If in doubt find yourselves a good experienced focus puller and shoot a picture with that area all in hand. It will be a better film because a focus puller (or nowadays the 1st assistant camera) will bring more than the focus elements, they bring a whole lot more. Lets be professional in whatever situation we are in

Ken Koh

If u can't afford all this then shoot with a smaller sensor, especially for documentary you'll use lots of depth of field. I shot docs for many years and always use the hyper focal distance (gives you maximum depth of field at a given f-stop for a given focal length)

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