Author Topic: Hello from Jersey (the real one not the New one) and appeal for help  (Read 3588 times)


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Hi everyone.

Hello from the sunny island if to you guys in the  not New Jersey,  Old Jersey ..the real one where you guys got the name from.

Now i Have browsed the forum briefly , looks like I won't be using ML any time soon...I have a Canon 5D Mk3  and from what I have seen  it looks like only at the Alpha for a newbie to this I think I better wait...yes?  wise move I think so ..but will listen to what others have to say,

Here is my situation.  absolutely no idea about film/video making.  Closest I have got to it is handy cam DV videos from 10 years ago when I lived in Uganda and the Congo.    about 8 hours of random video that i still cant get around to editing.

I have had the 5D3 for about 18 months..and SLR's for about 30 years..since I was  a kid with a darkroom.

Only flicked the 5D 3 to video mode once, ..all out of focus..I now see it is manual or fixed focus..  Oh well was not shooting anything even remotely interesting just doing it to see it worked.

Now to the BIG problem:

I have just been asked by a local Young Farmers Club, to film their yearly stage production/satyrical sketch show.
I had heard of ML, years ago, so this is why I am here..but as I see..looks like ML is not yet ready for me and my Mk3.

I am spending today and the next week or so getting familiar with the working of the video parts of the 5D3 and googling around for newbie video guides, but any pointers from here appreciated

The show is on a small stage, hall back wall maybe 15 meters from the stage..plan is camera on tripod  at the rear on platform about 6 foot up over audience.

25fps shooting rate.  I'd like 1280 rather than the 640 res..but it seems the 5D  does not support that video size..only 1920 or 640.
was thinking 640 too small and 1920 going to be a bit heavier on memory card requirement.

Was thinking of focusing mid stage, 50th second shutter speed with an aperture to give a DoF to keep all in focus and ISO to set exposure.

Audio might be an going to have to look for external mics.

Battery life....mains adapter on order.

But what about memory card requirement?    show time expected to be about 2 hr 30 mins.

Any help or pointers appreciated..yes I am going to search here and other places but wanted to get a post in say hallo and see what people have to say about this dumb idea I have let myself get roped into.




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Re: Hello from Jersey (the real one not the New one) and appeal for help
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2014, 12:41:06 PM »
Hi Neil,

I am not a professional video guy. I just acquired some experience with video over the past 3 years. Recently I recorded a little bit of raw video now working to get a efficient workflow with it.  Occasionally I worked (as a sound engineer) together with a group of indie film makers at some little concerts. So I got some additional information by just watching.

If you want to go for 1280x720 anyway and have to record a rather long show with just one camera without experience I would suggest the following "safety first attempt":

Do not consider RAW video.

Use the built in h264 video capabilities and 1920x1080 resolution. No sharpening or Sharpness 1. The footage will be soft, but as you are going to downsample it to 1280x720 you will gain some sharpness. In post production you can sharpen to taste, resulting in a sharpness that was satisfying my personal needs most of the time.
Use full stop ISOs or the pulled ones (160, 320).  ISO 100-1600 do almost have the same quality on 5DIII
Restart the recording after each performance (!).
You can use the All-I function if your camera and card support it (test it before)
Use for example the "Flaat10" picture style or (if really needed!) Flaat11. If the scene is not high dynamic range you may be able to just use Neutral with contrast -3 or Flaat9 or Marvels Cinestyle.

Make sure the exposure is right and your white balance is optimal. In such a controlled environment you even could set the white balance beforehand with a grey-card on stage.
Speak to the lighting engineer (if any) to keep the front illumination at a reasonable level (i.e. bright enough that you can get a proper exposure at no higher ISO than 1600).

The advantages (compared to RAW video) are:

- You can record single performances of up to 12minutes without having to stop and restart the recording.
- You do not have to buy 2x 1000x 64GB memory cards (each lasting for only ~12mins of footage) and swap them for dumping files to the computer after each performance.
- You end up with files that are compatible to every computer. So even without post-production the farmers can view your videos. This reduces pressure and you can take some time to edit the video.
- your workflow is A LOT faster!

The disadvantages are:

- The footage is a little soft (even compared to designated video cameras at about half the price point of the 5DIII)
- You can only capture 8-10 stops of dynamic range depending on your picture style settings
- You can not use Adobe Camera Raw to grade your footage (fill lights / shadow recovery)

Possible applications for ML in your case:
You could use the MagicLantern tools like ETTR and Histogram / Vectorscope to make sure the exposure and white balance is right.
If you have Firmware 1.1.3:
You can have a look at the Alpha 3 ( which will (to my knowledge) at least support you with a live video histogram. It can be loaded like a firmware update and not alter your camera. So it is safe to play around a bit. If anything strange happens just pull the battery and your camera is like before. (But of course there is no guarantee by any means). Please note that this Alpha has a strongly reduced feature set compared to full ML.
If you would consider installing the bootflag and full ML be aware that the boot flag is not yet removable and your Camera will be about 1-2sec slower in powering up!

Despite your question: 2:30 of video can get quite boring without additional camera angles / different framings.
If this is a "just for fun" work and you want to get into video it should be ok. If they rely on it maybe get some help of an advanced video guy. I suppose for a nice media coverage it would take at least 3 camera angles (one of them being a mobile camera).

I hope I could give some starting point for reseach ;-)


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Re: Hello from Jersey (the real one not the New one) and appeal for help
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2014, 08:24:48 PM »
If they're paying you, it is positively criminal not to tell them you have no idea what you're doing and to find someone else.


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Re: Hello from Jersey (the real one not the New one) and appeal for help
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2014, 05:03:23 PM »
Paying me ! hah no..there is now way I'd do it for pay. I am just an ex- Young Farmers Club member.

Took me a while to get back to this thread..sorry, did not receive any e-mail notification of your replies...

I read the warning about ML on the 5DIII so have not installed it seems there are some irreveresable actions caused but the instal..Or am I reading it wrong.  I am not prepared to risk any camera bricking so close to needing to use it.

Have shot three nights, one more to go.

Am having to settle on just a fixed camera position..there is just not room to move around. 

Only having a ball head and no fluid pan and tilt, any panning is just too fought and the lost footage while re focusing

Also having to deal with wildly differing sounds levels between speech and crowd applause, means I need another set of hands to control the mixer deck levels for the sound and try and do anything with the camera.

RAW was out form the would have been nice in theory, but no way I have the kit to do it.  Also the short clip length would be of no use.  Need at least the full 30 mins..if not longer memory card capacity.  I have a 32 CF and 16 SD, so even ALL-I creates too large files.

The whole thing about making the camera boot 1-2 seconds slower and no way to go back is totally un acceptable for me, tho sis just a photography hobby, with a camera that cost 3 months and not going to risk it in any way.

The problem I am having is how to set exposure.

I already did the white balance on the first night with a grey card..but what exposure mode to use is the issue. 
Since focusing is impossible ..I am viewing camera output on a normal flat screen non HD TV via the camera AV output to the yellow video TV screen input.

So I need to set a focus point and rely on depth of field to keep front to rear stage in focus...about 3 meter depth from from to rear ..about 12 meters from camera position

tried various lenses..
35mm f1.4...too wide field of view.
50mm f1.8...too wide field of view..
70 from the 70-200f2.8   too narrow field of view.

So tonight going to try the 24-70 f2.8 set to around 60mm.  just been up to check and that gives required angle of view.

But back to exposure..what do I use ?

Ideally need a fixed aperture of around f5.6 or f 8 I reckon to give a good enough Dof...but also (if I understand correctly ) need to set shutter speed for 50th sec for the 25fps rate.

I tried manual mode with Auto ISO..but that gives constant over exposure  and there is no exposure compensation..

So that almost means leaving a fixed exposure for the whole shoot ...

So far I have been running in Tv mode with 50th sec shutter speed.

Need to then use the main rear dial to dial down the exposure compensation by about 2 to 3 stops to keep the faces from blowing out.

The trouble with the standard camera firmware is that in the Tv have ono indication or ability to change ISO   apart from stopping the shoot and going to the ISO BUTTON...Taking a guess at what ISO to set..filming some more that looking at result..

Ideal would be to set both shutter speed and aperture manually , then use AUTO ISO with compensation. If it was possible to set pot light metering in the default firmware then this would probably work..but it seems that is not possible.