Author Topic: A *very* confused user looking for some advise  (Read 15594 times)

sgofferj

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A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« on: May 13, 2014, 09:12:43 PM »
Hi!

As hinted in my introduction, I'm in the market for a new camera. I mostly take photos still on film with my EOS 300 and my ages old fully manual Braun camera, although I do have an IXUS (with CHDK) lying around.
I also take lots of videos and have several sports cams (including GoPro) and "wing cameras" flying around which I mainly use with my UAVs. Sometimes I also velcro one of those to a cap on forest walks.

Now I want to step up the video-quality quite a bit and if the camera as a side effect can also take nice quality stills, even better.
To be honest, I'm not even sure what I want. Well - yeah - I want good quality video - and raw material with which I can do something creative (ever tried to do even little color improvement on h264 from a cheap UAV cam?).
One of my big loves are wolves (of which we have a handful in Finland) and also my dogs. And I'm a weather-nut (and stormchaser). I definitely want to shoot some nice footage of there.
My main problem is that I haven't followed the development in either the photo or the video industry for about 20 years, so I'm clueless as of what features are common and what camera to buy... But ok, first things first...:

My budget is roughly €1500 +/- something.
I primarily want to shoot 1080p video but if the camera can do photos, it's a welcome plus
Ideally, the camera has a form factor that would allow me to hang it under a medium multirotor and fly more than 3 minutes with that. Medium means either my existing 70cm quad or maybe a hex which I might build but I don't want to have a 15kg, 1m octo-monster.
But the copter thing is no must. More like a "nice to have".
I don't have Windows and I won't buy/install Windows. Means - Things need to work in Linux, ideally with kdenlive.
I do have a bit of EF-glass, so if I could re-use that, I (read: my budget) would be very happy.
Raw format output (for video) would be cool, especially as I like to play around and do stuff like the "CSI:Miami-look", however, I also need to be able to do something with it, so some converter which runs on Linux or a kdenlive-plugin would be a prerequisite - preferably a converter which doesn't fill up the disk with single images 3 times the size of the raw clip.

I have been looking at the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, but - although tempting - this thing is very scary with regards to all the possibilities and features and due to the fact that I'm an enthusiastic amateur at best. And it seems that to get a usable system I would have to invest about twice as much as my budget is for things like adapter rings, batteries, etc.

The EOS-M looks very interesting to me at first glance, maybe with an EF-M adapter ring?

Well, bottom line - I stumbled over Magic Lantern and as I have already some Canon stuff, I thought, maybe I find a good solution for me here...

-Stefan
18+ years Linux user, wolf-fan, hobby photographer and -filmmaker
EOS 6D, EOS 7D

Kharak

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Re: A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2014, 08:41:18 AM »
DSLR with a decent glass are quite heavy.. So you'll need something bigger than one of those white Phantom Copters.

1500$ for the DSLR itself, I'd say go with the 5D MK II. Full Frame Sensor, 22 MP Pictures, Records almost 1080p Raw Video (which is unnoticeable when scaled up) and lots of other stuff and its an awesome camera.

Mind you, Raw video requires a lot of post processing. But if you are more in to pictures, the 5D MK II will still be a camera you will love.

Good Luck.
once you go raw you never go back

RTLdan

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Re: A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2014, 11:11:53 AM »
I can happily recommend a 6D. They can frequently be found body only for around your price point.
It has newer sensor technology than the 5Dii and performs extremely well in low light (even edging out the 5Diii very slightly for sensor performance). You could then either use your old EF glass, or buy vintage primes + adapters rather inexpensively. This is exactly what I did. At the time I bought my camera and for the price, there wasn't much else to even consider.

Now that I've become more experienced with my camera and all these cool RAW features are available, I am slightly jealous of the 5Diii's full 1080 continous RAW recording. The 6D seems to cap out around 720 for continuous RAW recording. If RAW video is extremely important to you, I'd save up. But it really does sound to me like the 6D would make you quite happy if, as you mentioned, you intend to use it for h.264 1080 video, and photography. Photo IQ is outstanding. The video is very capable and will take you quite far. The 6D is a fun camera, plain and simple.

As a gearslut I'm a little curious about the GH4 and the A7S...it might be worth checking them out. The only footage from the GH4 I've seen lacked something of the cinematic feel. Hard to say without really using it hands on though. I don't know what it is, but it's similar to the reason I chose the Canon 6D over the Nikon D600 -- the Nikon video, while similar in spec, just didn't look "right" to me. I think it's the motion? Of course now I have a preference for Canon because of Magic Lantern! ;)

Hope this helps a bit.
-Daniel

nick.p

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A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2014, 11:58:01 AM »
As somebody that flies multirotors, the biggest camera you can hang under a small 650 sized quad is a blackmagic cinema camera or an eos m.

sgofferj

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Re: A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2014, 03:13:27 PM »
Thanks so far. As a sidenote, the copter-compatibility is not a must-have. It's more like "nice to have" because in the end, I can always get a Nex or something like that to shoot from a copter.
But raw-capabilities are kinda important to me. It depends - of course - about the dynamic range that the camera can produce with stock h.264 video but I'm worried that this might not be enough. Especially, if you want to shoot animals in a nature setting you often have extreme light differences in a shot. Just imagine a wolf in front of low vegetation in front of clear sky/horizon on a sunny day. If you set your exposure to have the wolf right, the sky will be a white blob and if you set it to get the sky right, the wolf in front of the vegetation will be invisible.

Besides, has anybody yet found a way around the 30 minutes limit? The EOS-M and apparently some newer Canon DSLRs can at least record split multifile but still stop at 30 minutes because of the customs classification...

And... If I understand the comments right, the camera being able to shoot 1080p in h.264 does NOT automatically mean it can shoot 1080p raw with Magic Lantern?
18+ years Linux user, wolf-fan, hobby photographer and -filmmaker
EOS 6D, EOS 7D

Walter Schulz

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Re: A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2014, 05:56:33 PM »
And... If I understand the comments right, the camera being able to shoot 1080p in h.264 does NOT automatically mean it can shoot 1080p raw with Magic Lantern?

Yes.
Bandwidth needed for h.264 with 1080p/30 is about 6 MByte/s. 1080p/30 in RAW/MLV ... well ... http://www.slashcam.de/tools/ml-raw-calc.html and that may be bottlenecked by the cam's card interface.
2 things to consider: You might want to upscale "native" RAW video frames (native = liveview resolution) and use the whole sensor area or go crop where sensor area will be cropped (of course) and - of course - lens FOV will be reduced.
Both has it's pro and cons.

Audionut

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Re: A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2014, 06:20:05 PM »
AFAIK, if a camera cannot shoot 1080p raw (notwithstanding bandwidth limitations), then it doesn't record true 1080p H.264 either.  It simply upscales behind the scenes.

sgofferj

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Re: A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2014, 07:49:16 PM »
Bandwidth needed for h.264 with 1080p/30 is about 6 MByte/s. 1080p/30 in RAW/MLV ... well ... http://www.slashcam.de/tools/ml-raw-calc.html and that may be bottlenecked by the cam's card interface.
2 things to consider: You might want to upscale "native" RAW video frames (native = liveview resolution) and use the whole sensor area or go crop where sensor area will be cropped (of course) and - of course - lens FOV will be reduced.
Both has it's pro and cons.

I followed that link and also read the 2 parts of the RAW-FAQ...
And now I'm fairly more confused about the video quality. If I understand it right, I have the choice between either quality problems, such as moirés or a pretty big crop-factor - which will kinda bring the same issues as I would have with the BMPCC - needing idioticly wide angle (and expensive) glass to capture "normal" views?

Question:
I know that ML for the EOS-M is still Beta, but is it known, what RAW video resolutions the EOS-M can write?

Right now I'm thinking of getting an EOS-M with the EF adapter and if this turns out to not work for me quality-wise, I might keep the EOS-M for photos and later get an BMPCC with a Metabones Speedbooster for EF (when it finally comes out)...
Just an idea. Yeah yeah, I know, I should have followed development - I wouldn't be so clueless then now...
I guess, another problem is that I don't have the experience so I can't judge how big those quality issues of the Canon scaler chip actually are...
18+ years Linux user, wolf-fan, hobby photographer and -filmmaker
EOS 6D, EOS 7D

Audionut

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Walter Schulz

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Re: A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2014, 07:53:16 PM »
I know that ML for the EOS-M is still Beta, but is it known, what RAW video resolutions the EOS-M can write?

You don't want to go there, I believe: http://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=6215.0

sgofferj

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Re: A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2014, 09:06:23 PM »
Back to square one it is then. I checked the 5DII and the 6D. 5DII sells for around 2500-2800€ in Finland... 6D could work maybe.
18+ years Linux user, wolf-fan, hobby photographer and -filmmaker
EOS 6D, EOS 7D

Walter Schulz

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Re: A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2014, 09:16:46 PM »
5DIII is what you meant, I suppose.

sgofferj

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Re: A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2014, 09:55:40 PM »
Nope, MkII (Mark two). Finland is a small market with very little competition. Dealers usually rip customers off...
The MkIII goes for 2800-3100€. Superkuva sells it with a 24-105 IS USM glass for 3500... The 6D with the same lens for 2300.
18+ years Linux user, wolf-fan, hobby photographer and -filmmaker
EOS 6D, EOS 7D

RTLdan

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Re: A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2014, 11:33:24 AM »
If you are not particularly neurotic (like I can be), 720 RAW upscaled to 1080 is still going to be quite powerful -- assuming you've got time to work with it in post.  I'm just finicky in that I want to see the 1080 framing/FOV. The smaller 720 recording area drives me bonkers. So I've been using h.264 pretty much exclusively on the 6D. I really should suck it up and give 720 RAW video some tests.

Dual ISO video can be used if your scene has such crazy DR that you can't get it any other way.
Other than that, the 6D is still up there in the top for native DR (if I'm not mistaken).

Be it 5Dii, 6D, or 5Diii, you will find magic lantern to be invaluable in helping you create beautiful images. And you will find that all three of these cameras are capable of remarkable things with just a touch of creativity. If you have any doubt of their ability to record beautiful images, whether h.264 or RAW, just refresh yourself with the amazing videos on youtube created using these very tools.

I, for one, can easily get caught up in the geeky tech toy part of it. But I think if you buy the camera you can afford, whether it is a 5Dii or 6D, you will have a lot of camera to work with.

Just my .02 cents.
-Daniel

sgofferj

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Re: A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2014, 02:43:04 PM »
Yeah, I am kinda perfectionist... With that I do stand in my own way every once in a while but in this case it's the notion "If I'm going to spend €1500+ on a new camera, I want it fulfill all my needs"...

Edit:
Still being very skeptical of the cropping because it would probably mean buying new glass to do what I want, wouldn't it?
18+ years Linux user, wolf-fan, hobby photographer and -filmmaker
EOS 6D, EOS 7D

sgofferj

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Re: A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2014, 11:31:00 AM »
I have done (and am still doing) a ton of reading and watching Youtube-reviews on cameras.
It seems that the 6D produces very ugly picture artifacts, called "aliasing" and moirés, especially in 720p but also in 1080p when not shooting raw. How much is to that reports? The examples in the YT-reviews looked really ugly.
Thing is that I might not always want to shoot raw video, so the image quality of "normal" 1080p should be somewhat better than with my $99 Boscam HD-19 UAV cam ^^.

Again about the 30 minutes recording limit - I have found a few topics here but nothing conclusive yet... Has somebody found a way around it yet or is somebody actually trying to do so? The reason why I ask is that I - as I wrote - plan to shoot animals and my experience has been that it's best to just keep rolling and rolling and select in post what shots you want to use. Especially when going after very shy animals.
18+ years Linux user, wolf-fan, hobby photographer and -filmmaker
EOS 6D, EOS 7D

Audionut

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Re: A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2014, 04:45:13 PM »
Only the 5D3 (and probably 1Dx) doesn't suffer from extreme aliasing.

If you're going to re-encode the video, avisynth has a few AA filters that should improve the footage.

sgofferj

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Re: A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2014, 06:24:18 PM »
If you're going to re-encode the video, avisynth has a few AA filters that should improve the footage.
Do you happen to know if ffmpeg or mlt6 can do that too?
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Audionut

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Re: A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2014, 06:49:14 PM »
No idea what mlt6 is.  Quick google search suggests there is no built-in AA filter for ffmpeg.

If you can use ffmpeg, you can use avisynth ;)

sgofferj

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Re: A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2014, 08:05:54 PM »
That's MLT: http://www.mltframework.org/

Argh, command line... Video (and photo) editing is just about the only thing that I do not want to do on the CLI. And most Linux video editors and postprocessing software is based on ffmpeg (or more precise: libavcodec) and/or MLT.
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RTLdan

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Re: A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2014, 10:33:07 PM »
I have done (and am still doing) a ton of reading and watching Youtube-reviews on cameras.
It seems that the 6D produces very ugly picture artifacts, called "aliasing" and moirés, especially in 720p but also in 1080p when not shooting raw. How much is to that reports? The examples in the YT-reviews looked really ugly.
Thing is that I might not always want to shoot raw video, so the image quality of "normal" 1080p should be somewhat better than with my $99 Boscam HD-19 UAV cam ^^.

Again about the 30 minutes recording limit - I have found a few topics here but nothing conclusive yet... Has somebody found a way around it yet or is somebody actually trying to do so? The reason why I ask is that I - as I wrote - plan to shoot animals and my experience has been that it's best to just keep rolling and rolling and select in post what shots you want to use. Especially when going after very shy animals.

To address the first question about aliasing/moire --
On my 6D I have mixed results with picture artifacts. I would say that in a real world setting things are much less severe than in a youtube video actively looking to show off the problems. Not to say they aren't there. My personal real world experience has shown about 80% of my footage looks fine, and then I'll be unhappily surprised here and there with the other 20% having artifacts that I didn't catch while shooting. Now, don't get me wrong. Aliasing and moire bug me a lot, and I really wish they would have worked on reducing it. But if you pay close attention to a lot of TV these days, it's not an uncommon problem. A lot of cameras suffer from these problems. Not just the 6D. I've seen big budget shows where I can catch a shot or two that has visible picture artifacts on striped shirts or things of that sort. So yes, the problem is annoying. Yes, it would be really nice to use a camera without any of it, and I really look forward to the day when cameras are artifact free. But it's all perspective. For how much good work my Canon 6D does, I can live with some artifacts here and there. And one day I'll get a camera that doesn't have it. I would just take those youtube videos with a grain of salt. For me, shooting 1080 h.264 on the 6D has been mostly a pleasant experience with generally low artifact rates.

To answer your second question, I can understand your reasoning for wanting to shoot over 30 min..
If you were shooting let's say, a concert, it could be critical that your file did not stop recording mid song.
But you mentioned you are shooting wildlife -- just keeping it rolling and looking for and editing the good stuff later.
Are you already aware of the auto-restart recording feature of magic lantern? You wouldn't lose more than a second or two between clips.

Thanks!
-Daniel

Audionut

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Re: A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2014, 04:09:43 AM »
Argh, command line... Video (and photo) editing is just about the only thing that I do not want to do on the CLI. And most Linux video editors and postprocessing software is based on ffmpeg (or more precise: libavcodec) and/or MLT.

In a single AVS file.

Quote
source="sourcename.mov"
AA()
Otherfilters()

Load AVS file in graphical frontend linux convertor with AVS support.  Encode video, job done.
Replace "sourcename.mov" with name of next video file to be encoded, save AVS file, load into editor, encode, done!

You appear to be making this extremely more difficult then it otherwise needs to be.

sgofferj

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Re: A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2014, 11:34:40 PM »
In a single AVS file.

Load AVS file in graphical frontend linux convertor with AVS support.  Encode video, job done.
Replace "sourcename.mov" with name of next video file to be encoded, save AVS file, load into editor, encode, done!

You appear to be making this extremely more difficult then it otherwise needs to be.
Thanks! You might be right about the difficult-part - I simply don't know AVS, so I expected the worst. You probably know how it is when you are used to (stuck in?) your workflow :).
18+ years Linux user, wolf-fan, hobby photographer and -filmmaker
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sgofferj

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Re: A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2014, 11:38:57 PM »
To address the first question about aliasing/moire --
On my 6D I have mixed results with picture artifacts. I would say that in a real world setting things are much less severe than in a youtube video actively looking to show off the problems. Not to say they aren't there. My personal real world experience has shown about 80% of my footage looks fine, and then I'll be unhappily surprised here and there with the other 20% having artifacts that I didn't catch while shooting. Now, don't get me wrong. Aliasing and moire bug me a lot, and I really wish they would have worked on reducing it. But if you pay close attention to a lot of TV these days, it's not an uncommon problem. A lot of cameras suffer from these problems. Not just the 6D. I've seen big budget shows where I can catch a shot or two that has visible picture artifacts on striped shirts or things of that sort. So yes, the problem is annoying. Yes, it would be really nice to use a camera without any of it, and I really look forward to the day when cameras are artifact free. But it's all perspective. For how much good work my Canon 6D does, I can live with some artifacts here and there. And one day I'll get a camera that doesn't have it. I would just take those youtube videos with a grain of salt. For me, shooting 1080 h.264 on the 6D has been mostly a pleasant experience with generally low artifact rates.

To answer your second question, I can understand your reasoning for wanting to shoot over 30 min..
If you were shooting let's say, a concert, it could be critical that your file did not stop recording mid song.
But you mentioned you are shooting wildlife -- just keeping it rolling and looking for and editing the good stuff later.
Are you already aware of the auto-restart recording feature of magic lantern? You wouldn't lose more than a second or two between clips.

Thanks!
-Daniel
Well, that sounds a bit more inspiring :). Thanks! I agree, the videos I saw on YT were specifically made to show the problems. They were panning over roofs and past powerlines. They looked worse than my $99 Boscam...

I have read about the auto-restart but I didn't realize it's for that. I can probably live with a second or 2 delay, although Murphy says that the wolf-puppies will just in this 1 or 2 seconds put their nose out of the den for the first time... (Yeah, I do have some specific plans :) ).
18+ years Linux user, wolf-fan, hobby photographer and -filmmaker
EOS 6D, EOS 7D

sgofferj

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Re: A *very* confused user looking for some advise
« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2014, 12:19:52 PM »
Just to give an update - I have a 6D on order now. After quite some consideration I decided primarily because the 5DIII would be way out of my budget and there were a few things I saw in reviews, especially, regarding autofocus performance in low-light conditions which were better for me in the 6D. I'll see if I can deal with the artifacts and how it goes.
18+ years Linux user, wolf-fan, hobby photographer and -filmmaker
EOS 6D, EOS 7D