Author Topic: Wich (cheap) Canon DSLR for 8 mm easy frame by frame digitalisation  (Read 1140 times)

DanoKrnac

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Hi,

I've been using a 600D to convert 8 mm movies to digital - with a projector with DC motor powered by arduino pwm modulation and 600D set to custom framerate of around 18 fps. However, it's time to step the game up to much higher quality frame by frame conversion.

So I've bought a cheap 70D hoping it's going to be the right camera for the job. However, I've just now realised that it doesn't support fps override function (as of 22 march 2019). That would be ok, if I could find a way to record frames on half shutter press without using mechanical shutter (ergo silent pictures) at at least 4 fps. Each frame would be triggered by a sensor on projector shutter connected via a external remote.

I've tried silent frames which with crop rec. Works nice, but the silent picture module ("single" setting) is only able to shoot at around 1 fps. That is way too slow since the slowest my PWM module can rotate the projector is 4 fps. Any slower, it stops and also, it would take hours to convert a few minute film reel.

So the question is - is there any kind of setting and modules that would get me to shoot externally triggered frames into a mlv file at a rate of at least 5 fps, or is the 70D not up to the task?

I believe, that the 5D mark III should be able to do this, but it is also three times the price. I've also looked at the 650D, 700D and 5D mkII and 6D, but I have no idea if those would be any better at what I need.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
Canon 70D, Canon 600D

dfort

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Re: Wich (cheap) Canon DSLR for 8 mm film digitalisation
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2019, 06:47:00 AM »
Just about any other ML enabled camera would probably work, including the EOSM.

Here are some previous film scanner topics, I'm sure there's more if you search the forum.

https://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=10693.msg103999#msg103999
https://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=17175.msg167292#msg167292
5D3.* 7D.206 700D.115 EOSM.203 EOSM2.103 M50.102

ArcziPL

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Re: Wich (cheap) Canon DSLR for 8 mm film digitalisation
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2019, 07:57:58 AM »
I've been using a 600D to convert 8 mm movies to digital - with a projector with DC motor powered by arduino pwm modulation and 600D set to custom framerate of around 18 fps. However, it's time to step the game up to much higher quality frame by frame conversion.
Why do you think a change from 600D to 70D (or whatever else) would bring a significant improvement of the quality?

Are you already recording RAW video and using crop mode? If not try it out. Here 70D indeed has an advantage, being able to record continuosly in 14-bit with lossless compression. This is already achievable with 25fps, when using a fast SD card and overclocking with sd_uhs module; at 18fps should be even easier.

I've bought a cheap 70D hoping it's going to be the right camera for the job. However, I've just now realised that it doesn't support fps override function (as of 22 march 2019).
I started enabling this function on 70D just about a week ago.

As you have 70D already, please try it with this build:
https://bitbucket.org/ArcziPL/magic-lantern/downloads/magiclantern-Nightly.2019Mar15.70D112_crop_rec_4k_mlv_lite_lossless_fps_override_experimental.zip

It still needs some bugfixing: FPS override does functionally work, only readout of the actual FPS is still buggy. You'll need to change metadata of the resulting video to 18FPS on a PC, as the file will be tagged with original setting from Canon menu.

Would be nice if you can try it and report back if it's working OK or if there are more problems with this function.
70D.112 | M50.102 | M.202

DanoKrnac

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Re: Wich (cheap) Canon DSLR for 8 mm film digitalisation
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2019, 04:05:44 PM »
Why do you think a change from 600D to 70D (or whatever else) would bring a significant improvement of the quality?
Not quality improvement, but it should be faster. Also, it's a better stills camera and at this point, it costs the same as a used 700D...
Converting 8mm films is not the only purpose of the camera.

Are you already recording RAW video and using crop mode? If not try it out. Here 70D indeed has an advantage, being able to record continuosly in 14-bit with lossless compression. This is already achievable with 25fps, when using a fast SD card and overclocking with sd_uhs module; at 18fps should be even easier.
I started enabling this function on 70D just about a week ago.

I'm quite a newbie with the modules so I'm not sure what I'm actually doing. I just want to record some cropped part of the sensor (need to do trial and error to find out what part of the sensor actually works for me with my lens and projector) and for every frame of the film I need to tell the camera to make a single picture (via wired remote) everytime a new frame appears on the projector. Now I've found out that this works nice with silent pictures (there is a an option to make a picture everytime I press the shutter and all pictures get stacked in an MLV file). But doing it this way only gets me the before mentioned 1 fps or so.

So what modules do I use and is there an option to shoot via mlv-rec or crop-rec and advance the frames manually?
The 14 bit option is nice but for me it's an overkill. I'd be satisfied with h264. The manual frame advance is what I need the most.

As you have 70D already, please try it with this build:
https://bitbucket.org/ArcziPL/magic-lantern/downloads/magiclantern-Nightly.2019Mar15.70D112_crop_rec_4k_mlv_lite_lossless_fps_override_experimental.zip

It still needs some bugfixing: FPS override does functionally work, only readout of the actual FPS is still buggy. You'll need to change metadata of the resulting video to 18FPS on a PC, as the file will be tagged with original setting from Canon menu.

Would be nice if you can try it and report back if it's working OK or if there are more problems with this function.

I'm going to try it as soon as I can. Thanks!
Canon 70D, Canon 600D

DanoKrnac

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Re: Wich (cheap) Canon DSLR for 8 mm film digitalisation
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2019, 04:50:41 PM »
So I've tried the fps override at 1 fps, 10 fps and 18 fps and while it records at the set framerate, the clip is only a few seconds long and then the camera stops automatically (I'm guessing it fills a buffer)
Canon 70D, Canon 600D

DanoKrnac

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Re: Wich (cheap) Canon DSLR for 8 mm film digitalisation
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2019, 04:55:28 PM »
Just about any other ML enabled camera would probably work, including the EOSM.

Here are some previous film scanner topics, I'm sure there's more if you search the forum.

https://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=10693.msg103999#msg103999
https://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=17175.msg167292#msg167292

The first system is basically what I have now, but I doesn't do frame by frame conversion.
The second one is frame by frame conversion, but doesn't output a MLV file with a video, but rather milions of image files which then need to be converted to a video which takes time and effort.

I'm looking for a setting that would let me make a silent picture (or a video frame, based on what module let's me achieve this) everytime a shutter is pressed at a rate of 5 fps or more lets me and save the set of images directly into one single MLV video file. That would be a lifesaver.
Canon 70D, Canon 600D

ArcziPL

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Re: Wich (cheap) Canon DSLR for 8 mm film digitalisation
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2019, 12:12:38 PM »
So I've tried the fps override at 1 fps, 10 fps and 18 fps and while it records at the set framerate, the clip is only a few seconds long and then the camera stops automatically (I'm guessing it fills a buffer)
What SD card are you using? I can record minutes in h264 or MLV using FPS override, without stopping.
70D.112 | M50.102 | M.202

andy kh

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Re: Wich (cheap) Canon DSLR for 8 mm easy frame by frame digitalisation
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2019, 01:10:49 PM »
So I've tried the fps override at 1 fps, 10 fps and 18 fps and while it records at the set framerate, the clip is only a few seconds long and then the camera stops automatically (I'm guessing it fills a buffer)

I dont have such problems in my last test
5D Mark III - 70D

a1ex

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Re: Wich (cheap) Canon DSLR for 8 mm easy frame by frame digitalisation
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2019, 02:33:22 PM »
I'm looking for a setting that would let me make a silent picture (or a video frame, based on what module let's me achieve this) everytime a shutter is pressed at a rate of 5 fps or more lets me and save the set of images directly into one single MLV video file. That would be a lifesaver.

Half-shutter trigger in mlv_lite should work just fine for this purpose.

DanoKrnac

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Re: Wich (cheap) Canon DSLR for 8 mm film digitalisation
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2019, 09:21:45 PM »
What SD card are you using? I can record minutes in h264 or MLV using FPS override, without stopping.
Sandisk Extreme (170MB read, 90MB write)
It shows a little bar thingy that sort does a countdown till recording stops.
I've had no problem with the same settings on 600D so I hope I haven't set something wrong.
Canon 70D, Canon 600D

DanoKrnac

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Re: Wich (cheap) Canon DSLR for 8 mm easy frame by frame digitalisation
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2019, 09:24:52 PM »
Half-shutter trigger in mlv_lite should work just fine for this purpose.
But that does seem to start the recording, and when pressed second time, it stop. I doesn't seem to make a still each time halfshutter is pressed. Or am I doing something wrong?
Canon 70D, Canon 600D

a1ex

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Re: Wich (cheap) Canon DSLR for 8 mm easy frame by frame digitalisation
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2019, 09:58:21 PM »
That's just one of the trigger modes. You need to set it to pre-record only one frame; that's how it works internally.

References:
- the fine print at the bottom of the screen in ML menu (aka help text)
- https://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=17069.msg188328#msg188328
- https://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=19300.msg182324#msg182324

Yes, better menu wording, help text or even a short tutorial could be useful.