Wednesday, March 17, 2010

HDSLR aliasing and EX1 comparisons

Marco Colorio has written an introduction to HD SLR video recording for Creative Cow. It's a good introduction for those who haven't gotten their feet wet yet, and it covers most of the basics.

What really got my attention though, was the discussion of the issues of aliasing, and Marco's mention of his preference for the Canon 5D Mark II over his Sony EX1; even though he acknowledges that he probably won't get rid of the EX1.

In the article, Marco mentions, but then quickly dismisses, the issues of aliasing:
The current workaround for any HDSLR is to try to avoid shooting against things like brick walls, chain link fences, power lines, etc. If you must, try to distance the subject further away from them, so that the backgrounds become defocused. In fact, even just a hair out of focus will completely solve the problem.
Several people expound - both pro and con - on the issue in the comments, and some solutions and work-arounds are offered. I can't help wondering though, whether those complaining about aliasing are just looking for problems. Not to dismiss their concerns out of hand, but nearly all video cameras are a compromise in one way or another. A lot of people are happily shooting with these HD SLRs and either avoiding, solving, or not worrying about the aliasing issues that others point to.

The author himself notes in the comments:
Our EX1 is a little more suited for run-and-gun ENG/EFP type production, namely for its form-factor, it's built in XLR/trim audio hardware and the like. I should note that I enjoy shooting with the 5D2 more, solely because of its image capabilities. The work-arounds that are involved with the 5D2 that aren't present with the EX1 (or EX3) are worth it in many ways because of the 5D2's exceptional image characteristics. If you plan on a lot of ENG/EFP, then maybe an EX1/EX3 is a better option. But if you have time to compose your scene/shot, and add some helpful accessories to make the camera more for controlability, then the 5D2 might be your solution.
Here's someone with an EX1 who is obviously happier to go and shoot with the 5D.

This makes for an interesting counter-point to the recent article by Alister Chapman. I say this because Chapman wrote about comparing the Canon T2i to the EX1, and he didn't like the image quality at all. So here we have Chapman and Colorio both comparing HD SLRs to the same high-end camera, and one loves the SLR results, and the other doesn't.

And neither one of them is necessarily wrong, or right. Ultimately we each have to make our own choices based on how we like to work and the results we want.

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