Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Canon 5D Mark III and grading the C300 at BOSCPUG

Last night's Boston Creative Pro User Group meeting at Rule Boston Camera featured pizza and beer, Carl Peer of Canon U.S.A. discussing the Canon 5D Mark III, and Rob Bessette, colorist at Finish Post discussing grading the short "Hustle" (shot on the Canon C300 and graded on DaVinci Resolve.)

I'm not going to write at length about the meeting as they were video taping it, so it's probably is going to appear on the web near you somewhere soon. But here's the pieces that stood out to me:

Canon 5D Mark III
  • ISO 25600 on the Mark III is about equivalent to 6400 on the Mark II
  • How are you reducing Moiré?
    "It starts at the sensor, but then afterwards, it is about how you are going from 22MP down to a 1920 x 1080 image, which is about 3MP. So how you get down into that is how you are going to reduce moiré in the large scale. On the small scale, it does happen at the sensor, but on the large scale, it is about how you are reducing that [frame size].
    "The next logical question you may want to ask is 'well how are you doing it?' - We don't say. We drastically improved it, but we don't ever reveal the technical part of it.
    "To quote a much smarter man than myself at Canon, 'that's our secret sauce, and we don't divulge our secret sauce.'"
  • Carl is not a fan of the new menus
    If you're used to the old camera, you're going to have to do some relearning
  • Canon 7D Overheating
    While talking about the improved weatherproofing, he mentioned that the 7D suffered from overheating - in some situations - because it's weatherproofing was keeping the heat inside the body. He said that while the Mark III has improved weatherproofing, it won't suffer from over-heating.
    When pressed about how long it could operate without over-heating, he suggested that users didn't really have to worry about it, though he also said that because it's winter there hadn't been much chance for end-users to test it!
  • Why no swivel screen?
    This was to improve durability and waterproofing. Evidently the 60D's number one repair issue is a broken swivel screen.
  • ALL-I and IPB
    ALL-I files are much larger (it runs about twice the bit-rate of the IPB files) BUT it handles motion better than IPB.
  • Silent Recording
    In additional to the "Silent Movie" setting that lets you adjust recording levels "silently," Carl said that the buttons on the camera have been dampened to reduce noise while recording.
  • "No, it's not a clean out"
    The camera doesn't send out an uncompressed feed; and what it's sending out is not as good as what the camera is recording, and it displays at least a red dot at top right of the frame. At least it doesn't shut off while switching into recording like the Mark II did! This is clearly something that users want he says, adding "these were a couple of things that we are still studying putting into the cameras, and we're not quite there yet."
  • Auto-focus is not advisable during recording
  • No real improvement in Jello.
    They have made a slight improvement, but it may not be noticeable. Note that he both said that some users were saying they were seeing an improvement, while he said that it may not be noticeable.
  • Battery life
    Due to a more efficient sensor, battery life is actually slightly better than the Mark II (about 5% better.)
Interesting aside: At the beginning of the meeting it was noted that Rule had two 5D Mark III bodies available for sale. By the end of the evening, at least one of those had been sold!

Color Grading "Hustle"

Rob Bessette talked about color grading the shot video "Hustle" that was shot on the Canon C300. Rick Macomber, DP for the project, and Dan Bérubé also talked about shooting the project.

I don't really have any tips from this presentation to pass on; just the one observation: I really should download the free version of DaVinci Resolve and give it a try!

Note: Rick has posted an excellent article about the production of "Hustle:" How a BOSCPUG Canon C300 test film became “HUSTLE”

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