The matte box isn’t just to impress the clients. If you want to shoot wide-open with a 1/48 shutter regardless of lighting conditions, you’d better be prepared to dial in exposure with ISO and ND. Screwing threaded filters on and off gets old quick. And grad filters will be your friend.
Entries in Cameras (141)
If there’s anything certain about the crazy camera events and announcements of the last few weeks, it’s that folks are thinking about what matters to them in a motion picture camera from a much broader perspective. Let’s recap:
- Panasonic announces the LX3, a pocket stills camera that shoots 720p HD movies at 24p
- Nikon releases the D90, a live-view DSLR that shoots wiggly 720p HD movies at 24p
- Canon announces the 5D MarkII, featuring 1080p video at 30fps
- Ikonoskop announces the A-cam dII, a uniquely-shaped HD camera with a super-16 CCD that shoots up to 60fps uncompressed DNG
- Panasonic shows a prototype Lumix G, a Micro Four Thirds interchangable-lens camera designed specifically for HD shooting, to be released next year
- RED scraps their Scarlet designs because “the market has changed.”
- RED announces the Digital Still & Motion Camera (DSMC), designed to “mark the end of DSLRs” and, presumably, to offer more professional control over big-sensor video in a compact housing
- Vincent Laforet unveils Reverie, a short film shot with a pre-release 5D MarkII
- 650 people and counting add their voice to Laforet’s plea to Canon for 24p on the 5D MarkII
Interesting times to say the least. Would you want to shoot a movie with something that looks like the above? If you could have any camera capability in any feasible form factor, what would you want?
OK, I’ve asked you to call, I’ve encouraged you to write. May I ask you for one last favor regarding the Canon 5D Mark II? Please head over to the blog of Vincent Laforet, creator of Reverie, and post a comment telling Canon how much you want 24p and manual shutter control.
As far as 24p - I know they’re listening (Canon that is) - but they NEED TO KNOW just how important this is to everyone - including me..
So this may be a little silly - but let’s get AS MANY COMMENTS on this blog - possible… let’s break 300 or 400 comments - asking simply: WE NEED 24P etc etc… keep it simple - the idea is for them to see how overwhelming the need for this feature is - it is in my opinion the single most important feature request…So go ahead… request it… one comment at a time (only one comment per person please :)
24p and 1/48th is key… keep going… they will understand that it’s a MUST do firmware update…
I understand that it’s a silly tactic - but it works a LOT better than a carefully crafted e-mail or letter… trust me. If we hit 500+ comments asking for 24p - they can’t ignore it.
This is great that Vincent realizes the importance of a 24p mode, and of full manual control for movie capture. Support him, post a comment, and help Canon help themselves right into the forefront of the revolution.
UPDATE: It might be working guys. From canonrumors.com:
From Laforet’s blog
“One of the visitors of Photokina 2008 Trade Show in Cologne reported in a well known German Canon forum today (http://www.dforum.net/), that Canon is now actually discussing a firmware upgrade to enable 25 fps mode. Furthermore, the Canon technician, who revealed this information, confirmed, that the 25 fps can be achieved by firmware change only, no hardware modifications are required.”
I’d direct link but I couldn’t actually find that on Laforet’s blog—must be buried in the hundreds of comments?
You’ll immediately notice two things about it. I mean, once you get past the Moby soundtrack and helicopter shots:
- It’s gorgeous and
- It looks like video.
There are two reasons for the latter. The first, as previously discussed, is that it’s shot and shown at 30 fps.
But even more responsible for the video-like appearance of some shots is the shutter interval. Film usually has a shutter speed of 1/2 the frame duration, e.g. 1/48 second shutter speed for 24 fps. Video, unencumbered by a physical shutter, often has a shutter speed equal to the frame rate. The most video-like sections of Vincent’s short are those with 1/30th shutter speeds.
This issue plagues many 24 fps HD examples as well. Even at 24p, a “360 degree shutter” results in too-smooth motion with a video-like appearance. You may have seen this in some Hollywood movies shot with 24p HD cameras. It’s not the dynamic range or resolution that blows it for digital movies—it’s a simple choice to use a shutter speed impossible on a film camera.
I’m not trying to critique Vincent’s beautiful piece at all, just hoping to preemptively answer the question of why some 30p samples can indeed look filmic, and some don’t.
I’m also seizing this opportunity to discuss the 360 degree shutter issue, as it’s one that needs airing out. Sure, it may be a creative choice for a filmmaker to use a greater-than-180-degree shutter, but when my mom sees the trailer for Collateral and asks me why it looks like video, we’re talking about a choice that sets back the progress of digital cinema. If you want your 24p HD to look like film, the film we know and love, stick to a 1/48 second shutter speed or faster.
It gets right back to good old less is more—not only is 24p a minimal frame rate, it turns out that a big part of the signature film look is that you only see half the motion in each of those 24 frames per second.
In other words, 24p is only one part of what the filmmaker needs from an HD-equipped DSLR—another, equally important component is manual control, specifically the ability to enforce a 180 degree (1/48 at 24p) shutter speed.