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Posts tagged as “5D mk II”

Building a body of work

Long time readers of this site will know that I watch A LOT of music videos. Many more, in fact, than I post here. And no one can say that I don’t post a wide variety of videos. I love the music video as a venue for a band to promote themselves. Yeah, it just one step away from a commercial, but music videos are an excellent playground for people to experiment with imagery and animation and whatever. There is tremendous skill in being able to tell a story in 3 and a half minutes without the benefit of any dialog at all. Conversely, there’s tremendous training to be had in learning to tell a story in 3 and a half minutes sans dialog. No telling now! You must SHOW.

Well, I’ve been thinking about making a bunch of music videos for songs I like (so I don’t get annoyed listening to them a gazillion times in a row) for a while now as an exercise in editorial, vfx, writing, shooting, directing, color correction—you name it. The idea was born when I found out that the 5D Mk II I had pre-ordered supported video, and full 1080 to boot. Pretty exciting. And since I already own a fleet of lenses, I’m almost all the way there in terms of production equipment. All I’d really need is a tripod. But that expense can wait for now.

And since I’m already a proficient video editor, a decent photographer, a music buff, semi-skilled in After Effects, a decent colorist, and in dire need of some reel material, why not throw together a bunch of inexpensive (i.e., FREE) videos for random songs and use those to promote myself? I am FULLY confident in my ability to use the tools at hand to produce not only professional quality, but beautiful work. I have a sweet new computer, time on my hands, and the inclination to do so, so why not, right?

Right. Why not.

Consider this my statement of intent. Over the coming months I will be sharing with my fine readers the progress of these currently nebulous videos. I’m thinking of making at least three with no sort of deadline or guidelines beyond that they are awesome. I’m thinking of doing one metal song and one electro song at least to vary my visual palette a little. I don’t really know what songs I want to do yet, but I’ve got a hazy mental shortlist. The one constant on the shortlist is Genghis Tron. I don’t know why. Probably because they’re fucking awesome.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Want to help? Think I’m amazing? Leave a comment!

How To Disappear Completely

On Saturday, Juli, Jesse, and I went to see our friends perform in a musical/dance/multimedia/burlesque extravaganza called “How to Disappear Completely”. I figured it was a good time to put the 5d Mk II through the ringer a little, so I did.

Here is the set with a few random photos at the end.

You can view them in high res here: How To Disappear Completely @ Flickr

Some thoughts on the low-light capabilities of the new 5d Mk II—awesome. About half of the play was shot at ISO 1600 and the other half at ISO 3200. Those two settings are effectively unusable on my old 20D so it was with some trepidation I threw the camera in 1600 to shoot. It was just too dark and my focal length was too long and there was too much movement not to use a very high ISO. It was a grand experiment and, based on the sample shots I’ve seen from the 1d Mk III and 1ds Mk III, I was reasonably confident that it would work out in my favor.

Well, it worked out and then some. Besides some fairly minor chroma noise at 3200, I have absolutely no objections to the amount of noise coming through. What’s more is that the lighting conditions were FAR from ideal—severe pools of light and dark, wildly shifting lighting, colors like you wouldn’t believe—yet I was able to capture images at a decent enough shutter (1/30ish) at a good focal length (200mm IS) wide open (f/2.8) and still get sharp as tack photos. Are you serious? That is so fucking awesome it hurts. It absolutely does away with any complaints I had with my 20D not allowing me to take the photos I saw in my head. I don’t feel limited by my camera which is really nice.

There is one strange thing I noticed though. Early in the shoot I had the camera set to Highlight Expansion mode and I noticed on the RAWs some very strange effects, almost like the air boiling around very bright areas that were next to very dark areas. It’s pretty obvious around Brian’s arms (on the left) in this photo. You might have to look at it in full size to really see it. I will post a real full size crop when I get home to demonstrate the effect fully since I resized the images for Flickr.


It’s not really that bad, and would be easily removed in PS if I were so inclined, but it is strange nonetheless. When I turned off Highlight Expansion, I didn’t see it again. Now, it might be some weirdness because Lightroom does not yet have a proper profile or even real support for 5d Mk II raws, but it might also be an issue with the camera. When I get home tonight, I will check the original CR2 in Canon’s raw converter and let you know what I see. Only minorly annoying, and since I can’t really be sure of the cause, we’ll have to wait and see what happens when full support is available. At least it’s not like that horrid banding noise on the 20D at ISO 1600.

More to come!

Guess what arrived today!!

After some strange misinformation from a UPS robot and an inquiry on my part to a UPS human being, my long-awaited package has arrived. Yay!

Here are a couple of photos of the box taken with my unbelievably shitty phone’s camera. Ironic!

The Box.
The Box.
The camera on top of the box.
The camera on top of the box.

I actually have my old camera here at work with me because I need to take photos of the insides of some arcanely constructed wooden boxes filled with wires of cyclopean dimensions. But, you know what? Fuck taking pictures with the old camera! I’m using my new one.

I guess I could have taken photos of the new body with the old one, but that would not have been nearly as funny taking photos of my new hot-shit camera with my miserable camera phone.

Look for photos in the next few days!

Now, where’s my Lightroom update?

I spoke too soon.

Welllllll, all my excitement the other day about my camera showing up today was a little premature. Unfortunately, the thing that shipped was not the camera, but the paper outlining the terms of my extended warranty. Stupid banana.

However, the camera did in fact ship today via UPS. I expect it tomorrow at best, Wednesday at the long end. Living in New York is great for getting mail. Everything gets here so quickly!

I remain patiently excited. I promise to trample no one.

My new camera

On September 17th, I preordered the new Canon 5D mkII. That was the first day it was available to preorder at Adorama, my photo supplier of choice, and only the second day after it was announced. Frank at Adorama called me last week to let me know that the camera would be shipping either Friday 11/28 or Monday 12/01. Well, it actually shipped Wednesday 11/26 (YES) and they’ve already tried to deliver it to the office according to the tracking information on the UPS site.

Do you know what that means? That means that I will receive the damn thing on Monday which means that I will have it not only in time for the Metric System party, but I will have some time before hand to dick around with it. How great is that? I am mega excited. There is nothing quite like a new toy to get the old creative juices flowing.

I had e-mailed Adorama a few weeks ago to try and get an ETA for the delivery of the camera and all they could tell me was that they anticipated having it shipped by the end of December. That was not exactly wonderful, but not entirely horrible either. There was no tentative ship date when I ordered, so there was nothing to be disappointed about with an end-of-December ship date. But now it feels like I’m getting it a month early! AWESOME.

Expect more posts in the coming week.