Earlier this year I had the opportunity to capture my sister’s performance in Paris. I thought they were some great performances and after her performance in Austin TX at the beginning of the year I really wanted to get some good clear recording of the show for archival purposes. I had already packed my Canon 5D Mark III for my trip to Paris and was curious to find out how well it would hold up in a real live video setting.
For lens I used the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM. I have to say without this lens, it would have been impossible to record this show. The heavy duty stage sound system triggered vibrations all over the venue, which were only amplified by the long focal length required. Because the concert was sold out, there was no way to come close to the stage and capture any usable video. The 4+ stops of image stabilization really proved every last cent of this lens’ worth. I also used my Canon 7D with Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS to capture secondary shots to provide subtle variety to the final cut.
For sound, I was able to pipe the output from the main sound board into the 5D Mark III. This greatly reduced my sound editing tasks in post processing to almost nothing. The 5D Mark III sound recording capabilities are world class. On both the 5D Mark III and the 7D, I shot the video at f/2.8, ISO-1600 and 1/50 to 1/60 shutter and 25 frames per second for a more cinematic feel. There was also a very noticeable reduction in video file size. The shutter speed (roughly twice the frame rate) gave a really crisp, sharp rendering of each frame. Amazingly noise was not an issue at all with both cameras at ISO-1600.
Below is her performance of “Nothing More”, one of my favorites, in full 1080p HD.
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Thanks for watching.
Yesterday I managed to break away from the Memorial Day weekend duties for a couple hours. I grabbed my camera gear made a much needed escape to the old Sacramento Area along the river. I noticed earlier in the day, we had very nice, picturesque, high altitude clouds. I thought they would make for spectacular colors during magic hour. Alas, by the time I got to the river banks and found a good spot, they had all dispersed. Never-the-less I captured the lights from the Delta King to the Tower bridge. I had been meaning to capture this view for a while now. These shots and time lapses will eventually go into a subject compilation for the city Sacramento and surrounding areas.
This time I broke habit and put the 5D Mark III on time lapse duty and used the 7D for panoramic and still shots. There were three reasons for this:
- I could use my Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens on the 5D to give me the ultra wide angle coverage I wanted for the time lapse which the 24-105mm f/4 L did not provide.
- I could use my 17-55mm f/2.8 lens (only fits the 7D) to capture my Panoramic shots. This lens is still the best lens in my kit. Better than the 24-105mm f/4 L in all respects except build.
- I was trying a slightly different approach to my time lapse settings which would benefit more from the 5D’s wider range of usable high ISO noise suppression. I shot in Shutter Priority (typically a No-No for time lapse) however with a twist. I set ISO to auto and used Max-ISO. I wanted to use a fixed shutter speed to ensure a consistent water motion and texture capture. This worked out quite well. I will shoot a few more time lapses to fine tune this technique.
Here is a quick shot I took of the view after setting off the 5D for time lapse and before getting the 7D ready for stills.
I like the Panorama feature on my LG Optimus G phone which allows me to take a quick rough panoramic shot and edit it to determine if that location has the composition I am looking for. One of many tools I use to increase the rate of success of my shots. Below is my test pan shot from the 7D’s position.
And now for the final panoramic shot at magic hour. The lights didn’t quite come on as/when expected but then again nothing ever is as expected. I stitched this shot manually – like most of my panoramic shots, I find it’s just a better way to do it. It gives me much more control of my output. It’s worth the extra 15-30 minutes to get it right. The final shot is about 15,000 pixels and was down sampled here to about 3,400 pixels for sanity’s sake :-). The 17-55mm f/2.8 lens’ ultra sharp optics and the 7D’s high pixel density was able to resolve and render pictures hanging on the walls inside the Delta King’s dining room. This was at a focal length of 35mm! This is the reason I will be keeping and using the 7D for years to come – with the right lens, it has some serious resolving power.
Click the image for the larger version.
Old Sacramento after Sunset
I will publish the final time lapse composition in another post.
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