5D Mark III RAW Video CompactFlash to SSD

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After searching for days I’ve found a promising adapter (pdf datasheet FB4658 VER:1.1) that could work with a special SSD that has an IDE/ATA port already integrated. This adapter is sold in germany through the company ES&S Solutions GmbH. I’ve asked them already and Im waiting for a response. The SSD is an OWC Legacy Pro SSD 2.5“ IDE/ATA and they claim on their page it’s very fast with Read: 285 MB/s / Write: 275MB/s. It is available in sizes from 60GB - 480GB.

In theory this would be fantastic because the CF controller inside the 5D Mark III maxes out at 167 MB/s and this will be sufficient to capture the RAW video data even at higher resolutions than FullHD. I still don’t know if this whole concept will work and also if the adapter pins support UDMA. These CF to IDE adapters are used in embedded PC systems. So if someone has such an adapter please try it out and let me know. Btw. this IDE/ATA SSD needs of course external power.

Alternative Way capturing 5DM3 RAW Video Maybe

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Just exploring new ideas and developing concepts on how to alternatively capture 5D Mark III RAW Video to SSD. This concept is very broad and applies to all cameras on the market because they work more or less in the same way. Faster and bigger CF cards are coming out soon but the CF controller inside the 5D Mark III is still limited to max. 167 MB/s. Until then Im thinking on how to get to the RAW stream inside the camera the easy way (maybe without opening it at all). I still don’t know if the HDMI LSI is directly behind the MPEG CODEC IC.

It might be a long shot but maybe there is a way to redirect the RAW data to the HDMI OUT port on the camera. I can imagine that Canon faced the same problem redirecting the uncompressed 4:2:2 signal to HDMI with their new firmware 1.2.1.

5D Mark III RAW Video to SSD bypass CF

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Canon EOS 5D Mark III can record super high quality 14bit RAW video! This is so AMAZING! I can’t believe it. I knew it all the time that Canon, Sony, Panasonic and other companies are playing games on us by crippling their products intentionally to gain more profit.

Now that Magic Lantern team made the impossible possible (Thank you guys! You’re amazing!) getting super high quality RAW Video from a Canon 5D Mark III we need to find a way to store that huge amount of data. It works with 1000x CF cards but there are still dropouts. Trying to store the data directly to an OWC Mercury SSD bypassing the CF card. When faster cards are available this bulky setup will be obsolete anyway. Still not done yet.

--- UPDATE ---
Need more info about the electronics in this camera. Please contact me if you have the Canon 5D Mark III Service Manual

The Perfect Cam Paradoxon Because Of Profit

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I need to blow off some steam. Just thinking out loud:
I'm getting tired of the camera manufacturers (and other companies too) releasing a huge amount of new electronics & camera bodies in a very short period of time with intentional weaknesses - just to release slightly improved models next year to make more profit. I mean WTF? It's already getting out of control. Am I the only one that is observing this?

Fire all those managers and let the engineers use the electronics to their fullest potential and deliver QUALITY again, like in the old days! We need no stinky intentionally crippled firmware or new flashy camera models with crappy codecs and subpar resolution. Better give use some upgrades to get the best out of the excellent equipment we've already bought. Canon unintended is doing a step forward with it’s free firmware (uncompressed 422 HDMI out). Though they said at the release of the 5D Mark III that the electronics are not capable of giving out uncompressed 422 over HDMI but MagicLantern kicked their arses so they have to do something. I wish there would be more reverse-engineers turning our electronic products in tools that work like advertised!

To start somewhere:
I wish someone high up the food chain would take the strengths of the Black Magic Cinema Camera like 2.5K 12-bit RAW, ProRes422, DNxHD and add these to the strengths of the ridiculously overpriced Canon C300/C500.

Professional workflow for microstock

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More and more microstock clips find their way into Hollywood blockbuster movies, commercials, television... and the demand is high! I want to show you how I professionally process broadcasting-worthy HDSLR footage for microstock agencies.

This by no means the easiest way but I like to work in Speedgrade and recently in DaVinci Resolve lite. Though I miss some things in DaVinci that will be hopefully implemented in the upcoming version 9.0. The huge advantage of these programs are that you can be creative and color correct & grade in realtime on a decent machine. No need for ram previews.

I’ve uploaded the video on Youtube and Vimeo. Be sure to watch them in HD!

My workflow - Youtube
My workflow - Vimeo

5D Mark III footage now with metadata

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I’ve just found out that the Canon 5D Mark III includes all „shooting information / metadata“ into the MOV file when you shoot footage. Everything is there Firmware, Shutterspeed, Aperture, ISO, Lens, Focal length, Picture Style with details, Codec, Camera body number, etc. - wow! In previous Canon EOS bodies the metadata was saved only in RAW stills but not in footage clips.

Though, I could only make it visible with Canon Digital Photo Professional (this data didn’t showed up in Adobe Bridge or Premiere CS6). In Canon DPP right click on the MOV file, select „Info“ and go to the „Shooting Information“ tab. There you have it. I’ve tried it with MOV files from older Canon EOS bodies but the Shooting Information tab was empty.

For some of us this info is invaluable if you need to know which camera bodies were used during the shoot or what the exact settings were.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III firmware mod

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These new powerful DIGIC 5+ image processors can handle almost any task that you give to them - in realtime. They’re built in the 5D Mark III, EOS-1DX and the soon available 4K EOS-1DC DSLR with 8bit 4:2:2 1080p HDMI output. This makes me think that the Canon management told their engineers to cripple the power of the lower end DSLRs like the EOS-1DX, 5D Mark III, 650D by using only a different software. The hardware parts are almost the same if you check the specifications (besides the CMOS sensors). With this faster DIGIC 5+ image processor it should be possible to gain more (or real 1080p) resolution (like the Panasonic GH2) from a 5D Mark III by optimizing the intentionally crippled downscale algorithm.

With the 5D Mark II they introduced line-skipping because the processor was not fast enough to handle the stream of data. Now they advertise the new 5D Mark III does not use line-skipping anymore.
When I see what Magic Lantern has succeeded with their (v2.3 RC2) so far, that we never thought it was possible I can imagine that some very talented programmers could also implement a MPEG variant XF 422 codec at 50Mbit in a 5D Mark III.

The future arrived! Let’s see what happens in the next couple of months :-)

Adobe CS6 vs. CineForm

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I’ve got the Adobe CS6 Master Collection a couple of weeks ago and I thought to re-check my workflow for color grading and transcoding clips. Back when I was using Adobe CS4 I’ve always transcoded my Canon EOS clips via ReMaster to 10bit Cineform 422 and got excellent quality clips with a higher latitude for color grading. Since CS6, things have changed in a better way (I don’t know if CS5.5 works the same).

I’ve natively imported a Canon EOS clip (waving a red pen through the image) into Premiere & After Effects CS6 timeline. Below this clip I’ve imported the same clip but transcoded to CF422 that gave me always best results in the past with Adobe CS4. I’ve increased the saturation to maximum to see the results better. I was somewhat surprised to see how Adobe CS6 handles the red color artifacts much much better than CF422. On the natively imported MOV file I get much smoother edges in CS6 whereas the CF422 clip has huge blocks / color artifacts in the red color.

I’ve tried different quality settings in ReMaster (also FilmScan2) but the native import into CS6 is still much better. The natively imported clips in CS6 looked much cleaner to my eye. On the CF422 clips I’ve also noticed a slight increase in noise when zoomed to 400%.

This means, for best results I can now import the Canon EOS clips natively into After Effects or Premiere CS6 without the need of transcoding them to CineForm 422 anymore.

(The transcoding to CineForm 422 was done using the latest version of ReMaster 5.5.5.243 that came with GoPro Studio Premium. The footage was captured with a Canon EOS 1D Mark IV)

My DIY Fig Rig

Just like to show you my well balaced diy fig rig. Actually I’ve used the same parts and just modified my existing diy shoulder rig (took off the shoulder support and turned the grips 180°).

diy_figrig

On the rods I can add my lightweight accessories like a Rode Mic and the Zoom H4 audio recorder. Using a Follow Focus would also be cool but it can’t be operated by the same person who is holding the fig rig.

Maybe a small servomotor (from model airplane) and a potentiometer that can be controlled with the thumb could work.

Noise test with 1/3 ISO settings on Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III & 1D Mark IV

Do you use 1/3 ISO settings on your Canon EOS body? On the new 1D Mark IV you should because that means less noise!

After reading this very informative article at Northlight Images I took myself some shots with incremental ISO settings with the Canon 1Ds Mark III & 1D Mark IV side by side. The camera was set to manual, with a lens cap on and the viewfinder shutter closed...



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My homemade rig for my Canon 1D Mark IV

Finally done my new camera rig!

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I finished today my homemade camera rig - yeeessss!
Made from standard parts found in a bike shop and at the metal store. I’ve got the shoulder pad and the small rail (for holding a 7” TFT) from a very old video camera.
The design is easy and straight forward. It allows me to add several parts to the hand grips like a RODE Mic and a Zoom H4 audio recorder. At the end of the shoulder mount I will fix a rechargeable battery that acts as a counter balance and that will power the 7” TFT.
This design can of course also be used with the Canon 5D Mark II, 7D or 500D that have the movie function integrated. Feel free to use this design. If you have any questions let me know.



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