Now with new mini doc!!! Super in depth Video review of the Canon 1DC in which I froze my n*** off to make!

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ETHICS STATEMENT: I have never been paid by any camera manufacturer to review a camera. I have worked for many of the major camera manufacturers for various projects at some time, but I have no contractual agreement with any of them. This is essential as my independence is part of the foundation of my blog. For more on my ethics please read my full statement here.

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EDIT: Canon have announced that we will have the much needed 25p firmware update in April. 25p is needed for most of the world so it’s a great and much needed addition. This makes the camera way more practical and usable for many. Including me!! Read more here. April is also when the 5Dmk3 gets it’s clean output firmware added. Good news. 

EDIT 2: I have now shot my first piece so here it is! 

4 inches of ice from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

MAKE SURE YOU WATCH TO THE VERY END PAST THE CREDITS! 🙂

4 inches of ice is a micro doc I shot to get used to the Canon 1DC. Until this point all I had done were a few test shots. I needed to actually shoot something properly.

This was shot whilst visiting that smashing fellow Eric Kessler in Indiana. It was cold. Way colder than England, but I knew I was heading to Miami for a workshop in a few days so it didn’t bother me! Eric asked if I wanted to go ice fishing. Naturally I said good god man no! BUT, I did quite fancy filming it for a bit. So we went out for an hour. Talked to a father and daughter who didn’t want to be interviewed but let us take some shots then we met the guys who feature here who were really excited to be in it.

4 inches of ice refers to the minimum amount of thickness of the ice that you can go ice fishing on. So wikipedia tells me!

Shooting was a breeze. It’s a DSLR, it may have been shot in 4k but it operates the same way! Miller DS20 tripod. Lenses were Canon 16-35. 24-105, 70-20 F4, 100mm Macro (used for the interview for some utterly bizarre reason!) Audio was a Rode NTG2 into a Roland R26 and B-roll audio was the Rode Video Mic Pro.

I had a lot of issues in post though. This was shot in 4K, downscaled in to full HD for editing (I do plan to remaster as a 4k version soon.) In the edit I noticed a lot of problems, banding, magenta tinges on parts of the frame. Basically we worked it out and it was down to a number of things. The compression of the 4K, combined with the Canon log mode shooting below the native ISO of 400 which is a bad combination.

Andy Shipsides of Abel Cine says this “you are moving the middle gray to a higher level, making the image appear darker but causing limit dynamic range in the highlights.. bad news.”

James and I found that the image only did this in 4k in log under ISO 400. Go higher (not too high) and it’s fine. Shoot normal picture profiles and again it’s fine. Shoot C-log in Super 35mm or full frame HD. No problems. It’s just that combination.

In post I added a lot of film grain to even out those areas. That is why this short piece took about 10 times longer to edit than normal. It’s all good experience and it simply means next time I will shoot bearing that in mind.

Other than that the image issues in post I loved the image and the stuff I have shot since does not have these problems. We are ALWAYS learning.

Can I make a 4K version online? It would be too big unfortunately, but I will be showing this and other stuff from the camera in 4K at the BVE show in London at the end of February for Canon.

You can see my review of the camera, the good and the bad on my blog post here: http://gopb.co/1dc

Audio recorded by Eric Kessler
Music again courtesy of The Music Bed. Full credits in the video. Gopb.co/musicbed

ORIGINAL REVIEW

When the Canon 1DC was announced back in late 2011 (not officially called that back then) I was interested of course, but as time went on and we learnt more about it, I became less interested. 4K is cool but not essential for most of work right now.

Every single 4k project I have shot has been done purely for show rather than the practicality…this will change of course with more demand for 4k content, but with no affordable ways to view 4k or to distribute it, we are still some time off….much like when I first started using HD. I just am not sure how big 4k will be with the general public. I judge these things with my friends and family. My sister, for example, can’t see the point in blu ray. She is happy with DVD, even though she has an HD TV. Trying to sell 4k to her will be a waste of breath! 🙂

The first footage I saw from the camera was from Shane Hurlbut/ Po Chan’s “The Ticket” at NAB 2012. It’s gorgeous and if you haven’t see it, I thoroughly recommend checking it out, but it won’t be in 4k unless you can see it in a 4k theatre like I did. That’s the problem I mentioned previously…

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The price of the camera and the 24p limitation at 4K put me off the camera, despite this beautiful footage. So what is it that made me really want to check it out properly? Is it actually worth the dosh? What is the image like, and of course, is it any good? All of these questions and many more are answered in my video review. It’s super in-depth and has lots of example footage.

I will be sharing lots of native footage both 4K and HD via wetransfer.com links of native footage. You can find these links below the video, and I will be adding to them the more I manage to upload…it takes a while. Upload speed here is very slow!

Please don’t judge any image quality form either the stream here or even the downloaded review video from Vimeo (I do recommend that you download it though!) If there are any questions not answered in the review, feel free to ask in the comments below! Also as these reviews are all done for free and take DAYS to do, any donations made to the Vimeo Tip Jar are gratefully received!! You can only do that via the actual Vimeo page for the review, which is here.

EDIT 31st Jan: One thing I have learnt from shooting with the camera the past week is NEVER shoot below ISO 400 in log mode or you get banding issues from hell which vanish at 400 and above. 400 is the native sensitiy of the camera, lower than I would have thought but apprantly that is in the manual! Never read manuals me…This actually really only applies to log mode where the image is pushed hard. Out of log mode you don’t see this. Below is the banding issues in log mode which really came out after a bit of grading.

Grade shot from 4k Log mode at ISO...see banding in top right corner. NEVER shoot below ISO 400 in log mode!!
Grade shot from 4k Log mode at ISO…see banding in top right corner. NEVER shoot below ISO 400 in log mode!!

My number one shooting sidekick and crazy pixel peeper James Miller gives his hairy palmed thoughts below. JAMES!! SIT BACK FROM THE COMPUTER SCREEN!!! 🙂

I have also just shot a micro doc on the camera about Ice Fishing here in Indiana. I will post that ASAP. Well, as soon as it is edited. I am also currently editing the delayed “Beach Bum Shootout” which looks at the GH3, EOS M, 6D, C100…this will be done as soon as I can. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day!

Workflow will be added to this post next…although James does go through his workflow below.

 

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Review of the Canon 1DC from Philip Bloom Reviews & Tutorials on Vimeo.

NATIVE DOWNLOAD LINKS HERE

Click on the images below to download the large native 4K video files. First link is all four main shots of Brighton pier. It was a murky day on end of lens so take that into consideration..use as comparison between modes not on overall resolution…I will add another one shot on clear day here in Indiana this week. Only one link for the comparison as it will download all four clips for you.

First up though is a lovely shot of Eric Kessler’s Salt Water fish tank it 4k, s35 HD, full frame HD, 60p HD, 60p 720 and SD. All with LOG off and Neutral Pro Lost profile. Click Image to download

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4 versions of same shot. All Canon Log. 4k, HD S35, Full Frame, 50p. All under same link. 732mb download
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Wide 3 shot from Ice Fishing micro doc. 4K native footage shot in Canon Log. 293 MB download
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Medium back lit shot 4K native video in Canon Log. 245mb download
Wide 4K native video shot in Canon Log. 323mb download
Wide 4K native video shot in Canon Log. 323mb download
4k Native video canon log. 424mb Download
4k Native video canon log. 424mb Download

If you want to buy the camera, I would be enormously grateful if you do it through my affiliate with B&H Photo by clicking the image below! It doesn’t cost you a penny more, and it helps support this increasingly expensive to maintain website and helps get more review videos done! So huge thanks!

 

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I will have the camera with me at the forthcoming workshops below in Miami, Brussels, Toronto and Vancouver, as well as other toys like the Metabones Speed Booster and the Blackmagic Camera. My next one is on Saturday the 2nd of February in Miami. Currently my only workshop in the USA this year!

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James Miller shooting the review on the Canon C300
James Miller shooting the review on the Canon C300

 

Update to below:

I’ll put some samples on here later but for now I think it is important to mention that if you shoot below ISO 400 then your images will be clipped in the highlights (giving them a grey colour) and shadows will fill and loose detail. Anything below ISO 400 appears to look like negative gain. Shooting at ISO 400 will also reduce banding in the image, something that effected many shots. Also as a result highlight roll off looks smoother too.

HERE ARE JAMES’ VERY PIXEL PEEPER THOUGHTS!

Canon Log verses Neutral picture profile with the 1DC at 4k. This is not a debate on the benefits of using LOG profiles, just the resolution retained when doing so. For reference, the sharpness is set to the lowest setting on Neutral and Canon Log. No ND filters used in the tests. Shot on a Canon 70-200 2.8 IS II at 90mm /F5.

What are you getting in terms of image detail when shooting Canon log?
My background is print, litho, prepress, photography. My Grandfather had a printing press, and his sons – my dad and my uncle – had printing presses. I have grown up looking at reproduced images with a loupe attached to my eye. (I’m a pixel peeper)
The first thing I do when I get native camera files is open them up, add sharpness, and grade until they fall apart. This is what I did when I downloaded some of Philips Canon 1DC 4k files from Dubai. What struck me was the difference in image detail between say Neutral and Canon Log. When graded up, the Log images do produce some lovely images, but there is also more dithering compared to Neutral.
I set out thinking Neutral is cleaner, sharper a superior image, but the more I grade and compress to deliverable formats, the more I doubt myself. It’s very subjective – you can see by the examples (especially the 300% blow ups) that there is more dithering and maybe a truer image from the sensor from Canon Log. In comparison, the Neutral image example appears cleaner, but that may just be a result of Canon running the user profiles through filters to remove noise. If you add Luminance noise reduction to the image, you can get a very similar image to Neutral in terms of resolution detail.
So where does that leave us? Well 99% of the time you probably won’t even notice, so that said you really should be shooting Log to maintain the maximum amount of resolution. A side note for an image with more dithering is that, when it’s compressed, a slight grain or sensor noise gives the compression codec something to stick to. You would think it would work the other way round, but test it for yourself. Be careful though, too much noise or grain and H.264 compression will smooth it away to a horrible image.
Using the resolution of 4k to produce very clean 2K format?
We all know viewing video files at 50% of their original size makes them look sharp. And having a good master is key to having a efficiently compressed delivery file.
The Canon 1DC does produce very nice 4k files when set up correctly, but for most of my needs and one of the reasons I am considering buying the camera is the ability for it to produce a clean and sharp 2k file from the 4k masters.
It’s really as simple as opening in MPEG Streamclip and saving as Apple Pro HQ at 2048×1080 or cropping the sides to make 1920×1080.
The result is a very nice file which requires no additional sharpening.
If I do not have time to transcode to a lower resolution, then I have the option of the S35 mode on the camera. But at the expense of a cropped image over 4k. It’s not as sharp as a scaled image of course, but it’s very good.
I find the results of Full HD 1920×1080 in camera about the same if not identical to the 1DX, very useable, but once you have played with the 4k image and downscaled, there is no way back to in-camera Full HD. On that note Full HD at 50 or 60p in my tests are not that good, and I would only use it if push came to it, but it is still sharper than the 720p version of its brothers.

 Conclusion: I love the camera and want one 😉

One Giant Leap – Canon 1DC from James Miller on Vimeo.

I took the Canon 1DC out for a spin in London yesterday with my cousin and photographer Luke Miller as it was the first day of sun I’ve seen in a while.

These are just general GV shots. Shot using the Canon 1DC in 4K, Canon Log.
Lenses used. Canon 24-105 IS f/4 & Canon 70-200 IS II f/2.8.

Our workflow was to transcode the rushes into ProRes HQ using MPEG Streamclip, bring them in Adobe Premiere CS6, edit and grade and render out at 1920 x 1080 using scale to keep edges. Wide bars added in Premiere for aesthetics only and ability to reframe at full frame size.

More tests and information on Philip Blooms site: http://staging.philipbloom.net/blog

These Days of Sun | If Not Now When | Olly Knights
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/these-days-of-sun/id571958363?i=571958557
Temp track until Olly sues me (it was very late and was only track I loved) But do check out his new personal album, its very good.

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Here are some of the native camera files from the film above to play with.

There are 4 files in this zip archive, more to follow.

As a note to why some shared files display at the wrong resolution its because the QuickTime wrapper gets messed up on upload. Future files will be zipped as these are now.

To correct the issue across PC & Mac’s. Open in MPEG Streamclip and click on ‘Save As’ this will not transcode the file, it just make the file handle correctly in editing software. The same can be done in QuickTime 7, but make sure you view the file at ‘Actual size’ then ‘save as’.

http://we.tl/2ijaS5kWfJ

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More to come tomorrow.

 

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