Video in the Canon 7D Mark II

JonaBeth RussellJonaBeth Russell Registered Users Posts: 1,065 Major grins
edited September 11, 2016 in Video
I do a healthy mix of photo and video work around the island, and currently my weakest video link is my camera. I recently picked up a 7D mkII, which is a great camera for what I do. The ability to track focus while recording is outstanding, better than the old 7D, but still limited to 1080p quality. I wish so much they had at least stepped up to 2k, but they held out. So, handheld small cams & drones are 4k, pro quality dslr is 1080p.

I imagine next year I'll make the jump into full frame landia, at which time I'll definitely purchase a 4k model, either 5D mkIV or whatever other awesomeness is out in the Canon lineup, and within my price range.

As for the post-focus hocus pocus, I don't really care about any of that. Same with

Comments

  • kdogkdog Administrators Posts: 11,680 moderator
    edited August 23, 2016
    Ibetter than the old 7D, but still limited to 1080p quality. I wish so much they had at least stepped up to 2k, but they held out.
    Can you elaborate on why you wish the 7DII had 2K? 1080p, also known as FullHD is pretty standard in the industry. It's 1920 pixels across and 2K is 2048 pixels across, so the difference seems negligible to me. Plus I don't know of any cameras that support it. Curious as to what I'm missing. Thanks.
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Super Moderators Posts: 23,724 moderator
    edited August 24, 2016
    kdog wrote: »
    Can you elaborate on why you wish the 7DII had 2K? 1080p, also known as FullHD is pretty standard in the industry. It's 1920 pixels across and 2K is 2048 pixels across, so the difference seems negligible to me. ...

    Correct!

    Importantly, the larger majority of computer displays and consumer TV displays is 1920 x 1080. The reason this is important is that the majority also have rather poor video scaling qualities, meaning that if you don't use 1920 x 1080 for distribution many folks can experience stuttering video and or visible pixelization. (However, the higher quality displays generally have much better scaling, meaning that they still get a great image.)

    The more important specifications for video image quality capture are the capture bandwidth, pixel bit depth and pixel color sub-sampling.
    Capture bandwidth is the rate at which you capture the video. The larger the bandwidth, the more data you can pack into each video frame. (Both finer image detail and deeper color depth require more bandwidth.) A good target bandwidth target for video capture at Full-HD is 24 Mbps total (video and audio).

    Pixel bit depth is the amount of image data after compression for either transmission or storage. If you have an imager which captures 14 bits but you store at 8 bits, a tremendous amount of data has to be thrown away. Better systems use 10 bits and even 12 bits.

    Chroma subsampling (color subsampling) is how the color component of the original capture is saved or transmitted after compression. With 4:4:4 being uncompressed video, many consumer systems use 4:2:0, meaning that much of the original data is lost. A better target would be 4:2:2.

    For long format video, i.e. recording a wedding or other event in total, strong compression may be required just to record the event. For this purpose, Technicolor (yes, "that" Technicolor) produced a very flat video style called the "CineStyle Profile" for Canon dSLRs which better preserves available dynamic range and allows some post-production control for greatly improved video at high compression capture.

    However, for Independent Video Production (commonly called an Indie Production or sometimes just an Indie), used for marketing promotional media, it's often beneficial to record in short segments similar to many/most Hollywood productions.

    To this end (the Indie producers), the Magic Lantern firmware extension for Canon dSLRs was developed. (Magic Lantern is totally free and open source [FOSS].)

    Magic Lantern (ML) allows Canon dSLRs to record short format video as RAW frames with little compression. This means an excellent post-production capability and tremendous flexibility. ML also adds a treasure trove of additional modules not present in the stock cameras:
    RAW 14 bit Video to card.
    "Clean" HDMI output, to record 4:2:2 to an external recorder. (... But not at Full-HD resolution.)
    Auto-ETTR
    Zebra stripes
    Focus peaking
    Follow focus
    Dual ISO, greatly improves DR at the loss of resolution in the darks and highlights. (Not as bad as it sounds, but can introduce visible artifacts with clothing, building exteriors, etc.)
    Intervalometer
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • JonaBeth RussellJonaBeth Russell Registered Users Posts: 1,065 Major grins
    edited September 10, 2016
    All of what you just said is mostly why I am NOT using ML for production work (I do real estate vids). The reason I wish they had stepped up the sensor to at least a full 2k video is that I often need to Ken Burns a video, or straight up crop it overall. Having those extra few pixels might seem trivial, but I see in my work the break up that would be solved by just a slight increase. Besides, the entire world is moving to 4k, 1080p WILL be yesterday's news, sooner than later. I can't imagine any reason Canon would allow their lower end line of cameras to fall by the wayside, giving up customers to other manufacturers who offer hobbyist level 4k recording.
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Super Moderators Posts: 23,724 moderator
    edited September 10, 2016
    The "Ken Burns Effect" uses still images and applies zoom and pan effects to give a motion feel to the still images. Pro Show Gold is software that I have used before to provide that effect for video, however many popular video editing software now provides similar quality intrinsically.

    As kdog mentioned, the difference between 2k video and 1080P is that 2k video has dimensions of 2048 × 1080 vs 1920 x 1080 for 1080P, so no vertical difference and minimal horizontal difference. Can't really do much cropping for visual impact from 2k to 1080P.

    Canon does have several EF lens mount 4k acquisition options:

    Canon EOS 1D C, 4K 4096x2160 8-Bit 4:2:2, 24p (23.976), Canon Log, Motion JPEG, can record continuously and long format. (Being phased out.)

    Canon EOS 1D X Mark II, 4K 4096x2160, 59.94 fps (800 Mbps), 29.97 fps (500 Mbps), 24 fps (500 Mbps) / 23.98 fps (500 Mbps) Motion JPEG, (Not sure if there is a limit to recording time.) It appears that the 1D X Mark II replaces the 1D C.

    Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, 4K 4096x2160, 29.97 fps (500 Mbps) / 24 fps (500 Mbps) / 23.98 fps (500 Mbps) Motion JPEG, Maximum recording time: 29:58 minutes. (Not absolutely certain about this limitation.)


    In the Canon "Cinema" line:

    Canon C300 MK II

    Canon C500

    Canon C700 (New)

    (Unfamiliar with these cameras' specifications, but they are designed for video. Should be available in both EF and PL lens mounts.)


    Also Mention: All-In-One Canon UHD camcorder with a 1" imager and fixed zoom lens:

    Canon XC10 UHD 3840 x 2160, 305 Mbps: 29.97p, 23.98p, 205 Mbps: 29.97p, 23.98p, XF-AVC, Canon Log. Zoom 27.3 to 273 mm equivalent.

    Canon XC15 (New) Appears to support XLR audio (balanced) input.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • JonaBeth RussellJonaBeth Russell Registered Users Posts: 1,065 Major grins
    edited September 11, 2016
    Ken Burns effect can be used on video stream as well, makes for some great drone work, as well as drawing attention to a specific area of a room (think real estate video tour) when the focal range of an ultra-wide lens won't allow zooming to that degree. That's why the few extra pixels are nice.

    You're right, Canon now has 3 DSLR's that offer 4k, I guess my point is that unless you're able to spend thousands on the body alone, there's no 4k video. For less than $1000 I can have a 4k hand-held, ultra-wide non-fish Osmo, which can shoot up to 120fps in 1080p, AND is mounted to a gimbal that works with the DJI drone application. Oh, the camera also has a bit of focal zoom.

    To be fair, I realize Canon is more concerned about taking stellar quality photographs with DSLR's than recording the highest quality videos possible. It's cool, and I'm a happy Canon customer. I was just surprised that even the 7DmkII (which I currently shoot) was limited to 1080p.
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Super Moderators Posts: 23,724 moderator
    edited September 11, 2016
    Note that I included the Canon XC10 in the above suggestions. This is a very good compromise in cost, convenience and video quality, and the current leader in my personal choices for 4k acquisition. (I would rather rent for any drone usage.)

    The 1" imager provides a good video noise signature up to around ISO 4000. (Normally you will want to remain well below this ISO.)

    A 10x optical zoom lens, designed for 4k. (Mechanically coupled, 27.3 to 273 mm equivalent.)

    4:2:2 XF codec at 305Mbit in 4K mode.

    12-stop dynamic range in Canon LOG.

    Built-in ND filter.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • JonaBeth RussellJonaBeth Russell Registered Users Posts: 1,065 Major grins
    edited September 11, 2016
    Unfortunately, that fixed lens focal length would be too narrow for real estate work. At most, I use the FF equivalent of 25mm (16mm crop), and that's very rare. Typically, I'm in the 16-20 FF range (10-13mm crop). Properties on the island are small and tight. Some rooms need more than 10mm, but the fish effect on anything wider is just too much for post corrections. It's a beautiful camera though, I checked it out after you posted. Outstanding reviews too!
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