60D $1099 of Video Goodness

Canon PR photo

Canon PR photo

Canon just released a new DSLR that shoots HD video for $1099. The one thing that I love about this camera is the fact that it has a  LCD screen can be moved in to a number of different places making it so much easier to shoot video. I think this is a great idea from canon.

The video quality is pretty similar to the 7D or 550D. You can see that here from the video examples from Canon.

Canon video examples

I would love to get my hands on one of these to see how it performs. I think it could be a great second camera / backup body to have. I bet it could be really great to have that LCD screen for steadicam work. I wonder if they will do this for Canon 5D Mark III everyone has been rumoring about.

Canon PR Photo @ DPreview.com - Click for larger photo

Canon PR Photo @ DPreview.com - Click for larger photo

Canon PR Photo @ DPreview.com - Click for larger photo

Canon PR Photo @ DPreview.com - Click for larger photo

Canon PR Photo @ DPreview.com - Click for larger photo

Canon PR Photo @ DPreview.com - Click for larger photo

Here are the specs on the camera for all you junkies out there:

  • An 18MP sensor with 4 channel readout. Very similar to the sensor found in the T2i and EOS 7D, though the 7D has 8 channel readout to speed up operation.
  • Full HD video at the same selectable resolutions and frame rates as the Rebel T2i/7D. Manual exposure setting is possible.
  • There is a “wind” filter which can be used when recording audio along with video. The built-in mic is mono, but there is a jack for a stereo mic. There is no manual control over audio volume.
  • The AF system has the 9 points found in the Rebel T2i, but all are cross (dual axis) sensors as in the 50D. The 7D has a more advanced AF system with 19 cross type sensors.
  • 63 zone metering as in the Rebel T2i and 7D
  • The viewfinder has 96% coverage (the 7D is 100%).
  • The ISO range is 100-6400 plus “H” (12800), same as the T2i and 7D.
  • The EOS 60D now uses SD(HC) cards like the T2i. The 7D  uses CF cards.
  • Canon has abandoned the BP-511 battery of the 50D in favor of the LP-E6 which is used in the EOS 7D (and 5D MkII).
  • The maximum frame rate is 5.7 frames per second (fps), between the 3.7 fps of the T2i and the 8 fps of the 7D
  • The LCD has a 3:2 aspect ratio and Canon’s current (and excellent) anti reflection technology.
  • For the first time on any Canon DSLR, the EOS 60D has a tilt and swivel LCD. This doesn’t help much for conventional still photography, but it can be very useful in Live View mode and when shooting video.
  • The weathersealing is somewhere between that of the T2i and the EOS 7D. It’s not super weather sealed, and it’s not designed to be used in heavy rain, but it shouldn’t quit if it sees a little drizzle!
  • The shutter is good for 100,000 cycles. Max speed is 1/8000s and sync is 1/250s
  • There is an electronic level, but only for the horizontal axis. The 7D has both horizontal and vertical levels, the T2i has none.
  • There is a dedication position on the mode switch for video and a dedicated “start/stop” button. When not in video mode, the button starts and stops Live View.
  • The mode dial has a locking button in the center which must be pressed before rotating the dial to change modes. This makes it harder to nudge the dial and inadvertently change modes.  Hopefully Canon learned their lesson with the A2, which had a similar, but notoriously fragile, mode change locking button.
  • The on/off switch is now directly below the mode control dial (as in the EOS 7D)
  • The buffer should be good for about 58 JPEGs or 16 RAW images. Better then the T2i, not quite as good as the EOS 7D for JPEGs.
  • The 4 way controller used for menu selection, AF zone selection etc. is now incorporated inside the rear QCD on the EOS 60D.
  • $1099! HELLO HONEY!!!!

Here are some other people’s thoughts on the new camera.

PDN: http://www.pdngearguide.com/gearguide/content_display/reviews/e3i7666b0f985795021e1a4172694176374

DP Review: http://www.dpreview.com/news/1008/10082620canoneos60d.asp

Painting with light

Commercial photography Vietnam

150 Layer Light Painting

For over a 2 years i have been lucky enough to befriend a really great guy and talented photographer, Boris Zuliani. He used to live on Truc Bach lake and we would have beers in the evening with other photo buddies talking about our love of photography and film (or until our wives or girlfriends called). Boris’s true love and art in photography is light painting. He uses it with great skill and passion in his personal work and for some commercial work.

When I first saw his work I thought it was just beautiful. I loved how soft the light was and at the same time giving the exposure a different kind of contrast then that of a normal photograph.

As Boris and I talked over beers I started to think about making a video of light painting. I didn’t want to make a “tutorial” video showing the process of light painting, but more about the feeling light painting gives to the subject and showing the gradual exposure of a photograph out of darkness.

Then some time later……. I met a randy young lady named Gillian. Boris had done a couple of light painting portraits of her and she said that the experience was so different from any other portraits she had posed for in the past. She explained it to me, but this was some time ago and my brain has been punished by Hanoi’s cheap beer so i don’t remember word for word. Though, I do remember her saying how much she enjoyed it and that the experience was something special.

Then some more time passed…….. Boris called me up and pushed me to make the video. Then Gillian called me up and pushed me to do it as well.

Time to put my thinking cap on. I had to figure out a way to show a light painting photo slowly exposed in video format using the extra variable of time. Hmmmm…. then i figured it out (oh that engineering degree served me well).

I would use a very slow shutter speed and do a kind of time-lapse while Boris did his painting. Then i would layer the photos to be gradually exposed over time and make all the layers add the new exposure to the old one (yeah i’m a nerd for this stuff).

So me and my gun-hoe /semi intoxicated team went out one night by West Lake (Ho Tay for the natives) and shot this video in 40 min.

Post production took an incredible 24 hours of rendering in CS5 Premier Pro with my i7 core iMac (thing was burnin’ up!!!). I guess that is what you get when you have 150 layers in a video editor.

No grading, special effects or effect editors (After Effects or Motion) were used to make this (except for my logo). The video and photos were shot on a 5D Mark II and the video was all shot hand held at 50mm.

Now making sure that the subject was fully exposed is tricky because when we did the light painting in this way you can’t see what you have exposed, which is why some of Gillian’s leg is not exposed. Also you have to remember that each exposure adds to the next exposure so i also had to be careful not to make my image too bright or too dark other wise the final image would be over or under exposed.  I think the exposure was perfect for the layering, we just missed a part of the leg. I’m putting blame squarely on the intoxicated aspect of the project.

All and all, I am happy I was able to do this and thanks to my buddies for helping do so. It was something fun, different and somewhat challenging.

It could be interesting to make a clothing designer commercial like this. If your keen for that please drop me a line.

And now the final video. Thanks for watching.

Light Painter: Boris Zuliani

Model: Gillian Sturtevant

Photography & Video: Ehrin Macksey

Music: NiN

Nha Trang, Vietnam Wedding Video

*** UPDATE ***

If your looking for Vietnam wedding photography or videography services please visit my new wedding business : MWeddings | Destination Photography & Film | Vietnam & Southeast Asia

*******

Back in 2010 Kim, the bride to be, and i started to talk to her about making a video of her wedding day. I asked her a lot of questions about music and what will be some of the activities at the wedding. Since she was overwhelmed with organizing the wedding she didn’t have much time to respond to me. So i kind of went into this job half blind, which always makes me nervous.

About 2 weeks passed by and i found out that the wedding would be held at the Six Senses Resort. Six Senses is a private secluded island that you can only get to it by boat. Not such a bad place to work if i do say so myself.

Since there were 2 photographers already going to be at the wedding taking photos Kim didn’t want 2 guys filming as well. She felt that it would have made it a circus having that many people documenting the event. I agree with her and don’t. Weddings happen fast and no one waits for the photographer or the video guy to prepare something. You have to think fast and work even faster to get good images. In my opinion, if i had another guy shooting video i could have covered sooooo much more of the actual event and of the preparation.  With two shooters one person would cover the groom getting prepared and the other would cover the bride.

Since i was working on my own, i had to run back and forth between the two which means i lost time filming since the groom and bride were staying 15min away from each other.  If i was to do another wedding video again i would also suggest getting a full Steadicam system which has a vest and a stabilizing arm. It would have been nice to have gotten some good movement shots of the wedding.

I did shoot almost 99% of this video handheld using a custom built RedRock system I designed. To me hand held gives you an almost a POV of what you would have seen if you attended the wedding. I like that.

Later on when I was documenting the preparation of everyone in the wedding I found out that Kim’s sisters and brothers were pretty famous musicians in Australia. They had written a song for the occasion and were going to perform it on stage at the wedding dinner. So with not much preparation or an idea on how i would edit it, I shot as much as I could of their rehearsal so that I could maybe cut together a nice music video of the wedding and the song they wrote.

I really like how this video turned out, but it would have been nice to be able to shoot some more or have another shooter with some more angles ect. Also I really wish I could have had time to record the song separately from their performance as the only audio i had was recorded through the PA speaker system they used. This is defiantly not the best for recording sound and at times the recording has some distortion because of this.

All in all, it was a great experience and it was an honor to be able to document Kim & Scott’s wedding day.

 

 

 

Here are the two video. I hope you enjoy them.

Ehrin

Nha Trang Wedding Music Video from Ehrin Macksey on Vimeo.

Nha Trang, Vietnam Wedding Video from Ehrin Macksey on Vimeo.

5D Mark II & Bhaya Cruises TVC

In September, the agency that represents me, Noi Pictures, contacted me about a new contract they got from Bhaya Cruise. The contract was to produce a TVC type film in 5 languages to promote their cruises.

When i first thought about this project I instantly thought that i should use my 5D Mark II to make it. I had used the camera to make a short video for Blue Dragon and i really liked the results and image quality. Now, keep in mind, there are many issues with using this camera, but i found (after a lot of research) a lot if not all the solutions to fixing these. With those issues in mind, me and Francois (my super agent) set out to shoot the most beautiful TVC we could do in 3 days.

I did have some great talent, Ruth and Issak who made my life so easy as i didn’t have to direct them too much. Surprisingly enough they had read the script (like actors are supposed to do) and knew what i was looking for. Thank god for them and for them being professional at their job.

A lot of people have asked me what equipment did i use to shoot this? Well i did not use much. I used my dolly and boom that i bought as well as a trusty tripod. Besides that, i used the motion of the boat to my advantage to get some nice shots and stuck to my storyboard.

Also, if you look carefully the sunset it is a time-lapse i shot with the camera. These are all still photos connected together to create a time-lapse shot. I think there were 1000 something photos to make this. I don’t recommend this to everyone as it reduces the life of your shutter, but for me it is worth it.

If anyone has any other questions about this shoot i am happy to answer them.

-Ehrin