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August 23, 2012

New Canon 1D X DSLR Can (Kind Of) Shoot 5K Video for Under $7,000

The RED EPIC was the first camera capable of shooting 5K video (which is more than 4 times bigger than 1080p), and not just at 24fps, but a whopping 120fps (in a 2.39:1 aspect ratio). Now it looks like RED is getting some...competition? Michael Hession over at Gizmodo has been experimenting with the new Canon 1D X, which is capable of still image bursts of 12fps RAW or 14fps JPEG. While there are limitations, the results played back as a video actually approach real motion. Check out the interesting results from Michael's video below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qU71wZBoA1E&feature=player_embedded

Here is Michael Hession talking about the experiment:

Of course, there are vast limitations to using the 1DX's still mode to make movies. Aside from settling for a choppy 14 fps, you can only shoot in bursts of between 5-10 seconds (this might increase with faster CF cards), there is no sound recorded, and you can't even see through the viewfinder while shooting. But for all the downsides, it was surprisingly, incredibly fun shooting in this manner. It felt like shooting with an old 16mm Bolex camera. That loud shutter, the short bursts, composing your shot through a viewfinder rather than an LCD, it was quite a joy. All in all, we had to shoot 2000 separate JPG images to form the video.

It's a technique that I've seen a few times before, but never anywhere near 14fps (which is only 10 frames per second off from what most of us are shooting narrative projects at). If you want more realistic motion (as much as a 2fps gain from 12 to 14 is realistic), you'd have to stick with JPEG only, which means you'd be losing a lot of the information that you originally started with (RAW), and almost defeating the purpose of the whole experiment in the first place. The downsides are pretty significant, like the fact that you're only getting about 10 seconds per clip or less. I agree with the comparison to the old 16mm Bolex camera (not to be confused with the D16 Digtial Bolex camera). While the Bolex could shoot 24fps, the spring-loaded hand crank only allowed you to have takes of around 30 seconds.

Even though this technique is a cross between old silent filmmaking and a spring-loaded Bolex, it will yield a far higher resolution image than any of those older cameras were capable of (5184 x 3456 to be exact, which you would then probably crop to 16:9). Of course, if you wanted real motion (24fps) at a resolution somewhere near there, you could always find another $8,200 between the couch cushions and spring for the Canon 1D C (when it's released), which would give you both Motion JPEG 24fps as well as the ability to try out this technique (since the 1D C and 1D X are practically the same camera). Then again, the RED SCARLET is capable of 5K at 12fps for a much longer clip time and you can get RAW instead of Motion JPEG 4K at 24fps.

There's no question that these little cameras will reach 24fps at 5K or higher, but it's likely it could only be done in a mirrorless camera similar to the Panasonic GH2, or maybe even a higher-end version of the Canon EOS M. At a certain point the mechanical nature of these cameras becomes the real bottleneck, and not the sensor or buffer in the camera. The buffer would certainly be the biggest hurdle to overcome (after getting the sensor to read faster), but if you could get 20-30 seconds like the old Bolex, you could conceivably shoot a real movie. Of course, by that time, there may be real 5K RAW video for the same price as the 1D X.

Now, before everyone gets all riled up about not needing 5K (or even 4K), this isn't something to be taken too seriously, it's just an interesting technique that I'm sure people could have some fun with. Certainly, only having 20-30 seconds of 24fps 5K (if we got to that point) would be a challenge, but those types of limitations can actually free us creatively.

What do you guys think?

Link: The Canon 1DX Makes One Hell of a 5K Movie Camera - Gizmodo

Your Comment

58 Comments

Incredibly misleading title. 14fps for 5-10 seconds doesn't make the 1DX a movie camera, as the youtube title exaggerates. It keeps it perfectly in the "HDSLR" wheelhouse: making time-lapses.

August 23, 2012

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Rob S.

Agreed

August 23, 2012

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Marcus

Wait, how this camera is "new"? and in wich codec was used to shoot this video? oh right, that was just a stop motion, a REALLY bad way to increase traffic,

August 23, 2012

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Daniel

i agree, misleading title and irrelevant, 2days old on eoshd
those not owning a new cinema camera (bmc/ikonoskope/bolex) need the hybrid dslr that offers variable rate frames in video min 24 and great stills ability

August 23, 2012

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kuban

+1 Here!!!
This is just ridiculous as a news!!!!

August 23, 2012

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AnalogMachine

Competition? Hardly... desperately trying to make DSLRs compete with real movie cameras is starting to get annoying, and 5-10 seconds is not even worth the effort. It's not like there is a static line that a DSLR can meet and win at, because RED, ARRI, BMD, etc. are all constantly upgrading their camera hardware and software as well so that line of quality is constantly moving higher.

August 23, 2012

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Razor

Headline is misleading. Shooting video implies 24, 25 or 30 fps, not stop motion.

August 23, 2012

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Lenry

Bad way to try to increase traffic to an incredibly informative and respected site.

August 23, 2012

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ICVideo

I agree, shame on you Joe. seriously.

August 23, 2012

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Roy

Give him a break, every single website does this. The content within the article is interesting IMO and that's all that matters.

August 23, 2012

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So if every one does wrong is good to do so? and yes the content might be interesting, but not as interesting as the topic i came here for...

August 23, 2012

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Daniel

Of course not, I'm just saying that it's nothing to get worked up over. Joe writes 2-3 articles a day and is probably always struggling to walk the line between creative titles that will catch peoples attention without misleading them into reading the article. I have trouble with it and I write 1-2 articles a month!

August 23, 2012

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Thanks for the support Luke - I'll take the criticism in stride, no big deal. It was probably slightly warranted, but I've adjusted the title either way.

August 23, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Let me suggest Joe, "New, canon 1D X" instead of "New canon 1D X", the way it is right now is telling me that the 1D X is a new camera,

August 24, 2012

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Daniel

It is a new camera, it really only started shipping in volume within the last month or so, and right now it's currently out of stock in most places.

August 24, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

are you kidding me ? this is the first time I see bullshit on nofilmschool.. canon is hardly making any competition now..

August 23, 2012

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matt

This was low. Now it's time for all the disclaimers to prove what was written here, was technically true.

August 23, 2012

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Wrango Davenlo

Haha Jeez! Joe, you really struck a nerve apparently. As soon as I read the title I was pretty sure I knew what was coming - the 14fps burst video has been making the rounds. No need for everyone to get personally offended! It's just a blog about cameras - not a misreporting on a tsunami or tornado warning. Let's try to gain some perspective.

I think its a fun, nostalgic look to achieve. One could argue it's simply easier to deal with 1080p, and remove frames for the same effect. Someone did something new with a camera, I think it's great!

August 23, 2012

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Apparently I didn't consider how seriously people would take the title, but it's been adjusted either way.

August 23, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Yes, it's amazing the monster No Film School has created...

August 23, 2012

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Jeff

ha! what is the life expectancy on the shutter for the 1D X? Doesn't this seem like you are just trying to kill your camera that shoots great HD video and stills?

August 23, 2012

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That was my thought. This guy just put a ton of miles on his camera!

August 23, 2012

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The 1D X has a shutter durability rating of 400,000 actuations. So by my calculations you would hit that limit after only 4.5 hours of shooting video. I was never good at math but:

400,000 divided by 24 FPS divided by 60 seconds/minute divided by 60 minutes/hour = 4.63 hours.

August 23, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Adds up if you plan on doing 14fps video and time lapses!

August 23, 2012

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thanks for doing the Math Koo! I was never good at math neither!!

August 24, 2012

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We are all missing the part where Joe said "(kind Of)" in the title. Everyone needs to calm down a little....

August 23, 2012

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shank

That wasn't the original title, that's where the animosity came from. No big deal, we can all move along.

August 23, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

ha...yeah I figured that right after I posted....

August 23, 2012

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shank

I guess I was just one of the ones who thought the title wasn't that big of a deal. It was kind of funny to me actually. It just seemed like one of those titles that make you go "really?" and then you read the article and go "oh I see, well that was interesting". Titles are usually hooks. I seen this already and I feel like this is actually a cool little trick.

I don't understand why so many people were offended by it. Props to Joe for always updating this site and replying to the comments. It's a tough and time consuming thing to do. I wish some of the people who comment relax a bit and stop taking everything personally.

August 23, 2012

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This is the stupidest, most sensationalist dslr news ever. I cant believe you guys actually posted it. The gremlins at eos hd called it "5K raw video". Its not video, its a memory card full of images. Good luck piecing it all together in post. Not to mention the camera can only "shoot" like that for around 10 or 15 seconds, enough for a hundred or so frames. And it will wear out the shutter REAL quick. Herp Derp.

It would be cool for special shots that require a "stop motion" effect, but its NOT something that would ever replace a proper camera.

Come on, Joe. I love you man but shit man

August 23, 2012

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john jeffreys

What do you think the SSD is full of on the Black Magic Camera? An image sequence doesn't equal video?

August 23, 2012

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But it ties it all together into a codec, right? With this camera, you'll have to sift through 2000 pictures and piece them all together in flash or after effects or whatever and export it as some kind of video. Its a somewhat painful workflow

August 23, 2012

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john jeffreys

Yeah it does but most editors recognize a JPEG or Raw image (stills) sequence as an image sequence and import it as a video file, time lapse workflow essentially.

August 23, 2012

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Editors = Software, not people. Ha ha, wrong word.

August 23, 2012

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Ha, I thought timelapse is when you just set the camera to record and leave it there all day and come back with a fat video file?

August 23, 2012

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john jeffreys

Not a codec, I think I'm using that term wrong. What I mean is, a video camera takes the images and puts them all together into a sequence, while this 14fps method is just a bunch of pictures that, once you put together in a sequence in some program and then export it as a video file, would be a "video" so to speak.

August 23, 2012

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john jeffreys

Would you have to put it together or do they just show up as one file in your editor? I downloaded the DNGs from the BMCC and in Finder they were all separate images but when I went to import them into DaVinci, they were one shot instead of the hundreds of images.

August 23, 2012

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Jason

I think you're looking for "container" here, like avi, mov, mp4, etc. that wraps it (audio+video) into a single file.

August 23, 2012

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Kent

No you didn't! Stop being such a silly willy.

August 23, 2012

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For someone who doesn't seem to know much about codecs or image sequences, you sure have quite a bit to say about 5K workflows. Do you shoot a lot of 5K?

August 23, 2012

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For me or Mr. Jeffrys?

August 23, 2012

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Sorry, I meant mr angry jeffreys, he always has such a bad attitude.

August 23, 2012

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every time on the internet, its the middle of the day and im in a bad mood because my blood sugar is low.

August 23, 2012

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john jeffreys

well, that's fair - I get that way as well. Have an internet-cookie: http://cookiejoefundraising.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/chocolat...

August 24, 2012

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I think there is another issue here, Canon is offering a burst mode at 5K video that may or may not be useful to shooters - in saying this, for artists or effects artists this could be an interesting function for experimental works or even for visual effects - but the point that Canon are sneaking these features into current models is a weather vane of things to come. So I'm taking this article as a good thing and Joe, thanks for letting us know, that 5K video may well be on its way sooner than we think in DSLRs. Whether this current function may be useful or not is not the point, the real issue is that there are new video functions enabled which have the implication that what a 30K camera can shoot now may change to a $7000 camera tomorrow(ish) and I'm not sure why this would be a bad thing with people's responses? Of course 14fps in burst mode is limiting, and????? By the way Joe, check your emails from me!

August 23, 2012

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shaun wilson

I wanted to write something sarcastic, but hey: I think the message is clear...

August 23, 2012

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FabDex

up until the late 19 teens silent films were shot at frame rates similar to this one. are those not considered films? I see where you guys are coming from but chill out, im sure someone will making something really cool and inventive with this technique.

August 23, 2012

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carlos

Silent films were originally shot at 16 - 18FPS until the introduction of sound in which 24fps* was more acceptable to syncing. *Don't quote me on that, I vaguely remember reading it in a Walter Murch Article.

The limitation of only 10 - 15 seconds isn't that bad at all and I would welcome the challenge trying to create a short film. Remember a lot can happen in a second.

Anyways the main problem here is everyone's misinterpreting it as a possible replacement when really it's just a neat feature.

August 23, 2012

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TheOtherAlex

Your last sentence sounds vaguely familiar :)

August 23, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

I thought it was quite a funny headline and article - loved the slightly more cheecky vibe of this article Joe!

I did the photography for a video using continuous shooting mode on a 350D a little while back - it was for a music video and was a great laught to do.

3fps!! and even though it was only jpg's it was capturing you were lucky to get 10 seconds before the buffer maxed out. Was very funny as the band had to do things in slow motion but we didn't really know how slow so getting the frame rate right for stiching the photos into a movie was interesting!

I didn't edit it up but I think the end result was pretty good (http://youtu.be/auPyNeQWTeI)

August 24, 2012

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