July 13, 2011

Wedding Videographers: with a RED EPIC, You're the Stills Photographer Too

Tonaci Tran recently filmed a wedding on two RED EPICs. One of the main benefits to shooting at 5K is every single frame is a 14 megapixel still image. Overkill for a wedding? Sure. But part of RED's entire strategy is for motion and still photographers to use one tool for both activities -- you know, like an HDSLR. The difference between an HDSLR and a RED camera, however -- other than the price -- is there aren't separate high resolution still/low resolution video modes. They're one and the same, with the ultra high resolution of the RED EPIC allowing for full-resolution stills to be pulled. Here's what the wedding footage looks like, in motion:

http://vimeo.com/25941536

Shot run-and-gun with the camera operators pulling their own focus, using Zeiss Mark I Super Speed Primes, a Tokina 11-16mm and an Angenieux Optimo 16-42. Here's Tonaci's impression of pulling stills from the footage:

Thanks to RED, the line between still photography and videography has been OBLITERATED. The wedding trailer you see above was shot entirely (99%) at 5K, from 24fps all the way up 120fps. There was only one shot during the entire wedding where we went "down" to 2k, to shoot 300fps of the water fountain. The fact that any frame in this entire video can be pulled as a 14 megapixel (5120x2160) hi res still, that you can print a billboard size photo out of, is MIND BLOWING.

For a full-resolution 5K frame grab, here's one (and another). You can also grab full .R3D files on REDUSER. Is a 14-megapixel frame grab as good as a 20-megapixel still shot specifically for printing? Maybe not. But it's damn close, and considering the print-resolution, full-size magazine covers that have been shot on RED so far, I'd say RED's "DSMC" concept is already a success. Which begs the question: how about some news on that lower-cost EPIC-S, guys?

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Your Comment

35 Comments

That's a great option. But, pulling stills from hours of video footage doesn't sound like fun. Sure the editor will probably spot a few while cutting, but it specifically do that seems like it would take forever. Especially since a few hundred (thousand?) photos are usually delivered to the client.

July 13, 2011 at 2:23PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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you can simulate a still-photography pressing of the shutter release by pressing a button on the red. it (i believe) makes a noise (customizable and mutable)that sounds like a shutter click, and you have meta-tagged the footage with where you think a good still-image is.

July 13, 2011 at 2:38PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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meta tag that baby

How many of those stills are going to show motion blur if it was all shot at a 50th sec?! I bet the bride would love an album full of blurred shots.....

July 13, 2011 at 4:45PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Then that bride will LOVE my wedding photos. My wife sure did. :-\

July 13, 2011 at 5:09PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Alec Sprinkle

Is slowmo everything the new time lapse everything?

July 14, 2011 at 2:08AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Slow starter

Whoa. I'm curious... what kind of storage does it use, how big would a 1 minute clip be?

July 14, 2011 at 9:54AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Dennis

for the in-camera .R3D files, it's around 2GB per minute. After de-bayering, a 5K DPX frame may be 40-50MB, that's more than 60GB per minute...

July 14, 2011 at 11:58AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Marvin

As an amateur wedding photographer myself, using the 5dmkII, I have had instances where 22MP just barely made it (after crop, and in a 12x12 book spread - so 12x24" @ 300dpi), 14mp is not that much.

Then, you have motion blur artifacts.

What about flash? Unless you have rigging and gaffers, which I doubt at a wedding, most videographers use natural light, which is great for the new RED and DSLR's, however, in still photography, clients are used to images that POP and are crystal clear. Having flash does that.

Can you sync a flash system to the stills mode on a RED?

In my opinion, it still seems better to have a 5dmkII around taking stills.

July 14, 2011 at 1:12PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Wow...that's...troubling. I mean that 22MP barley makes it in a 12x24 spread (cropped or not). We've been doing 18x24 spreads from 6MP cameras since 2002 that are razor sharp, 20x30 prints the same. I guess it depends what kind of glass one uses on their camera. ;)

July 14, 2011 at 3:55PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Mark

Did the whole wedding happen in slow motion?

Do we actually like this stylized slow-mo footage or is it just an easy way to make a film look like other films that other people have praised?

July 14, 2011 at 2:34PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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PKB

It's probably just my personal taste, but does anyone else see some of this footage as seeming kind of underexposed? Maybe this just hasn't been colored?

July 14, 2011 at 3:13PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Carlos

Yep. They exposed for the highlights (i.e. the wedding gown) in almost every shot leaving the rest of the footage looking underexposed. After seeing this, I was curious as to the actual dynamic range of the RED EPIC.

July 14, 2011 at 3:51PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Mark

July 15, 2011 at 2:27AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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John Saxon

As a stills photographer who also shoots some video, I primarily use a 5dmkII but also still shoot medium format film; any and every camera with less than a full frame sensor really doesn't impress me, I think at least in terms of stills, the wool has been pulled over the eyes of the collective photographic community with pushing less than full frame(35mm) "professional" cameras. And 14 mp is not ready made for billboard size printing, possibly just adequate. Remember that a 14 mp "super 35" sensor is smaller than even an old school disposable 35mm camera. However if they release the 645 version that would be a camera that would be able to truly print billboard size and make amazing stills, another potential downside of grabbing stills out of video is that all of your shots are horizontal format, and are very wide and narrow compared to traditional still photography formats.

July 14, 2011 at 4:03PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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This is a still from a Red One being used on a very large Storefront. Epic still is even larger.
http://reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?48566-COACH...&p=639290&viewfull...

July 15, 2011 at 2:22AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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John Saxon

Still photographers fired a hot across the bow with video tidbits mixed in with their stills, thanks to their HDDSLR's. Now videographers can nuke the still photographers with a Red, or some other camera to appear in the next year or so.

What hath God wrought?

July 14, 2011 at 4:08PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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The Epic is still way way more expensive than a DSLR. It will be interesting to see when a camera as powerful as the Epic becomes less than 2,000 dollars. Then people will stop bitching about how stupid it is to use a video camera as a stills camera.

July 15, 2011 at 2:29AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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John Saxon

Boy, I don't know.
The flicker from the LED lighting is not good!
All the outdoor shots are great, but add a flash and it's ruined!

July 14, 2011 at 4:52PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Rusty

On the Red One, there are incremental shutter adjustments that can eliminate flicker. I shoot Red One all the time under house lighting and can adjust the flicker out easily. This is a non-issue.

July 15, 2011 at 2:12AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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John Saxon

Where does it say they are using led lighting?

July 15, 2011 at 2:12AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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John Saxon

Impressive technology. However, shooting photos and video are so different, I can't imagine the mindset required to shoot both at the same time at a live event like a wedding where time is already short. With photos you're standing, you're crouching, you can re-focus/zoom when you want without trying to be smooth, run to another vantage point etc. I'm pretty sure that would result in unwatchable video footage. So then you'd have to take all that into consideration if you wanted decent video, which might result in the photos suffering.

July 14, 2011 at 4:54PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Clayton

I agree that a different style is needed between capturing video and stills. But I predict that future photographers (stills only) will use something like an Epic to capture the stills they desire.

July 15, 2011 at 4:03AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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I think the future will be the exact opposite. I do wedding photography and work with a friend who does the video. Today it is one photo camera and a video camera. But in the future I see us both with two hdslr with solid video quality ala Panasonic gh2, no moirer, aliasing, time limit and even better codec like Canon 10bit 422. One slr will be doing the traditional videography on tripot, stabilizers etc and the other one doing the photography as usual... but both doing the other job in between. That is the photographer will have his hdslr continually capturing video while he is doing his photos. The video will continue to roll in between his click. There will be some garbage for the editing but there will be shots with varied and interesting viewpoint that will be usable for video and he will retain all the qualities of traditional photography, shutter speed, flash and fill flash photography etc. The one doing the video will have a more traditional video shooting but he will be able at any time to take some photos that can complement the photographers with other point of view.

A dynamic duo like this will be the future for me of wedding photo and videography. Taking advantage of both world without any compromise. What we see above is just a publicity stunt, I see lot of shot outdoor where the use of some fill flash would have been better. Imagine being in a church an afternoon where the light coming from the sun is just behind the couple what do you do in the above example. You bring 5k + hmi light to balance the scene... I would like to know because I have been through that.

July 15, 2011 at 9:59AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Daniel

Quality issues aside (available light only at 1/50s shutter speed...) I think good stills can't just be pulled from video.

I regularly have to pull stills from video for website thumbnails, and although the video is perfectly good, I'm often having problems finding a frame that looks good as a still frame.

There's a reason why even high class film productions call in a set photographer to shoot stills from the scenes - a still picture needs to capture all the action into one frame while video/film can play with the movement.
Sometimes they correlate and you might be able to pull a perfect still from video/film - but don't bet on it! Mostly it just won't work.

July 14, 2011 at 4:55PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Heiko

It has been known that the world's TOP photographers have ditched their DSLRs for the Epic. Here is just one example on a Victoria Secret shoot. http://reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?60812-Russell-James-Epic-Canon-M...

July 15, 2011 at 2:05AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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John Saxon

To clarify, not everyone...but a good number of pro still photographers are using Epic with the sole purpose of pulling stills. Vincent Laforet made a really interesting post what Epic means for the future: http://www.aphotoeditor.com/2011/06/17/vincent-laforet-the-future-of-pho...

July 15, 2011 at 2:07AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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John Saxon

You should compile a list of all those world top photographers that have left their 40+ megapixel medium format back for the 14 megapixel Epic. Some example doesn't say anything. Perhaps this assignment was a test or had the need for a lot of video.

July 17, 2011 at 2:40PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Daniel

Quality issue does not seem to affect a Vogue shoot: http://reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?50345-PARIS-VOGUE

July 15, 2011 at 2:10AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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John Saxon

and another example..if you are still not convinced about good stills from video: http://reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?50179-Stills-from-motion...&p=65...

July 15, 2011 at 2:14AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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John Saxon

I won't lie, the shot quality is great (as in the, the photography itself), but the quality of the image isn't very impressive to me.

For one thing, it just doesn't seem very sharp. her hair, especially in the in-focus areas doesn't appear to have strong clarity within it. At first I thought it was the lighting, and maybe it is, but it doesn't come across as to being as sharp as a full frame sensor or med. format shot either.

That's not to say that it doesn't look nice, because it does. But I don't see this beating a DSLR of any sort anytime soon.

Nice try though.

July 17, 2011 at 12:40AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Filming wedding with red EPIC, pffff, how cheap and amateurish.... go 35 mm, it's much easier and cool, plus you won't see the neon light flickering in the background and the photog's flash lighting half of your sensor.

The EPIC is only 5K so you can't really show your wedding on IMAX 3D...

The one and only good thing about it, is that, for once, cameramen will steal jobs from photogs and not the opposite.

July 14, 2011 at 5:14PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Renaud

Just Kidding ;-)

July 14, 2011 at 8:10PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Renaud

Good one! ;-)

July 14, 2011 at 10:55PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Pravin

Wedding photographers have been fleecing patrons for a while now. especially since it's all gone digital (you'd think the price should've gone down not up). So how much is it going to cost now to have a wedding photographed?

September 21, 2011 at 2:44PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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James

Gonna revive an old one here....

People are freaking out that RED cameras can't be used like, say, a 5D, or D4S or whatever. That's right. It can't. Here what I think. Go and shoot your wedding films with a RED. Charge the family what you would normally charge a wedding. As you edit, and come across frames that would look nice all by their lonesome, pick it out, and and try to find 20 or so (shouldn't be hard) and include your own photo book with your film at no charge to the family. Sure, it won't be some grand ordeal that they're forking over thousands for, that's what they're paying a pro photographer with real photography tools to do. What you're giving them is a surprise, and photos of moments that the still photographer never even saw. They'll love you, boom, recommendations, which is what people in this business thrive on.

So calm down people. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

August 25, 2014 at 12:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Daniel Christensen