November 7, 2016 at 1:46PM, Edited November 7, 1:48PM

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Is Canon 1DX Mark II the best?

Guys,

Im watching some of the best social media artists in the world create awesome videos. The Sam Kolders, the Nanoa Langers, and I just have absolutely no idea how their footage is this great!

The only thing I can tell from my set up to theirs (I have a GH4) is the camera. I "believe" they are using a 1DX Mark II, and the video is pushes out looks like it came from a dream! Everything looks so smooth, in comparison to my GH4, which produces I am not going to say "sharp" but less dreamy look. I am not sure if it is just this camera, or the fact that it is NOT mirrorless in comparison to the GH4, or they do post sharpening, or their shutter speed is below double the frame rate, or the fact that all high end Canon cameras produce dreamy photos and videos like that, or that it is full frame. In my mind, some of the 1DX, which doesn't even shoot LOG video, looks just as good as the Cinema series Canon cameras, or the Ursa Mini footage. Does anyone have any input on how you achieve such a dreamy look, is it the camera, or am I just getting it all wrong?

6 Comments

I'll start by saying the GH4 and low-end UHD cameras in general don't produce clean images.
That said, there's a LOT of determining factors in the look of the completed movie. The biggest contribution is the DP. A great DP can make iPhone video look amazing while an amateur will make 65mm Vision3 50D look terrible. Seriously, I've seen amazing things done with the humble HVX-200 in the hands of a good DP. An integral part of the DP's tool set is the lighting. The lens makes a big difference as well. Color filter quality and pixel size are next. Resolution is close to last and has little to do with perceived sharpness.

Color grading also has a great deal to do with the outcome. It's been the trend in the last few years for people to mess with the image so much in post, it looks nothing like what they shot. I've seen productions that cost a ton of money, shot on Reds, come out looking like they were shot on a phone with an Instagram filter on it. Some look like they were shot without Gamma correction. Some people like to cut out windows and more or less hand-color different sections of the frame, assuring every shot looks like an alien world. While it literally makes me nauseous when people make the look of their projects in post, I suspect that may be your "dreamy" look. One common thing is to make sure there's no black. Murky gray is as dark as it gets. If everything looks orange or blue yet desaturated at the same time, so much the better.

November 8, 2016 at 8:38AM

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Awesome point. I do think color grading plays a part, and DP as well definitely.
I don't think the color grading plays to much of a role, the image just seems different to me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeNqvYeV23I&t=174s
Yes he color graded, but not over saturated in my mind, maybe slightly in some areas, but as a whole probably not. Do you think lighting played a big role in creating this look for most of the images?

Yes the matte black look or murky gray look is definitely becoming more popular.

Austin Piwinski

November 12, 2016 at 8:49PM

I visited Sam Kolder's video channel on YouTube to see what so excited you. Not only is there no mention of the Canon 1DX II, but most of the videos are listed as being shot on a Blackmagic Designs camera: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1yIpHAszecJk2sLyVVgZJw/videos

I searched for, but did not find, Nanoa Langer, but did find Nainoa Langer. In a recent interview, he explains "I’ve actually got probably one of the most basic setups for filmmaking ever haha. For my first year I was working with solely a GoPro 3+ Black edition and a selfie pole. As of right now I’ve upgraded to working with a DJI Phantom 2 drone which I’ve had for about 3 months and was also my first drone. A GoPro Hero 4 Black edition that attaches to the drone via a gimbal, and also acts as my go to camera for any water related activities, and most recently a Panasonic Lumix GH4 DSLR film camera along with a Glidecam HD-2000 gimbal for smooth shots." See https://ofhumans.com/interview-with-nainoa-langer/

Again, no mention at all about a Canon 1DX II.

I have a GH4. It's a brilliant camera for what it does. No camera, by itself, makes great images out of the box. It is the skilled photographer/DP who learns the limitations and the strengths of the camera, and then uses both, with a keen eye, to make extraordinary images/videos.

November 8, 2016 at 10:50AM

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Thanks for the response Michael. Sorry I didn't give you enough guidance on what to look for.

Yes Langer did say that, but that was before he released his most recent video, his quality seems to have increased immensely. Here is before the tutorial video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxtLmKV_QgI
With the GH4 I'm assuming

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeNqvYeV23I&t=174s
Here is after.
To me, the quality on this second video is amazing, and it my mind, it must have been taken in a different way or camera. Maybe not, maybe he just color graded more accurately, but the shots themselves just seem to have a different look.

Here is Sam Kolder,
https://www.instagram.com/p/BKejXQ-jm8x/?taken-by=sam_kolder
Outside the drone shots, I am 100% its a 1dx, and this most recent Langer video really seems to have that same color, and dream look. Any points?

Austin

Austin Piwinski

November 12, 2016 at 8:59PM, Edited November 12, 8:59PM

I'm not meaning to criticize but a big thing I would note is skill level. I started out with the crappiest of the crap camera and made the worst stuff. 5 years down the road I was shooting substantially better videos on much better hardware and after jumping back to the crap camera, I found that the quality increased as well. It showed me that developing skills is highly valuable if not more valuable to the outcome of the piece over the camera that is used!

November 15, 2016 at 12:16AM

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Clark McCauley
Spaceman
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Also Canon sucks and URSA Mini from my few shoots with it is the king of low end cinema <3 #ileftcanonlongago

November 15, 2016 at 12:18AM

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Clark McCauley
Spaceman
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