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  • Live View from DSLRs

    Posted by Ryan Orr on December 3, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    My report/sadness with these DSLRs.

    Unless something has happened within the last 12hrs, DSLRs cannot send a clean, uncompressed, full HD signal when in Live View. Whether it’s a hardware issue or if it’s something that can be fixed in firmware, it’s just not doable…yet.

    Now, why would anyone want this kind of signal? What’s the big deal? Well for one, if you have a nice HD field monitor, the closer the resolution of the monitor to the full resolution to the camera, the better your focus, color management, and composition will be. Inherently, with the great selection of lenses and the huge sensors, these cameras can have incredibly thin DOF. Focus will be hard, even with 3rd party viewfinder assesories like from Zacuto. So there’s one good reason for a full HD signal.

    Here’s another reason. Take either the Canon 5d MK II or the 7D. Right now, you have to accept the h.264 codec. It’s not bad quality, but it’s not really ideal. But with a clean (meaning no graphics or on screen info), uncompressed FULL HD signal coming from the HDMI port, you can use the nanoFlash that Michael Palmer recently reviewed. Just read the article…it’s impressive.

    The combo of the Canon 5D MK II and the nanoFlash excites me…or I should say “would” excite me. I’m thinking this. With the full sized sensor awesomeness of the 5D, along side a clean, full HD Live View signal going to the nanoFlash, I would be a happy camper.

    I’ve done some small time gigs like weddings, special events, corporate events, etc. Using this combo like this would be like going to the Melting Pot for fondue. It would be superb. Not entirely sure how, but getting external audio fed in the nanoFlash would be awesome too (wouldn’t have to worry about a 2nd device to record audio…it’s all in one file) And not that crummy, unbalanced stuff coming from your dad’s CD player either. I’m talking the balanced, pro goodness.

    Merriness. Alas though, I’m getting ahead of the game. Since there is no such thing as a clean, full HD signal from Live View, this whole post is moot until that happens.

    Please fix this Mr. Magic Lantern. A Full 1080p, uncompressed, clean signal would be mega. I would love you.

    Richard Harrington replied 14 years, 6 months ago 4 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • Nels Chick

    December 4, 2009 at 1:04 am

    Ryan I am with you all of the way. Is it even possible? People are doing it with HV20s, aren’t they? I wonder why these Canon DSLRs aren’t doing this. I am also very impressed with the nanoFlash doodad, and would totally get one if what you are asking becomes a reality.

  • Gord Stephen

    December 4, 2009 at 2:35 am

    Amen – Not just for the NanoFlash, but for lower-cost capture solutions like the Blackmagic Intensity card and the Matrox MXO2 Mini too. Record straight to ProRes, CineForm, uncompressed… whatever.

    Maybe one day… V-DSLRs have come so far in a year, who knows what’s possibly in another?


  • Ryan Orr

    December 4, 2009 at 5:15 am

    Nels, my man, I have no experience with ANY of the Canon DSLRs that can do video…or the Nikons, or any other brand name DSLR. So I am completely clueless about the camera you’re talking about. I’ll Google about it tomorrow, and maybe reply here and make it sound like I know what I’m talking about, lol. But you get the point. This would be a magical thing.

    Gord, you’re listing some good equipment, but the MXO2? You have to be tethered to the box AND a laptop AT LEAST. The nanoFlash is completely mobile, and I’d rather have that strapped to my rig then being umbilical’ed to the MXO2 AND a laptop. Unless say, you’re doing some studio work maybe…and it would be more convenient to do it your way. IDK…all depends on the workflow you can afford/care to adjust to.

    *Side Topic*

    Do we really want companies like Canon and Nikon give us EVERYTHING we could possibly want in these cameras? I mean…if I say, “Canon, I want you to give me a full sized 3 CCD sensor DSLR, two balanced xlr inputs, full 1080p uncompressed recording on inexpensive cards”… these said companies will have every reason and right to slap a multi-thousand dollar price tag on it(I know…in our dreams right now, but hey technology will make it happen some day right?).

    For now, I don’t mind AT ALL the workarounds that have been so tried-and-true with these HD-DSLRs out in the market place. The very reasonable price tags make me happy enough. With the right workflows, work-arounds, shooting techniques and ingenuity, these cameras are boss. So don’t go ALL out Mr. Canon or Mrs. Nikon…unless you can do it and keep your very affordable price tags 🙂

  • Gord Stephen

    December 4, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    The HV20/30/40’s a $600 consumer camera that outputs uncompressed 4:2:2 over HDMI, like most other consumer cameras do. Which is the frustrating part…

    I agree that the NanoFlash offers a whole new level of portability, which is a good thing, but at the same time it costs 10 times the price of the Blackmagic or Matrox. It would cost more than your camera body too… So yeah, I guess it comes down to the workflow you can afford/are willing to pay for. Speaking only for myself, if I really needed the quality, I’d be willing to cart around a laptop and breakout box. And if I really needed the mobility, then I’d happily accept 45Mb/s H.264. It’s definitely nothing to scoff at.

    Real video cameras with DSLR-sized sensors can’t be too far away – Canon hasn’t put out a pro video camera in a while, I’d be willing to bet that their next one makes the jump. But yeah… it’ll definitely be priced like a pro video camera too.


  • Richard Harrington

    December 5, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Try playing back 1080P after recording.. Not live monitoring.

    Some cameras can.. you can then essentially “digitize” over HDMI (like the old days in a way)

    BTW.. Ryan…. good to see you again.

    Richard M. Harrington, PMP

    Author: Video Made on a Mac, Photoshop for Video, Understanding Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Studio On the Spot and ATS:iWork

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