I did some tests yesterday with footage shot with Canon’s fancy DSLR, the 5D Mark II. It records 1080p30 video, compressed with H.264. The look of it is incredible. Using a real, expensive lens makes a big difference. There are some minor compression artifacts, and some small, but ugly noise in very low light, but I generally can’t fault the quality of the image. Of course, there are some major drawbacks for anyone who wants to shoot a movie with it, and not just upload pretty shots to their Vimeo account.
The basic workflow is this: Copy the H.264 mov files from your CF card, then convert them to an editable codec. If you’re mixing footage with other cameras, convert it to that format. I’m going to be working in ProRes HQ, so that’s what I converted to. I used Compressor, and it went pretty quickly.
The big problem I ran into is the framerate. It shoots only at 30.0 frames per second, which is incompatible with every other video format I work with. If you’re going to finish in regular old NTSC 29.97, you can easily use Cinema Tools to batch conform the 30.0 files to 29.97 files. It’ll take no time at all. If you use onboard audio, everything will stay in sync. But if you’re shooting double system (which I would recommend) then you’ll have to slow the audio down .1% before you sync it up. You can read up on that process in another post. If you’re shooting the rest of your film at 23.98 like we are, then you’ll have to do some serious frame-rate conversion. Right now I’m planning to cut it with G Film Converter turned on for preview purposes, then we’ll pay to run the final cut of the un-effected 29.97 video through an Alchemist to get a sharper conversion.