Canon 1D-C: Tested to the Limit-Real World High ISO Noise Tests
We set up with Tom working near the forge and had him do what he does best while we tested the Canon EOS 1D C. Starting at ISO 400, the camera’s native ISO setting, we lit Tom so we could work at T/1.6, with a shutter speed of 1/50th of a second. We fixed our white balance at 4700K and understood that we would have some variations in color temperature as the changing ambient dusk light came through the windows. We went up a stop at a time from ISO 400 to ISO 800 to ISO 1600 all the way up to the camera’s HI-2 setting (ISO 204,800). We kept the exposure equal using Tiffen’s 4X5 Pro HV Neutral Density filter set and matching our histograms as we shifted the ISO.
Canon Log vs Neutral Picture Profile on the Canon EOS 1D C
While we liked the flexibility that Canon Log gave us in color grading, we were curious how it compared to our old Neutral Picture Style (-7 Sharpness, 0 Contrast, 0 Saturation, 0 Color Tone). We repeated the test to compare the two. In the video below, we used our native camera setting of ISO 400 and our high mark of ISO 3200 as our benchmarks both ungraded and graded:
We found that the Canon Log is, as expected, a much flatter image and gave us more flexibility to work with the grade in color correction. However, while the latitude of the scene was diminished with the Neutral picture profile, if we needed to remove extra color correction from our workflow, the Neutral picture profile would still do us well at ISO 3200.
Canon EOS 1D C Slow Motion Tests
After reviewing this footage, we definitely agreed that the slowed down footage was softer than the real time footage at 24p. For our sake, we didn’t see a significant quality difference between 60p and 50p and the use of one or the other would be dependent on speed of slow down or NTSC vs PAL use. While these tests weren’t perfect (our frame shifted a bit and working quickly, we elected to shift aperture to compensate for shutter speed instead of changing ISO or adding additional lighting) they illustrated enough to see how usable the higher frame rate would be.
In addition to the footage being a bit softer, the 1D-C does not have a special record mode like the Canon EOS C300 to shoot 60fps down to 24fps (23.976) in camera. This means that the footage must be interpreted in Adobe Premiere Pro and set to 23.976 fps
Canon L Series Lens vs. Cine Series Lens Comparison
The major difference between the L Series Lens and the Cine Lens is the bokeh, the blur of the lens. The L Series 50mm lens has sharper lines in its bokeh, while the Cine lens is far more spherical, nearly a perfect circle in the center of the lens. This is particularly apparent when the foreground subject is in focus, and the background lights remain as tighter bokeh. In the freeze frame, you can see the cleaner bokeh of the Cine lens. This look is what has typically separated cinema and higher quality lenses from stills and lower cost lenses. Other than that however, we didn’t see much difference in the image quality. Both 50mm lenses had the same slight distortion on the edges of the frame. The bokeh circles on the edges become slightly squished, but it looks like they distort in the same way on both the L Series and the Cine Lens.
Visit tylerstableford.com/blog/ for the details of each test shown above.
(cover photo credit: snap from the video)
Latest posts by Keith Alvendia (see all)
- Arctic Swell Cinematographer Anton Lorimer on planet5D Podcast - September 5, 2014
- Coming Soon from Apple: MFi Specs for Lightning Cable Headphones - June 7, 2014
- planet5D podcast #13 – Jon Holland – music producer and filmmaker - June 4, 2014