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Thread: The Beginning of a (Canon 1D-X) Love affair

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    The Beginning of a (Canon 1D-X) Love affair

    Got the 1D-X yesterday - what a journey (only a 9 month wait).

    I wanted the camera for 3 main areas - studio shooting - location shooting - and landscape. As things stand, ...

    - Can't do any studio shooting because Canon didn't include the CD that has the software for tethered shooting, and haven't put it on their website (in their infinite wisdom!)

    - Can't do any location shooting 'cause my weapon of choice EF70-200 F2.8L IS USM II is being repaired (end of week #5 so far), sigh

    - Can't do any landscape because the L Bracket to mount it to my tripod is still several weeks away.

    On the plus side, I have shot my foot a few times with it!

    On the brighter side of life though, lens and CD should be here tomorrow (hopefully in time for the weekend - possibly 2 shoots on).

    Camera itself is nice -- definitely an evolution of the 1Ds3, but with a lot of "nice to have" firmware improvements ... just little things like the ability to lock the QCD AND the Index wheel when in lock mode (so when shooting in the studio I don't accidentally change a shutterspeed and/or aperture) (the 1Ds3 could only lock the QCD), and better control over things like minimum shutterspeed (was previously limited to 1/60th) (which doesn't help with a non-IS 135mm lens).

    Only one "funny" discovered so far ... I fired a burst at 1/1000th @ F2.5 @ ISO 3200 under fluorescent room lighting - and was very surprised to see wildly varying colour temps. I repeated the burst with a manual colour temp selected and got the same result. Outside it was OK though. Still need to do some more testing, but definitely something it didn't like about fluorescent lighting.

    Almost got the beast tamed though ... looking forward to a real shoot with it shortly

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: The Beginning of a (Canon 1D-X) Love affair

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Only one "funny" discovered so far ... I fired a burst at 1/1000th @ F2.5 @ ISO 3200 under fluorescent room lighting - and was very surprised to see wildly varying colour temps. I repeated the burst with a manual colour temp selected and got the same result.)
    I wonder if what you are seeing is a mismatch between the camera's white balance reading and the actual exposure. If you are shooting that fast with a lamp that is cycling at 50Hz, you might be getting an issue with the decay of light output of the different phosphors in the lamp.

    I assume this is only happening in burst mode? I'm speculating that the camera does a single AWB and uses it throughout the burst.

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    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: The Beginning of a (Canon 1D-X) Love affair

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Only one "funny" discovered so far ... I fired a burst at 1/1000th @ F2.5 @ ISO 3200 under fluorescent room lighting - and was very surprised to see wildly varying colour temps. I repeated the burst with a manual colour temp selected and got the same result. Outside it was OK though. Still need to do some more testing, but definitely something it didn't like about fluorescent lighting.
    Since you're at a relatively high ISO, is it possible that the oddball colour temps are a result of the noise-processing algorithms? Or did the issue appear in a RAW file?

    Sorry to hear about the trouble, but on the bright side, you're rocking a 1Dx.

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    Re: The Beginning of a (Canon 1D-X) Love affair

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    I wonder if what you are seeing is a mismatch between the camera's white balance reading and the actual exposure. If you are shooting that fast with a lamp that is cycling at 50Hz, you might be getting an issue with the decay of light output of the different phosphors in the lamp.

    I assume this is only happening in burst mode? I'm speculating that the camera does a single AWB and uses it throughout the burst.
    Hi Manfred,

    Just did some more testing ...

    No - not only burst mode. I just had to choose 1/1000th to be able to get 12fps in burst mode.

    - Happens with my 1Ds3 as well, so not a fault -- it's just that I've never shot at that kind of shutterspeed before because I've never had a camera with an ISO 2,000,000,000 before.

    - Effect gets less and less as the shutterspeed drops, so I'd say you're right. For some reason I've never really thought of fluorescent lights "flickering"; I know they're pulsed at 50Hz (for us anyway), but I've always assumed that there was enough persistence in them (somewhere) for the effective light source to be constant, but obviously not.

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    Re: The Beginning of a (Canon 1D-X) Love affair

    Quote Originally Posted by RustBeltRaw View Post
    Since you're at a relatively high ISO, is it possible that the oddball colour temps are a result of the noise-processing algorithms? Or did the issue appear in a RAW file?

    Sorry to hear about the trouble, but on the bright side, you're rocking a 1Dx.
    Hi Lex,

    See my update above. I think it's just such a short shutterspeed that it's getting different "slices" of light as they pulse at 50 Hz.

    I'm sure the camera will be fine -- I'm into "3rd gear" with it now -- starting to be able to change things by touch/feel & remembering where things are in the (considerable) menu system.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: The Beginning of a (Canon 1D-X) Love affair

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Manfred,

    Just did some more testing ...

    No - not only burst mode. I just had to choose 1/1000th to be able to get 12fps in burst mode.

    - Happens with my 1Ds3 as well, so not a fault -- it's just that I've never shot at that kind of shutterspeed before because I've never had a camera with an ISO 2,000,000,000 before.

    - Effect gets less and less as the shutterspeed drops, so I'd say you're right. For some reason I've never really thought of fluorescent lights "flickering"; I know they're pulsed at 50Hz (for us anyway), but I've always assumed that there was enough persistence in them (somewhere) for the effective light source to be constant, but obviously not.
    Fluorescent lights do flicker, depending on the type of ballast that they use. Twice line frequency is pretty common with traditional ballasts. Under the right conditions, especially if you are using a single light source you can notice a strobe effect. One of my computer fans seemed to be almost stationary under a fluorescent light. I believe that the newer electronic ballasts fire at a frequency where the phosphors don't stop emitting light and this effect is not noticable.

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    Re: The Beginning of a (Canon 1D-X) Love affair

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Fluorescent lights do flicker, depending on the type of ballast that they use. Twice line frequency is pretty common with traditional ballasts. Under the right conditions, especially if you are using a single light source you can notice a strobe effect. One of my computer fans seemed to be almost stationary under a fluorescent light. I believe that the newer electronic ballasts fire at a frequency where the phosphors don't stop emitting light and this effect is not noticable.
    Interestingly though, my office has 12 of them, so not sure if that means all 12 flicker in synchronous. I'm a lot less concerned now that I can see the same thing happening on the 1Ds3. Another good reason to use flash indoors!

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    Re: The Beginning of a (Canon 1D-X) Love affair

    Congrats on the new toy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Interestingly though, my office has 12 of them, so not sure if that means all 12 flicker in synchronous. I'm a lot less concerned now that I can see the same thing happening on the 1Ds3. Another good reason to use flash indoors!
    With standard fluorescent lights the flickering is tied to twice the mains frequency, so they should be closely synchronized if they're all the same type. If you shoot at 10 fps instead of 12 fps you should see less color temp variation within the burst -- that is, IF the camera sticks strictly to this 10 fps timing. Between sets of bursts it will still look different though, and the exposure will change a tad. Ideally the frame rate times some integer is equal to twice the power frequency (ie, 10 x 10 = 100 in your case, whereas that wasn't possible with 12 fps ). To truly eliminate the problem, you'd also want to always capture at least one full pulse cycle though, so that would mean a shutter speed of 1/100 or 1/50 a second.

    ...or, as you say, greatly minimize this problem by using a flash!

    PS: I seem to recall that the original 1D had a green/magenta color balance issue at really high frame rates too, but I doubt that's happening here.
    Last edited by McQ; 11th July 2012 at 06:44 AM.

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    Re: The Beginning of a (Canon 1D-X) Love affair

    I see this all the time in the shop when I'm doing a demo.
    Certain cameras are more prone than others, we really noticed it when one of my girls was playing with a 600D before she finally decided to buy it.
    Camera flat on the counter, manual exposure, continuos shooting and the WB was changing wildly between correct and green. Definitely not a fault but it is odd.

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    Re: The Beginning of a (Canon 1D-X) Love affair

    Congratulations Colin, hope the love affair will be a long and happy one.
    Must say thanks to Manfred, that was valuable information from him, hope all members read this thread.

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    Re: The Beginning of a (Canon 1D-X) Love affair

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    I wonder if what you are seeing is a mismatch between the camera's white balance reading and the actual exposure. If you are shooting that fast with a lamp that is cycling at 50Hz, you might be getting an issue with the decay of light output of the different phosphors in the lamp.

    I assume this is only happening in burst mode? I'm speculating that the camera does a single AWB and uses it throughout the burst.
    Thank You Manfred, that was very informative. Would you say by implication it would mean shooting under fluorescent light you should never rely on a single shot only? The shutter might be open the moment the light is in the “wrong” cycle for the WB of the camera to compensate. Would I be wrong to assume, when shooting under fluorescent, you should actually turn down the shutter speed to below 1/50sec if the fluorescent is flickering at 50Hz. Or rather use flash.
    To me this sort of information is educational, not “fix it in PP”. hehehe. Appriciated!

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    Re: The Beginning of a (Canon 1D-X) Love affair

    Quote Originally Posted by black pearl View Post
    I see this all the time in the shop when I'm doing a demo.
    Certain cameras are more prone than others, we really noticed it when one of my girls was playing with a 600D before she finally decided to buy it.
    Camera flat on the counter, manual exposure, continuos shooting and the WB was changing wildly between correct and green. Definitely not a fault but it is odd.
    You can see the pulse on the fluorescent tube by taking shots of it at about 1/2500 to 1/4000. At least that is what worked for me when I was looking for arty shots around the house a few years back. It has made me mistrust them for good lighting work ever since.

    Have fun with your new camera. I would like some feedback on how it compares to the 1Ds for portrait work. All the current reviews/speculations seem to focus on taking pictures at high ISO for low light or fast action. It would be nice to hear how Canon's magic skin tones have evolved.

    Alex

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    Re: The Beginning of a (Canon 1D-X) Love affair

    Although it has been many years since I was a pro photographer, I have been a lighting engineer for about two decades before retiring, and I learned some things about fluorescent light.

    There are different ways of supplying power to a FL lamp, one of them is with a passive component, a magnetic choke, that will make the light output modulated by twice the mains frequency. The dip of a modern FL tube at lowest current is about 30 % of the output, and with modulation, there is also a colour variation. So at short shutter times, there will invariably be differences in colour depending on where in the phase the light is caught by the camera, when lit by a single or a group of synchronous FL lamps.

    The other way of supplying power is by an electronic high frequency ballast. This type of ballast first rectifies the current, then chops it up at a frequency above 20 kHz. If the rectified current is smoothed enough by a large capacitor, there will not be any substantial variation in light output or colour with the AC cycle. This is the best type of ballast when fluorescents shall be used for photography. However, insufficient smoothing, with a too small capacitor, will still cause the same variation as with a passive magnetic ballast. This is the case with so called "low energy" lamps that you screw into a regular lamp holder.

    The drawback with HF ballasts that have a large capacitor is that they are very unkind to your electric system, consuming energy only at the top of the voltage curve, creating current spikes. Their spike current often is about seven times as much as a magnetic ballast, but may rise as high as twenty times the nominal current.

    With magnetic ballasts, often there are paired lamps, where a capacitor has been put in the system, so that the two lamps do not modulate in unison. When there is a delay for the second tube, the modulation is evened out greatly, and it is also better for the electric system, as you get less current in the zero lead of 3-phase systems. Also, with a 3-phase system, when you supply a larger number of FL lamps from all three phases, the "flickering" is evened out, as they do not have their peak and bottom points synchronized, but 60 degrees shifted.

    When there is a 100 or 120 Hz modulation, WB readings and exposures will be more consistent if you set the shutter time to 3 cycles or more, which is a rather long shutter time of about 1/30 second.

  14. #14

    Re: The Beginning of a (Canon 1D-X) Love affair

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Interestingly though, my office has 12 of them, so not sure if that means all 12 flicker in synchronous. I'm a lot less concerned now that I can see the same thing happening on the 1Ds3. Another good reason to use flash indoors!
    If your office has all the lights on one phase only, they will all flicker in unison. If the lights are distributed across three phases, then they will not flicker in unison. See discussion by Ikanyezi elsehwere in this post. Also, this flickering can be dangerous in a workshop where the lights flicker at the same frequency of rotation of machines such as a circular saw. It can make the saw blade seem to be standing still, when in fact is is rotating at its normal speed. This would never happen with an incandecent lamp.

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    Re: The Beginning of a (Canon 1D-X) Love affair

    Quote Originally Posted by McQ View Post
    Congrats on the new toy!

    PS: I seem to recall that the original 1D had a green/magenta color balance issue at really high frame rates too, but I doubt that's happening here.
    Hi Sean,

    Thanks for all that. I'm definitely seeing a green shift in some of the frames. Bit of a learning curve for me actually -- now that I have the super-high ISO modes available, I'll have to watch my shutterspeeds under fluorescent lighting.

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    Re: The Beginning of a (Canon 1D-X) Love affair

    Quote Originally Posted by herbert View Post
    Have fun with your new camera. I would like some feedback on how it compares to the 1Ds for portrait work. All the current reviews/speculations seem to focus on taking pictures at high ISO for low light or fast action. It would be nice to hear how Canon's magic skin tones have evolved.
    Hi Alex,

    I'm not expecting it to be very different. At times it would be nice to be able to shoot at a higher ISO so that I can run the studio heads at a lower power and get a shorter duration for motion stopping, but usually I'm limited by the minimum power from the fill light, so probably not a lot will change there. The higher DR may also be useful for digging a bit more detail out of some inadvertently under-exposed areas as well.

    AF performance is where I'm expecting the biggest improvements; I'm hoping for "fast - reliable - consistent"; the 1Ds3 did "OK", but still missed a few frames here and there. I've set the 1Dx to use cross-type points only, as a starting point.

    Other little things like the ability to lock-out the main & QCDs may well go a long way towards preventing situations where something gets changed accidentally and I don't notice until later.

    One thing that disappointed me though was the HDMI Output; if I playback the images then it works great, but I can't get it to mirror the LCD screen when images pop up for a couple of seconds for review. That would have been great, as I would have been able to change the way I do tethered shooting (I'd be able to control everything from the camera instead of having to use the computer for that phase).

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    Re: The Beginning of a (Canon 1D-X) Love affair

    Stop puilling our legs Colin that is two million ISO not 2000million Only mono sound? I'm not jealous I felt the weight of a Nikon D3 recently

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    Re: The Beginning of a (Canon 1D-X) Love affair

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    On the plus side, I have shot my foot a few times with it!
    Congratulations, Colin! You turn every situation in a funny/fun one I am still laughing. Show us a picture when you can please.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    Congratulations, Colin! You turn every situation in a funny/fun one I am still laughing. Show us a picture when you can please.
    Thanks Ali,

    I think I've got my first studio shoot with it tomorrow - I say "think" because the model has suddenly stopped replying to text messages, so really not sure what's going on. Might have to commandeer a neighbourhood stray cat if I get desperate!

    On the bright side, I finally got my 70-200/F2.4L II back from being repaired (sticky focus motor) - wow - what a difference! But wait - there's more - also got the disk that should have shipped with the camera, so I can now shoot tethered again!

    Still waiting on an RRS L bracket - a couple of 128GB cards - and a PocketWizard Plus III, but thankfully none of those are show-stoppers.

    Interestingly, it's been a bit of an eye opener as to just how useless the camera is without the necessary support equipment (right lens / cards / bracket / software).

    Will keep you all updated!

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    Alis's Avatar
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    Re: The Beginning of a (Canon 1D-X) Love affair

    Thanks for the update. I am still waiting for mine, although I ordered only one day late, looks like I have hundreds of people ahead of me at B&H!

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    ...and a PocketWizard Plus III...
    Didn't you recently tell me that you are done with PW since the Canon Speedlight 600 has wireless capabilities?

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