A photographer friend (Dennis Siebert, www.shadowandlight.de) has recently got the new full-frame DSLR Canon 1D-X. A good opportunity to do a little test on the improvements of the video quality of the Canon 1D-X compared to the Canon 7D.
Problem with Canon DSLR
Main problem of the video recording of the Canon 7D is the method of calculating the 2-megapixel video image (FullHD) from 18Megapixel sensor data. Rows and columns of the sensor are omitted (Lineskipping). This creates depending on the situation moiré in the video image. For organic structures such as faces or nature this is not unnoticeable. In regular high-frequency structures, e.g. House walls, which are finer than the full-HD resolution, slight color pattern can be seen. This can be reduced by focusing on people or objects in the foreground. With an open aperture and an ND filter, a smaller depth of field can be achieved. Fine structures in the background are blurred and the disturbances can be reduced or even completely eliminated. In long shots a slight defocusing or sharpness reduction in the Picture Profile can help.
We compared three features on both cameras. The moire the sharpness and the rolling shutter. We chose two filming situations where you may experience the problems mentioned. The two cameras have filmed the situation at the same setting in parallel. The settings for both cameras was an aperture of F22. Thus, the smallest possible depth of field is achieved. Other settings are ISO 160 and 1/50 shutter at 25fps HD. As the color profile, we used the Technicolor Cinestyle with sharpness 2, contrast -2, saturation -1 and hue 0.
This color profile provides a larger image latitude for subsequent color correction. Moiré is most likely to occur in slight camera movements. For a better comparison we used the IPB mode with about 50MBit/s in the 1D-X instead of the new All-I with 90MBit/s
Video Comparison Canon 1D-X and 7D
Here is our short video comparing the Canon 7D with the Canon 1D-X.
The images were processed with the same color correction curve. In the 1D-X at least in this test no moiré is visible. The grid lines of the fence are finely resolved. The color-corrected image of the Canon 1D-X is much sharper and has a bit more contrast than the Canon 7D. After color correcting the 7D you can see slight colored lines on the left house.
The rolling shutter is reduced in direct comparison, indicating a higher sensor data reading and processing speed.
Conclusion Canon 1D-X or Canon 7D
The quality of the Canon 7D is already quite good and we were able to successfully use it for various corporate video productions. But the Canon 1D-X has again made great improvements in video quality. What a shame that it has not the same controls for video recording as the Canon 7D. With the 7D, the 5D Mark II and the new 6D you can switch between photo and video mode with a switch, instead of the menu. The photo mode is also different to its predecessor 1D Mark III, as the photographer told us.
Thanks to Dennis Siebert, for giving his new Canon 1D-X out of his hands for a few minutes: https://www.shadowandlight.de