Home Camera What Happens When You Mix A BMW M3, A Beautiful Woman and HDSLR Cameras?

What Happens When You Mix A BMW M3, A Beautiful Woman and HDSLR Cameras?

written by Shane Hurlbut, ASC

This exciting spot was directed by Mike McCoy of Bandito Brothers and the majority of it was shot in 3 nights!  Even though Mouse (as he is affectionately known) is very talented, he had the help of an amazing team to make him shine.  Jacob Rosenberg who is also a director and post-production supervisor at Bandito Brothers connected the dots that helped Mouse’s visual story come to life and made sure the production ideas could be edited in post.  Producer Sumer Friedrich  and shooter Victor Huber (www.vichuber.com)  both of Bandito Garage (specializing in one stop shopping for car prep, cinematography and camera cars) rounded out the team.

Bandito Brothers "Living in the Lights"

Bandito Brothers “Living in the Lights”

The creative genius of mixing 5K still car shots and the Canon 5D car chase sequences make this groundbreaking visual imagery. From start to finish the all digital project and workflow takes advantage of where technology has gone. What was a “hot babe in front of a hot car” poster for Mouse as a teen has become a download on YouTube.

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Will Vazquez October 30, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Great work. Hey Shane, I was wondering, what are your thoughts on the 7D, is it at all usable for you on any of your projects? I had it for a few weeks and returned it because I found the image to be soft and fuzzy. I’m very curious, because I haven’t heard from you or Vincent about the Camera. Please, Please, give us your thoughts.

S. Allman October 30, 2009 at 5:40 PM

Being a big fan of the 5D myself, I would really like to see how you did some of the camera sequences with the car steady and the background blurred. Was that a series of stills on a timer remote, or was it done completely in post?

Any chance you’ll be doing teaching seminars in L.A.? I’m within driving distance in San Diego.


Shane October 30, 2009 at 8:49 PM

Hi Will, I have bought 2 7D’s. I feel that the 7D is much more contrasty, and does not seem to have the dynamic range of the 5D. Let’s just say the 5D is a Porsche, the 7D is a Infinity. I love it because I can use the wide Primo Primes. With the 5D my widest lens that I can use without vignetting is a 35mm. The image looks more saturated also. I turn the saturation level down on the camera to -2. I have been happy with it, but I think that is because I am putting $40,000.00 pieces of glass in front of the sensor. I feel that the image noise factor is cleaner with the dual processor, but you really have to treat it like 16mm film, compared to 35mm. It has so much more depth of field, you have to keep it down around a 2.0 to get it close to the depth of field range of the 5D. I hope this helps. All the best

Mike Maier October 30, 2009 at 10:18 PM

Hi Shane.
Do you feel the 5D is sharper than the 7D?

Chris October 31, 2009 at 11:53 AM

That’s a great short, very sexy footage.

I was wondering though, do those Panavision lenses really offer an advantage in image quality over Canon L glass? I realize they have many advantages in terms of handling and build, but are they better in image quality than the best lenses made for full frame still photography?

I’d be curious about a comparison.

Evan Donn October 31, 2009 at 1:02 PM

Is that the ‘Mouse’ McCoy of ‘Dust to Glory’ fame? The combination of stills & video is an interesting technique, I’ve just begun experimenting with it for an upcoming project. Two matched cameras side by side, shooting video on one and long-exposure image sequences on the other, gives you the option of real-time video with time lapse-style light trails.

Shane October 31, 2009 at 1:09 PM

Mike the 5D is the Porsche. The 7D has issues, it is super contrasty, super saturated, and does not have the dynamic range of the 5D. But I like the 7D because I can use the wide Panavision Primo primes on it. With the 5D the widest Primo prime I can use is a 35mm.

Shane October 31, 2009 at 1:19 PM

Chris their is no comparison. The Panavision Primos are $40,000.00 a piece. The L series are amazing for still photography. But they do not resolve on the big screen. Remember when the sensor is in video mode it only samples every third line and delivers 2.5K imagery. On a laptop they look kick ass, but once you blow them up, they do not hold up. You need the sharpest capture you can possibly get.

kc October 31, 2009 at 2:40 PM

What type of Picture styles are you guys using? Are they the same betwwen the 5d and 7d? Good luck on the film, I cannot wait to see it on the big screen!

Shane October 31, 2009 at 3:30 PM

kc Neutral is my Picture Style Raw look. Thanks

Shane October 31, 2009 at 3:36 PM

Evan, yes that is Mouse, he is awesome. We are working on this Navy SEAL movie together, we are doing groundbreaking, game changing work. I cannot wait for everyone to see it. Hopefully a trailer is coming out in Jan.

Mike Maier October 31, 2009 at 4:12 PM

Shane, I know the 5D is much more sensitive but I don’t find it sharper than the 7D. Is that what you mean when you say it is the Porsche?
When you say the 7D has issues, are you referring only to the strong contrast and saturation or is there something else?
The contrast and saturation can be controlled with the picture style software to match the 5D if you want. There are very flat pictures styles available for download online which stretches the dynamic range quite a bit too. How many stops are you getting with your 5D vs your 7D? you can get up to 8.5 usable stops from the 7D with the right picture style.
About treating the 7D like 16mm because the 5D has a shallow depth of field, the 7D’s sensor is actually almost the size of super35 right? Depth of field should be the “same” as 35mm. But I know it’s easy to get spoiled by the “Vista Vision” depth of field the 5D gives you 🙂 It looks great!

All in all and having used the 5D I think the only advantages are the extra sensitivity, slightly less noise in some situation and the extra shallow depth of field if you like Vista Vision depth. But in terms of image quality and specially sharpness I don’t see a difference when both cameras are “properly” set.
Would love for you to elaborate on the issues you have with the 7D. I’m about to buy a second camera and am considering a 5D but the more I think about it the more I think of getting another 7D. 24fps now, S35 sized sensor which is easy to cover with cine lenses and 50-60 over cranking.

Shane October 31, 2009 at 8:02 PM

Mike, don’t get me wrong, I like both cameras. The fact that you can put that expensive wide glass on the 7D is why I own 4. The best kit is to have a 5D and a 7D, then you have it covered. In January the 5D’s firmware will updated to do 24p. But I am not a fan of the 24p. I still shoot 30p and convert it thru Twixtor. It looks more filmic. The 7D seems sharper because of the contrast difference. I know the picture styles exist, but I am not a big fan of any of them, they put a LUT on your footage, I like to be a little more in a RAW file format.

Mike Maier October 31, 2009 at 8:20 PM

I feel you Shane.
Have you ever measured how many stops you’re getting out of your 5D?

Back to the contrast, I like shooting for a really flat image and max dynamic range I can get and adjust the contrast in post. I think this gives me more control and flexibility. This is actually the closest to RAW you can get with the 7D video.
Not sure you if you already know this picture style but it stretches the dynamic range a lot. Gives you a really dull, ugly and flat image on set but it gives you the widest dynamic range for post work: http://www.stubbings.ch/yay/superflat01.zip

Also here you can download a Panavision Genesis Panalog4 type of Picture Style:

Maybe you already know those, but it would be cool to know your thoughts on them.

Also, here’s a video about these picture styles.
How to increase the Canon 7D dynamic range-Tutorial:

Shane November 1, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Mike, great info, I have gone through a lot of those picture styles and found that I like Neutral. I like that you can make your own cocktail. I am going to try that. Thanks for all the links and info. You ROCK!!!! keep it coming, collaboration is where it is at. When I am on a movie set it is not technicians and assistants by my side, it is an amazing team of filmmaking collaborators that have got my back.

Monsieur M November 2, 2009 at 4:33 AM

better than a fix !

Shane November 2, 2009 at 11:26 AM

Monsieur M, I agree. Mouse had a wonderful vision for this, its speed, its imagery. I love it.

Jon Carr November 2, 2009 at 2:33 PM

In a previous post you mentioned January as when Canon will release the 5D update. Is this verified? Canon announced first half of 2010 in the press release. Are you on the inside track? Also, can you describe a little more about the twixtor process? Why do you like it better than the actual 24p option? I have had some unusable ghosting issues when trying to convert my 5D footage to 24p.

Thanks. Wish I could come to the Tuesday night meet up but not near San Diego. When are you coming to SF?

Shane November 2, 2009 at 3:01 PM

Jon, I have know way of knowing the exact release dates of the firmware updates, the best way is to check out canon’s website. The logarithm that Twixtor uses seems the best, any of the final cut plug-ins do not work. There are some artifacts from Twixtor here and there but the filmic look that you get with going through this process is what I am responding to. 24p still feels video to me. Once you send it through this process it slightly defocuses the image and takes that video snap sharpness out, that HD is famous for. I wish you could to. Hop on Southwest and join us. I am trying to come to San Fran for Thanksgiving with my family. My kids have never been to the city by the bay. I will keep in touch.

Mike Maier November 4, 2009 at 6:06 PM

No problem Shane.
Let us know what you think of the picture styles. Cheers!

Mike Maier November 5, 2009 at 7:49 PM

Hey Shane. Something I wanted to ask you. Have you used the Panasonic GH1? What do you think of it?

Shane November 6, 2009 at 6:52 AM

Mike, I have not, what do you know about it? Do tell!!

Adam Levins November 15, 2009 at 12:06 PM

Awesome blog Shane,

I was a bit torn between the 7D and 5D but I think you have swayed me towards the 5D initially, Might pick up a 7D later.

Shane November 16, 2009 at 1:44 AM

Adam, I feel that the sensor feels more cinematic, seems to have more range. I hope you enjoy.

Adam Levins November 17, 2009 at 4:34 AM

Thanks Shane,

From the footage I have seen I think you are right on that count. Have you measured the latatude on the 5D. Also I was going to use manual glass Olympus OM glass in fact. When you use the Primos on the 5D do you work with a spot meter?

Mike Maier November 19, 2009 at 12:57 PM

I also have not used the GH1 too often, but what I saw I didn’t really like it. I was just wondering if you have had any experience with it. I find the canons are better. They have a better codec and also a bigger sensor.

Shane November 21, 2009 at 3:05 AM

Mike Maier, it is all about the sensor size and quality. 12MP, is awful compared to the 5D, plus it has a very small sensor. I have not been impressed either. I am on the same page with you. Panasonic, once again and ENG camera manufacturer, not a photographic manufacturer. Canon has been working on their digital sensor for 10 years prior to Panasonic even dreaming about a digital sensor they were still concentrating on making cassette tapes.

Ed December 14, 2009 at 12:05 PM

Shane – what did you use for camera stabilization on the BMW piece, EVerything looks very steady. Any smoothcam f in post?

Shane December 15, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Ed, we used the 14′ Pursuit Crane and Porsche Cayenne. It has the mini Lev Head, which is a gyro-tabalized camera head. We mounted the 5D on the head and then the Nikon underneath the 5D so we could do live action at the same time that we were doing 8 frame bursts.

Paul Piasecki December 27, 2009 at 1:37 PM


Just looking at these entries during the holidays. Big fan of your sites and your passion for this new movement. I’ve been a DP for many years, I was wondering if you think their will be some kind of a Canon Hybrid (Red One) type of motion picture DSLR in the near future. My brother is a photographer with these cameras, to most photographers this is just a great still camera. But the sensor is king, along with these fast lenses. Any comments on the future of camera Design?

Shane December 27, 2009 at 11:48 PM

Paul Piasecki, I have been talking with Canon since April of 2009. Many great cameras are coming in the future. But one thing that I did mention to them is that making the 5D, 7D, 1D camera any bigger is taking 5 steps backwards. The reason the paradigm shifted was that if this sensor would have showed up in a Genesis, you would not be on this blog right now. But the fact that this sensor showed up in a 2.5lb still camera, now we are talking disruptive technology. Fast lenses do not help in my experience. The 5D’s sensor is vistavision, it has the depth of field of 70mm. Anything less than a 4-5.6 split and your focus will be impossible. Nice for a still picture, but incredibly shallow for motion.

Steve K June 1, 2010 at 2:27 AM

Ahoy, Shane,

It’s been a while — how was/is Dubai?
Can’t wait to see what you’ve shot over there.

Moving right along, a few questions:

I shot a live band in a small theater, a few weeks back, and encountered the same vertical banding that’s visible at the top of this BMW clip.

A lil’ 411:
• Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
• @ f/2.8
• 1/50 shutter
• ISO 1250
• your picture style with -2 Sat

Those settings delivered absolutely noise-free blacks and light tones, while everything in the midrange was afflicted with vertical banding. (Grrr!!!)
Is this a simple (and perfectly normal) low-light phenomenon; have you run into it much yourself; and what might be the best way around it? (When changing lighting conditions is NOT an option.)
I’d read somewhere that a past firmware update was supposed to have taken care of vertical banding — I’m running the latest version.

A quick aside: that “frozen frames” issue I’d mentioned to you several weeks back appears to only manifest at ISO 1600 and up. My concert shoot (@ ISO 1250) was glitch-free.

Second question:
I’ve heard you speak of a “4-5.6 split” on a few occasions. While I’m fairly confident as to what the numbers signify, what’s the “split” part?

I had something else, but I really gotta get to bed.

As always, sincerest thanks for your time, as well as your tireless dedication to the craft of filmmaking and this blog. CHEERS!!

All the best,


Shane June 4, 2010 at 12:29 AM

Steve K, So here you go, these are pro- cameras. How long was that camera on for? It will overheat if it is left on for more than 30 minutes and the banding will start. You can usually get rid of it by putting it into final cut ProRes and crushing the blacks a bit. Sometimes if someone hits the wheel that has M and B and C1-C3, it usually gets hit to bulb and that will deliver disastrous banding in the blacks. If I shoot for long periods I have at least 2 cameras for every camera that I have in my package. So if it is a 5 camera show, then you will carry 10. 1250 and 1600 are hardly different in their noise levels. The split is basically a 4.5 on a Canon lens, you are splitting between two f-stops.

Steve K June 8, 2010 at 1:45 AM

Howdy Shane,

Thanx for the heads-up concerning the relationship between overheating and banding. I’ll keep an eye out for any increase, as shoots progress.

Sad to say, however, that banding was present from the very first clip I shot that night: I walked in, switched on the 5D and went straight to work. If overheating was a factor, perhaps I should take it up with my dealer? (I may have a wonky unit on my hands?)
Where the mode wheel is concerned, it was set to full manual — no worries there.

Lastly, thank you for clearing up the “split” issue. I was growing weary of researching that and finding nothing. 🙂

As always, sir, thank you for your time; keep up the outstanding work.



P.S. Is “Episode 3: The Carnival” the final intsallment?

P.P.S. I watched Swing Vote again: was the over-exposed look (EXT. DAY scenes) achieved in post, or baked in? (No pun intended.)
… and, by the way, beautiful work in that film.


Shane June 10, 2010 at 12:49 AM

Steve K, I want to make sure that you have everything turned off. Carnival will be the last episode. We are thinking about releasing a DVD that has all 9 BTS of the short. Stay tuned. Thanks so much for the props on “Swing Vote.” I had great time shooting that movie. You are very welcome.

Steve K June 14, 2010 at 6:16 PM


• Vertical Banding
“I want to make sure that you have everything turned off.”
If you’re referring to noise reduction, highlight tone priority, etc., I’ve disabled EVERYTHING. I’d like to double-check, though; on which page did you lay down those guidelines?

• 9-part BTS DVD.
That would be awesome; I hope it happens. Can’t wait.

Thank you so much, Shane.


Barrett Esophagus June 19, 2010 at 12:50 PM

i found this in a google search. i really like your blog. hard to find something both informative and easy to read.


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