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Women’s March on New Jersey

I took part in the Women’s March on New Jersey with my family. It was moving to be with so many people after such a divisive campaign season and heartening to share a sense of community for what’s needed going forward.

The Trenton police estimated the crowd size at 7500 – 9500. That’s a great turnout for a local march especially when the Washington D.C., New York, and Philadelphia marches were all drawing people from this area.

Women’s March on New Jersey via Jon Roemer on Vimeo.

Women’s March on New Jersey was shot handheld on the Canon EOS M5 with the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM and the EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lenses. The 15-45mm lens saw the most use. The M5’s internal image stabilization (IS) was turned on, in its “Enabled” mode, along with the optical IS built into the 15-45mm lens.

The camera profile in the M5 was set to Neutral with Sharpness at 0 and Contrast at -4 (all the way down for both). Saturation and Color Tone were at 0 which is their default settings. White Balance was set to the Daylight preset.

Footage was captured at 24P with a 180 degree shutter of 1/50. Post was done in FCP X. I added some additional stabilization and sharpening in FCP X to select clips as needed. Color is straight out of the camera. No color grading was done in post. I did add masks in FCP X to tamp down the sky while brightening the foreground to help keep the viewer’s eye on the action.

Audio was recorded in-camera and is untouched. Stereo audio exactly as the camera captured it.

All in all the camera did great. I controlled everything via the touchscreen and often had the camera at waist level with the screen tilted up. I also took advantage of the screen for the opposite, holding the camera at arm’s length above me and tilting the screen downward to make it viewable.

As I wrote in, The Canon EOS M5 in Use, one reason for having a camera this size is to fly under the radar in terms of attention from the general public. This was a great test of that. My impression is that most people did not know I was filming. The camera is small enough to be unobtrusive.

I still think that the software based IS in the M5 is of limited use. It does help at its lowest setting, Enabled mode, and more so if you are stationary while moving the camera (pan, tilt, rise, fall, etc.) But if one is comparing camera based vs NLE based IS when both are software implemented, a NLE allows you more control over the algorithm used and more finesse over how it is applied. In FCP X this would be InertiaCam and SmoothCam, both found in the Stabilization palette.

In terms of battery life the M5 also did well. I was filming and shooting stills for three hours and only used one battery. The camera was not on constantly but was in use the majority of the time. The red low battery warning came on just as I was finishing up.

A M5 raw still image from the march processed in Apple Photos:

Keynote speaker, 92 year old Edith Savage-Jennings, addresses the crowd of 7500+ from the steps of the New Jersey State House. Savage-Jennings has been an activist all her life and was a colleague of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King. Women’s March on New Jersey. Trenton, NJ. January 21, 2017. Canon EOS M5 with the EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM; 15mm, ISO 100, f/6.3 @ 1/50.

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