Grabbing a still from a video clip is an established technique, but the ability to extract a 35MP image from an 8K sequence and then produce a detailed A3 print of it opens up a wealth of new opportunities. It's the perfect way to capture unpredictable events – from a fleeting juxtaposition in street photography to the arrival of a wild animal in a rural scene. It also offers more choice when it comes to isolating that decisive moment – a subtle change in expression in a portrait, perhaps, or in the case of wedding photographer Sanjay Jogia, a glance between the bride and groom midway through the ceremony.
Sanjay and his wife Roshni run Eye Jogia, which specialises in Indian weddings and high-end destination ceremonies, and have made printing their own images a core part of their photography business. "Creating wall art and a printed album is part of the process," he explains. "There are wedding photographers who only distribute digital packages but I think they are missing an opportunity."
The Canon Ambassador was one of the first photographers to explore how the Canon EOS R5 can bring photography and cinema even closer together, demonstrating how easy it is to shoot an 8K video still and print it on a Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300 printer – with beautiful results.
"Shooting 8K video handheld on a non-IS lens with no other form of stabilisation was so easy," he explains. "But being able to take a still frame, process it like any of my other RAW files, and print it out at A3 size? The result was stunning. The prospect of 8K printing is really exciting – it means we're able to record unpredictable events or things that happen very quickly, and it gives us the chance to print those moments. Any new camera technology that makes it easier to capture stills provides us with an opportunity to sell the file as a print."
Here, he explains how the process works, and why the ability to print 8K video stills has the potential to revolutionise image-gathering for photographers and filmmakers alike.
"I'd normally just shoot stills at a wedding," says Sanjay. "The only time I've shot video is for a hybrid product we produce, which merges photos into short video clips and back again. I've been pulling 4K stills to do that sort of thing, but never really to print. The resolution was too low and there were some limitations in terms of being able to process and grade the images.
"Now, the option of 8K resolution and the advanced colour science and image quality of the Canon EOS R5 is opening up new possibilities. Being able to pull and then print a video still gives me an opportunity to work quickly and capture things I might normally miss. During the ceremony, for example, when you know that things are going to be a little bit frantic, you can simply hit the video record button. Even during the portraits, if you're doing anything that involves movement and motion, you could either burst through that moment in stills and generate a lot of 45MP photos, or you could shoot a video clip and stop it at the point where you want to extract a frame.
"I'm due to shoot a surprise proposal in a London restaurant and I'm planning to lock off one of my Canon EOS R5 bodies on a tripod near the couple and set the camera to record 8K video while I shoot stills from a different position. As well as giving me the option of creating a full clip, I'll be able to pull stills from the video. I know I won't miss any of the emotions or expressions, as I can trust the Canon EOS R5's autofocus to lock onto the couple's faces."
"You need to make sure you're working within the same settings as you would do when you're shooting stills so that you can maintain consistency, but you have to approach the exposure triangle slightly differently. Once you've set an aperture which gives you the depth of field that you're looking for, you're left with ISO as the exposure control – shutter speed is simply a technical requirement when you're shooting video.
"Typically, you have to use a shutter speed that's twice the video frame rate in order to produce believable motion blur. But if I'm shooting 8K at 30 frames per second, a shutter speed of 1/60 sec is more than workable. I know some people might not be able to hold the camera still at 1/60 sec, but the Canon EOS R5's in-body image stabilizer (IBIS) means you can get away with it. The stabilization is so good that the footage looks like it's been produced on a gimbal.
"If something is happening very quickly, then of course you'll get some blur, but what you're essentially getting is a 30fps 8K burst mode combined with the Canon EOS R5's eerily accurate autofocus – it's like a radar-guided missile.
"You could also set up the camera to record at a faster shutter speed in order to get a sharper still frame. The motion blur will look less romantic when the video is played back, but that's irrelevant if you're recording the video just to pull stills."
"You can't use flash with video, of course, but I tend to just set up continuous lights. Sometimes we'll just use available light – it depends on the nature of the scene. While you don't get the power of flash, you're gaining the opportunity to capture something you might otherwise miss, or that you may not be able to shoot that easily. I would use 8K video when things are happening very quickly; when there isn't time to set up any kind of lighting, even if you were going to shoot a still image."
"I was shooting 8K DCI RAW video, which behaves slightly differently to a RAW image file when it comes to processing. You can drop the RAW video straight into Canon's Digital Photo Professional (DPP) editing software, apply a grade and then use the RAW Movie tool to play it back and pull a 16-bit TIFF. You're then able to process this TIFF as you would any other image. As long as you adjust the video grading so that the TIFF you're extracting has the look and feel of an unprocessed CR2 or CR3 RAW file, you don't have to work any differently."
"Printing is considered to be a bit of a dark art, but actually it's a science that's quite simple to grasp, especially if you're using Canon's Professional Print & Layout (PPL) software. I used it to create 8K prints on the new Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300 printer, which is designed as an entry point into professional-level printing for people who don't have a deep technical understanding of the process.
"If you're not that versed in colour management, and you don't understand paper profiles or know how to match what's on your screen with what's coming out of the printer, there's a very simple process in PPL. Select the Pattern print function and the software will print a mosaic of thumbnails on a single sheet. There is an incremental shift in the colour, brightness and contrast of each image and the settings are listed next to each thumbnail. When you find the look you prefer, you can simply type in those settings and your final print will come out exactly the way you want it to. It reduces wastage and helps you get into that professional printing realm without having to become an expert."