Entries in Canon 5DMK2 (23)


SF Supermeet - Canon Announcements

There are e ton of people reviewing the "Big Announcement" from Canon last night. So I think I'll throw my .02 cents in the ring.

Face it, everyone wants, AND ASSUMES, that Canon will be announcing a hybrid camera this year, maybe as soon as NAB, supposedly it was gonna be last night. What do we mean by a "hybrid"? What everyone wants is a proper video style camera but with a giant sensor like the 5D, or even a 1.6 crop sensor like the 7D.  

A "proper video camera" would solve the ergonomic problems of the DSLR bodies, it would have a useable audio sub-system, it would have a flip out screen that was viewable form multiple angles AND it would have a large sensor like the DSLRs and the Canon lens mount that would allow you access to the wonderful Canon Lens family. Thats what everyone wants. 

My guess... its not gonna happen.

What did they announce? 

A New Plug In

A really cool new FCP plug in. This plug in will allow you to bypass the entire transcode dance that we have all been doing with the MPEG Streamclip or Compressor. Here is how the plug in works. First you mount your CF card from the field. The you run Log and Transfer and pick the ProRes Coded you want to use, it only seems to work with ProRes as the output format. You can then name your "Reel" and add other metadata, Choose your in and out points just like you would expect to be able to do in Log and Transfer, choose the clips you actually WANT to transfer and let it rip.

There are two really cool added features. First, timecode. Well sort of, it will take the time of day from the camera body at the time that a clip was made and fake some timecode from that frame forward. So each clip has different code and no longer will ever clip start at 00:00:00:00. Pretty cool.

The other feature addd by the plug it is that all the metadata that the camera would have put into a RAW or JPEG file if you had snapped a photo at the time you started the clip (or maybe when you stopped the clip) will be embedded in the clip. If you don't know that metadata is in the .THM file that is already on your CF Card. If you change .THM to .jpg and open it in iPhoto or Aperture you can read that metadata now.

All in all, this plug in looks really cool. It will easily become the defacto workflow for HDSLR shooters (well the Canon ones at least).


This had leaked, or was released, a few nights earlier. This can be read about anywhere but basically its a Long GOP MPEG-2 50 megabit codec. The dude from Canon showed some frame grabs and explained the difference between 4:2:2 and 4:2:0 and why this is far superior and it looked great. The core problem was that it will not be in the DSLRs. When pushed on the subject in Q&A and asked would it be in a "firmware update" to the DSLRs all he said was, "well its not that easy, the codec that the DSLRs record to is baked into the hardware". Short answer, we're totally stuck with H264 for the time being with the hardware we currently have. Which makes sense.

A New Camera

Ah, now we talking. Is this the Hybrid we all want. Short answer? NOPE. It looked like an HVX-200. Had a fixed lens so you can't use the bad ass Canon lenses. I am pretty sure I heard it won't have the big sensors, and if it was they sure were vague about telling us. And basically they had nothing but a mockup under a plexiglass box. 

Bottom line... if you were waiting to go by your Zacuto or Redrock Micro support gear because you thought you were gonna get your new Hybrid Canon camera in the next couple months, forget it. Go buy your Tactical Shooter or Captain Stubling now. Well... that my opinion, I could be wrong.


I've been cyber robbed.

Ever hear of Final Cut Tips? Its a web site that has, well Final Cut Tips. So, tonight I'm following links on Twitter and I find this site and its always interesting to see other peoples video tutorials online... So I look at one about about keyboard shortcuts. Then the next one I look at is all about how to convert 5D footage...

I think, this will be interesting. I'VE done a tutorial about how to convert 5D footage. I wonder how it compares... well... except for the aspect ratio of the file, ITS EXACTLY MINE... Not like, "oh look, they did my tutorial" (I've seen that too...) but they took my file off of YouTube, they recompressed it, they screwed up the aspect ratio, (mine was HD theirs is 4X3) and then they put their logo on it. TACKY.

Now, besides the thing is stealing views from MY site, I take GREAT offense to the fact that the borked the aspect ratio.  I take great pride in stuff like that and spend a lot of time dealing with the best ways to show Macs online.

Oh and the worst part about it, (actually the aspect ratio and the logo are bad) was that there was NO CREDIT, no where on the page. 

They even took my comments and tags from my YouTube post.

So anyway... if any of you have ever done any tutorials onlline, you may want to check this site... they obviously have no shame in stealing material.

One more thing... I love sharing cool stuff I've seen online. I link to peoples work all the time. I usually have a few nice things to say about them. So the idea of linking to other peoples work and crediting it to them is fine with me... but this incident is just not cool.

Grabbed from their site tonight.


Great Look...

Else Mobile (The Time Has Come) from Rob Chiu on Vimeo.

I like this piece for multiple reasons. Nice social commentary on the lie that technology makes our life easier. Cool futuristic look. Great graphic overlays. Some of it was shot on a Canon 5DMK2. Nice piece, I watched it and immediately wanted to see it again. Thats a good sign in my book.



Behind the Scenes - Nocturne

My friend Joseph Linaschke cut this great Behind the Scenes video of "Nocturne" for Vincent Laforet. Great job and it really just kind of bugs me... HE'S A PHOTOGRAPHER... how is it that he can he edit so well... Nice job Joseph. Hope to see you soon.

I want a 5DMK2... maybe?

Earlier today I got an email from a guy I haven't worked with for about 20 years. He was asking me about the Canon 5DMK2 and the Canon 7D and wanted to know my thoughts on them. Its a common and recurring question but most of the time it is a discussion that doesn't happen between guys with 25 years experience in the business.  Face it, the HDSLR 'craze', if you will, has been more commonly picked up by 'the kids'.  (Generalization I know...)

After spending a bunch of time on the email response to his question, I figured I should probably share it here. So, in no particular order, these are some major compromises you need to be willing to deal with if you are going to try to work with a HDSLR.


You DO realize you have to transcode the footage just to begin...

Since you tend to cut on Avid, if you are going to transcode, maybe you would prefer just transcoding to some Avid codec, (I owned an Avid for about 3 months in late 97, early 98 and got ride of it, HATED it. so I don't know any Avid tips at all) 

You DO NOT want to try to edit the H264 files right from the camera... it blows!!!

7D v 5DMK2

Also, you may prefer the 7D, you can shoot 24P NOW, (there may be a 24 FPS firmware update for the 5D soon, and if you want LONG lens options the 7D's cropped sensor gives every lens you own a 1.6 magnification right off the top, and you still get the fun DOF for the most part.


Regardless of which camera you get you MUST buy the Zacuto Z-Finder...

One of the main problems with the Canon DSLR's is that they were never meant to be used as video cameras. When you put it in Live View, or video mode the eyepiece becomes non functional. This means that you need to use the LCD on the back of the body. This means that you need to hold the camera away from your body and it makes it nearly impossible to see if anything is in focus.

There are multiple companies that make loupes to view the back of the camera... I've tried a couple.. and the Z-Finder is the one you want. Its as simple as that.

Costy yes,  but once you look thru it you'll NEVER regret it the $400 bucks you spend on it.


And don't forget the Audio... both canon cameras have HORRIBLE audio subsystems. HORRIBLE, don't expect to use it for anything but a scratch track. you NEED to dual record on another device, think of it like going back 20 or 30 years and shooting film with a Nagra...

Many people are using the Zoom H4N...

The Zoom H4N is a great little gizmo,  300 bucks and has a ton of features including onboard compression and the ability to record 4 tracks at once, 2 on the built in stereo mics and two XLR inputs, (BIG drawback, ONE level adjustment shared for the two XLR inputs.


So anyway, those were the notes that I shared with my friend, I hope it can be helpful to you too.


UPDATE: 100313

Neutral Density Filter

Another thing that is missing from the 5D MK2 and 7D is neutral density. Traditional video cameras usually have some sort of filter built in but not on the HDSLRs. You have to remember that in the photography world you can adjust the amount of light that hits the sensor with the shutter speed. If you are trying to create a filmic look you really can't or shouldn't be messing around with your shutter speed. Because of this you need to have some ND available. 

The Singh-Ray Vari-ND gives you from 2 to 8 stops of ND by just rotating the front ring and is vital if you want to control your DOF in the bright sunlight.