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Canon 5D Mark II

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John Kert
Canon 5D Mark II
on Dec 15, 2008 at 7:45:39 am

Look (Google) the Canon 5D mark II Digital camera (not Camcorder) just came out. It has full frame 21 Mgpixel sensor (same as 35 mm film and same as the RED) and solid state storage. It does digital photos and HD (1080P video).
This could be a hint of what may be coming for Canon Camcorders.
JK




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Jim Harvey
Re: Canon 5D Mark II
on Dec 25, 2008 at 8:37:18 pm

Just got my 5D mk II on Monday. So far I am more than pleased with it. My 50d is exceptional, and the 5D mk II is even better. The movie mode is going to take some getting used to, but my preliminary tests show simply superb video that rivals anything that you have see to date. Properly implemented, this will be a force to be reckoned with,

With that said, there are some caveat's. Don't go selling your Video Camera just yet. The initial price of admission to the 5D club is in the neighborhood of $3000 - $3500. With that spent, you then have to work up some lenses. That will set you back another few hundred to few thousand depending on the lens' selected. Hold it! You're still not ready for prime time. In order to maximize the potential of this camera (and the potential is HUGE!) you are going to have to mount this baby in an effective mobile mount. Zacuto has already produced a mount and so has Red Rock Micro. The latter being more affordable at this time.

I'm working on a review that I hope will be up in the next couple of weeks with some test footage that will really make you all smile. It's not perfect, but for a certain niche, it just may be.

Jim Harvey
JHV Digital


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Todd Terry
Re: Canon 5D Mark II
on Dec 26, 2008 at 6:14:19 pm

Hi Jim...

Good to hear fromt he horse's mouth... someone who actually owns a 5d...

Just confirming, is it correct that the 5D will only shoot video at 30fps? Those are the specs I have read, although it just seems dumbfounding to me that Canon wouldn't have a 24fps setting if they really want this to be used for DSLR cineme-style shooting... but then again I guess that wasn't the primary intention for this camera. Still, it's one that would make it infinitely more attractive to a whole host of filmmakers.

Looking forward to your review....


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Jim Harvey
Re: Canon 5D Mark II
on Dec 26, 2008 at 6:28:38 pm

At this time, 30p is all you can shoot. Perhaps Canon is waiting in the wings for the Mk III to implement some additional features but that is a guess. At this point, I'm still seeing what lenses seem to deliver the best "look" and are most compatible for various projects.

I will say that the DOF is remarkable and if used correctly, spectacular footage is possible.

Jim Harvey
JHV Digital


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Todd Terry
Re: Canon 5D Mark II
on Dec 26, 2008 at 6:47:16 pm

Thanks for the confirmation.

The whole thing just makes me scratch my head. I'm sure Canon could sell a whole boatload of those if it would shoot 24fps. At 30fps, the potential market certainly does shrink and it definitely becomes much more of a specialty niche product.

As for mounting rigs, even though it is much less expensive personally just based on looks alone the Redrock unit looks a lot more "user friendly" to me than the one from Zacuto. While Zacuto makes some good products and elements, to me their full-rigs have always had a very ungangly sort of "science project" look to them.

What I have yet to see anyone come out with (although it may exist, I don't know) is a follow focus unit specifically for DSLRs or for people using DoF converters with still camera lenses. It seems to me that it wouldn't be that difficult to create a unit with some kind of "reduction gearing" in it so that the same same distance turns of the handwheel caused a much-reduced movement of the actual lens gear... to combat the much-shorter focus travel of SLR lenses compared to real cine lenses. Now that would be cool.


T2

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Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Jim Harvey
Re: Canon 5D Mark II
on Dec 26, 2008 at 11:40:59 pm

Follow focus is available for the 5D MK II from ZACUTO and RED ROCK MICRO. As is the case with any follow focus unit, they are heavily overpriced. I can't speak for the RED ROCK MICRO unit as I have not seen it yet, but I can tell you that the quality of the ZACUTO unit is excellent. From the looks of the RED ROCK MICOR unit, I would assume it to be top quality as well.

Jim Harvey
JHV Digital


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Jim Harvey
Re: Canon 5D Mark II
on Dec 26, 2008 at 11:42:29 pm

I also meant to add that if you require 24Fps then the NIKON will deliver that at the expense of 1080. The NIKON only shoots 720.

Jim Harvey
JHV Digital


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Todd Terry
Re: Canon 5D Mark II
on Dec 27, 2008 at 12:30:54 am

Well I can personally speak to the usability of the RedrockMicro follow focus...

To be honest, when they first came out I didn't have very high hopes for it... most of those cheap FF units look pretty good, but their usability is fairly low. They tend have way too much "slop" (backlash) in the gearboxes for easy use and repeatable FF moves.

However, this summer Redrock sent me a demo unit to test drive for an article I was writing for the COW mag... it only took me about six seconds to fall in love with it, and a Redrock is now the FF unit that I use every day. It's extremely well-designed and built, tight as a drum, with absolutely zero slop in the gearbox. Plus they are dirt cheap... a fraction of the price of, say, an Arri or Chroisel FF unit and they work every bit as good in my opinion. I will say that my one and only complaint about the unit is that the "well" inside the hand wheel is very deep, so that although the accessory recepticle is standard some of my speed cranks will not fit because the "necks" are simply not long enough to engage. Whips, of course, work fine. I will buy some cranks from Redrock, but just haven't gotten around to doing it yet.

These FF units though, like all of them, are really best used with cine lenses rather than SLR lenses. The very short range of travel to go from nearest to infinity on an SLR lens makes follow focusing on a moving target very very touchy. What I was referring to ealier was thinking that it would be cool for some kind of reduction gearing in a FF unit specifically designed for SLR lenses... so that when you turn the handwheel a "normal" amount that the lens gear only moves a little... that way follow focusuing for a still-camera lens would feel the same as if it is a mopic lens. It would make for a much much easier (and more accurate) experience for whomever is pulling focus.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Jim Harvey
Re: Canon 5D Mark II
on Dec 27, 2008 at 3:03:37 am

I remember the little flap on their gear problems with the FF at RED ROCK. Actually, I remember when they first started out and a lot of people "pooh-pooh'd" them as just another flash in the pan. Well I am happy to see that they stuck with it and have addressed the little problems that they had at the outset. That is the mark of a company that will succeed. I've not has the pleasure of working with any of their gear, although I would welcome the opportunity to do so.

The idea that you have is certainly do-able. It would entail a different gear set, but I'm sure that they could accommodate a different ratio in the existing housing or of course, make a new housing for DSLR FF units. Slowing things down WOULD make things easier for the Focus Puller. I can't imagine using a whip or crank on any of the current lenses. Gives a new meaning to "finesse".

I work very closely with SWITRONIX (the battery people) and we were discussing power options for the 5D as well. Additionally, they have developed a new light that may very well lend itself to use on this camera. (the light is exceptional by the way, and I hope to have a review if it shortly as well).

So there are a lot of very interested individuals and companies that are gearing up for this camera. The future looks bright from my spot on the landing pad. It's only a matter of time before more exciting things pop up.

Jim Harvey
JHV Digital


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Todd Terry
Re: Canon 5D Mark II
on Dec 27, 2008 at 5:33:56 am

Well I just heard from a friend on another 35mm cinematography forum that I belong to. He has some Canon insight and a bit of inside info, and he explains the "30fps only" situation as such....

"The design was an existing controller board, processor, and tied to a given feed pattern. To change feed pattern is not just changing the fps, but change of the fps meant the feed pattern needed to be changed since it conflicts with the "double 60 equals 30 fps" they are using, and that means the controller card would not work-- and it would become a 20k camera. That "double 60 equals 30" capture is good, but it is hardware locked."

Oh well... maybe in a future build. That sure would make it a lot more useful for conventional 24fps shooting and editing. 30fps can indeed look good, but still has the inevitable "videoy" look to it purely thanks to the high frame rate, no matter how shallow the DoF.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Jim Harvey
Re: Canon 5D Mark II
on Dec 28, 2008 at 7:29:02 pm

I know that if people are used to shooting and editing in 24p then they are going to be somewhat unhappy with CANON'S decision to use 30p. I don't think that it's all that much of an issue as the footage that I am seeing coming out of the camera from a skilled operator looks anything but "videoy". There's always room for improvement, however, and if CANON hears enough feedback and feels that there is a market for them to implement 24p, I'm pretty sure that we'll see it down the road.

Jim Harvey
JHV Digital


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olof ekbergh
Re: Canon 5D Mark II
on Jan 4, 2009 at 2:57:54 pm

We got a MkII a few weeks ago, our reg cameras are EX3, Z1 and DSR500's

We do a lot of still photography too, so we have 3 Canon SLR's and about a dozen Canon lenses from 17mm to 800mm, most of them L lenses.

So I was really curious about this cam. What the heck we got one.

When you first use it it is really confusing and there are hundreds of posts on forums praising and damming the cam.

It is not a video camera, what I think is, its a great tool to get shots that would be impossible on a realistic budget. Fantastic DOF, super wide and long high quality lenses, fantastic low light capability.

A good set of ND filters is the first thing you need. If you are willing to spend some time experimenting without getting frustrated using some tricks you will be well rewarded, but if you expect it to be an easily controlled video cam, you will be disapointed.

You also have to do a lot of post tweaking, it almost always shoots blacks at -20 IRE and whites at +120 or more. The files open right in Color and can easily be conformed.

Here are a few links to footage and forum discussions:

http://www.vimeo.com/videos/search:eos%205d%20

Happy New Year!
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/canon-eos-5d-mk-ii-hd/



Olof Ekbergh


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