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Canon EOS 5DMKII for video use only?

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Janne Laiho
Canon EOS 5DMKII for video use only?
on May 30, 2010 at 3:59:51 pm

Hello,

I'm considering purchasing a video camera. I have little knowledge of video in general, and I'm a bit confused as to what separates models from each other.

I've checked out some stuff on Vimeo, and to me it seems - very surprisingly - that the most impressive footage by far is very often shot with a Canon EOS 5DMKII. I'm surprised because this is supposed to be a still camera with video capability.

I'm now considering getting one for video use only. I'd like to know whether you professionals think this is a good or bad idea, and why. I will not shoot serious still photography. I work with After Effecs CS4 and FCP, I produce motion graphics and the occasional video (which is why I need a camera) for web delivery - I don't envisage producing for TV/DVD any time soon. I will need to have a set-up that can be operated by me alone, i.e. little/no additional lights etc. (this is another reason I'm interested in the 5DMKII, it seems to deliver impressive results even in very dark lighting conditions). Sound is not a factor here, as I will be recording that separately.

Any insight and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Janne



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Micah McDowell
Re: Canon EOS 5DMKII for video use only?
on Jun 1, 2010 at 4:02:23 pm

There's tons and tons and TONS of information about these cameras and comparisons to other cameras in past threads here on the COW; you may want to go to the "DSLR Video" forum here and search around for a while to get a feel for what they are.

Based on your brief description of what you need in a camera, it sounds like a 5DmkII might be perfect. Here's a quick rundown of the current pros and cons:

Pros:
Excellent full 1080p HD video quality
Impressive low-light performance
Huge selection of interchangeable lenses
Small size
Controllable depth-of-field to get a very filmic narrow focus look
Pro-quality stills
Affordable

Cons:
Lousy audio capability (though the 5DmkII at least has manual levels now)
Rolling shutter artifacts(read up on it; never has been an issue for me as long as I use a tripod)
Aliasing (could be a problem depending on what you shoot)
Video codecs (usually need to be transcoded before editing, not ideal)
Ergonomics (lousy form factor for hand-held video, though you can buy shoulder-mount rigs to fix this)


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Charles Smith
Re: Canon EOS 5DMKII for video use only?
on Jun 2, 2010 at 4:51:49 pm

Seems to me the "judder issue" isn't that big of a deal unless you do a lot of "shaky-cam" or "swish-pan-zoom" for intentional effect. If you do slow tracking and/or slow panning... I don't see it really happening all that much.

As for audio recording... given that the camera would be used in place of a "film / motion picture camera" where there would be double-system audio recording anyway... it's not that big of a dealbreaker. With these high-quality images at a lower-than-Red price... ponying up a little for separate audio recording shouldn't be to big a deal, unless one-man-band is what you're aiming for.

My2cents


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Norman Willis
Re: Canon EOS 5DMKII for video use only?
on Jun 14, 2010 at 1:29:36 am

>>With these high-quality images at a lower-than-Red price... ponying up a little for separate audio recording shouldn't be to big a deal, unless one-man-band is what you're aiming for.

I'm pretty much a 'one man band', and separate audio isn't an issue at all. I just got one of those clapper boards to synch audio; and in a pinch, of course one can always clap the hands, although the spike is not quite as clean/sharp.

Norman Willis
http://www.nazareneisrael.org


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