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Canon EOS Full Frame for HD
All about using the Canon 1D X, 6D, 5D Mk. IV / Mk. III / Mk. II D-SLR for 4K and HD video recording.


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Old November 23rd, 2008, 12:18 PM   #1
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5DmkII quick review

OK,

I'm still editing my footage from today but here are some very quick observations.

1. In Movie mode the HDMI outputs 1080i when you are framing up and sorting focus and exposure. It has the overlays the same as D90 and the 16x9 image does not fill the width of the screen. However the really bad news is that the moment you hit record it changes the output to 480p, worse the resolution change forces both HDMI displays I've tested to take about a second to adjust in which time you see nothing! I can't believe Canon did this, maybe there is a custom function fix but I can't find it. Anyone hoping to use external HDMI for monitoring or recording better think again.

2. The image quality is stunning in low light, even a its maximum 3200asa it is still usable.

3. It works just fine with non Canon lenses with adapters. The camera will let you record and as predicted change the aperture after an exposure lock.

4. Auto white balance seems very good most of the time.

5. It does exhibit some issues with 50hz lighting. I expected this to happen with a 30p camera but even so it is a little dissappointing.

6. Battery life is pretty good, about 90mins live view or recording. I can't get a spare battery at the moment though.

7. The slow transition between locked exposure and setting another locked exposure is nice and gradual but also a little frustrating if you are using the exposure lock to correct under or exposure in a hurry. I guess exposure compensation will be a better way to adjust exposure in a hurry.

8. The rear screen is actually very good and can be zoomed up twice to check focus on specific spot. However when you start to record you can no longer zoom to check focus, your subject had pretty well be standing still, follow focus is going to be impossible. This coupled with the HDMI problem is going to rule this camera out for most run and gun use I think. Odd as one of the primary markets for the 5DmkII is supposed to news photographers doing video.

More later

Dan
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 12:28 PM   #2
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And a quick pic of me in action with my 5DmkII rig tonight.

Dan
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 01:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Dan Chung View Post
2. The image quality is stunning in low light, even a its maximum 3200asa it is still usable.
So, 3200 ISO is as high as it will allow you to shoot in video mode?

Thanks for the quick review!
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 01:30 PM   #4
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Are you able to adjust contrast and saturation in movie mode?

Thanks for the review!
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 02:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dan Chung View Post
1. In Movie mode the HDMI outputs 1080i when you are framing up and sorting focus and exposure. It has the overlays the same as D90 and the 16x9 image does not fill the width of the screen. However the really bad news is that the moment you hit record it changes the output to 480p, worse the resolution change forces both HDMI displays I've tested to take about a second to adjust in which time you see nothing! I can't believe Canon did this, maybe there is a custom function fix but I can't find it. Anyone hoping to use external HDMI for monitoring or recording better think again.
I read about that in the manual a few days ago, but what about the A/V Out port with the stereo video cable? Have you tried using that, and will it have a picture that takes up the screen while recording?

I can live with a 480p preview as long as its on a bigger screen.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 02:23 PM   #6
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Glad to see you go one Dan. Interesting findings too.
Have fun...
Nick
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 03:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dan Chung View Post
OK,

Odd as one of the primary markets for the 5DmkII is supposed to news photographers doing video.
I believe that if you shoot a still photograph in the middle of shooting video, that this takes up one second of your video. Perhaps it might be suitable for soft news being shot under more controlled conditions, but for hard news it really would cause problems. The alternative being to use a frame grab from the video, which may have a too slow shutter speed for fast moving action.

I expect this camera will be used for newspaper web videos, but it is a bit of a compromise and a video journalist with a video camera really does make more sense for this type of work.

Any concerns about shallow depth of field is nonsense for news, so issues like how long can you record before the image quality drops off and how easy the single system sound is to operate are important. Also, having a good zoom range that you can shoot hand held at the tele end.

There are good things being said about these cameras, but you may find there are limitations which don't make them suitable or a compromise for quite a few types of work.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 03:49 PM   #8
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Brian,

I quite agree. After one day I can say that I don't see the 5DmkII as a replacement for my Sony EX1 and EX3, more of a complimentary camera for times when you want a more filmic shallow depth effect. I do think some photographers/videojournalists will turn out some extraordinary stuff from these hybrid cameras though, if for no other reason than they were there when something big happened and they rolled video as well as stills.

Dan
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 04:11 PM   #9
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Some types of work maybe but there are already a set of films made with the 5D2 before the camera was even in stores. I think thats pretty strong evidense of the cameras potential. Filmmakers are obviously working around any limitations just fine.

To suggest that this camera is limited to videojournalists is very short sighted imo.

Here is a new one by the way: EOS 5D Mark2 Movi - Prism on Vimeo
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 04:59 PM   #10
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Daniel,

I think you misunderstood what we were saying. We were suggesting that the camera is not really well suited to videojournalism and IS more suited to other applications like film making.

Dan
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 05:01 PM   #11
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Oh, sorry about that :)
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 05:18 PM   #12
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All the video we've seen to date from the 5d is very saturated, contrasty, and has the blacks crushed quite a bit (it looks very video-y). If you use the 5d's picture adjustments to take down color, sharpening, etc., all the way down, does the resulting video look smoother and more filmic? I'm not talking about temporal issues like framerate and shutter, just the image itself -- the equivalent of a more filmic gamma curve, or at least an image that would take to color correction easier.

Let us know when you get a chance. Thanks!
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 05:24 PM   #13
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Ryan,

I've set my 5DmkII to Neutral picture style, sharpness all the way down and contrast at -2. Sat was left alone. The night time stuff I just shot does seem to have crushed blacks at the highest ISO settings much like the Laforet film. Still looks quite digital to me. I'm encoding my little film as we speak so you can judge for yourself shortly. I haven't had a chance to test daylight yet.

Dan
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 05:28 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Daniel Lipats View Post
Some types of work maybe but there are already a set of films made with the 5D2 before the camera was even in stores. I think thats pretty strong evidense of the cameras potential. Filmmakers are obviously working around any limitations just fine.

To suggest that this camera is limited to videojournalists is very short sighted imo.

Here is a new one by the way: EOS 5D Mark2 Movi - Prism on Vimeo
I would say there are areas where the camera is more suitable than video journalism. I can see these cameras having an impact on music videos for example. The current frame rates are limiting for theatrical films, but I expect people will shoot dramas with them, especially if you can shoot 25fps and 24fps.

I know a couple of members of the ASC have been testing the camera and were impressed, not for use as the main "A" camera, because there are limitations, but for "B" camera type shots.

Shooting documentaries, the proposed Scarlet cameras look more suitable than a DSLR style camera. In recent years years the one of the big advantage of the 1/3" cameras has proven to be the small size and they look like home video cameras, which helps on some productions. In the end, I can't see the broadcasters changing over to DSLR cameras except for specialised work, they're more likely to go a RED style camera for use on suitable productions.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 05:36 PM   #15
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Thanks Dan !
Glad to know it works with Nikon Glass
question (for anyone)
With Canon Lenses it locks exposure, but with Nikons (and adaptor) not so, because you can manually adjust?

Thanks for the reviews,
keep them coming
J
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