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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 January 9th, 2009, 12:39 AM   #1
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The scoop from CES

If you were hoping for manual control of video in a 5D Mark II firmware update, now would be a good time to lower expectations. Also, don't expect miracles from the pro side at NAB.

The first Canon USA person I spoke to at CES about manual controls was gracious, but not supportive of the request. I asked who might have some influence in the matter. I was directed to Michael Nadler, who is apparently a key marketing guy for pro still cameras.

I made my best case - about wanting to buy Canon glass, but being driven to Nikon, and about how this pro camera makes me look decidedly unprofessional as I shine a light in the lens and try to hit exposure lock at exactly the right moment. I shared that they don't need to change the printed materials or the user interface. They just need to make the settings that us pro photographers (ahem) set in exposure simulation mode, remain as they were when we start recording video.

Unfortunately, Mr. Nadler wasn't open to the idea at all. I had hoped to hear that the US guys were pressuring the factory to make the change, but instead, I got the story about how "this is a still camera first, and the video is just an add on", and "the video was designed to be fully automatic."

Well... I don't give a rats tail how they define it internally. We bought a product and want it to perform logically. If I want spin, I'll ride the teacups at Disneyland. (And, no, I didn't actually say any of this...)

Mr. Nadler hinted that Canon was aware of the impact that the camera has made on the video side, and hinted that future video products would make use of the technology.

Later, I returned to the booth and spoke with a woman near the small pro video camera stand. She told me that the separation of the camera and video departments was a bit of a mess. She wasn't aware of anything specific regarding full frame pro video cameras, and didn't know of anything that would be shown at NAB.

That said, a prototype could still find its way out of the shadows this April, but any product announcement or demo seems highly unlikely.

I also sat through the stage presentation about the Vixia cameras, including buzzwords and energetic dancers, but had already learned more from DVInfo's news than I did at the show.

Let's just say that the video from those cameras looked decidedly like video. The 5D Mark II gives far greater artistic latitude.

And that's the news from CES.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 12:11 PM   #2
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Thanks for direct report, Jon.

As far as NAB and Canon, I always got the impression that Canon didn't really react to NAB at all. IF memory serves (and it rarely does), Canon announces things at their own pace, and rarely works on the NAB schedule. Didn't they announce the XL-H1, XH-A1 and all the rest at non-NAB times? They SHOWED them at NAB, of course, but they were not announced there.

So all this is to say that if and when Canon will announce new tech, I don't hold my breath for NAB like I might for Sony or Panny products.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 02:00 PM   #3
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The only way a reaction like that could be acceptable is if pro video has their hands on the chip and processing, and is cooking up their own surprise for NAB.

Otherwise it's just boneheaded. I'll assume for the moment that Canon is full of bright people (which they are, of course), and the 5DMKII has opened up their eyes to a new market.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 02:30 PM   #4
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Thanks for direct report, Jon.

As far as NAB and Canon, I always got the impression that Canon didn't really react to NAB at all. IF memory serves (and it rarely does), Canon announces things at their own pace, and rarely works on the NAB schedule. Didn't they announce the XL-H1, XH-A1 and all the rest at non-NAB times? They SHOWED them at NAB, of course, but they were not announced there.

So all this is to say that if and when Canon will announce new tech, I don't hold my breath for NAB like I might for Sony or Panny products.
Last year, Canon intro'd the H1S and H1A at NAB. It was also the first time they sent the entire video design team......and they saw, they listened, they asked.....Hopefully, they will show up with something in April. And yes, related to the 5D MKII, Japan is hearing alot from the US video division, the US still division and probably the Lens division too.

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Old January 9th, 2009, 02:45 PM   #5
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Great post Jon, great comments!

Bad news of course, but not unexpected. Interesting that the still camera side isn't really involved with the video camera side.

They could be working at cross purposes.... A lot of the comments, both here and the "other guys" web site believe that the there is a master game plan. Jon's report seems to indicate the opposite... And it stuck me as being closer to the truth.

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Old January 9th, 2009, 05:34 PM   #6
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Last year, Canon intro'd the H1S and H1A at NAB. It was also the first time they sent the entire video design team......and they saw, they listened, they asked.....Hopefully, they will show up with something in April. And yes, related to the 5D MKII, Japan is hearing alot from the US video division, the US still division and probably the Lens division too.

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I hope you're right Jim. I'll be in the market to upgrade from my H1 in about six months and I'd hate to give my money to Sony on an EX3.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 09:35 PM   #7
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A lot of the comments, both here and the "other guys" web site believe that the there is a master game plan. Jon's report seems to indicate the opposite... And it stuck me as being closer to the truth.
It's possible that there is a combination of chaos and planning.

Japanese society is very team oriented. In the west we read of Japanese people sacrificing a lot for their companies, but the truth is, they will sacrifice much more for their team. That concept goes from a local team of six or so people, out to departments, groups, divisions, and eventually the company.

So, there is almost certainly secrecy, distrust, and competition between the camera and pro-video groups. And there is also some cooperation. (Apparently, late in the development of the 5D Mark II, the video group was asked to comment.) I would guess that there is also some planning being done at the higher levels. The people I spoke with at the booth probably don't attend those higher level corporate strategy meetings.

But the writing is on the wall. Eventually, Canon will offer a pro video camera that uses a large sensor and has all the XLR/Zebra/Colorbar goodness and accepts EF lenses.

I wonder if the video department will bring an EF+ standard to market. It would be cool if the camera could accept EF camera lenses, and if there were also lenses available that could have their zoom controlled with rockers and provide other video-centric features.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 12:16 PM   #8
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1D series?

Thanks for the information. This is quite discouraging.

I have heard a number of people suspect that a better video mode with more control-options would probably be integrated into the new 1D series model. On the other hand, it has been claimed that's unlikely to happen due to concerns that pro photographers won't be admitted to events with full HD video. I suppose there are no news on that front? Or any likely release date for the new 1D?

I guess the way to go for the next 1 year or so is to buy the 5D and get Nikon lenses for aperture control. I am quite new to photography/video - could anyone recommend a good all-round Nikon lense to buy with a 5D Mark II for stills and video? Or a website where I could find more information? Thanks.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 09:46 PM   #9
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Today I spoke with one of Canon's "video experts" on the still camera side. He said that they targeted photographers who were amateur videographers, so they went full auto. He admitted that most all the video pros were asking about manual controls. (News flash, not all of us are pros, but we still want manual controls.)

I mentioned that I looked forward to the full frame sensor in some future pro video products. The response was coy. ;)
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Old January 11th, 2009, 08:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
Today I spoke with one of Canon's "video experts" on the still camera side. He said that they targeted photographers who were amateur videographers, so they went full auto. He admitted that most all the video pros were asking about manual controls. (News flash, not all of us are pros, but we still want manual controls.) ....
Well to be fair, the 5d is an amateur still camera after all... putting pro-featured video in an amateur camera would seem a little incongruous.

And just 2 months after release of their first DSLR w/video, we can't really expect anyone at Canon to be saying anything about their next generation, can we?
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Old January 11th, 2009, 10:35 AM   #11
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Well to be fair, the 5d is an amateur still camera after all... putting pro-featured video in an amateur camera would seem a little incongruous.
Although... given that all amateur SLRs since the beginning of time allow manual control of exposure, letting us do the same with our video seems within bounds. If anything, letting us set the exposure in Live View - Exposure Simulation, and then having the camera lose its mind when one presses record could be considered confusing to most photographers.

That said, timecode and four channels of XLR audio would definitely be incongruous.

Frankly, making us shine lights into the camera and try to hit exposure lock at exactly the right time is far from professional. It's not even amateur. It's just plain goofy. And even with that, we can't necessarily get the settings we want.

Quote:
And just 2 months after release of their first DSLR w/video, we can't really expect anyone at Canon to be saying anything about their next generation, can we?
Definitely not. But it's always fun to ask. ;)

The most fun I had though was talking with one rep about how the exposure situation has driven me to Nikon lenses and watching him panic as he didn't want anybody else in the booth to hear the comment.

I don't think I've ever had such a polarized love/hate relationship with a product. Allowing me to set the exposure to taste when recording video would make this a more blissful marriage. :)
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Old January 12th, 2009, 03:59 AM   #12
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I had a similar interaction with the good people at Canon during C.E.S. I spoke with them on Thursday morning, soon after the show opened. I posted about their response here.

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Old January 12th, 2009, 04:28 AM   #13
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All good fun for sure. Gotta love wants, desires and speculation! :)

I shot a stills job today on my 5dmkii today, instead of my 1dsmkiii. All went ok, shot a couple of clips for them just as a teaser....no interruption to the shoot, in fact no-one even knew I was making video....great for value adding... looks like there's something in this...

Mind you, I'm now a little nervous using the 5... i was around water and the sealing ain't that great... got a little splash, would have been nothing on the 1 series, but a drop of water made it's way into the battery compartment of the 5. ouch.

Worse than that, I was hand-holding the camera at near-to-ground level in one setup and while holding the camera in the normal way the palm of my right hand opened the battery compartment and the battery fell onto the sand. ouch again. would never happen on any of my 1ds's..i,ii or iii.

I guess that's another of the amatuer-pro differences, one I'm not used to for sure.

The adventure continues....
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