Is the 5d2 ready for prime time or not? at

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Old January 28th, 2009, 12:14 PM   #1
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Is the 5d2 ready for prime time or not?

I've been looking to get a 35mm adapter for either my XLH1 or HV20... but I'm hesitating now while i look at the stunning images from the 5D2. So I thought, maybe I'll just pick up a 5D2, I've got an EOS 70-200 2.8L and am shopping for a wide angle for my Rebel XTi.

The price is pretty reasonable when compared to a decent 35mm adapter, but...

For stills, I'm more than happy with the XTi, so I would be looking at the 5D2 - primarily as an HD full frame (read shallow dof capable) video camera - to use in conjunction with the XLH1 and HV20.

After perusing through the 5D2 forums, it seems this lack of manual controls is a real issue for this to be considered as a pro video camera - never mind combining the HDv/H264 footage at this point.

I think that Canon has created a great product here, BUT is it ready for prime time, or should someone like me wait for the 5D3?
C100, 5DMk2, FCPX
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Old January 28th, 2009, 12:32 PM   #2
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I did a sort of run-n-gun shoot with my 5D2 and it was not pleasant trying to trick the camera before every shot. If I was doing that in front of actors and a client or a real producer, I'd have been stressin' big time.
All that being said, since I don't do much "on the side" (I have a 9-6 job) with that camera, I will be selling my XL-H1 and my Red Rock M2 gear.
My thinking being that I can "make due" with the very few projects that I actually do and - - though I know better, I'm still holding out hope that Canon will listen to its userbase and give us what we want/need in a firmware update. I know... I know... thin hope.
But if they did, what a monster product they'd have. They'd easily triple their sales - and I don't really believe it will severely hit their pro camera market. A professional videographer will always want a pro camera. The workflow is just too comfortable with a real video camera's body. I know if they introduced a XL-H2 with the guts of this 5D2 and the work flow of the H1, and if it was less than $4K (so it might be a XH series), I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

So is it ready for primetime, that's up to what you do for a living. There are many excellent examples out there showing it is. For me, it's questionable, bordering on not quite - but I'm doing it anyway.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 12:37 PM   #3
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Personal opinion here obviously, but I'd go with the 5D Mark II any day over a big bulky video camera/35mm adapter setup that robs light. Sure, the 5D MII is limiting, but a video camera/35mm adapter setup has it's very own set of limitations.

On another note, this coming from someone who went from the XTi to the 5D MII for still photo shooting, it's a huge difference. Once you get that 5D MII in your hands taking photos, the XTi will just sit at home as a backup (or maybe just end up on Craig's List). The XTi feels like a toy after using the 5D.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 01:05 PM   #4
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My son has been filming our pilot this week, which we hope to enter into the Seattle Film Festival. (Deadline Monday. Aargh! I've got about ten more minutes of music to write and produce!)

Anyway, he's finding that the stress of tricking the camera is going down as he gets practice. It's now a quick process and he and the actors are now used to the flow and rhythm.

In fact, I mentioned to him that he can lengthen the timeout for the live view info, and he told me that he found it, but doesn't need it anymore. He actually likes that it times out, so he starts from scratch, rather than canceling a previous, incorrect setting. (That said, for new users, extend the timeout. Otherwise, you struggle to get the right setting, lock it, take too much time to start your shot, and the camera resets to auto.)

It seems the bigger issue is stabilizing the camera, and getting critical focus. But that's a challenge with a 35mm DOF adapter setup too...
Jon Fairhurst
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Old January 28th, 2009, 02:38 PM   #5
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Good question.

Many people, including myself, started salivating when the 5DM2 was announced. I even sold my Letus Extreme, because I believe larger sensor cameras will now become the norm. I still have an SG35 Pro however.

I almost bought the 5D, and may still buy one, but now that the ether has worn off, seveeral things are holding me back:

Audio is the first. New videographers, and still photogs, often fail to recognize the importance of sound in comparison to picture quality. The 5D's sound limitations are a major deterrent for me despite the fact that workarounds are available.

Next, I have all Nikon equipment and most is DX; not full frame. I also just bought a D300 a few months ago so I can't justify the change until I can find an income producing project that requires it.

Finally, I think that Canon has changed the industry forever with the 5D. As a result, I expect to see video cameras with a DX or 35mm sensors as the norm very soon. And they'll use existing lenses. And, we'll see still cameras all include video capabilities.

35mm adapters are going to go the way of the dinosaur very soon. They were an ingenious workaround solution, but they compromised quality for control. That compromise will no longer be necessary in the next couple of years.

I'd wait just a short time longer and you'll see a camera like the 5DM2 that fixes it's flaws. The 5D is a great camera, but its popularity is going to spawn copy cats very quickly. And those cats are going to be playing leap frog.
Paul Cascio
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