Canon 5D mk2 video ~ new firmware shoot results

Jul 16, 2009 | Uncategorized | 9 comments

I’ve been interested in the video capabilities of the new Canon 5D mk2 for some time now, partly because of my background as a TV cameraman. The trouble with video has always been the large depth of field due to the small sensor size when compared with 35mm movie film and the shutter speed being fixed at 1/50th forcing high aperture values. It is possible to increase the shutter speed but with jerky motion as a byproduct.

When Canon announced the 5DMK2 camera was to have full HD video capability we were all quite excited because of the large sensor size and the wonderful f/2.8 zooms and f/1.2 primes readily available. When the camera was launched the excitement waned because all the clever films that had been made to show off the new video capabilities had been shot at night and the reason for this was that Canon had nobbled the manual control settings. (The story goes that the video shutter noise was picked up by the cameras internal microphone and that is why the user settings were disabled) The auto video settings of the 5Dmk2 were far from ideal but now the latest camera firmware has put us back in control.

With that in mind I wasted no time in commissioning Aspect video, the makers of my original lighting DVDs to shoot a couple of trailers for me on the 5DMK2. They were shot between f/2.8 and f/4 on the 24-70mm L series lens and a few frames were shot on the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. Adam the cameraman and director used a combination of ND filters and low ISO to keep the depth of field down without resorting to using a high shutter speed.

On the strength of the quality of these teaser / trailers I’ve commissioned the shooting of a new series of lighting DVDs that pick up from where the last ones finished. Filming starts in Manchester on the 22nd July and will be finished by the end of August. We will be shooting the whole project on 3 Canon5DMK2s and the output will be an HD product, probably on Blu Ray.

Exciting times.


  1. Paul

    Regarding the Vimeo link of the wedding shot with 7D, yes it is nice but the whole thing looked fake, like actors and models, nothing “real” about it. It was a 10K production and not so much a wedding.

  2. ameera

    This all sounds very amazing but what about storage space. I am the editor and have been asked in my capacity whether one should film a feature film using the d5. i am concerned about the usability of this footage in post with regard to file sizes. And what files are they, will they have compatability issues with FCP?

    • damien

      Hi Ameera, My latest Blu-Ray production was shot on 3 5Dmk2 cameras simultaneously. The shoot was over 4 days with a total of 70 hours of rushes. We used FCP to edit the 1080p 2.5 hour finished production with ease. Storage is now only £50/tb for internal drives so no problem there. storage was approx 1Gb/camera/min of shooting. FCP on a modern Mac handled this with ease.

      Regards, Damien.

  3. Paul  Hilton

    As for the 7D video, I’ve been watching a 4 minute wedding highlights video by a Toronto photographer using two 7D’s.
    I think the video results from this camera are quite remarkable, and you can see for yourself here, if it’s ok with Damien…..

  4. David Mackenzie

    Hi Damien,

    It’s a new APS-C sensor based camera. 18meg pixels. Half way between 50D and 5D I guess.

  5. damien

    Hi David,

    I honestly didn’t know there was one. I assume it must be better than the 5Dmk11. What happened to the 6D? I can’t keep up with Canon’s numbering It’s totally crazy.


  6. David Mackenzie

    Have you had a chance to look at the Canon 7D yet? I wondered how you thought it might compare for video and still?

  7. damien

    Hi Stuart,

    You are ahead of us. We will be putting items from the original and the new DVDs online for download. Each item will have a low price point and the whole collection will be available on disc at a discount. Each DVD will of course be a fraction of the cost of a workshop. All the information needed to shoot the same techniques will be given with nothing held back at all.

    However there is nothing quite like being there, shooting the images yourself and having a great collection of portfolio shots. The experience combined with personal feedback throughout a workshop shoot are some of the principal gains for delegates.

  8. Stuart

    I found the bottom one on the main web site and have watched them several times as I find them fasinating. Thanks, I look forward to the releases in the future.

    What about a smaller download feature where you show the final shot and then show in video form how it was acheived? Showing off camera flash position, flash power and camera settings, say £1.99 or something to download a small video for those that can’t afford £400 for a days course?



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