This isn’t a camera rumors blog. It’s a whatever’s-on-Stu’s-mind blog (it’s good to specialize). Today, camera rumors are on my mind.
Recently on the Cinematography Mailing List, a member posted that at a public event, a Canon rep stated that 24p would never come to the 5D Mark II, that they would save it for the successor to the 1Ds Mark III.
It’s easy to imagine that such a camera body will be priced much higher than the 5D Mark II. The 1Ds III still sells for around US$6,900 (body only), and it’s almost two years old.
I was serious about the third-hand, unconfirmed thing. I’m telling you I heard this from a guy who heard this from a Canon guy, and that’s all I’m saying. Take it for what it is.
But of course I tweeted this, and I got some interesting replies. A few people said they’d heard the same thing, including @mikeseymour, and @planetMitch pointed out that Chuck Westfall has publicly tried to manage expectations about 24p ever coming to the 5D Mark II, pointing out that simply adding manual control took nine months.
Some folks on Twitter seemed confident that this camera is coming as soon as August.
I never thought I would own a $7,000 SLR body, but if Canon does this right, then I just might. See, I have a dirty little secret. Now that the 5D Mark II has manual exposure control, I’ve come to really enjoy shooting video with it. Even when I’m not in Japan.
Here’s what I think. I think Canon is taking video seriously, and I think they’ve heard our requests for 24p. I still do not think that they are intentionally crippling video in their DSLRs to protect camcorder sales (see the “attribute to malice” theory). I believe Westfall when he insinuates that getting 24p out of the 5D Mark II is non-trivial task. I also think that Canon is probably keenly interested in reserving some desirable features for their flagship full-frame SLR. In other words, I think the Canon SLR division worries about cannibalizing itself, not other Canon divisions. They have heard from folks like me that professional filmmakers need 24p. So they might just be saving 24p for their professional camera.
As if the 5D Mark II wasn’t used by pros.
And as if 24p wasn’t of interest to filmmakers at all budget levels.
If one wants to find evidence of excitement about 24p being offered in a truly, ridiculously affordable camera, one needs only to look to the release of the HV20, a sub-$1,000 24p HD camcorder from a company called Canon.
Canon, if you’re thinking that pros are going to line up to buy your most expensive camera body just because it does 24p, well, you might be right.
Unless someone else does it for cheaper.
Or better. If your 24p masterpiece is priced for video pros, it had damn well be a real pro video camera. That means no crappy line-skipping aliasing, no noticeable rolling-shutter jello, focus assist modes, a flip-out viewfinder, and HD monitoring while recording to a gently-compressed codec.
You know, all the stuff that Scarlet is supposed to have. For somewhere around $7,000.
You wanna go pro with DSLR video Canon? By all means, please do. But 24p is just the first step toward that goal.
I, for one, hope that you’ll still consider a 24p update to the 5D Mark II.