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Needables
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4KBODY 16.05MP Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera with 4K Cinematic Video (Body Only)
    Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4KBODY 16.05MP Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera with 4K Cinematic Video (Body Only)
    Panasonic
  • TASCAM DR-100mkII 2-Channel Portable Digital Recorder
    TASCAM DR-100mkII 2-Channel Portable Digital Recorder
    TASCAM
  • The DV Rebel's Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap (Peachpit)
    The DV Rebel's Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap (Peachpit)
    by Stu Maschwitz

Entries in Canon (42)

Wednesday
Jul222009

Canon Speaks Up, Special Third-Hand Unconfirmed Rumor Edition

Don’t forget about the DSLR Cinematography course at fxphd! Click the image for more info.

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.

Monday
Jun012009

5D Day

It’s June 2 in Tokyo, and the manual exposure control firmware update for the Canon 5D Mark II is here.

Now set your shutter to 1/60 and get shooting!

Tuesday
May262009

Now featuring just one Ninja claw

When asked to describe shooting video with the Canon 5D Mark II, I responded that it was like being offered a backrub by a supermodel — who’s wearing Ninja climbing claws. In other words, it seems like a gift from heaven at first glance, but the actual experience is pain unimaginable. But still, you get to hang out with a supermodel…

Today one claw has been removed. Canon announced and released a firmware update that enables manual control of shutter, aperture, and ISO in video mode.

But we are still limited to 30p. No mention of 24p in the announcement.

I’ve been accused of being a “fan” of shooting video with the 5D Mark II. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, what I said was “With 24p and manual exposure control this camera would be of use. Without those adjustments, it’s a tantalizing but ultimately frustrating curiosity to the DV Rebel.”

So for the record, the Canon 5D Mark II is still not “of use” to DV Rebel filmmakers.

(Unless your whole film is in 25% slow motion!)

So, thanks Canon, sincerely, for listening, and for getting us what you could, when you could.

But your work is not done.

A camera that does not shoot 24p is not an acceptable filmmaking tool.

Monday
Mar302009

Canon Rumors

Everyone got all excited today about the rumor that Canon might build a camcorder around an APS-C sensor. APS-C is the sensor size that Canon uses in everything from the Digital Rebel line to the 50D, and it’s not that different from Super 35 motion picture film, or the RED One. It’s only a little bigger than the Four Thirds size that Panasonic is using in the GH1.

Click to embiggen

Canon Rumors then posted a follow-up with more alleged insights into Canon’s strategy, including this gem regarding DSLRs:

People in charge think that 30fps on 720p and 1080p is very good and will not improve it on this generation. PAL 25p is too close to 24p and is not contemplated as an option for now.

Hear that? It’s the sound of every filmmaker on the planet flipping off Canon with one hand while they Click To Buy a GH1 with the other. Except those that weren’t planning on making any films until 2010 that is.

These are just rumors, of course—and unatributed, incoherent non-quotes that don’t ring true to me (and are widely regarded as sketchy), so I’m holding my tongue (and my new 5D Mark II, more on that later). I wasn’t even going to post anything about this, but folks were starting to post comments about the camcorder rumor, so I thought I’d give y’all a proper place to do it.

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