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sample videos for Nikon D90 and Canon 5D MkII
September 23, 2008 2:45 PM   Subscribe

Exciting things are happening on the DSLR market: both the new Nikon D90 and Canon 5D MII can shoot video and now the first real footage is becoming available on the web: Chase Jarvis showcased the D90 a bit back and now Vincent Laforet demonstrates what the 5D MII is capable of (more on his blog, including behind-the-scenes footage) Laforet predicts these cameras will change the landscape rather rapidly: You can use your prime and zoom lenses (...) with it - and shoot wide open… so you can shoot films with fisheye lenses, 50mm 1.2 as well as the 200mm f2 or 400mm 2.8 that you may already own…

These cameras, while impressive at what they do, won't replace a real HD camera just yet. The Nikon seems to shoot 720p mono while the Canon 1080p manages in stereo and both can only shoot manual focus and for limited periods until they have to cool down. Still they do demonstrate where things are going.
posted by krautland (108 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
I want the 5DmkII so bad.

That's all I have to say.
posted by zsazsa at 2:53 PM on September 23, 2008


That is exciting. I love toys!
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 3:01 PM on September 23, 2008


Wow, I wish the D90 movie showed more of the movie-mode. The Canon movie was obviously made to showcase that feature. It's hard to compare the two. I will say that they look absolutely kickass, especially at that price. You could buy two or three of them (for the cooldown periods) for a lot less than a comparable fullsize HD camera. And that DOF!
posted by echo target at 3:02 PM on September 23, 2008


wow, it's like that douchebag's right here in the room with me!

seriously, though -- looks like a neat camera. Although how much of "reverie" was filmed with it? Sounds like it was mostly done with a standard HD camera, although he's saying this the SLR is better in low light.
posted by condour75 at 3:05 PM on September 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Direct Link (90MB m4v)
posted by unmake at 3:06 PM on September 23, 2008


Man, I'm a photojournalism student in my second year and we're getting it drilled into our heads since the start of this year that multimedia is where it's at. We have someone from the National Post in teaching us video capture once a week and I'm looking at buying a video camera. Multimedia pieces really show something that straight photos can't, in my opinion, so I think it's so cool that camera companies are jumping onto this and making multimedia a possibility for everyone who wants to try it out.
posted by riane at 3:11 PM on September 23, 2008


condour: there is a 'making of' video. 'reverie' was shot exclusively with the 5d while parts of the 'making of' were shot with a hd camera. that's at least what vincent claims on his blog. I have no reason to doubt his word.
posted by krautland at 3:11 PM on September 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


I thought the whole thing was with the 5D II...where'd you see something about a standard camera?
posted by echo target at 3:11 PM on September 23, 2008


both can only shoot ... for limited periods until they have to cool down.

Not your father's Oldsmobile. A camera with the duty cycle of a soldering gun?
posted by CynicalKnight at 3:21 PM on September 23, 2008


Someone should paint a circle on the ground over in Williamsburg by the Brooklyn Bridge labeled 'young attractive couple goes here', and an X labeled 'camera goes here'.
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:25 PM on September 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


BTW, do you have a cite for the need for the camera to "cool down?"
posted by zsazsa at 3:28 PM on September 23, 2008


Holy. Fuckballs.
posted by notsnot at 3:29 PM on September 23, 2008


condur75, all of Reverie was filmed with the 5DII. Most of the behind the scenes was filmed with the XH-A1.
posted by chris24 at 3:31 PM on September 23, 2008


Did you guys see the D90 jelly movement video? I really hope the Canon 5DMkII doesn't suffer from that kind of crap.
posted by mathowie at 3:34 PM on September 23, 2008


BTW, do you have a cite for the need for the camera to "cool down?"

I believe the reference is to the fact that they almost certainly don't have realtime 1080p-capable H264 encoders. Therefore, they buffer up the video in some other (uncompressed) format and then convert. Unlike say HDV camcorders whose output format is done "realtime" (like my HDR-HC3 from Sony).
posted by wildcrdj at 3:36 PM on September 23, 2008


It looks like the 5d mk2 can shoot 12 minute takes which is plenty long enough for lots of things.

1920 x 1080 (16:9) up to 12 mins (Quicktime 1080p H.264; 38.6 Mbits/sec)

The low light performance on the original 5d is pretty formidable. It sounds like the mk2 blows the original out of the water.

Maybe I'll wait 4 more years and get the mk3 :D
posted by aubilenon at 3:38 PM on September 23, 2008


Has anyone posted any high ISO low light photos yet? There's a fair number of low light scenes in the video but I want to see 100% image size with ISO and lens info. 1080p is nice but it's not even a quarter of the real resolution for that camera.
posted by doctor_negative at 3:39 PM on September 23, 2008


Argh, so I was totally wrong. Looked into this more, and realized what I said didn't make much sense, since it would actually take more memory that way (would save processor time, yes, but would require gobs of memory).

It turns out this is due to the CF cards using FAT-32. This means no single file can be over 4GB in size. This works out to around 12 min of video at full resolution for the Canon. That's all there is to it.
posted by wildcrdj at 3:42 PM on September 23, 2008


Is there any jelly motion artifacts from the Canon like the D90 has?
posted by jaimev at 3:47 PM on September 23, 2008


Apologies for echo'ing mathowie's comment.
posted by jaimev at 3:48 PM on September 23, 2008


This works out to around 12 min of video at full resolution for the Canon. That's all there is to it.

But it means 12min per clip on the card, right? I just bought a 16Gb CF card, so I could have up to 48minutes of video on it, right?
posted by mathowie at 3:48 PM on September 23, 2008


It turns out this is due to the CF cards using FAT-32. This means no single file can be over 4GB in size. This works out to around 12 min of video at full resolution for the Canon. That's all there is to it.

Sounds like there would be an easy solution to this; once you hit 4GB, the camera should automatically start a new file. They'd be easy to stitch back together later, no?
posted by Jimbob at 3:54 PM on September 23, 2008


Ugh. According to this guy (and a few others I've seen) they're using Quicktime (.mov) as a container. Of course, he refers to this as a "format" which isn't really correct (the video is definitely encoded as H264 (MPEG4 Part 10). Why would they not use MPEG-4 Part 14?
posted by wildcrdj at 3:54 PM on September 23, 2008


Now I know what I want next.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:56 PM on September 23, 2008


Answering my own question, I found a canon 5d video on youtube with panning and jerkiness that did show some subtle deflection. Nowhere near as bad as the nikon, but for professional looking video, you'd probably want a static camera instead of trying to follow movement.
posted by mathowie at 3:56 PM on September 23, 2008


I'm picking up a pair of the Mark II's as soon as they're available. I have no idea what I'll do with that film feature, but its definitely a cool option.
posted by blaneyphoto at 4:00 PM on September 23, 2008


But it means 12min per clip on the card, right? I just bought a 16Gb CF card, so I could have up to 48minutes of video on it, right?

Yes, Canon just makes you stop and start the clips every 4GB. I remember something akin to this on my ancient Canon digital (non-SLR) camera.

Sounds like there would be an easy solution to this; once you hit 4GB, the camera should automatically start a new file. They'd be easy to stitch back together later, no?

Well, there'd possibly be a little weirdness around the transition, but it should be very short if at all. So yes, I agree they could/should be able to do this - unless they're actually buffering 4GB in RAM and then writing to the CF, they may not be able to support that while also recording a second clip. if that's true, though, then there would have to be a pause between clips.. I haven't seen anyone address this, and I can't find any stats for the memory of the camera. But basically I'm talking about a situation analogous to burst mode, where it creates information faster than it can write it to the card, and thus stalls out and has to wait for the transfer.
posted by wildcrdj at 4:01 PM on September 23, 2008


Why would they not use MPEG-4 Part 14?

Does it make a difference? Per wikipedia, they're basically the same thing.
posted by smackfu at 4:02 PM on September 23, 2008


Does it make a difference? Per wikipedia, they're basically the same thing.

Here's a nice quote that sums up why (also from wiki):

"Because both the MOV and MP4 containers can use the same MPEG-4 codecs, they are mostly interchangeable in a QuickTime-only environment. However, MP4, being an international standard, has more support. This is especially true on hardware devices, such as the Sony PSP and various DVD players; on the software side, most DirectShow / Video for Windows codec packs[10][11] include an MP4 parser, but not one for MOV."

So, basically it's whether you're more reliant on the Apple software or not. Since MP4 is a more open, supported standard, you're more likely to have to export the MOV to MP4 in order to play on some devices/computers. Whereas making it MP4 means it would automagically work in Quicktime.
posted by wildcrdj at 4:08 PM on September 23, 2008


mathowie, sometimes I doubt your commitment to jelly movement.
posted by adamrice at 4:17 PM on September 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


Theoretically if you had to do a quick pan, could you just turn the camera on its side and then crop+scale? For fast-moving objects the quality loss shouldn't be that noticeable
posted by 0xFCAF at 4:21 PM on September 23, 2008


The jelly movement could probably be fixed with a post process that time-shifts the scan lines back to where they belong, although you'd have to accept some cropping.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:24 PM on September 23, 2008


I have the original 5d and it is an amazing camera; ISO 3200 is very usable. ISO 25600 in the new version? No telling what you DaShiv could do with that.
posted by TedW at 4:28 PM on September 23, 2008


I'm sure future cameras will tackle the 4 gig limit, but seriously, these cameras are the first and second of their kind. You're not going to be shooting hour long talking head stuff with them, you're either going to be shooting short news clip type stuff or you'll be using it in a narrative workflow where it's doubtful any take will be more than 5-6 minutes. Considering that 4 gig is only 12 minutes, you'll be swapping CF cards regularly anyway.

The big question outstanding with the 5D MK II is whether it will support framerates other than 30p. Filmmakers are begging for 24p with the ability to lock the shutter speed so they can get that film look. European folks are wondering where their 25 fps mode is at. (Of note, the Nikon only shoots 24p, so they haven't tackled this either.) Since the camera doesn't come out for another month, things may change, but expect the first feature set to be limited. There will be a new 1D Canon camera soon, and it'll probably have more video features, but for more money. If the 5D Mk II doesn't come out with 24P support, expect a legion of video hackers to get to work monkeying with the firmware. We'll see how successful they are.

The up side is that the $1k digital SLR you buy next year for Christmas will probably have no 4 gig limit, it'll shoot in 720 24p up to 1080 30p with a stereo microphone in and you'll have lots of options for manual control for shutter speed, exposure, etc.

It won't be as good in low light as this 5D, but that just means you'll have to haul your worklights around when you make your Harry Potter meets THX1138 masterpiece.
posted by jeffkramer at 4:28 PM on September 23, 2008


> Sounds like there would be an easy solution to this; once you hit 4GB, the camera should automatically start a new file. They'd be easy to stitch back together later, no?

You get 12 minute takes. Unless you are doing a documentary or interviewing a talking head where you need more than a continuous 12 minute shot, you can work around this limitation.

Also, this thing is *tiny* and *cheap* compared to other HD cameras on the market (and not counting the HDV ones). This is awesome, and I can't wait to see what other filmmakers will be able to do with this as another tool in their arsenal.

I especially love the lowlight filming.
posted by mrzarquon at 4:33 PM on September 23, 2008


I just asked this question in AskMeFi last week. I didn't know that video capability in SLRs was virtually non-existent. So instead of buying a SLR that can shoot video, I'm switching my focus to a video camera with good still image capability.

Only problem with that is that most good (3CCD) quality cameras don't have manual ability; at the very least I want a manual focus ring. I haven't looked much, but I've got my eye on this JVC HD Everio.
posted by zardoz at 4:41 PM on September 23, 2008


I really think these cameras change the game completely. yes the D90 has its faults, and I'm sure the Canon has its own deficiencies, but to focus (unintended pun) on their shortcomings is to miss the bigger vista here: These cameras provide a completely new High Quality inexpensive video source combined with first-rate still photography, for essentially a zero increment in price.

Mark my words, we're going to start seeing a LOT of new video, very soon, and it's going to be high quality and by creative types we haven't seen before.

I'm pretty excited by this.
posted by pjern at 4:46 PM on September 23, 2008


Also, this thing is *tiny* and *cheap* compared to other HD cameras on the market (and not counting the HDV ones)

Hmm, I guess, but I still think you'd be better off with a $1000 HDV camera than a $2700 camera that has several video limitations. Depends on how much you care about / have invested in lenses, versus caring about video quality. The actual compression quality is mediocre at best on the Canon, from the reviews I've seen.

Of course, if you're primarily a photographer, it's pretty awesome that you get a decent video camera along with an outstanding still camera. I can't see anyone buying this as a video camera (in other words, not really intending to use it primarily for stills).
posted by wildcrdj at 4:46 PM on September 23, 2008


Wow, drooling over the D90. Unfortunately I'll have to wait a while to replace my D50 until the D90 comes down to the $900 or so I bought the 50 for. So excited about the video.

Man, I'm a photojournalism student in my second year and we're getting it drilled into our heads since the start of this year that multimedia is where it's at.

You must go to Ryerson. They've been saying that since 1994, when I left there. I think that they say multimedia is "where it's at" because they have a giant multimedia program with thousands of people paying to enroll in it.
I remember when CD ROMS! were the way to make millions and everything was going to be interactive!
posted by chococat at 5:05 PM on September 23, 2008


I am (im)patiently awaiting Red's entry into the high resolution still/motion camera market.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 5:13 PM on September 23, 2008


Mark my words, we're going to start seeing a LOT of new video, very soon, and it's going to be high quality and by creative types we haven't seen before.

I agree, as a photographer I have always been somewhat interested in video but the barrier to entry has been too high. I already spend enough on camera and lighting equipment for still images as it is. Reading over his blog he was saying he lit some of the scenes using the modeling lights on his strobes, which is genius - I have strobes with adjustable modeling lights and I was going to upgrade to the new 5D anyways. Now I can dabble in video, and knowing I can light them the same way I light photographs using the same equipment is pretty exciting. I think we are going to see a lot of cool projects by people who are into still imagery but all of the sudden have these other options without having to invest anything into it.
posted by bradbane at 5:19 PM on September 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


After Laforet's series of tilt/shift-shot sports photos, I started imagining ways to apply the effect to video. Things like sharply-focused vehicles ripping through clouds of bokeh. I realized it was possible with an XL H1 with an EF lens adapter, and even played with it in our shop but never put planned footage to tape. So, this is kind of a requiem for that idea held too long, especially since tilt/shift video is the next HDR (that is, over and improperly used).

Also... all indicators point to Nikon not being done here.
posted by pokermonk at 5:44 PM on September 23, 2008


> Theoretically if you had to do a quick pan, could you just turn the camera on its side and then crop+scale? For fast-moving objects the quality loss shouldn't be that noticeable

Objects will distort regardless. If you pan in the same direction the sensor scans, objects will stretch; if you pan in the opposite direction, objects will compress. If you have an old-fashioned cellphone camera (or a really cheap early-generation digital still camera), you can test this by taking still images while slowly swinging the camera.
posted by ardgedee at 5:46 PM on September 23, 2008


I have the original 5d and it is an amazing camera; ISO 3200 is very usable. ISO 25600 in the new version? No telling what you DaShiv could do with that.

Already salivating, and have been waiting for a long time for Canon's low-light answer to Nikon's latest offerings. The handful of high ISO samples out there out there have been looking better than Canon's 1D3 and at least on par with Nikon's D3/D700. I may finally be able to leave the Speedlites at home in the near future, or at least relegate it to purely background/fill use.

The 5DII doesn't really have enough video hardware features (especially autofocus) to fully supplant a real dedicated HD video rig, but still: this camera's low-light and DOF (and tilt-shift) control for HD video is unmatched by any current photo/video machine anywhere close to its price point. I'm intrigued by the possibilities like throwing together a couple of quick video shoutouts at meetups, once I'm back from my photography haitus and shooting again. Short clips with no fancy video motion controls inside of dark bars? Sounds perfect for the task.

As a side note: here's a take on why, despite the 5DII's stunning video quality, the results still look like "video" rather than "film".
posted by DaShiv at 5:50 PM on September 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


> Hmm, I guess, but I still think you'd be better off with a $1000 HDV camera than a $2700 camera that has several video limitations. Depends on how much you care about / have invested in lenses, versus caring about video quality. The actual compression quality is mediocre at best on the Canon, from the reviews I've seen.

Your $1000 HDV video camera records 1080i max, and has a data rate of 25Mbit/sec max. Also, it has a fixed lens and extremely limited options when it comes to lighting and color depth (HDV only does 3:1:1). I have done real comparisons between dv, hdv and a HD cam rig, and from a filmmaking perspective, HDV is not worth the investment. Get a dvx100 and know it's limitations, instead of getting more pixels with heavier compression.

The $2700 5D II has a 38.6Mbit/sec data rate, and I have no idea what the color space is (except that there are options for 4:4:4 and 4:2:2, bigger is better, especially if you want to do any chroma key work or color work in post). Video quality from this thing is going to be top notch, it might not be the most adaptable or versatile system, but its a lot less than a $35k RED or HVX200 system. This paired with a $3k 24fps/480P dvx100 and you could get away with a very awesome collection of footage. For $10k, all of a sudden you are looking at some very amazing filmmaking equipment.
posted by mrzarquon at 6:07 PM on September 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


*drool.*

5DmkII, I have some lovely lenses with pretty red rings that would look great on you. Call me.
posted by mullingitover at 6:09 PM on September 23, 2008


Were any other Nikon users horrified by the COMPLETE LACK OF NECK STRAPS in the Nikon video?
posted by butterstick at 6:16 PM on September 23, 2008


A great low-light still camera that unexpectedly is capable of video? Err, I think I know what this is going to be used for. Or I just have a dirty mind.
posted by sdodd at 6:33 PM on September 23, 2008


You can use your prime and zoom lenses (...) with it - and shoot wide open… so you can shoot films with fisheye lenses, 50mm 1.2 as well as the 200mm f2 or 400mm 2.8 that you may already own…

I like the casual way he mentions these several thousand dollar lenses casually as something I might own, as if I would be scrounging through my drawer and be like, "Hey, honey, here's that 400 2.8 L lens I misplaced."

Is ISO 25600 really that useful? When I go out and do night photography with my Canon 30D and I'm pushed to 1600NT with a f/2.8 lens or especially my Sigma 30mm f/1.4, it's already dark enough that autofocus becomes problematic. If I were in an environment that was dark enough that required ISO 25600, I doubt that you'd be able to focus, especially with the 5D MKII's old autofocus system.

Anyhow, this is all way too expensive for me. I hope this video technology goes down to Canon's 1.6x line (the future 60D?)
posted by alidarbac at 6:43 PM on September 23, 2008


> Is ISO 25600 really that useful?

If you can shoot at f/24 or f/32 by moonlight, focusing by guess is all you need.
posted by ardgedee at 6:56 PM on September 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


What's this doing to the used / new market? Are we going to see a price dip as photogs upgrade?
posted by geoff. at 6:59 PM on September 23, 2008


I like the casual way he mentions these several thousand dollar lenses casually as something I might own, as if I would be scrounging through my drawer and be like, "Hey, honey, here's that 400 2.8 L lens I misplaced."

Well, for one thing, the folks who buy $2700 cameras are pretty likely to have already invested comparable dollar amounts, if not more, in glass.

And besides, I'm sure it'll look great with a Plastic Fantastic 50mm f/1.8 too.
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:17 PM on September 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


can only shoot for limited periods ... until they have to cool down.

I think I'd tout this as a feature, rather than a bug.
posted by odinsdream at 7:18 PM on September 23, 2008


Neck strap? What's that for? Strangling me when I crouch down into the bushes? To get caught on a doorknob? To make shooting overhead impossible? So I can have the bright yellow NIKON screaming "steal my shit" when I'm doing street photography? Something to think that is around my neck but actually isn't so the camera crashes to the ground when I let go to change a lens?

Okay, I do have a neck strap in my camera bag but like the condoms, it just sits there unused 99% of the time.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:29 PM on September 23, 2008


Ken Rockwell on the D90's movie feature. It's great to shoot movies with lenses, but 24 fps isn't exactly smooth, and neither is mono sound.

Better: the tiny Casio EX-V8.
posted by swift at 7:58 PM on September 23, 2008


I guess this is the end of regular folks being allowed to bring cameras to sporting events.
posted by popechunk at 7:58 PM on September 23, 2008


but I still want one
posted by swift at 8:01 PM on September 23, 2008


> What's this doing to the used / new market? Are we going to see a price dip as photogs upgrade?

I've noticed an increase of 5D threads on POTN's For Sale forum since the 5DmkII was announced. Afew of them have sold in the $1500 range.
posted by aGee at 8:07 PM on September 23, 2008


I got a D90 the first day it became available and I *love* it. I haven't done any video with it other than just playing around, but it's amazing as a still camera. The high ISO performance is outstanding. I find very little noise at ISO 3200. It starts getting bad around ISO 4000. I upgraded from a D40x and I'm thrilled at being able to use auto focus with my 50mm/f1.8 lens.
posted by mike3k at 8:09 PM on September 23, 2008


Your $1000 HDV video camera records 1080i max, and has a data rate of 25Mbit/sec max. Also, it has a fixed lens and extremely limited options when it comes to lighting and color depth (HDV only does 3:1:1). I have done real comparisons between dv, hdv and a HD cam rig, and from a filmmaking perspective, HDV is not worth the investment. Get a dvx100 and know it's limitations, instead of getting more pixels with heavier compression.

HDV perhaps a bad comparison, mine is 2.5 years old by now. Looks like HDV is basically dead already.

But you can get a 1080p (1920x1080 25p), 5.1 surround video camera, from Panasonic for example, for $500. I can't see justifying $2700 for a better lens and color depth when you could get a real camera for maybe double the price. As opposed to 5x the price from the consumer-level camera.

I guess it seems that if you're a consumer, you can get stuff that will look amazing on your HDTV for well under $1k. Are you saying that the 5D is a viable choice for a video professional? I'm extremely skeptical, especially given the complaints already floating about with regards to its compression artifacts and limitations of CMOS video.
posted by wildcrdj at 8:15 PM on September 23, 2008


(Keeping in mind that the 5D is not $2700, it's at least $3500-$4000 with a lens or two).
posted by wildcrdj at 8:16 PM on September 23, 2008


I am trying to comfort myself right now by thinking about the fact that my D80 body only cost me $600 (it's a refurb.)

God damn it camera makers, stop making shiny new toys long enough for me to at least partially pay off the credit card, you're putting my marriage at risk here.
posted by agress at 8:25 PM on September 23, 2008


wildcrdj writes "Are you saying that the 5D is a viable choice for a video professional?"

Well here in the beautiful, pastoral San Fernando valley, we have *ahem* a cottage film industry which has fairly low standards for video quality. They like to get stills for publication while they're shooting video. I'm sure they'll pick up a few 5DmkIIs.
posted by mullingitover at 8:26 PM on September 23, 2008


I know of some people would, already having a collection of canon lenses for their still photography (or for use with their 35mm adapter) who also do film/video. $2700 to be able to add good quality *low light* 1080P video to their toolkit is worth it (the 35mm adapters cut your fstop in half).

It gives them another option for their filming, like another brush or paint in an artists collection, to help tell a story.

That + $600 14mm fisheye lens, and for $3300 you have yourself an HD Gilliam rig, that weighs next to nothing compared to the other alternatives. That is pretty damn impressive, and could give a filmmaker just the shot they are looking for, on a budget they can afford.
posted by mrzarquon at 8:31 PM on September 23, 2008


Well, I definitely agree that anyone who is also a serious still photographer gets a huge benefit from this. I was more questioning it as a purchase for a straight filmmaker, but I suppose it has some promise there too. Of course the video linked above used like $60k in lenses, so that's kind of an extreme example.

The big issue would be sound. But I suppose you can always just record the sound separately and edit it together (since at best you're getting mediocre stereo sound from the 5d). Not sure how easy that is to do. (My experience with HD video is all on the technical, encoding/decoding/transmission side, I'm not a creative type).
posted by wildcrdj at 8:39 PM on September 23, 2008


^^ The 5D has a stereo mic jack, so you should be able to get decent sound.

I've already decided to get one, but because I want the full frame sensor and other still photo goodies. This nice video ability is just a bonus, and that's probably how Canon intended it.
posted by acetonic at 9:40 PM on September 23, 2008


You must go to Ryerson.

Alas, Loyalist. Last year they got into it a bit with us dabbling in Final Cut for an end-of-year project but this year it's gung-ho multimedia projects full steam ahead. I kind of like it though, it seems to be a way to tell stories that might not make it with just photos, in print. Something about someone telling their own story makes it better, to me. And at the very least, putting evocative sound over mediocre pictures makes the whole package a bit better.

That being said, from all of the multimedia things I've seen so far I lean towards work that's shot in a photojournalistic way rather than talking heads and a TV-like feel. I like something that looks like a picture, but there's movement. This isn't the best example but it's all I can think of at 1 AM.

I really think that multimedia is going to pick up and cameras like this make the concept accessible to anyone who wants to try it out. Combined with things like Flickr's one minute video hosting I agree that we're going to see some really cool work out of this new technology.
posted by riane at 9:55 PM on September 23, 2008


It must be jelly motion, 'cause jam don't shake like that.

Except, of course, in the beautiful San Fernando valley, where it will be jelly roll motion.
posted by rdone at 10:49 PM on September 23, 2008


I'm probably not going to have a camera like this, but I'm looking forward to seeing what people do with it.
posted by grouse at 11:32 PM on September 23, 2008


addendum: I forgot to mention that I am unsure if Chase Jarvis is a paid spokesperson or, like Laforet, someone they just gave the camera to and said "do what you want" without financial gain. Jarvis speaks only positively about the Nikon, neglecting issues like manual-only focussing, maximum video recording capabilities and even MONO sound. he does not clarify whether his post is to be read as a press release or a personal opinion. laforet on the other hand is completely transparent about how he got the camera and what he got paid for his efforts (which is nothing).
posted by krautland at 11:50 PM on September 23, 2008


(Keeping in mind that the 5D is not $2700, it's at least $3500-$4000 with a lens or two).

I already have a lens or two. I'll just do what I did last time: sell my current camera body on ebay for whatever I can get and upgrade. I got on this ladder for doing a wedding in the first place (I know, eww), so this is just the natural progression. I wanted a 5d, anyway, because it's full frame... a 5d that does CRAZY FUCKING VIDEO LIKE THIS is just a bonus.

Also, who is going to pan around? I'm using a tripod and make little Coenesque vignettes.
posted by chuckdarwin at 12:29 AM on September 24, 2008


Also, I am excited because my aunt (it helps to find a rich relative who has an addiction to photography, and then buy lens compatible bodies) is looking at a new camera, and I think this is what she will want.

Which means I can borrow it and play with it.
posted by mrzarquon at 1:01 AM on September 24, 2008


I'm pretty excited about the 5D MKII. It's a game changer for sure.

With the 50mm f/1.0, you could shoot fast moving action without any light other than the (not even full) moon.

Good luck finding that kind of optical equipment on a "real" video camera for under $3000!
posted by ioerror at 2:22 AM on September 24, 2008


A great low-light still camera that unexpectedly is capable of video? Err, I think I know what this is going to be used for.

Yeah, but there is that 5 minute limitation on the Nikon.
posted by pjern at 3:27 AM on September 24, 2008


I've been playing with my D90 for a couple weeks now, and it really is a terrific camera. It does everything that I need it to, with no problems. I kinda wish I'd known about the Canon beforehand though.
posted by synthetik at 5:31 AM on September 24, 2008


jelly ? I'm still up for a d90 i think - the d3x might be announced soon enough though.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:58 AM on September 24, 2008


Serious question: I've always considered myself as much a gadget geek as anybody, but I wonder what the motivation is to spend $3k on a camera? I can understand the value if this is for professional use, but if you're a hobbyist will these cameras really take noticeably better photos than the $500 point-and-shoot models?
posted by SteveInMaine at 6:19 AM on September 24, 2008


Well, low-light performance is one huge difference. These guys are using ISO 1600 and selling it to a magazine. On my point-and-shoot, ISO 1600 looks like a cell phone camera photo.
posted by smackfu at 6:27 AM on September 24, 2008


Keeping in mind that the 5D is not $2700, it's at least $3500-$4000 with a lens or two
you can get a most excellent nifty fifty for about $90. there is a full range of low-cost lenses available that will blow whatever you are shooting currently out of the water.

With the 50mm f/1.0
canon does not produce a 50mm f1.0 - they have a 50mm f1.2/1.4 and a 1.8.
posted by krautland at 6:29 AM on September 24, 2008


It's a pity that the video is going to insulate Canon from the effects of what is really a shitty upgrade to the 5d. The original 5d was an awesome camera, huge pixels, incredible image quality. All it really needed was decent autofocus and a slightly tougher body. Almost perfect.

So what did they do? kept the shitty autofocus, shrank the pixel size and increased the megapixels to an unweildly size that virtually nobody wanted. Nice going, chuckleheads.

(add to this the completely bizarre pricing in the UK, where the new 5d is more expensive than the d700, the 50d more expensive than the d300 *and* old 5d and you've got the makings of an exodus to Nikon)
posted by bonaldi at 6:56 AM on September 24, 2008


canon does not produce a 50mm f1.0 - they have a 50mm f1.2/1.4 and a 1.8.
posted by krautland An hour ago [+]


I'm fairly certain they DID, but no longer do.
posted by blaneyphoto at 8:02 AM on September 24, 2008


Serious question: I've always considered myself as much a gadget geek as anybody, but I wonder what the motivation is to spend $3k on a camera? I can understand the value if this is for professional use, but if you're a hobbyist will these cameras really take noticeably better photos than the $500 point-and-shoot models?

First of all, compared to a $500 point-and-shoot, even a halfway serious hobbyist will get a huge benefit out of moving to an SLR or other "real" system with, for example, a much bigger sensor that won't turn every shot into a noisy mess in non-bright light. And the quality of the lenses is the most important part of all.

Second, this thing isn't aimed at your average photo hobbyist; that's what the <$1000 SLRs are for. I'm (mostly) happy with my $600 Rebel. But for serious shooters, yes, the $3000 is actually really easy to rationalize. More capability, more options to control your shots precisely, (in this case) a full-frame sensor so noise is lower, a better-built body for more durability, a larger viewfinder...

Think of it this way: There's a diminishing returns factor here; the difference between $600 and $300 is huge, whereas between $600 and $3000 is merely significant. But it's still very real, and I can tell you right now that the 5D Mk II, with that kind of nighttime capability, makes me very very desirous, and frankly if I had the money I'd buy one right now and consider it money well-spent.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:24 AM on September 24, 2008


Er, the first graf there is a quote. My bad.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:25 AM on September 24, 2008


krautland:canon does not produce a 50mm f1.0 - they have a 50mm f1.2/1.4 and a 1.8.
they used to, though. Used copies go for $3300-4000 for the fastest autofocus lens ever made (Canon's earlier 50mm f/0.95 and Leica's current 50mm f/0.95 are both manual focus).
loerror:With the 50mm f/1.0, you could shoot fast moving action without any light other than the (not even full) moon.
good luck keeping them in focus; the Depth of Field at f/1.0 is ridiculously thin, as seen in these shots.
posted by heeeraldo at 8:33 AM on September 24, 2008


I can understand the value if this is for professional use, but if you're a hobbyist will these cameras really take noticeably better photos than the $500 point-and-shoot models?

It kind of seems like you're asking why someone would buy the professional-grade body if they're not a professional... they wouldn't.
posted by smackfu at 8:41 AM on September 24, 2008


Note also that with one of these cameras, a Mac Pro, a homemade steadicam rig and a copy of Final Cut Pro and a decent NAS+backup solution, your entry-level professional-grade movie studio now costs about ten thousand dollars.
posted by mhoye at 9:16 AM on September 24, 2008


I'd Love to have a discussion about still Vs motion artworks, but this is probably the wrong thread to go Into great detail for it. Succinctly, moving pictures activate a different set of neurons, So the experience is quite different from static works.there is room for both kinds of art In the World.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:26 AM on September 24, 2008


Second, this thing isn't aimed at your average photo hobbyist; that's what the <$1000 SLRs are for. I'm (mostly) happy with my $600 Rebel. But for serious shooters, yes, the $3000 is actually really easy to rationalize. More capability, more options to control your shots precisely, (in this case) a full-frame sensor so noise is lower, a better-built body for more durability, a larger viewfinder...

This is a huge deal to me. I got a 30D which has a magnesium body, and now whenever I hold a Rebel I realize how delicate it is in comparison. I also find the controls on the pro-sumer stuff tend to allow for better customization and quicker settings modifications.

Watching the video, I was struck by how much of it seemed to be naturally lit, then I saw that the 5D mk II supports an ISO of 25600 and wet myself. The things I could do with that....

I figure in five or so years, I'll want to upgrade and by then hopefully these features will be the standard.

I came >this< close to posting that 5D video myself yesterday after I watched it.
posted by quin at 11:09 AM on September 24, 2008


krautland: I am unsure if Chase Jarvis is a paid spokesperson or, like Laforet, someone they just gave the camera to and said "do what you want" without financial gain.

Laforet is a Canon "Explorer of Light and Print Master", is featured in their professional printer brochure promoting Canon wares, and has taught seminars for Canon. He is an exceptional photographer, a darn good blogger, and a genuinely nice and honest guy, but he certainly isn't some random high-profile pro with interest in the camera.
posted by pokermonk at 12:29 PM on September 24, 2008


It kind of seems like you're asking why someone would buy the professional-grade body if they're not a professional... they wouldn't.

Don't be so sure!

It might be worth noting that the original 5D was considered by many pros to be an amateur body, and Canon's literature often places it in this demographic.

Tomorrowful nailed it.
posted by pokermonk at 12:39 PM on September 24, 2008




Yeah, that's what I figured; I'm not trying to jump on ya or anything. Just pointing out that Laforet does have considerable motivation to speak positively of Canon even if it's not immediate financial compensation.
posted by pokermonk at 1:05 PM on September 24, 2008


fine - and he does speak highly of the camera.
but it's this disclosure that I appreciate from him. chase jarvis dropped the ball here in a way we would not accept from traditional media outlets ("a disclosure: boeing is a sponsor of our strippers") and I wanted to call him out on that.
posted by krautland at 1:31 PM on September 24, 2008


bonaldi: It's a pity that the video is going to insulate Canon from the effects of what is really a shitty upgrade to the 5d. The original 5d was an awesome camera, huge pixels, incredible image quality. All it really needed was decent autofocus and a slightly tougher body. Almost perfect.

So what did they do? kept the shitty autofocus, shrank the pixel size and increased the megapixels to an unweildly size that virtually nobody wanted. Nice going, chuckleheads.


A wedding pro's hands-on with the 5DII. He comes to the exact opposite conclusion.

On the other hand, if the 5D was "almost perfect" resolution-wise for you but just needed "decent autofocus and a slightly tougher body", then your "perfect" camera already exists in the Nikon D700. Nikon is going in the direction you want in the semipro DSLR sector, but Canon is fundamentally moving in a different direction here -- I doubt Canon will ever put out the kind of camera you want in this market segment unless Nikon forces their hand. Seriously, look into switching. Considering that Canon has the strongest used lens market, it costs less than you might think.

Here's the crux of it: on the one hand, you have Nikon sports/wildlife/reportage/etc shooters ecstatic about the D700 -- it's exactly the perfect alternative to Nikon's pro cameras for them. On the other hand, you have stock/wedding/landscape/commercial/etc shooters furious at Nikon for charging $3000 for a camera with "merely" 12MP in this day and age when many entry-level DSLRs and even point-and-shoots have more resolution, and they need that resolution. I fall into the latter crowd, and -- like the photographer I linked to -- we think that Canon has upgraded exactly what's most important to us, and threw in a nifty video toy on top of all that. Horses for courses.

The old DSLR adage that "Nikon builds better cameras and Canon builds better technology" is still holding true this product cycle. The 5DII's ability to combine what used to be strictly medium-format resolution with what is currently industry-leading high-ISO results is a technological tour de force. 21MP at ISO 25600 would've been the stuff of science fiction just a couple of years ago, and yet here we are today. There's no doubt that Nikon has been far more aggressive in bundling better "camera" features lately into their low- and mid-line DSLRs, and they've gained market share the last few years at the price of cannibalizing their top-end sales and cutting into their potential profits somewhat. (The last figures I saw were something like Nikon making 18% per unit and Canon making 23% per unit for DSLRs.) Canon on the other hand is already sitting on the market share lead, and has been investing aggressively in technology. I think the 5DII sensor is just the harbinger of things to come: I predict the 1D4 sensor will really wow, improving on the 5DII's resolution and sensitivity while maintaining a blistering data rate for high FPS shooting. Nikon is going to have a tough time matching that with the Sony sensor in their D3X, especially considering how uniformly awful the high ISO results from the Sony A900 have been.

Do I wish for a digital equivalent of the original Canon EOS-3 (compact, pro-quality build and AF)? Of course. But Nikon will be making the DSLR equivalent to that camera, and in fact they're awfully close to it with the D700. The 5D line is more about squeezing one of those unwieldy Pentax or Fuji medium format SLRs into a 35mm body/lens form factor, and frankly Canon's been doing a bloody brilliant job of it. It sounds like you're looking for something else, something that Nikon is doing better. It doesn't make much sense to keep flogging Canon for what the 5D isn't when they're not going to be changing their tune any time soon -- while Nikon has heard you all along.
posted by DaShiv at 1:39 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


Full frame is the new medium format.
posted by zsazsa at 5:14 PM on September 24, 2008


That wedding pro you linked highlights the problem for me, DaShiv. He's hyperventilating about such coo-ur-gosh things as Live View and High-ISO shooting, which would only be novelties if you'd be living in a box or had stuck with a 5D waiting for an upgrade.

If you are still megapixel hungry, I can't disagree. But I do question whether that's the paramount concern of the stock/wedding/landscape set: I suspect they'd put a higher premium on image quality and dynamic range. After, those are what drew them to the 5D in the first place, as it was such a leap over the competitors. It's not unfair to say that only now, years later, are the other makers reaching its quality.

So the update to the 5D could reasonably have been expected to make a similar leap. They've put new sensor tech into the 50D sensor, for example -- imagine what quality that would have had spread over the larger frame. Instead, we got a pixel-cramming exercise, by no means the tour-de-force you're claiming. This lends more weight to stories like this one, which alleges that engineering has been held back by marketing demands for more MP.

This is why I'm so emotional about this: I and almost everyone I know invested in Canon because it did feel like they were pushing the envelope hard, but for the past few years the laurels have been firmly sat upon. The 5DII could have been a camera that went a long way to satisfying both of the sectors you mentioned, yet Canon pulled its punches. Presumably this was in part to protect the 1D but also, I have a strong suspicion, because in some areas (autofocus, especially) they didn't actually have anything better.

I suspect you're right about switching. I know that the speed with which the d3 has taken hold in our office among the PJs -- previously a 90% Canon lot -- has been startling. I still prefer Canon glass (the 85mm f1.2 especially), though I see Nikon has finally begun to refresh its primes. They're really going for Canon's jugular this year, which can only be a good thing for us all.

I have no doubt Canon will get its act together. They may even attempt to be competitive in pricing some day. But right now, they feel like a dozy corpulent corporate body only just awakening to what's afoot. I wouldn't dignify their latest offerings with deliberate movements: they're being reactive, trimming autofocus here to try and save the 1d, pushing pixels there to try and compensate. It's not strategic, it's a mess. And I'm disappointed, because when they get it right, they're great.
posted by bonaldi at 7:16 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wish that these cameras with LiveView also had rotatable LCD screens, because without that, LiveView is kind of a waste.

What I mean by that is; the point of LiveView (IMO,) is so that you can see what you're gonna take a picture of without having to look through the viewfinder. So it would be most useful in cases where, for example, you placed the camera on the ground or otherwise too low for you to get your head up to the viewfinder. An LCD screen that you could rotate up so that you could perfectly see what the camera's seeing is what SHOULD be happening. Instead you get a flat, non-movable screen that is only marginally easier to look at than a viewfinder from the types of angles that I think would be useful for it. There are plenty of point&shoot cameras out there that have this feature, so I really don't know why the more pro bodies don't.

For an example of what I'm talking about as far as the LCD screens, look up the Nikon Coolpic 5700/8700/8800. I haven't had any other cameras that do this, so that's my only point of reference in that regard.
posted by agress at 7:40 PM on September 24, 2008


correction: I know that the cameras in this FPP aren't "Pro" bodies per se. I really meant dSLR bodies, I suppose, since those are pretty considered Pro for most people.
posted by agress at 7:50 PM on September 24, 2008


alidarbac writes "Is ISO 25600 really that useful? When I go out and do night photography with my Canon 30D and I'm pushed to 1600NT with a f/2.8 lens or especially my Sigma 30mm f/1.4, it's already dark enough that autofocus becomes problematic. If I were in an environment that was dark enough that required ISO 25600, I doubt that you'd be able to focus, especially with the 5D MKII's old autofocus system."

These cameras still allow manual focus don't they? It's not that hard especially for most of the stuff you'd be taking pictures of by moonlight. I've taken multiple bricks of images by moonlight using 2-4 minute exposures on 800ASA, would have been nice to take at least some of them at 1/60s.

SteveInMaine writes "if you're a hobbyist will these cameras really take noticeably better photos than the $500 point-and-shoot models?"

Much better in that it allows you control. I've got an S3 IS and while a great little camera it blows for anything that isn't AF/AE capable. Manual focus especially is just painful on any PS I've used (if it even allows it).
posted by Mitheral at 10:45 PM on September 24, 2008


I guess I'm the only person here who thinks this is fundamentally revolutionary. Not the resolution--there are already video cameras that can handle HD.

No, what's revolutionary is that you now have HD on a platform with literally hundreds--perhaps even thousands of lens options. With most video cameras you get a crappy lens and a motorized zoom that makes every closeup a video testament to the inherent inefficiencies of cheap hardware. They look like video. This puts professional-looking video in the hands of amateurs. Vacation videos will never be the same.

Shit, movie production will never be the same. You folks complaining about 12-minute reel length are fucking clueless. Watched any movies recently? TV shows? When was the last time you can remember seeing a single take that was longer than 12 minutes? The kind of flexibility a setup like this provides makes me giddy with excitement.

Think of all the shit filmmakers have to put up with that we won't--expensive cameras, expensive lenses, length of time loading film, developing, changing lenses. With the 5Dii and a laptop you've got a movie studio you can fit in a freaking backpack.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:05 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


hundreds is pushing it, I'd say; there are something like 60 EF lens models in production and then there are third-party manufacturers who produce stuff more for the crop sensors than the full-frame sensor cameras.

The EF mount does handle adapted lenses fairly well (most every SLR mount except for the FD, weirdly) which adds to the sum, but, yeah, thousands is some gross exaggeration.
posted by heeeraldo at 11:56 PM on September 24, 2008


No, what's revolutionary is that you now have HD on a platform with literally hundreds--perhaps even thousands of lens options.

You mean they don't have HD video cameras that take film lenses?
posted by smackfu at 6:46 AM on September 25, 2008


You mean they don't have HD video cameras that take film lenses?

yeah, for LOTS more money.
posted by chuckdarwin at 8:46 AM on September 25, 2008


hundreds is pushing it

For just the Canon, sure. But if you throw the Nikon in the mix (and if history is any testament, they'll have one that can shoot twenty minutes out next year), then you start to get into the big numbers. Remember, the F mount goes way the fuck back. Like, to the 50s. There are a metric assload of options once you start talking Nikkor. And there's no reason why you shouldn't, either.

Maybe this might get you excited: this × 25600 ISO × 30fps = holy friggin' shit.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:51 AM on September 26, 2008


I get the idea about having more manual control in one of these cameras, that makes sense.

The argument against digital cameras for high-end work used to be that they had unacceptable shutter lag compared to film cameras. Has this been fixed in the current generation?
posted by SteveInMaine at 6:23 AM on September 26, 2008


Essentially yes. I'm not sure if D70 I was using was exactly as quick as my old N6000 but I couldn't notice a difference.
posted by Mitheral at 3:25 PM on September 26, 2008


For just the Canon, sure.
that was all I was talking about, there; hence the specific mention of EF lenses.

... (and if history is any testament, they'll have one that can shoot twenty minutes out next year),
I think the 12-minute limit is due to FAT32 being unable to format a file larger than 4GB, so that seems pretty likely, yeah.

then you start to get into the big numbers. Remember, the F mount goes way the fuck back. Like, to the 50s. There are a metric assload of options once you start talking Nikkor. And there's no reason why you shouldn't, either.
Wikipedia says the first F-Mount Nikkor surfaced in 1959. You can actually use adaptors to mount F lenses on EF bodies, which is pretty awesome. I imagine fitting them to the 5DmII would result in some interesting video; especially the goofy shit like the 6mm fisheye or the 2000mm manual focus prime.

Maybe this might get you excited: this × 25600 ISO × 30fps = holy friggin' shit.
I don't know how well that would work with current digital sensors, as they have UV/IR blocking filters over the sensors as is. You can get those removed to restore IR sensitivities (see here) but I have no idea if that would work with UV.

back to mounts: the problem I have with the F-mount is that while it's mostly backwards and forward compatible, but it seems like there's a lot of alphabet soup involved before I can be sure; depending on my lens/camera combination I could have a lens that works perfectly, or I may lose automatic metering, autofocus, aperture diaphragm control, possibly damage the camera body, or some combination thereof.
If I have an EF lens and an EF body, I know it'll mount, meter, focus, and have electronic aperture control.
It's a tradeoff, absolutely, and your decision is no more or less valid than mine and good gods I don't want this to become a system argument but I thought it best to share part of why I chose and stuck with the system I did in the face of Nikon's lineup and the other competitors advantages.
posted by heeeraldo at 11:10 PM on September 26, 2008


the problem I have with the F-mount is that while it's mostly backwards and forward compatible, but it seems like there's a lot of alphabet soup involved before I can be sure

Yes, having the rear lens element hit your sensor isn't fun. Additionally, Canon has a better tilt-shift line-up, which could be awesome to film with.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:30 PM on September 27, 2008


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