Canon 5D MKii

Our choice of camera

Canon EOS 5D MKII: The DSLR as Video Camera – The Revolution

I come from a film photography background and have been shooting digital with the Canon brand for the past 6 years or so.
I’m a bit of a geek, love new technology and I have to know the latest in new developments. So, when the 5Dmkii camera was released I had to get my hands on one – main reason for buying this bad boy – Photography, my passion. That was 3 years ago.
Below is what I now know from this camera that we all came to love and respect.

Video is the new photography.
HDSLRs were born a little over 3 years ago – and my life and that of many others has forever been changed as a result.
Unless you’ve been ‘off the grid’ for the last couple of years you know that there is a Revolution happening in the world of photography, video and film-making. It has been called New Media, Fusion or Convergence.
Whatever you call it, photographers everywhere are starting to experiment and capture motion with their video enabled DSLR cameras.

We’ve been shooting with the Canon 5D MKII for almost 3 years now, and love it. It shoots 1080p, and boasts the only full-frame, 35mm sensor on the market.
The intended market for this camera upon it’s release in 2008 was for journalist’s who needed to post stories online with both stills and moving images and sound.
We as wedding photographers, also falls somehow within this category as documenting a wedding day is journalistic photography.
The single strongest characteristic that helps DSLR video look cinematic or filmic is its range of depth-of-field characteristics.
The large sensor (full frame or APS) and DSLR camera body allows the use of standard fixed 35mm lenses which can deliver an extremely shallow depth-of-field and the accompanying soft backgrounds that cinematographers and photographers love.

Tech specs of the EOS 5D MKii:
This DSLR stills camera take 21MPixel photos plus it can record HD (1920 x 1080 pixel) movie files.
For anyone taking stills, these are impressive numbers, however for those in the film and video business, the arresting numbers are the sensor dimensions, the physical size of the image capture device or chip.
5D sensor (full frame 35mm) – 36mm x 24mm
RED Digital camera – 24.4mm x 13.7mm
Super 35mm film (movie) frame – 24.9mm x 18.7mm
7D sensor – 22.2mm x 14.8mm

This is a realm where size does matter, and so, whilst the number of MPixels the sensor and camera system can record is important, HD is 1920 x 1080 – only 2 MPixel.
Once you have that number of pixels, you have “true” HD capability. After that, the chip size significantly determines image quality and resolution, and, offers the possibility of that elusive and very desirable “cinematic look” or quality, shallow depth of field – also called “background defocus”.
Although the DSLR video movement has been driven by technology, it has become more about the challenge and the opportunity to learn and create.
The Convergence of motion and photography has enabled the masses and unleashed a wave of creativity. It’s a Revolution people!
If you’re a photographer with experience in digital photography, then you already have many of the skills necessary to join the video revolution.
Don’t get left behind.

Canon has just unveiled the new EOS C300 and announced that they are working on the next generation of EOS movie camera capable of shooting 4K resolution, the “EOS C” Cine – DSLR. The name could possibly change to Canon 5D MKiii on launch. Lets see what happens. We certainly won’t mind an upgrade to a 4K capable camera 🙂


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