Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Canon 5D Mark II Test Drive

I know, I'm obsessed. But here's a test drive of the Canon 5D Mark II by Dan Chung for The Guardian.

Even better, he comments on his experiences at the DVInfo site. Some interesting comments about the limitations he encountered, particularly a problem using the HDMI output to drive an external monitor while shooting. (Note that another poster asked about using the standard video out instead, which he hasn't - yet - responded to.)

1. In Movie mode the HDMI outputs 1080i when you are framing up and sorting focus and exposure. […] the moment you hit record it changes the output to 480p, worse the resolution change forces both HDMI displays I've tested to take about a second to adjust in which time you see nothing!

2. The image quality is stunning in low light, even at its maximum 3200asa it is still usable.

8. The rear screen is actually very good and can be zoomed up twice to check focus on specific spot. However when you start to record you can no longer zoom to check focus, your subject had pretty well be standing still, follow focus is going to be impossible. This coupled with the HDMI problem is going to rule this camera out for most run and gun use I think. Odd as one of the primary markets for the 5DmkII is supposed to be news photographers doing video.

In a later post he notes a problem forcing the camera to go to maximum aperture when using automatic lenses.

He seems to think that the camera will be useful for those wanting to use it as a special effects second camera, but that it won't really replace a dedicated video camera in most situations, and it may be difficult for those in news/wedding situations etc., to use effectively.

Canon 5D MkII, RED, YouTube goes wide

Reports are that the Canon 5D Mark II started leaving the Canon distribution centers today, though Amazon and B&H Photo still list it as unavailable or available in December. The big question (after "when will they appear in stores?") is how many do they have and how many back orders are there? If you didn't pre-order, you might not see one until January...

Adobe, meanwhile, has updated their Camera RAW plug-in to support the Canon 5D Mark II.

RED, fresh from their announcement of the DSMC (Digital Stills and Motion Camera) System back on November 13th, now say there's going to be another big announcement on December 3rd. Everything has changed... says the post.

Finally, YouTube now supports widescreen video! You can upload video that are 960 pixels wide. They also now allow you to upload a maximum of 1GB (up from 250MB) but the length of the video is still limited to 10 minutes.

I recently created a Vimeo account precisely because YouTube didn't support widescreen video. Viemo still has one leg up on Vimeo; they don't limit the video to 10 minutes in length.

Monday, November 24, 2008

November 24th

Anything you can do...

It seems that Nikon might have a new full-frame sensor camera up it's sleeve - the Nikon D400 - that might get announced next week (or it might not.) While there's speculation about the resolution, release date, and other features, the biggest question of all is; will it support video like the D90 does, and might it support 1080p like the Canon 5D Mark II does.

It will be interesting to see if Nikon does announce this camera next week, given that it's just about the time that the 5D MkII is expected to start showing up in stores.

YouTube Project: Direct

Anyone see The Onions joke announcement of a competition run by YouTube to produce a video "that is somewhat watachable or provide even a shred of enjoyment for people other than those that made the video" ?

All good fun.

Well I missed the fact that there is a competition on YouTube called Project: Direct, where you could win a trip to the Sundance Film Festival. The film must include a red phone, 2 props from a list of 25, and can't be longer than 5 minutes.

You have until December 14th to enter.