Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Canon 5D Mark II and RED news

Christopher Witz got hold of a Canon 5D Mark II and seems happy with it [My 5DM2 opinions....]. As a still camera he felt the resolution and noise levels were as good as his Canon 1Ds Mark III. In fact, the only advantage of the 1Ds III he feels is in frames per second and the buffer transfer. He also noted that the LCD of the 5D II is much better than the 1Ds III.

But it’s the video that he’s most excited by:

The video quality is "Oh my god" the 1st time you see it play back on a 1080p screen.... blacks are crushed a bit ( picture style fixable ) but that's ok....

Very little noise.... this thing practically sees in the dark.

On the other hand, he bemoans the inability to lock settings, suggesting that if you’re doing multiple takes and want to keep the settings identical, your best bet will be to leave the camera running between takes!

A little more troubling:

If you're planning on smoothing out your shaky footage with "smoothcam" or any other post stabilization you are not going to be happy. The rolling shutter is not obvious in normal shooting, but it will/does create a wobble with smoothcam.

He also found the Auto Gain Control annoying, cranking way up during quiet passages; so your best bet is probably to use external audio recording.

Canon 5D Mark II Unboxing
If you want to see a 5D II out of the box, there’s an unboxing here, though it’s not in English, so you have to guess at some of the images!

RED Announcements
They didn’t announce new products, but RED’s “ground breaking” announcement turned out to be lower prices on the recently announced cameras, as well as a trade-in program for RED ONE owners.

That the 3K Scarlet without lens is going to be $2,500 certainly must give those considering a 5D II some pause. The Scarlet will probably be a much better video camera than the 5D II. On the other hand, the 5D II will probably be a better still camera, and it’s available now (if you can actually find one!)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Canon 5D Mark II audio

Dan Carr is expecting his Canon 5D Mark II any day now, and in anticipation he's just posted an informative blog about the options for attaching external audio devices to the camera: Video accessories for the Canon 5D Mark II: Part 1 - Microphones.

Initial tests from various photographers indicate that the video quality is excellent, but the sound quality from the on board microphone is poor, not only that but it also picks up noise from the camera mechanisms such as the IS, aperture and just simply touching the camera body.

He covers some inexpensive external mics - like the Sennheiser MKE 400 - as well as XLR to 3.5mm converter boxes like those from BrachTek. I actually have an earlier model BeachTek, and can attest to their usefulness for using different professional mics with consumer video cameras.