Canon 5D MKII: Mindblowing HD Video

Posted by Scott

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"Mindblowing Full HD" was how Gizmodo yesterday described the newly announced Canon 5D Mark II’s video capabilities. Vincent Laforet, who calls the 5D "the best camera ever", was one of the first to take the new camera for a spin and the results are undeniably striking. The stills you see above are from video he shot using the $2700 body and $25,000 in lenses (a list of the lenses he used are at the Gizmodo post). The video, while still not official available, has leaked onto YouTube giving us at least a glimpse of the quality we can expect from the final (view video below).

Gizmodo had this to say about Laforet’s experience creating the video:

"That and a $2700 DSLR body. A testament to its ease of use is that Laforet is a photographer; he has no professional film experience and had never used the 5D Mark II before, yet was able to storyboard, cast, shoot and edit the clip in just two days, with less than 12 hours notice. In particular he noted that dumping the MPEG-4 video takes way less time than it would with an actual HD camera. The only issue that would stop a person from shooting a TV pilot solely with this camera is sound matching, he says. If that’s covered, you’re gold."

I think that’s the most compelling aspect of the 5D: it’s accessibility. Such a powerful tool which yields such amazing results will empower scores of artists looking to break into motion work. I realize that at $2700 the 5D  sits at a price threshold a little beyond the grasp of a lot of us, but high-end video of this caliber has never come this cheap and when you take into account the fact that the 5D also more than covers your DSLR needs the whole package starts to look like a sound investment for photographer and videographer alike.

I don’t know about you guys, but the argument for 5D supremacy is becoming more and more convincing as Canon slowly reveals what it’s capable of. I am still holding out for a head-to-head versus the D700 which, although lacking in video capability, is apparently a low light performer. Whatever the case may be, such a versatile tool as the 5D would make a welcome addition to any graphic designer’s kit. 

How about you guys, have you started saving up?

20 Comments Leave A Comment


Kristian Roebuck says:

September 22, 2008 at 7:40 am


I can certainly see those ‘DV Rebel’ movie makers producing some visually stunning short films on a low budget. The only other piece of kit they need to add is some form of connecting an external mic. I can imagine that would generate healthy sales.

I’m sure successor to the D700 will be equally capable of producing 1080p goodness, it just means playing the waiting game.

In that time, I best get saving and script writing!


Justin says:

September 22, 2008 at 7:46 am

It looks like a much better implementation of video than the D90, and the prospects of full frame video is pretty exciting, but as a wedding photographer low light and focus performance trumps everything for me. I don’t think I’d jump ship unless Canon could really put a dent in Nikon’s full-frame high ISO performance, which right now is still light years ahead.

Sadly I think most Canon people wanted more 1D-like features instead of video since this is a pro body. The reception has been pretty sour b/c of that.


Scott says:

September 22, 2008 at 8:45 am

I can imagine some people would be upset. I guess it’s just that I was planning to get a new DSLR and have been looking into video cameras, so getting both in one package would be ideal. that said, I really don’t want to sacrifice camera performance just to get a jack of all trades.


George says:

September 22, 2008 at 8:48 am

Depending on a few more tests, Ill be saving for this I think.

Ill need to get someone to buy it in the US for me though as its way outta my $ range in the UK. (actually its outta my $ range anyway but hey…)


Agustin says:

September 22, 2008 at 10:14 am

The 5D mark I was a good low light performer, so I’d expect the Mark II to follow suite.

The 5D is definitely in my plan of purchases in the next few years, although obligations and need of an expanded lense and equip. repetoire supersedes a new camera.


Scott says:

September 22, 2008 at 10:24 am

yeah, I have been surprised to hear a lot of people saying the nikons were better in low light. I was always under the assumption (perhaps false) that the 5D mk1 was amazing in low light.


Ben Blood says:

September 22, 2008 at 10:41 am

One thing that worries me is (except for the “leaked” YouTube videos) I have yet to see a sample video where the camera is NOT stationary. Also, the videos also feature a subject that is primarily stationary as well.

Then I saw this video of the Nikon D90. While this may be bogus, I would still like to see the panning or tracking performance of the 5D mkII.


gustaf says:

September 22, 2008 at 12:53 pm

This is pretty incredible… really nice looking stuff. Could open up tons of possibilities to the motion graphically inclined. Ben does have a good point though… one has to be wary of “demo magic” at these early stages.


bryan says:

September 22, 2008 at 8:49 pm

ohhhhhhhhhhh man @ that D90 wobble test link. ^ that kills me.

thanks for this post. eagerly awaiting Laforet’s video – looks like there’s a decent amount of ‘wobbling’ going on in that youtube clip, so we’ll see how it stands up!


Andrew J. says:

September 22, 2008 at 9:40 pm

Ahhhh! That clip is amazing… but it just makes me sad. Just to think of what I could do with that quality… too bad i will never afford it making 7.25 an hour haha.
The D90’s hd vid is good enough quality for me though, I’m seriously thinking of switching to a D90, I wonder how much I could get for my D80?
But seriously this HD video trend opens so many doors because everyone knows that inside most photographers there’s a cinematographer waiting for something like this! And when the quality is this good? ughhh I dont even want to think about it.


Geoff Teehan says:

September 23, 2008 at 10:34 am

The quality on Vincent’s video is amazing – I would love to see the full 1080p version. Admittedly that link to the D90 wobble video scares the crap out of me and I hope it’s a non-issue on the 5DMKII (I preordered one yesterday – but will definitely cancel it if it’s a problem)


Adie says:

September 30, 2008 at 10:30 am

I would gladly welcome 5DMK2 with 13MPix sensor with better low light performance and fast AF than this MegaPixel monster with HD video. I must say I do like Nikon’s approach better.


Team Roster says:

October 29, 2010 at 6:50 pm

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