Archive for May 26th, 2009

Canon 5D Mark-II: 50% there

Canon announced today it will release a firmware update for the EOS 5D Mark II allowing users to manually control exposure when shooting video. The firmware update will include the following manual controls when shooting video:

* Full aperture selection
* ISO speed: Auto, 100 – 6400 and H1
* Shutter speed: 1/30th – 1/4000th second

This, in addition to its exposure compensation, exposure locking abilities, and gamma/color/picture settings that can be modified via templates generated with Canon’s PC/Mac accompanied 5D application.

This new firmware makes the 5D MII the best video camera out there for DV Rebels, and by far the best DSLR video camera out there. Of course, there are a slew of video-specific hardware features missing (e.g. XLRs), but in terms of actual visual quality obtained with its 38 mbps h.264 files, and with its new basic control options, it beats anything in that price range. Especially if you have some good lenses for it.

The only other feature that matters for us DV Rebels and that’s _really_ missing is frame rate support. 24p (=23.976) is still not there, and its 30p is 30.00 fps instead of 29.97. Additionally, 720p at 60p would have been nice too (for slow-motion usage). If Canon fix these two small problems (easy to implement), it has a real winner in its hands. There was a rumor a few weeks ago where someone said that Canon doesn’t want to implement 24p in its 5D in order to not cannibalize its prosumer cameras, but truth is, people are asking for it — a lot. They will have to comply.

In our home, we are 60% ready to buy the new 5D. Before today’s announcement, we were 10% ready. So we are close. But still not there. Add some frame rates that make sense, and then we will buy it with closed eyes. Promise.