Monday, December 08, 2008

Canon 5D Mark II Video Monday!!!

Good Morning Everybody,
It’s true – finally today you get to see the next great video produced with the Canon 5D Mark II camera. And wait, there’s more – I’ve got a couple new images to toss in as well.

I hope everybody had a great weekend. LaDawn and I are all settled back in Cincy. We left Cabo at 85degrees only to arrive home to 25 degrees and snow. Hey, it's still home. We've got a pretty busy next few days as we move into the final couple weeks before our holiday deadlines. But, as promised, I’ve got a lot of good stuff for you today.

First and foremost - New Canon 5D Mark II video
My friend, Kent Smith, picked up his 5D Mk II the day before we departed for Cabo. Needless to say, we had a blast playing with it down in sunny Mexico.

I know you don’t want to wait, so I'm kicking the post off with the video first. Hit the PLAY button below and enjoy one of the best Canon 5D Mark II videos on the web!! So folks I present to you a brand new Canon 5D Mark II video entitled, "Live Your Life." Enjoy! -David

Live Your Life - Created With Canon 5D Mark II from David Ziser; on Vimeo.

The rest of the story... A few weeks ago Kent had the opportunity to borrow the 5D Mark II from our Canon rep while she was in the Columbus, Ohio area. Kent only had the camera for a short amount of time - just a few hours one evening, but that was long enough for him to produce a terrific series of images and video clips of the young lady that you're going to see in this video.

You know, many of us are talking about the convergence of still and video imagery and a tremendous possibilities it offers each and every one of us in our profession. It's very exciting!

I think when you look at Kent's video, you will be awestruck by number one, the possibilities that this convergence offers, and number two, the quality of the finished result. This video only takes about 3 1/2 minutes to play but, I bet you watch it over and over again. It is chock full of so many ideas for the portrait/wedding/senior photographer that I think it may blow your mind.

Here's additional background on the video. Kent did all the photography at his studio. His studio is newly equipped with Westcott’s new 900 watt Spyderlites. Westcott’s Spyderlites are perfectly balanced for daylight shooting and they are bright enough to stop the action of the moving subject.

He shot everything on 8 gig SanDisk Extreme IV cards, but we found while playing around in Mexico that the Sandisk Extreme III cards work just as well.

The whole project was put together on my Mac Book Pro laptop using Apple’s I-Movie HD software. Kent normally edits in Final Cut Pro but without the benefit of this program in Mexico, he got the hang of I-Movie quickly and we were able to organize and produce a great show. What amazed me was the project size of this 3 1/2 minute video -- 3.6 gigs!

I saved the video out as a high quality QuickTime .mov file which rendered to 132 Megs. Next, I uploaded the QuickTime file to Viddler, but wasn’t happy with the final result. I think the Viddler compression scheme was too hard on the video and it lost too much quality for this project. After returning home, on Sunday, I gave Vimeo a try and had much better luck.

The video was sized to 640x480, but I still think you will be impressed and inspired as to what great possibilities are in store for creative photographers.

So, hit the play button again and again and see what you think.

More Thoughts On These Wonderful High ISOs.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. One of the biggest kicks for me up with the new camera, are these unbelievably high super usable ISO settings. I just think this opens up tons of possibilities for us wedding photographers.

With this camera, it's so easy to capture those wonderful non-intrusive, non-flash images on the wedding day. And, we don't even need big fat glass to do it. The new camera really makes it super easy to catch those great shots with lenses that don't break the bank. WOW, life is good!

Now I know that there's going to be some readers saying, "Well, what about the shallow depth of field?" Folks, I guess were I sit, that's not nearly as important to me as getting the shot and capturing that great expression, that sensitive mood, those spontaneous feelings on the subjects face. These new high ISO cameras - in my mind, make it easier than ever for us to be able to do just that.

I know, I know, the Nikon readers are saying the we've had high ISOs for the last year. I know you have and I hope you've been making the best of it. Unfortunately, from the many comments I receive many seem to be still afraid of those wonderfully high ISOs.

Think about it - now our candids will have the availability to take on a wonderful new look capturing that low light ambiance without any problem at all! I see myself shooting routinely at ISO 3200, and sometimes it's 6400. Shooting at 3200/6400 ISO at F5.6 at 1/60 second means that our cameras will be picking up a lot more ambient light at the wedding reception. That ambient light is going to give us a much greater feeling of depth and dimension in our portrait/wedding candids.

Just as an additional side note; many of you may think I'm crazy even bringing it up but, those very high ISOs also allow the flash to use much less power with each flash. That means that one set of batteries should last us for the entire job.

Now you all know that I'm a shooter who loves to use two and three lights at the wedding reception. It gives me a great look in my candids - detail, depth, dimension, etc, - that differentiates me from a lot of the shooters in the Cincinnati area. Add a high ISO to the equation and the photography, and those candids can only become even better and more exciting.

Another ramification of the high ISOs is a fact that I can use less powerful light as my room light and for my second light (off camera flash) my assistant carries. This means, it makes it eminently easier for me to get the same lightning I've been getting for years with substantially lower power output. I can't wait to experiment with this and see what I can come up with.

You know, another benefit of the higher ISOs, is that when I’m shooting with room lights firing, since they would be using much less power with each flash, the recycle time should be almost instantaneous. And what's that mean it means that the flashes can keep up with the rapid firing of my digital SLR.

Every way I try to think about this, the versatility of the higher ISOs, everything keeps coming up roses. Sometimes I think I'm the only wedding photographer on the high ISO. But when you're shooting a shot every 9 seconds for 10 hours, every little bit helps. These higher ISO cameras are one of the biggest most recent benefits ever for us wedding guys.
Canon 5D Mark II For The Photo(Visual) Journalist
You need to check out this review of the 5D Mk II over at MoPhoto blog. Here is the link. David Stephenson, a staff photojournalist at the Lexington Herald-Leader, provides a great take on just how photojournalists could use this camera. Be sure to watch his 5D Mark II video too - its worth it.
David offers some great in-depth insights into the use - application, focus, editing, etc. - of the Canon 5D Mark II in video mode. It's a post you need to read as we all try to get our heads around the convergence of still images and video. Every new piece of info is valuable - if you have a link to what's going on with this camera in other parts of the world, let us all know in the comments section below. All this stuff is just way to cool!

Hey gang, that's it for me today. I can't wait to get my hands on one of those new cameras myself, hopefully by the weekend because I get another big event coming up, and I can't wait to try some of these previous ideas I've discussed. I'll see everybody tomorrow for another episode of Technique Tuesday: How To Photograph a Bride. See ya' then. -David


  1. David - just wanted to say thanks for all your work on your blog. I've learnt a ton from you.

    I've just finished watching your latest KelbyTraining video which went live over the weekend - excellent stuff! Your classes were the reason I subscribed to KelbyTraining (though not the only reason to stay subscribed... ;)

    I have no interest at all in *ever* shooting weddings :) but your videos teach so much about lighting, flash, composition and posing that I've found them absolutely invaluable.

    Thanks once again!

  2. wow - great stuff David! I've added a 'trackback' to our 5d wiki at - check the 'status' page


  3. Just goes to show that not everyone is qualified to make a video. Yuck.

  4. there was no way I could watch this video more than once...i could barely get through it the first time. What's up w/ the models' sexual tongue movements when she lipsyncs?

  5. Thanks children for your typical idiot comments left above. This video was not to showcase someone creative work ... or make a great video, but it was to show the capabilities of a new camera - stills and video. You obviously missed the point. Did you read the blog before you made comments? Try to be an adult here folks.
    For putting this together quickly, it's a pretty amazing job ... but that again is not the point. The video that this "still" camera can do is just amazing, that's the point.
    Did I like the models licking of her upper teeth in this video? No, but that's not the point. The point of this video is to showcase the technology of a camera. It also show how this technology might be used.
    So, in the end, your comments are WAY of base and had nothing to do this the topic. Grow up too. Geeze.

  6. Actually, the model licking her teeth was the only thing I did like...

  7. This just shows that making a good video has nothing to do with technology. Thanks.

    Reverie of Vincent Laforet was Ok but this is just awful to watch. Pure kitsch.

  8. I think she's hot. I think the pictures were hot, and I think the video capabilities is hot hot. Leave your name and email next time, kids, so we can harass your idiot asses for your idiot remarks.

  9. Great stuff. I'm loving the possibilities. Now if mine would only get shipped.


  10. I disagree with most of the above comments. The output of the 5DmkII is impressive. The video skills of your friend Kent aren't to shabby either considering he only had the camera for one afternoon. Like you said, lots of ideas for senior pics. The sexy tongue is a little amateurish. I am planning to replace an old 5D with this.

  11. Hi David,

    Firstly thank you so much for your site, a real inspiration and education in the world of photography.

    With regards to this post, I am very intrigued and curious, about yours and your friends experiences making this video. Ever since seeing the Nikon D90 and the Canon 5DII, I have been following a similiar line of thought about how this could shape the future of photo shoots. However, in the opinions of those that made this and in your professional experience, how much work is something like this, for a photographer, naturally video and 35mm need different lighting concepts and planning. Was that alot of work, did you find a good way to work with both, it seems the two ran very separately. Which runs the question why use a 5DII when you could take pictures and video separately already. Anyhow I would love to know more about the challenges you see with this workflow. For example, I doubt one person could do this a wedding, if, I'm video'ing I can't be taking pictures, they have different needs, I assume saying "action" during a wedding could prove too intrusive :) and video must require alot more work and planning ahead of time, with lens choices, and chnages in lighting anyhow againj, I love this concept but wonder your take on the reality of you moving this way in future wedding event shots?

    Many Thanks David, keep up the great education

  12. Is this a prank? In two days are you going to reveal this wasn't actually shot with the 5DmII?

    If not, I apologize. I don't mean to offend anyone.

  13. Wow. I didn't see this one coming. If I wanted to work the senior market I wouldn't be able to sleep until I was able to do what Kent did. See you in the Spring.

  14. David--great video. Next time you edit a video, export it as a HD QuickTime H.264, in wider specs. Vimeo shows HD video--to get the wide treatment, that's all you have to do.

  15. Interesting video.... but since most of us deal in the creative arts (ie. photography). I wonder if persmission was given for the music? Or was copyright violated here... we would be quick to comment if someone "used" pics without permission... just wondering sense the ending credit isn't what you'd find in a situation when you do have copyright...

  16. Dave,
    I have watched this video a number of times and I am amazed at the quality of the images both video and incorporated stills. Kent's use of both the video and still capability of the camera was inspiring. There are a lot of creative possibilties with this camera's features. I am surprised that some individuals made negative comments concerning the video. I guess that they just missed the point that the video was done to show the features of the new and improved 5D. Congratulations to you and Kent on a job well done.

  17. Thanks for the video feature. Not wild about the music or the Ken Burns effect, but the effort is still appreciated. The tongue is distracting to me only because it's unnatural to go to your gum line while smiling to make an "L" sound (not that I demand a realistic lypsync or anything). Regardless, the internet is full of hormones, Mr. Ziser. Don't pay attention to the crude comments.

    When you get to your future posts about the 5DmkII's video capabilities, I'd appreciate it if you mentioned the camera's performance when panning through different lighting situations (i.e. how it handles the dynamics of a bright foreground and dark background in motion). The video seems to show a fast correction for light levels at the 2:10 mark. I'm wondering if there's any option to lock in the exposure setting beforehand. I'd rather mess with levels and color-correction in post-proc rather than have the camera do it automatically.

    Thanks again!

  18. The quality is definitely great and I can see how this option will be nice to have in a studio setting. Like other 5D movies I've seen, the camera is typically on a tripod and focused on one spot during the scene. From what I've read, the autofocus is basicly non-existent in video mode (other than just before the filming starts), so using it at a wedding reception would be difficult at best. Maybe you can get some nice scenes of the slow moving ceremony, but the videographer is supposed to be working that angle. I'm sure this technology will be advanced quickly in the near future, but it's not much more than a gimmic to me at this time.
    I know that they don't compare, but I've tested out a Nikon D90 and found that the live-view focusing is pretty marginal in medium to low light situations. The video quality is great, but without autofocus, there are limitations to those of us who's eyesight makes it difficult to manualy focus with much ease.

  19. Hi David, I was wondering if at some point you could touch on the quality of the 10MP sRAW of the 5DMKii and if it produces as good or better output than the 40D did.


  20. Thanks for posting this David. It shows exactly what it was intended to show... the possibilities of combining stills with video and what can be created with the same camera. It does open up a bunch of workflow questions and questions of profitability but creatively it is exciting.

  21. Absolutely hated the music!!!!

    John Rivera

  22. Well I guess no comment meant they ripped off the music. I would have expected better from fellow creative artists.

  23. david, i have to completely disagree with your assessment of the mark ii's high iso performance. i have my own mini review here and aim retty unimpressed:

  24. Personally I don't see this new "Video within a DSLR" as the next coming of the industry. I suspect this will add hours to a pro's workflow for a relatively little gain in $$$.

    As for the video itself - less is more would be my motto - a bit too long I would suggest - other wise very well produced.

  25. Give people a platform where they can comment and you will be surprised how many nasty people have somehow found a way to work a computer nowadays. Don't let it get to you, I liked the clip a lot, the model is sexy, with our without the tongue movements she can visit me any time (for a photoshoot of course);)
    These nasty people are probably just jelous 'cause they have an ugly mama sitting at home telling them what to do all day. ;)

    The 5D mark II is awesome (got mine yesterday and your clip really made me feel happy and ready to rock with it!) Unfortunately some clown apparently sold me a fake Sandisk extreme IV 4 Gb card more than a year ago. It can't even keep up with the HD movie writing, this only proofs you don't need a real Extreme IV with a 400D, because I have been using it without any problems for over a year :)

    Have fun creating!

  26. Hi, I home I'm not being a pain posting to a new blog here, but I was wondering what lenses you used for this video?

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