Canon released a firmware update for the 5D Mark II and then pulled it off from the website because of some problems. Yeah scary stuff if it bricks your camera.
Canon fixed the problem and released a new firmware 2.0.4. I've been hesitating for a long time, because if I needed 24p I would shoot with the 7D or the 550D / T2i. If my 5D ain't broke why fix it??
Lately though, for some reason, people love to shoot with the 5DM2 and even pay to rent them. It seems that the gigs i'm being hired to do require me to update the camera for at least correcting the 30fps to a true 29.97. Since people are still considering buying the Canon 5D Mark II, maybe even some buying it used, I thought I would share the update experience. So here's my Canon EOS 5D Mark II firmware update 2.0.4 adventure. Firmware can be downloaded from Canon's website here.
This is part 1 of an idea i'm going to try and work on. Not sure it there will ever be a Part 2 to this! Basically the problem I want to provide a DIY solution for is a remote to start and stop video from the Canon 5D Mark II, 7D, 550D / T2i. Yes, there is the RC-1 for the 5D Mark II, but that works through infrared, line of sight, and only best in front of the camera. I need a remote that can start and stop video if my camera were on a Jib / Crane / Steadicam / Shoulder Rig, etc.
Here's two of the current solutions people are using today:
While both videos show a method of routing an infrared signal from front to back, it's not going to suffice in many situations that I plan on using my camera for. So check out my video (very top) on Part 1 of what I'm planning on doing. I'm using this $8.00 wireless 1CH remote and also got this used RC-1 from eBay for just $8.00 dollars. Let's see if you hear back from me on a successful DIY Wireless Remote for the Canon 5D Mark II or if it's an epic failure.... Stay tuned.
Let's face it, many of us put the 5D Mark II on the back burner when the 7D and T2i came around. With poor audio quality, no frame rate options, and a high price tag, it wasn't much for video. The only thing it had going for it was the Full Frame. With the new Canon 5D Firmware out to improve on those limited abilities, the video above posted by David Dang makes me fall back in love with my Canon 5D Mark II all over again. Now go sell your 7D's and T2i's, then click here to buy the Canon 5D Mark II!
If you're looking to get Razor Sharp focus on a DSLR, this post is for you! I've posted about Loupes before, but this Hoodman is just jumping off as the best price + features.
If you're not familiar with a LCD Loupe, it covers the LCD on your camera so you can not only see better color and contrast, but it will magnify the LCD so you can see pixel for pixel what's in focus and what's not. Nothing like poor focus to ruin good video footage. Plus it adds 'more looks per hour' to your mojo.
I've been reviewing quite a bit of different LCD loupes and personally own the LCDVF. The LCDVF is a great looking product that ties in nicely with the color scheme of Canon L lenses, but it lacks some features found on the Zacuto Z-Finder. The Hoodman has been around for quite some time, but it seems they've been putting alot of emphasis on video DSLR's. The Hoodman HLPP3 Hoodloupe Pro bundle with Eye cup is a perfect bargain because it comes in cheaper than other Loupes, and has more options than the LCDVF. This Hoodman comes with a diopter for those who have 'less than perfect vision', and actually straps to the camera. The Z-finder and LCDVF use a magnetic frame which you can easily knock the loupe off the camera (i've done it many times). I wished I held out a bit longer now, but maybe I'll just pick up a second. Check out the link below and get your's while they're in stock. With the new T2i out, i'm sure it will sell out very quickly.
The Canon T2i ( a.k.a 550D ) is hands down an awesome buy for any Videographer looking to get into DSLR video cameras. Taking virtually exact Video features from the Canon 7D for less than half the price, it's pretty much a no brainer for first time vDSLR buyers. It's a weird time right now for most people who purchased the 5D Mark II or Canon 7D. We used to feel good about having the most expensive cameras on the market, but now feel sort of silly for having overpayed on the features now available on the Canon T2i. Well I'll just try to convince myself that I'm a Pioneer or Veteran of DSLR video. There in the beginning, before this revolution of sorts. So what if I paid thousands more for video features that consumers can now pick up at the local Walmart? Well so that i'm not too left out, I think it's time I place an order for my Canon T2i.....
I picked up quite a few of these Kingston Compact Flash cards for video use. They are unbelievably cheap for it's size, and are rated to be fast enough for shooting video. They seem to work pretty awesome for the projects that i've been working on.
There are a few comments i'm concerned about. I've heard of a temp gauge going on when using these in the Canon 7D, and i've also heard that at times the card will start, overbuffer the camera, and then stop video recording all of a sudden. Maybe i'm not shooting anything long enough, using it enough, or maybe i'm doing something different. I'm sure photographers will never have these problems since they are just shooting photos.For video use, so far I haven't had any problems on the several that i've purchased. Anyone else try these cards for Video on DSLR's? Any comments?
The above video was shot at night while we were hanging out in Emeryville, Ca waiting to pick someone up from the train station. Two things I want to point out in this video. First off i'm using the BodyPod that I created not too long ago. The camera used in the video is the 5D Mark II + Battery grip + Canon 85mm F/1.2. If anyone knows this setup it's a beast and quite heavy. The DIY BodyPod camera stabilizer (for it's small discreet size) really met it's purpose, and i'm excited to start making a carbon fiber version that's even lighter and smaller. Next, I wanted to point out that in this video I'm shooting at 85mm at F/1.2 and if you know that aperture + distance it's super hard to keep something in focus. What helped me out with the whole F/1.2 at 85mm was using the LCDVF loupe. If you don't have one 'Get One'! You'll have better focus as these loupes are designed to Magnify the image on the LCD. Giving you better view of what pixels are in focus. The best LCD ViewFinder loupe going today is the Zacuto Z-Finder (below), but if you can't afford that, you can get the LCDVF from www.jag35.com.
There are two things i'm playing with in this video. The first is the LCDVF from jag35.com which is a View Finder adapter that magnifies your lcd so that you can clearly see what's in focus or not. (Similar to Z-Finder by Zacuto, but cheaper). It came with two mounts which work great for my 5D Mark II & 7D.
Well the LCDVF works awesome but I was a bit unsteady shooting handheld and focusing at the same time. I needed a bit more supprt, but something not too professional looking so that I can take around in public places. I saw this video http://vimeo.com/1658379 and decided to grab one.
I decided to order one for $24.00 dollars. Well I guess I can't complain. It supports the weight of the camera so that I can concentrate on focusing. For someone who's just starting out, $24.00 dollars is not a bad deal... Here's a link.
Probably the best rail for a DIY slider, I believe this would be the same as a Glidetrack, is the Linear Guide rail from Igus. Normally used for Robotics, these precision machined aluminum rails use Dry bearings to slide. No greasy bearings. A.K.A. ZaZa slider, you can find more information here http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=145701
After reading a few threads and checking out the ZaZa slider group over at Vimeo.com, I decided to build my own. This post is really late because I had already ordered this item about half a year ago, but finally decided to finish it with a Fluid Head. It pretty much just sat waiting for this last piece. It's a work in progress, i'll probably change from one Tripod to 2 (1 each side) for more stability. I'll use Quick Release plates on each end to break it down faster. Oh well, here's my first run.
[Update] After the popularity of this DIY Project, the company IGUS now sells the complete kit and some predrilled. Here's the link to grab possibly the cheapest high quality DSLR Video Camera slider: Igus DIY Slider Kits