Audio is handled by a built in mic that does a reasonable job of getting what is in front of it. Being in the body of the camera, handling noise is a problem. Hence, Canon provides a stereo 3.5mm jack for you to plug in a powered semi-pro shotgun mic. A mono Røde video mic, was used in tests, proving very up to the job.
Unless you want to go the whole hog and buy an adaptor for XLR mics and ride the audio input, you’ll have to rely on the camera’s auto levels. Curiously, the stereo audio is recorded at 44.1kHz at 16-bit, when 48kHz is the norm for HD recording – another reason that editing or converting footage may run into difficulties. Certainly, the broadcasting industry is taking an interest, turning this small DSLR into a cinema camera; producing accessories including pull focus, monitors from the HDMI, and different manual lenses – the latter being of considerable importance, until now.
Battery life suffers with HD usage, so a battery pack is an option
When used as an HD video camera, the 5D Mk II gave you little control over the settings with ISO, aperture and even shutter speed being set without much intervention. Various workarounds for the lack of total control included using manual Nikon lenses. However, the release last week of Canon’s user-installable firmware update put an end to these cheats, effectively transforming the 5D MkII from a 'let’s see what we can get and hope for the best' camera, into a fully manual HD video camera with interchangeable lenses. So, how does it work in practise?
With Live view selected and in 'M' mode only, you have control over the shutter speed, aperture and the ISO rating. The variable shutter speed allows you to stop down on bright subjects/days and continue to capture video with your desired depth of field.
Prior to this update, you could be using great lenses that were automatically set to small apertures around f8 to f16. It was like shooting with a camcorder, because everything was in focus from 0.2m to infinity – and beyond. You just couldn’t apply the advantages of a large sensor and big apertures of f2.8/f4, where objects can be sent out of focus – possible even on wide-angle lenses. Now, with manual control of the lens aperture, the one that people were trying to cheat around, this level of creative freedom is possible.
Likewise, for the ISO range – the pseudo film stock variable. This can now be manually set to correct or balance the decisions in shutter and aperture settings. It goes right up to ISO 12800. While perhaps a little noisy at this extreme, if you don't happen to have an on-camera light then, this may save your bacon. It can, effectively, see in the dark, and will keep the shutter up above 1/30th second, so as not to get the ghosting that happens at slower shutter speeds.
Next page: Sample Shots
Live view & lenses
>>Live View seems to be for camera phone numpties with a little too much cash.
It's difficult to frame a shot when holding the camera at arms length above the head - being able compose the shot using the display is very useful when photographing in a large crowd.
I'd second what several people have pointed out - quality optics (ie an L series lens) are essential to get the most out of a camera like this. Factor in upto £5k for a set of "fast" lenses. My ideal bag would include wide (16-35mm f2.8L), portrait (24-70mm f2.8L or 50mm f1.2L) and telephoto (70-200mm f2.8L IS USM).
Then you will need filters (UV, polarising), lots of memory cards, batteries, a sound tripod, remote shutter switch, flash unit and bag. You will probably also want a spare body too just in case....
Being a photo enthusiast can be very costly!
The pickpocket because carrying a bag containing several thousand pounds worth of kit around makes you a target for those who would part you from it...
I'll get my coat - check my wallet - Bah!
I'm saving up for one of these.
There is a great demo video you can have a look at called "Reverie", which you should be able to find by Googling the words below.
EOS 5D Mark II Video Reverie
Pedants, the lot of you
Yea, it was not the first (and only arguably the best), poor comment from the author either badly researched or a typo, but unlike the view of many posters this is not a history of digital article (which would be interesting, anyone remember Studiokit from the mid 90s? or the leica S series, again larger than full frame in the mid 90s?).
Stu hits the nail on the head when he brings it back to lenses, although it's not quite as simple as saying over 12 needs better lenses;
. Lots of pixels (to give the definition)
. Physically large sensor (to ensure enough photons hit the pixels)
. Big glass (to allow lots of light in)
This is why the 10Mp £49 ASDA compact is a world away from the 10Mp EOS 400D, there's lots of detailed reasons why (bokeh, circles of confusion) but it all comes down to the three factors above, get lots of light and chop it up into small bits (but not too small or reciprocity and wavelength becomes a factor).
I remain unconvinced by the article, there's a lot of space that says loads of things (some of the example images used were useless) but makes no relevant comparisons or real reasons why the 5DMk2 is so good, I have some great pictures that directly compare images on my 400D and 5DMk2 using both the 70-200 F2.8L IS and 400 F2.8L IS (the 100-400 pictured is a good lens but poor compared to these two) - A Mk1/Mk2 comparison woudl have made far more sense.
It has really undersold the 5DMk2
I didn't use enough exclamation marks the first time!!!!!
Oh god not again
"With a sensor this size, finally, here was a way of getting the original focal length of your old 28mm lens back from the scaling beyond 40mm that occurs when used with smaller sensor cameras."
Repeat after me: The focal length doesn't change! It never changes! It is a physical property of the lens!