5D Mark II Team

Improvements & Gear

Frustration is Growing – Answer Required

Comment by Anonymous, April 26, 2009:

Editor’s note: Although this comment may seem harsh or “rude”, it reflects the feeling of THOUSANDS of current customers. So we decided to post it.


Although I’m hoping for the best, Canon’s silence is curious. Canon is hurting themselves and their customers.

CANON can you hear us?

One of the following sentences would go a long way in helping you (Canon) and your 5D Mark II customers:

1. We are sorry, but firmware for manual controls for video is not coming on this model. It is technically possible, but it’s not something we are going to do in this model.

2. We are sorry, but firmware for manual controls for video is not coming. It is not technically possible.
(HOWEVER, this would be a BIG LIE, because the camera AE program is already managing the three values: Aperture, Shutter speed and ISO. So what is only required is to rewrite some firmware code, not entirely at all, just small part of it, to let the user set these values manually, wich is much easier than writing a program to manage them all properly)

3. Due to the tremendous demand and response for this camera, we are working on a new firmware to add FULL MANUAL CONTROLS for video. We hope to have something available in the next (??) weeks. (then tell us what you are going to add for sure and what you are trying to add)

Canon, your silence is creating harsh feelings and driving away lens sales. It’s an economic shame for someone to sell a great product and then alienate a substantial portion of those customers over your refusal to answer a simple question. Just give us a yes or no answer to a firmware update for manual controls.

One of your top competitors, Nikon, has announced that they understand the excitement over the use of DSLR’s for Video and they are adding manual control to a few of their models for video. They see the light and they are doing a retro upgrade. Their new camera started shipping this week, and they announced an firmware upgrade.

While we are growing increasingly frustrated at your silence, we have been working around some of your shortcomings by using a Nikon manual lens. I purchased Nikon Lens adapters and yesterday purchased a 200mm prime Nikon Lens. I will continue to use my Canon L zoom lens for walking around shots but I am now watching my 2 Canon “L” Lenses sit on the table while I use 4 Nikon Lens to make money.

I have had the Camera for 5 months now. You have lost out of 2-3 lens sales during that time. Sorry. but it’s your own fault.

With the addition of Nikon lens, I have more choices when it comes time to buy another camera. You missed tying me into your brand by forcing me to buy Nikon lens.

Give us FULL MANUAL CONTROL now and then come out in 2 years with a new model that has even more video features (xlr audio, time code, maybe a better video codec and continuous full frame HDMI live out) and you will surely enjoy continued market leadership, success, and customer loyalty. You have good technology, you just need help on features.

Canon, here is one more piece of advice for you. If there is any doubt as to interest and market potential of this camera for video, then your people aren’t doing their job. Before NAB 2009, the internet chatter was huge. From the reports coming out of NAB, there were a substantial number of vendors exhibiting equipment to be used with your camera (and future DSLR’s). NAB was pretty quiet this year. However, the 5D Mark II was ALL OVER THE SHOW FLOOR. Major show, major buzz. You are selling a GAME CHANGER. If you don’t “get it” by now, then you need to seriously consider replacing some of your managers or at least send them back to business school and have them take “customer service 101” and “marketing 101”.

We are STUNNED by the beautiful imagery from this camera for Full HD video, but MORE stunned by the INABILITY to shoot consistent video for that purpose and by your subsequent SILENCE.

Just like the build up of buzz on the beautiful video imagery, the frustration buzz is GROWING. And this feeling is shared by THOUSANDS of customers.

Just give us (all your loyal customers who invested several thousands dollars in Canon equipment) an answer as we deserve!!”

April 26, 2009 Posted by | Campaigns, Comments, EOS 5D Mk II | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why a new Firmware would help Canon make more money

Comment by Robert Ruffo on April, 2009

” In case Canon reads this page – which I suspect they do on occasion – here are some points to bring up in the conference room.

Why Canon would make more money if they de-cripple the 5D and give us a manual video mode:

1 – You will sell a lot of L-glass. I am waiing to see if the firmware make L-glass useable for video. If it does, I will buy many thousands of dollars worth. If not I will buy Nikon/Zeiss/etc. Your loss, too bad for you.

2 – You will DOMINATE the high-end 1080p under-$15 000 market. If we love the 5D, and stop scanning the internet for other brands and models in the hopes they will finally give us what we want (manual control, and to a less dire extent (because of Twixtor) 24/25p) we will settle-in to a trusting relationship with Canon, and wait for the new Canon models to come out.

Since, with a manual firmware we will be buying lots of L-glass, we will have much more of a motivation to do this than if our shelves are lined with Nikons lenses.

You cannot put a price on the value of a once-satisfied customer. This customer will return for more much more quickly if you give him a lot now and make him truly happy, than if you try to skimp on what you give him, in the hopes that his dissatisfaction will “create a need for new products”. This need quite likely not be met by YOUR products, as you have broken the goodwill relationship with him.

Why are people excited about a possible Scarlet from Red? Because their first cam was as good and as innexpensive as they could make it, and they created a ton of goodwill around their brand.

3 – People are saying lots of cynical and angry things about Canon right now, about how Canon delibreately crippled the 5D out of raw irresponsible greed. These thoughts going around the world is not very condusive to people trusting Canon with much of their money in the future. A firmware upgrade would silence all these voices instantly, prove them all completely wrong, and make your claim that the 5D had a weird video mode because it was rushed or you wrongly guessed how people would end up using it entirely credible, in my own opinion and I’m sure the opinion of many others. At any rate, a happy user is highly unlikely to gripe against the source of his happiness.

4 – Someone will hack it anyway – and then it will be too late for you to save face. You will look far better in the eyes of your customers if you are the ones to fix it, rather than some hacker in Russia or Montreal (is that a hint about what we are doing here in Canada? Hmmm…. If you look up my name you’ll see I have been involved in cinema software dev. so… I’m not telling. ) Let’s say I’m only guessing when I say your firmware is difficult/time consuming but not at all impossible to crack.

And some responses to naysayers in that conference room.

Naysayer: But we will canibalise sales fo our other video cams…
Response: 5D for video is not within the same market/use at all as other Canon camcorders. 5D users must adopt a highly planned, cinema-like approach to get professionally acceptable results. The 5d, with no video-friendly auto-focus, no power zoom, no easy handheld formfactor, no flipable lcd etc. is not really a run and gun cam like other Canon video cams. The 5D competes with RED, maybe the new GH1 and a future Nikon 1080p cams. I do not do run-and gun shoots, live events, etc., but if I did I would never consider buying the 5D for that – I would still just as likely buy another Canon camcorder, regardless of any functionality added to the 5D via firmware. At a pro level the 5D is for features, commercials etc., using rails, tripods, Steadicam/Glidecam, etc. At an amateur “birthday party” level a manual firmare won’t make any difference anyway as these folks tend to use auto-everything, and besides would be unlikely to spend this much on a cam.
By the same token, although they are great products for certain styles of shooting, there are no other Canon video cameras that I would use, as I do the 5D, to film commercials, high-end music video and fiction. You are basically losing nothing by empowering my 5D (except lens sales for Nikon), and I am sure I am not alone on this.

Naysayer: We can sell them an upgraded 5D MkIII
Response: There are still many remaining key problems that cannot be addressed by a firmware upgarde, and many other truly meaningful features that could be added. A main one is a removeable optical low-pass filter to shoot without moire in 1080p. Even better would be to shoot in full 21mega-pixel and nicely downres to 1080p or even 4K on the chip before recording to the compact flash card- that would be truly awesome, and it is totally understandable that it is simply not possible with current technology (although if you released a low-pass filter I could snap on somehow to my 5D now, I’d happily pay you major $$ for it). We need a fold-out lcd, for some (not me, but I think many users would like this) a video-useable auto-focus system, and we need HDMI to give us a clean out so we can record on hard-drives in raw. Usb data-out is another idea, along with auto-restart when the 4gig file size limit has been reached, maybe a custom way of formatting large CF cards to remove that limit? All these things would be great features, and certainly features we don’t expect on the 5d (unlike manual control/movie-mode de-crippling) and would be willing to pay for happily, rather than begrudgingly, in a new model. You still have lots of room to offer us new features that justify an upgrade. It doesn’t have to all be about us no longer having to use Nikon lenses to get the best results from our Canon 5D, as is the case now.

As a last note….

Your behavior toward us, at present is much like this: You go to a restaurant and the chef makes an amazing, delicious soup he charges you $10 for – but he spits in it as he brings it to the table. He then announces that to have the same soup without spit you must pay for the $20 upgraded soup. Would you go back to that restaurant? Do you think that restaurateur is practicing a wise approach to his market and building clientele? Don’t be like him – you have the choice.

Besides, I don’t think many people here would pay for a MKIII if it’s only real benefit were a de-crippled firmware, out of principle if nothing else. In fact, if you don’t upgrade the firmware, this user will do everything he can to quit his loyaty to Canon products

I mean, sorry but… I curse your company name every time I fudge around with video mode and its ridiculous crippling – do you really want people cursing your company name for any reason!?

I’m sure I’m not alone in any of this.

Sincerely,

Robert Ruffo “

April 17, 2009 Posted by | Campaigns, Comments, EOS 5D Mk II | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Petition to Canon Inc. – 2

UPDATE (06/26/09): The Full Manual Control was achieved in June 2009, but the Petition to Canon is also requesting many other fixes & improvements, that can be done via Firmware Update. So if you are interested on those improvements, please keep on signing, spreading this Blog link and also please check the latest posts for up-to-date information.

This was originally a Blog Page and later converted to a Blog Post, which is now “old”, but we decided to keep it as a TESTIMONIAL of how hard and how long this process has been…

It also includes related information that may be of interest to all users of 5D Mark II.


Contents:

  • Announcement
  • The Petition to Canon Inc.
  • Hacking Progress
  • Articles & Comments at external websites
  • Experiences when filming with 5D Mark II

ANNOUNCEMENT

Good news: After many months Canon will release a firmware with “Full Manual Control” in video mode.

The firmware should be available for download since June 2nd:

We want to THANK everyone that contributed in every possible way in this campaign.

There were thousands of people giving their little or big help to achieve this.

And also thank Canon for this action. They will certainly keep lot of customers, and sales.

There are still LOT of improvements that can be made to this great camera (also for “still” mode).

And obviously the question if Canon will give 24p and 25p in this or future firmware updates/upgrades.

So if you are interested, KEEP ON SIGNING and REQUESTING by every possible way. There are still hopes that Canon add those functions too.

THE PETITION

There is an International Petition to Canon Inc. suggesting and requesting some improvements (especially Full Manual Control in video mode, but also other functions) to the camera EOS 5D Mark II that can be implemented via Firmware Update.

Some of those improvements are essential to allow professional use of the camera for cinematography tasks.

Check it: www.petitiononline.com/5dmark2/petition.html

It only takes 1 minute to sign it, and you have nothing to loose.

The Petition, although is not perfect, is the effort of a group of Photographers and Filmmakers AROUND THE WORLD for the benefit of all users of this great camera.

If you find that one or more requests would improve the experience with your camera, please sign it.

It is important to fill, if possible, the “Company Name/Freelancer” and “Country” fields, although that information is optional, but it gives more relevance to the petition.

This camera has a huge potential inside that wasn’t still delivered to the customers. That is why we are requesting a Firmware Update that will not requiere any hardware change to the camera, nor big cost to Canon.

If you can, please help to share and spread this information for the benefit of all customers.

Thank you very much in advanc.

HACKING PROCESS

We really hope that Canon adds lot of the requested features to further firmware update, but there is big uncertainty about that.That’s why a tiny group of programmers (without even a piece of the firmware’ source code) are trying to add those and even more sophisticated features to the camera This is just the beginning:

– More FILMMAKING features added: check Magic Lantern Website

– HACK in Progress #3 : Zebra Stripes

– HACK in Progress #2 : Onscreen Audio Meter

– HACK in Progress #1 : AGL Disabled Firmware (the 1st goal achieved)

For updated information please check Magic Lantern Project.

ARTICLES & COMMENTS at EXTERNAL WEBSITES

– DigitalVideo
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Firmware Update In Works

– Planet5D
Confirmation of Firmware patches coming?
There was an interview done with Tim Smith from Canon at the NAB conference last week. In the video, Tim makes several interesting points. Here are a few things Tim mentions (see the video):

. The Canon 5D mk II was made for AP and Reuters as cameras for the reporters to be able to shoot photos as well as video.
. The video is so compelling, the 5D2 is ‘getting dragged’ over into film and television production (this seems to have been a surprise to Canon)
. There were lots of accessories that instantly sprang up 5D Mk II is in heavy back order – demand is huge
. Canon has heard about the 24fps request – “yes we are working on that”… “we are seeing what we can do to this camera and obviously, in future product as well.”

– Digital Cinema Society
VIDEO Interview with Tim Smith from Canon at NAB 2009
Direct link to video:
http://www.digitalcinemasociety.com/media/CanonDV_NAB09.mov

High Definition magazine
Canon 5D MkII DSLR Owners Sign Petition For More Control

PATATHREAD
Sign the PETITION to GET MANUAL CONTROLS on Canon 5D Mark 2

– ProLost
NIKON Speaks Up about Manual Control

– FreshDV
NAB 2009 Video – Canon DSLRs and Panasonic 3D
Comment here.

– DailyConnect
“Canon exhibits a range of broadcast lens solutions at the 2009 NAB Show”
“In the Canon booth, #C4325, the Company will be exhibiting its portfolio of HD lenses, Free Space Optics, robotic pan-tilt cameras, professional camcorder equipment as well as the EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera.” Article and Comment here.

CNET News
Q&A: Canon helps usher in the video SLR era
Interview with Chuck Westfall, technical adviser for Canon’s professional products marketing division.
Comment here.

– Photography Bay
Zacuto Gunstock Mount for DSLR Video
Comment here.

Fix my 5D Mark II
Post:Keep On Signing Petition

EXPERIENCES when FILMING with 5D Mark II

Comments telling the Difficulties and Workarounds needed to use 5D Mark II for serious video tasks

FEATURE FILM SHOT ON 5D Mark II: “Searching for Sonny”

Searching for Sonny April 15, 2009:
NEW WEBSITE AND 3 NEW TRAILERS from “Searching for Sonny”

“So, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks. We never expected to get this kind of coverage on the internet. 127 Countries Over 100,000 Hits Names upon names on our petition Interviews from Gizmodo, Filmmaker Magazine, and Popular Photography

Here’s a link to our new website SearchingForSonny.com

Here’s three new trailers.
———————

March 31, 2009:
OUR CANON 5D MARK 2 Method on Searching for Sonny

“(…) the (Canon) lens was fully automatic in LIVE MODE. This is a huge problem with many 5dm2 video users. If you can’t control the aperture, then you can’t control depth of field. The big thing everyone is looking for is that softness in the foreground and the background. That has always been the big differential between video and cinema. A few years back, 35mm adapters came out and changed everything. Finally an indie filmmaker could get that depth of field and use nice 35mm glass. So the big workaround with this problem is to use nikon lenses on the canon camera via a nikon adapeter.”

“The next big workaround was the light sensitivity. For every shot, you want the the lowest ligh sensitivity so you’ll have the least amount of graininess and noise. The problem with shooting with the Canon 5d is that this is also automatic. The camera choices for you.”

“(…) But i think all these methods and workarounds with the camera will be obsolete pretty soon. The Panasonic GH1 should hopefully fix it all… I think that’s what we’ll shoot the feature on.”
———————

PRESS:

GIZMODO.COM “Before doing so, however, Disney and his crew had to figure out how to workaround a few of the 5D Mark II’s most annoying limitations for filmmakers: no manual control over exposure settings during capture, and a lack of an efficient focusing system while shooting.

“Very fascinating stuff… you’ve got to admit it looks mighty fine”

ENGADGET.COM “Not only did we see the first official presidential portrait shot with a DSLR this year, but we’re also seeing the first feature film to be entirely shot on one as well. Searching For Sonny has grabbed the rights to that latter claim.” WIRED.COM “If you had told me it had been shot on film, I would have believed you.”

“(…) The posts go into full production details, too, and the director (named, appropriately enough, Andrew Disney) comments about the amazing image quality you get from the Canon:

“The blacks are deeper, truer, fuller, than most any other camera I’ve shot on.”

So is the 5DMkII the best video camera out there for indie filmmakers? Nope. Andrew is already looking at the next one: “

“But I think all these methods and workarounds with the camera will be obsolete pretty soon. The Panasonic GH1 should hopefully fix it all… I think that’s what we’ll shoot the feature on.”


Last edited: June 26, 2009

April 17, 2009 Posted by | Campaigns, EOS 5D Mk II, News & Info, Special Info | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Petition to Canon Inc.

Note: For updates please check later posts and the home page.
Last edited: May 29, 2009


ANNOUNCEMENT

Good news: After many (MANY) months Canon will release a firmware with “Full Manual Control” in video mode.

The firmware should be available for download in June 2nd:

– We want to THANK everyone that contributed in every possible way in this campaign.

There were thousands of people giving their little or big help to achieve this.

And also thank Canon for this action. They will certainly keep lot of customers, and sales.

There are still LOT of improvements that can be made to this great camera (also for “still” mode).

And obviously the question if Canon will give 24p and 25p in this or future firmware updates/upgrades.

So if you want, KEEP ON SIGNING and REQUESTING by EVERY possible way. There are still hopes that Canon add those functions too.


About the Petition:

There is an International Petition to Canon Inc. suggesting and requesting some improvements (especially Full Manual Control in video mode, but also other functions) to the camera EOS 5D Mark II that can be implemented via Firmware Update.

Some of those improvements are essential to allow professional use of the camera for videography tasks.

Check it: www.petitiononline.com/5dmark2/petition.html

It only takes 1 minute to sign it, and you have nothing to loose.

The Petition, although is not perfect, is the effort of a group of Photographers and Videographers AROUND THE WORLD for the benefit of all users of this great camera.

If you find that one or more requests would improve the experience with your camera, please sign it.

It is important to fill, if possible, the “Company Name/Freelancer” and “Country” fields, although that information is optional, but it gives more relevance to the petition.

This camera has a huge potential inside that wasn’t still delivered to the customers. That is why we are requesting a Firmware Update that will not requiere any hardware change to the camera, nor big cost to Canon.

If you can, please help to share and spread this information for the benefit of all customers.

Thank you very much in advanc.


HACKING PROCESS

See New Section about the Magic Lantern Project

–  HACK in Progress #3 : Zebra Stripes

– HACK in Progress #2 : Onscreen Audio Meter

– HACK in Progress #1 : AGL Disabled Firmware


ARTICLES & COMMENTS at EXTERNAL WEBSITES

– DigitalVideo
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Firmware Update In Works

– Planet5D
Confirmation of Firmware patches coming?
There was an interview done with Tim Smith from Canon at the NAB conference last week. In the video, Tim makes several interesting points. Here are a few things Tim mentions (see the video):

. The Canon 5D mk II was made for AP and Reuters as cameras for the reporters to be able to shoot photos as well as video.
. The video is so compelling, the 5D2 is ‘getting dragged’ over into film and television production (this seems to have been a surprise to Canon)
. There were lots of accessories that instantly sprang up 5D Mk II is in heavy back order – demand is huge
. Canon has heard about the 24fps request – “yes we are working on that”… “we are seeing what we can do to this camera and obviously, in future product as well.”

– Digital Cinema Society
VIDEO Interview with Tim Smith from Canon at NAB 2009
Direct link to video:
http://www.digitalcinemasociety.com/media/CanonDV_NAB09.mov

High Definition magazine
Canon 5D MkII DSLR Owners Sign Petition For More Control

PATATHREAD
Sign the PETITION to GET MANUAL CONTROLS on Canon 5D Mark 2

– ProLost
NIKON Speaks Up about Manual Control

– FreshDV
NAB 2009 Video – Canon DSLRs and Panasonic 3D
Comment here.

– DailyConnect
“Canon exhibits a range of broadcast lens solutions at the 2009 NAB Show”
“In the Canon booth, #C4325, the Company will be exhibiting its portfolio of HD lenses, Free Space Optics, robotic pan-tilt cameras, professional camcorder equipment as well as the EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera.” Article and Comment here.

CNET News
Q&A: Canon helps usher in the video SLR era
Interview with Chuck Westfall, technical adviser for Canon’s professional products marketing division.
Comment here.

– Photography Bay
Zacuto Gunstock Mount for DSLR Video
Comment here.

Fix my 5D Mark II
Post:Keep On Signing Petition


EXPERIENCES when FILMING with 5D Mark II

Comments telling the Difficulties and Workarounds needed to use 5D Mark II for serious video tasks

FEATURE FILM SHOT ON 5D Mark II: “Searching for Sonny”

Searching for Sonny April 15, 2009:
NEW WEBSITE AND 3 NEW TRAILERS from “Searching for Sonny”

“So, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks. We never expected to get this kind of coverage on the internet. 127 Countries Over 100,000 Hits Names upon names on our petition Interviews from Gizmodo, Filmmaker Magazine, and Popular Photography

Here’s a link to our new website SearchingForSonny.com

Here’s three new trailers.
———————

March 31, 2009:
OUR CANON 5D MARK 2 Method on Searching for Sonny

“(…) the (Canon) lens was fully automatic in LIVE MODE. This is a huge problem with many 5dm2 video users. If you can’t control the aperture, then you can’t control depth of field. The big thing everyone is looking for is that softness in the foreground and the background. That has always been the big differential between video and cinema. A few years back, 35mm adapters came out and changed everything. Finally an indie filmmaker could get that depth of field and use nice 35mm glass. So the big workaround with this problem is to use nikon lenses on the canon camera via a nikon adapeter.”

“The next big workaround was the light sensitivity. For every shot, you want the the lowest ligh sensitivity so you’ll have the least amount of graininess and noise. The problem with shooting with the Canon 5d is that this is also automatic. The camera choices for you.”

“(…) But i think all these methods and workarounds with the camera will be obsolete pretty soon. The Panasonic GH1 should hopefully fix it all… I think that’s what we’ll shoot the feature on.”
———————

PRESS:

GIZMODO.COM “Before doing so, however, Disney and his crew had to figure out how to workaround a few of the 5D Mark II’s most annoying limitations for filmmakers: no manual control over exposure settings during capture, and a lack of an efficient focusing system while shooting.

“Very fascinating stuff… you’ve got to admit it looks mighty fine”

ENGADGET.COM “Not only did we see the first official presidential portrait shot with a DSLR this year, but we’re also seeing the first feature film to be entirely shot on one as well. Searching For Sonny has grabbed the rights to that latter claim.” WIRED.COM “If you had told me it had been shot on film, I would have believed you.”

“(…) The posts go into full production details, too, and the director (named, appropriately enough, Andrew Disney) comments about the amazing image quality you get from the Canon:

“The blacks are deeper, truer, fuller, than most any other camera I’ve shot on.”

So is the 5DMkII the best video camera out there for indie filmmakers? Nope. Andrew is already looking at the next one: “

“But I think all these methods and workarounds with the camera will be obsolete pretty soon. The Panasonic GH1 should hopefully fix it all… I think that’s what we’ll shoot the feature on.”


Last edited: May 29, 2009

April 5, 2009 Posted by | Campaigns, CANON, EOS 5D Mk II, News & Info, Tech Ideas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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