5D Mark II Team

Improvements & Gear

Magic Lantern AJ 5.0

MAGIC LANTERN AJ 5.0

Our friends at Planet5D have recently posted the announcement of a new version of Magic Lantern.

This version includes many improvements, along with a great and enhanced user interface (menu). Just check the video and you’ll see what we mean.

Here is a brief list of improvements:

1) AJ MENU: *
Have a play and let me know what you think.

**2) CANON ISO MENU* :
When you change the ISO (using the button) – the Canon menu is now displayed for about 5 seconds

3) HOTKEY* : Enhancement
More details in the FALSE COLOURS MENU. When you press/hold the Joy-Centre for a period of time (eg 1 sec) – on release, the false colours is toggled.

4) AUDIO* : Enhancement
When configuring audio – the audio meters are shown.
Options for Microphone source, analogue gain and digital gain dashboard display.

5) KILL OVERLAY* :
Activatable from GREEN SCREEN MENU.

6) ML CONFIG SAVE* : Enhancement
You can save config either immediately, every time the camera is switch off, or Once (eg to save the exact state you want ML to start up in).

7) AF-ON* : Enhancement
I have tried to untangle the DryOs spaghetti of ‘events’ to enable more keys to be on the Camera. I didn’t have much success (mainly because when AF-ON and ISO keys is pressed, the Dry-Os has a bit of fit). What I have done is try and stop these keys from interfering with the keys in ML.

You can find the original post by Antony Newman at Magic Lantern firmware development group here.

For LOT more details of this latest Magic Lantern version, check Planet5D article: Fantastic New Magic Lantern Canon EOS 5D Mark II Firmware Version Announced.

You should also check Magic Lantern Wiki.

CANON FIRMWARE UPDATES

This is one of those things that makes you wonder… “WHY Canon doesn’t improve the official firmware when there is so HUGE potential inside this camera?”

Well, that’s exactly what we ask and request to Canon since SO long ago…

Check the article Canon Firmware Updates: List of Fixes & Improvements.

EXTRAS – Firmware 2.0.4

Please note that this new version of Magic Lantern only works with Firmware 2.0.4.

If you need Firmware 2.0.4 for Canon EOS 5D Mark II, you can get it clicking on “Extras” at the bottom of this page.

1) AJ MENU: *
Have a play and let me know what you think.

**2) CANON ISO MENU* :
When you change the ISO (using the button) – the Canon menu is now displayed
for about 5 seconds

3) HOTKEY* : Enhancement
More details in the FALSE COLOURS MENU. When you press/hold the Joy-Centre
for a period of time (eg 1 sec) – on release, the false colours is toggled.

4) AUDIO* : Enhancement
When configuring audio – the audio meters are shown.
Options for Microphone source, analogue gain and digital gain dashboard
display.

5) KILL OVERLAY* :
Activatable from GREEN SCREEN MENU.

6) ML CONFIG SAVE* : Enhancement
You can save config either immediately, every time the camera is switch
off, or Once (eg to save the exact state you want ML to start up in).

7) AF-ON* : Enhancement
I have tried to untangle the DryOs spaghetti of ‘events’ to enable more keys
to be on the Camera. I didn’t have much success (mainly because when AF-ON
and ISO keys is pressed, the Dry-Os has a bit of fit). What I have done is
try and stop these keys from interfering with the keys in ML.

Support us

Please help us to keep this blog running. Make your purchases through the above or following links, there is no additional cost to you:
Photography & Accessories
/ Lighting & Studio / Video / Pro Video / Pro Audio / Home Entertainment / Computers & Software

Follow us on Twitter for special news, technical articles, important Promotions and Rebates . We try to keep everyone informed about promos, since they are great to save when buying.

Thank you very much for your support.

March 22, 2011 Posted by | Articles & Tech Info, Campaigns, EOS 5D Mk II, News & Info | , , , , , | 1 Comment

USB Follow Focus Controller PRE-ORDERS

Less than 48hs after the official release, the new USB Follow Focus Controller has run out of stock!

But we were notified that due to the very high demand the manufacturer (Okii Systems LLC.) is now accepting pre-orders.

SPECIAL DISCOUNT

The manufacturer kindly allowed us to give a Coupon Code to get $50 discount on your purchase. It is cumulative, if you buy two controllers you get $100 discount.

  • COUPON CODE: okii50

To place your order visit the manufacturer website: www.okii.net/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=FF-001

Please check our dedicated section USB FF Controller which includes a brief description, features list, some video tests and very important technical information and details that all potential customers should read.

PRE-ORDER INFORMATION

Quoted text from the manufacturer website:

Preorder Information

Due to the high demand for this item we are allowing preorders, which will reserve you a USB Follow Focus on a first-come, first-served basis. As inventory arrives, orders will be processed in the order they are received.

The next production run is expected to be ready the week of February 21, 2011. There are a limited number of units, so there is no guarantee that the incoming inventory will cover all preorders. Unfulfilled preorders will roll over to later production runs. At any time you may cancel your preorder and receive a full refund.

As with any kind of manufacturing, circumstances beyond our control may lead to production delays. Please be assured that we are working as hard as possible to meet our projected delivery dates.

Please refrain from emailing about preorder status. This page plus the Okii Facebook and Twitter pages will be updated regularly with status information.

Image on top courtesy of Okii Systems LLC.

Support us

Please help us to keep this blog running. Make your purchases through above or following links:
Photography & Accessories
/ Lighting & Studio / Video / Pro Video / Pro Audio / Home Entertainment / Computers & Software. There’s no additional cost to you.

Follow us on Twitter for special news, articles, important Promotions and Rebates . We try to keep everyone informed about promos, since they’re great to save when buying.

Thank you very much for your support.

.

February 3, 2011 Posted by | EOS 1D Mk IV, EOS 5D Mk II, EOS 60D, EOS 7D, EOS T2i/550D, NEW Devices & Accessories, News & Info, PROMOS | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

USB Follow Focus Controller Released

Okii Systems LLC. has released today the Okii USB Follow Focus Controller for Canon HDSLR cameras. As mentioned earlier, this device can do MUCH more than controlling focus.

We have opened a dedicated section called USB Follow Focus Controller with full details, important information and some video tests for your convenience.

SPECIAL DISCOUNT

As previously announced, the manufacturer kindly allowed us to give a COUPON CODE to get a discount of $50 to all those readers interested to buy it.

Please check the USB Follow Focus Controller section for the coupon code and more details.

TECHNICAL INFORMATION & USER GUIDE

It is very important to understand that this is not a mechanical follow focus, but a USB one, with its advantages and limitations (the real limitations are due to Canon’s USB implementation).

To fully understand the capabilities and benefits of the Okii USB Follow Focus controller, you should read the following:

Once you really understand HOW the controller works, then you start taking advantage of its capabilities. It is VERY important to configure the controller to your specific camera and lens to avoid confusion. So take a bit of time reading the instructions.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

You will find lot of additional information, feedback and some video tests on the previously mentioned section. Please also check the manufacturer website for even more detailed technical information and pictures of the product.

Support us

Please help us to keep this blog running. Make your purchases through above or following links:
Photography & Accessories
/ Lighting & Studio / Video / Pro Video / Pro Audio / Home Entertainment / Computers & Software. There’s no additional cost to you.

Follow us on TWITTER for special news, articles, important Promotions and Rebates . We try to keep everyone informed about promos, since they’re great to save when buying.

Thank you very much for your support.

.

January 28, 2011 Posted by | Articles & Tech Info, EOS 1D Mk IV, EOS 5D Mk II, EOS 60D, EOS 7D, EOS T2i/550D, NEW Devices & Accessories, News & Info, PROMOS, REVIEWS | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

USB Follow Focus Controller

PREVIEW:
Accessory for Filmmakers & Photographers

As far as we know, this is the first USB Follow Focus controller that will be released in the world. But the best part is that this device can do MUCH more than controlling focus!

As we have told in our previous article, we have been participating in the beta-testing process of a very nice new device compatible with all Canon HDSLR cameras that will be released by the manufacturer very soon.

Today we can unveil some more details of this amazing accessory that will be extremely useful for both filmmakers and photographers.

Please note: we are not the manufacturers nor designers of this device. We have been testing it and giving feedback, reports and suggestions since 2 months ago.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

The controller is pretty well made, it feels solid and strong but it’s lightweight at the same time. Enclosure and knob are made of black anodized aluminum, giving it a very nice look.

It has a round shape design, easy to handle and a 1/4″-20 standard mounting hole on the back face, so you can easily mount it on any kind of support.

It obviously works via USB cable connected to the camera, so basically you can remotely control your camera, but with the HUGE advantage that it does not turn off the rear LCD screen! So think about the possibilities…

The controller can work in 3 different modes:

  • Focus Points
  • Settings adjustment
  • Focus Zone selection

As you can see on the picture it has 9 multifunctional buttons, 1 knob, a power switch and a very nice and helpful multicolor LED.

The controller usually comes with white buttons (except the Start/Stop button which is red), but the user can also replace them with other colors.

It’s amazing how well the manufacturer has implemented such a bunch of features in this device with a LED that changes its color to indicate almost all actions, helping the user to exactly know what he/she is doing.

There is a HUGE work behind this device, and a HUGE potential inside it (available to the user!).

Some of the features include:

  • Turn Live View mode On/Off
  • Start/Stop Video recording
  • Take pictures
  • Change/Pull focus using the knob or 2 dedicated buttons (Near/Far smooth focus buttons) even whilst recording video
  • Capability to save 4 focus points (2 “hard stop” points + 2 focus points) and do a Rack Focus by just pressing any of those buttons
  • Toggle Zoom level x1, x5 and x10
  • Change camera settings
  • and much more… (full details will be available after the official release)

Compatibility:

The USB Controller is fully compatible with the following cameras:

SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR READERS

The manufacturer kindly allowed us to give all readers a COUPON CODE to get $50 discount!

This code will be published after the official release in just few days, so stay tuned!

Using the USB Follow Focus Controller

This very short video (without sound, sorry) is only intended to show some operations that can be done, and some of the controller’s features. Sorry for not being able to provide a HD video this time (see at bottom). Also, since the LED is very bright, in this video it is not easy to see how good it actually is and how much it tells once you learn the controller’s operation.

Basically, on this video we did the following operations:

  • ISO adjustment
  • Turn Live View mode ON (ISO, aperture, shutter speed and exposure compensation can also be changed in LV mode)
  • Check focus of subject “David” using zoom level function, and save focus point #1 for later use
  • Move the focus zone to the subject “chair”, adjust focus using the knob with the help of zoom level and save focus point #2
  • Start recording video
  • Rack focus from focus point #2 to focus point #1 by simply pressing focus point #1
  • Stop recording video
  • Move the focus zone to subject “David” to show that the rack focus was done properly.

Setup: Canon 5D Mark II + Canon EF 24-70 2.8L @50mm

Additional Comments

After testing and using the controller for over 2 months, we can certainly say it is AMAZING. It’s one of those accessories you start to love especially if you are a filmmaker or someone who do macro photography (or do those kind of video/photography shootings that require avoid touching the camera/lens or when it’s hard to access to them).

It’s important to note that a USB Follow Focus doesn’t work exactly as a mechanical Follow Focus, especially due Canon’s USB implementation and since the controller is electronic and not mechanic. Both have their own limitations and advantages.

The user should read the detailed information provided by the manufacturer to understand the way this works, its possibilities, what it can and can’t do. That will be available on the official release.

We will post Full HD video and more details in few days after the official release, so stay tuned!

Support us

Please help us to keep this blog running. Make your purchases through above or following links:
Photography & Accessories
/ Lighting & Studio / Video / Pro Video / Pro Audio / Home Entertainment / Computers & Software. There’s no additional cost to you.

Follow us on Twitter for special news, articles, important Promotions and Rebates . We try to keep everyone informed about promos, since they’re great to save when buying.

Thank you very much for your support.

.

January 20, 2011 Posted by | Accessories, Articles & Tech Info, EOS 1D Mk IV, EOS 5D Mk II, EOS 60D, EOS 7D, EOS T2i/550D, NEW Devices & Accessories, News & Info, PROMOS, REVIEWS | , , , , | 48 Comments

NON-Official ISO on Canon DSLRs

NON OFFICIAL ISO on Canon HDSLR

We have been testing for over a month a very nice new device compatible with all Canon HDSLR cameras that will be released by the manufacturer soon.

During this testing process we discovered a very interesting and unexpected function that is available on some cameras. This option is not available using the camera menu, but only using this device.

INTERMEDIATE ISO on 5D Mark II

Basically what we found is that the user can set some “intermediate” and high ISO settings that are NOT available through the camera’s menu!

The “intermediate” ISO found on the Canon EOS 5D Mark II were: 64, 80, 10000, 16000 and 20000.

We were very excited when we found ISO 64 and 80 available, thinking as another low ISO / low noise shooting option.

Continue reading

January 17, 2011 Posted by | Accessories, Articles & Tech Info, EOS 5D Mk II, EOS T2i/550D, NEW Devices & Accessories, REVIEWS | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mode Dial Lock Upgrade

Canon has recently announced a Mode Dial hardware (optional) upgrade for owners of Canon EOS 5D Mark II and EOS 7D. It is already available for USA residents.

According to Canon Product Advisory: “The modification is intended to prevent the Mode Dial from accidentally moving, once set to a particular exposure mode by the user.”

We must note that we NEVER had such a problem with the Mode Dial in any situation at all. It’s pretty sturdy indeed, and we love it since you can change the shooting mode with one hand in a snap. Maybe the mentioned problem is only present on some production batches. We couldn’t tell so far.

What Canon SHOULD fix without a doubt is the Battery Grip knob and design (more on this later).

From Canon USA website:

“Effective December 6, 2010, Canon will start to provide as a chargeable service, a locking mode dial modification for the “EOS 5D MarkII” and “EOS 7D” digital single-lens reflex cameras.

This modification is available, for a fee, to owners of these cameras who would prefer a Mode Dial which locks in place and can’t be accidentally moved during normal camera operation.

For USA residents, the pricing of the locking mode dial modification service for EOS 5D Mark II and 7D cameras has been set at $100 per camera as of December, 2010. (Pricing and availability subject to change without notice.) For further details, see contact information for inquiries below.”

Check the full official Product Advisory here.

BATTERY GRIP ISSUE

Canon SHOULD fix all Battery Grips TOO, which are nicely built, but using a PLASTIC knob (engaging metallic gears) to attach to the camera body, thus giving a potential cause of failure (we have had this problem, as so many other users).

THE BIGGEST MISTAKE: the battery grip design prevents it from disassembling when it’s attached to the camera body, so… when the knob breaks or get stuck inside the battery grip, it CANNOT be removed easily (at all).

TWO big build & design mistakes:

1-Using plastic knob instead of metallic one on battery grips that cost over $230
2-Not possible to disassemble the battery grip when it’s attached to the camera.

These same mistakes repeat in all current Canon battery grips for DSLR cameras.

At least Canon should spend few more dollars on a metallic knob… and improve the design too, allowing to disassemble the grip even when attached to the camera.

Do not misunderstand us: the battery grip is great, and even necessary for lot of tasks (and even better comfort), but be careful and avoid over-tighten the knob.

There is an online store called USCamera which provides the replacement part for the battery grip (original from Canon, obviously with a plastic knob too), in case you don’t have any official Tech Service to take your camera to (or if they don’t know how to remove the battery grip; unbelievable but possible…) and you can remove it by yourself (not easy at all, but possible). Obviously the easiest (but not always possible) solution is to send the camera+battery grip to an official Canon service center.

This is an amazing easy to fix build issue (at least using a metallic knob), but the grip is STILL being made the same way since so many years ago by Canon…

Here is the link to the replacement part for the 5D Mark II’s Battery grip (BG-E6): http://www.uscamera.com/bg-e6.htm

If you need a different part, just send them an e-mail. Very friendly people.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

When is Canon going to open an “easy, clear and direct” channel to get users feedbacks and suggestions (that really works)? We don’t know, but indeed we already suggested it too.

As we always say: WHY Canon doesn’t offer non-free upgrades to Firmware (Software) improving some of the features/functions too? Just like most software companies do. If the cameras can be improved (they actually CAN) and IF Canon can’t offer it for free, then offer it as an option!

LOT of people are willing to pay for such kind of firmware upgrades. Just take a look at what Magic Lantern has already done and the enthusiasm around that project to bring the hidden potential of the great EOS 5D Mark II to their users.

It’s even smart from a business point of view: List of Fixes and Improvements.

Support us

Please help us to keep this blog running. Make your purchases through these links:
Photography &  Accessories
/ Lighting & Studio / Video / Pro Video / Pro Audio / Home Entertainment / Computers & Software. There’s no additional cost to you.

Follow us on Twitter for special news, articles, important promotions and rebates. We try to keep everyone informed about promos, since they’re great to save when buying.

Thank you very much in advance for your support.

.

December 7, 2010 Posted by | Campaigns, EOS 5D Mk II, EOS 7D, News & Info, Reports | , , , , | Leave a comment

F1 Ad Shot with 5D Mark II

Formula 1 Trackday summit 2010
OnBoard dpt.

RTV GmbH has produced an amazing footage, shot on Formula 1 race tracks worldwide between 2006 and 2010 with Canon HDSLR, ARRI 35mm & RED cameras.

Emanuel Maximilian Schwermer, BVK, who worked on this and many other projects, has recently told some details about it:

“We shot all the onboard stuff with up to three Canon 5D Mark II rigged on a single F1-car. We used also little remote heads invented exclusively for this shooting by Thomas Roim (see the credits). Shot with superFlat gamma and Nikkor primes with Novoflex adaptors, graded in Apple color.

There is a bit of behind the scenes stuff. Some Making of Films of our F1 productions the last 8 years can be found on my Homepage. You can also find some articles written about this F1 productions, few in english, most in german.

The 5D2 onboard stuff is featured in the latest articel on my homepage in the german magazin Professionl Production.

The car-mounts we used were all custom made. Our KeyGrip Thomas Roim of www.movie-cars.de built them together with the technicians of the race teams. Also the little remote (auto-pan) heads were invented especially for the F1 productions by Thomas Roim.”

You can find the mentioned article on the Archive section of Emanuel Schwermer’s website (check at “Publications” near the bottom of the page: “Published in the german film/tv magazine “ProfessionalProduction” (issue 05/2010)”).

Picture of the custom made car-mount (credits: Professional Production)

MORE TECHNICAL DETAILS

It is well worth to mention that there are many technical difficulties when filming on cars running at such high speeds. To mention some of them: strong vibrations, very strong G-forces, wind forces, etc.

According to the magazine article, to get those amazing shooting perspectives Thomas Roim specifically developed a small electronically controlled support, where one of the three Canon 5D Mark II was mounted. This provided an impressive pan in dynamic perspectives.

They used specially adapted manual Nikon Prime lenses (16, 20, 24, 28, 35, 50mm). More modern lenses with auto focus and without manual aperture ring were not suitable for this project because their internal mechanics and electronics suffered the huge vibrations in the F1 racing car and didn’t work properly.

For more technical details about shooting and post production, please check the full article in the german magazine.

FILM CREDITS

Footage produced by RTV GmbH

Director of Photography: Thomas Stokowski
OnBoard Photographer: Emanuel M. Schwermer
Editor: Felix G. Rauch
Sound Design: Ike D. Aligbe
OnBoard Rigs & Speedcar: Thomas Roim
Camera Equipment: FGV Schmidle GmbH
Russian Arm: Filmotechnique

Driver in order of appearance:
-Timo Glock
-Niko Hülkenberg
-Rubens Barrichello
-Jarno Trulli
-Nico Rossberg
-Michael Schumacher
-Ralf Schumacher

November 3, 2010 Posted by | Articles & Tech Info, EOS 5D Mk II, News & Info, Shot w/ HDSLR | , , , | 2 Comments

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