5D Mark II Team

Improvements & Gear

Firmware Update 2.0.8 & Special Info

Contents:

  • EOS 5D Mark II – Firmware Update 2.0.8
  • Comments & Requests
  • Special Info: High level Canon email addresses

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FIRMWARE UPDATE 2.0.8

Canon has released a new firmware update for Canon EOS 5D Mark II today:

EOS 5D Mark II Firmware Update Version 2.0.8

Firmware changes

This firmware update (Version 2.0.8) incorporates the following changes and fixes.

  1. Fixes a phenomenon in which movies are not taken at the shooting mode registered in the user’s settings if a shooting mode Aperture priority (or Shutter priority) is registered in any of the camera’s user settings (C1, C2, C3) and the user attempts to shoot a movie.
  2. Fixes a phenomenon in which the shutter will not release when pressing the shutter button when the auto power off function is set to “on”.
  3. Fixes a phenomenon in which overexposure occurs when shooting a Live View shooting simulation with the ISO speed set to L.
  4. Fixes a phenomenon in which the settings of the Speedlite transmitter ST-E2 revert to the default settings when both the camera and the ST-E2 are set to auto power off.
  5. Fixes a phenomenon in which the Macro Ring Lite (MR-14EX, MT-24EX) and slave flash do not sync while shooting wirelessly.

The Version 2.0.8 firmware being released this time is for cameras with firmware up to Version 2.0.7. If the camera’s firmware is already Version 2.0.8, it is not necessary to update the firmware.

Download it from here:

http://web.canon.jp/imaging/eosd/firm-e/eos5dmk2/firmware.html

COMMENTS & REQUESTS

It is always great that the manufacturer releases firmware updates to fix every problem that users report and/or the manufacturer finds. We do thank Canon for doing that.

BUT, once again, and even after suggesting and requesting so many times for some very easy improvements to the firmware that would enhance the user experience a lot and would make the camera much more versatile, WHY does Canon seem reluctant to implement many of those requests to the Canon EOS 5D Mark II?

This also applies to Canon EOS 7D and even the more expensive Canon 1D Mark IV. We have been asked MANY times about improvements for those cameras too. Most Canon users who use Canon DSLRs for movie/video purpose are expecting such very possible improvements.

The feature called “Auto ISO limiter” (when using “Auto ISO” for stills and video) is one clear example of that.

Cameras much cheaper like EOS T2i/550D and the new EOS 60D already have this requested function, while the 2 or 3 times more expensive Canon EOS 5D Mark II still does not. It is ridiculous.

Improvements like this one does not require any hardware change, it is only related to software (firmware).

Please don’t misunderstand what we say; the 5D Mark II is an amazing camera with full frame sensor and lof of great features. But some improvements that can be implemented via Firmware updates would require small and sometimes VERY small efforts (like the request to enable/disable the “White square” on Live View to get a “clean HDMI output”…), and would exploit much better the huge potential these cameras have inside.

Check the full List of Fixes & Improvements we have collected from thousands of users around the world. Many of those improvements are even requested in the original Petition to Canon Inc. that was signed by more than 3,000 people around the world.

Feel free to send this information to Canon by e-mail, send Canon your own requests too, or even better: Call Canon asking to “enter a feature request for the 5D Mark II” or the camera you own (not for future models, but for these current cameras because it is still possible to improve them a lot).

We (a group of Canon users) have already done that but what can make a change is a community action (as in past campaigns like “I Called Canon“, please check it).

Canon does keep working on firmware for their current cameras; this latest update, despite it is released to fix some issues, is a demonstration of it.

SPECIAL INFO:
HIGH LEVEL CANON EMAIL ADDRESSES

We strongly encourage you to call Canon. You can find the telephone contact information at the main page.

But if you want to write to Canon CEOs, Managers and Representatives, below there are some of their email addresses.

This is something we never did before, but since Canon seems not to pay much attention to the requests we directly sent to them, and since we do know for a fact that community actions CAN make a difference, then we decided to publish this information for the benefit of all Canon users who want to participate and make their voice heard.

If you contact Canon by phone or e-mail, please do it politely, be smart handling solid arguments, and do not abuse.

CANON USA:

Yoroku Adachi
President and CEO

Yuichi Ishizuka
Senior Vice President and General Manager
Consumer Imaging Group

Chuck Westfall
Advisor, Technical Information
CIG Professional Products Marketing Division

Few others:

CANON EUROPE:

More here: European Professional Representatives

Remember: community actions do bring results, but be polite and handle solid arguments when you contact Canon by phone or e-mail.

Feel free to post here the responses you receive from them.

October 19, 2010 Posted by | Campaigns, CANON, EOS 5D Mk II, Firmware Updates, News & Info, Special Info | , , , , , | 5 Comments

5DMkII – Parts Catalog

Contents:

  • 5D Mark II – Parts Catalog
  • Download

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5D Mark II – Parts Catalog

Screen snapshot

This is a Service Manual for 5D Mark II: Parts List & Schematics.

It is not usually available to public, so we think lot of people will like and appreciate it very much.

Besides it is really interesting and it might be very useful for some users, there are some interesting statements on page 1 of this document:  Continue reading

June 23, 2010 Posted by | Articles & Tech Info, EOS 5D Mk II, Special Info | , , , | 6 Comments

Modding 5D Mark II – PL Mount (2)

Contents:

  • Disassembling & Modding 5D Mark II – Cine Lenses
  • Pictures
  • Comments & Conclusion
  • Carl Zeiss Cine Lenses for Canon
  • List of Carl Zeiss CP.2 Cine Lenses

DISASSEMBLING & MODDING 5D MARK II:
CINE LENSES

Did you ever wonder what a Canon 5D Mark II looks like inside?

Probably you did, and you already got an idea of it from our previous article.

Now you can see the final part of the work, entirely performed in one working day by Patrick Tong (amazing, isn’t it?).

For an alternative way to use cine lenses that does NOT require modifying your beloved camera (thus avoiding the high risk of damaging it), check our comments below about the new Carl Zeiss cine lenses.

Continue reading

June 16, 2010 Posted by | Articles & Tech Info, Cameras, EOS 5D Mk II, REVIEWS, Special Info | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Modding 5D Mark II – PL Mount (1)

Contents:

  • Disassembling & Modding 5D Mark II – PL Mount
  • Pictures
  • Additional Comments & Part #2

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DISASSEMBLING & MODDING 5D MARK II – PL MOUNT

Did you ever wonder what a Canon 5D Mark II looks like inside?

This article will show you some impressive images you would probably not ever see unless your camera is broken, or you get really mad after a “very bad day” and you attack your valuable camera with irrational fury 😉 (even in such case you wouldn’t see some of these amazing pictures that are part of a professional work).

This is the work of Patrick Tong, a skilled person who modified a 5D Mark II.

The purpose: to make it support PL mount lens.

The whole process of disassembling, modifying and reassembling took him one working day (really fast!!). The main goal was to remove the mirror and cut some parts on both sides of the mirror box to make it bigger.

After reading and watching these images you will probably ask: “Does the camera still work?”. The answer is Yes!

You will see the work was organized and professional. It is not recommended for any person who doesn’t really know what he/she is doing.

Our special thanks to Patrick Tong, who performed this impressive work and provided us these images to share with you.

Since there are too many images we’ll post them in two separated articles. Check additional comments at bottom.

Continue reading

June 8, 2010 Posted by | Articles & Tech Info, Cameras, EOS 5D Mk II, REVIEWS, Special Info | , , , , | 4 Comments

New Firmware at Tech Service Centers

CONFIRMED:

We got confirmation that the new firmware for the Canon EOS 5D Mark II is already available at Canon Tech Service centers since 1st or 2nd week of February (depending on each center/country).

But they are not allowed to update cameras until March 17th.

We will update this blog / post as soon as new information arrives.

February 28, 2010 Posted by | EOS 5D Mk II, Firmware Updates, News & Info, Special Info | , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Hidden Potential of 5D Mark II

Contents:

  • Update
  • Introduction
  • Magic Lantern: Video Interview
  • Conclusion

UPDATE

March 2nd, 2010: Canon announced the new firmware update 2.0.3 with the standard frame rates (23.976,25,29.97fps) and some few additional “extras”.

That is a great update, long awaited and deserved for such a best seller camera.

Unfortunately Canon didn’t implement some additional features, that ARE possible. Just to mention few: AutoISO limits in M mode (for stills and video), Audio meters on real time while on LiveView (so easy), Focus programming (Focus Rack, etc.), Full HD output through HDMI, etc. (check our link to the list below).

There are LOT of possible fixes and improvements still possible to this camera, that was a real unexpected success to Canon. Let’s hope Canon take advantage of that success in a smart way, that contemplate all 5D Mark II customers, ensuring their loyalty that will reflect in more sales on full frame lenses too.

INTRODUCTION

After the release in Q4 of 2008 of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and its unexpected and huge success in the world of cinematography, thousands of users started to request “Full Manual Control” in video mode, to  “fix” the most obvious limitation that Canon put on this camera: it was released without manual control in video.

After many months of requests, in May of 2009 Canon announced the release “By Popular Demand” of firmware 1.1.0 which gave that basic function to customers.

The requests didn’t stop there, because there were (and still are) evident limitations: the camera only records video in one and non-standard frame rate (30.00 fps).

That means every single video clip has to be converted to the standard 29.97fps (NTSC) or 25fps (for PAL users) or 23.976fps (for real filmmaking purposes) with all the big time consuming tasks, technical problems and many times bad results (footage degradation) that implies.

So, thousands of customers kept requesting for all the “standard frame rates” that were even introduced on the EOS 7D but still not in the 5D Mark II.

Then after a big campaign (“Calling Canon“) and all the previous requests from all around the world (by amateurs, professionals and even companies) Canon USA launched an on-line survey specifically aimed to video on the 5D Mark II. A couple of weeks later, in October of 2009 Canon made the official announcement (.PDF version) they will release a new firmware update.

MAGIC LANTERN – VIDEO INTERVIEW

Since Q1/Q2 of 2009 one person, “tired” of requesting to Canon for full manual control and 24/25p modes, started the process of analyzing the firmware of the 5D Mark II with the hope of fixing it. His name: Trammell Hudson. The project: “Magic Lantern“.

That process had many stages and is still in continuous development. The first step was to fix the easiest automatic function: Auto Gain Control (audio gain/level is automatically controlled when recording, not allowing manual override). It’s a remarkable fact that Manual gain control is even available on many P&S cameras like the G line, but still not provided by Canon on the 5D Mark II (a $2,700 body-only DSLR).

After that, many features and “fixes” were introduced in this project. Lot of them were never seen on a DSLR before, and probably not even dreamed by Canon (check the List of Fixes & Improvements).

Below there is a link to a recent video interview with Trammell Hudson, a pioneer who Canon still seems to underrate.

CONCLUSION

If only one person with the help of a tiny group of people, without knowing a piece of the firmware source code has achieved so amazing results, how much more could Canon do if they wanted?

What could be concluded in a scenario like this?

A: Canon is not really “listening to customers”, but only willing to give to customers what “it’s enough to sell”.

B: Canon’s high level executives and managers still didn’t understand what they have achieved with the introduction of 5D Mark II. Do they forget thousands of customers who already invested so much?

C: Canon is not treating customers correctly and professionally. Thousands (really thousands) of customers from all around the world have requested by any possible way all these fixes and improvements to Canon. But Canon declines to tell anything else than the last brief announcement about a firmware with 24/25p modes.

Maybe Canon is forgetting that people who invest in a $2,700 body-only camera and full frame lenses (and in most cases several thousands dollars in Canon gear) are not entry-level users nor hobbyists. They are mostly serious amateurs, professionals or even companies. So as a serious company, Canon should give clearer answers and better attention to what thousands of customers are asking for.

– The most interesting fact about all of this:  Magic Lantern has proven lot of those features requests are possible via Firmware Update. No redesign of the camera is needed, only an enhanced firmware to let this camera take advantage of its huge inner capabilities, and give improved functionalities (for stills-only shooters & filmmakers).

– The “funniest” fact (if we can call it that way):  Even many Canon representatives are using Magic Lantern, because they do know the extraordinary features and functionalities it provides to the 5D Mark II.

Our last conclusion still are questions:

  • WHY Canon seem not willing to implement these fixes and features when they really CAN?
  • Is Canon not interested to make this camera more competitive, more featured with an insignificant investment cost on firmware enhancement, then getting more profit of an already in-production camera?

They could perfectly apply this concept to the 7D and 1D Mark IV as well, and then have a full line of full featured DSLRs capable of Full HD video, something that no other company on the world still have.

Please take a look at the List of Fixes & Improvements that has been elaborated with thousands of customers’ feedbacks and requests.

Some years ago Canon (like many companies) would have paid a lot to know what customers needed and requested. Now Canon can get it for free.

February 7, 2010 Posted by | Articles & Tech Info, Campaigns, EOS 5D Mk II, News & Info, Special Info, Tech Ideas | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Canon Firmware Updates

WHY to release Firmware Updates?

Adding and improving functions and features via firmware updates on current Canon cameras would be a very smart and important action from a business point of view.

Please note that many of the features mentioned here were already requested in the Petition to Canon Inc. since early 2009, signed by more than 3,000 amateurs, professionals and studios around the world.

On this post:

  • Update #1: Non-free Upgrades
  • Main factors & reasons for updating the firmware
  • List of Fixes & Improvements collected from thousands of users’ feedbacks

UPDATE #1: NON-FREE UPGRADES

There is a huge amount of users willing to pay for Firmware Upgrades with enhanced movie/video features like those ones listed below (also for some improvements on photography functions)

QUESTION TO CANON: If there is the need of giving resources to programmers and engineers to work on such improvements, then why not to give that option to those customers who really want and are willing to pay for them?

That would be another way to keep these cameras more featured and competitive for longer time, without any kind of hardware change and the obvious benefit that they are already in production.

Make a survey, do marketing research and read what customers write on dedicated HDSLR forums like www.cinema5d.com.

Most software companies do offer special upgrades for a fee. Why manufacturers of expensive devices, with a “long” life cycle like EOS 1D Mark IV and EOS 5D Mark II couldn’t offer the same? We would all benefit from it, since replacements for these models will not appear in near future.

This option should be considered very seriously.

MAIN REASONS

5D Mark II has huge potential inside not fully exploited yet, that leaves lot of “room to move on” whenever you (the manufacturer) want.

• Canon has a product that has no competition (until now): a Full Frame sensor camera with Full HD capabilities that can really be used for serious Video and Cinematography purposes (along with its great still capabilities). Canon has been in this situation for more than 1 year. This is very significant and also a unique case in a very long time.

• With firmware updates incorporating improvements customer satisfaction will increase notoriously. But what is even more important to any company: when customer satisfaction increases, sales are bigger and the loyalty to the brand also increases. Loyalty is a key factor for the long term company profit. Especially in a high competitive market area such as digital SLR cameras.

• It is much more convenient to “refresh” a camera (of this level) and then get more profit from it (already designed and already in-production model) adding features and functions than “leaving it as is”, getting lower value over time and being surpassed by competition.

• This “refresh” can be easily made via firmware update, because the camera does have the possibilities inside, with insignificant costs to the company when compared to designing a new whole camera with its own firmware (and all the processes and very big costs that imply).

• Customers have already demonstrated the huge interest on this camera and these improvements. Just remember all the requests for Manual Control, STANDARD 24/25/30p modes and frame rates, and all other features being requested to Canon. Please check here and here.

• The Filmmaking Community (Amateurs, Professionals and even Studios) has adopted the 5D Mark II far beyond anyone could have expected (Canon included). This camera has been selling like almost no other camera in the past for over 1 year at the same price since its release date. So, improving and adding features will broaden the usage scope, keeping big sales on it.

• The addition of FILMMAKING features (like Preset/Rack Focus, and all those achieved by Magic Lantern Project) is a hidden “card” that Canon CAN use if they want to make this camera more competitive, especially when competition arrives.

We sincerely hope Canon Managers and Executives consider this list very seriously (and before competition) for further Firmware Updates.

This is a big and free list of ideas that has been elaborated from thousands of users’ feedbacks on how to improve the camera with all the benefits mentioned above. Including them would make this camera unbeatable for a VERY LONG time.

LIST of FIXES & IMPROVEMENTS

Frame Rates as in EOS 7D Done
29.97 / 25 / 23.976 fps: STANDARD 30/25/24p video modes.

720p mode at 29.97 fps
It will allow LONGER video recording time before reaching the 4GB file size limit.

▪ Improve AF contrast detection algorithm and/or add Focusing Aids
Magic Lantern has done a lot on this, and proven it is extremely useful, even essential. See additional Filmmaking features.

Digital Zoom Video mode
To record on video a smaller area of the sensor as “digital zoom”. Very useful.

1:1 Crop Sensor Video mode – Like much cheaper T2i/550D
To record a native 1920×1080 area of the sensor (or 1280×720 or even VGA), which minimizes “jello” effect and completely eliminates aliasing issues/artifacts. This is possible in a similar way how Zoom level x5 and x10 works, but recording on video what you see on screen. This function could be part of the above one.

720p mode at 59.94 and 50 fps   X Removed from final release 2.0.4 (why?)

File Spanning function
A new video file is automatically created when 4GB is reached without stop recording. Very important for lot of users, and very easy to implement.

“EDIT” option in playback mode – for Video mode, like EOS 7D
This would allow Cut and Save part of recorded video clip. It is available on 7D and much cheaper P&S cameras.

Noise Pattern (Stills and Video mode)
FIX. Noise pattern/banding visible on shadows at high (and not so high) ISOs.

More frames in Bracketing mode
For still photography. VERY easy to fix.

Auto ISO with limiters – like much cheaper T2i/550D
For still photography, improved and with selectable limits.

REMAP” hot & stuck pixels function
This will save Canon Technical Support LOT of money and time. It is an essential feature. We still don’t understand why it wasn’t already implemented.

“Clean” HDMI output
A function to Enable/Disable the “white square” on the AV OUT and HDMI output.
VERY easy to do.

Full HD through HDMI output while recording (if hardware possible)
Also fix the delay of 5 to 7 seconds of “black” image after pressing the “record” button

Live Histogram for video mode   Done

Remote Start/Stop video recording using cable release – Like EOS 7D

Audio Manual Gain for video recording   Done
FIX. Very easy, and essential for acceptable audio recording.

LIST of additional FILMMAKING features

Hugely demanded and used (until now only via Magic Lantern)

▪ Control of focus
▪ Focus Assistance
▪ Focus Rack/Presets
▪ Focus stacking
▪ Zebra stripes (video peaking)
▪ On-screen audio meters
▪ Peaking, false-color and edge detection on LCD

Most of these functions have already been proven to be possible (and VERY useful) by Magic Lantern Project.

They are helping thousands of users on filmmaking jobs
, and Canon could do even a better implementation of them via Official Firmware update. That would be another BIG BANG to keep big sales on this great camera.

Focus Assistance System / Focus Detection Area
It would tell (in Live View mode, and in real time if possible) when a specific area of the frame is in focus or not. This feature would be very helpful and very much appreciated by filmmakers.

Magic Lantern’s New Features Request:  Check them here, you will get very good and creative ideas on new features.


 

As we said before, we sincerely hope Canon Managers and Executives consider this list very seriously for further Firmware Updates.

It will indeed benefit not only Canon customers, but also the company.

It would make this camera unbeatable for a very long time.

December 17, 2009 Posted by | Articles & Tech Info, Campaigns, EOS 1D Mk IV, EOS 5D Mk II, EOS 7D, Special Info, Tech Ideas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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