5D Mark II Team

Improvements & Gear

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

Selected Great Deals 12/2010

Christmas is almost here! If you still didn’t buy all your gifts or want to buy some more, you might find this post very useful.

Below there’s a very short list of selected great deals, promotions and items you may want to consider. Some of them are ending in few days, so don’t miss the chance!

The list could be very long, we just picked up some very interesting offers. For a full list of items, check any of these links:

Photography & Accessories / Lighting & Studio / Video / Pro Video / Pro Audio / Home Entertainment / Computers & Software

Canon Double Instant Rebates

This is the BEST current promotion for photographers and filmmakers using DSLR cameras (or people interested to join this great level of cameras).

We already posted a comprehensive article about it:  Click here to see full details.

Do not miss the chance to get many hundred dollars instant rebates on cameras, lenses and flashes. It is Real!

UPDATE: Promotion extended!
LEXAR 32GB Professional UDMA 600x CF Card

UPDATE: This promotion was extended and now ends December 31, 2010!
It was not a typographical error, it really ended 12/13/2010 (the price was the regular one on December 14, but recently the promo was extended to the end of the year (or until it gets out of stock). So you have a new chance to get it at lower price. It’s a great card, don’t miss it.

There is a great INSTANT REBATE on this excellent memory card. It is really fast, reliable and you can save $70 from the regular price. Offer ends December 13, 2010! (in few days).

Check full specs and get yours clicking here.

LEXAR is one of the best manufacturers of memory cards. We highly recommend this card.

Panasonic HDC-TM700 Camcorder: Full HD @ 60p!

You won’t see this kind of items very often on this site. This is a well deserved exception.

The reasons are simple: this Camcorder can record Full HD video at 60p (very unusual!), has a great image quality and costs only $750!

Check full specifications and reviews clicking here.

You can do beautiful Slow Motion with this camcorder. Very brief list of features:

  • 1920 x 1080p Full HD @ 60p (60fps progressive in AVC/H.264 format so you can edit it with almost every current video editing software)
  • 32GB Internal Flash Memory
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card Slot
  • 9.15MP 3 MOS Sensor
  • 3″ LCD
  • Leica Dicomar Lens
  • 18x Intelligent Zoom
  • Power O.I.S.
  • 14.2MP Still Image Capture
  • Headphone and Microphone Connections

Click here to watch a very nice Slow Motion video shot with this camcorder by iamkalaniprince. Even Philip Bloom has this camcorder! (check comments posted on the video).

This camcorder can be a really nice mate for your Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 7D or EOS 60D.

By the way, don’t forget the current $100 INSTANT REBATE available on the EOS 7D and EOS 60D!

Canon PowerShot G12 Digital Camera

This is one of the best (if not the best) compact cameras available on the market today. It is solid, metal made (you can feel the big difference compared to other compact P&S cameras), with full manual controls (along with lot of automatic modes like most P&S cameras). It has a great image quality and LOT of great features (including HD video recording and HDR photography shooting mode).

You can shoot full manual, partially auto or in full automatic mode.

We love this little gem; you can carry it on your pocket everywhere and still have lot of great features (including articulated display, HD video capturing, 5x Optical Zoom with Stabilizer, etc) found on higher level, much bigger and much more expensive cameras (like DSLRs).

Image quality is great for this class of camera, and it’s fully featured. If you want a GREAT compact camera for less than $470, you should consider this one!

There isn’t any rebate on this specific item, but since it is so nice, we decided to include it in the list. It is highly recommended.

Some features:

  • 10MP CCD Image Sensor (less megapixel count, much better image quality and less noise)
  • DIGIC 4 Image Processor
  • 1280 x 720p HD Video Capture (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, MOV file format)
  • 2.8″ Vari-Angled LCD (Articulated Display)
  • JPEG and RAW File Image Capture
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC/MMC+/HCMMC+ Card Slot
  • Lens: 28mm-140mm (35mm equivalent) with Hybrid IS (5x Optical Zoom)
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • Stereo Sound for Video
  • Manual Exposure Control
  • Macro shooting
  • HDR shooting mode & more.

Please check the Full specifications and reviews for more details.

Acer Aspire AS5334-2598 15.6″ Notebook

This is not a high-end notebook. But it is a bargain!

You can buy one for only $349.95 and use it for your home or office daily tasks, browse internet, listen to music, burn CD/DVDs, etc., everything on a big 15.6″ HD wide screen.

Check Full specifications here. Offer ends 12/31/2010.

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 and happy buying!

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December 9, 2010 Posted by | PROMOS | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

HDR Video with 5DMk2

Contents:

  • HDR Video using 5D Mark II
  • Watch Video Demonstration
  • Comments

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HDR VIDEO USING 5D Mark II

This is a fascinating demonstration of the results that can be achieved with a proper setup and workflow to get HDR (High Dynamic Range) video with two Canon 5D Mark II. Although it could also be done using any DSLR with Full HD or HD Movie/Video capabilities like these ones.

Some words from the authors:

This video highlights several clips we’ve made using our new High Dynamic Range (HDR) process. Video is captured on two Canon 5D mark II DSLRs, each capturing the exact same subject via a beam splitter. The cameras are configured so that they record different exposure values, e.g., one camera is overexposed, the other underexposed. After the footage has been recorded, we use a variety of HDR processing tools to combine the video from the two cameras, yielding the clips you see above.

HDR Video provides filmmakers with many exciting new opportunities. Not only can HDR video create interesting effects, it can also allow for even exposure where artificial lighting is unavailable or impractical. For example, when a subject is backlit, one camera could be set to properly expose the subject, the other the sky, resulting in video with perfect exposure throughout.

We will continue to develop and improve the HDR video process for better results and efficiency. For more information, check out our website sovietmontage.com.

WATCH VIDEO DEMONSTRATION

Full credits to: Soviet Montage

COMMENTS

There are lot of people experimenting, testing and developing new techniques with these amazing HDSLR cameras. We’ll closely keep watching their works and reporting to the community.

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September 11, 2010 Posted by | Articles & Tech Info, Shot w/ HDSLR | , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Canon Rebates

Contents:

  • More Canon rebates
  • Cameras available on this rebate

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MORE CANON REBATES

Canon is offering rebates when purchasing most of the latest Digital SLR cameras:

If you are planning to buy a new camera, this might be a good opportunity. This offer ends 09/30/2010, but as always many items get out of stock before the end, or unpredictably. So if you have made your mind up on a model, don’t hesitate to order.

CAMERAS AVAILABLE ON THIS REBATE

Rebates of $400, $500 and $700 (depending on model) are available when purchasing one of the following cameras with a Pixma Pro Photo Printer (great for photo-quality printings):

  • Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Canon EOS 7D
  • Canon EOS Rebel T2i/550D
  • Canon EOS Rebel T1i/500D
  • Canon EOS 50D

Note: a rebate is also available when purchasing only the Pixma Pro Photo Printer without a DSLR.

Please click on the following banners for more details:

Please read carefully the rebate instructions included in the above links. Both printer & camera purchases must appear on the same receipt.

August 16, 2010 Posted by | News & Info, PROMOS | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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