5D Mark II Team

Improvements & Gear

HDR Video with 5DMk2


  • HDR Video using 5D Mark II
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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.


Full credits to: Soviet Montage


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.


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


On September 1st, Canon has released EOS 7D. It uses Digic 4 (as 5D Mark II) but 2, and it even includes:

1920 x 1080 (29.97, 25, 23.976 fps)
1280 x 720 (59.94, 50 fps)
640 x 480 (59.94, 50 fps)

Canon even fixed the 30.00 fps to the standard 29.97… and also added 720p


– Is that IMPOSSIBLE in 5D Mark II? (NO, according to press report, see below)
– What about THOUSANDS of requests from ALL ARDOUND THE WORLD for the 5D Mark II firmware update?
– Are you still “LISTENING TO CUSTOMERS”?  What is going on?


If you care about 23.976/25/29.97 and LOT of other possible fixes via Firmware Update you can call Canon and make your voice heard:

– USA: 1-800-828-4040  /  1-800-OK-CANON
– CANADA:  1-800-OK-CANON (1-800-652-2666)
– UK: 0844 369 0100
List of European PRO Representatives:

If you contact Canon: be RESPECTFUL and handle the right and solid arguments. For your reference, please read NEXT POST too.

– Ask to register a “Feature request” for the 5D Mark II and to be entered in the system and leveraged to higher departments.
Your call IS important. EVERY effort in the right way can help.

You can still sign the Petition to Canon Inc. wich includes many improvements that can be still implemented in the 5D Mark II (and mention it when you call, BUT keep in mind that calling Canon is MUCH more effective than *only* signing or complaining online)


Check updated “List of Fixes & Improvements”, information and testimonials links at: 5D Mark II Features Request.

– What we strongly REQUEST:

  • FIX “at least” the current non standard 30.00 fps to the standard 29.97 fps as in 7D
  • Add these frame rates as in 7D: 29.97 / 25 / 23.976 fps (STANDARD 30,25 and 24p)
  • Add 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 (like Magic Lantern has done, and proven it is completely possible and extremelly useful). This is REALLY important and useful for video mode.
  • Add “Digital Zoom” and “Crop Sensor Video Mode” (“Sensor Windowing” recording function) allowing to record native 1920×1080 sensor’s area wich extremelly minimizes or even avoid “jello” effect and aliasing issues/arctifacts. This is very possible in a similar way that Zoom level x5 and x10 works to help manual focus
  • Add 720p mode at 59.94 fps if hardware possible
  • Add File Spanning Function (a new file is created when 4GB is reached without stop recording)
  • Allow Audio Manual Gain when recording video (so easy to fix…)
  • Add EDIT option in playback mode, allowing Cut and Save part of recorded video clip
  • Allow more frames in Bracketing mode (so easy fix…)
  • Allow (working) Auto ISO in Manual mode (for still photography)
  • FIX dropped frames bug that happens when aperture changes or in some other situations
  • FIX exposure shift / flashing that often happens when zooming
  • Add function to Remap” hot and stuck pixels. This is VERY important, and will save Canon Tech Support LOT of money and time. It’s an essential feature (we still don’t understand why it wasn’t already implemented)

Until now the 5D Mark II has not even a single frame rate compatible with any other video camera made by Canon, 7D included !! That’s why we “AT LEAST” request the standard 29.97 fps.


From other blog:

“Reader Eugenia commented (..) that she’d called Canon’s product feedback line and politely requested a choice of HD video frame rates on the 5D MarkII.”

If you care about 24p support on the 5D Mark II and would like to see it added in a future firmware update, PLEASE DO THE SAME.

Eugenia wrote:

“I called (800) 828-4040, for the US. I pressed then the 3rd option, and the guy was set up to take feedback immediately…”

She requested both 23.976 and 25 fps modes, as well as the standard 29.97 fps.

Please do call and make your voice heard. There are definitely enough of us who care about this to encourage Canon to take the decision.


According to a Press Conference Report in Japan, a single Digic 4 is capable of handling 24p and 60p:


It also tells that Canon didn’t take a decision yet, regarding the 5D Mark II.

In that conference appears Dr. Masami Kawasaki, President and CEO Canon Marketing and Masaya Maeda Director and Chief Executive of Image Communication Products Operations

Questions & Answers

This is a WORLDWIDE effort to encourage Canon to improve what CAN be improved. It will benefit everyone, Canon included. After all, customers are EVERYTHING for a company. Without customers’ purchases and loyalty, the company wouldn’t survive.

Q: WHAT WOULD CANON GET improving the Firmware?
A: MORE SALES on an already designed camera wich is already in production and has been the best seller over 9 months, so no extra costs needed to keep the profit.

Q: Isn’t that a GREAT deal?
A: Of course!

Q: Would it keep Canon on TOP of DSLR market, also at good place in competition with RED?
A: Absolutely!

Q: How do we contact or let Canon know about what we need and request?
A: You can CALL Canon, it’s the best and fastest way. You can also contact Canon by online support and ask that your request be forwarded to the product manager. Be respectful, explain valid arguments and also what you think.

Read the previous post and the next post before contacting Canon.

September 3, 2009 Posted by | Articles & Tech Info, Campaigns, EOS 5D Mk II, Tech Ideas | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


Edit: Please also check next post  Canon: What is going on? (2)

In the light of the 7D having the features we all (owners of 5D Mark II) want and NEED,  we will say this very clear this time:

1- Canon DID have a Firmware with “full manual control” for the 5D Mark II since many months before their release on June 2009. Actually, the firmware was created around end 2008. So the statement about “big engineering efforts” to bring full manual control to customers due “popular demand” is NOT true, is a farce.

The only truth is that they already had it, and the demand was HUGE. So they decided to give it to customers (after improving the unofficial firmware a bit, to give more accuracy on settings and ease of use)

2- Canon ALREADY has 24/25p firmware for 5D Mark II, it was tested in many productions since months ago.
It seemed it needed to be improved though.

1 & 2 are something that some few more people do know for a fact.


– Are you still “listening to customers”?
What about all the cinematography/videography market that invested in 5D Mark II and Full Frame expensive lenses?

What about the so long requested 24/25p and some other (very possible) improvements?
And the HIGHLY needed 29.97 instead of the current non-standard 30.00?

– Even more, what about a 720p option, that could help so many customers/professionals a lot in many jobs, which would also extend the current recording time limit (which is in fact a 4GB file size limit)?

– Are you going to offer 24/25/30 at Full HD (1080p) and HD (720p), and even 60fps at VGA (640×480) in a $1,000 cheaper, cropped sensor camera and forget everything you achieved in the market with the 5D Mark II and all your customers?

– Or are you going to put more efforts and improve the 5D Mark II Firmware too ?

The full manual control was publicly released due the HUGE demand and popularity, it was a convenient move in business terms.
If we all (community around the world) hadn’t requested it by every possible way, it could have probably been never released (officially, cause it was already “there”).

– Canon should take care of customers loyalty, even for a matter of business.
So many responses given by tech support when asking about manual control were kind of joke, completely unprofessional, like some statements in the original 5D Mark II White Paper (removed from 5D MK II webpage after a while)

– If Canon does not improve 5D Mark II, we are getting used to be treated VERY unprofessionally, with silence as answers to our questions/request, or with responses that say nothing but “we can not tell anything about what Canon is or is not going to…”

– Customers of a professional camera and professional line of lenses, investing thousands of dollars in Canon equipment deserve respect, good customer service, attention, and clear answers to their inquiries and requests.

We are not talking about a $200 camera, but a $2,700 body-only camera…

– Magic Lantern Project team has proven to be more efficient and creative in few months, than Canon with all their resources in a much longer period of time.


We are tired of being a kind of toys in the business topic.
In the facts, customers are EVERYTHING for a company. Without customers’ purchases and loyalty, the company will not survive.

September 1, 2009 Posted by | Campaigns, EOS 5D Mk II, Special Info | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

What Canon will NOT give…

Last Update: September 1, 2009

– Check: Canon 7D and WHAT IS GOING ON?
– New Magic Lantern 0.1.6 released!!

What Canon will NOT give to customers…

Magic Lantern

The Magic Lantern Project:
Improvements for Canon EOS 5D Mark II

– This Blog was firstly created and intended to spread the Petition to Canon Inc. requesting for FULL Manual Control in movie mode and other improvements that can be really implemented via Firmware Update. With the help of thousands of people signing and requesting by every possible way through many months, enough “noise” was achieved to bring Canon’s attention and make them realize the benefits of giving FULL manual control in video mode to their customers.

It was a long and hard task though, that even many people didn’t believe as possible. Canon kept complete silence until the announcement; and there are also some secrets regarding the matter of “manual control” for video that were not revealed to public, and will be probably never widely known…

At least, and at last, the firmware with Full Manual Control in movie mode was released to the public…

– Aside that, while Canon is capable of, but unwilling to make more and very possible improvements (due to business reasons, etc.), there are few people who spend lof of efforts and their valuable time to bring us improvements to this great camera, the EOS 5D Mark II.

What is Magic Lantern ?

It is an open platform for developing enhancements to the amazing Canon 5D Mark II full frame digital SLR. This camera is a “game changer” for independent film makers. This Project will allow every user of the 5D Mark II to freely enjoy and use improvements for the camera that Canon will not include in their Firmware (if any update is still to be released).

It is very remarkable that this very small  group of programmers does not have the source code nor the resources that Canon does have. That means:  LOT of hard work to figure out how the camera system works, how to make changes and how to implement improvements to it.

(Having the source code, or even some kind of guides, would help VERY MUCH indeed. If you can provide some help on it, please contact us. Any help in this regard will be kept completely confidential and private.)

While still in development (this is a work in progress), we want to share this great and exciting project with people who might still don’t know about it. Below is the link to the official website and some screenshots and videos of progress.

Please consider supporting this very big effort, as it will improve the existing features of the camera and more interestingly: is adding new ones that Canon will never include.

Official Website: http://magiclantern.wikia.com

Support this Project:

Rev. 0.1.6 released !:

“After a month of development and testing, Magic Lantern 0.1.6 is finally ready!
Some of the new features:

* Custom cropmarks bitmap file
* Live histogram while recording
* Time remaining estimate indicator
* Automated focus pulls
* Focus stacking
* HDR exposure bracketing
* Lens data (hyperfocal distance, DOF, etc)
* Cleaner, multi-level menus that timeout automatically
* Audio monitoring can be turned off during clip review
* Internal mic can be used (must enable audio.mic-power=1 in config)
* Output audio volume control
* Configuration can be saved into magiclantern.cfg

More info at official site and also at: www.cinema5d.com/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=4589

Focus screen
Curren Features  (rev. 0.1.5):

. On-screen audio meters
. Disabled AGC . Manual gain control
. Zebra stripes (video peaking)
. Crop marks for 16:9, 2.35:1 and 4:3
. To do list for more ideas
. and MORE…
. See the official website for updated fixes and NEW features

Screenshots of Progress and Features:

Pre release 0.1.5

Zoom & Focus info

Pre release 0.1.4

Zebra Stripes

On Screen Audio Meters







Last Edit: September 1, 2009

September 1, 2009 Posted by | Articles & Tech Info, Campaigns, EOS 5D Mk II, Special Info, Tech Ideas | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hack in Progress #1 – AGC disabled Firmware

HACK in Progress #1

AGC disabled firmware


Thanks to the hard work of a member who got tired of waiting for Canon responses and actions, there is some progress in the process of disabling firmware locked functions. This is just the beginning.

The demand for this Firmware Update is HUGE; what is Canon thinking in ignoring it?

Is Canon waiting for Nikon to make an announcement, and then follow them…?


Editorial comment:

Canon showing themselves as a face-less company (regarding to this matter), remaining in complete silence without any CLEAR word, but telling to be “listening to customers”… what kind of behaviour of a respectable company is that?

They should show more respect to their customers, who invested thousands of dollars in equipment over the years and decades.

Canon loose not giving even an answer to what thousands of customers have requested to them.

Customers are not married with a company, and attitudes like this only helps to drop loyalty and credibility.

Japanese companies SHOULD listen more, watch more, and take MORE care of customer’s feedback and requests.

Arrogance can be a very big mistake.

Thanks a lot to this member and everyone else for the hard work and efforts in every direction to give us FULL MANUAL CONTROL in video mode for EOS 5D Mark II.

May 16, 2009 Posted by | Articles & Tech Info, EOS 5D Mk II, News & Info, Special Info, Tech Ideas | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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


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