5D Mark II Team

Improvements & Gear

5D Mark II Features Request


  • Introduction
  • List of Features Requested
  • List of Additional Filmmaking features
  • The importance of Standard frame rates
  • Information & Testimonials
  • Can I help?


This is a list of improvements that have been requested since months ago by lot (thousands) of customers around the world. Please check “I Called Canon” and previous posts to see testimonials and procedure.

Some improvements could be more difficult or hard to achieve due “possible” hardware limitations, but others are really easy for Canon.

This Campaign has reached Canon departments in the past for the Manual Control request, and now is reaching them again for improvements that are possible to this camera and VERY important for Film makers.

Most (if not all) of these features CAN be implemented via Firmware Update, and that means: no big costs to Canon at all.  “Refreshing” this camera and keeping big sales and profit on an already designed and already in-production model, keeping it more competitive (especially important when competition arrives) is a big deal, isn’t it?

Doing so would reflect in: more sales, but also more loyalty to Canon, more credibility, then more long-term profit for the company.

The more customers requesting, the more chances (check Info & Testimonial).

As someone said:

“ If Canon want to maintain customer loyalty people need to know when they purchase a Canon product they are going to be looked after. If I knew Canon would add if possible any features wanted by customers, I’d buy Canon EVERYTIME. ”


Frame Rates as in 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
To record a native 1920×1080 area of the sensor, which extremely minimizes “jello” effect and 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 2.0.3

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

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

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

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

Auto ISO in Manual mode
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.

Full HD through HDMI output while recording

Live Histogram for video mode   Done

Remote Start/Stop video recording using cable release (if hardware possible)

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
▪ Peaking, false-color and edge detection on LCD
▪ Focus Assistance
▪ Focus rack
▪ Focus stacking
▪ Zebra stripes (video peaking)
▪ On-screen audio meters

… and LOT more features that has 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 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 LiveView 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.

  • We hope Canon consider all these features very seriously to be implemented via Firmware update, because they ARE possible and they ARE VERY IMPORTANT for Film Making jobs (Nikon could do it before indeed…)


EDIT: This is corrected with Firmware version 2.0.3 released on March, 2010.

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 request the standard 29.97 fps too.

We hope that Canon is now aware of what this unique camera has started: a revolution in DSLRs, and the huge importance it has for professionals who already adopted it (along with lot of expensive full frame lenses) for serious videography and filmmaking jobs.


See by yourself, this is HUGE, you are NOT alone:

(*) Web in japanese, you can use online translators, although results might be not very clear. It was translated by japanese people and sent to us. This is only a paragraph:

“24fps and 60fps were made possible (on the 7D) not because of dual DIGIG 4, actually a single DIGIC 4 can handle 24fps and 60fps.”


Absolutely! You CAN help. Community efforts DO bring results, like in the “Manual Control” request campaign.

Just check “I Called Canon” and the links above to see the procedure, more information, some experiences and testimonials.

EVERY effort by every individual or group in the right way is VERY important and valuable, and will benefit all users. But remember that only online complains are not enough.

That’s the way this works.

Last update: March, 2010.

September 28, 2009 Posted by | Articles & Tech Info, Campaigns, EOS 5D Mk II, Tech Ideas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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.


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


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.


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.


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.


– 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:

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

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.

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


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.”


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


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