New Tools for the Indie Filmmaker

October 19, 2008 from angus giorgi on Vimeo.

Rob Mills sent me a link to the new Canon Digital SLR (EOS 5D Mark II) that is capable of 1080p video at 30 frames per second. What is amazing about this camera is that it uses a 21 megapixel sensor and it gives a filmmaker access to the entire lineup of Canon compatible lenses. The camera isn't perfect and there are complaints that the video runs at 30 fps instead of 24 and it writes the video with H.264 compression (it isn't uncompressed or Raw like the actual photographs). This may be so but many people don't understand the importance of the lens. If you have a cheap lens you'll get a cheap picture. Garbage in, garbage out.

Despite these 'flaws', this new leap forward in image gathering means that more independent filmmakers will have access to high end tools that will put them near equal footing with high end productions. This camera is being sold for $2700 dollars (body only)! Compare this to the 'affordable' Red One camera that sells for $17,500 for the body of the camera. All in on the Red camera, you're looking upwards of $25,000. Red is going to announce a new camera that will retail in the neighbourhood of the Canon price tag. Red One did something brilliant in their design. They decided to ignore the standard formats of video (HD, Ntsc, Pal) and brought out a camera that could capture the video raw and then allow the user to encode the video the way they want. This set them apart from the Hd and HDV cameras as well as the new Canon which does bring it's images in on that wonderfully big 21 megapixel sensor but has to write the video to a standard hd format.

Beyond all this geek talk, 2009 seems to be a year of change for the independent filmmaking community. I've met people that lament this as they like the elitist elements of making movies. What these folks don't really consider is story. No matter how wonderful the tool, the artist needs to have an idea. The pencil has been the most accessible tool for writing but few people are creating great novels or poetry. Still, it helps that the filmmakers have access to a tool that will allow them to create images that will be equal to their creative ideas.

Kudos to Cinematographer Alan Doyle and Editor Angus Giorgi for sharing their footage.


J Caswell said...

This guy has some great stuff on DSLRs

YourDirector said...

Wow, that sounds amazing. I have a Canon EOS 20D which is the old old predecessor of the current 80D which i use for stills and for my video, like my blog etc i only have small canon miniDV. One problem i have with the canon 5D being used for film is the fact that it is flash media. How much footage are you going to be able to store on a 16GB memory card when recording from such an impressive sensor. That's presuming that canon has stuck with the CF card from all the other cameras of the range.

Mark said...

Thanks for the info Jim.

I believe that you will be able to fit a decent amount of footage on the flash cards as the video is written as h.264 which is a highly compressed format.

This would mean that the video would look good to the eye but wouldn't stand up well if composited with green/blue screen.

Anonymous said...

8 gb compact flash card is 22 full resolution movie mode..
this has to be the latest high speed cards...
40 MB/sec
cheers alan doyle.