Friday, October 10, 2008

More Canon 5D Mark II sample video

I just finished the previous post, and discovered that DPReview now has a couple of new Canon 5D Mark III sample videos up on their site: get them while they're fresh!. They are both just over 20 MB, and run at right around 39 mbits/s.

On the computer I watched these on (a lowly 1.83 GHz Mini Mac) playing in QuickTime Player, the bicycle rider plays very smoothly, but there's a strangely colored frame at 3:16 and I have no idea what's caused that. (I tired playing it on a Windows machine and see the same thing, though it's reported at 3:17!) These clips were taken with a pre-production model.
Oddly colored frame (right) in sequence

In the second clip (the street scene) the same thing happens at 4:16. Also, the pan is kinda jumpy, which I have to think is caused by the tripod rather than the camera (as the first clip doesn't seem to have that problem.)

No obvious jelly problem (but then these are fairly slow pans.)

Canon 5D Mark II HD Video samples @

SLR video report (website of The Desert Sun, Palm Springs) has an article from Jefferson Graham of USA Today about the Nikon D90 and Canon 5D Mark II that focuses (pun!) on these cameras video capabilities: New Canon, Nikon SLR cameras shoot video. The article pretty much confirms what I've picked up from other sources, but it's always good to hear that what you think is true, still seems to be so.

His main points:

  • [he doesn't like] Live View. If you try composing your image in bright sunlight, it's nearly impossible to see.
  • [these cameras let you] make use of the mouthwatering, supersharp, add-on accessory lenses that camera makers promote to let us zoom in really close or go wide for wonderful vistas.
  • Auto focusing is very problematic, more so on the D90 than the 5D [on the D90 it's manual focus only once recording]. [...] On the 5D, Canon adds a cool button on the back of the camera to keep the image in autofocus.
  • Advances in low-light sensors have gotten so good, you could shoot a movie practically in the dark with the new 5D
  • ...videos are likely to be less steady than on a video camera, your zooming rocky and the images shakier. [.. His] advice: Use a tripod for your SLR videos.

The Nikon D90 is available now, the Canon 5D MkII sometime in November (though the way the economy is melting, maybe it'll never get here...)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Oct 9 Bits & Pieces

* Josh Lowensohn at CNET wonders if a new theater view in the YouTube Player could be a precursor to HD support for YouTube. Personally, I’d love it if YouTube made some effort to support widescreen format videos. A lot of the content I’m now producing is wide screen and if I want to put it on YouTube I have to either letterbox it or pan-and-scan it. I just wish that YouTube would take the content and letterbox it itself.

* For a whille there, it looked like Apple might not be releasing new MacBooks next week, but never fear! Apple has sent out invites to the media for a special event about new notebooks on the 14th! One interesting note:
Should the price points prove accurate, however, they would imply that Apple is prepared to slash the price of its entry-level MacBook by more than 27 percent.

* RealNetworks has some software called RealDVD that – ostensibly – was designed to let people “back-up” their DVDs. 'Not so fast,' says the movie industry, that violates the DMCA!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Chances of sensors over-heating?

DPReview has a Photokina Interview with Canon Inc's Director and Chief Executive of Image Communication Products Operations, Masaya Maeda. Lot's of variations on "No Comment," but there was one interesting answer to a question about possible issues with the sensor 'heating up' when shooting extended movie clips (an issue I wasn't even aware of until the announcement of the Nikon D90, when that was given as the reason for the limit on movie clip length):

"We don't have that problem with heating because power consumption is very low in our newly developed sensors. There is no impact on stills image quality even after shooting extensively in movie mode."

UPDATE: I realize that it might be a bit confusing that I have a comment from a Canon guy and a reference to a Nikon Camera. The Canon guy is, of course, being asked about the movie mode in the Canon 5D Mark II. The Nikon D90 also has a movie mode, and when it was announced, there was talk that the clip length limit was due to heat build-up concerns (and I don't believe that has even been confirmed be Nikon.)

The 5D Mark II has an estimated clip length of 12 minutes, but reportedly that's an average based on the 4GB file length limit length, and is not due to concerns about heat buildup.

I hope this clears it all up!