Canon 7D – Could this be what we have been waiting for?

1 09 2009


Drool. Canon’s official release of the 7D is upon us. This looks like it’ll be the DSLR camera that digital filmmakers on a budget are looking for, if the camera lives up to the hype.

The main point that I’ve been looking for is below.

The EOS 7D also captures Full HD video at 30p (29.97 fps), 24p (23.976 fps) and 25p with an array of manual controls, including manual exposure during movie shooting and ISO speed selection.

Also in the press release – It will shoot up to 60 progressive frames per second at 1280 x 720 resolution. Great for slow motion effects. Advanced movie mode with manual exposure control and selectable frame rates: 1920 x 1080 (Full HD): 30p (29.97) / 24p (23.976) / 25p, 1280 x 720 (HD): 60p (59.94) / 50p, 640 x 480 (SD): 60p (59.94) / 50p.

As readers of the blog will know, I’ve been waiting for 25p functionality and its absence in Canon’s otherwise astounding 5D mkII was the main issue with buying a camera like this.

I’m keen to see the low light performance of this camera, and to see how it compares to the 5D mkII. Now the ball is in Nikon’s court to come out with the update to the D700 before this potentially wipes the floor with them.

I’m sure someone else will get around to it before me, but I’ll put together a side by side comparison to check specs.

Read the press release below.

A Whole New Class of EOS.

With a host of brand new features designed to enhance every facet of the photographic process, from still images to video, the new EOS 7D represents a whole new class of camera.

Made to be the tool of choice for serious photographers and semi-professionals, the EOS 7D features an all-new 18.0 Megapixel APS-C size CMOS sensor and Dual DIGIC 4 Image Processors, capturing tremendous images at up to ISO 12800 and speeds of up to 8 fps. The EOS 7D has a new all cross-type 19-point AF system with improved AI Servo AF subject tracking and user-selectable AF area selection modes for sharp focus no matter the situation. The EOS 7D’s Intelligent Viewfinder, an entirely newly-designed technology, provides 100% coverage and displays user-selected AF modes as well as a spot metering circle and on demand grid lines. New iFCL Metering with 63-zone dual-layer metering system uses both focus and color information to provide accurate exposure even in difficult lighting. The EOS 7D also captures Full HD video at 30p (29.97 fps), 24p (23.976 fps) and 25p with an array of manual controls, including manual exposure during movie shooting and ISO speed selection. The EOS 7D features a magnesium alloy body that is dust- and weather-resistant and shutter durability of up to 150,000 cycles. Compatible with over 60 EF and EF-S lenses as well as with EOS System accessories, the creative opportunities – not just with stills but also with video – are beyond amazement.

Update 1 –

Now the bad news –

UK Pricing is £1700  US Pricing is $1700

A real kick in the preverbal considering the 5D mkII is –

UK Pricing is £1900  US Pricing is $2900

This had better come down. We’re not idiots.

A quick currency conversion shows that $1700 = £1051.

It maybe time for that trip to the states.

Update 2 –


This site allows you to show/download side by side comparisons. No videos, but I have looked at the still life 12800 and thought the noise on the 7D was better than the more expensive/larger sensor 5DmkII

Most of the videos that are available at the moment are rather bad, but hopefully someone will do a straight comparison when the camera is commercially available.


Canon 5D mkII Firmware released

2 06 2009

logo Canon released their firmware update yesterday. Yummie. Now all I can say is come on Nikon. Nikon are looking to release the D300s soon if are right

What Hybrid DSLR camera to buy?!!

31 05 2009


I’m looking to buy a new camera, so I thought I’d put a list together with some pros and cons. Don’t think I’ll be buying for a few months yet, still saving the pennies. A friend has just got a Canon 5D mkII. I’m desperate to get my hands on it for a try, to see if It’ll make my mind up

Over the last 6 months there’s been a stalled revolution which was the release of HD video capable DSLR stills cameras with the potential to blow away more expensive video cameras. First the Nikon D90, which despite being initially impressive, proved to be a bit of a damp squip, with a fair amount of artifacting and problems when panning the camera. This was followed by the Canon 5D mkII which was seriously impressive, full 1080p and a really crisp image with none of the problems associated with the D90.

But the Canon 5D mkII looks like it was a rushed release. Due to Nikon releasing the D90, Canon seem to have brought forward the date on the 5D mkII to steal it’s thunder. It surely did. But when I say it was a rushed release, I don’t mean that they got it all wrong, quite the opposite. The camera actually is now a serious threat to their video camera sales. Apparently they didn’t talk to the video division, just put a great video mode on a DSLR.

However, it was still seriously limited, with no real control over the settings, frame rate etc. This has had many filmmakers gnashing their teeth, seeing something so near, but so far away. My problem is that as I live in the UK, I use the PAL TV system. This operates at 25 frames per second, or 25P. The camera will only shoot in 30P which is (almost) NTSC, the US and  Japan standard.

In the meantime…

Red, famed for its Red one camera has scrapped working on its Scarlett ‘budget’ camera. This looks to be replaced by a DSLR type body. “We have changed everything about Scarlet because the market has changed and we have discovered a lot of things in the process. We have a new vision. Wipe you minds of the past announced Scarlet. Forget the design and forget the price. It is all different now. We think you will be surprised.” The price on this one is probably out of my price range, expect £4000 at a guess, and also Red have previously released their cameras, then had a long wait for people to actually get their hands on one. But if you can handle the wait it will surely be revolutionary.

Panasonic releases the GH1 – Panasonic sort of gets it right. Its new camera is 4 thirds, a newish system which has a lack of lenses available, but due to the smaller size, seems to mount industry lenses easier. Many people think this is a really great camera, but I’m holding out for a while to wait and see.

Recently Canon have released info about a future firmware upgrade which will address many of the problems over the manual controls. but there is still the problem over the framerate.

Here’s the contenders. I’ve decided to put these in order of personal interest.


Nikon D300s Approx £1300 without lens- Still a rumor, but a big rumor that there will be an update to the D300. As this would be Nikon’s chance to make a serious fight with Canon for the DSLR/Filmmaker market, lets hope that they go all the way with the video instead of the specs listed here at



Canon 5D mkII Approx £2100 without lens – Now this just produces superb images, untouched so far by the others available at the time of writing. Checkout for info on the recent firmware update or the hopeful resolution of the 24/25p problem



Panasonic GH1 – £1300 with lens – This looks very interesting – Full 1080p, interchangeable lenses. Full manual controls. Watch this space. I’m really interested to see comparison videos


I’d prefer Nikon over Canon, as they seem the better buy in the long run. Their cameras seem better, and their lens system is backwards compatible – meaning that you can keep your older lenses when you upgrade the camera.

Candas Sisman – Edicisum

3 02 2009

A great experimental audiovisual piece by Candas Sisman, Edicisum features a soundtrack by Isambard Khroustaliov. Lots of macro, very rich use of colour and real experimentation with the relationship between sound and image, it certainly ticks the box for me. I’d like to say more, but this will have to be a quick one. I’ll let the video do the talking. 


Also check out his other works at his vimeo page

And the collaborative group between Experimental filmmakers and musicians at Not Applicable

Canon 5D mkII update

19 01 2009

Well the 5d mk2 has been out for a little while now, and a lot of people have got their hands on one. I’m still holding off to see what Canon are going to do about the 24/25p issue. For those of you not aware, the camera shoots at 30frames per second. This is pretty much the standard frame rate in the US and Japan, but for Europeans, we have 25 frames per second. The 24p relates to the speed that film runs at and is obviously great for those wanting to shoot more filmic videos.

Anyway, lots of sites have been moaning at Canon to do the decent thing and update the camera to work properly in the UK. They’re selling it here, but we don’t get the same functionality that they get in the US. We’re already paying a massive premium on top of the US prices, so don’t make me any more depressed. Come on.

If Canon don’t get the job done, then maybe the people at will do it for them. Another good place to find out if it is being updated is at 

I was also interested to see if there is any more nice footage out there to show what the 5D MKII can do. Vincent Laforet’s blog is still a great resource, and he  has some tips and tricks. Tips and tricks for the 5D MKII – Part 1  Tips and tricks for the 5D MKII – Part 2 Audio. He certainly seems to be getting a lot of work as a cinematographer since releasing Reverie into the wild. 

Another good place to see what the camera can do, especially in low light (what I really want it for), is on Angus Giorgi’s Vimeo page. Vimeo is a great site, full of interesting videos. Vimeo works more like a showcase for new and existing talent, rather than Youtube’s mass of lifted programmes and sneezing pandas. No more yapping from me, just click below to see Angus’ video.


There’s also a forum thread over at where desperate 5D MKII owners are retiming the speed of their clips to make them 25PAL footage. It looks like it’s going to take a long time rendering if you want to do it.

If you have no idea what the Canon 5d mk2 is, or why it’s so revolutionary for moving image then read a good review of it here or read my original blog entry

update – check out all the latest on the camera at

James Miller details a high shutter speed workaround on his vimeo page 

Happy New Year!

5 01 2009

Crikey, another one over. I haven’t made any resolutions, but I need to get fitter and do more creative work. So I’d better get on. Before I do, a quick post for this amazing video. If you ever needed any inspiration as to what to do with the 300,000 spare tea-lights you have stashed away in a cupboard, then check this out.



Don’t Forget about me – posts from the past

19 10 2008

Ink Tank Experiments

Here are a couple of companies who have been doing really interesting things with the classic film technique of filming ink and other substances. By experimenting with this technique and then treating it in after effects or other post-production software you…


Pixilation is a great technique for producing quick and fantastic looking animation. Based on stop motion, where the animator places clay figures or other 3d objects in front of the camera, takes a frame then moves the objects and repeats. The difference…

 The Action Cats

a group of designers, animators and filmmakers who use interesting experimental and traditional techniques to produce an innovative and dark look for their piece “The Experiment”. “The Experiment” was produced for Adobe’s “See what’s possible”…

David Anderson – Door

There is a great power in inanimate objects and architectural features, and exploited here is the door. A closed door is a very powerful image. Just seeing it places questions into the audiences mind, raising their emotional expectation. A closed…

Dangerous Parking

This shows some really interesting text, being deformed in a wispy, smoky way…

Rojo TV

Full of really interesting creative video work, this site really spans a wide range of artistic video and motion graphics work. This should prove to be a great source…

Richard Fenwick

Richard Fenwickis a designer/filmmaker/animator who works across a wide range of formats. He goes where the idea takes him, flitting between animation/design…


Mark Lewis

I saw his work at the BFI Southbank gallery in October 07. He often uses strong effects, like the ‘vertigo shot’ / dolly zoom (or whatever you want to call it)…


Rosie Pedlow / Joe King – Sea Change

A beautifully simple idea executed very well, Rosie and Joe’s film takes a seaside caravan park as its subject, and reveals through a series of smooth tracking shots…



Is there anything worth watching on TV anymore? Not a great deal, but there’s usually a lot of nice idents about. For a while BBC2 and Channel4 have been… 


 Jan Svankmajer

Jan Svankmajer is a real influence for me. Often miscribed as an animator, he should really be classed as a surrealist filmmaker as his work moves effortlessly between…