A short video from last Friday night’s Jamboree at the Floyd Country Store in Floyd, Virginia. Filmed entirely on Canon’s 5D Mark II digital SLR that combines a 21.1 megapixel sensor for still photography with high definition video. (Click here for a full size HD version)
Both the video and sound were captured with the 5DII and edited on Final Cut Pro with no color correction or enhancement to the video from the camera. Sound was recorded via a Sony wireless video transmitter attached to a Shure microphone on stage. The receiver mounted on the hot shoe of the 5DII fed the sound directly into the camera. No supplemental lighting was used for the shoot.
It’s obvious after looking at this that I’m going to have to use my reading glasses to focus through the LCD on the rear of the camera. Or I may opt for for an external monitor.
These clips are part of an ongoing project to update the orginal Jamboree documentary we shot in standard definition video in 2002, using a Canon XL1s camcorder.
My Canon 5D Mark II arrived three days before Christmas and I haven’t had as much time as I would like to put it through its paces. Shot some test video to try and learn the camera’s capabilities and shortcomings. For someone used to shooting video with a standard videocam this will take some getting used to.
Focus is a bit tricky with the camera’s live view function. The quick focus feature is not all that quick, no compared to the focus on EOS pro bodies while shooting stills. I hadn’t played with Live View all that much on my 1D MKIII or 1Ds Mark III so this is a learning curve.
Low light capability is incredible. In low light, the detail blows away my Sony V1U HDV camcorder, which shoots 1080p at 24, 25 and 30p.
The H.264 Quicktime files produced by the 5DII will require some equipment upgrades on the editing in. My trusty Power Mac G5, duel 2.7ghz may need replacing even with 8gb of memory and 10TB of raid storage. I have to convert the footage to Apple’s Pro-Res 4.22 to edit the footage in Final Cut Pro.
I was able to capture good quality sound using a wireless mike setup (Sony UWP-V6).
I’m hoping to spend most of today editing some of the video and will post some when I’m done.
As I await arrival of my Canon 5D MKII camera, I am discovering more and more of what others are doing with this incredible tool that mixes high definition stills and video.
Check out this offering from Engaging Films, a collaboration of filmmakers and photographers from Los Angeles and Miami. The short film, set to premiere on Christmas Day, was shot in 48 hours using the 5D MK II.
In a few days, I hope to have some video of my own to post from this amazing camera.
I’m waiting, with much anticipation, the arrival of a new Canon 5D Mark II — a 21.1 megapixel still/video hybrid that photographer Vincent Laforet calls a “game changer.” It is, as the video above, shot by SmugMug CEO Don MacAskill, clearly proves.
If you haven’t seen Laforet’s stunning short film, Reverie, you owe it to yourself to do so. The video, shot entirely in 1080p high definition video on a preduction 5D MKII is incredible. The fact that Vincent had never attempted a video project before makes it even more of an accomplishment.
I’ve been shooting video for a number of years now. Amy and I produced a 30-minute documentary (above) on Floyd’s famous Friday Night Jamboree in 2003. It was shot in standard definition DV with two Canon XL1s cameras and you can tell the difference between it and the high quality of HD.
The video above was shot with a Sony Z1U HD videocam that shoots in 1080i. We’ve since upgraded to a Sony V1U that shoots 24p in 1080 and we’re working on a number of other projects, including a high-definition update to the Jamboree film. Adding the Canon 5D MKII to our arsenal seems a logical step because it allows me to use all my existing Canon lenses and adds a lowlight capability previously available only on videocams costing $100,000 or more. The 5D MKII has an extendable ISO capability of 25,600. Images show in incredibly low light are low in noise and feature extreme detail.
Jeff Snyder at Adorama was kind enough to put me on a high-priority waiting list for the new camera and an email yesterday said the camera is on its way. With luck I’ll have it next week.
User reports will be posted as soon as I have it in hand and put it through its paces.
American Biker: A motocyclist with a tattered American flag cruises by the State Theater in Falls Church, VA, on Sept. 15, 2001 -- four days after the terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center in New York and damaged the Pentagon in nearby Arlington.
In an earlier post, I talked about grab shots. This one has paid more bills and given me more exposure than any photo I’ve taken over the past 40-some years. It was four days past the 9/11 terrorist attacks and I drove my wife to the doctor — the Kaiser Permanente Health Center in Falls Church, VA. I saw the flag hanging from the marquee and the message on the front of the State Theater on Washington Street so I decided to shoot a photo of the theater while waiting.
As I walked up to the theater, I heard the sound of approaching motorcycles. I shot three images with my Nikon D1 as the bikes roared by. This was the shot that went out on the newswires the next day.
Musicians practice before an appearance on stage at the Friday Night Jamboree in Floyd, Virginia. Photo taken in March 2007.
A reader who noted my list of equipment wanted to know why I didn’t list any flashes. I don’t use flash. Never. I’m a believer in natural light. I don’t like fill lighting or using supplemental lighting in a shot. I’d rather shoot with available light to try and preserve the visual that the eye sees.
Often, low light, shadow and backlighting provide a more dramatic lighting for a scene. The shot above uses two available and natural light sources: The light from the lamp on the table and the early evening light coming in the windows.
I keep a Canon G9 digital camera in my car console and motorcycle saddlebags for those shots that pop up when you least expect it, like this setting sun near Christiansburg, Virginia. The Canon is a 12.1 megapixel point and shoot with a lot of pro features and is a popular “grab shot” camera for professional photographers.
Sorrow as Floyd County falls 35-20 in State Football final at Salem Municipal Stadium on Saturday, December 6, 2008.
A reader of the Floyd Press wanted to know why I took photos of the Floyd County High School players crying after their loss to Gretna in the Virginia High School League Championship game in Salem last Saturday.
“Why couldn’t you let them have their moment of grief in private,” she asked. “Both you and The Roanoke Times took photos of them while they were crying.”
Yes we did. Eric Brady of The Roanoke Timesand I both had photos of the emotion and grief that followed the game. It was a major part of the story of the game. Floyd went into the championship game 13-0 and, like the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl earlier this year, hoped to finish the season undefeated.
Sadly, that wasn’t to be and the disappointment in the players’ faces was part of the game. Other photos here.
Martha Spencer, a musician with the White Top Mountain Band of Grayson County, Virginia. Photographed at FloydFest in July 2006 with a Canon EOS-1D and a 70-200mm f2.8 zoom.
I get a lot of questions from photography enthusiasts about the equipment I use for most photo assignments.
As a pro shooter my cameras are the tools of my trade and the tools depend on the job at hand. I shot with Nikons for most of my professional career, starting with my first Nikon F single-lens-reflex in 1965 through the D2H digital that I used until I switched to Canon in 2004.
Now my primary camera bodies are the Canon EOS-1D Mark III and the EOS-1Ds Mark III. The 1Ds at 21.7 megapixels, is one of the highest resolution DSLRs on the market and produces stunning photographs. I also have a 1D Mark II and 1Ds Mark II as backups along with a 40D.
For most non-sports shooting assignments I use two camera bodies with a 28-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 zooms. For football, baseball, track and soccer, the primary action lens if a 400mm f2.8 (on a monopod) with the 70-200mm as backup. I also use the 28-70 for crowd and closeup work. For basketball and volleyball I like 300mm f2.8 for primary action work and the 28-70 for close in shots. Two good prime lenses for basketball and volleyball are the 135mm f2.0 and 85mm f1.2.
The 85 and 135 are also good lenses for shooting music events and portraits. I often use the 70-200 for music shots at the Friday Night Jamboree and FloydFest.
Other lenses in my camera bag include a 17-35mm f2.8 zoom, a 100-400 zoom plus 1.4x and 2x tele-extenders.