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Canon 5DMkII debuts with 1080p pro video

Big news in digital photography land. Ever since the Matrix action sequences were filmed inside a ring of digital SLR cameras, with perspective images interpolated acording to the director’s vision, I’ve been excited about the future of DP. I studied digital signal processing for several years, including data compression and communicatons (the digital kind, not the journalism kind). That stuff is so amazing and powerful, we know that a wonderfully different future is coming. Someday.

Shooting a current pro-level Canon 1DMkIII is a remarkable experience, if for no other reason than the shear speed of the SLR mechanism. It seems downright wrong that the camera moves so many mechanical parts so fast to capture images. I know it’s an SLR, and I love the 10+ frames per second captures, but why does it need to do all that work? Why can’t it capture the images… well… digitally, the way it captures the light on a sensor? Like digital video… a digital shutter… but we all know that digital video cameras can’t do high speed action photography well. Not well enough (yet) to enable high-res, single frame action shots pulled from the video.

Now we are a major step closer with the new Canon 5DMkII. It is a 21Mpixel sensor and it shoots continuous captures, which it then downsamples to a 1080p video resolution standard. In low light. It’s magic for non-action photoraphy, especially on-location stuff. And through your existing (excellent, fast) Canon glass. Said to be available late November for $2700. Check out the camera and the images and video samples.

It doesn’t do fast action yet… imagine how disruptive a $2700 DSLR would be if it worked for pro sports? You could capture a video and select frames for use as high res digital photos. Talk about changing an industry! That should come fast in a larger, pro model like the 1D line (with a cost to match) and still be quite evolutionary. But this 5DMkII itself is a major advance for digital photography… if it is as described. I know what’s on my holiday wish list…

Following the excitement here.


  1. dude wrote:

    typo: photoraphy

    It’s magic for non-action photoraphy, especially on-location stuff.

    Thursday, September 25, 2008 at 7:34 am | Permalink
  2. web design tipperary, ireland wrote:

    digital camcorders have a while to go yet, much like digital still cameras took a while to become fully developed

    Sunday, December 21, 2008 at 1:10 pm | Permalink