Good whereas it lasted: does the Canon 5D mkIV mark the tip of DSLR video?


When the Canon 5D mkII burst onto the scene in 2008, it was nothing wanting a revelation for video shooters. I by no means use the time period sport changer, however the 5D mkII actually was. Canon added video recording after a request by AP and Reuters for a digital camera that was able to taking pictures each stills and video. Little did they know that this small addition to a stills digital camera would change our trade perpetually.

The Sony F35

Again in 2008, your choices for digitally taking pictures cinematic progressive video with a shallow depth of subject had been each restricted and really costly. Sony had launched the Tremendous 35mm CineAlta F35 with a whopping value level of $250,000 US, and a yr earlier a small firm of entrepreneurs in a warehouse launched the RED One. It had a 4K Mysterium sensor and will seize 4K photos at as much as 60 frames per second within the proprietary Redcode format. The Crimson One was arguably the primary semi-affordable digital camera that offered filmmakers out-of-the-box performance with the “function movie high quality” identified to far more costly 35mm movie cameras, but it surely was nonetheless 1000’s of {dollars}.

The 5DmkII set up for video with an Sound Devices audio mixer
The 5DmkII arrange for video with an Sound Gadgets audio mixer

The discharge of the 5D mkII instantly allowed shooters to seize a full body look, in a tiny digital camera utilizing reasonably priced stills glass. For the primary time, an possibility capturing cinematic wanting video was accessible at a value level that most individuals might afford. At launch the digital camera might initially solely file in 30P; it wasn’t until 2010 that Canon enabled 24P and 25P functionality.

On the time the 5D mkII was launched I used to be taking pictures for Al Jazeera utilizing 2/3” Sony broadcast cameras. I had been wanting on the RED One and 35mm DOF adapters, however on the time I believed they had been both too costly, or too impractical to make use of. The 5D mkII was nice, however the lack of 25P recording meant it was completely unsuitable for broadcast in PAL international locations. I waited patiently and on the first September 2009 Canon introduced the 7D. Whereas this digital camera wasn’t full body and was solely APS-C, it was attainable to pick body charges from: 30p (29.97), 25p, and 24p (23.976), in addition to 60p (59.94) and 50p at 720p. The 7D, just like the 5D mkII, was a revelation for me and opened up a wholly new world of inventive prospects. In late 2009 I shot what was arguably the world’s first ever worldwide broadcast information story utterly captured on a DSLR.

Shooting the Sword Maker and the Swordsman using the 7D
Taking pictures the Sword Maker and the Swordsman utilizing the 7D
Shooting Al Jazeera correspondent Steven Chow using the Canon 7D
Taking pictures Al Jazeera correspondent Steven Chow utilizing the Canon 7D

Utilizing DSLR cameras wasn’t with out its issues. in 2009 there have been solely a handful of equipment accessible and the audio recording capabilities had been difficult to say the least. For the primary broadcast information story I shot on a DSLR, I used my Sony XDCAM digital camera to file all of the audio, which I then needed to sync up manually to the imaginative and prescient captured on the 7D. For taking pictures information this sort of workflow was hardly best, however I continued with it due to the imagery I might acquire.

The 7D and the 5D mkII (as soon as it received 24P and 25P in early 2010) quickly turned my cameras of selection, and ultimately I used to be taking pictures 90 per cent of my information jobs on a DSLR. I continued utilizing a DSLR up till the Sony F3 turned accessible in early 2011. I feel, like {many professional} shooters, that the DSLR was only a stopgap answer, till one thing higher got here alongside.

The DSLR revolution wasn’t with out its critics. Shooters who had invested closely in skilled tools instantly in some instances discovered themselves having to compete in opposition to a 20-year-old with a $3000 digital camera. Some manufacturing corporations and producers noticed this as a possibility to vastly reduce budgets and rent somebody for lots much less cash. By making it reasonably priced, Canon put knowledgeable digital camera inside attain of an entire new market. Whereas we will debate the deserves of what this has finished to competitors and charges, it’s clear that the digital camera modified all the things.

The 5D mkII and C300 side by side
The 5D mkII and C300 facet by facet

Canon deserves quite a lot of credit score. With out the introduction of the 5D mkII, who is aware of what cameras we might be taking pictures on right now? The 5D modified the panorama and compelled quite a lot of producers to provide you with reasonably priced giant sensor cameras. It additionally spawned an enormous equipment market, and numerous corporations emerged making all the things from digital camera rigs to sliders and dollies.

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 5D Mark III

The sluggish loss of life of the 5D for video work started the day Canon introduced the Cinema EOS C300. From that time onwards, Canon’s technique was that should you needed a video digital camera that used a Tremendous 35mm sensor, had correct XLR audio inputs and SDI in/out you then shouldn’t be shopping for their 5D. Nonetheless, followers of the 5D mkII waited patiently till 2012 for the discharge of the 5D mkIII. Most customers had been disenchanted by the specs and had been anticipating the digital camera to be an unlimited enchancment on the Mark II, however sadly it wasn’t. What some individuals neglect is that Canon is a enterprise, and companies are designed to generate profits. It might have made no sense for Canon to supply options and performance within the 5D mkIII that had been the identical as these discovered within the far more costly C300 and C100 Cinema EOS cameras.

5d_DSC0030

This brings me to the latest announcement of the Canon 5D mkIV. Virtually eight years after the preliminary launch of the Mark II, quite a bit has modified and the digital camera market has change into more and more crowded and aggressive. The video specs for the Mark IV are fairly underwhelming, regardless of it with the ability to file 4K internally. With devoted Tremendous 35mm cameras accessible for marginally more cash, the times {of professional} video shooters utilizing DSLRs as their essential digital camera are clearly numbered.

There’ll at all times be a spot for the DSLR, and we shouldn’t neglect the digital camera that, prefer it or not, modified our trade perpetually. For multimedia shooters, a digital camera just like the 5D mkIV nonetheless makes quite a lot of sense, however in case you are simply taking pictures video there are quite a bit higher choices. The 5D is probably not the goto digital camera it as soon as was, however we owe it quite a bit, and like every nice pioneer it deserves our respect.