Update: See links to video samples at the end of this post.
Ok, the rumor mill can stop now. Just after midnight, Canon USA announced the much anticipated EOS 5D Mark II digital SLR. This is the full-frame camera that multimedia producers and photojournalists have been waiting for. Yes, it has a new 21.1 megapixel CMOS sensor with new low noise capabilities. But what sets this digital camera apart is that it shoots HD video onto CF cards. I know what you’re going to say. Nikon beat Canon to the punch with its introduction of the Nikon D90 last month. What I and a lot of other visual journalists wanted in that camera was a mic jack to plug an external microphone into. Canon engineers listened. Finally we have the full meal deal. This from the Canon press release:
Answering the question of where SLR technology is going next, the EOS 5D Mark II features 16:9 Full HD video capture at 1920 x 1080 pixels and 30 fps as well as 4:3 standard TV quality (SD) video capture at 640 x 480 pixels and 30 fps, both capabilities appearing for the first time in a Canon SLR camera. Video capture is part of the camera’s Live View function, using the Picture Style that has been set for Live View still image shooting. This allows skilled photographers and cinematographers to adjust image sharpness, contrast, color saturation and white balance, and have those settings apply to the movie image…The new camera features an input terminal for external stereo microphones as well as a built-in monaural microphone for convenience.
My question is what impact will a camera like this have on newspaper photography departments? No longer will photojournalists need to take a video and a still camera on the same assignment. Will we all become overworked, or energized by this new creative tool? As photo departments do more work for their growing online departments, this camera, I believe, and the ones that follow, will give visual journalists a new and powerful storytelling tool. Wow.
Update: Check out Vincent LaForet’s Blog. He got to spend 72 hours shooting with the Canon 5D Mark II
Here is a link to a Canon page with actual video samples