It has been described by Vincent Laforet, one of the world’s top professional photographers, as having the “potential to change our industry”.
Nikon was the first to announce a DSLR capable of recording high def video in the form of the D90, which can capture full-motion video at up to 720p resolution and at 24 frames-per-second (fps).
Now Canon’s latest offering has gone even further.
The soon-to-be-launched Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR can record full 1080p video clips at 30 (fps).
According to Laforet the camera, which is expected to retail for USD $2,799.99, performs better than many USD $100,000-plus video cameras.
The EOS 5D Mark II, which can also record standard definition video, has a 3” Live View LCD.
Up to 4GB of video can be recorded per clip or up to 30 minutes of footage, despending on what comes first.
Video is recorded in the .mov format using an MPEG-4 video compression, and linear PCM sound without compression.
An external stereo mic can be connected, or you can simply use the built-in monaural mic.
Video can be played using HDMI on a wide-screen TV.
New York-based Laforet, who Canon allowed 72-hours to try out a prototype of the camera, said of his experience: “The time I did have with a prototype of the Canon EOS 5D MKII will possibly change the path of my career as well as the photography industry to some degree.”
He said the “game changer” of a camera produces the best stills in low light that he has ever seen.
“What you can see with you eye in the worst light – such as sodium-vapor street lights at 3 am in Brooklyn – this camera can capture it with ease,” he said. “It produces the best video in low light that I’ve ever seen – at 1080p.”
Laforet was allowed to try out the camera on condition he produced a video and stills completely independently from Canon USA.
Despite having never shot a film before he made a video with less than 12 hours of pre-production with a USD $5,000 budget – which included USD $2,000 for a one hour helicopter flight over the city.
The short film was shot over two nights with two models, three assistants, a co-director, one editor, and one makeup artist.
Laforet said a top commercial film editor who regularly edits RED camera footage, and who saw the raw footage from the 5D MKII, said it was “far superior to the RED camera” in terms of low light performance.
The EOS 5D Mark II digital SLR will be available at the end of November in a body-only configuration for an ESP of USD $2,799.99; or in a kit with Canon’s EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens for USD $3,649.99.