After six month’s I finally got to finish the test film for a shoot we did about 6 month’s ago. ‘We’ being me and my friend Marlon Mendonca Dias, a very talented photographer and owner of a Canon 5D Mark II. We wanted to see how our gear worked together to make movies. And it worked very well!

In Amsterdam from Sybren Arnoldus on Vimeo.

The Canon 5D mark II is currently the most talked and blogged about camera in the world. So there is actually very little I can add to the discussion. Yes, it has a great image quality and yes, it has problems too. I was surprised to experience every known problem within the first hour of the shoot. Rolling shutter, bad ergonomics, moire, audio etcetera. But the image quality is spectacular.

It’s not a cheap camera because you need so much extra gear. Thankfully I already have most of it for my other cameras. But besides gear you also need a bigger crew and more time to shoot.

Grading 5D footage was different from grading XDCAM footage. Secondaries are a lot more sensitive and fall apart easily. I think this is because of the H.264 codec but I also need to check the EOS plugin in FCP. Canon seems to like warm colors more than cold colors. After some testing I got the hang of it. Now I need to find out how the two different sources mix (EX1 and 5D).

The 5D has become so popular that it has become a style. Maybe even a cliché. Beware of the auto canon look: warm shots with lots of depth of field. Truly mastering the 5D requires a lot of classical filmmakers skills. Yum.