Responding to popular user requests, Canon is planning to release a firmware update for the Canon EOS 5D Mark II full frame DSLR camera on June 2, 2009 that allows manual exposure control during video shooting.

The 21.1 megapixel full frame DSLR camera can shoot stunning videos but users frequently complaint about the lack of many controls that are available on camcorders that cost 1/10 of its price.  The glaring deficiencies include the absence of continuous autofocus and manual exposure control. During video shooting, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II operates in a full automatic mode with the camera selecting the ISO, aperture, and shutter speeds. With the announced new firmware, Canon EOS 5D Mark II users will be able to fully control all aspects of exposure: aperture, ISO, and shutter speed.

It is a great improvement. However in order to make video shooting on a DSLR more appealing for average video shooters autofocus is still needed.  David Pogue of New York Times thinks that “… without autofocus, an S.L.R. camera that shoots video is just a parlor stunt.” Canon does not offer any indication that autofocus will be available. In case you haven’t heard, the new Panasonic DMC-GH1 is the first DSLR camera that supports continuous autofocus during video shooting.

The following is the press release found on Canon UK website.

Following the launch of the EOS 5D Mark II in September 2008, Canon’s Research and Development team has listened closely to customer feedback to develop additions to the camera’s movie recording functionality.

Allowing EOS 5D Mark II owners to achieve even more stunning video results with the camera, the firmware update will include the following manual controls when shooting video:

  • Full aperture selection
  • ISO speed: Auto, 100 – 6400 and H1
  • Shutter speed: 1/30th – 1/4000th second

The EOS 5D Mark II integrates full HD movie capability into a high-end 21.1 Megapixel camera; opening a multitude of new possibilities for photo-journalists and news photographers. Since its launch the camera has proved its appeal to professionals working in diverse fields, from studio and wedding to nature and travel.  Now, following customer feedback, Canon has improved functionality for professional video users, further unleashing the potential of the EOS 5D Mark II for cinematographers and photographers alike.

Posted in: Digital SLR Cameras on May 28th, 2009. Trackback URI
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