Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Canon 5D Test Shoot

Last August, I directed a concert video called "Get To Know Me" by MySpace artist Mateo. I've written about the process here and you can see the video here. We shot it using the new Canon 5D Mark II still photography camera that shoots HD video. I also used the camera to film the final party scenes in the White and Crazy Kids video. But I never really got to play around with it.

In preparation for a new project, I got my hands on one and went around town shooting with it. I shot scenes on the CSI:NY sets in Studio City, down in Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles using nothing but the light that was available to me.

You can see the results in the video above but I can tell you this: the 5D is a pretty sweet little camera. I do have some issues with it (compression during the capture process is never ideal) but the camera works and it's right for a lot of different projects out there.

If were planning a short film, with a budget, and actors, that I would want to run in festivals (as it happens I am developing one right now) I would probably still shoot on the RED if I couldn't afford 35mm. Why? I like big cameras. I like what the RED has to offer. I don't think you can beat the stunning images that come out of it. It's amazing camera and you're starting with a RAW format. But the RED requires light. It's not that much different than a 35mm camera in terms of what requires to capture the image.

I can shoot with the 5D using only available light and get images that make it look like I had a huge lighting crew. Free projects, low-budget projects (this thing would have been perfect for Mateo's mixtape series) this thing is amazing. Anywhere you can get away with a still camera (but not a big professional video camera) you can take this. LAV up your actors and run the scene. No one will know.

As it happens, Mateo and I are planning another collaboration for a video from Chapter 3 of his mixtape series. It won't be the narrative mixtape video I've been doing but instead will be a traditional music video. I plan to use the Canon 7D (a slightly smaller censored brother of the 5D, the 7D shoots 24p, 30p and 60i (though the recent firmware update for the 5D does as well)) and I'm excited to see what we can get.

I will have more to report on that as I get started and an massive update for you all soon. In the meantime, enjoying the video, starring my wife and Danielle and our puppy, Hadley.

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