Allen's Blog

Posts tagged ‘Canon 5D Mark II’:

GoPro Goes Big at NAB 2012

We’re in Las Vegas this week to support Dedolight at the NAB 2012 show. It’s always interesting to come out here and reconnect with our customers and dealers, and take in as much of the new gear as possible. It seems like the industry changes so much year after year, especially since Canon introduced the 5D Mark II (recently superseded by the 5D Mark III) and the tiny GoPro camera arrived on the scene.

GoPro's NAB 2012 booth is massive relative to their age -- about 1/5th the size of Canon's

On that note, one thing that struck me this year was how much GoPro has grown in such a short time. Their booth at NAB is roughly one-fifth the size of Canon’s main booth — even though GoPro cameras didn’t exist ten years ago… and still cost less than $300! I think it says something about the changing character of the NAB show (the ‘B’ standing for ‘Broadcasters’) when one of the major exhibitors has a product best known in the surfing/skating/extreme sports video industries.

Like the “5D2” before it, rapidly advancing technology and digital workflows enabled forward-thinking crews to get things done faster and cheaper… which just meant that eventually everyone else had to catch up, and then demand the same conveniences from other manufacturers. I find it very, very interesting to see how quickly these new technologies are disrupting a 100+ year old industry — but let’s not forget, at the end of the day, to use these machines to make good images and tell good stories.

GoPro booth at NAB 2012



High Praise for Low Fidelity

The New York Times' front page for November 22nd, 2010

The New York Times is at our doorstep before the sun rises, particularly at this time of year, and a quick look at the front page told me that something very interesting is unfolding in the area of major newspaper photojournalism. Four photos from Afghanistan (there are six more on the inside ‘jump’), credited to staffer Damon Winter, looked nothing like images from the Nikon/Canon realm of equipment.

There is no mention in the captions, or in the long piece they accompany (about a unit of U.S. forces in that country)  that provide a clue. But a quick trip to the paper’s photo blog gave the answer: Following the lead of the troops who routinely use their cell phone cameras to record life in a war zone, Damon Winter has taken his iPhone and, with the Hipstamatic app, produced a series of vignettes (with more to be seen on the web). At the same time, he’s using his Canon EOS 5D Mk II to shoot video for the paper (as well as, presumably, still photos). In any case, his coverage on the web is very impressive.

That got me in a back-to-the-future mode. Just this past weekend, the Wall Street Journal did a piece on the latest generation of cameras (think Sony/Samsung/Panasonic/Olympus) that provide a nearly professional bridge between point-and-shoot and SLR equipment. The essence of the WSJ article is that the SLRs are too bulky and too complicated for the average user to truly master. I know this is true – even my Canon G11 and Nikon D300 have features and capabilities that I can’t begin to remember. That’s why I keep a Nikon F (from 1967) and a Kodak Hawkeye (from the early ’50s) on my desk, just as reminders of how simple things used to be.

1967 Nikon F

I’ve got nothing at all against technology; after all, I’ve built a company that provides equipment (some of it quite sophisticated) to photographers and filmmakers. But not so many years ago, I never had to carry a 200-page manual to take advantage of the features of any of my cameras. I know lots of very smart people who are buying some very expensive digital cameras and never (never!) taking them off the ‘auto’ setting. So it’s easy to understand the appeal of keeping it as simple as using my first Brownie was 60 years ago.

An early-1950s-vintage Kodak Brownie Hawkeye

By the way, in a nod to recursion, the photo of today’s NY Times front page was taken with my iPhone 4.

How to Get Hi-Def Aerial Footage Without a Crane

Eric Austin strapped his Canon 5D and 7D cameras into a remote controlled helicopter, resulting in some very impressive footage:

Read the full story at Wired.

NAB 2010 Report: The Canon 5D Mark II, Redrock Micro, and How They Will Impact the Next Generation of Photographers

Canon 5D Mark II

The major broadcast equipment companies go all-out at NAB, and Canon, Sony, Panasonic, and JVC are some of the ones you’d expect to be major exhibitors each year. One year ago, there was so much attention paid to the video applications for Canon’s EOS 5D Mark II digital still camera that it was difficult to get hands-on time with the camera and all the third-party devices that had quickly sprung up to support it for video shooters. The crowds at Canon’s booth and that of Redrock Micro, who make an incredible range of accessory products for the 5D, were the biggest I saw. The 5D has almost single-handedly created a new niche straddling semi-pro and pro video, and then filled it. While I was in Las Vegas, Raj Tavadia, our technology director, emailed me to say that this season’s finale of House was shot entirely using the 5D and linked me to an interview with Greg Yaitanes, the director of photography.

By the way, Canon’s use of the photographer Vincent Laforet (former NYTimes staffer) was a really good idea. Vincent’s live presentations were riveting (if you could find room to watch him). I took an unscientific survey of his audiences, and they ran the full age range from students in their 20s to shooters who had started with 16mm news film. Even though Vincent and other presenters showed a lot of lovely scenic video and aerials, it’s clear that the 5D is a real crowd-pleaser when it comes to night scenes (complete with mist and wet streets); the music video shooters were all paying close attention.

That brings me to a conversation I just had with Jeff Hirsch, President of Foto Care in New York City… Continue Reading…