Recently I finally found some time to get creative with video editing, something I have wanted to do for a very long time. The result of my video editing baby steps is just a very basic little movie of the absolutely gorgeous pristine coastline of James Price Point, Western Australia. Edited entirely in iMovie from a Canon 5D Mk II recording and featuring a few of my landscapes from James Price Point and the wonderful music of James Newton Howard from Blood Diamond soundtrack; this is Images of James Price Point:
I use Vimeo.com for hosting videos although I feel out of place as Vimeo has so many extremely talented videomakers uploading absolutely magical videos. Have a look at my ‘likes’ on Vimeo and you shall see some amazing stunning work by people like Tom @ Timescapes and Mike Fletcher.
The first of my video editing attempts but definitely not the last. Now that I have experienced how much fun video shooting and editing is I wish I had shot a lot more on my previous trip and will surely shoot a lot on upcoming adventures!
Shooting video with the Canon 5D Mk II
Finally; I want to share some of my experience with shooting video on the Canon 5D Mk II on an actual production. During a corporate shoot in Malaysia and on Borneo in June 09 with Michael Rastrup from Danish Tv2 and Georg from Livingfilms.com we used my 5D Mk II quite a bit for the video as it soon became apparent the quality blew the JVC proHD camera away. Here’s a few of my experiences:
- It is fun! It is an incredible amount of fun to be a still photographer and suddenly finding yourself shooting video on your still camera! I loved it!
- Can’t do both simultaneously. Video shooting is incredibly time consuming and it is hard to try and do landscape photography at the same time.
- The firmware allowing complete manual control of video shooting had just been released and I installed it on day 2 of shooting. It is absolutely essential, giving you complete control of exposure and aperture during video shooting.
- Mounted on a great Sachtler tripod with a fluid head you forget it’s a still camera. The 5D Mk II becomes a video camera – but a good video tripod is essential for any sort of shooting and panning. The 5D is really terrible to handhold while shooting video, impossible to keep steady.
- We were a bit perplexed at first trying to get footage from the 5D to co-exist in Final Cut with footage from the JVC. The 5D footage kept skipping. 5D shoots at 30 frames, cannot be changed, JVC shoots at 25 or 50 frames. We ended up using MPEG streamclip to convert all 5D footage to 25 frames and that solved the problem. There are rumours of an upcoming firmware for the 5D allowing us to shoot at 24 and 25fps also – highly needed!
- Internal microphone is useless and the mini-jack microphone line input probably not a lot better. You really need a separate recorder I think. We actually recorded the audio on the JVC as that had XLR inputs and a headphone monitoring option, essential.
- Shallow DOF created by 35mm sensor and shooting at f/4.0 is amazing on video! We shot some awesome close ups and over the shoulder shots.
- High iso rocks! We shot indoors in offices, blinds closed, just a tiny spotlight and got beautiful results.
- Shooting video eats the battery quickly as is to be expected and I only had one battery, this was back when Canon could not produce batteries. Re-charging at every chance possible was essential.
- I can’t show the footage so you will just have to take my word for it – video on a 5D shot at 17mm from the back of a jeep driving through a palm plantation looks mindblowing! 17mm looks amazing on video as well as stills.
- Oh one final tip, mostly for myself, try not to walk into tripod while you shoot (something I did several times)!