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After Revolutionary Run, Is This Finally Farewell to the Canon 5D Mark II?

12.23.12 @ 7:47PM Tags : , , , , ,

Welcome to what may be the end of a noble era in low-budget cinema. The 5D Mark II is arguably the device that turned independent filmmaking upside down, single-handedly — and as an individual piece of engineering may be as important as any single and inexpensive video format has ever been. Since its release (and the waves it created), the camera has put the power to create filmic footage in the hands of just about anyone. Now, as such, Canon seems to have decided that the camera’s work is done, because the company’s site is now indicating the discontinuation of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

I’m sure I don’t need to get any more sentimental about this announcement — the implications of the news speaks for itself. Many of us likely owe our initial discovery and subsequent readership of this site to this very camera. Ironically, given the force of change this workhorse exerted on the low-budget world, this is a rather unceremonious way to break the news.

CanonRumors made the find, pointing to an “Old Products” page on Canon’s Japanese site. Here’s CanonRumors with the discovery:

Good-bye old friend

Canon has officially discontinued the EOS 5D Mark II. Quite possibly the most popular and influential DSLR in history.

Some stock is still out there, but it won’t last for long.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II at B&H Photo | Amazon

I’m sure everyone remembers where all this started — and to bring things full circle, here’s Vincent Laforet’s seminal Reverie:

If this information can be said to mark ‘the end of an era,’ then the next one is surely upon us — I look forward to what else the future holds for low-budget filmmaking.

What do you guys think of this news? Nostalgia, anecdotes, retrospection, and so on all welcome in the comments!

Link: Old Products — Canon (in Japanese)

[via CanonRumors]


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Description image 38 COMMENTS

  • It may be discontinued by Canon, but it’ll never be by its fanbase. I’m sure it’ll still be a relevant camera for many years to come as until the Mark III reduces in price significantly, it’ll be the middleman between a 550D and a Super 35mm camcorder.

  • still have and love my unit…=)
    i remember “riverie” and i also remember what this video made with me, “I must have this camera”.

  • long live the king!!

  • it was a good run, and still is, but damn this Reverie looks bad.

    • Billy_Dee_Williams on 12.23.12 @ 11:44PM

      I think that was back when it was available only with 30 fps

      • I know, not just that, some cheesy looking shots, weird cuts, just painful to watch. Mr. Laforet improved quite a lot after this one.

        • The thing was shot in a couple days with a preproduction 30fps camera…it inspired everyone that they could go out and make something. The color work is what still impresses me…there are few indie films today making as effective use of colored light, and Canon’s commanding lead on color remains. The famous cobblestone shot really shows how awful the aliasing is, but the amazing thing looking back is how few of us could even see that aliasing then.

          I think the 5D3 with Cinestyle and clean HDMI out to a Ninja will be a viable DSLR for me when I want full frame look and something softer and more forgiving for portrait work. That new firmware can’t get out soon enough. With Magic Lantern supplying HDR video and such, it’s gradually becoming a worthy successor.

          But no one should shoot with that amount of aliasing in 2013. I think the new indie standard in 2013 is where the C100/Ninja 2 is: 12 stops of DR, 4:2:2 chroma 1080p24/25 with essentially no aliasing direct to ProRes HQ with no need for manual deinterlacing. If you can afford to do better than that, great…but we can see aliasing and 4:2:0 and clumpy noise and color banding in the consumer codecs nowadays and it’s time to kiss those things goodbye. The external recorders are letting this happen now and by 2014 may no longer be needed.

  • “Many of us likely owe our initial discovery and subsequent readership of this site to this very camera.”
    No truer words were ever spoken.

    I maybe a gh2 user, but the 5dMk2 was the camera who’s footage I worked with when I first broke in as an video editor. The very fact that a stills camera could do video so well is what unlocked a world I thought people like me would never have access to. Truly the most important and revolutionary camera so far this century.

  • The end of an amazing era.
    Changed the game in both stills and video by the way. Began the steady decline in medium format sales.
    When the 5d2 came out, I was seriously contemplating spending 30k on a Hasselblad system. Recently I picked up that rig for 4k. I realise it will be lionised for its democratisation of ‘filmmaking’ but it also changed the fashion and commercial photography businesses permanently.
    This and the Red One gone in the same year.

  • ThunderBolt on 12.23.12 @ 8:57PM

    Every ending is a new beginning. I look forward to seeing tech advances and price drops.

  • Using my 5D mark II almost every day…

  • Canon raised the bar and then tripped over it :P

  • Still wishing I could afford one! But my 60D will do for now.

  • We got a bunch of them in our company… 5d MKII simply changed everything for us.And we’re still using them daily so I don’t think is a game over for this great cam! For heavy compressed footage on YT MKII is sitll a great cam… Our clients just can’t see the difference between scarlet footage and MKII. Both with a good light setup can give great results.

    thanks MKII !!!

  • Turned the industry upside down. But wow, Reverie doesn’t look so impressive 4 years later. You can see better stuff on Vimeo’s Staff Picks any day of the week. And that, my friends, is exactly why the 5D changed the game.

  • Matt Headley on 12.23.12 @ 11:05PM

    What’s the next step? Giving us servo zoomers, us run-and-gunners our life back. Thank you Sony:

  • I think the next revolution is the BMCC. The 5Dmk2 gave us the DOF of cinema cameras. The BMCC completes the circle by giving us the cinema camera’s codec and dynamic range.

    • I think BMCC is still a product in development. Possibly a V.2 with S35 sensor will nail it… In time we’ll see…

  • 5DM2 was the “Beatles” of the industry. It was the original, with everlasting impact on the ‘long and winding road.’

  • Los Angeles Craigslist on 12.24.12 @ 1:40AM

    Just bought my 5d Mark II on eBay! Excellent buy considering the Mark III is at least $1000 dollars more expensive! Still a workhorse for many low-budget productions ;-)

  • vinceGortho on 12.24.12 @ 2:37AM

    Funny. I just discontinued use of my mark 3.
    Great for stills. Crap for video.

  • Adam J McKay on 12.24.12 @ 3:17AM

    I actually just bought another 5DMK2 only a matter of months ago, I still love the image it produces and for my small market is more than enough camera. I am excited for what the future may hold, but this baby is not dead yet.

  • Ha Ha as I too discontinued my 5D Mark III aswell with no clean HDMI out (April fool joke to wait) and sold for the Panasonic GH3.

    • Haha glad you like the GH3 I’m sure you spent twenty minutes sitting there trying to figure out a way to take a jab at the Mk II so good job.

  • The BMCC has only gone half the way either, giving us RAW and 2,5K but lacking full frame opportunities. Opportunities I say because I pretty soon got exhausted by ill use of shallow DOF on vimeo. You don’t neccessarily need it, but it’s freedom of expression close at hand.
    Let’s be honest: The once-and-for-all game changer would be a decent new camera with a Super 35 sensor for the price of a 5DM2 (plus 500 € maybe). That would include Anti-Moirée but probably also Rolling Shutter, unless they make it like 1000 € more expensive. 4000-4500 € for a Super 35, Raw, 2,5K, Global Shutter monster. But it all started with her majesty Five-Dee the 2nd.

    • VINCEGORTHO on 12.24.12 @ 12:58PM

      If they make the next one full frame. It should come with crop modes for super 35 and MFT.
      Which is why I’m going witht he D800 before I grab a BMCC.

  • Noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    DO YOU BLA BLA since 2525 is over…and bla bla about cameras….???


  • Reverie is not a good film. For many reasons. It’s weird to me that people ever went so crazy for this thing.

  • The MkII was incredible and opened up a new world to film makers, shallow dof, low light, form factor, interchangeable lenses. Canon had no clue what they were on to, but it spread like a wild fire. I’m so tired of hearing snobs bash this cam, I think it has made some people a little nervous. I used to have one and loved it, I brought it with me almost everywhere I went, and because of that I got shots I most likely would have never gotten were I using a traditional high def camera. Stop whining, be grateful.

  • This cam got me into film making. It was the opening door. It took my stills experience and made them come alive. If forced me to learn so much, read everything, try much, experiment, buy waaay too much stuff but in the end, I can do some pretty damn nice work. It was the bicycle that taught me how to ride a big beautiful motorcycle with expertise and class. It was film school in the palm of my hand.

    And it can still take insanely good still pictures and with good lighting, it can do pretty damned good in video. You learn to make use of a good tool, as imperfect as it is, find and perfect the work arounds and your talents just soar.

    Take 5

  • It is sad to see the Mk2 be discontinued.
    But what a legacy it has left behind. Without the Mk2 the world of photography and film would be a different place.
    I still love my 5Dmk2 and am sure that I will be happy shooting with it for years to come.

    I know that I will upgrade and I will go through many bodies through the years, but I will always remember that it was the 5Dmk2 that let me explore the world in a way that I was not able to before. To create such amazing quality footage that made me excited to go out shooting with it.

    Its day is not over and I look forward to seeing what new and exciting worlds I will find with it tomorrow.

  • As a videographer and video producer, I have avoided the whole DSLR-to-film revolution thus far although I have worked quite a bit with DSLR shooters. Give me a couple of of good CCD video cameras and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve been observing this development since day one. I hopefully thought the new versions would be past their glaring shortcomings. But apparently not.

    And to be honest, the video camera manufacturers aren’t exactly giving me what I want either. I’m glad I’m not forced to get a couple of new cameras right now. Give me global shutter on CMOS cameras, 108060P, AVCHD Ultra and other pro acquisition codecs – for internal acquisition.

    Needing to own at least 2 cameras and often needing more than that, I could easily adopt DSLRs for my video from a cost-efficiency standpoint. The images would be be fine for for my studio work and live performance events but they just aren’t ready in so many ways. I wish they were.

  • These are inexpensive camera bodies.
    It’s an 8bit image captured through a relatively cheap lens.
    What do you expect?

    I work with my 7D & my t2i and my clients like the look because they are looking at it on a tablet, phone or small laptop. I wouldn’t trade my 7D because I like the sensor size. I too shoot with a Canon XA10 and really like that too. As with all video, I “fix it in Post”.

    Go to to see what they are doing with 7Ds and 5Ds. They won three Emmys using 7D and 5D cameras. Don’t expect it to be a $40K RED………’s not!

    Happy New Year.