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Canon 5D Mark III Uncompressed HDMI Coming at the End of April, but is It Too Little Too Late?

04.18.13 @ 7:29PM Tags : , , , , ,

Canon announced all the way back in October 2012 that they had worked out what we had previously thought impossible: uncompressed HDMI (which really just involves making the output fill the screen and removing overlays). While it’s not necessarily going to be a magic bullet for better image quality, there are plenty of uses for clean HDMI, including better workflow options. Unfortunately for those who were looking at the beginning of the month for the firmware update, Canon has now pushed it all the way until the end of this month. Click through for more.

If you missed it, here’s what Canon is including in the update which we now know is coming April 30th, 2013 (thanks to Canon Rumors for the heads-up):

Uncompressed HDMI Output Support

When shooting video, HDMI Output makes possible the recording of high-definition uncompressed video data (YCbCr 4:2:2, 8 bit) from the EOS 5D Mark III to an external recorder via the camera’s HDMI terminal. This, in turn, facilitates the editing of video data with minimal image degradation for greater on-site workflow efficiency during motion picture and video productions. Additionally, video being captured can be displayed on an external monitor, enabling real-time, on-site monitoring of high-definition video during shooting. 

Improved AF Functionality

Even when the EOS 5D Mark III is equipped with an extender and lens making possible a maximum aperture of f/8, the firmware update supports AF employing the camera’s central cross-type points (currently compatible with maximum apertures up to f/5.6). Accordingly, the update will allow users to take advantage of AF when shooting distant subjects, benefitting sports and nature photographers, particularly when using telephoto lenses.

While clean HDMI can make it more convenient to get ready to edit ProRes or DNxHD files, it won’t necessarily provide an immediately noticeable improvement in video quality. The Mark III is already a very clean image, but the other advantage is that it makes noise much more defined. That may sound counterintuitive at first, but having cleaner and more defined noise means that you can remove it more effectively while keeping fine detail. Where I think it will be of benefit to filmmakers is when they are doing their color grading. Having a higher bitrate file along with 4:2:2 will mean you can push the image just a bit further than the normal highly compressed 4:2:0 internal codec. 4:2:2 will also make pulling keys from green screen a little bit easier.

If the camera was capable, it’s interesting that Canon didn’t initially include it, but certainly they made some space for people to purchase cameras like the C100 in the meantime. I think Canon is going to have to do more at this price range because the competition is getting fierce. If Blackmagic can deliver their cameras in July, those who don’t need really need the stills functionality of Canon cameras might think about looking elsewhere, especially when you can get internal 10-bit ProRes, already a higher fidelity format than anything the Canon DSLRs can deliver. There are definitely other factors at play, including lens compatibility and that “full-frame” look, but the main advantage of DSLRs (besides stills and maybe higher ISOs) is their small size, and when you’ve got to add a recorder to the top of the camera, you’re losing that advantage.

What do you guys think? For 5D Mark III owners, are you hanging on to Canon’s DSLRs, or maybe moving on to a more video-centric option? What do you think is the future of video on Canon’s DSLRs?


[via Canon Rumors]


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  • I think Canon needs to tidy up their product portfolio. That cinema line messed everything up they started when starting off DSLR-videoing. They want their DSLRs to sell, but also their C100-500 and therefore have t make compromises regarding features.
    The (yellow) competition doesn’t have a cinema-line and can just stuff their sub-£6k-cameras with all the features they can and not do any marketing compromises. And they don’t try to compete to the big broadcast/film-suppliers like Canon does.
    For Canon it worked out well when targeting the average broadcaster (we still have 5 XL1s here) competing with Sony and the likes, but it is obvious that the cinema-business is harder to conquer. Budget Indie producers not having the money and the big studios having too much of it.

    • Completely agree – a friend just today messaged me asking for advice in getting a DSLR camera, and promptly asked, “Why the hell do they have like 8 cameras that are pretty much all the same?”

      • vinceGortho on 04.18.13 @ 8:23PM

        Their cinema line was joke. It was quality video but nothing worthy of tackling RED’s price range.
        They should just rename their current models the “wedding series,” and quit messing around.

        • lol “The weeding series”!!! Owww my gosh!

          But couldn’t agree more…

        • Skinny Pete on 04.18.13 @ 8:42PM

          Quality video? Not really. I mean the low light performance is good but most filmmakers who can afford cameras like that are lighting their sets properly anyway. 16k for a 1080p camera is a joke and just shows how out of touch they are with a market segment THEY accidentally created

        • I had a chance to do a little shooting w/ the C100, and I gotta say it had a good weight to it, it was fun to work with and I felt extremely comfortable holding it. The graded log footage had completely acceptable image quality and really good for most needs. Honestly, It felt like what DSLR/small form-factor film making should be like(to me at least obviously). Unfortunately, the prices on the Canon’s Cinema cameras just don’t make much sense. I suspect this is related the the problem of separate video/photgraphy divisions in Canon and bad marketing analysis – priced for pros with a feature set for prosumors. I will say I loved the ergonomics, far better then the offerings by RED, Sony and BM in IMO. If only I could cram A RED Epic into a C100 frame… hey, I can dream can’t I? =) Thanks

        • anyone who complains about a c300 is an idiot. It literally save my ass on my last shoot.

        • The wedding series! brilliant. Canon have been unrealistic with their prices for a while now. I want to move on from my 5D3s but the C range is too expensive for what it is, and the BMCC isn’t matured, there are still many obstacles to clear. These are just my opinions, but my opinions direct my cash, and Canon should remember that it’s the same for many like me.

          • Agree!

          • I have the 5D mkii which I really like. Full frame is a difference and maybe worth the price, but really, if I would buy a new camera today I would probably go for a Panasonic GH3. Its really cheap, has autofocus, can be hacked and can use a lot of different lenses. If you have fast primes, I think you can get the shallow depth of field that you might want. Price 1200 USD compared to a canon mk3 for 2500 USD.

            When the day comes I retire my mk2 ill probably do it for a 4K “GH4″ or something… other words – cheaper camera that can use my canon primes (with adapter)

  • Photography camera first, video second. By delaying this firmware update there trying to say hey if you want a video device with capable of uncompressed already then buy the c100.

    • VINCEGORTHO on 04.19.13 @ 12:56AM

      The 5Dmark3 should of been the c100. The c100 should of been the c300.

      • Darren Wolff on 04.19.13 @ 4:15AM

        Should ‘have’ been. ;-)

      • +1. I suspect they’ll roll out something more in line price wise with competitive offerings in the next camcorders series updates. 4K should be the ceiling for resolution for awhile, and hopefully Canon (and others) will focus on feature refinements now that we have all the res most of us will ever need. It took forever for uncompressed 1080P to trickle down from the full-size broadcast cameras to the mid-level (a decade or so of HDV and various AVCHD codecs), yet hardly any time time at all to go from full HD to 2-4K.

  • I’ve really debated how much longer to keep my DSLRs – I’ve had a lot of bands around Chicago ask me to shoot their live shows, and they’ve still been easier to handhold and use with an LCDVF than the BMC.

    RIght now, it seems like stepping backwards in a couple of aspects to go from the DSLR to the BMC for me:

    1.)the jello-effect was greatly reduced in the 5DIII
    2.) being able to shoot at higher ISOs in dark places without jumping all the way down to f/1.2

    BMC is a great camera, but those two features (and I suppose the aforementioned LCDVF need) are things I can’t do without for many of the smaller gigs I do here.

    • The 4k bmc has a global shutter, meaning NO jello effect. Thats pretty exciting

    • 1) I’ve shot with the 5D MkIII and the rolling shutter issues are still issues, but if you’re worried about the BMCC supposedly being worse at that then check this video out comparing them both:
      They’re pretty much the same.
      2) If you don’t have fast lenses then the 5D MkIII might be your best choice, but otherwise having to go up to f1.2 isn’t that much of an issue on the BMCC if focusing is your concern, since the 2.3x crop will give you a lot more DOF at the same aperture than you have on the 5D, equating exposure on both cameras while it’s much easier to focus on the BMCC.

      That being said, I hate that the Blackmagic has a fixed screen, but then the 5D does too and I really don’t like it for checking focus (not to mention the focus assist button is on the left, forcing you to to move your hand away from the lens! -by the way, I think I heard there was a way to assign that function to another button, but at the time of shooting I didn’t remember and it’s still a native design flaw-)

      • Man…. not this epic music again!! Haha

        Completely forgot about that. I would say the other issues around the BMC for me right now are not being able to change settings on the fly (easy with the DSLR, just roll your finger while still shooting), form factor (we all know this), and battery issues.

        I just feel that until those get resolved, it would be hard to justify shooting these low-paying gigs with a tool that isn’t as easily ready-to-go.

        • In all honesty, yeah, the BMCC might actually be overkill for a live show, but of course on the other hand the increase in image quality (all conditions given) would be appreciated by the bands.
          But yes, I just don’t understand why the camera doesn’t have physical buttons to change settings either before or while shooting. Touch screens make me feel like an idiot, I have to be staring at the screen to make any changes. Buttons would be the most sensible choice. And that’s another reason to love the idea of the BMPC (I also happen to like it’s form factor over the BMCC)

          Now about the battery, it is indeed a hassle that you have to add an extra bulk to last more than 1.5 or 2 hours, but if you get a Switronix battery, for instance, you’ll have 6 hours of autonomy on top of the internal battery (and it also charges it while you’re at it). That’s a lot more practical than what any DLSR can say of itself.

  • Skinny Pete on 04.18.13 @ 8:17PM

    I don’t think anybody who has a DSLR right now (be it Canon, etc) will be upgrading to another one anytime soon.

    • Once the 4K DSLRs hit (like what Sony presented) we’ll be back here discussing DSLRS. I can’t imagine not using DSLRS; they’re very versatile and are still smaller that the BMCC, RED and Digital Bolex. The GH3 is a good example; if that was 4K I would use it over previous mentioned cameras. Why? It’s cheap and I can buy it at Best Buy.
      Canon unveiled the clean HDMI for April knowing full-well that people would be salivating over NAB 4K offerings. Clean HDMI in the nick of time! It gives the 5D a little longer on the market.

      • Not smaller or more versatile than a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

        • Right, but I was referring to the Cinema Camera (BMCC). The Pocket Cinema Camera is a 1080p camera; it’s competition is the 5D and GH3. What it has over those cameras in CinemaDNG and ProRes. It’s good on paper and really insults the the early adopters of the BMCC with active MFT mount, remote start/stop, and removable battery.

  • I love my MarkIII and don’t plan on changing….I love the image…this firmware upgrade only makes this camera better than what it already is……stop raising questions and just be happy Canon finally did it…..tons of ppl still shoot with MarkII and don’t complain….

    • …and that, ladies and gentlemen, is why Canon isn’t going to change its approach to innovating its products anytime soon. Complacency.

    • I agree (happy shooting with the mk2), but I will abandon canon (when going to 4K) if they don’t innovate and lower their prices. Especially if you consider cameras like the panasonic GH3 for 2/5 of the price.

  • john jeffries on 04.18.13 @ 8:44PM

    I have a mark II and I’m sick of it. I complain every time I pull it out of my case. But hey, for a personal camera it’s not that bad.

    • I’m selling my MKIIs and basically using my MX along side with a Scarlet mostly. MKII… Good for a time, but when you touch anything 10bit or more… Well, it’s hard to go back to such a limited camera. But hey! this camera was a game changer, kudos… Let’s move on!

      I hope BMCC 4k sells insanely good and be delivered…

  • If they can derive a Magic Lantern firmware from that, usable on my old T2i, I may just use it with my Ninja once in a while. But in these times of Blackmagic, I’m part of the group that would never, ever, buy another still camera to shoot video. And to answer your question: teah, I think it’s too little too late. 4:2:2 8 bit ? in 2013 ? Nope.

    • Chris Lambert on 04.19.13 @ 6:38AM

      think you hit the nail on the head there the potential for reverse enginering the update to other cameras is maybe why there is the delay

    • 4:2:2 8 bit in 2013…too little too late… agreed!

  • For me the Canon 5DMkII & III has the packaging: full frame, canon mount, robust, reliable and flexible allowing you to shoot HD, stills and time lapse. If they were to give in addition: 50 frames a sec. and uncompressed output in camera for the current price, I think the BMC would likely stall as a product. In my heart of hearts I think this is what is going to happen, it’s just a matter of when. The risk is, if they (Canon & Nikon) leave it too late, other manufactures such as BMS and Panasonic will take too much of a lead and end up owning the market.

  • I agree with all the comments above, but in the grand scheme of things, its not just Canon BullShiiiiiiting around, if we want to use BLACK MAGIC as a barometer , then technically none of the major camera companies are really giving us DIY aka regular folks nothing in realistic owning price range.

    SONY, PANASONIC, SAMSUNG, ETC. none of them have really given us nothing worthwhile, h3ll, nikon just got serious about semi filming this past year, h3ll the most exciting advancement in dslr IMO was the clarity/sharpness of a NIKON D5200 and technically that was because of a TOSHIBA non Nikon sensor.

    I mean just think about it , TWO of the most budget realistically resouliton digital filming advancements have came from two non major companies which were BLACK MAGIC (2.5K, 4K, 422 internal proress) and GOPRO ( 4K STILLS AND 2.7k) all of which could have easily been attempted or tried by a major camera company.

    So what gives is it POLITICS, or is it what the big companies feel should be allowed in a certain price range , it has to be something, it seems almost MONKEY SEE MONKEY DO, no major company wants to budge unless another does.

    SONY FS700 4K okay yeah its nice, but heard it will cost a reported 8,000 dollars more to get it shooting 4k, basically a lil short of an F5 GTFOH,

    IT reminds me of the SCENE IN american ganster where DENZEL IS talking with french guy about monopolies and what he feels should be a fair market price

    im rooting for black magic , i really am and hope that they and any company trying to offer a product not neglecting everyday film makers. I hope they get the dropped frames issues fixed and weak SSD bay resolved because these major camera companies are a joke

    • I like that you’re acknowledging the whole camera game IS A GAME. We’re the pawns. All the RED people are going to promote the REDs because they’re the first game in town, but not anymore.

      Are you really going to tell me you’d rather spend $20,000 2 years ago to put together a 4K package than put one together now with all the competition? A BMPC at 4K for $4K?

      I couldn’t imagine being a Scarlet owner right now. Everyone says they’ll just buy an Epic with Dragon instead of upgrading, yadda yadda yadda. Where is this money coming from to upgrade with? Don’t you just want to spend it on something else and wait for companies like Blackmagic (and there will be others) to catch up?
      What about computers? Can you edit natively? Um, no you can’t. You have to convert to 1080p. Wow. You just spend $20K to shoot 1080p. That sux.

      I don’t want to get of on a rant here but video people on this site are just letting these bastards get away with murder:
      Blackmagic isn’t innocent; they still haven’t delivered a camera. They’re idiots for messing that up.
      Digital Bolex? A pointless form factor; why are the XLR inputs on the left side when they should be on the right (away from the operator)?
      Sony? Give me a break! An external recorder?
      Red? You guys are raping all of us. Stop improving, keep it simple and affordable. People don’t mortgage their house for Beta cameras anymore (nor should they).
      Panasonic? Where the hell are you guys? Actually, go away.
      GoPro? Make something great and beat the rest into oblivion.

      End of rant!

      • You make some valid points good key points, but in retrospect to what I originally stated, i wouldnt really put RED in that catagory, because technically they are IMO in the same league as SONY, PANASONIC, CANON, NIKON ETC, technically they really broke foreground in terms of an affordable cinema big screen production camera price wise. At one point CINEMA cameras were to only be rented, techinically when the EPIC came out at around 40-50k JUST over a few years back, that price was not that bad considering what alternatives were available , which all costed over 120k.

        Also Red debuted the SCARLETT just more than a few years back, which although just a brain was still a bargian and they have still slashed prices, because of RED big companies were forced to make cameras in a paticular price range. Now im not saying they could not do better ,espeically since they once waved a 2lk camera for about 2k, but im talking about the BIG WIGS.

        ITS not just by accident that BOTH SONY AND CANON have cameras both int he price range of epics and its also “fishy” that RED is offering an upgrade to dragon but in actuality buying a new one would be cheaper, its all politics and market price numbers games in the end that control the market, Again competetion is good and im really rooting for black magic

      • Blackmagic did what RED proposed to do, but could not… 4K for $4K… the Assies win.

  • I’m tired of hearing so many armchair DP’s complain on this site over camera specs and such. We used a 5dIII interchangeably with an FS700 this week and both performed exceptionally. It gets to a certain point where it’s about the people behind the camera and the story being told. Don’t ever lose sight of that.

    • Of course! But equipment does make a difference, or you wouldn’t be using 5Ds and FS700, you’d be shooting on a Sony Z1 or a solid state camcorder of sorts.
      By the way, I shot a short film around three weeks ago with a 5DIII and it was kind of a pain to operate. I missed my GH2 a lot. The images looked nice (although soft and the overexposed areas looked awful -perhaps that was Cinestyle working its magic?-) but it wasn’t a pleasure to use.

  • I’ve been waiting for this firmware update eagerly. I got a Ninja 2 for recording green screen footage and it worked amazingly well with my 3- yr old Sony Z5U. I think the 5d3/Ninja match will produce much better results than people realize. The Z5u is just a 1/3 inch chip with 8-bit HDMI output. The green screen footage I got with it and the ninja was so clean, it keyed perfectly in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. The clean firmware plus Ninja 2 turns the 5d3 into a pretty effective event camera if you add in a JuicedLink preamp and maybe a fader ND for outdoors. The 10-bit prores recording with 13 stops would be great, but honestly I’ll believe they can ship a camera on time when I see it. They have made their first camera almost obsolete before it is even widely available. Nice thing about the Ninja, it can work with a bmcc if they actually start shipping them. Meanwhile, the 5D3 has better power options, better ergonomics, push button autofocus while recording, lots of color profile options, and slow motion recording. Yes, it’s much later than I would have liked. But a full frame clean HDMI 4:2:2 signal, even at 8-bit, has got to be pretty close to as good as the C100 output to a Ninja. Lets hope so, anyway. If nothing else, it prevents me from having to switch to the comparable Nikon D800 to get full frame clean HDMI, which is probably the main reason Canon did this.

    • Right – I think this was aimed squarely at matching the D800′s feature set, and was not meant to cut into Canon’s Cx00 line (or even go after potential Blackmagic customers).

    • Does anyone know if the mkIII applies 4:2:2 chroma subsampling for the output through HDMI? If not, we’ll just be recording a 4:2:0 subsampled image in a 4:2:2 video file.

    • Re: JohnGreen – Sorry, but 4:2:2 8 bit is crap for green screen work and color correction. “…believe they can ship a camera on time when I see it” – Get ready for a surprise then, because the assumed sensor (CMOSIS CMV 12000) BM is using for their new 4K camera has already been in proven production for 12 months. I actually expect them to start shipping the camera sooner than July 25th.

      • I call bullshit. If you cannot pull a key using 8 bit 220mb/s prores, you clearly cannot light for shit.

        • As a reminder 8-bit is shorthand for 8-bits per channel. For color accuracy, there’s no arguing 256 channel values vs. 1024 or 4096 channel values.

  • Both Phil Bloom and Vincent Laforet among others “screamed” about the lack of clean HDMI when the 5D MKIII first came out, and finally we might be getting it in a few weeks! Clearly Canon disappointed many people with that stunt. I’m really hoping the implimentation will be as expected (not crippled for market segmentation) and look forward to shooting directly to ProRes.

  • Black Magic is giving novices too much perceived privilege.

    • And proffesionals long awaited, reasonably priced digital film cameras!

      • no professionals are waiting for cameras, just buy the damn BMC/PC shoot with it and realize that that it will not make your film better so we can get back to talking about threads’ subjects rather than BMC stuff.

        • VINCEGORTHO on 04.19.13 @ 1:04AM

          Sorry. I love my work too much to shoot on Canon DSLRs.

        • Ha! Why do you assume a “wait” is done sitting around with arms crossed? One thing doesn’t take away from the other. I won’t put a project on hold because of an estimated release date for an upcoming camera, but using the best I have right now won’t stop me from appreciating a better camera, a tool that will indeed improve my work. To negate the fact that Canon has left its users behind will only comfort you so long.

    • Black magic aint doing shiiiiiiit but what we all have been waiting for and known could happen, it was just timing for another company with resources to pull it off, GOPRO could have done it but , its not really their market niche,

      This argument is no different than THE GAS CARS and electric cars debate, We have all the technology in the world for over a decade and still we have mediocre hybrid electric cars, i kid you not, its all market share numbers and politics, if we were running out of petroleum in next few year, i guarantee you that it would be no shortage of amazing new fully electric cars, hydrogen cars etc

      But there is no rush because they dont have to do anything, just like the BIG companies will milk it as far as they can

      5d mark 3 full frame 3k
      6d same specs, hardware and same processor but moire and no headphone jack GTFOH

      There has not been not one , not one major production blockbuster hollywood movie shot yet on the c300, h3ll it has not been one done with the c500 yet, despite all of the marketing CANON but behind top directors, dps, producers etc

      HONESTLY im thinking about getting an old F35 and using black magic cameras as b and c cams and calling it a day

  • My company has been using the 5D3 that we own and love it, we understand the short comings but it still does good video, we have shot with other cameras and understand that they are better, but for us having such a smaller camera is key. Though we have been in talks of getting a 1DX soon, but keep in mind photos are still our main thing.

    The BlackMagic really made us happy but now we wont get one, a base iso of 400 and the date rates are crazy since no clients have ever asked for 4K at this point. So are we happy for the upgrade to our 5D, No, its too late and could care less, if magic lantern can do 422 in camera like they said then we will be happy, but for the next few months we will be shooting 5d3.

  • AT the end of the day its a 8bit stills camera at $3,000 720p non true HD shooting video camera in 2013

    No hate just a true statement take it how you want.

  • Agree. but i am in a similar boat than russell. i was travelling in india a few weeks ago and travelling absolute light weight. i took my 5d mk3 and a 50mm prime and a 1kg carbon tripod. i did a lot of photos and video and i really want a camera that can do both perfect. so i guess the best cam for me would be the 1dc. if it wasn´t so expensive and wouldn´t produce that much data in 4k, it would be perfect for me. i also mainly shoot at night with high iso. like this:

    sorry it´s downscaled. only wanted to say. if the mk3 would shoot 1080p like the c300 it would be the perfect cam for a lot of people. i hope the image gets a bit better via clean hdmi out…

    • @Ben just saw your video on VIMEO nice video man and nice color etc, what type of 50mm did you use, was it 1.2L series, 1.4, or nifty 50 and what apeture and lighting was used.

      ALL in all nice video work man, agree that it is nice combo factor but i just feel that its 2013 and now with kickstarter people have the option of possibly shooting major motion pictures now and Honestly DSLR’s are not just made for the big screen, the black magic pocket cam is almost the best thing at 13 stops of dynamic range as a b and c cam along with a 4k would be the perfect shooting package IMO.

      DSLR’s are not obsolete, but their time is coming because, cameras are getting smaller and smaller ( SONY NEX 3N) APS so there is no excuse for a new camera buyer to justify buying a bulky camera these days when we know technology tells us other wise.

  • the shot above is made with iso 2500 and f 2.0 with a 50mm f1,4

  • Who wants to hear an awesome joke? Canon.

  • This firmware will determine if I will sell my 5DIII… Canon have had this firmware for 6 months and deliberately delayed hoping to keep Canon customers from switching over to Nikon but too little to late..

    Surely the Camera is greatly software restricted but let’s see what the external recording brings to the table.

    Agree with the joke above … Canon is a Joke.

  • The reason why Canon decide to release it on the end of April is that they are still fine tuning the code. Unlike BMCC which has somewhat problematic firmware, Canon is devoted to provide the most stable firmware.

    The development of 5D Mark III new firmware 1.2.0 started about 9 months ago, July 2012, Canon have been working closely with third party manufacturers like Atomos and Convergent Design to make sure it works flawlessly.

  • Harry Pray IV on 04.19.13 @ 5:54AM

    It’s definitely too late for me. I am pre-ordering a BMPC ASAP and selling my 5D MKIII. If Canon could surprise us with a camera shooting RAW 4K on a full fraem sensor, I’d consider coming back to their camp…..until then, though, I’ll only be using the 5D MKIII for time lapse and photos.

    • Sounds great! definately need to pre-order asap to make sure you get the first batch when it ships in the next few years.

      • ash you really batting for canon as if you are a company sales rep, its ironic that you make jokes about the first batches of BMC shipping in next few years, but yet in still we technically still do not have firmware for full hdmi for a camera that has been in the wild for two years, that technically has been in the making the past 5 years since its previous model.

        So you are telling me that it took canon 6 years to make a dslr that was capable of having full hdmi, really OK

  • Before you hate remember that the 5D3 is a pro stills cam first……not a cinema….if you want a cinema cam then go buy it and shoot and shut up. Let the Canon guys be happy without a full debate just once….damn!

  • Still a great still camera….rent for higher end stuff.

  • SLR’s are for weddings period.
    More serious and commercial photographers shoot tethered on digital backs.
    ts not always about mega pixels and you need to consider the medium it is going to be distributed. commercial print and billboards, we shoot on 60-80megapixel phase one backs.

    There is no such thing as a do all camera. and i usually chose camera on best given budget. I don’t think it’s a good thing to undersell your services. It created a false sense of market pricing.

    As for video. Yes BMCC, RED cameras, they are a mile and a half away in quality from canon slr’s but do we really need that many pixels and fidelity when most of our videos are being watches on ipads and mobile devices? How many of you are actually shooting material that is projected on large screen projectors.
    I shoot tv commercials and window display videos and i am always asked to provide the files in 720p or 1080p even on files from RED Epic.

    Yes, it is RAW and you have color temperature flexibility and 2 extra stops, but what we really should be using is our eyes and reading meters and shoot something close as possible to the final product on camera.
    The greatest of directors have done it for 100 years and my personal opinion but their material is far better and beautiful than anything you see shot now days.

    • You mention a key thing there: filmmakers have been getting it right on location by doing good work and it can still be appreciated tens of years later. That’s exactly what some of us are trying to do as well.

      The memorable movies you’re probably thinking about were shot on film, and even if right now most people will watch our work on PC monitors or Ipads, I want to shoot it in the medium that most approaches film (and that’s within my reach) so that it will last as long as those memorable movies and be ready for whenever it gets screened in the future or for when content delivery quality improves.

      Have you seen how bad some DSLR footage stands the passing of time? It was great by that times standards, but it isn’t any longer (adn this is so in spite of the great work put in front and behind the camera; it has to do with the limitations of that particular medium).

      The RAW footage provided by Blackmagic might finally be an affordable piece of digital film equipment to get it right on location using our eyes and with the help of light meters.

    • I disagree that DSLR’s are just for weddings, ANTHONY BOURDAIN’s SHOWS AND SHOTS are primarily shot with a 7D, its a worldwide acclaimed show even in BBC territory even though the 7d IS NOT BBC approved. I love the look for tv and web only of a t3i,7d etc paired with 24-70mm 2.8 , the look is amazing for DOCU work.

      The main reason why HD was included was primarily for sports photographers to add hd captures to press confrences.

      My strife is not with what DSLRS could do, believe me they revolutionized the game in terms of budge, modular sizing etc.

      It would not be a problem if they just stuck with making DSLR’s because they would be their ultimate goal , but my problem is with them knowly crippling their devices 6d, 1dx ETC that could technically do what their big brother cams could do for lesser of the price. IM upset with the spoon feeding and “milking of the cow” that they are doing.

      You can only screw over loyal customers for so long until inevitability happens and they jump ship to other competition, until BMC no one had options to jump ship, but now they have options and hopefully more options. Remember it took RED quite some time before they got it together and technically they still have issues especially the scarlet so hopefully BMC will get it toghether,

      think about it less than a year BMC has improved and broke barriers from their own ground breaking price/technology combo, by offering a smaller compact camera and technically the first ever camera to offer global shutter under 20k

  • I agree…it’s about the artist…

  • Has Canon really even truly responded to the sub-market they accidentally created? Sure they’ve tried to cash in on it (a $16k 8-bit C300 is a clear sign of that) and the company released plenty of lesser-versions of the 2 originals (5dMkII & 7d), but besides the 5dMkIII being a not terribly-significant step forward, it’s been pretty sleepy over in Canon-land. Don’t get me wrong, I own a 7d and have since it was released, nice camera for little money. But I’m also a RED owner, and those companies operate in massively different ways. Canon would stretch its current technology to the very limit of its lifespan, while RED will push things forward as soon as the technology is reliable and functional enough to sell it. I guess there’s a place for both when it comes to the budget/indie cinema world, but it’s no surprise a small, ambitious company like RED is more appealing to support than a lumbering giant like Canon.

  • I used to be just like you guys, complaining about cameras. I whined about the 1dc specs on this site, but then I wasn’t shooting as much, I recently got a break and I just shot a project on c300 and am doing post on a BMC commercial. You guys really have no idea how they compare or whats really important when choosing a camera for a budgeted productions, its just speculation after watching vimeo videos of peoples cats. The proper discussion or comparison is void in this thread. Its freaking horrible that people are becoming close minded to options for tools for their craft because of marketing indoctrination, thats making worse filmmakers not better. When the best choice for a camera on a shot is a 5d with an external recorder, you’ll be using something not as appropriate, why people want to reduce options is crazy to me.

    • What are you talking about? The fact that the BMCC exists is a great opening for choice, and the release of the 4K and Super16 versions will hopefully push other companies to offer even more and better options without forcing people to enter a mortgage to own one. And the 5D MkIII is an option I’m closed minded not to choose it? I’m not falling for the full frame look.
      Stop trying to indoctrinate us into believing it’s OK for a company to charge people an extra $8,000 (or whatever it is the difference between the C100 and the C300) for a codec improvement. Some jobs will need to be shot on a BMCC, some on a GH2 -no Canon DSLR, thank you- and some on a Canon XF100 purely based on the specs needed for that job and the useablity of that particular camera and how it’d perform in a given situation. The BMCC would probably suck on a documentary. But if your only options for any given job were only the 5D MkIII and the C300 (great ergonomics, but at what price?) then there’s not only little to choose from, but also probably no choice at all since money IS a limiting factor for many people, regardless of their skill.

  • cultureshot on 04.19.13 @ 10:45AM

    It’s funny that their is SO MUCH intense bickering about DSLRs vs. “proper” cinema cameras. 99 per cent of clients are still blown away by stuff I shoot on a 60D. Most don’t even know that stills cameras can shoot video. You would have to point out moire and aliasing to them with a magnifying glass to get them to notice it.

    • I don’t know who your clients are but that is not true. I had three scenes cut for a lifestyle shoot and since they were happening simultaneously I couldn’t have all the camera ops on c300 so I had one shoot on 5d mark iii, equally skilled, his scene got thrown out by the client, because “it wasn’t as crisp and I don’t like the color”

      • Oh, that’s funny. So that footage was thrown away just because it wasn’t shot on a C300? I thought that cameras didn’t improve your work (nor did they -logically- depreciate it).
        By the way, that client sounds like he either knows better than the colorist or he’s a douche.

        • if your in the market for owning a $3,000 then it will not improve your work, but as the budgets of productions start getting larger, the margins for error and quality are much thiner.

      • agree no major MEDIA BUYER for AD AGENCIES will go for DSLR’s unless the AD agency was looking for a shaky cam realistic dslr look, because most commercials are shot at 444 color space(alexa, f35, or f3) or 10 bit 422.

        Honestly there is only so much you can do with 8bit color space, I dont care what shane hurblurt tells you, 8bit is not enough, That is no diss to Hurblurt because i applaud his teaching skills to the film indie community but their is obviosly some CANON fanboy love there.

        Trust “LIFE OF PI” the tv show “SUITS”, MAD MEN, would not look the same in 8 bit color space,

    • john jeffries on 04.19.13 @ 3:20PM

      It really depends on your clients. There is a big difference between shooting bullshit weddings and shooting Prozac commercials.

  • Sorry but “video data with minimal image degradation” via clean HDMI out translate as improvement in quality over internal recording to card.The way I read it recording to card you get more degradation,clean HDMI out minimal degradation.

  • i’m putting the mk iii up for sale and jumping on the c100 with ninja … particularly now with the $1000 price cut.

  • I kind of agree with Kendrick. I don’t personally know any film makers for whom the camera is the factor that limits the quality of their work.

  • Its the black magic pocket cinema camera for me, why waste money on what is a stills camera with added video. The dslr should stick to what it was designed for – stills.

    • Do you think Canon had no intentions of having their DSLR cameras shoot video and only take stills ?
      Theres no doubt that these cameras are not a waste of money and I agree with John that its all about the person behind the camera.

      • Person behind the camera – self evident, and that is not what is being discussed. Video capable dslrs are a passing phase, the pocket cinema camera is the first toll of the bell.

        • vinceGortho on 04.21.13 @ 3:53PM

          Amen. I don’t know why anyone would buy a c100 for filmmakng now.
          If you’re an event shooter, perfect. But BM trumps the superalative c300 in pro res mode.

  • Andrius Simutis on 04.19.13 @ 5:03PM

    For those of us who also shoot stills, the 5D3 is a great camera made even better with the update. I’d actually call it the best choice for DSLR.
    For video, it’s still a pretty good camera and still competes well against a lot of the other new cameras.
    -Full frame
    -Cheaper than most video only options
    -Stealthy when shooting in public
    -Still has that 5D look that clients love.
    -Headphone out and other improvements over 5D2
    That said, it’s not the best choice for everyone as nothing ever is, but to call it “too little too late” in a headline is simply trolling. I wouldn’t expect there to be a headline saying “RED Scarlet Complete Piece of Crap for Run n Gun” even though that is a fairly accurate assessment.

    • Kenneth Merrill on 04.19.13 @ 7:59PM

      Hahahaha, that last sentence is the best.

    • haha. right. it´s really out of competition when u search for a dslr, with full frame and also want to shoot video, only the 1dx or the 1dc, which i really would like to have if i had the money. i´m really interested how much the external recording makes a difference. for me it would only be worth to record external if i really can see a difference. in some situation u can see a lot of compression problems with the mk3. for example when it´s dark and foggy. the would be a point where i guess it to be better with proress 422.

    • vinceGortho on 04.21.13 @ 3:48PM

      Best choice? No. D800 is a god send. D5200/7100 should be stellar.
      The clarity in video mode trumps the mark 3. Shooting wide open looks better in a d800.
      The yellow tint is easily avoidable. Skin tones are great. Uncompressed looks even cleane
      r on big screen lcd.
      I’ve owned two mark 3′s. Great for photos video way too muddy. Post sharpening doesn’t hold up on large screens.

      • Vince i agree, im getting several BMC’s on preorder, but agree that i would recommend D5200 to any new filmaker and if photo is your thing get the d7100 that can autofocus with D AND G lens and no moire and true hdmi clean uncompressed, both are the best DSLR bang for bucks available, low bit rates with amazing clarity.

        I agree d800 seems to have better dynamic range, its just that ugly yellow cast in lowlight that i hate about d800 but still amazing cameras, $700 for a camera that resolves better than the epic gh2 and compatability with NIKON cheap new and used but amazing glass. NIKON GLASS resolves more tv lines and are readily available for cheap , the nikon 50mm g and d series lens is as sharp as a 5,000 hassleblad leica lens but for only $105 bucks on amazon,

        • Rob Manning on 04.25.13 @ 4:06PM

          Nikon typically (arguably) has better DR then Canon for stills especially. The low light cast (not something I’ve seen, but now I will be on guard for it, certainly can be adjusted out in post, or by an upfront tweak with a profile like here:

          He bases the tweaks on Portrait mode instead of Neutral (which most folks will fall back on for contrast possibilities) for better control in post of skin tones.


  • Kenneth Merrill on 04.20.13 @ 3:11PM

    One thing to think about here is that yes, the MkIII is a lot more run-n-gun suitable than the BM4K, but if you tack on an external recorder, your MkIII loses some of its mobility. It will probably still be more run-n-gun than the Black Magic, but you’re now paying about the same price (or more) for your ProRes 422.

    • Is it? Why? Because you need a battery solution? You can use one the same size as a DSLR hand grip. The form factor is basically identical?

  • From a guy that owns a C100, at least the 5D3 does slowmo..

    • So does the C100 but you do need to know how to interpret the 60i into 60p. If you do know, then the C100 will do better quality slowmo than the 5d. It amazes me how many people have never learned how to do slowmo with interlaced material.

    • vinceGortho on 04.21.13 @ 3:50PM

      Whats the resolution lines on a mark3 in 60fps, 320p?

  • Nobody here talk about Nikon, and even less people talk about lenses…
    I tried Nikon, Canon, Sony, and u43 cameras.
    I’m now wondering if I should go with 2 Nikon D600 or 1 Canon 5D3.
    If I go with the D lenses serie, I can unclick the lenses and use them pretty much on anything.
    BUT if I go with the D ( not the G) lenses serie, I can’t have any stabilisation …
    I mean, nowadays, they begin to have EF mount everywhere, so it’s making less sense … and you don’t want anyway to put a full frame lense on a 4/3 or S16 sensor…

    so does it makes sense to invest in NIkon just to have access to lenses with aperture rings ?

    (And I mean, now with Nikon, you have 10 bit clean HDMI on every model …)

  • I still watching videos from BMC to green. Don´t forget the green.

  • I own a 5D mk3 and I have to say that for me it perfectly works. I need that “full frame look” and now that I’m getting that quality I can not move to another camera. for the post production and color grading I will stay with my current Cinestyle profile picture.

  • Jonny Figgis on 04.26.13 @ 7:21AM

    There is one point I always have to make when this “that camera is better” argument. The point being “How good does an image have to be?” I shoot with the 7D and get beautiful images and equally beautiful video. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the quality and it looks gorgeous. Images can actually be too good (The Hobbit in 48 fps being an example) and take you out of the story. Why make an image look like something that doesn’t resemble real life? I will be happy to stick with the 7D for many years; it is a relatively low cost camera, it performs very well and it has a great build quality. People can masterbate over the new technology but it won’t make you a better filmmaker. All the pros know this and speak about it on their blogs. You shoot with what you can get your hands on and what your budget can afford.

    • I too own a 7D and wouldn’t trade it for a 5D. I really like the colour and the DOF of the sensor.

      I am currently shooting a brochure with interlaced video all on the 7D. Everything is shot at 1/60 @ f/10. I don’t have to change settings to switch from stills to video. The video is shot at 30p as my work is only for laptops.

      I was at NAB this year and looked at all the ‘gear’; it was nice, but I’ll stay with my 7D for now.