August 3, 2011

'Captain America' is the Latest Hollywood Blockbuster to Utilize HDSLRs

Captain America: The First Avenger, which is getting somewhat favorable reviews, is the latest blockbuster to utilize HDSLRs in "many" of its action shots. Similarly to Iron Man 2, the Canon 5D Mark II was employed for use in POV shots during action sequences -- in Captain America's case, a car chase and high-speed motorcycle pursuit.

Unlike Red Tails, however, I don't think the trailer includes any HDSLR material. Feel free to inspect it, though:

Canon' full press release is below.

Press Release

"Captain America: The First Avenger" Action Shots Captured With Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR Cameras

Full 1080P HD Capture, 24p Frame Rate and Canon EF Lenses Provide Compatibility and Creative Options for Movie Production

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., August 1, 2011 – Canon U.S.A., a leader in digital imaging, announced today that the highly anticipated feature film, "Captain America: The First Avenger", used Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR cameras to capture many of the movie's action shots. Throughout the super hero action picture, the 5D Mark II was used to shoot motion sequences that were seamlessly integrated with the production's 35mm film footage.

More compact and lightweight than traditional motion-picture cameras, the 5D Mark II offers creative advantages such as compatibility with Canon's wide range of high-performance EF lenses, user-selectable frame rates, including 24p (23.976 fps), the standard for motion-picture cinematography, and full 1920 x 1080 HD imagery captured by the camera's high-resolution 21.1-megapixel (36mm by 24mm) Canon CMOS sensor. According to Jonathan Taylor, second unit director/director of photography on "Captain America: The First Avenger", these features made the 5D Mark II an excellent choice for the capture of dramatic POV (point-of-view) action shots.

"The challenge with a lot of action photography is getting the camera in the right position," Taylor noted. "I'm always looking to get the camera into impossible to reach places because those kinds of shots make action sequences much more exciting. Most 35mm motion-picture cameras and even the leading digital cinematography cameras are just too big to get into interesting positions."

Action scenes in "Captain America: The First Avenger" in which Taylor used 5D Mark II cameras for POV shots include a car chase and crash, and a high-speed motorcycle pursuit. The small size of the camera enabled Taylor to mount it on the interiors and exteriors of moving vehicles to capture dramatic action shots. The camera's size also ensured that it was "invisible" to the film cameras shooting the same scene from a distance.

"The thing with action is that the more angles you can shoot, the faster the cuts you can use, and the more energy you get into a sequence," Taylor added.

Previously, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II cameras and EF lenses were used for action shots in the blockbuster hit Iron Man 2.

[via planet5D]

Your Comment


1:46 a car chase i guess. might be HDSLR right there.

August 3, 2011 at 10:03AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Andreas Lange

I've watched it twice now, the second time knowing about the 5D footage. It blended in very well and I couldn't tell which was which.

August 4, 2011 at 12:19AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Sounds to me like they used them as crash cameras.

August 4, 2011 at 12:07PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Sounds like it. I guess when you work with Hollywood budgets, you can treat a 5D MkII with an L Prime like a "disposable camera".
As long as the CF card survives the crash it's all good :)

August 5, 2011 at 3:16AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


" the faster the cuts you can use"

I'm 'really' am starting to dislike faster cuts in action movies... I'm not feeling the enegy myself, I'm feeling "what the hell is happening?"

August 4, 2011 at 2:32PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Rick.. i follow you all through.. but in some scenes it is the thrill of the action..
Let it flow and follow the stream.. no need for not enjoy this way of paying..
It's still good photography and editing.. and as my "guru" said to me..
"If you dislike it, Jonny.. good, learn from it.. so you don't do the same mistake"

Have a great weekend

August 4, 2011 at 9:10PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Jonny Pedersen

I would love to hear about 3D software and post technology.
Keep up the good work!


August 4, 2011 at 9:20PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I'm sure Jim Jannard and the guys at Red must regret not having the "upcoming" Scarlet out: shooting 3K with a camera not a lot bigger than a 5D would be a dream come true for many cinematographers

August 5, 2011 at 2:24PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


You do know scarlet is not cine cam right the chip is 1/3 not ST 35. Or s35 ! The camera is ENG!

August 6, 2011 at 2:44AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


A genuinely moving exploration of the human capacity to carry discomfort and shame without externalising it and imposing it on others. Whilst some could believe that the impressionistic pallatte employed by the director is over carried out, I would ask viewers to appear beyond the obvious references to Sartre and Hume and rather see this far more as a classical allegory. Truly a metamorphosese for our generation. I wept a bit, I hope you will too.

August 9, 2011 at 1:47AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM