Saturday Night Live use Canon 7d (and 5d)

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3509_snl_thumbI had a very nice email from Alex Buono, the SNL DP who recently shot the new title sequence on the 7d and 5d as well as loads of other bits and pieces. They normally use film, Cinealta, Varicam or the HVX but they shot on the 7d and 5d for the first time recently. They wanted to shoot the new title sequence with the 5dmkiI and the 7d after seeing how good it looked after seeing my little Dublin’s People short apparently which is very flattering.


They also have used it for studio sketches like the one above for “Bladivan”. If you live in US  you can view it here. Outside the US you need Hotspot Shield!! I used it to view this clip from London and it worked a treat!

Alex said he was impressed, he gave some feedback to Canon to what he would like to see improved which is great. I think he does an awesome job above but wait till you see the other stuff he has done with it including the new title sequence. Here are some frame grabs ©NBC.COM. It’s fantastic and if you can see it in HD when it is next on (Saturday?) then DO IT!! See these new DSLRs being used fantastically. I understand the 5dmkII and the 7d were used in this opening sequence. The majority was shot with the 5dmkii at 30p with some stuff on the 7d in 60p mode for slow motion.


I think we are going to see more and more stuff shot on these cameras for broadcast as their abilities are discovered. Yes they have shortcomings but the image quality out of them as we know is terrific. I have yet to shoot any broadcast with the 7d but have shot 3 broadcast TV commercials on the 5d and the results have been awesome.

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Dublin’s People: Canon 7d 24p from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

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    1. Susan Rapp says:

      Congrats + you totally deserve the SNL recognition for Dublin’s People! And yes, they came to Zacuto and rented the Tactical Shooter and a few Z-finder V2’s for the SNL shoot. Crazy Cool. And when are you going to film ~ “Chicago’s People”. Curious. ~ @zacuto_sue

  1. Stan says:

    The videos from the 5 and the 7 do look fantastic! I’ve been looking at the accessories available and am beginning to wonder if by the time you finish accessorizing the DSLR’s you don’t end up with a device similar in size and expense to a Sony EX-1?

    1. Gary says:

      and by the time you accessorize the ex1 you’ll end up with a device similar in size and expense to an hpx300. It’s a vicious cycle…

  2. the video was blocked – I’ve seen a good video shot on the 5D it is the 4music promo made by 4creative

    watched it on a massive plasma screen and it rocked

  3. Rob Imbs says:

    That’s a big compliment that he was inspired by your work. Nice Job Phil!

    1. pbloom says:

      It wasn’t the DP that originally got in touch with me it was their head of technical about 3 weeks ago.

      1. Rob Imbs says:

        Killer, it’s always cool to get a response from notable people.

  4. yayonline says:

    hello Philip, in Spain we can´t see te NBC videos online because isn´t available in our location. Please, colud you post it into another place (vimeo,…)?

    1. pbloom says:

      Copyright forbids anyone watching it outside USA. You could try a location hider for your computer so it does not know where you are then you can watch it

  5. […] & More Info: Philip Bloom   ← Older Posts […]

  6. Mook Genius says:

    Well… Stan, I have to stick up for the Canon route. Take a Sony EX-1 and you have 3, 0.5in CMOS sensors. Take the 7D. APS-C is close to S35. Which one would you rather have? Plus you have to buy a DOF adapter to even come close to+ the 7D let alone the 5DMkii

  7. Andrew Howe says:


    I can’t see the video but I know that Saturday Night Live is an American institution so that’s a huge compliment. It certainly won’t do our chances of getting more broadcast friendly features any harm to have that kind of endorsement.

    I reckon it was the green hat that clintched it.

  8. I knew it! I was watching the other night and I recognized the look of the footage, turned to my girlfriend and said I bet they used this camera for that *holding my beloved 5D*

    1. pbloom says:

      did she look at you strangely!? :)

  9. O says:

    Where does that instantly recognisable American TV ‘look’ come from? I thought it was the lighting, but then why does it still instantly look like American TV even in completely different lights?

    1. pbloom says:

      it’s down to the compression. Am sure HD screen grabs would look awesome. these are SD screen grabs.

  10. Vladimiir says:

    I knew it Phillip, is the beginning of the end for regular Cameras. I would love to know if you are going to be able to test the RED scarlet when it comes out.


    1. pbloom says:

      i am going to buy a Scarlet for sure. love to test one out first!!

  11. Mike Bozulich says:

    Looks great!! Do we know how much was 5D and how much was 7D? Or what was shot with what? Just curious. My 7D is on it’s way. I can’t wait!!

    1. pbloom says:

      i don’t know am afraid.

  12. Nick Foxall says:

    My workplace is in arts centre here in Hong Kong, coverted from an old factory building. Because it’s new, it’s very popular with film crews. Monday saw a crew here shooting a TV commercial for a China fashion house.

    They had the whole dog-and-pony show (lights, makeup, props, director, producer, stressed-out ad agency execs), but it was all shot on a 5d mkII with just a couple of Canon lenses. There’s no doubt, DSLR shooting is definitely here to stay.

  13. so! …is the canon 5 or 7 d….better then the ex1 or 3?

    1. pbloom says:

      Different cameras for different jobs. Chalk and cheese

  14. […] a bit of nice trivia: Philip Bloom recently found out that NBC uses Canon 7D and 5D still cameras to shoot lots of material on their […]

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  17. […] reading this post from Phillip Bloom’s blog it seems more TV productions are fans as well: I had a very nice email from Alex Buono, the SNL DP […]

  18. […] megapixel FX frame CMOS sensor would also come in handy for shooting video, if, say, you needed to shoot a quick Saturday Night Live open. Oh wait, they used a Canon EOS 7D and EOS 5D for that. Stills will snap off faster, too, laying […]

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  20. Ian says:

    Dublin’s People looks beautiful, but surely this was shot on the 5D Mkii, not the 7D? I remember looking at this exact same film some while ago, whilst I was making my mind up about buying a 5D Mkii (bought it, love it, your film helped me decide, thanks). Am I wrong?

  21. […] were shot with Canon EOS 7D and 5D Mark IIs. You can check out the blog of filmmaker Philip Bloom here to find out more about it. Pretty cool […]

  22. […] 7D at SNL: Director Philip Bloom reports on his blog that he heard from Saturday Night Live Director of Photography Alex Buono that SNL is now using […]

  23. […] be a hypocrite to say I haven’t enjoyed the benefits of the 5D for many a Web project). SNL uses the 5D and 7D for their current season’s title sequence and shorts, I swear I’ve seen it in action on […]

  24. […] MKII videos on Vimeo SNL has even used both 5D's and 7D's for filming some of their digital shorts Saturday Night Live use Canon 7d (and 5d) | Philip Bloom I would say an SLR is just as much a tool for photographers as it is for film makers as long as […]

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