Now which one of these for video? 7D, 5DmkII, 1DmkIV?!?!

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Check out my previous blog on this for lots more info. This is just an update that take into account new developments with announcement of the 1DmkIV and upcoming firmware for the 5DmkII that finally gives it 24p and 25p.

SO which camera do you buy now, or if you have one do you upgrade?!

Canon 7D
Canon 7D
Canon 5D MKII
Canon 5D MKII

canon_eos_1d_mk4

It is very confusing and to be honest until the firmware for the 5DmkII actually does come out it’s difficult to advise.

No firm date has been set for it as far as I know. “First half of 2010” is what has been said. I don’t know about you but that date sounds so futuristic due to the “2001” sequel “2010”…first half means up to June 2010? Am sure that won’t be the case. It could be as soon as Jan 1st.

Now if you need 24p or 25p NOW, can make money from it and don’t own a 5dmkII then buy a 7D. It’s $1600 and will pay for itself in no time if you are a professional. If you are on the fence and don’t own one or don’t earn money from using one then you may as well wait…maybe! After all full frame 5DmkII will be killer. BUT we don’t know how bad the rolling shutter issues will be with this new firmware. It’s been improved with the 7D and on the 1DmkIV it seems improved. It could come out and suffer very badly. Then again it could out and be awesome. That’s the problem. It’s difficult to advise on something which isn’t out yet.

The 1dMkiV looks great, still has a crop though of 1.3x so not full frame like the 5DmkII but has astonishing low light abilities BUT is around $4000.

So let’s look at prices. US, as it gets more complicated here in UK.

7D….$1700 ish

5dmkII… $2700 ish

1DmkiV… $4000 ish

It depends on how patient you are, how much money you have and what you need them for.

The 7D is out, on sale, available!! You can buy it now and it does 24p and 25p out of the box aswell as 720p 50p, 60p which the new 5dmKII firmware has not been confirmed as having, although many users are unhappy with the aliasing of the 7D and overheating in this mode. I haven’t used the 50p enough myself to say. I need to do some more shooting in this mode so I can report back fully. It is the cheapest by far and is an incredible camera but has a crop of 1.6x (APS-C)

The 5dmkII is out and is an amazing camera too, shoots terrific full frame video albeit at an awkward 30p, not 29.97p but dead on 30p. Firmware should fix all this but we won’t know for some time.

The 1Dmkiv isn’t out yet. Has an awkward crop factor of 1.3x (APS-H) means your EF-S lenses won’t work on it. Is bulky and heavy, expensive but shoots in crazy low light…The 1dsMkiV will come out at some point and be full frame by the way…this crop is mostly for sports guys to get slightly longer out of their lenses and more FPS.431px-SensorSizes

All the cameras do amazing stills. The 5dmkII full frame stills are quite incredible. The low light of the  1dmkIV opens up incredible opportunities.

So I haven’t really answered the questions, as it cannot be answered for everyone. Work out which one works for you and until I get my hands on a 1dmkIV and a 5dmkII with new firmware I can’t truly offer advice any way. All I am doing is guessing, like you!

Me? I am still using both. I used the 7D for my timelapses and my stop motion film and shot “San Francisco’s People” on my 5DmkII in 30p with my 50mm f1.2! The 5dmkII produces superior looking video to the 7D and is better in low light BUT until the firmware update happens I will use the 7D for my broadcast work as I have native 24 and 25p. That is the clincher TODAY, tomorrow things could be different (but more likely 2 to 3 months…)

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171 comments

  1. If the rolling shutter truly is improved with the 1dmkIV, then I’ll be putting my 7d on eBay. Jelly Lens is it’s biggest limitation. Despite this, I do love it so.

    It’s a shame the 1dmkIV won’t take ef-s lenses; I’ll have to replace my 10-22mm.

      1. I’ve owned the 5D for almost a year. I received the 7D a couple of weeks ago. In my opinion, and with all the tests I’ve done, I really don’t think the 7D is a very good camera. The image quality is soft and grainy compared to the 5D, and in 720p it’s down right awful. If people can afford the extra grand, definitely buy the 5D, it’s worth it. If you want to do slow mo with a great all around DSLR get a Lumix GH1.

    1. I’m about to purchase that 5d mk2. Can I walk around and film with this camera? I’m I gonna get jello?

      I like the idea of learning a new way to control my camera, of filming different to overcome its limitations.

      But you know… is it impossible?

        1. Hi, I got a really important (for me) question and hope you can advice on it please:).
          the 7d and 5d has a life cycle of 150000 which I believe refers to the shutter.
          150000= 41 hours of recording at a 60fps or 83 hours in the case of 30fps.
          does this means I would expect to have to send the 7d or 5d or 1d for repairs after that number of recording, or the camera becomes hopeless in the entirety!
          thx for your advice.

  2. I’ll buy the 7d very soon (next week) because i’m a student in videography i make some short movie and musical video. But i also take sports pictures and the 7d shoot on 8 frame/sec.
    5d2 is great but still waiting for the frimeware. I tested both (7d and 5d) and for me the 7d is great. The 1d mIV seems to be the one, but as i said, i’m student and don’t have a lot of money.
    With the 7d, you can shoot and have a good short dof, better than with my Sonny FX1 and lighter than sony FX1 with a DOF adaptateur.

    Nathan

  3. I still think that the 7D is the best all arounder, and will remain as such, nevermind the 5D2’s new firmware or the availability of 1D4.

    The rolling shutter is not so much of a problem if you’re using long exposure times. I really have to pan real quick at 1/30 to have any jelly effect. But just as a guest writer on Dan Chung’s blog, Mr Johnny Hariri (as far as i remember) said – those shortcomings might make one a better videographer. I think if we all realize the obstacles there, we will come up with a way to shoot that will not necessarily overcome, but rather get round them.

    I for one would love to see a website that would list all possible gear combinations to support 7D/5D2 etc. because i have no idea which viewfinder/rig/mattebox/tripod to use, and i’m sure someone can compare Redrock gear with Zacuto, Cinevate etc.

    1. I tried to get Cinevate to send me their DSLR rig to review but they refused because a while back I said there Brevis Flip didn’t work with the EX1 which it didn’t at the time! So their demands that I let them vet my DSLR rig before my review was posted was refused by me, therefore they wouldn’t send me one. If they change their mind I am more than happy to try it out. Many people say good things about it. Redrock are sending me their rig so will do a review of that soon…

  4. From what I’ve seen of your work lately, you seem to be using the 7D a lot. Much more than the 5dmkII that is. So I’m guessing the 30p thing outweighs the benefits of the full frame sensor.

    As for the 1dmkIV, wonderful low-light but the form factor, weight and price are good arguments against getting it. My guess is however that this will be the DSLR that will be used in professional TV-series/film productions. While the weight and cost may be relevant when you are shooting solo, they are unlikely to be relevant for studio based film productions.

    I will be sticking to the 7D until a 7DmkII or 5DmkIII comes out. I’m hoping for a better codec by then (preferably some form of RAW) as that is the only major limitation with the current crop of DSLR’s. It will also be interesting to see what happens when Canon’s video camera department discovers that there is a Canon DSLR department and vice-versa.

  5. I need good stills performance and I need as well good film performance from a camera or cameras.
    I´m waiting for the Scarlett calendar, prices, specs, avalability to be known next October/30.
    If I can afford a Scarlett I´ll buy it (3750-4000 USD/€) just for film.
    I hope no Canon or Nikon can match it.
    And I´ll buy a Nikon for stills maybe a D700, or “D700 family”. I trust Nikon general quality and way to do things more than Canon. One now, the other during 2010.

    If I can´t afford a Scarlett, my choice will be the 5DMII now, because it´s a (the only HDdslr) FF sensor.

    After an year and half, waiting, waiting, waiting, these are my thoughts.

    Thanks for all your help.
    Regards.

  6. Philip’s right, it does come down to personal preference with these 3. Not one solution is flat out ‘better’ especially when price is taken into account.

    This of course is Canon’s strategy. Many different models catering for different needs. They’d make a lot less money from combining stuff into one super camera and flogging it for the price of a 7D.

    My perfect camera is out there already but not in the same body.

    It’s got the GH1’s mirror-less live view, EVF and small cute looks. That kit lens is handy too with it’s AF tracking. It has the 5D’s full frame look and the 1D Mk IV image quality, at the price of the 7D and with an EFS lens mode chucked in there along with 60p, 25p and 24p.

    The day they make a camera like that and put the processing chip from a proper video camera in there, I’ll be happy. Actually nah… I won’t be.

    A better camera will still be around the corner and I’ll still have the annoying human nature of always wanting more.

    In the case of the Canon’s at the moment, at least we do have moire.

  7. @ “The 1dsMkiV will come out at some point and be full frame by the way…this crop is mostly for sports guys to get slightly longer out of their lenses and more FPS.”

    Wow, are you saying the 1dmkiv will be FF? When will this happen? Everybody will go crazy.

      1. Oh, sorry, missed the s. Very important. When will you be able to test drive the 1d mkiv? I would love to see your style applied to low-light cinematography.

        Or even better, save up money/favors for the 1ds mkiv, and perhaps test that one out? It would be awesome if the 1ds mkiv was also high ISO and FF.

  8. I had the 5D for a week. While it produced awesome images, I couldn’t live with to much rolling shutter & 30fps instead of 29.97. Since I didn’t own any lenses, like most videographer’s, I had way to much money in what would be my 2nd camera. I returned it and put that money toward a Sony EX 1. I had the 5D for a week. While it produced awesome images, I couldn’t live with to much rolling shutter & 30fps instead of 29.97. Since I didn’t own any lenses, like most videographer’s, I had way to much money in what would be my 2nd camera. I returned it and put that money toward a Sony EX 1. I have ordered the 7D as my 2nd camera. Now I hear about a overheating issue with the 7D. It even says this in the manual. Why haven’t I heard this from anyone else? I know someone who has two 7D’s and it happened twice with both cameras during a Florida beach wedding.

    1. i had overheating in Florida with my pre production model but never on my production model in England. There is a lot of talk about it on forums. Think it is very common especially at 720p

  9. Phil as you seem closer to Canon than most of us can you point out the benefits of a swivel LCD when producing video as once again in true pro fashion the 1D IV comes with a static LCD. Swivel would also enhance photography as you can get those low and hi angles especially in a press scrum.
    Just a note… were you aware that some venues are stopping pros using HD enabled DSLRs as they go beyond the photographers remit therefore they are not licensed to take video footage. This could become a major hassle for photographers who only have HD DSLRs like a 5DMk11 and a 1D IV.

  10. I’m really enjoying the 7D for now, when the firmware comes out for the 5D MKII my hope is that not only does 24p come along for the ride but 30p becomes 29.97 and the 24p becomes 23.98 so I can use it and have post go smoothly.

    As for the 1D MK IV. Outside of stills (which these cameras were designed for and for AP of course) I am not sure the 1D MK IV is needed since I do not like all the tradeoffs of using high ISOs. I figure if I have the 5D MKII and the 7D I am covered.

    What I am waiting for is a 1Ds MKIV fullframe with video and hoping before April 2010

  11. Hey Euan, you can do what I do with my Canon 10-22 EF-S. Just pop the plastic mount on the back of the lens. That way you can use it with the 1D MKIV. I do it with my old 1D MKIII and I can go to 12mm without vignetting etc.

  12. Well the rolling shutter is one of the most important parts for me as filming for me means moving the camera.

    Philip I have a request from you. I love almost all of your stuff and the pictures are great but I always try to get a more filmic look out of the cam. What I have seen so far is that Nikon cameras have a more filmic look to them even thou the quality is bad. Canon looks more video like.

    What I want u to do if u have the time is to mimic the red camera and take down all the cameras settings to its minimum. No sharpening and no extra color. What I want to see is a grey image that u can play with in post.

    Maybe you´ve already done something like this but if you havent it would be awsome for me and for many others.

    Tack på förhand, like we say here in sweden.

    1. I have specific settings which I set out in my training dvds which are completely neutral. All contrast and sharpness turned down and saturation just one notch, also i use highlight tone priority. Then I can grade.

      I will be in Sweden next month at the photo show outside Stockholm

      1. Yes, I was wondering about that after watching the DVD. The in-camera profiles are heavily post processed even with the contrast and sharpness turned down. You can however upload custom profiles that completely flatten the image and massively boost the dynamic range.

        I’m currently using the SuperFlat (http://www.cinema5d.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3401#p23068) profile, but you can of course roll your own using Canon’s Picture Style Editor.

        Is there a reason why you are sticking to the pre-defined color profiles? I have not been able to find any disadvantages to using the super flat profile, but perhaps I’m missing something…

    2. “What I have seen so far is that Nikon cameras have a more filmic look to them even thou the quality is bad. Canon looks more video like.” – Thomas D.

      Hi Philip,
      do you have any opinion about this Canon vs Nikon filmic or video look as Thomas wrote?
      Thanks.

    1. Very very simple answer to that question Steven! Having a great camera does not mean everyone is going to get beautiful footage. It’s not the camera, it’s the person behind the camera.

      This is a common misconception! They may sound wanky and pretentious but why can one person do amazing things with a paintbrush when others cannot, or why can one person write beautiful music when someone else cannot. The tools are available to everyone! Seriously, it’s not the camera!! I will be producing a beautiful video this week with a $150 camera. Just wait…

      1. Phillip, for someone who doesn’t own anything yet, wants to do an equal amount of stills and video and would only be shooting with one camera (not mixing frame rates) would you suggest the 5d over the 7d? I think I can deal with having to wait for 24p but really crossing my fingers they might throw in 60p on the update also.

        I’ve seen the stuff you’ve done on the 5d and it is incredible but wondering how much image quality I’d be losing going to the 7d.

        thanks in advance!!!

  13. Philip, any chance you could expand on the Frame Size and specifically the issues with lenses… and limitation of lenses. This would help me decide. The 1dM4 sounds great, but what would be the major issues with lenses?

  14. For me it was a no-brainer… the 7D.

    I got mine with the 16-35 f2.8 L (effectively 25-56 on the 7D), so if I ever “upgrade” later, this lens is still good. This is a great all-round lens.

    Here in Hong Kong, its PAL (24, 25p), but I get a lot of requests from the US and Japan, so having 30p is good too.

    I’m really impressed with the build quality. Its a solid piece of kit, despite being labelled as “pro-sumer”. It happens to take damn good stills too! What a bonus!! For the price, it really can’t be beat.

    Nick

  15. Phil, I really appreciate all the great stuff you share with us. And yes. your “Shaving it Back” is great, but it’s all extreme close-up. Please post some sample of the 7D camera of a wide shot and it’s awful. The 7D does a great job in close-up simple shots, but the minute you film a wide scene where everything’s in focus, it falls apart. I don’t know what the problem is, if it’s a codec issue or what.

      1. We must suffer for out art! 😉

        Personally since I’ve already jumped on 7D bandwagon I’m waiting for the firmware upgrade of the 5D before getting anything new. And I’d like to see what Sony does with their new line up of DSLRs due out at the same time as the 5D upgrade, they’re in a tough position. They have a full frame camera for $2000 which shoots a pretty good image.

  16. I recently purchased a Canon 7D and am trying to edit with iMovie 09. I would love to get Final Cut Pro but at the moment I just can’t afford it. This is just a hobby of mine with no real plans of changing that in the near future. My question is, since iMovie 09 does not support 24p, would it be ok to shoot 24p, edit it in iMovie with a 30p AIC timeline? Will this keep the same look of 24p? I guess this is a 3:2 pulldown when you import 24p footage? I know this is probably a very basic question for a pro like yourself, but I would really appreciate some feedback.

    Thanks in advance, love your work.

    1. iMovie does not support 24P? I think the latest does. However, my suggestion, use (free) Mpeg streamclip to make your clips to Intermediate codec at 30P and then edit. Dont shoot 24P if you dont have a Pro NLE.

  17. Thanks a million Phil for all your reviews as 2 weeks ago I wasn’t even aware of the 7D (have been using a 400D for stills) but last week couldn’t resist its super sweet reviews and sample vids by you, so grabbed me one. I’d admittedly had the 500D in mind for getting back into film making as wasn’t prepared to step up to the 5D and ditch the EF-S lenses, but wasn’t feeling the love with the 500D.

    Hadn’t even read the 7D manual in detail on how to operate it’s vid functions properly before taking it airborne while paragliding (solo, not tandem) yesterday for a few hours at a stunning coastal site of huge cliffs, using the EF-S 10-22mm lens. Could even operate the buttons, change frame rates (for some overcranked 50p action) with thick Gore-Tex gloves on while flying with no hands on the brakes (fine to do in smooth, non-turbulent coastal air). I’d initially launched with a thin liner glove on the left hand to ensure button and menu use would be easy mid flight, but that glove wasn’t a wind blocker so got pretty chilly digits after a while in the cold air and put the thicker glove on with reduced dexterity. Found I could still bumble along fine with the small start/stop button still. Mostly had the lens on 10mm to get smooth shots for wide angle aerial footage while flying close to other mates’ colourful wings. At one point it started to rain lightly so had to use the lens cleaning brush in air to clean off the rain drops on the UV filter several times… dodgy… Thankfully 99% of the footage was all in focus (hard to tell wearing sunglasses for wind blocking and trying to fly safely all at the same time!) and the footage results were incredible. Thank you again Phil – have put others onto your blog site who didn’t know about it. Your honest advice, tutes and short films are nothing short of two humongous thumbs up.

  18. I have been watching, waiting and hoping along with everyone else here about the possibility of 24P on the 5D. The rolling shutter is a serious problem for the action I plan to shoot but I was willing to work around it. Then the 7D shows up with 24P and for a thousand bucks less. Sweet…except for the fact that it has less low light sensitivity than the 5D and a 1.6 crop factor. Being able to shoot in low light is very important to me as I am in pre-production on a low budget indie feature and the more ambient light I can utilize, the less lighting I will need to rent, haul and setup. The more quickly I can work, the less help I will need and quite frankly, the prettier and more fully realized my images will be. I convinced myself that I could work with the 7D’s 1.6 crop but wasn’t crazy about such an extreme factor. Now the 1D Mark IV is announced with Vincent Laforet’s amazing skateboard fantasy to illustrate the incredible low light capability of this beast. That combined with the gentler 1.3 crop factor make this a no brainer for me. The 1.3 crop will allow for greater depth of field allowing two shots in low light in which both actors are not exactly on the same plane to have a better shot at being in focus. There is also the benefit that the periphery of the lens will not be used. My Canon 24-70 2.8L lens is great but if you shoot wide angle at 2.8 the edges might as well have been smeared with vaseline. I look forward to not having to worry so much about this. Granted the 1D Mark IV is larger and heavier as well as a hell of a lot more expensive but coming from a film camera background as I am, this camera offers a whole lot more than I ever thought I could afford…recording double system sound isn’t such a big deal. I have already pre-ordered my 1D Mark IV. Wish me luck.

  19. Have you experienced any scan lines when shooting a projector screen?
    My problem is when i was shooting a live performance with a rear screen projector, i get these awful horizontal weird lines. Do you know of any idea what could cause this?
    Thanks!

    1. I believe this has to do with the shutter speed which I was told it does not exist in DSLR’s. However my auto answer to such a problem is the shutter speed of the camera is lower than the TV/projector frequency..refering to what you hear about in monitors or TVs (70mgh or 60mgh etc) but I may well be wrong I’m no expert. the only thing I’m sure of is I came across this problem with my ex camcorders Sony z1 and Sony PD150 so it has nothing to do with your cam being a DSLR.

  20. hi pbloom,

    while i’ve seen comparisons within the canon family, i haven’t come across any comparisons between canon 7D and panasonic GH1…i guess for many people out there, that’s the decision today.
    i know you’ve spoken about the panny, but have you written anything about which one? can you talk about this?

    regards,
    2069

  21. Hi!
    Just got the 7D last week with the stock lens and used this on a job together with the JVC 700. It works very well – and all together I am impressed with the quality if you take the 7D´s price into consideration.
    Now I am waiting the Canon 24-70mm, 2.8 to arrive – which I hope will improve the quality even more!

    BTW when will the 7D training download be out Phill?

    1. Sony doesn’t do anything that Sony doesn’t want to do. Though they’ve been a leader in the professional video market for decades, they seem to be riding the short bus when it comes to DSLR’s. This is supported by the following quote

      “The , senior general manager of the AMC Division in Sony’s Digital Imaging Business group said that if the market desire for such a function increases, Sony will definitely meet consumers’ needs.”

      If the market desire increases?????

      Come on Sony. IMO, they don’t want to take a chance that their professional video division will take a hit if they make a 5DII/7D/1DIV competitor. Even their “BIG” announcement the other day was kind of a let down. Yeah, the improved EX-1 and the new 2/3″ cam are pretty cool, but not worthy of the hype they tried to produce. They just keep making me scratch my head, wondering why they’re snoozing on such a cash cow.

  22. My “guess” is by the end of 2010 we will have it all.
    Mark 4 ds full frame,(+/- march 2010) 5D mark3 full frame (+/- September 2010.) With the new focusing system,Dual processor’s.(35 megapixel sensor.)Just a guess.

    Untill then I,ll be happy with the 5d mark2 even though the focusing sucks when taking photo’s.
    I have already noticed that here in Holland the 7D new price is down to 1349 euro. That’s 1241 UK pounds, 2024 dollar’s. 3 weeks ago it was 1699 euro.
    Quite a drop for a new product.
    You guys should buy them here and save some bucks.

    Lets hope the firmware update is Jan and not June 2010.

    Philip, looking forward to your review of the 1D mark4 as you’ll probably get 1 to play with a lot sooner than the rest of US.

    greeting from holland.

    1. We really need a new ‘Hitler’ movie on the Canon 7D pricedrop.
      That’s a really huge drop when you just paid full price for it.
      Ofcourse , it’s always a risk. But it sucks!! Canon i hate you.

      The 7D rocks by the way 🙂 Canon i love you.

      greetz from Holland

  23. Thanks for a great site! I visit several times every week.

    Do you do any action photo with the 5D/7D? Or action at all?
    Im using the 5D for motocross filming, i really love it and the feel of it – but im really struggling with the sound (use the Røde mic now, hopeless…) Thinking of buying the Zoom 4HN. But afraid of not getting the timing right.
    Any experience with the 4HN in this kind of sound environment?
    (from a local race i did in norway with the 5D:
    http://motox.no/articles/?id=11579 )

  24. Hey Philip,
    you said the frame-rate conversion with 5D is a pain in the ass.

    Even when using the conform option in cinema tools? It’s not like there’s any render waiting time.

    But maybe you’re talking about something else.

  25. do you think that the 5d having better video could be anything to do with in-camera settings?

    i know it looks more punchy out of the box but do you think that theres a setup for the 7d that can make it look like the 5d? (apart from the crop factor)

    cheers!

    1. I like your question.. I saw a tutorial about editing your own custom preset for colors and contrast etc then loading it to the canon 7d since not all the information captured by the sensor is passed on the preset decides what which properties take priority… but what do I know?..not much really I’m very new to the DSLR and still waiting for my 7d.
      by the way regarding previous posts; isn’t sharper is less accurate term for less resolution?
      note: it’s strange that the 7d passes 48mb while the more detailed 5d passes 40mb.

  26. If someone ever hopes to use PL lenses like Rodney Charters is the 5D useless because of the sensor being too big? So the 7D would be a better choice?

    if its good enough for Rodney Charters and Shane Hurlburt its good enough for anyone. Phillip is right you its about who is behind the camera.

      1. Phil,
        Thats absurd, seriously, If its ok to shoot Panavision with the 5D MK2 it ok to develop PL for any EOS version. At this time I believe the 32mm in PV mount is the widest you can go without vignetting in the 5D Mk2. I tested the 7D at Panavision with the Optimo 15-40 with no vignetting at the wide end. I was the first to do this.
        Will we ever see a PL mount for the EOS system outside of Canon making it directly on future cameras its yet to happen but its in the works. I believe!

        Cheers

  27. For me its the 7D all the way. But perhaps Im asking a different question. Would you rather have a 7D plus $2200 in accessories? or the 1D markiv? after all, in 18 months when the camera bodies change again all of your pro accessories and lens will work on the new bodies.

    I make my living as an editor and shooting stuff for the web. My 7D is suitable for passion in short films, but I still borrow/rent an hvx or ex1 to shoot most of my client video.

  28. Hey Phil, I’m a UK lad and want to shoot primarily handheld – I’ve an Ex1/Lex combo and it breaks my back and has too big a profile, I’ve a Z-Finder on order and will prob get a Captain Stubling from CVP unless anything else takes my eye at the Canon expo in London this week as I want something light and low profile (Zacuto too expensive at the mo).

    I’m facing the 5D/7D decision and feel the 5D is the best choice for me – better in low light, naturally wider for when shooting in enclosed spaces (e.g. a tube train!) and I can deal with three months of converting if I get a year of 25P.

    I’m curious if you’d agree this is the right decision – 7D is great and I’d appreciate being trained on S35-alike lenses for future film work, but I feel the 5D wins for me – especially since they’re only a few hundred quid difference.

    I appreciate our cousins across the pond have a bigger price diff, but all things being equal the 5D is worth the benefits, plus it’s a great stills cam! I’m a little worried that 25P on the 5D will get some jello-cam, but I think that’s just nerves (I’ve also got a D90!).

  29. Hi Philip,

    Here’s a little dilemma that I am in. I am a current 20D user, I always wanted to go full frame, the 5DMK2 is something I am eyeing. You see the problem, I do not have resources to upgrade like once every 2 years. My plan is to get a digital eos camera that is highly scalable and would last me 5 years at least. I am quite both the 7D and 5Dmk2 can given their ability to shoot Hi ISO and hence open up a lot of possibilities, etc. seeing your videos on vimeo really open up my horizons on we can do with our cameras. If you were me, what would you choose? And it didn’t help that I had the privilege to shoot with a 5Dmk2 and 24mm f1.4 mk2. I am totally love how it performed at a wedding that I covered. So, if you were me what would you choose? a 5DMk2 or a Eos7D, given the price difference in Singapore is about $1250 SGD. Thanks!

  30. after 10 days with the 7D … iam still disapointed. its not for me. image quality is too poor to take it seriously for professional use. no way to compare it to a red camera, there are galaxies between.
    i tried some wide shots withh the 7D and -in 1080p full frame – its not useable (compression h264.) and the RS is a joke, only wobbling in the image.
    this cameras are quite good for small internet stuff, but not for a serious blu ray distribution. or maybe i have a fake 7D or iam completely wrong in the settings …

      1. thing is it must be said, that the movies in internet hide a bit the real quality of the cams.
        in full HD frame, the 7D and 5D are simply not in the quality of an ex1 (i don´t mention the great image of a red camera)
        so i think the small window movies often give a wrong image of the quality you have in native 1:1, and here i see heavy 264 problems with both cams. it´s ok for internet and some tv stuff, but it´s a long way for real HD.

    1. Hi Jan, yes RED cam is better but it cost 10 time more, and the workflow is good only if you work with red cine plugin, that’s the only editing software that really let you jump from different preview resolution without having problem with playback. also let’s talk about Terabyte of data that you must record in production and amount of money you must spend to have fasssst hard disk to play footage. Yes it’s better than every dslr product in the market now, but really I’ve seen 100.000 euro production realized by Panasonic 171, P+S Technik and cinema lenses and so Really 7D could be work better than this kind of toys. If you have money don’t be afraid take Red cam but if you you have less … well use dslr camera and you will very happy like your costumers. Waiting for the hdmi lossless exit. 🙂

  31. All this talk about Jello cam and rolling shutter… Don’t forget about the “Rolling Shutter” plug-in by the foundry. At $500 it’s not cheap, but for action and High amounts of motion, it could save a shot. Definitely on my shopping list no matter what camera I end up with. On their site, they also have a couple of the most requested measurements.

    Quote:

    * RED One: 0.32
    * Canon 5DmkII: 0.56

    Check out the video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zt0u9hsPuZY

      1. Render time: 4 hrs 13 min. on a 2 and a half min. clip with some rolling shutter issues. Rendered it out on a dual 3 GHZ Mac Tower with 5 GB RAM, so the newer 8-cores would probably roll through a render much faster.

        You can also download a functional trial of the plug-in from the Foundry’s website.

  32. Phil,

    I recently decided to dip my toes into the DSLR pool and ordered a 7D. It should be arriving this week. First and foremost I’m a video guy, shoot with an HVX200 and bought a Letus Extreme (w/Nikon adapter) and Redrock mattebox. I was very pleased until I saw the EX-1 with the 35….much better looking! Will be purchasing one very soon.
    Meanwhile, I’m trying to oufit the 7D with the proper accessories. Can you share your thoughts on what’s the best Nikon adapter ring & where to buy? Also, I’m leaning toward one of the Redrock DSLR rigs vs Zacuto (not willing to pay their price). Thoughts?

      1. I would love to but they refused to send me a review version. I cannot buy everything so I need manufacturers to send me samples. Redrock have just done that so will get a review up soon.

  33. Hi, all. I’ve got 5D mark II, 7D and Gh1. For me if you shoot at 25P or 24P 7D for now is the choice. Also if I noticed that the images appear to be too much contrasted for a goog postproduction work. If you want to shoot at 50P the choice at this moment is GH1 that don’t be afflicted by moirè effect (like canon at 50P, I’ve contacted canon support and the moirè effect at 720/50P it’s for now without solution). The plus for the GH1 is that when you shoot at 50P the shutter will work at 1/50 and lower at 1/25 and lower more like lot of professional videocamera in the market. Canon don’t do that and also when you work at 1080/25P you can’t set the shutter at 1/25 but only at 1/30 and that’s not so funny, when you work low light condition you can’t set the shutter speed lower than the frame rate (GH1 can work at 1/25 at 720/50P). Please, don’t work with GH1 at iso higher than 500, but also don’t work with 7D over 800 iso. With GH1 you can record 30 minutes of video without interuption. And with fast lenses I’ve obtained fantastic results (contax zeiss 50mm 1.4, leica 25mm 1.4, leica 17-55 2.8/3.5). the images appear less contrated than the canon (5D and 7D) and this let me work better in post production. But with GH1 you can’t have while recording a monitor out preview you can work only with the swiwel lcd. The 5D has got a work flow very complicated also if with this camera you have the full frame. Now I’m working with 1 7D and 1 GH1 with redrock’s kit and I have ordered another GH1. So that’s it. waiting.

    1. Hi Massimo,
      you wrote “The 5D has got a work flow very complicated also if with this camera you have the full frame.”

      It´s complicated because you need to change the original 1080p/30fps or if do not need to change that (imagine that it´s only to use on the web and see on a HD TV) is it still complicated to edit?
      Don´t you have to transcode both 5D and 7D footage to ProRES to edit no matter the fps?

      Thanks.

      I ask you, Phil and you all an aditional help:
      To use this kind of lenses – Canon MP-E 65mm Macro – a light consumer lenses, it´s really better a full frame sensor, both for stills and video, for gathering more info, more light, better files?
      http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-MP-E-65mm-1-5x-Macro-Lens-Review.aspx

      And if I use these lenses with a crop 7D sensor, do I have even a bigger magnification, like with a zoom, bigger than 1-5x?

      Thanks again

      1. Work flow is a pain as you need to transcode everything and yes, it isn’t 29.97 and also isn’t 24p or 25p!

        Both 5d and 7d footage need to be converted into Pro Res for FCP for editing.

        I really don’t know that Lens. Sorry!

  34. Phil

    You need to do more tests Will Miami is right the 7d is like it has a sock over the lens, two in 50p mode

    Maybe the codec onlycollapses on a wide, detailed shot with motion

    Maybe there are duff cameras about

    Im looking to spend a lot of cash backpeddalling to the 5d and 24-105 from the 7d and 16-55

    S

  35. Well, the 5D may have less noise than the 7D, which makes sense because of the bigger sensor and it certainly has a shallower dof but I absolutely do not agree it is sharper than the 7D Philip, if that is what you meant by better image quality. For me the 7D seems to be as sharp as my EX1.
    The problem for me with the 5D is not only the 30p, which will be solved with the new firmware. The problem for me is that with the 5D you can kiss goodbye to any hope of using cinema glass. Shooting with still lenses is a drag.

    1. Did I say it was sharper? Sharper than what? I need to re-read my blog as I don’t remember saying anything like that. I have always said 5dmkII image is better, just a pain in butt that is 30p. Hence this blog…now that firmware is coming out what does one do?!

      1. “I have always said 5dmkII image is better”.

        Better how? Just because the shallower DOF? Because noise can be avoided. Or is there something else besides noise and DOF? This is what led me to think you had also meant “sharper”.

      2. You have not said it is sharper – but you also are not saying ‘this is so soft as to make a very poor choice of camera’

        My observations of MY 7d are that it is too soft to use with any satisfaction on a complex scene – wide and or moving

        I have had some OK shots with tight simple shots

        Remember people are spending cash based upon your words

        S

  36. Sorry Philip. I was directed here from a thread which was debating the 5D is sharper than the 7D. So I thought that could have been what you meant with your comments on the 5D “superiority”. But I didn’t say you said sharper. What I said was if you meant sharper when you said “For me the 5dmkII produces better video” I would have to disagree. There’s just this huge thing going now everywhere like Cinema 5D, DVXuser etc that the 5D is sharper and that the 7D is only good for close ups or it will fall apart resolution wise and that the 7D barely resolves 720p let alone 1080p and bla, bla, bla. But unless I’m totally crazy, the 7D looks as sharp as my EX1.

    1. Hi JD. You are misinterpreting my blog. This is about the Canon DSLRs only. NOT other cameras. The 5D does superior video to the 7D, not compared to EX1 etc…that is a whole different complex blog!!

      1. No Philip, I was talking between 5D and 7D only. The EX1 was an observation of mine that I added. In my opinion the 7D is as sharp as my EX1. In my opinion.

        But when you said the 5D produces better video than the 7D and that the 5D images were better than the 7D I thought you could have meant sharper, since now all you see on forums is that the 5D is sharper.
        That the 5D is cleaner, better in low light and has shallower DOF is a given, it has a much bigger sensor. But sharper I just don’t think so.
        Now I know you did not mean sharper. 🙂

        You blog is great by the way.

  37. I have just ordered the 7D

    Im sure there is plenty of people like myself who have been through the countless hours of research comparing both these cameras.

    I have made my decision based on all the info i could gather up.

    I was thinking of getting the 5D2 but like you have said before Philip, its all about the person behind the camera. I’m sure the 5D2 does have overall more delicious looking video, but it must not be by very much.

    the 7D can produce a great look, it might take a little bit more effort. I have played around with both the 5D and 7D a fair bit.. the “Rolling Shutter Jello” is pretty horrible on the 5D2 and is improved on the 7D just enough for it to not be much a big issue.

    I didn’t have any trouble with sharpness on the 7D, although i did only use L series lenses.

    As for the low light, i will be using this camera on a professional basis, so I’m always going to be lighting my scenes, that again comes down to what you will be shooting and what kind of productions you want to take on.

    There is an argument that the 7D crop is more suited to 35mm film ‘look’, I’m not sure if this is right, but if your keen on shooting for short films etc its worth looking into this, and/or the appropriate lenses to use on the 5D2?

    another win was the 60fps without that being a certainty on the 5D2 its something i would like to have. I plan on getting L series lenses so i can jump to Full Frame if i choose to.

    One more thing to add to why i chose the 7D was the price.. it has allowed me to buy accessories needed to really jump in the deep end with shooting on DSLR video, test the waters and we all know that either Canon, or another company are going to have the Bigger, Better, more suited to video DSLR (Micro RED Scarlet) coming out just around the corner.

    Like you said at the start, if your making money from your video/photography.. the 7D is an easy buy knowing you wont loose sleep if you find out you will be replacing it in 3 – 4 months time.

    Just make sure, if you have even the slightest thought about the whole full frame thing.. or even 1.3 crop, Invest your money in to full-frame suited lenses 🙂 camera stabilizers is a must!

    just to add.. this is all just my personal opinion.

  38. Hi Phil- I am an everyday hobby shooter. I have a simple HG20, but have been thinking of moving into the DSLR realm. If I am just going to shoot common day things (family, cars, trips, and stuff like that) but turn them into little movies, would you suggest a 7d or should I spring for the 5D Mk II? I really was thinking about moving up as right now I have a 50D, and my HG20 sucks in low light. Thoughts?

  39. Hi Phil:
    I greatly appreciate your contributions to the filmmaking community.
    I’ve been shooting with the EX1 for the past 18 months for documentary work and I’m considering acquiring a 5D, 7D or 1D, if indeed the image is superior to an EX1.
    In watching your wonderful Greenpeace piece shot on the 5D, in comparison to “Dublin’s People” shot with the 7D (both on Vimeo in HD resolution), I did notice a significant visual quality difference.
    The 5D material was noticeably sharper with more resolution to my eyes. The 7D material was softer and had less resolution.
    Is this due to the differences in sensor size? Or is it due to other factors, such as grading and lens used?
    Do you find the 5D noticeably sharper with more resolution to your eyes?
    How do you respond to the several comments on this thread I’ve read from 7D users who experience a significantly degraded image when shooting with the 7D at wide angle?
    Robbie

  40. Like everyone on this dam blog.. (thanks for the info mr. bloom! very helpful.) I’m torn between 7d/5d…
    I shoot alot of marketing videos that are on the fly style and will continue to use my HVX for that… but for short/feature films and commercials I’m torn.

    One thing i’m placing into consideration is that it will be my first digital SLR camera that I’ll be dealing with and lenses are new to me, so I want to make an easy transition. Is one cam easier to get the hang of shooting this way?

    Also, for actual still photography I feel like the 7D is better just because it has a flash… but thats how inexperienced I am with these.

    And after watching every damn video on Vimeo (hours!!!) I feel like the 5d image is richer. Its almost like when I was torn between an XHA1 and my HVX… I went with the HVX because the image just seemed stronger…

    As for lenses… can you use the same lenses for both 7d and 5d???

    And lets say I get ahold of a scarlet in the next year or so, will 7d or 5d lenses work with it???

    alot of stupid quesitons here.. but i’m an SLR newbie looking for a hand.

    Any info helps.

    Jeff
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3317959/

  41. I’m just about to make a leap from some old standard Def video Cameras (SOny PD150), which i use with a SGPro 35mm adaptor setup.

    I’m ready, and willing to use DSLR for video, but Always use my external LCD ‘off cam’ monitor. I’ll get the 1Dmk1V i think, as i have some full frame still lenses already, and the low light bit is a massive criteria for me.

    Question is, what about sound? and what type of video out (for directors monitor) is there on these cams?

    I’ve seen some stuff on firmware extra’s for LCD display stuff, but it’s a bit “BETA” right now for me to play with.

    By the way Philip, great blog, and reviews. If your ever down in Brighton, let me know as i’d love to take a look at what you’re shooting.

  42. Hi Philip,
    how long can I record uninterrupted with these cams ? Is there a cam which records about 60 minutes ?

    I shoot videos of gigs in narrow places, often with low light. So I look for a cam with good low light, wide angle lens and 60 or more minutes to go.

    Rolf

  43. Hi,

    I am new to DSLR video shooting, and mainly shoot family, small personal projects, etc. Do you think I would see a difference as an amateur between a 5D MK II and a 7D? Right now I just shoot on a HG20, but want better low light ability. Thoughts? Thanks!

  44. what would hitler do panasonic 40 or jvc 100? This first.
    really phil, which one of these do you think is best for a broke beginner
    wanting to get an oscar for documentary? or 7d. 5d maybe. of all 4?

    Your hilter short is fantabulos. Funny as hell!

    By the way, how do you say good bye in german from a red neck?
    “OUR FEET ARE THE SAME”! mickey

  45. Philip,
    I’m looking into buying a DSLR. I understand that the 5D produces superior video than the 7D and also understand that the 5D can produce superior video due to the size of it’s imager over the 7D’s smaller imager.
    My question is, could a firmware update for the 7D help improve the video quality to get it to the level of the 5D? Or would this type of “boost” introduce noise to the video?

    Thanks.

    Philip Yunker

  46. Hi Phil,
    You probably haven’t played with such a miserable entry-level DSLR as the Canon 500D. But in case you have, can you comment if it’s video is any good? I know it only does 1080P at 20fps, so I’m not interested in that. But it’s 720p is 30fps, so it might be good for us poorer people to get into DSLR HD-video. I know I’d missing out on the 24fps, but to be honest, I have not quite understood why it is so important. Are there some good example videos that could help me understand and actually show me the visual difference? Also, no manual aperture or shutter speed settings on 500D, which might be a lot more significant? But, and this is the big point, I can get almost THREE of those 500D’s for the price of just one 7D!

    1. i bought one last week! not fully played with it but will do full review soon. seen some good footage from it. 30p v 24p is purely aesthetic. It looks nicer to film aficionados like myself. without full manual control, full hd or 24/25 it is the much poorer brother to 7d. if you can stretch to it then do it. one can be used professionally, the other not really.

      1. Thank Phil,
        well, considering that I am not pro in any way, I don’t really need pro gear. I have good understanding about the still images side of it all, but no idea when it comes to video. But will definately wait for a review from you now! Perhaps the poorer brother is a good option for us poorer buggers.

  47. I sent a mail to the guy from magic lantern for the 5d hdmi output and voila what he wrote me back:

    On Sat, Dec 12, 2009 at 10:18:26AM -0800, madjid wrote:
    > Hello , does it minds that we will be able to record via hdmi
    > uncompressed video too , like syndicate ve done with the 7d and the
    > mini matrox recorder ?

    Neither the 7D nor the 5D Mark II output 1080p30 on the HDMI. Both
    are limited to 1080i60 PSF, so it is possible to reconstruct the
    1080p signal from it. The other problem is that due to the
    additional stuff on the screen the actual usable signal is only
    1620×911 or so.
    I’ve had a compatibility problem with the Convergent Designs’
    nanoFlash and the 5D’s HDMI output, but hope that the new firmware
    update from Canon will fix that. The 7D works fine with it.
    When we have Magic Lantern running on the 7D we will be able to
    clear the screen to eliminate the need to replace the red dot
    like Syndicate is doing.

    Trammell

    If the 5d could output 1080p50 4:2:2 that will be a big change in our world !

  48. Hi Philip,

    I’m pretty much sold on the 7D. Frame rates mean I can be creative with my shooting, and the lower entry price than the 5D can’t be ignored. I can’t wait for firmware that may or may not come out, so the 7D is the camera I should have bought yesterday!

    My question is – should I go with the kit lense for the 7D. I know the EF-S isn’t compatible with the 5D or some others, so would it be better choosing a different lense? What would you recommend for general use? Or just stick with the kit lense?

    Thanks and sorry I missed you at converge.one!

  49. “Which one to buy” is a discussion with no end until you pull the trigger on a piece of gear (kit). We have these discussions all the time in the Steadicam field. In the end, you can only afford what you can afford. Don’t put the gear before the art. The great work is accomplished through “doing” and not stressing over electronics. Go out and make something wonderful. Most people will not care what tool you used.

    Hope to see you at NAB this year Philip. What booth number are you? ; )

  50. Like the 5mkII the 7D can have a firmware update in future and minimize the skew/jellow problem? Because of what i’ve seen the 7D and 5mkii have quite the same HD video quality, but the 5mkii have better still image. In 7D is the heating that limit the video lenght of 12 min or it’s another problem?
    I don’t know, but for my first camera i think i will get a 7D, specially because here in Brazil both are very expensive (like R$7.000 the 7D) and i don’t think for me the difference for the 5dmkii worth it.
    Thanks

  51. Hi Phil

    I’m considering a 7d to use for mainly video purposes. For someone on a budget what lens would you recommend to start out on? Is the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS too slow?

    Thanks
    Simon

  52. So I’m leaning towards the 7D, for video use primarily, and it seems that the advice is to stay away from the lens kits that are slow. So I’m thinking I will by the 7D body and the 17-55mm EF-S. I’m curious to know if there’s any feedback regarding what would be a good, but affordable longer, telephoto lens to compliment it.

    I *might* still wait for the firmware update for the 5D before making a purchase. If so, I’m also curious to know what the equivalent might in a 17-55mm for the 5D, since I understand the EF-S can only be used with the 7D.

    Thanks for any feedback from anyone on these questions.

    Mookie

  53. Hi Philip,

    I need a help to know where to buy a good Nikon lens adapter for Canon 5D MII or 7d.
    I have some manual nikon lenses that I want to use on a 5d/7d but I don’t know which adapter better.

  54. Phil:

    Thanks for all you’ve done for the art of filmmaking, especially for independents.

    I own a Sony EX1/Letus Extreme/Zacuto rail system, with the following Zeiss prime lenses: Distagon T* 2/28mm ZF and 2/35mm ZF, and the Planar T* 1.4/50mm ZF and 1.4/85mm ZF, with Nikon mounts. I also own the Nikon D700 with a 70-200mm lens, which I am currently selling on ebay so that I can purchase either the Canon 7D or 5D, depending on my funds. My question is this: is there any way for me to utilize the Zeiss prime lenses with a Nikon mount on the 7D or 5D? I shoot a lot of stock footage for iStockphoto. How will the 5D compare to the EX1? And will it hold up for quality stock video standards?

    Thanks for your advice.

  55. Within this context of comparing the different Canons for video, how would you rate the Canon 550d, It comes in at around £700?

    What are the can dos and can’t dos?

  56. Philip,

    I am a director and the DP I work with constantly is in love with the 5D, and it is winning me over as well. As I love two camera shoots, and he has the 5D, I was looking into throwing some money into buying either the 5D or 7D. Since he has the 5D, should I get the 5D so that the two cut together, or will the 7D cut with the 5D? If the two will cut, would you recommend I get the 7D so that we leave more possibilities open, i.e. low light, frame rate, etc?

    Also, when shooting on film or the Red I prefer to stay on lens 50mm and up, but due to the focus issues with the 5D (and don’t know if they exist for the 7D), would you recommend staying on wider lenses? I stay on 50mm and up for the depth of field, the narrower angel of view, and I think it gives a more cinematic look. Generally I don’t like wide lenses as they seem more video. Why i ask is that I recently shot the red and mostly used a 50mm and 85mm, but with such a limited depth of field at 85mm it was hard to keep in focus, and takes were lost. This shoot was with a camera crew, and I am going to be doing some smaller shoots in the near future. On theses shoots, the crew may consist of my DP on one camera, me on the other, a sound guy, and we may have to pull our own focus, so in this situation should we expect focus issues, and if so which lenses would you recommend?

    Thanks for the advice.

  57. Hi there Phillip,

    My name is BJ, and I have just started in the whole video DSLR game. As a new commer, I am going to be moving from Nikon to Canon, and I was wondering since I will be mainly using the new DSLR as a video camera, what is the life cycle at video. I know and from what I hear the 5D Mk II is at 150k to 200k shutter acctuations and is that number also translated into video time (XX Hours)?

    Just a question, its probably been answered but I (honestly) just didnt want to look around the whole site to find out.

  58. Hi Philip,

    Thanks again for being such a valuable resource. If I ever see you, I will immediately run to the nearest bar and bring you a beer.

    In the interest of future-proofing, I bought a T2i last year and love it. I want to buy some new lenses, though, and feel like I should stay away from APS-C lenses in case the new generation of cameras are full frame. But since this philosophy comes at a premium, I thought I’d check with the group. I asked Canon, but they won’t confess where they’re going.

    Am I being dumb here or should I stick with the EF lenses?

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