Sofia’s People: Canon 5d mk2


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Shot over a couple of nights, taking the 5dmk2 out on the streets and getting shots of the inhabitants and visitors.

All shot using one lens. A Nikon mount Zeiss ZF 50mm f1.4

Music is by Stacey Kent: You can’t take that away from me. Written by Irving Berlin. Buy on itunes by clicking image below.



Sofia’s People from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

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  • […] So click here or on any of the frame grabs below to have a look at the edit I did of that footage an… […]

  • Now that is beauty.

  • Love the images, and the look of them, but i hate the motion, its so…

  • On some scenes I feel that you use the stabilization plugin from FCP, isn’t it ?

    Anyway your night portraits shootings and Jazz music is a nice combination..

    • new version up with less smoothcam. kept it on 3 shots and converted it all to 25p

      • Is it in some of the opening close-ups that you kept the smoothcam? I noticed a similarly strange effect when stabilizing a handheld shot in a short film recently; it gives it an odd see-saw-like feel; I think it’s because it can only correct for “x-axis” and “y-axis” movement, if that makes any sense… you start to really feel the slight changes in z-axis (forward, backward) that normally go unnoticed in a shaky handheld shot. Small shifts in perspective.

        It’s an interesting effect actually, I could imagine this being deliberately employed for a certain aesthetic.

        • yup, the 25p is a whole lot better, why does our brain like the slower frame rate of film over the video?

        • i have actually removed smoothcam from all but the first shot as I think it works so well on first shot…also you can now download full hd h264 file from if you are a member

  • Great job Philip. Thank you for your visit in Bulgaria

  • I like they way you often have various odd people dressed up as super heros in your personality based short films.

    A psychologist would have a field day with that one.

  • When you go from 30p to 25p is this an initial step or something you do after grading? Perhaps you could time line your work flow with the 5d mark 2 assets. I am a stills guy intent on this camera but a complete rookie at video, any help would be great! Fantastic video!

  • So … do you like the 5D better than the GH1?

    • i like the low light, bit rate, ability to use all my nikon lenses and overall image BUT Gh1 is about a million times more easy to shoot with!!

  • This is really nice, thank you!

  • philip, that is lovely! it almost made me cry : ]

  • Hi Philip,

    I’ve heard a lot of people complain about dropped frames. Did you find this to be a problem?

    I’m torn between the GH1 and MKII. I really want the benefits of a large sensor…Is the operation really that bad? Also I heard it’s not possible to manually control the aperture or ISO during filming on the MKII…

    Is it worth waiting for a full-frame model with a better video feature or is that going to happen, do you think?

    • you can change the aperture of the mk2 with nikon lenses during filming but not the canon…not had any dropped frames yet!

      you want a full frame gh1? won’t happen!

  • I’ve tried the GH1 at a photo show last week. It was a pre-production model and the resulting video turned out weird even after the reps intervention. I hope it will be possible to buy it without the stock lens; it’s not wide enough. Also, if we could buy the body only, price would drop by 50%. However with the stock lens there’s autofocus which would be useful for my weddings and other events requiring quick operation, but the image quality isn’t anywhere as good as what I see above….

  • I was thinking any brand…Full-frame with a more evolved video feature.

    Am hoping Nikon will release something soon after lessons learned from the MKII

  • Hey Philip, nice work as always. And thank you for sharing the original file. I’m curious though, you said the Exposure Room 750 MB file is the original, but do you mean in the original codec, straight from the camera, or after compression and conversion to 25p in Compressor?

    • when i say it’s original i mean it’s straight out of compressor H264 .mov 25p best quality. Not the usual compressed .mp4

  • Hello there, I saw myself in ‘Sofia People’. Thank you for including me as an image representing the spirit of my spirit. I really liked it, the whole of it. Good Luck

  • Really beautiful. It always amazes me how engaging just a group of faces are. Great DOF shots too, like the Beemer behind the couple. Nice also to hear you use MPEGStreamclip….it’s one of my favourites too!

  • relaxing clip phil

  • […] little short film Sofia’s People has had a wonderful reaction. Especially from people from Bulgaria who say they have never seen […]

  • […] with the Canon 5dmk2 and GH1. I have shot a few things on them recently and I am really impressed. Sofia’s People, Kauai Sunset, Always Returning and Joshua Tree. But do check out stuff I have done on the Letus […]

  • I picked up the Canon mk II in mid April, but I’m waiting on “Redrock” to really to really kick some but.

  • I picked up the Canon mk II in mid April, but I’m waiting on “Redrock” to really to really kick some butt.

  • awesome. really beautiful. interesting looking people.

    the motion looks a bit jerky on the canon DLSRs though – do you think its the shutter speed, or just a propery of the rolling shutter? the canon 5d and 500D both seem to exhibit this – both on camera movement and subject movement.

    can i ask which lens you used for this?

    many thanks – my first visit to your website, defnitely not the last!

    • it’s down to the poor compressor conversion. A new 24p version is being uploaded as I write this along with a tutorial. The 500d is 20fps in 1080p which is useless! do watch the new version and let me know. I used just a 50mm zeiss zf nikon mount f1.4

  • […] Final Cut Studio 2 on how to convert footage shot in 30p to perfect 24p…Used in the short Sofia’s People Thanks to Denver Riddle for […]

  • Just wondering how you go about using commercial music in this kind of work – do you get permission from the artist and/or pay for a PRS license?

  • Absolutely beuatiful, Philip. What a wonderful eye you have. I was going to pick your brains re the 5DII but I’d prefer to share the moment instead. Nice one!

  • Great shooting! Nice edit! well done guys!!

  • Congratulations,really amazing video.with such a shallow deep of fied.It’s all in auto?aperture iso shutter?
    I just receive my 5d Markll.I hope some day could do it almost like you.
    Regards from Mexico.
    Dr.Daniel Gutierrez

  • Nice work, I love the depth of field you can get with a 50mm.

    On that note – I wanted to ask a question – if you could have only 3 lenses in your kit, what would those lenses be & why? (length, brand etc)

  • So beautiful

  • […] like Sofia’s People, Cherry Blossom Girl, My Autumn’s Done Come,  Return to Dungeness, Love from Southend, Alone […]

  • Beautiful.
    Is Canon 5D markII better than the GH1 in term of image quality ?

  • sad when your work attracts tech questions, “which is best…
    Love your mastery of focus and comp and brass neck. So the sound must stink else why the hell am I spendalotting on HD video cams.
    liked “Sofias people” a lot.

    • Thanks Drew. A lot of geeks here (me amongst them) and always happy to tell them what I think “is best” (always different depending on application) but always thrilled to receive comments about the actual work itself. I love this piece and I may be going back to shoot a commercial for a mobile phone company at the weekend off the back of this…

  • […] like Sofia’s People, Cherry Blossom Girl, My Autumn’s Done Come, Return to Dungeness, Love from Southend, Alone […]

  • […] Sofia saw my short film “Sofia’s People” and approached me at the beginning of last week to go back to Sofia and shoot a broadcast 30 […]

  • Hello !

    Phillip I am amazed by this little short and the qulity that came out off 5D. Mind me asking how do you get nikon mount on this DSLR camera? As I intend to buy 5D, got tired waiting for RED scarlet :)

    thanx ivan

    • i use a cheap adaptor from ebay Ivan

      • Hello !

        Ok thank you, thats the answer I was hoping to get. I am glad I wont be stuck with only super expensive lenses. I guess there is some light loss as with any adapter?


  • […] off a little history. Am sure by now you have seen my little short film “Sofia’s People”. Something I shot on my way to dinner whilst doing the first F-Stop Academy Workshop in Sofia, […]

  • […] Bloom (imdb profile), who brought us “Sophia’s People” a little bit ago, announced on his blog today that he used his Canon EOS 5D Mark II to shoot […]

  • Great one. And although I love it… It shows how many people in Sofia are smoking… Great characters and available light usage.

    from Bulgaria!

  • Awesome!

    Canon should license this footage from you and make a new 5D MK2 advert!!

    Did you use any particular picture styes or white balance settings??


    Jay. L

  • […] this flaw it was still essential and I couldn’t shoot handheld without it. In fact I shot Sofia’s People with just the Z-Finder, no additional support and it turned out […]

  • […] So take a look at this fun little sequel to Sofia’s People! […]

  • Looks like a cool city! No wonder that so many Brits are now living permamently in Budapest, Bucharest, Sofia, etc.

  • Hi Phil, just wondering where you sourced your music from?

    I’d like to use some on my website.


  • Hilarious! That’s me with the 5D Mark II in your video! We met on the bul. Vitosha while I was doing night street photography.

    Beautifully shot. Makes me want to do my own video now…



    • Ha! Great you’ve seen it! Many people have contacted me after seeing glad you have finally too!

  • […] de un visor Z-finder. Otros cortos del mismo autor dentro de la serie ‘People’ son: Sofia’s People y Dublin’s […]

  • […] Director and film maker, Philip Bloom, brings us his third film in his People series. First came Sofia’s People and Dublin’s People. San Francisco’s People is 4 minutes and 30 seconds of pure […]

  • […] big screen. “Venice’s People”, “San Francisco’s People”, “Cherry Blossom Girl” and “Sofia’s People”. They all looked incredibly good on the big screen. Better than I could ever have imagined. We […]

  • I just found your search via some forays into the Digital Harizenumi. You’re site rocks and you are very talented. I have to experiment with some Super8 stuff I just got but after that, I am on to the GH1 or 5dMKii or 7D…what choices. Probably leaning toward the GH1 as I am definitely an amateur.


    Jonathan Schneider
    Palm Beach Gardens, FL

  • Philip,

    I’m seriously considering the Zeiss ZF 50mm 1.4 for my 5DmkII.
    3 quick questions:

    Which adapter did you use?

    Were you able to mount and go or where there any internal contact issues?

    Did the distance marks on the lens remain accurate?

    Keep up the good work!

    • why not buy the zeiss ZE 50mm? it’s made for the EOS.

      The adaptor i do use for my ZF is the fotodiox pro, its very simple piece of metal and on the distance marks remain accurate.

      • That sounds promising! How does one properly measure?

        Heard that the fotodiox pro is an excellent adapter with no play.


        P.S. Would love to see a People film shot in Toronto! Enjoy your upcoming stay here.

      • Hey Phil,
        where is that new 30p to 24p conversion tutorial you mentioned about in may 2009?
        I saw comments about “Sofia’s people” video being jerky. I hope this new tutorial can also expand on video and audio being in sync at 24p. thanks!

  • hey Philip you said the zeiss ZE 50mm made for the EOS, but will you get the shallow DOF like the nikon 50mm w/ manual iris?

  • hello,

    here’s a belated video response from one of “Sofia’s People” – this time outside that city. Carpet Washing in Rural Bulgaria


  • I love your work….any camera, any face, any scene.