New 5DmkII firmware here finally! New Skywalker Ranch short “Above Skywalker” and Music Video “Miles Away” shot native 24p

Firmware now available again. Version 2.0.4

Download new firmware by clicking here

Simply download the file, stick it on a compact flash card. Make sure battery is fully spammed up and not almost out of juice, go to menu, select firmware then click update. Simple!

I have been lucky enough to have played with the new firmware for the Canon 5DmkII over the past couple of weeks. It has utterly revitalised my love for the camera. The 30p has always been a problem. it’s a frame rate that is of no real use to me as I need 25p or 24p for my work. Converting your rushes from 30p is more than a nightmare, it take forever so I usually cut in 30p then convert the finished edit, fine for your own project but now so great if you need to hand over rushes to a client. This can take sometimes over a day depending on how long your rushes are.

Because of this I pretty much shot all my work, especially my paid work, using the 7D as it had the frame rates I needed. A shame as I prefer the full frame look and the 5DmkII is better in low light than the 7D.

Canon announced at the end of last year that they would be bringing 24 and 25p to the camera finally but didn’t announce a date. Well that day has finally come!

The downside is there is no 720p 50p or 60p mode. Probably due to overheating issues? Just 23.98, 25 and 29.97P. Bu we also get live histogram and very importantly the ability to turn off the auto audio control. We now have manual control over our audio, albeit not in the easiest manner. You have to go into the live view settings, select the manual option and once there you see audio meters! Yes audio can set the level in fine increments to what you want. The downside is you cannot change the levels or see the once you start recording as you can only see them in that menu. Go back into live view and you lose the levels and the ability to change them. We also still don’t have a headphone jack so monitoring is out of the question, but we now get 48Khz sound instead of 44.1 Khz. To access 30p select NTSC from the menu, to get 25p select PAL from the menu.

Other good news is we have increase in recording bit rate to around 44 mbits now, up from around 38 mbits.

One thing I would love to have seen is for the monitor out not to drop to 480p when you hit record. It still does. A shame as it does make it hard to focus when rolling. The 7D and 1DmkIV stay the same when you hit record.

The 24 and 25p out of the 5d is just beautiful. Much better than trying to use a convoluted workflow from my tutorial section!

So which camera now…are you confused? I am!

I still love the image out of the 5DmkII the best but the 7D still has more frame rates and doesn’t have the issues of 480p recording monitor out. So…you need to decide what is the most important thing for you…The 7D image is still spectacular. Just a bit different to the 5DmkII. It comes down to your desire for full frame and your love of the different aesthetics of each camera.

I have shot three little shorts with the new firmware, first up is another relaxing beauty piece of the grounds around and above Skywalker Ranch, cleverly titled “Above Skywalker”. It is shot with the 24p 5DmkII and of course includes some nice timelapse. What is exciting for me is I used my new Kessler Crane Motorized Cineslider to get motion controlled timelapse. Makes a huge difference. I will do a blog tomorrow all about that. It’s a prototype so not for sale yet. The blog will have all details you need.

I also used the new compact pocket dolly with crank. I don’t think the crank is that useful but having the crank belt makes it super smooth and also dampens the moves nicely. Perfect size and exceptional performance.

What I wanted to do with this piece was just to take in the majesty of the surrounding area. It truly is breathtaking and this video doesn’t anywhere near do it justice. It’s so epic, serene and peaceful up there. Truly wonderful.

Above Skywalker from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

The second is a music promo I did for local Austin band Monarchs’s singer Celeste Griffin. Celeste sung an acoustic track called “Miles Away” at the FCPUG party the other night and I got some shots of her singer and suggested that we try and do a spontaneous music promo for it as I liked the song so much. So I took her onto 6th street outside the bar and got her to lip sync the song a few times and just get some general B-Roll of her. We weren’t out for much more than 40 minutes doing this.  I used just available light, nothing else.

I asked her if she could record a studio acoustic version of the song the next day and to meet me for the golden hour by the river to get a few more shots.

So with the enormous crew of just me, we went out and shot a music video for about 1 and half hours in total. For the golden hour stuff I had the track on an iphone and Celeste lip synced to it. So simple and so easy.

I added some simple reverb on the live shots to make the audio sound more “live” but took it off for all the other shots.

It was handheld all the way using the Zacuto Tactical shooter and Z-Finder and just one lens, the Canon F1.2 L 50mm with a 72mm Fader ND. Really simple and really quick to shoot!


itunes link

Monarchs: Miles away. 5DmkII native 24p from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Please ignore the 7D strap in these pics…I needed a strap and I couldn’t find my usual one so I ripped it off my 7D to stick on the 5DmkII.

Last but not least is my little film of Sutro Baths, this has been up a couple of weeks but I never said what frame rate it was shot on and nobody guessed. One person came close but close enough.

Here is goes incase you missed it

Sea from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Shot at Sutro Baths in San Francisco

Music by James Newton Howard from “Lady in the Water”

First section of water has no colour correction and is straight out of 5D. Shot of people in cave on is graded using Magic Bullet Looks (get 20% off with code bloom20 at!

Shot native 24p.

Lenses used are 100mm Macro F2.8L. 70-200 IS F2.8. Canon 50mm F1.2, 90mm TS, 14mm F2.8L


          1. If you set sound to manual in any mode then it is set as such in all modes, including the Cs.

            What’s not clear is if it is the action of setting manual sound whilst in C followed by an off-operation that stops sound recording or if sound recording is killed if the camera powers off in C whilst manual sound is simply the current setting.

            Anyway I don’t fancy experimenting, so like the good Mr Bloom says – keep it in M 🙂

            Hope the fix comes soon.

  1. Wow, both those new videos are amazing. The motorized slider gives such a great feel to those time lapses and I love how much “bokeh” you can get out the 5d with a 1.2, just beautiful!
    Your work is an inspiration!

  2. Lovely as usual!

    I see it got a little wet up at skywalker (04:50)
    Good thing the 5dmkII is good in weather!
    I wont be trying that with my 550’s 🙂

  3. Great job on the Miles Away music video…my favorite piece of yours so far (and that’s a tough choice with all your content). Kudos.

  4. i’m going to look like a fool, but other than better low light performance… what “betterness” or advantage am i going to see from shooting on the full frame of the 5DMII over the 7D?

    don’t get me wrong: totally stoked for the addition of 24p (the main reason i was on pins & needles), but never even considered the fact of “oh yeah, and the 5DMII is full frame.”

    1. the difference is purely aesthetic as the 7D has better features still, HD monitor out, frame rates etc…I like the look of the 5DmkII but will still be using the 7D a lot purely down to that monitor issue…

  5. Beautiful sample videos!

    As for monitoring, it’s a shame Canon did not make that available as it would have been very simple for them to do. In my Digital Convergence podcast with Trammell Hudson, he mentioned to me in that episode that it was relatively easy to turn monitoring on and connect monitoring headphones to the AV Out jack – which is enabled in the Magic Lantern firmware update. Hopefully a version of Magic Lantern that supports Canon’s firmware 2.0.3 will be available soon and then will have monitoring again.

    As usual, Philip, you turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Thanks for carrying us along for the ride and allowing us to peer over your shoulders as pioneer hybrid DSLR filmmaking.

  6. Awesome! I can’t wait to try this out myself on my 5D. Great work once again Philip! And thanks for keeping us up to the minute!

  7. Beautiful. Thanks Philip! In the past in Dublin’s people it looked like a lot of the bokeh was octagonal, etc. If you want to get beautiful round bokeh out of the 7D, do you have get better lenses, or is it just a matter of having the iris wide open on a normal lens?

  8. Damm you Bloom! Well at least I got the first 25p film out in the wild. I’ve shot 3 films @ 25p and with the higher overall bit-rate and bits per frame I think there’s less compression artifacts and macro blocking, what are your thoughts?

  9. Had to come back and post this while I was downloading the firmware update, My girl and I started to watch your videos while I rubbed ice / hot on my YES sprain ankle it is beginning to swell…, First I skip the Sky walker ranch video because I knew I had to sit down still to enjoy that one so I skipped to the Monarch video and was in awe of how awesome you edited it especially the sound I love the way you mixed the live version and the studio version, was that with Plural eyes?, the 24p is amazing in full native frame and did you notice the dust in some clips! hate when that happens!

    The I sat back and we watched the Sky Walker ranch video and she STARTED TO CRY! very emotional! I let the video finished and asked was she pregnant or something?, she punched me in the ribs! and her answer was:

    “It was one of the most beautiful things she has ever seen, their is so much beauty in life!”

    Thank you Phil!



  10. Wow, the Above Skywalker ranch video is incredible! the scenery there is breathtaking, It’s so beautiful it almost looks fake. You are a lucky man to be able to travel to all these amazing places. I’m just happy that you share it with the rest of us. Thanks for all your hard work!

  11. Very nice. The music video is very good but landscapes are really your forte.

    By the way, I see that you make good use of the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS. I can highly recommend the MkII that was released recently. Sharp as a prime throughout the range and one stop more stabilization. An unbelievably good piece of glass and a definite improvement over the MkI.

  12. I love the Skywalker footage. I know being there feels like being in a different country. It’s an amazing place and the beauty is majestic. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

  13. I knew I’d love native 24p but I’m surprised at how much better the on board audio sounds to my ears now. Could you tell us what crop settings you are using for that CinemaScope wide look on “Skywalker” and “Monarchs”? How are you able to upload it to Vimeo without the black bars as seen on “Sea”?

  14. Phil, you hit a home run with the Skywalker Video. I thought I was watching something shot on film!! Honestly, thats some of your best work, IMO. What aspect was that shot in? Or did you just crop in post?

  15. IDK personally imho Above Skywalker Ranch is your best piece yet. It really captures the mood, tranquil and sincere.

    I was just curious what picture style setting did you use on that video in particular?

    1. Hi Jimmy. I normally shoot dead flat, but I shot skywalker in…standard… accidentally! I don’t recommend that. It gave me a nightmare in post trying to bring down the highlights and rescue the shadows

  16. Quick question sort of related to this whole post. I used to be an art director on the ad agency side. All the commercials we shot were shot on 35mm film. Do the directors shoot the spots at 24p and then output the final file at 29.97 after the edit for broadcast or do they shoot at as close to 29.97 as they can? Just trying to figure out if 24p or 30p is going to be use more.

  17. Beautiful… really beautiful footage here Philip. I love how I can come to your site for the latest and greatest. Hooray for the new firmware, I feel like we should have a party!

    btw, What head are you using on the Cineslider?

  18. Thanks Philip! This is really awesome. Random question for you – what do you use to set the white balance. I am aware of the presets and correcting them in post with 3-way color correction in FCP. But is there a better way to do this – a white balance lens cap like Expodisc perhaps? Much appreciated!

      1. Thanks Phil. Do you mean dial in the preset or numbers? Basically I find that when I use this camera indoors and use the “Tungsten light” setting @ 3200, my video always looks way too orange when I view it. What would you recommend? Thanks!

  19. Philip, I was wondering if you could do a post just on the audio update and run comparison tests with the AGC on and with it off.

    I am about to buy the T2i and I was wondering if you have heard if there will be a firmware update for the audio on that camera?