“San Francisco’s People” Canon 5DmkII 24p



SF whole

Shot on the Canon 5DmkII at 30p and conformed to 24p in Cinema Tools. This is the third in my “People” series. After “Sofia’s People” and “Dublin’s People”.

Shot on 5DmkII with 50mm F1.2 and Zacuto Z-Finder. No other support used.

My guy singing at the end was also conformed with the pitch changed to match the speed change.

Music is Taxi Driver by the great. Bernard Herrmann.

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Opening shot is done using the 7D in stills mode using an intervalometer as mentioned in previous blog.

Click here to go to the video.


  1. This was my personal favorite of your series because it seems to show a wider range of life then the others do.

    All this fuss about 5D vs. 7D…but even without the much needed frame rates, the 5D image is just so amazingly warm and organic…I’d take that over in-camera-24p in a heart beat. I’d actually be much more excited if the new 5D firmware does 720 60 fps.

  2. Hi Philip,

    I used to live in San Francisco in the Union Square area, I recognized pretty much all of those locations and even a lot of those people. Eventually you get to know the street performers and beggars after living there for so long. I wish I could have made it out to Re:Frame but I’m just a poor student, next time though. And next time you’re in SF make sure you ride the elevator at the Westin St. Francis hotel, best view of the city period.

  3. Again, Phil a lovely portrait of the most interesting thing to capture; human nature. A “human face” as John Houston said once in the desert.
    This is dejá a Series. I love Series ,-) Keep on.

    And again, the same question: how can I use music on my films? How about music rights for this kind of use? It´s just put the name and author of the tune at the end of the film? Help me on this, please. I would like to use music too on my petite web films.

    Warmest regards.

    1. I would recommend a proper sound recordist with a proper sound set up! Something like the Zoom H4N I use but with two mic inputs and not independent levels controls it’s limited.

  4. A great addition to the People series. Great observation as always and the trolley shot got a Wow.

    Just the one smoker – you trying to cut down 😉

  5. Why did you choose to shoot with the 5DMkII in 30p and conform to 24p when you could have used your 7D in 24p native mode?

    I mean, I see you saying everywhere that the 7D is a great camera, that its 24p is fantastic, but truth is you have been using the 5DMkII a lot more. Why is that?

          1. I love the 50mm 1.2 with my 7D. Great for these kinds of portraits. I’ve used it in low light with great results, though a bit more noise than with 5D.

  6. Beautiful film, lovely work. Nice one. I really enjoy watching these after downloading the best possible version i can get, usually from Exposure room. ahhhhhhhhhh no vimeo, stutters on a mac………..

    One note though, using the key soundtrack from Taxi Driver, I don’t know, feels a bit off somehow.

    It feels a bit like fat cyclists in lycra wearing the Yellow Jersey 🙂

    Do you think you will go beyond this format of film making for yourself? have you got any aspirations to do a film which involves scenes and narrative? and your camera work.

    These pieces you are doing are lovely aesthetic pieces, but where does that go? for you now ? – or is this becoming a business born out of a passion?

    I think the world could go and see a Pbloom movie movie, I’d go watch it. Thats the true challenge I believe. Aesthetics and good framing, composition, camera use, is great, but the next level.

    do you have interests in making your own film film – like cinema release?

  7. Phil you appear to have handheld all your shots – or did you use any supporting devices? BTW you have nailed another one in this people series!

  8. Whoa…Isn’t the opening shot the same 7D intervelometer (full chip/full raster stills) that’s in the comparison blog footage? If so, it may be misleading to title this clippage ‘5D’. Until I watched the comparison and realized what was going on I was very impressed with the resolution of the 5D video in wide angle.

      1. Title? It’s a great shot. Who noticed a title over it? Maybe it misleads. Maybe I’m easily misled. Maybe I mislead myself….All the same I bet some others thought it was done on a 5D in video mode as well…at least those who are unfamiliar with the limitations of the camera in video mode that become amply clear in the comparison test.

        (I once froze my ass off shooting on that hill. Returning from shooting in the Sonoma Valley where it was at least 30 degrees warmer.)

  9. I’ve always wondered… Do you ask everyone permission before filming them? Or what is your method? Whenever I try to shoot like this in the US, all I get is people yelling at me to stop.

  10. just wondering what iso you went up to in this (and indeed some of your other films shot in low light)… I’m coming to this anew from the still side and while most shot specs are given (Camera/lens/f:/fps) the iso is rarely mentioned, it would help a newbie understand the latitude.

    Thanks and Great series…

  11. Thanks for getting back… Maybe slightly off topic but moving on from low light iso shooting to shooting in bright scenes with contrast, how do you feel about using the highlight tone priority setting (5D) and shooting at(clean)320iso,using a variable ND to control exposure…
    I tried shooting in low light at 1250iso with htp set and the noise went through the roof, no where near as clean as yours at 3200…HTP not for low light…?

  12. Beautifully shot, Philip! This “people” series is getting me really excited about picking up my 5d Mk2 in a few weeks (changed my mind after reading that lens blog, actually). Just seeing what this camera is capable of in the right hands is -very- encouraging.

    And I know this has probably been covered before, but the 5d mk2 can shoot video in 24p after that latest firmware update, correct?

  13. Hi Philip.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this awesome video. I m a full beginner (non pro) using my 5d since 2 weeks only and was back today from 2 weeks in SFO and Seattle. And waouu, when I see what you manage to get, this is awesome.

    Its amazing how you are transparent to people. When shooting during my vacations, some people were stopping to walk and avoiding me when seing me standing in the crowd.

    I believe you are more transparent when not using any rig and mattebox ( I do not have yet any of these and look for buying a finder)? but then it must be challenging to avoid shaking and get smooth focus.

    Do you give homeless people a small tip to get acquainted and film ?

    My hotel in SFO was located at Van Ness and Geary corner, then I had to cross this Tenderloin area every day and was not so confident to get my gear out, I believe your dialogue to people maked the difference.

    I loved your amazing view from cable car, this is just wonderdul and looking at your work shared on your site is brilliant, as I m still wondering when shooting a street scene how much seconds I should capture to make this worth for editing and not boring when looking.

    Thanks a lot


  14. Great shots!
    What shutter speed do you use at 24p with 60hz lamps (Canon 7D)? I have a copy of the DSLR Cinematography Guide but there is no detailed guide as to which shutter speed to use. I’ve read somewhere that using 1/50, which gives the best film look, with 60hz lamps will create flicker and noise.

  15. Why is it legal in this case to use a copyrighted song? Is it because it’s a short, or only on your personal website? Reading about copyright is like reading about taxes, far more effective than a sleeping pill. Any insights you can provide, or pointers, I will appreciate.

    1. it’s not legal. But because this is a personal piece of work and not a commercial one it is a grey area. As long as you credit the artist…if you are asked to remove it you must. My work has been used my countless people. As long as they credit me and it’s for commercial gain I am fine with it.

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