EOS 5D Mark II Manual Exposure Control in Video, and Stuff

Today was one of the happiest days I’ve had in the last 3 years of working at Canon USA. For the first time in almost 3 years, I was able to answer the phone and check my email and hear only praise and compliments from happy and excited customers. At the end of the day I sat behind my desk, my eyes filled with tears, and I actually felt that all the hard work we’ve all been doing here is starting to pay off. Those crazy bastards in Japan are finally starting to listen to us! I’m writing this with tears rolling down my cheeks. I’m sorry to get all emotional here on my blog, but most of you know what I’ve been through for the last couple of months, how depressed I’ve been, and now I’m finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel. And the reason?

Now, if only they could also release a working autofocus system for the 5D Mark II by popular demand.

Now, if only they could also release an autofocus system worthy of the 21st century for the 5D Mark II, by popular demand, then we'd be all set.

It started with all those fuckup notices being released by Canon all of a sudden, even for the 3 year old and obsolete EOS 5D. It looked like they realized in Japan that they had a lot to make up to all of us. And now, they’ve actually listened and are going to release a new firmware update for the 5D Mark II which will enable manual exposure control in video mode – a feature that many of our customers have been asking for ever since the release of the camera last year. This move surprised everyone and has gotten everyone very excited. Not only because of the actual feature that’s going to be released in the new firmware, but also because of the goodwill that Canon is displaying by doing this. This is the Canon I have always known, the Canon I joined and have worked for for all those years.

We’ve managed to piss so many people off in the last few years, it’s just unbelievable. That’s why we have people like my pal Thomas Hawk walking around with their Canon gear with all the Canon logos covered with black tape. Like he explains on his website, he got so pissed at us recently over the 5D Mark II that he decided he’s not going to walk around advertising our products anymore. And who can blame the guy? It’s still difficult to get a 5D Mark II today! Even the goddamn battery for it is not available anywhere. We’ve recently launched two new tilt-shift lenses as well, but guess what? You can’t actually find one anywhere.

So there is still a lot to be done, still a huge mess to clean up, and a lot to fix, believe me. And even though I’m more hopeful now than I’ve been for a long time, we’re in a time right now when the competition is becoming more and more frightening to us. And I think that this is one of the reasons why the old farts at Canon Inc. are starting to do something about all the issues we’ve been having.

They’ve still not managed to stabilize the situation at Canon Inc. in Japan, which I reported about earlier. After my update, Pentax announced the K7 camera, sending Maeda into intensive care, and we learned that Sony is now in the final stages of preparations for the launch of an A500 and/or A550 camera. And so is Nikon for their D400, which according to the information I have, is going to cast a very big and dark shadow over our release of the 60D later this year. But until that happens, I’m going to enjoy these precious moments we’re having right now.

Finally I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Bryan Carnathan of the-Digital-Picture.com with his daughter getting published on the cover at the age of… 10. She was using a Canon Powershot S400. And that’s a pretty good picture too. Now, when you see this, you undoubtedly start to think. We had a discussion in the comments of the previous post about soccer moms now being able to take better pictures at an event with cheaper gear compared to pros with heavy and expensive gear, and I think the fact that today a kid at the age of 10 can take a picture using a relatively cheap point and shoot camera, that is worthy of a front cover, is something to start worrying about if you’re a pro photographer. Yeah, you’re probably laughing right now, but you won’t be laughing when you start to hear about Jeff Ascough losing a wedding to a 12 year old. And that will be roughly at the same time when John Harrington will publish an article on his blog, specifically targeting those kids, explaining to them the concept of “bad karma” and how it relates to photography. Meanwhile Ken Rockwell will update his website telling them why they should be shooting film instead. And when Dan Heller, shortly after that, publishes a 50 page essay on the subject on his blog, is when you’ll know it’s time to start applying for that job at Mc Donalds.

11 thoughts on “EOS 5D Mark II Manual Exposure Control in Video, and Stuff

  1. Maybe you should go back Tony. Especially if you feel the need for others to gasp in wonder at your gear bag, rather than your actual bloody photo’s!

    • Rob,

      I don’t care what people think about my gear since relatively few people actually ever see it, but I do like to have confidence in the gear I use and confidence that the company that makes my gear is committed to quality and to their users. As Fake Chuck all too often points out, that commitment on Canon’s part is in question.

      • It does make me happy to see that we’re finally starting to do something about the lack of commitment we’ve been displaying the last few years. I take a lot of pride in my work, and I used to be able to speak in confidence to many people about our products. Recently though, I almost feel ashamed to mention the 1D/Ds Mark III because of all the issues.

        But like I said, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and let’s all hope it’s not a train.

    • hehe.
      Funny stuff Rob.
      I must admit I was a bit disapointed after clicking on the link.
      It’s hardly an extensive kit, I was expecting dozens of fast primes and a couple of super tellies. I’ve got more stuff…. I just don’t feel the need to take photos of my gear to boast about it.

      • Feel better? My point was only that ‘investing a lot of gear in canon didn’t mean an XTi and a kit lens.

        It’s so fun to be a troll on teh Internetz and show ur superior by NOT boasting about ur gear….even tho you’ve “got more stuff”.

        No time for you buddy. I have a business to try to run.

  2. Yay for the video control. This firmware release, while welcome, will still most likely not address the low ISO banding, the painful aliasing and the horrid artifacting that the 5d2 is prone to.

    I’m starting to hear a giant sucking sound – the sound of Nikon sucking away more and more Canon customers. Especially when they release the D3x sensor in a d700-type body.

  3. Pingback: Photo News Today » Blog Archive » Photo News Today

  4. Hi Fake Chuck,

    Any thoughts on Canon spending time and energy on enhancing a secondary feature when there’s still low iso noise and banding associated with the primary function of DSLR (you know, taking a photo)? I would have much rather seen them make the camera a better camera, not a better video camera…

    • You and me both, Johnny. I’m afraid fixing the noise, banding and other artifacting as well as the autofocus system (or rather the lack of it) is not that simple. We may have to wait for the 5D Mark III.

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