I recently bought a Canon 5D mkII. For those that know even a little bit about this camera and it's abilities, it will come as no surprise that I am totally blown away by it's potential and what it promises filmmakers looking for cheap and totally accessible technology.
I love film. I have shot most of my projects over the last 8 years on 35mm, regardless of budget, I have always found a way to make it work, because I love the look and the feel of film and nothing has ever come close to replacing it aesthetically or creatively. I'll hang on to using it for as long as my white knuckle grip can can hold. But five minutes with 5DmkII, I was so impressed with it that I knew there and then that I have probably shot my last film, on film.
Regardless of it's (current) technical restrictions of file format and shooting at 30 fps etc. For me the real value of this new technology is in the immediacy and the intimacy it provides with an actor or character.
The image it produces is incredibly beautiful, almost painterly in the right conditions. In low light it excels like nothing else I've seen, it leaves film and every other HD video format I have played with (mainly RED, HDV and GENESIS) for dead. It has changed the game, and this is only it's first incarnation. Who knows where this will take us in the next couple of years.
Below is the very first footage I shot with the camera. It's my 2 year old Rosebud early one morning. There was very little light in the room, I was amazed MkII could see anything at all. It's rough and ready, but with this footage a whole new approach to making films became excitingly possible.
There is no way I could of captured Rosie at such ease if I had a bigger camera and or other 'crew' with me. This footage stands up on a HD monitor, or 'the big screen' no problems.
It excites me for so many reasons. Without a doubt, with the proliferation of low cost, high end image making tools like this, the kinds of films we make and the way we make them will change forever and for for the better.
I've been doing alot of tests with the 5D. The other night we went out and did some side by side tests with the RED, similar lenses, lighting etc. It's surprising how close they came up, and again in low light the 5D just soaked up anything resembling light and used it to produce a startling and rich picture, totally blowing the RED away. I might post some of the tests up here a little later, if anyone is interested.
But in the mean time, there is a really great RED vs 5D vs LUMIX comparison here.