Canon 5D Mark II Makes Some Waves

If you’re in the pro videography or photography world, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve by now heard the buzz surrounding the soon to be released Canon EOS 5D Mark II. This STILL camera DSLR has the capability to shoot in 1080p HD at quality levels that rival (or surpass) HD camcorders multiple times it’s price. Naturally, there’s a lot of talk now about the blending of the two media. The question  that a lot of event professionals are asking is: “will clients no longer need to hire both a videographer and a photographer for their events. With a camera like this, your photographer can now be your videographer, or vice versa.” I think the answer to this question is simple. Absolutely not. IMHO, here’s why:

  • It’s the talent, not the tools: for clients looking to hire a pro videographer or photographer for their event, unless they are very price conscious, they’re going to be looking for someone who is skilled at the craft for which they are hiring. Just because a still camera can shoot HD don’t make a photographer a videographer. Likewise, putting an HD-capable DSLR camera in the hands of videographer won’t magically make them able to become amazing photographers. For those professionals out there who do shoot both video and photos, they’re already doing it, and using the tools best suited for each when appropriate.
  • Wrong Focus (no pun intended): I don’t think dedicated professionals are going to want to be dividing their time at any given event between shooting stills then video. Come on, can you really picture someone like Denis Reggie, Joe Buissink, Me Ra Koh, etc., going through the day shooting amazing stills then saying,  “Okay, hold up, gotta switch to HD mode.” Of  course not. They’re going to focus on doing what they do best.
  • Video/Photo Hybrids Already Exist: there are already studios out there that offer both photo and video. We don’t need a new camera to make that happen. In the cases where they do offer both, they send out a person for each role.


Whenever technology news like this is released, it’s very easy for related professionals to get jittery. To be clear, I think it’s absolutely imperative to stay abreast of changing technologies, and when it makes good business sense to do so, make the necessary technology investments (or rent until it makes sense to buy). But, regardless, you must, must, must set yourself apart. All of your competitors have access to the same equipment you do. So, it makes no sense to use THAT as a selling tool, (i.e. “Hey, we shoot  in HD! We’re rad!”) Those professionals who are able to create a style of their own, who are able to create a you-nique brand, who work to make their work and their business stand out, those are the ones who will continue to thrive. If you do that, you never need to worry about new technology. In short, the people who should really be scared are Canon’s competitors, for now there is a new and exciting technology giving us filmmakers better choices.


Famed commercial and editorial photographer Vincent LaForet was given access to this camera for 72 hours. (I had the pleasure of interviewing Vincent a few months back for F-Stop Beyond. Check it out.) Click here to see the video he shot with this camera. It has totally rocked both the photography and videography worlds. When you see it, you’ll know why. Watch it, and be amazed.


3 thoughts on “Canon 5D Mark II Makes Some Waves

  1. Ron, I totally agreed with you on all of your points. It is a seismic change that is coming, but that is nothing new. Thank you for all that you are doing and plans to do. Vincent LaForet’s video is insane and totally opened my eyes to what can be done not just with a tool, but with the talents. Keep up with the good work, I’m totally blessed by it.

  2. I agree with you Ron…

    Speaking as a professional in both Video and Photography fields, I for one wouldn’t want to do BOTH video and photography at a wedding.

    That being said, I think there will definitely be people selling themselves as both the videographer AND photographer…. just because they can. This may be a mistake on their part 🙂

    As you said, It’s not the tools, it’s the talent. The “Tools” really help us excel as “Talent” very quickly…. but If I were to put the 5D in the hands of a photographer and a videographer and said, “shoot a wedding”, they would most likely deliver 2 different results. It’s a different way of thinking, and a different approach to shooting.

    I CAN see some sort of “hybrid” product of video and stills, only because people are going to shoot both with this camera. But if you TRULY want an exceptional product for each, than you need someone dedicated to doing video, and someone dedicated to doing photography.

    This is definitely going to change the way people look at producing video, because the glass that’s available for this “video camera” is top notch. The fact that I can use my Canon lenses to shoot High-Def video is AWESOME!
    I can already do that now on a RED camera, but nowhere near this price point.

    I for one LOVE new milestones like this.. it gets my creative juices flowing.

    I think I may have a different opinion when the “5D Mark III” will capture video at the same quality it captures stills… maybe… just maybe.

    Thanks for the post Ron,

  3. Good article Ron.

    This IS an amazing camera and it really sets the stage for what is yet to come. I agree, the tools never make for a good artist. Even going back to the age of DaVinci or others…. access to a paintbrush and paint did not make a great artist. Tools+Talent+Persistence = A great artist. The one critical piece missing on this camera is the ability to capture professional sound. You are not going to see this camera being used to shoot an entire wedding because of this. We also have to look at the file sizes and how often the cards need to be switched out. I see this camera as an introduction from Canon as to what we are about to see in the very near future in terms of professional video cameras.

    Keeping areas specialized for the wedding day, in my opinion offers a far superior end product for the client than having a jack of all trades there. There is just to many distractions and too much going on to merge the two successfully.

    Amazing footage is one thing but Amazing footage + audio is another.

    I own a Brevis 35mm adapter and wouldn’t mind adding this camera to my available tools for those specialized shots.

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