The only thing you need besides Magic Lantern (and a Canon 5D MK3, which currently sells for around $2899) is of course a fast Memory Card. Here are confirmed cards that work well with RAW Video recording:
Finally, the battery grip for the Canon EOS 5D MKIII is available and can be ordered starting from $358 in the USA. In Europe the Canon BG-E11 is not yet officially available but can be pre-ordered for €379,99.
Besides the obvious possibility of shooting more images (the battery grip can handle two extra LP-E6 battery packs or six AA Batteries with included battery magazine), the grip also offers more comfort for vertical shooting.
Canon describes the power-gain with “double-length shooting time”. Also, the Canon BG-E11 Battery Grip adds operating controls such as shutter button, Main Dial, multi-controller, AF point selection button, AE lock/FE lock button, AF start button, and multi-function button.
Overall, the grip looks solid and can not only bring a longer time for shooting photos or video, it can also make the camera more solid and provide a better image stabilisation, because of the added weight of 10.93 oz (310g) without batteries.
Today I want to give a recommendation for an affordable HDMI monitor for DSLR Shooters and videographers that need a bigger preview screen; owners of the Panasonic GH2 or the Canon EOS 5D will know what I am talking about: when you are shooting video, you need to have the biggest preview possible to ensure perfect focus – if you need extras such as zebra and focus peaking, you will definitely like the LILLIPUT 5D-II. Best of all: the monitor is a total bargain at $196 and includes battery adapter as well as a power supply.
Don’t be distracted by the name: the LILLIPUT 5D-II was built for the Canon EOS 5D MKII but can be used with any camera that provides HDMI output. That includes the Canon EOS 5DMKIII (5D MK3) as well as Panasonic GH/GF/G and the Nikon D800, among other cameras such as Sony of course.
Screen size (diagonal): 7″
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution (pixels) 1024×600 (native), 1920×1080 (maximum)
Pixel pitch (mm) 0.135×0.135
Viewing angle (degrees) 150º x, 130º y
Brightness (cd/m²): 250
Contrast ratio: 800:1
LCD backlight: LED
Video inputs/outputs: HDMI
The best thing about the package is the price tag:
as reported by eoshd: the Canon EOS 5D MKIII was already hacked by the Magic Lantern team showing a “Hello World” on the internal LCD of the camera. That means Magic Lantern for the Canon EOS 5D MK3 is around the corner! If we will see a clean HDMI output and a solution to the rather soft image of the 5D3 compared to the Nikon D800 is not sure at the moment.
If we get clean HDMI, that means we could use RAW HDMI recorders such as the Black Magic Design Hyperdeck Shuttle or the Atomos Ninja 2 to record the best output image possible – but maybe the internal cranked-up codec from Magic Lantern will already do the trick, as can be seen on the Panasonic GH2 which beats the crap out of the internal codec of the 5D MKIII by simply providing a smarter and better looking image quality on the software-side.
The soft image of the Canon 5D MKIII is a disappointment up to now, we can only hope for things to get better with a little help from the modding scene.
“Now here we are nearly 4 years down the road from the original 5D Mark II that started it all. What do we have? A 5D Mark III with video quality dated to the tune of nearly 4 years.” (eoshd)
I am a big fan of the Panasonic GH2, but since the Canon EOS 5D MKIII and the Nikon D800 were released to the public, I am thinking of switching gear. Currently, there is a fight between the D800 and the 5D3, but the Panasonic GH2 seems to still beat the crap out of Canon. Did Canon finally lose the DSLR wars?
The Panasonic GH2 is a bargain on amazon US:
If you are into second-hand gear, you can get your hands on the Panasonic GH2 starting at $400. Go and get one, while they are still cheap ;)
Canon can still turn the wheel around, by releasing a firmware upgrade. Currently, the EOS 5D MK3 has very poor video quality – only the reduced rolling shutter and moire are worth an upgrade – although the price of the Canon is far too high. I totally have to agree with EOSHD on this one.
Canon 5D MKIII
The Canon 5D MKIII performs better in low-light and high ISO. Sadly it has no clean HDMI out, which is a real bummer. The internal codec is at 90Mbps 4:2:0, which is not much. The available video samples look good, although it could be even better with clean HDMI output – but who is to bring clean HDMI to the 5d3? There are two possible ways:
a) Magic Lantern could bring clean HDMI output to the Canon 5D MK3, if it can be hacked, which is not clear as of now. Also, it will take some time, expect at least 6months to see any usable development (if at all).
b) Canon could release a firmware update to provide clean HDMI out. We could try and contact canon to tell them, that we demand clean HDMI out. Of course, it remains totally unclear if they will ever release such an update.
Although, the Canon 5D MK3 seems to have better Video capabilities, clean detail and no moire (or at least almost no moire) – which would not be fixed by HDMI out anyway. If there is the chance to crank up the codec to 180Mbit (with a hack by Vitaly Kiselev or Magic Lantern) we would see a definite winner in the battle.
The Nikon D800 performs quite well on paper, but in reality the Canon 5D MK3 performs better in low-light and high ISO. First samples of clean HDMI output and RAW Video (Apple ProRes) with the Nikon D800 are online – and they look great. Keep in mind that the Nikon D800 provides 8bit output (not 10bit), and the first RAW Video results are better than the internal codec Canon 5D MK3 Videos. Bundled with the Atomos Samurai and the Atomos h2s connect the Nikon D800 brings you high resolution 800×480 LCD (with focus peaking and zebras via latest firmware) plus 4:2:2 video. This is clearly the best setup we have as of today, maybe only topped by a D4+Samurai (c.f. mike kobal’s results with the d800).
Still, the current discussion is about comparing apples to oranges, at least from watching actual results and comparing them:
Comparing photo/stills performance (via canonrumors forum)
1. At ISO100, the Nikon D800 has noticeably superior images out of the camera, due primarily to greater detail and dynamic range.
2. At ISO6400, the Canon 5DIII has noticeably superior images out of the camera, due primarily to significantly less noise.
bobatkins notes: The bottom line is that neither the D800 nor the EOS 5D MkIII sensor is “better”. They are different. The Nikon sensor should have higher resolution which will be desirable for those making very large prints or who need to significantly crop their images. On the other hand the EOS 5D MkIII sensor will produce images with lower noise and higher dynamic range in lower light conditions where the use of higher ISO settings are desirable. For smaller prints at lower ISO settings (which is where most amateur photographers will be working most of the time), the sensor pixel count and noise characteristics won’t matter.
Comparing video performace
Fact: Video doesn’t need a high resolution sensor, it is all about the crop modes and sensor scaling, as outlined by eoshd, when we just look at the surface of the Nikon D800 vs Canon 5D MK3 debate.
BUT (as discussed on dvinfo) the Nikon D4 could be the real deal, beating both the D800 and the 5D3: It would seem to me that as a micro-budget filmmaker without access to as much lighting as one would like – the fatter pixels of the d4 would provide better low light shooting outside at night, dimly lit night interiors etc. When moving about with only a china ball and a c-stand I think I would want the sensor of the d4 on my side to maximize the lack of additional equipment. So while it seems like the d800 is better suited because of the price tag – my thoughts are that the d4 with one more crop setting than the d800 [fewer lenses], and better low light, and wireless control [small crew] that it is the d4 that will actually be the indie-filmmakers choice.
There is no clear winner to the war, and Canon could still turn around and release a firmware update that provides HDMI out. Further, the actual results of the D4 vs D800 have to be compared to crown the king of DSLR video.
In the meanwhile, it might be also worth to invest in a Canon 5D MKII still, since it is selling quite cheap those days (selling for $2,199.00 new) and can be used with RAW Video (HDMI) output with Magic Lantern Unified soon.
The Canon EOS 5D MKIII looks good on paper: 91MB/s h264 codec, less moire and antialiasing, better low-light performance. Here are some example videos from the web that showcase the new and upcoming DSLR video beast from Canon. (thanks to dslr4video)
Canon 5D3 Video Sample with EF Lenses
Canon 5D Mark III first sample short movie, Canon 5D MK III, 50mm f1.4
Canon EOS 5D Mark III 720P SHOTS (NO COLOR CORRECTION)
The Opteka SteadyVid PRO Video Stabilizer System looks very promising and also got some recent reviews (see the unboxing video below). For a steadycam tool it it very cheap – especially when filming with the Panasonic GH2 or soon hopefully the D800 or 5D3 this will be my tool of choice: just ordered myself one. Here is the Opteka SteadyVid Pro on Amazon.com.
The Opteka SteadyVid PROis a video stabilizing system designed to reduce shake and stabilize video on cameras and camcorders weighing up to 5 lbs (2.26kg). The SteadyVid PRO features aluminum construction, adjustable mounting plate, comfort grip handle, super-smooth gimbal, sprit level and includes 2 removable weights in addition to the main counterweight.
* Supports up to 5 lbs (2.26kg)
* Adjustable mounting plate for on the fly precise balancing
* Comfort grip handle
* Super smooth gimbal for accurate motion
* Spirit Level
* Includes 2 add-on weights in addition to the main counterweight
The long awaited Canon EOS 5DMKIII is here, as correctly predicted by canonrumors and the best news: it can be pre-ordered on amazon. This means that we won’t only have to see if the Canon 5D MK3 will be hackable and can use Magic Lantern, it also has to face a direct competitor: the Nikon D800.
Why would anyone switch lenses and go down the Nikon Road when the new Canon EOS 5D looks so promising? Well, it has one small but serious flaw: it does not support clean HDMI (uncompressed HDMI) output.
This small fact means, that external HDMI recorders (see the RAW VIDEO comparison on nanofunk) such as the Black Magic Hyperdeck Shuttle or the Atomos Ninja will not work with the Canon EOS 5D MK3. Still, if the camera gets hacked by the Magic Lantern Project, or a firmware update gets released by Canon, the situation could change. After all, the 5D3 is a very capable camera, and in some points even superior to the Nikon D800.
What are the new features of the Canon 5D MKIII for filmers/videographers?
The new 5D3 produces 90mbit h264 files out-of-the box. This is a significant improvement over the previous 5D2. Also, the negative rolling shutter effect is reduced by half, as outlined by a japanese blog. ISO performance is almost clean at ISO 3200, and much improved at 6400 and 12,800. Aliasing and moire are reduced. There is less false detail and the codec improved a lot.
improvements roundup (via eoshd)
* 91Mbit high bit rate video support
* possible “movie crop mode” (similar to the Panasonic GH2 Extra-Tele Video Mode)
* Audio controls and on screen meters
* Clean ISO 12,800 and full resolution JPEGs
EOS 5D Mark III ISO 12800 MOVIE
Please add your comments below. It looks like with that specs, we might not even need the 5D MKIII to be hacked, as it performs quite well out-of-the-box. Still the Nikon D800 is a worthy competitor and we have to wait for both cameras to be delivered, so we can crown the future king of DSLR Video. Until then, why not get both cameras? :)
[Update 2012-3-11] The Canon EOS 5D MKIII (MK3) can be pre-ordered at Amazon.com. Also, the Canon EOS 5D MKII (MK2) is currently selling for 1.599€ as B-Ware on Amazon Germany.
After years of waiting it finally happened: Canon will present the 5D MKIII in the upcoming days. Canonrumors reported, the camera will be announced Friday, March 2, 2012.
The Camera will be 22megapixels qnd feature an improved auto focus system with 61 points AF. 5D mark 3 also will have 100% viewfinder coverage, slightly larger LCD screen and dual CF/SD card slot. This camera is targeted for professionals or enthusiasts who want a lighter and more affordable cameras.
Dual CF/SD Card Slots
Price: Around $3500 USD
The release of the Canon 5D MKIII might bring down the price of the Canon EOS 5D MKII which is still at 2399$ in the US and EUR 1.756,42 in Europe. I will post more information as it becomes available.
[Update] the Canon EOS 5D MKIII has been announced and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.com. Also, the Canon EOS 5D MKII (MK2) is currently selling for 1.599€ as B-Ware on Amazon Germany.
According to various sources, the long awaited successor to the Canon 5D MKII (MK2) will be announced in the next days. Canonrumors reports an “announcement on February 27 or 28, 2012 (depending where you are on earth)”.
* 61pt AF
* 100% VF
* 3.2″ LCD
* Dual CF/SD Card Slots
* Price: Around $3500 USD
The picture below was taken by Stephen Oachs when he spotted a Japanese photographer field testing the mystery camera in Kenya: the photographer explained he was taking a new 200-400mm lens with a built-in teleconverter for a test-drive, but the camera body also looked unfamiliar. Design changes seem to be:
– No popup flash
– Joystick on the battery grip
– Screen appears wider (although it could be distortion)
– New button layouts
– New Scroll wheel
The full-frame 5D3 is expected to be GPS enabled and feature eye control auto focus. A sensor resolution in the 22 megapixel range along with shooting at 6.9 frames per second and 61 auto focus points have also been reported. Canon recently replaced both the 1D Mark IV and 1Ds Mark III models with the EOS-1D X digital SLR.
Once the 5D MKIII or the 5D X is announced, we can expect it to show up at amazon.com so we can post preorders. The same can be seen with the Nikon D800, which can be preordered on amazon germany and amazon UK.
Magic Lantern, the alternative firmware for Canon cameras is currently running on 550D/T2i, 60D, 600D/T3i, 500D/T1i, 50D 5D Mark II and 1100D. The Unfied Version is not running on the 5D MKII yet (although you can get early access by donating via paypal) – but the long-term plan is “merging the AJ 5.x firmware with the unified one currently running on smaller cameras”. This is good news indeed (see the HDR-Video option of ML Unified). You can also read the review of ML Unified on EOSHD.
here is out only wanted feature:
* more work on HDMI output for the 5DMKII so it is fully usable with the Atomos Ninja
You can support the development by sending them a small donation: http://goo.gl/gvD8Q. Here is the original sendout from the magic lantern user group:
Following the small, but positive feedback from this thread [ http://bit.ly/ml-unified-5D2 ], I’m glad to announce the next long-term direction of Magic Lantern: merging the AJ 5.x firmware with the unified one currently running on smaller cameras.
I need your help. As explained in the previous post, a good port (one suitable for paid jobs) requires me having a camera for testing. On 550D/60D ports, crashes are almost non-existent, audio meters are calibrated, HDMI monitors are fully usable and so on. So, if you like this idea, you may help me buy a 5D2 by:
– a small donation (you don’t need a PayPal account for this): http://goo.gl/gvD8Q
– or by spreading the word, since right now there are not many users familiar with both ML versions
Feature-wise: I’d like to ask the users who have tried both AJ and Unified ML (especially those using both versions in a regular fashion) to comment on this. Main question: what’s the best of both worlds? What do you like better in AJ 5.x and what do you like better in Unified? Big thanks to all ML community for making it possible!
canonrumors puts a date on a possible announcement of the long awaited Canon 5D MK III (MK3): announced around the end of March or early April 2012, “availability will probably happen before the summer begins in 2012. No specs were given at this time. This is a very solid [CR2]. The NAB show is April 14-19 in Las Vegas.”.
The Canon EOS 7D Mark 2, northlight-images amongst other blogs report, “will be one of the big items Canon shows at Photokina 2012 in Cologne, Germany”. Reports about the camera being APS-C are rumored, even though there is some info out there about it being APS-H. (dpreview, canonrumors)
Currently, the Canon EOS 5D MK II sells starting at $1,980.00 on Amazon US and EUR 1.679,95 on Amazon Germany. The Canon EOS 7D starts at $1,298.49 (Amazon US) and EUR 1.229,95 (Amazon Germany). Since there were recent price drops, it is unclear if the prices will further slide down, once a new product will be introduced. Our recommendation is to get a Camera now, if you really need it, possibly refurbished. The second hand value will still be high, so it’s currently a good time to buy, although new models might be around the corner.
Magic Lantern Unified looks promising: High Dynamic Range VIDEO for Canon cameras:
============== UPDATE ================
available for download now!
Demonstration of the new and free High Dynamic Range VIDEO feature for control over ultra contrast situations.
Discussion, workflow, RAW footage, FAQ:
Magic Lantern is a custom firmware add-on for Canon dSLR cameras. It is not a hack, or a modified firmware, but it runs alongside Canon’s own firmware, booting from the card every time you turn the camera on. The only modification to the original firmware is the ability to boot software from the card.
HDR Video: what does it mean? It does not output pre-processed HDR video from the camera, rather it blends the alternative high ISO / low ISO frames together in post (see this discussion thread at Vimeo). There is of course a difference if you use two Canon 5D MKII for generating a HDR movie (as this guy did) compared to this “hack”, although the development of Magic Lantern continues to impress!
Keep on rocking! We can’t await clean HDMI output for the 5DMKII to use it with the Atomos Ninja (if this hack is possible at all…)
***You can download the full 1080p version of this video for a more accurate presentation.
Here’s a “fair” test between the iPhone 4S and the Canon 5D MK II. I made a little rig that allowed me to shoot both cameras at the same time side by side. All scenes are perfectly synced together so you can pause and scrutinize the frames! See photo of the makeshift rig in the photo area.
Exposure, shutter speed, frame rate and picture style were matched as close as possible between the two cameras. (I used the Zacuto Z-finder to help me adjust exposure for both iPhone and 5D)
This test shows that the tiny F2.4 lens and sensor on the iPhone are pretty nice. It even got a little depth of field!
I did not overlay the exact ISO and Stops 5D settings per shot. It was too much to keep track for this simple test. To be fair I matched 5D exposure to the iPhone so no “Cinestyle” / 24p here.
Here are the settings:
– AE.AF locked. That’s all you have!
Canon 5D MKII
– Canon 50mm 1.4
– ISO 160 ~ 640 (varied per shot to match the iPhone)
– F 7~22 (varied per shot to match the iPhone)
– Shutter 1/60th
– Auto WB
– Standard Picture Style
– 1080p 30
With the Four Thirds Standard being around for quite a bit longer than the MFT (Micro Four Thirds) there is an actual way to use those lenses on a MFT System such as the Panasonic GH2 or any other Micro Four Thirds Cameras using the Panasonic DMW-MA1 Four Thirds to MFT Adapter. Lenses, such as the Panasonic/Leica 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 OIS Four Thirds Lens can be used on Micro Four Thirds Cameras – but the question remains, if there is an actual way to use four thirds lenses on Canon EF Systems, since the Panasonic/Leica Lens D Vario-Elmarit 14-50mm 2.8-3.5 ASPH is a very good Lens.
Unfortunately, the optics of 4/3 and MFT (Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds) imply, that the image size projected on the sensor is smaller than any full frame or APS-C sensor so there would be a massive vignetting (a reduction of an image’s brightness or saturation at the periphery compared to the image center), producing pictures as the ballon-picture on the left. A gradual decrease in light intensity towards the image periphery happens, so it actually does not make so much sense to use MFT or 4/3 lenses on systems with a larger sensor. Still it totally makes sense, to use lenses designed for 35mm or larger than four thirds on any FT/MFT system, such as the Redrock Micro LiveLens, Active Lens Mount for Canon EF Lenses. In another post, I will write a comparison on legacy lens systems and the usage on MFT/FT and EF systems.
Nikon Rumors is reporting a 36mp D800 coming in the next 30-60 days at a 99% probability. As Canonrumors pointed out, this can be a great thing for Canon users: New full frame sensor cameras, as well as a 5D MKIII or a 6D could be possible. Well, we are desperately waiting, currently equipped with two Panasonic GH2 Cameras that are hacked to the extreme. See an example Video on Vimeo (66Mbps Hack). If there is no alternative coming out soon, lots of people will stick to their GH2s, as they are currently the best there is, especially when using the Atomos Ninja (see a great Example on the Atomos Ninja with the Panasonic GH2).
[UPDATE] Nikonrumors posted More Nikon D800 bits and pieces: 100% Viewfinder coverage, improved AF with face recognition, SD+CF dual memory card slots as well as a USB 3.0 possibility. The question remains, why not CFAST? On another post, the ISO range is said to be 100 – 6400, ISO LO @ 50 and ISO HI-2 @ 25600. We can only wait and see…
Redrock Micro has created a Canon EF to Micro Four Thirds lens adapter which adds the electronics required to control the aperture on the mounted EOS lenses – 9V battery and a touch-panel allows the adapter to specify the lens aperture in 1/3EV steps. The adapter (LiveLens MFT) costs $442.50 and is available directly from the manufacturer’s website.
The Redrock Micro LiveLens, Active Lens Mount for Canon EF Lenses currently sells for $495 on amazon, while the manufacturer has an introductory pricing at $442.50.
Redrock Micro’s LiveLens MFT provides the required power and electronics to control Canon EF lenses when attached to a micro four-thirds camera body. With the LiveLens MFT’s control touchpad, the EF lens’ aperture can be open and closed in increments as small as 1/3 stop. The LiveLens MFT works with virtually every EF lens available today, including variable aperture zoom lenses, prime lenses, consumer-level lenses, professional L-series lenses and most third party EF-compatible lenses. A marvel of advanced design, the LiveLens MFT is incredibly compact and weighs less than 6oz. (via dpreview)
Mosaic Engineering showed a filter that it said to remove lots of annoying issues with the Canon 5D MKII: The filter can be easily removed for standard photography and requires no modification of your hardware (which means no voiding of warranties).
* Optically corrects most aliasing and moiré artifacts in 5D Mark II HD video.
* No reduction of 5D Mark II 1080p video resolution for most lenses.
* True optical correction before video image capture – no postproduction software filters or processing.
* Easily installed or removed in less than 20 seconds.
* 5Dmk2 H.264 codec compresses with better quality with the VAF-5D2, because false, high-frequency, aliased image components are eliminated before compression.
Moire, caused by the downscaling from the image information from the huge 21MP chip affects by line skipping, manifests in issues on fine fabrics, hair, bricks, water, lines. This filter removes all that, and more.
PLUSSES: Removes most of the visible moire, only the most stubborn stuff it cannot remove. Big success on aliasing. A massive improvement on image quality for video compared to shooting without it.
NEGATIVES; Not good with wide angle lenses. Some lenses work better with it than others. Not parfocal. Slight image softening. Close up focus changed. Be careful with old Nikon lenses with the bit of metal that sticks out. It can damage your filter and if you are not careful like me…your camera too! (Update: this issues seem to be fixed in the production version.)
[Update 2012-03-11] I was asked if this filter can be used on the Canon EOS 5DMKIII and I actually think it can, while it remains to be tested if it actually makes sense to use it. The Canon 5D MK3 still has moire: its processor doesn’t line skip anymore but it still has to process the image down from 22.3 MP to 1920×1080 which may create some minor moire or aliasing issues.
Among the lenses, a reworked Rodenstock 50mm f/0.75 for Micro Four Thirds, that fits on your camera without the need of an adapter. The lens focuses from 3ft to infinity. Wide open, images are very soft but unlike C-mount lenses the circle covers the full m43 size. Here are some flickr examples.
[Update] Black Magic Hyperdeck Shuttle 2 as well as the Atomos Ninja 2 Recorder are already out. We are reviewing them shortly, as we have used both already in production. Both are capable of DNxHD as well as Apple ProRes.
SLR Film making got even more exciting: with the availability of HDMI recorders, RAW Video footage can be recorded to get the maximum out of your Canon 5D MKII or other camera compatible with Magic Lantern. Standard Firmware does not output a “clean” HDMI signal, at least not for Canon cameras; the Panasonic GH2 produces a clean HDMI output, as noted by Philip Bloom (!).
What are currently recommended HDMI field recorders?
1. Black Magic Hyperdeck Shuttle (RAW Video)
2. Atomos Ninja – Portable HDMI Recorder (ProRes)
Unless you are super-rich and have tons of money to spend for Solid State Drives and a RAID Array, you should get the Atomos Ninja. Besides the actual device, you also get a monitoring solution and have a true portable device, that creates files usable with normal hard drives. Overall cost is much lower and there should not be a really visible difference from ProRes to RAW footage. If you are into Bokeh Porn, you might want to spend your money in the Black Magic Hyperdeck Shuttle.
Keep in mind, there are currently some issues with HDMI out an Magic Lantern: there is a video on the 5D MKII’s 1080i out and also some discussions going on in the Magic Lantern Forums, because some processing needs to be done to get actual usable files. Actual resolutionis 12-19% less (depending how you do it) but still the results are awesome – especially in low light situations. Maybe we will get real clean HDMI out with the Canon EOS 5D MKIII.
Since lot of people ask me, which (photo) cameras to buy which also work for filming, here is a short roundup of cameras that I find worth mentioning. All of the cameras mentioned will work with Magic Lantern:
Canon Rebel T1i|
Canon EOS 500D
Canon Rebel T2i|
Canon EOS 550D
Canon Rebel T3i|
Canon EOS 600D
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 5D MKII
Europe: 449.00€ (used)
|The Revel T1i was a great camera, although we cannot recommend it, since its successor is the 550D and the 600D. If you can get a cheap second hand alternative at ebay, you might get a deal, though. (Seen on ebay for $199 used)||The 550D is a great camera, although the 600D beats it in price/value. If you can get your hands on a cheap second-hand 550D, you might be able to even save some more bucks. (Seen on ebay for $399 used)||The 600D is our definite winner in price/value: feature-rich, reasonably priced, enjoyable to use and, most importantly, takes great pictures. It’s relatively small, but is fully supported by Magic Lantern and you should be really happy with that camera if you use good lenses and fast Compact Flash Cards.||The 60D is a great camera, although almost in the same range as the 7D (which has no Magic Lantern support yet). If you are only shooting photos, go for the 7D – if you are doing video, save some bucks and go for the 600D. Invest the spare money in good lenses.||The best of all the cameras compared, if we leave out the price. While this is also the most pricy camera, it certainly gets beaten by the 600D when it comes to price/value. The Canon EOS 5D MKII is the best camera for digital video out there, although with the 600D and with fast enough SDXC cards, you will almost match the quality of the 5D MKII.|
Conclusio: get the 600D if you need to save money, get the 5D MKII if you have some spare 3000$. Invest in good lenses, such as the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM, even if you are using it on the 600D (it will get converted to a 38-168mm, though). The Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS is a cheap but quite good alternative. Make sure you get a really fast SDXC card, since you will want to increase the Video Bitrate with Magic Lantern to make your videos quality increase as well. Recommendation: the Lexar Media 64 GB SDXC Flash Memory Card LSD64GCRBNA133 stores 64GB (!) and is blazingly fast.
Random Info via canonrumors:
- Canon Australia has sent CPS management to Singapore for product training. [CR2]
- Any Canon announcement will come after Nikon’s announcement on August 24, 2011. [CR2]
- 5D Mark III’s are in the wild and an announcement is imminent [CR1]
- 1D Mark IV’s are out of stock or hard to come by in certain countries. A retailer in New Zealand actually said they won’t be getting any more. [CR1]
- 1Ds Mark IV resolution correction, I’m told it will actually be 36mp.
Since I was planning on getting a 5D Mark II these days, I hope to see increasing price drops on the camera kits very soon – since there are already visible price drops around the globe. On Amazon.com the price for the Body still is $2499,00. Canon Australia already lowered the price for the premium KIT from $4899 AU$ to 4499AU$, so we can hope for price drops on the international market as well. On the German Amazon Marketplace, the currently cheapest price for the 5D MKII Body (new) is 1924,90 EUR, while the Premium KIT (EF 24-105mm L IS USM) is at 2619,99 (a light price drop is already visible).
Commenting on the current question, if it is still a good idea to buy a Canon 5D MKII: YES. Why? The Canon 5D MKII is a great camera and also there won’t be any new Lenses coming up so fast (at least when we talk about EF 24-105mm L IS USM), so if you need one now, go and get one. Also, if you are in DSLR-Video, “Magic Lantern” is a great and stable system, which will not immediately run on the MKIII. Some people even suggests that there might be a 1000$ price difference (at least) for an upcoming 5D MKIII.
Still the 5D Mark II is a good buy, when compared to the Canon EOS 7D, since an announcement for a Canon EOS 7D MKII won’t be around the corner until end of 2011, if we believe the rumors. A 5d MKIII won’t be available instantly after release, so one way or the other, before 2012 you won’t be able to get your hands on a 5D MKIII – and if so, then for sure not for a reasonable price. The current price difference for the 5DMKII to the 7D is 700$ – if you are into DSLR Video, that’s a clear GO for the 5DMKII.
[Update] Canon Rumors has a new Blog post “5D Mark III & The Rest [CR2]” which indicates, that there could be a 5D Mark III announced in October 2011