The wait is over. In the early hours of this day Canon released firmware update 2.0.3 for Canon EOS 5D Mark II, which enables recording at 25 fps, as it was until now the only Canon camera that didn’t have this option. Included in this update is also a function for manually adjusting the sound recording level, a histogram display for shooting movies in manual exposure and changes the audio sampling frequency from 44.1 KHz to 48 KHz.
Shooting with less than 30 fps was the most wanted function since they introduced the camera and the wanting became even stronger as the introduced other models of camera bodies (1D Mark IV, 7D, 550D) that had this function. The loudest proponent for 24p and 25p was definitely Stu Maschwitz on its blog ProLost. There was a lot of blog posts this morning about the upgrade and there is an explosion of cats and dogs test videos on Vimeo recorded with the new firmware. Philip Blooms blog has some more serious movies as he had the firmware in his hands for quite some weeks.
What does this upgrade changes for me? Nothing directly or better, nothing at the moment. It is true that I am preparing for the large test of different DSLR cameras. I planned to record with Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 7D, Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon D550, Nikon D3s, Nikon D300s, Nikon D90 and Panasonic G1 at the same time and have made a special rig that has the option of holding five camera bodies at the same time.
I got the idea watching studio photography tutorials – I think it was Joe McNally, where I saw a rig that enables you to have laptop next to the camera on a tripod so that you can do tethered shooting and see the images at the same moment on the laptop.
The base for the system is Manfrotto 131DDB Horizontal 4 Head Accessory Arm and Manfrotto 183 Aluminium Table Attachment. The arm has two screws at the ends which I also used in combination with Manfrotto 553 Angle Bracket for Lever Center Column and so I got the option for attaching four heads (if you remove the laptop table of course). I hoped that I could then attach Manfrotto Quick Change Rect. Plate Adaptor directly on the 3/8” screws but it couldn’t be done.
So I bought some Manfrotto 494 Ball Head with Friction Control which attached to the Arm together with quick change plates. I gained place for another body with Manfrotto Super Clamp MN035, Manfrotto 208 3/8-inch Mounting Plate For Super Clamp and another quick plate.
Now I have a rig that can hold five camera bodies, but there are eight cameras that I want to test. I probably won’t be able to get them at the same time. Canon 1D and 5D I intend to borrow from Samo Vidic, but he is very busy at the moment so I will probably get his cameras not before middle of april, my father has a 7D, I will borrow Nikon D3s and D300s from Nikon Slovenia, D90 from my friend Matjaž, Panasonic G1 from Jure, who doesn’t know anything about it at the moment and 550D from camera store Foto Format. I would like to test all of them with 50mm f/1.4 lens which represents anther problem, as I need four Canon ones, three Nikon and one micro four thirds one.
Why did I continue this post about firmware update with the rig. I wanted to record everything in 25 fps, so I waited for Canon to release the firmware. I have no excuse any more. I only need to organise to have all equipment together for a weekend. I probably have some time until then and I can focus on the story of the test movie so it won’t be another pet video or video about local scenery.