Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Canon 5D Mark2 Camera Shooting HD 1080p Video

I've now purchased a Canon 5D Mark2 camera and am currently testing the HD (high Definitiion) video capability at 1080p. Over the next couple of weeks I hope to show some example movies shot with the camera that demonstrate its stunning high ISO performance.

The initial impressions of the video from the camera are that it is stunning quality but very unforgiving of anything but the fastest computer and graphics cards. In many configurations the video can show dropped frames but considering that 1080p HD video is 1920 x 1080 pixels at 30 frames per second the volume of data being processed is massive.

The movies are stored as MOV files that can be opened by Apple Quicktime software but this appears to drop more frames than the Canon ZoomBrowser software that is bundled with the camera. I have tested this with a variety of graphics cards and it certainly appears that the Canon Zoombrowser software is far more reliable and plays the movies much more smoothly than Apple QuickTime software.

I've retested using an upgraded graphics card in the PC I use for editing but it still appears that QuickTime drops frames but Canon ZoomBrowser does not.
(Note : The PC used is dual core 64 bit processor with 4Gb RAM, SATA drives running Windows XP Service Pack3 with nVidia Quadro NVS290 graphics card, with lower spec nVidia GeForce 6200 card the number of dropped frames is noticably higher)