From Canon USA:
Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR Cameras Help Capture the Summer Animated Feature “ParaNorman” in 3D
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR Camera Proves Essential for Realistic Photography of Miniature Puppets and Sets, As Well As Sequential Image-Pairs Needed for 3D Animation
LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., August 17, 2012 – Five camera teams and crews of animators, puppeteers, and staff from LAIKA animation studios, along with an garrison of sixty EOS 5D Mark II SLR cameras from Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, have come together to help bring the new 3D feature film, “ParaNorman” to screens this Summer. The EOS 5D Mark II DSLR cameras captured frame-by-frame stop-motion animation of puppet “actors” in this new horror comedy about a small-town boy who speaks to ghosts and must battle an assortment of otherworldly creatures to save his town from doom.
“The Canon EOS 5D Mark II has features that helped us to expedite the stop-motion animation process,” noted John Ashlee Prat regarding the animation of “ParaNorman.” Prat, one of five lighting cameramen on the film, explained that in order to capture the more than 400,000 separate stop-frames needed to create “ParaNorman,” the film was divided among five camera teams and 50 separate units at LAIKA’s 151,000 square ft. studio. Each unit had its own shooting stage, sets, puppet “actors,” equipment (including Canon EOS 5D Mark II cameras), and a crew working on different portions of the film simultaneously. Director of Photography Tristan Oliver supervised the daunting task of five simultaneous film units throughout the entire production.
Compact, lightweight, and compatible with Canon’s wide selection of EF Series lenses, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II digital SLR camera is equipped with a 21.1 megapixel full-frame Canon CMOS image sensor and DIGIC 4 image processor for exceptional still-image capture in a number of RAW or JPEG modes and sRAW options.
“Stop-motion animators need a live-view reference to see and record their progress,” Prat said. “We tested every off-the-shelf digital SLR camera that can provide live view and the high-resolution RAW image files we needed, and we found that the Canon EOS 5D Mark II live view is far superior to any of the others. The 5D Mark II also provides the RAW image output we needed, and a USB connector to feed files to our in-house network.”
Photography of a stereoscopic 3D film requires the capture of not one, but two frames – a left and a right image – 24 times for every second of screen time (in stop-motion animation that number is doubled to 48). The compact size of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II digital SLR camera (as opposed to traditional film cameras) greatly facilitated the capture of the corresponding left- and right images needed for 3D, especially given the miniature sets and puppets being photographed. Each 5D Mark II camera was mounted on a computer-controlled motorized horizontal slider, which moved the camera first right and then left for sequential capture of all the necessary 3D frame-pairs.
“The slider is necessary because we can’t put two cameras side-by-side to successfully photograph little 8- to 12-inch puppets in a miniature world,” Prat explained. “We have to use the inter-ocular distances appropriate to that world in order for it not to look miniature.”
“The self-cleaning sensor feature of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II saved us a lot of time because we didn’t need to take the lens off to clean the sensor,” Prat added. “We are rolling our current fleet of 5D Mark II cameras on to our next production, although not for principal photography. Instead they will be used to support all the other departments for their photographic needs. Principal photography will be done with EOS 5D Mark III cameras, which feature a live view that’s two stops better than the original Mark II’s, and that’s even better for us.”
From Canon USA:
Canon EOS 5D Mark II and EOS 7D Digital SLR Cameras of Choice for Stunts and Action Work on Set of “Marvel’s The Avengers”
1920 x 1080 HD Recording And 24p Frame Rate
Enable Gripping Point-Of-View Shots for Theatrical Filmmaking
LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., May 9, 2012 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to announce that its EOS 5D Mark II and 7D Digital SLR cameras have been used on the set of Marvel’s latest movie, “Marvel’s The Avengers,” to capture thrilling point-of-view (POV) action shots that can be seamlessly intercut with footage from the film’s principal 35mm and digital cinematography cameras to heighten the film’s visual impact. “Marvel’s The Avengers” shows an epic confrontation between nightmarish super villains attacking the Earth and the super-heroic team of Iron Man, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Hawkeye and Black Widow. Directed by Joss Whedon, the film is the latest and most extraordinary Marvel Studios Super Hero movie to date.
With intense action and visual effects captured by the Canon cameras, “Marvel’s The Avengers” required close-quarter action work with unrepeatable stunts. “The 5D Mark II and the 7D digital SLR cameras produce excellent, cinema-worthy images. They are great for shooting additional angles that give film editors more options for creating powerfully immersive and kaleidoscopic views of action scenes,” explained the film’s cinematographer, Seamus McGarvey.
On the set of “Marvel’s The Avengers,” McGarvey and his crew used five Canon 5D Mark II cameras and two 7D models. Using multiple cameras limited the need to re-shoot complex action scenes, and the affordability and compact size of the cameras enabled the crew to obtain ample coverage by strategically angling them from various vantage points throughout the set. “The cameras’ small size was a major advantage to us. We were able to place them in tight locations that were really close to the big stunts, which would be too risky to do with bigger cameras that would require an operator and two assistants,” McGarvey said. He was able to slide one of the Canon cameras into a sewer grating, while placing another under a pile of debris for a key shot of a car hurtling toward the lens, flipping through the air on fire.
“We are thrilled that the EOS 5D Mark II and 7D Digital SLR cameras were called to action on the set of ‘Marvel’s The Avengers.’ We designed these cameras with versatility and flexibility in mind, and their ability to record beautiful 1920 x 1080 HD video, coupled with their compact size, make them an ideal fit for filmmakers looking to capture tight action shots,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies and Communications Group, Canon U.S.A.
Compact, lightweight, and compatible with Canon’s wide selection of EF Series lenses, the Canon
5D Mark II and EOS 7D digital SLR cameras are equipped with large Canon CMOS sensors and Canon DIGIC 4 image processors that enable them to record exceptional full 1920 x 1080 HD video at the user-selectable frame rate of 24p (23.976 fps), which is the standard for today’s high-end filmmaking. Additionally, the cameras’ low-light capabilities were of major importance on the set of “Marvel’s the Avengers,” as many of the film’s scenes were shot at night.
From Redrock Micro:
Redrock Micro Launches New ultraCage & ultraBase for Video-Capable DSLR Cameras
Awesome Additions Reflect New Generation of Support for a New Generation of Video-Enabled Cameras
Hollywood, CA and Dallas, TX – Redrock Micro, the recognized leader in affordable professional-level cinema accessories, today launched the new ultraCage DSLR and ultraBase support for video-enabled DSLR cameras. The ultraCage DSLR has been called an essential accessory for converting the DSLR camera body into a movie-making production powerhouse.
Next Generation Support for the New Generation of Video DSLRs
Video DSLRs have arrived as legitimate filmmaking tools. Groundbreaking cameras like the Canon 5D MKIII and the new Nikon D800 deliver advanced movie features and outstanding results. However, the form factor of DSLRs severely limits the stability of shots and the ability to adapt accessories that are commonplace for high-quality filmmaking. Redrock products have evolved along with DSLRs and now offer the best solutions for shooting high quality movies with DSLR rigs.
Professional-level Support and Stability
The ultraCage DSLR delivers rock-solid support and stability for DSLR cameras. The ultraCage secures the camera body at three points: screws into the camera base, fastens to the top hot shoe and locks the camera in place with the anti-rotation pin. The ultraCage supports a wide variety of DSLR bodies and has been tested with the Canon 60D, 7D, 5D MKII, 5D MKIII, and Nikon D800/ D800e camera bodies. You will not find a support cage anywhere that is more stable, functional or reliable.
The ultraCage DSLR adds industry-standard 15mm bottom rails for accessories such as a mattebox, follow focus or lens support. The built-in 15mm top rail support is great for adding accessories you want to keep with your camera on every setup, such as camera-top monitors or remote focus motors.
The cage surrounds the camera with 22 mounting holes (standard 1/4" and 3/8") that are perfect for attaching and positioning virtually any other accessory available. The ultra Series of accessories from Redrock can extend the ultraCage with extended top and bottom rails, triple the mounting points and additional mounting plates for advanced accessories such as external batteries, external recorders, audio units and remote focusing.
In addition, the powerPack Universal accessory delivers a powered cage option so all camera-top accessories and the camera itself can be powered from a single, long-lasting source using an external battery.
The ultraCage DSLR and ultraBase are ideal for the following types of users:
Slim, Contoured Design Molds to DSLR Body, Adds Features Without Bulking Up
Unlike other offerings, the ultraCage curves with the camera's contours and doesn't make it any larger than absolutely necessary. All doors and features are completely accessible, and the cage is unobtrusive enough to stay on the camera even when shooting stills. The precision-machined aluminum housing and available carbon fiber rods keep things light without sacrificing strength.
The Foundation for Any Shooting Style, from Handheld to Studio
The ultraCage DSLR can be used to create any type of rig, from handheld to full studio. Redrock offers pre-built bundles for handheld, shouldermount, and studio setups based on the original ultraCage. Using Redrock's family of 400+ cinema accessories and building blocks, virtually any rig can be created to fit your shooting style and budget. With the ultraCage DSLR, your camera can now take advantage of Redrock's ultra Series of advanced support accessories for sleek, sophisticated camera setups.
The ultraCage DSLR Advantage
The Redrock ultraCage DSLR and ultraBase are the only professional-level camera support to deliver all these key advantages:
For More Information
Product details can be found on the ultraCage DSLR and ultraBase at store.redrockmicro.com/Catalog/ultraCageHandheldRigs/ultraCage-DSLR
Pricing and Availability
ultraCage DSLR and ultraBase are shipping starting mid-May, and are available from Redrock direct at store.redrockmicro.com and from authorized Redrock Micro resellers worldwide. ultraBase starts at $299, ultraCage DSLR starts at $595.
From Redrock Micro:
Redrock Micro Enhances, Expands Line of Follow Focus Units
Years of Experience Advances State-of-the-Art Focus Units for Independent Filmmaking
Hollywood, CA and Dallas, TX – Redrock Micro, the recognized leader in affordable professional-level cinema accessories, announced today the immediate availability of a new family of Redrock-designed follow focus units. The new microFollowFocus family is the third generation offering from Redrock Micro that delivers new levels of performance, a unique “back-to-new performance” adjustable gearbox, and a range of products that can match any budget or feature needs.
Professional-level Performance for a Lifetime
At the heart of any focusing unit is precision performance. Redrock spent the last three years developing a new original-design unit featuring a completely geared, precision-machined transmission with virtually backlash-free performance. Recognizing that all follow focuses settle over time and are prone to develop play, all new microFollowFocus units include adjustable backlash, which can reset the unit’s performance to ‘like new’ condition at any time. The new gearbox delivers exceptional professional-level performance for a lifetime.
Special Features for DSLR Lenses
The microFollowFocus | blue solves the issue that many filmmakers face when filming with HDSLR lenses: the focus ring spins freely, making repeatable focus nearly impossible. The microFollowFocus | blue solves this with an ingenious adjustable 'hard stop' mechanism on the follow focus itself, so every lens now has hard stops. "Hard stops solve a big limitation of shooting with Canon EF lenses," said Ted Coates, DP and owner of Moving Pictures, Inc. "I now have a tool that allows me to shoot with DSLR lenses with a similar level of confidence as traditional video lenses. " The new microFollowFocus line offers additional features for DSLR lenses including support for shorter lenses with its flippable gear box, and when paired with microLensGears gives DSLR lenses the ability to achieve accurate, repeatable, precision focus pulling.
Choose the microFollowFocus to fit your Budget and Needs
The microFollowFocus family is available in three different configurations and price points. The microFollowFocus | blue is Redrock's flagship product, with the features and performance for professionals and enthusiasts. The microFollowFocus | blue Studio adds a second side wheel ("studio" mode) for quickly switching camera sides, and can be added or removed at any time. The microFollowFocus retains the performance and core features of the flagship version at a more economical price.
The microFollowFocus Advantage
The Redrock microFollowFocus family is the only line of follow focus units to deliver all these key advantages:
Pricing and Availability
All microFollowFocus products are available immediately from Redrock direct at store.redrockmicro.com and from authorized Redrock Micro resellers worldwide. The microFollowFocus introductory price is $595, the microFollowFocus | blue $795, and the double-sided microFollowFocus | blue Studio $1190.
From Canon USA
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR Cameras Take Moviegoers Deep Into the Daring Operations of Active-Duty U.S. Navy SEALs in Relativity Media’s Act of Valor
LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., February 24, 2012 — In an unprecedented blend of real-life heroism and original filmmaking, Act of Valor stars a group of active-duty U.S. Navy SEALs in a film like no other in Hollywood’s history. A fictionalized account of real life Navy SEAL operations, Act of Valor blazes into theatres nationwide on February 24th and features a gripping story that takes audiences on an adrenaline-fueled, edge-of-their-seat journey. This fast-paced, depiction of daring covert operations delivers a thrilling mix of stealthy tension, intense human drama, and sudden fierce combat waged by lethal heroes armed with the world’s best training and firepower. Act of Valor is a Bandito Brothers film produced and directed by Mike “Mouse” McCoy and Scott Waugh and written by Kurt Johnstad. Crucial to capturing the film’s absorbing up-close-and-personal action was its use of lightweight, highly mobile EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR cameras from Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions. As director of photography, and now member of Canon’s Explorer of Light program, Shane Hurlbut explained, the film could not have been made with any other camera system.
“Nothing is as small and nimble as our Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera packages,” said Hurlbut, a member of the American Society of Cinematographers, who has captured moving images using practically every film and video format currently available. “Never have I been so excited by the creative possibilities a camera offers cinematographers.”
“Inventing new perspectives for creative storytelling demands innovative new tools and we are proud to be a part of that process. The Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera provides filmmakers with a highly compact and mobile form factor. This camera has sparked our recent introduction of the new Cinema EOS system, our formal entrance into the world of cinema and television production,” noted Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A.
“Because the Canon 5D Mark II is so light weight, we were able to defy conventional motion picture camera physics and capture a high-quality cinematic image, which ultimately looked incredible on a 100-foot theatrical screen,” said Scott Waugh, co-director, Act of Valor.
The Canon 5D Mark II delivers full 1920 x 1080 HD video recording at user-selectable frame rates of 30 (29.97), 24 (23.976) and 25 fps. Employing a 21.1-megapixel 35mm full-frame Canon-manufactured CMOS sensor measuring 36 x 24 mm, the 5D Mark II also utilizes Canon’s DIGIC 4 image processors, which employ sophisticated digital signal processing to maximize picture quality and provide advanced operational features. HD footage is recorded to universally available CF cards for exceptional workflow convenience. According to Hurlbut, the camera is nothing less than a “game-changer” for motion-picture production.
“I call the Canon 5D Mark II a ‘game-changer’ for several reasons,” Hurlbut elaborated. “The first is its big CMOS sensor’s ability to collect light in widely varying ISOs. It’s very clean up to 1600 ISO. Its light-gathering capability has a nice, very film-like gradient. The 5D Mark II’s sensor also delivers ‘VistaVision’ depth of field. No other digital HD camera out there will deliver that. I find that if you operate at the right f-stop with the 5D Mark II, you get a wonderful, shallow depth of field. You’re also getting skin tones unlike any delivered by other cameras. I don’t think the other manufacturers have put the kind of R&D into their cameras that Canon put into its 5D Mark II. Perhaps the biggest reason why the 5D Mark II is a game changer is because it’s so compact. You can capture perspectives with it that no other camera system can deliver.”
Shot on sea, air and land in many locations around the world, Act of Valor owes much of its cinema verité style to the compact size of the Canon 5D Mark II, which enabled Hurlbut and his six-man crew to be nearly as stealthy as the active-duty SEALs the film depicts. The crew was able to transport an eight-camera production package in the overhead bins of airliners and avoid transportation difficulties of shipping larger more sensitive equipment. Once on location, the crew went into what Hurlbut calls “platoon module,” a tactic for self-sufficiency in which they could hand-carry everything they needed, thanks to their compact 5D Mark II cameras and the minimal support and lighting gear required.
The compact size of the Canon 5D Mark II also allowed for a lot of set-ups each day that Hurlbut says would not have been possible with larger camera systems. Hurlbut had his crew outfit their 5D Mark II cameras for different shooting configurations that could be switched at a moment’s notice with accessories from such companies as Redrock Micro and Zacuto.
“More than anything, what I love about the Canon 5D Mark II is that it’s part of a global revolution,” Hurlbut concluded. “The 5D Mark II is causing a paradigm shift in the production industry because it provides film-like quality combined with lightweight operation and amazing mobility. It’s also affordable, so it’s giving a lot of people a voice who’ve never had one before. I think the style of filmmaking that’s going to come out of the use of the 5D Mark II will be a whole, fresh new style that hasn’t even been named yet.”
About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. With more than $46 billion in 2011 global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks fourth overall in patent holdings in the U.S. in 2010† and is one of Fortune Magazine's World’s Most Admired Companies in 2011. Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility.
About Act of Valor
Produced and directed by former Baja 1000 champion Mike “Mouse” McCoy and former stuntman Scott Waugh, and written by Kurt Johnstad (300), Act of Valor features a gripping story that takes audiences on an edge-of-their-seat journey, when a mission to recover a kidnapped CIA operative unexpectedly results in the discovery of an imminent, terrifying global threat, an elite team of highly-trained Navy SEALs must immediately embark on a heart-stopping secret operation, the outcome of which will determine the fate of us all. Act of Valor combines stunning combat sequences, up-to-the-minute battlefield technology, and heart-pumping emotion for the ultimate action adventure film—showcasing the skills, training and tenacity of the greatest action heroes of them all: real Navy SEALs.
For more information about Act of Valor, please visit http://www.actofvalor.com.
# # #
†Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.
All referenced product names, and other marks, are trademarks of their respective owners.
Canon has made a pair of EOS C300 and C300PL white papers available:
Shane Hurlbut and Letus have teamed up to offer the Shane Hurlbut Master Cinema Series HDSLR rig.
The Canon Digital Learning Center has posted Tutorials for EOS Storytellers.
"Canon Live Learning and the imaging experts at stillmotion joined forces to deliver this series of EOS HD production tutorials, developed during Canon Live Learning workshops such as 2010's Canon Cinema Caravan and 2011's Deconstructing the Story: Light, Sound, Motion, and EOS HD"
"These tutorial videos give an inside look at what Canon Live Learning students experienced with the creative and technical leaders of stillmotion during these remarkable programs."
The new Arch Rig (press release) offers an innovative new way to follow focus:
B&H has posted six HDSLR Education Series for Cinema episodes with Shane Hurlbut. They are worth watching if you are interested in DSLR HD Video. Find the banner ad for the series near the top of the B&H home page.
Full version (5:47):
Short version (1:56):
Lenses used include:
Canon EF 70-200mm L IS II USM Lens (version not specified)
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens (version not specified)
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens (version not specified)
Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM Lens
From Okii Systems:
The new Okii Systems USB Follow Focus gives the photo and video enthusiast a compact yet powerful device that enhances the capabilities of HD video enabled Canon EOS Digital SLR cameras, including:
• EOS 5D Mark II
• EOS 1D Mark IV
• EOS 7D
• EOS 60D
• EOS 550D/Rebel T2i/Kiss X4
• EOS 500D/Rebel T1i/Kiss X3
Like Canon's EOS Utility, the USB Follow Focus uses Canon's USB protocol to allow control of a wide range of functions, but without the limitations and bulk of being tethered to a computer. The device is handheld, weighing under 5 oz. including batteries, and less than 3" in diameter.
The USB Follow Focus uses the autofocus motor in Canon USM lenses to control focus, even while recording video. This focus control also works in any Live View modes, which can be useful for photography. The nine other switches located around the central focus knob can be used to access important camera functions, such as recording start/stop, digital zoom, engaging autofocus, saving focus points, and adjusting certain camera settings.
A hard coat anodized aluminum enclosure protects the electronics while a 1/4"-20 mount on the back of the unit provides a way to attach the USB Follow Focus to rigs or other equipment. The buttons can also be swapped out, providing the user with a way to specify certain functions.
It is important that potential users understand how Canon's USB implementation has shaped and enabled the development of the Okii Systems USB Follow Focus. Certain characteristics of Canon's design make it perform quite differently than a mechanical follow focus, so it is recommended that you read the User Guide and the Canon USB Protocol article in the Technical section of the Okii website.
Included is a 30 day money back guarantee, which ensures that you can fully test out the USB Follow Focus with the type of film or photography work you do, along with all of your cameras and lenses.
An example of focus point use is shown in the following video, which displays the ability of the USB Follow Focus to return to four different focus points. Filmed with a 5D Mark II and EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens.
This video shows the responsiveness and potential speed (keep an eye on the focus distance window). Filmed with a 60D and EFS 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM lens.
For more information, visit okii.net. (thanks Mark)
Check out the awesome RipCurl video Timeslice Films created using 52 Canon EOS Rebel T2i cameras. Very cool!
Can you buy T2i's by the case?
I've used tripods unconventionally for video support, but here is a great HDSLR tripod application I have not tried to date:
What are you doing this weekend? Want to learn HDDSLR?
createLIVE is streaming the 3-day HDDSLR Cinema with Vincent Laforet course free on Friday, April 30, Saturday May 1 and Sunday, May 2 from 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM PST.
The course can alternatively be purchased for download - for $79.00 through April 30th.
"In this course, first-time filmmakers and photographers making the transition into video will be introduced to many of the core building blocks necessary to make their first short films."
"Vincent will provide an introduction to cinema theory and present information about gear designed to provide consistent results when using the latest HDDSL cameras."
"We will explore the use of a variety of lenses, fluid heads, external monitors, follow focus units, JIBs and Sliders. Students will come away from this online workshop with a good understanding of what tools they need for their productions, and when and how to best use them."