If you were anywhere around Twitter last night you probably caught wind via the hundreds (thousands! [millions!!]) of tweets that Canon is soon going to release a firmware update to this popular DSLR camera to allow manual control of ISO, aperture and shutter speed. This is quite the big deal to 5D users as the lack of manual control has been especially crippling when shooting video. I only shoot for fun and it was indeed a pain in the ass when I was using it. It produces great results but you can just feel how much better the camera would be in video mode with full manual control. What this update won’t provide (at least it’s not listed in the Canon statement) is frame rates other than the 30p that is offered. There have been outspoken critics of not offering 24p as a frame rate and as a facility that has had a lot of 30p 5D footage brought in and shot as b-roll or b-cam alongside 23.98 RED material I can say that it is a real pain in the ass. Maybe that will come in another update. Stu Maschwitz is absolutely right in calling Canon out on their press release trumpeting enthusiasm from “major motion picture studios, independent filmmakers”Â and the like and not offering other frame rates besides 30p. It smacks way more of marketing-speak than Canon’s desire to really listen to this customer base. Maybe that update is coming or maybe there is a technical reason that can’t be added to existing cameras. It would be nice if Canon would issue official word on 24p support for those of us fighting 30p out of this camera on a regular basis. Just a “hell no” … or … “hold your horses for 24p”Â would be great.
The other big rumor that floated all around Twitter last night was that the next release of Final Cut Pro will allow native editing of H264 media. Currently you can drop the media into an FCP timeline and edit but it’s slow and painful and requires a lot of rendering. This rumor states “it is time to rejoice because very soon all of these issues are going to be history! I have learned that the next version of Quicktime (coming with Snow Leopard) is going to allow real time editing of the Canon 5DMrkII H.264 clips!” It seems to be coming from this post on canon5dtips.com and even says there’s another rumor that “might be of even greater interest” but they don’t talk about that one. Will Apple add native H264 editing to Final Cut Pro? Well it wouldn’t seem likely at first since H264 was developed as a delivery codec. They also invented Pro Res for the very purpose of having a quality codec that you could convert odd and different media formats to, that would allow for easy editing at acceptable bandwidths and stand up well to mulitple compression stages, something H264 does not do (see the last comment on this post … I saw the show and it is correct, much banding). But Apple probably wants to be able to say they support the 5D natively so it wouldn’t be surprising if that support is added. Who knows when FCP 7 will roll around though. If it’s marketing rights that is desired Avid should add native support to its new Avid Media Access architecutre in Media Composer. That would be a markting trump they could totally brag about.
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