Wednesday, September 17, 2008

THIS Changes Everything ... Perhaps ...

Canon has announced it's replacement for the long-in-the-tooth 5D, the 5D Mark II. All of the goodness you'd expect are there - higher resolution (a whopping, card-massacring 21 megapixels), better autofocus, better shadow detail, better noise control at high ISO, etc., all with the pure joy of a full frame CMOS chip. 

As with Nikon's D90, there's now a video mode, as well, and it tromps the resolution of Big N's camera -  1920 x 1080 pixel (1080p) resolution versus the D90's 1280 x 720. But that's not what has me tempted to call my Canon guy at 8 in the morning - it's that the 5D has a microphone jack built into it. And that, as any video shooter knows, is the killer feature.

Every point and shoot camera, as well as the D90 has the ability to record ambient sound through a built in mic, but none (that I'm aware of) has the ability to choose the microphone and microphone placement that is optimal for the story you're working on. Bad audio is something viewers just will not tolerate - shaky video is okay if they can hear what's going on. 

With news shooters needing to do video and stills, this camera should allow them to do both with one kit. 

Of course, the price difference between the D90 (around $1,000) and the 5D Mark II (around $2,700) is substantial. But a high definition video camera is more than the difference between them in price. 

Update: Canon also revved their top of the line point and shoot, now called the G10. The big news is the lens goes wider (to a 35 mm/full frame equivalent of 28 mm), but they also crammed 14 megapixels onto a very small chip. I'd rather have the previous chip with this lens, but oh well ... 

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