Thank you for adding a 1080p video mode to the Canon 5D MKII. This unique video device has three key things going for it.
1) Full Frame Sensor at a very competitive price
2) Wide Variety of quality interchangeable lenses
3) Provides a Convergence Device where none existed before on a pro-oriented camera. Determine more clearly who is the target customer?
The video mode seems to be coming up short in many ways. I believe Job 1 is to decide who you truly view as the primary market for this video product.
As a still camera the Canon 5D MKII is aimed squarely at the intersection between the consumer DSLR market and the Pro DSLR market, the so called Prosumer. The still capabilities of this camera provide significant value to both markets. Thanks for a wonderful job on the still part of this camera.
However, the video mode, as currently configured, serves neither the consumer market, nor the pro market very well. Suggested Basic Changes
As a long time Canon DSLR Customer (since the D30 3 Megapixel days), and as a former pro event videographer, I would suggest the following changes be made. These are in no particular order of importance, and may only be applicable to one market segment or the other.
1) Provide a fast short range zoom with IS (image stabilization). Due to the still camera form factor of the body, hand holding is very difficult. A perfect lens for this would be the 24-70 f/2.8 L IS.
2) Update at least three of your fast prime lenses with IS, as well. A wide angle (e.g., 24 f/1.4 or other), a portrait length (e.g., 85 f/1.8 or f/1.2) and a longer lens (e.g., 135 f/2).
3) Include an insulated stereo microphone on the body. The current mono microphone picks up very clearly the noise of the Autofocus and IS motors.
4) Improve the LCD screen for video use without compromising its use for still photography. One idea is to simply provide a swivel type screen similar to what Sony has done with their A350 DSLR.
5) Include an AV priority mode. My personal major concern. The main drawing card of the video mode of this camera over other video cameras is the ability to isolate the subject. As currently configured there is no control over aperture settings.
6) Revisit the algorithm driving the automatic choice of shutter, Aperture, and ISO selection. It appears that ISO settings are floating to 1600 and 3200 when there is lots of available light. If this isn't possible, please consider providing a simple feature for locking out high ISO settings in the video mode.
7) Improve the Auto Focus mode. It is currently very slow and often inaccurate. I recognize that this will probably be a difficult task, and is not absolutely necessary for pro shooters. However, if consumer use is decided to be of paramount importance, this would be Job 1.
8) Finally, please work with Apple, Adobe, Sony, Avid and others to ensure all the necessary playback and editing software works well with the video files from the Canon 5D MKII, on both the Mac and the PC platforms.
Here are links to two published articles for your further reference:
Michael Reichmann's Preview
of the Canon 5D MKII Video
Original Canon 5D MKII Review Article
on Pro Photo Home
Drew Strickland www.prophotohome.com
Please feel free to discuss this letter
, or add your own thoughts for Canon, or me.