The Canon 5D Mk II Has Made Itself a Home in Hollywood

Illustration for article titled The Canon 5D Mk II Has Made Itself a Home in Hollywood

The Canon 5D MkII has been called a "game-changer" since it debuted three years ago. Its cinema-quality video mode and affordable price-tag attracted countless indie filmmakers. Now Hollywood's calling its name and it's revolutionizing the action shot as we know it.


Captain America is the latest blockbuster film to admit to using the DSLR in its filming. Says a Canon press release:

Throughout the [filming of Captain America], the 5D Mark II was used to shoot motion sequences that were seamlessly integrated with the production's 35mm film footage.

In other words, if Canon hadn't told us, we'd be none the wiser.

This begs the question, what other movies have used (or are currently using) the Canon in lieu of traditional cameras? "Iron Man 2" did. But as superheroes, both Iron Man and Captain America are very much "geek" oriented so it would make sense for them to tell us this just to get our butts into the theater.

I would be more surprised if the 5D wasn't being used in most modern action movies considering its advantages. Its size makes it perfect for mounting just about anywhere (not just the head). According to Captain America director of photography, Jonathan Taylor, the 5D lets him record angles that you can't obtain with a larger 35mm camera. And it's more than just a gimmick,

The thing with action is that the more angles you can shoot, the faster the cuts you can use, and the more energy you get into a sequence.


Basically, if you're an action cinematographer who isn't using the 5D, you're not making your movie the best it can be.

And the 5D is just the beginning. As time goes on, expect to see more and more movies shot using DSLRs and new DSLR models dedicated to shooting video. Eventually "Big Budget Film Uses Only Full Frame Film Camera" will be the newsworthy headline, not the other way around. [Imaging Resource via Petapixel and Petapixel]


You can keep up with Michael Zhao, the author of this post, on Twitter.



Nothing to See Here!

Hey look! A Peli case!

Anyway, I'm confused. Did they shoot the whole thing on a DSLR? Or only parts of it?

Maybe use a DSLR for a director's viewfinder, but not to replace your ARRI Alexa no matter how small it is.