About December, last year Canon released the 5DMII – a DSLR camera delivering 1080p video. The full-frame camera totally blew Nikon’s D90 out of the water and no doubt sent sirens screaming at digital cinema outfits like RED.
For here, for the first time, was a ‘video’ camera drawing on Canon’s vast armory of pro glass, meaning we could finally shoot homes on wide angle lenses.
When video first started making its presence felt on the real estate market, the work horse was Sony’s Z1P. Not a bad camera for its day but the lens was nowhere near wide enough. When it came to showing off a bedroom, the bed was about the only thing that filled the shot. While still images could be pulled from the video, the format was interlaced. Beyond lifestyle, the property video in those days was more of a pre-listing tool.
Then along came SONY’s EX1. Full 1080p, with miles of throttle. Slow motion and extremely slow shutter speeds introduced evening time lapses. The camera came with a slightly wider lens attachment; now we could almost see the legs of the bed. But still no bedroom.
The 5DII changed all that, with lenses that Canon call’s ‘Beyond Human Perspective’ – without bowing (distorting horizontal lines), allowing the property video to come into its own right – and delivering both photographs and HD video at the same time. It also presented a very steep learning curve for suppliers. All of a sudden, photographers had to learn the skills of film-making; story construction, motivated movement, editing, music scoring – and the work-flow behind a 30fps camera now being deployed in a 25fps PAL world.
And then there’s the storage and computing power needed to move these assets around. Re-touching a 26 megabyte RAW 1 photograph was relatively easy. Editing 16 gigs of HD content for your average property is far more demanding. Cinematographers, on the other hand, were probably in a much better position to take advantage of these converging skills. All they had to do was learn to press a button.
But make no mistake, the lines are being blurred between the Film and Photographic industries and cameras like the 5DMII have not only leveled the playing field.
They’ve changed the whole game.
Guest Author: Brett Clements from Platinum HD