Bicycling with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II – a video by me

by planetmitch5 Comments

Self indulgence time here at the old iMac. I've been toying with the idea of making movies of cycling – with the intent to be able to maybe use them for exercise videos. So, a few days ago, I hooked up with some friends and we went to a park that we've not been to and tried out their 4 miles of biking/walking/jogging paths.

This video was shot with the 5D mk ii handheld near my chest. The lens is the 24-105L with the stabilizer turned on. I also had just gotten the Rode Stereo external mic, so I didn't have to worry about the sound of the stabilizing motor. And with the ‘dead cat' windscreen, I didn't worry about the noise of the breeze as we were cycling either. The audio is pretty quiet on the video, but you can hear birds and people talking and in the last clip a little snippy dog.

Have a tip, a video, or a Canon 5D2 product to announce? Give us a shout
Hand holding the 5D2 obviously isn't going to be a good situation for making long single takes – I'd like to go about 10 minutes per clip or more (up to the 12 minute limit or so) so as to make a video that is pretty suitable for exercise.

I imported the video to iMovie 09 (and tho I had a couple of expected crashes (known issue with iMovie and full size 5D mk ii video)) and used the image stabilization feature of iMovie to smooth out the video just a touch. In each clip, I dialed the stabilization down about 25% from their full setting. On full, it often looks a bit full of the jelly that you see sometimes in video… so I toned it down just a tad.

So, here it is: (You can watch the full size (720p) over on smugmug)

I had asked on twitter the other day about tools to mount the 5D mk ii to the bike and got some really good tips…

@kaypros said: look at the levelcam or levelpod they are great little stabilizers and not too expensive

@DarrinAltman said: with 5DMII just shoot video and in FCP use the video effect to remove camera shake. The footage is high quality u will be fine.

quintanomedia said: take a look at this mitch more specifically this

does anyone else have any ideas for me?

(Photo credit: snap from the video)


  1. To hold the camera on the bike you should use a Manfroto Magic arm. I think I made a post about it on my site. It is a real must have item! I use it as a small tripod, flash stand, camera stand, etc… Most useful item ever!

  2. Use a super clamp on the Handle bars and you can attatch the camera to a stud. You could even rig a super clamp to attach to a tripodhead without much trouble for a little more stable platform and less stress on the mount in the camera.

  3. I guess I should gave checked chases link before I posted, oh well great minds …

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