“Copelandia” – a Canon EOS 5D Mark III ‘test’ video with a story

by planetmitch15 Comments

There aren't many Canon EOS 5D Mark III shorts out yet, and most of what you've seen so far are ‘test' videos – well, “Copelandia” is another (at least that's what the guys who made it called it), but yet it is a complete story – and it was completed in only 8 days!


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Production Diary episode #1 [tentblogger-youtube 0xm_Ne0mkUw]

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From Luke:

Copelandia is a short film that was conceived, written, shot, edited, scored, and uploaded in 8 days.

I liked the idea of taking a new camera, like the 5D Mark III, and testing it out on a short film. When new cameras first hit the market, YouTube and Vimeo are flooded with test videos that don't have much substance to them. They are very useful, but after you have seen one, you have seen them all.

Some of the decisions I made on this short were directly influenced by some of those early test videos. I tried to combat the “softness” of the camera by only using my sharpest lenses (Nikkor Ai-s 50mm f 1.2 and 28mm f 2.8) at their ideal apertures (f5.6 and f8 respectively).

I also wanted to show what the camera could do in a short film without being graded, so I made the decision to shoot in Neutral with Sharpness turned up one notch. The only thing I did in post production was Contrast match and add a fine layer of 35mm Film Grain for texture.

My overall goal with this short was to make the viewer forget they were watching a “test video” for a new camera. I wanted the look of it to take a back seat to the story. While a lot of time was spent on the look, I feel like I was able to accomplish that on some level.

Turns out the 5D Mark III CAN produce a decent looking short film. Go figure. Would this have looked any better on a RED or even the BlackMagic Design camera? Maybe a little, but you probably wouldn't have been paying attention to that anyways. This short film, like most, is about the story.

Our thanks to Luke Neumann for sending us this!

What did you think? Like the story? Did the Canon EOS 5D Mark III do ok?

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


  1. Nice story! Awesom test. I would like to see the short graded as well!

  2. I love this short! I showed it to all my friends. The cinematography is great, and the 5d Mark III looks like it can get some amazing images. I actually like that the video is not graded, it shows what comes directly out of the Mark III and it looks cool.

  3. Copelandia was awesome! I think it really showcases the power of the new 5D.

    I got the 5D Mark III the day it came out, and we shot a short film and edited it and turned it in to our local film festival on April 18th. It’s based on a 30-year old published short story which we had permission from the author to make. Unfortunately, as much as I would like to post it online and share it with the world, we’re going to try to get it into a series of film festivals, so for now it’s still private. If you want to see screen grabs and find out more about it you can go to Lipidleggin.com for updates and links to a photo gallery about it.

  4. Very well done! Although, personally, I’m not thrilled with the 5d MarkIII image. Mind you, I’m not being negative, it’s just my opinion.

  5. Great short, fun story! The image quality looks excellent, even compressed for Vimeo. For the vast majority of filmmaking needs, audiences simply don’t need better quality than that. Let’s not get carried away with 4K just yet.

  6. Nope, not a Nikon user. I’ve owned several Canon DSLR’s but not this one. I don’t know, the CU’s look fine, but the medium shots have tons of artifacting in them. It just doesn’t look right to me. Maybe it’s just me, but I have seen a lot of footage via the internet from this camera, none of which thrills me. I have to admit, I think the D800 has a much more appealing image. Now, before all you 5DMarkIII owners ignite your flame throwers in defense of your camera, remember, it’s just one persons viewpoint, nothing more, nothing less.

    1. Hi Steve,
      I really want to hear more about the D800 vs. the 5D3. Like I mentioned above, I own the 5D3 and never had the 5D2 to compare with, but I did have a 60D and liked it a lot. I got the 5D3 for the full frame image quality. I know the D800 has a lot more pixels in the same space, but I also heard it has the same moire’ issues that affected the 5D2, and that’s the main thing that concerned me about choosing it over the 5D3. For me, it’s a relief to know that I never have to worry about moire’, and if I have to add a little sharpening in post, that’s fine. Better to be able to add sharpening than not be able to take away moire’ So my question is, what is it about the D800 that is more appealing? is it the sharpness, or the lack of artifacting? Also, when you comment on the artifacting in the medium shots, is that based on the compressed web image or seeing the original (don’t know if Luke made the original available or not)? For me, image quality is the primary concern, and I’m not so far gone in Canon glass that I wouldn’t sell off my paltry lens collection and invest in some decent manual Nikon stuff. I really want to hear pros and cons of both cameras, if that’s ok. Not taking offense at the idea that the 5D3 isn’t perfect; I already know it’s not, and that the more expensive Canons have already got it beat, but it’s what I could afford.

  7. Hey John,

    Personally, I owned two 5dm2,s and never had a moire issue. Why? Because I used its tremendous depth of field capability to make that invisible. Sure, if your interview subject shows up in a patterned shirt, you’re screwed, but all those issues are easily avoided. Just comparing the two M2 & M3 cameras, in my opinion the M2 has a sharper image. I know for a fact the filter within that 5dm3 makes that camera nearsighted.

    What’s more appealing about the D800 image is, yes, it’s sharpness and it’s overall look. We’re not comparing apples to oranges here, but to me, the sharpness is apparent and the saturation appeals to me more. Take a look at “Joy Ride” even coming from the web, this just looks really good. Is the 5dm3 capable of producing the same, I haven’t seen it.

    When it comes to glass that’s a tough call. It really depends upon what you’re going to primarily use your camera for, still photography or video. If you’re going to use your 5dm3 primarily for video use, I would buy Zeiss ZF mount lenses and adapt that to the Canon. Why? Because you’re not tied to the internal electronics controlling that lens, you can then use that lens on many different bodies and have full aperture control. Obviously, this scenario would not work for a still photographer.

    That’s why this new Black Magic Design cinema camera is very exciting. It’s a paradigm shift away from the DSLR, targeted specifically to the video shooter. Most have been waiting for a camera that shoots only video and has the sensor size of a DSLR, and now we have it, and it’s only going to get better!

  8. Pingback: eos-cinema.com - “Copelandia” – a Canon EOS 5D Mark III ‘test’ video with a story | planet5D – HDSLR community

  9. I just went to the Philip Bloom blog and his test for the Canon Mark 5D Mark lll did not show any morie or artifacting. He recommends shooting with no sharpening in camera and to sharpen in post. The footage came out amazing. Rolling shutter was still a problem though. I like seeing what comes right out of the camera. I own the ll and the lll. I use it mostly for stills. The lll is a much better camera in my tests when shooting stills. The AF focus is much much better. There are some issues I would have liked changed. 36 mp would had been nice and so would a rotating LCD screen.

    1. Rolling shutter is only a problem if you are either panning too fast or traveling in a moving vehicle shooting out the side or on a really bumpy road; those are not the usual shooting conditions. You can always rent a CCD-based video camera for those kinds of shots if you need one. I agree about the flip-out screen, but apparently they said it would interfere with weather sealing. Love the fast autofocus. It’s so fast I use it when shooting video when I’m re-framing and re-focusing on shots sometimes. The only reason they changed the number of megapixels was to make the total number evenly divisible by 1080 to help reduce moire and artifacts. I think they did a stellar job. I don’t care if it’s a little soft; so is film, and it’s easy to add sharpening to taste in post. If you get the new “Dark Energy” plugin for After Effects from Cinnafilm, you’ll be able to make your footage look like the amazing “Act of Valor,” completing the “film look.” Don’t listen to pixel peepers. The 5D3 is fantastic!

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