The original teaser image for the Canon EOS 5D Mark II announcement.

Happy 7th Birthday Canon EOS 5D Mark II! Where Do We Go From Here?

by planetMitch1 Comment

Happy 7th Birthday Canon EOS 5D Mark II!

Today is the 7th anniversary of the announcement of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II – the camera that changed not only the world of photography, but massively changed the way filmmaking and video production is done around the world. 

Plus it changed my life profoundly.

Today and tomorrow, planet5D will celebrate the Canon EOS 5D Mark II's birthday by talking about where we've been and where we're going. Our writers and several guests will post about their thoughts.

I'll kick off the party:

planet5D was born in November 2008 officially, but started in my mind just a few days after Vincent Laforet’s “Reverie” hit the streets and blew everyone so totally that the world tilted a little on its axis… and I decided it was time to create a new planet.

The original teaser image for the Canon EOS 5D Mark II announcement.

The original teaser image for the Canon EOS 5D Mark II announcement.

I knew right away that I had a lot to learn. I also knew that if I was learning, then there were going to be hundreds of thousands of other people learning too – and I needed to find a way to help others by documenting what I learned.

I had no idea planet5D and planetMitch would become ‘household names’ (well at least in the small circle of our industry). Heck, at the beginning, I was a computer programmer and had been for 30 years. Little did I know what amazing changes were coming! I didn’t know that eventually people would stop me in the middle of a national park and say “hey, aren’t you planetMitch from planet5D? Thank you for what you do for all of us!”

The reach of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and subsequent cameras has indeed had a profound impact on me and my family. 7 years later planet5D is still empowering people all over the planet. You still write me and say thanks. You still reach out to me and inspire me in return.

planet5D has grown into an even larger family than just mine. It took me over 5 years, but I learned that I needed some help as planet5D grew. I hired a virtual assistant first to help with day to day stuff and she blows me away with her skills.

Then we started hiring writers. There have been a few along the way who have come and gone and right now we have 3 writing on a regular basis along with some guest posters now and then.

You’ve written many gloriously kind things and you’ve written to call me out on some others. I’m fallible just like you… I’m human.

There are some out there who will never read these words because I’ve done something that didn’t sit well with you. To you I apologize. But I’ve also learned from you and thank you for letting me know what I’ve done wrong. To those of you who didn’t make the time to write me and let me know what mistakes I’ve made, I’m still here listening if you’re willing to help me learn and grow.

I learned that I cannot please everyone and I’m now ok with that. It kept me up some nights, but I now know that it is ok.

I am blessed to be here with all of you growing and learning as we move past the 7th anniversary of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

Before I get into my prognostications, let me say:


The future – beyond the “DSLR video revolution”

First, let me say the revolution is not over tho some will tell you it is.

But maybe a better way to say it now is simply “the video revolution” and drop the DSLR… tho I do not in any way shape or form believe the DSLR for shooting video is dead. Many of those also say HD is dead and the only video is 4k (or even 8k)… but they’re right in some ways and wrong in others.

There are many tools to shoot video now – big boy video, DSLRs, mirrorless, point and shoots, smartphones and drones too. Tons of tools have evolved in the last 7 years.

And remember, planet5D covers them all!

Many of you may still think of planet5D as only “Canon DSLRs” – but we cover all forms of making video. Heck some people even say we only cover the 5D because that’s what is in the name. We’re a brand now that is beyond just one camera.

But back on task… the future.

Someday I’m going to write a rant – why is anyone on this planet earth saying there’s a massive difference between “mirrorless” and “DSLR”? When you shoot video on a DSLR, it bypasses the ‘mirror’ and goes thru to the sensor live. Same for “mirrorless.” They’re the same! But I’ll rant about that another day.

By the way, isn’t a smartphone really a ‘mirrorless’ camera? A Canon EOS C300 is mirrorless too.

What we should do is have a renaming of cameras. Why don’t we just go with ‘large’, ‘medium’, ‘small’, and ‘tiny’?

Ok, really, back to the future (hey, that would make a great movie title! ha!)

I don’t have a crystal ball to predict, but several things continue to be evident.

1) DSLRs won’t go away any time soon. And they’re more likely to evolve than to go away. But, they will become less of the ‘primary’ camera style going forward. Filmmakers have spoken – if they’re going to shoot video and not do a combination of both video and still photography, then they want a different form factor.

That’s ok. We get it. The DSLR was an enabler to much lower cost video production. It was a happy accident. And we’re all evolving.

But, there will continue to be a segment of the market that wants the small form factor (which is also coming thru ‘mirrorless’ cams as well) along with low pricing. That’s really the key – price.

I’m a perfect guy for a DSLR – I shoot videos for the site that are mainly me as a talking-head. I shoot videos to test gear and I shoot them of my family. I also now use my iPhone for that (but that’s another story). I also take photos and don’t care for the smartphone as my photo solution most of the time. I love the ability to choose lenses and have narrow depth-of-field in my images.

By the way, have a look at Hugh’s interview of Chuck Westfall from Canon [[LINK]] where he discusses the DSLR vs Mirrorless (about 9:00 in to the interview).

2) Filmmaking and video production will be done on ‘cinema cameras’ – they’ve come way down in price – which was precipitated by the “DSLR revolution”

We're moving back to dedicated video cameras again and that's ok. The only difference really is that now, the prices are way down from where they were.

Again, DSLRs (and I will lump mirrorless in there until we come up with a better name) will still have a place. Most ‘cinema' cameras will be above $5k (generally speaking) and most DSLRs will be between $500 and $5000.

Redefining the terms?
Actually, I love the term “stillMotion camera” (tho our friends at @stillmotion might take a claim on that) – we're really talking about cameras that take both stills and video (motion) as opposed to ‘dedicated' video cameras… so stillmotion works well for me.

3) Manufacturers will continue to keep you wanting for more by not giving you everything you want TODAY.

Some will move quickly to give you features you want, and others will move slowly to feel out the market and to let the ‘bleeding edge’ guys take much of the risk.

But they all want you to buy the next big thing – they need to continue to make money.

There will likely never be the “perfect” camera. You'll need to know how to shoot on many versus knowing and owning just one camera.

4) 4k will continue to grow and eventually will replace HD – but we’re still talking about a long time from now.

Filmmakers will take advantage of all of the benefits of 4k – and will continue to deliver the vast majority of their content in HD for 3-5 years.

I know many of you are either saying to yourselves “planetMitch is lost in the past” or “man, he’s not seeing what I see” or something similar… but look at it from the outside.

MOST consumers DO NOT CARE about 4k!

Content is more important than resolution!

And here’s a big key for me… mobile video consumption is going thru the roof. And if people are moving to video consumption on smartphones and tablets, they don’t care about 4k.

So I’ll say it again – consumers care more about WHAT they’re watching than what the RESOLUTION of their device is. And this will ALWAYS be true.


So, long story short, we celebrate the birthday of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II by moving forward.

There are many many great things to come and again, we thank you for being with us here at planet5D.

We pledge to continue to bring you fantastic ‘stillMotion' news and opinion and we always want to hear from you – click the ‘contact' link in the ‘about' menu.

And please have a look at our other Canon EOS 5D Mark II 7th Birthday posts:

(cover photo credit: snap from Canon's original Canon EOS 5D Mark II teaser ads)


  1. There is no doubt in my mind that DSLRs will be used a lot for video over the next 10 years at least.  Yes, on the one end people are using mobile phones to do video.  But they soon realize that a DSLR offers the next affordable step up in terms of flexibility and quality.  You can attach different lens and open up a whole realm of possibilities.  On the upper end filmmakers who use expensive video cameras such as the C500 realize that they don’t need all that overhead for deploying videos to the continually emerging Internet.  1080P, even 720P, at 6mbs works very nicely, thank you very much.  They can take a few lightweight DSLRs out into the field and get a very acceptable job done for that medium. It is also possible to create broadcast level video using external recorders.  So in my mind using DSLRs is that middle ground that delivers very nice and acceptable video for a very large audience.  That is a good place to be.

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