HDSLRs are indeed very common in all video production these days

by planetmitch2 Comments

Last night I couldn't sleep and ended up watching a very interesting report on NBC's “Rock Center with Brian Williams” about the assassination of Osama bin Laden. I congratulate those guys as every now and then they'll throw in a shot of their interview setup and you get to see lights and some of the behind the scenes setup. That's cool for those of us wanting to learn! Here's a couple of examples:

MSNBC Video - behind the scenes lighting of Mrs. Clinton

msnbc video: BTS lighting

“Rock Center with Brian Williams”

Well, in one of the scenes they showed a BTS of the President in the Situation Room and low and behold, there were several HDSLRs in there. And it was obvious that in this particular scene, the video closeup of the President that was shown was shot with the Canon HDSLR (unknown model – tho most likely the Canon EOS 5D Mark II)

From this NBC “Rock Center with Brian Williams” episode

On the left, you can see the angle of the Canon HDSLR being used

And if you watch the next scene, you can clearly see Brian William's head on the left and then the President on the right, clearly showing the video was indeed shot with the Canon HDSLR.

President Obama captured with a Canon HDSLR on NBC news

common usage

So, there's nothing outstanding here, no brilliant discoveries I've made, but it is just very interesting to see how far HDSLRs have come in the last 3+ years.

By the way, the President's photographer, Pete Souza (twitter) is using Canon EOS 5D Mark IIs for much of his work – tho in several emails we swapped a while ago, he confessed that he couldn't talk about a particular brand of camera in order to not be seen as endorsing something – that wouldn't be appropriate for the top photographer in the land.

What do you think? As common place as I think they are? Where have you seen them in use lately?

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


  1. I have been shooting real estate for about 7 years, both photos AND video. Have been using the Mark II and now Mark III for several years for everything, since it means I don’t have to switch out cameras as I’m doing stills AND video. (Fly the 5D on a Steadicam Merlin).

    It’s the perfect camera – great low light capabilities (interiors of houses can be VERY dark), plus it’s fast (I need to turn around 4-5 video shoots in 24 hours every day.)

    For me, it’s the perfect tool!

  2. Opps… Maybe I’ve stumbled into the chamber of EOS worshipers? Sorry. I’ll try to keep my opinions to myself… Except for one.

    VDSLR cameras probably have a commercial use for short clips where a pure video camera is too much to carry but…

    I liked the title work here. If you get time, I’d love to see more of this sort of work. Titles I mean. They’re a work of art on their own and really should be recognized for what they are… Art.

    A lot of good titles go un-noticed amongst the hype of introducing a new product. As for being the most impressive video? Sorry, I disagree there. Oh blast …that’s an Opinion, isn’t it?

    I don’t own any Canon products apart from a large format printer I make wallpaper with. I’m entirely Nikon/Phase1/Sony equipped studio in Cleveland Australia. Struggling with the transition from weddings to commercial stills and TV ads/presentations.

    I used to own Canon DSLRs but one fine day after being told repairs would take 2 weeks, I threw them all in a bag, got on a plane and haggled a price in a strange language to trade it all on my current gear. I can highly recommend NOT doing that, should anyone get the urge. There is no real difference between gear, just the people who use it.

    The only difference I can see between this clip and a similar scene shot with my D7000 is detail in the blacks. Something I found particularly hard to overcome with Nikon’s first viable VDSLR. If this video truly is “out of the camera” with that much shadow detail… I’m very, very impressed.

    Not impressed enough to buy one, having taken the time to develop my own tone curve for such scenes that suits the Nikon sensor. But somehow there’s that little bit of doubt in my mind here.

    So can someone enlighten me please? Did that camera produce those clips or were they edited in post to enhance the shadow detail?

    There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with doing that, I’m just a bit of a stickler for camera capability, not editor ability when offering examples of what equipment can do. Most of us can edit or learn to.

    I think its important when offering examples of a camera’s capability that it is the camera’s capability we see, not a result of skillful post shoot editing. Am I wrong in thinking like that? My last editor (Newspaper) told me if I so much as had Photoshop on my workstation, he’d fire me.

    Believing that news must not be misrepresented. I agree. Now if this “Best 5D Video yet” is news then the results should not reflect the skill of a post production editor but that of the camera itself.

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