2 Reasons Your Church Should Buy a Canon 5D Mark II

If you make videos, watch videos, or have ever spent 5 minutes on Vimeo, you have probably heard about the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D.

They’ve been the subject of heated debates among camera fanatics and earned their place in history when Greg Yaitanes, executive producer of House, shot last season’s finale exclusively on the 5D.

They’ve been called “Game Changers”.

Why? Because prior to their release, the only way to get images that looked that dang good was to spend tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on a cinema rig.

For church media creatives, there are two reasons to consider these cameras for use:

1. Depth of Field


Like I said, in order to get the “cinematic” depth of field in your videos before, you had to use huge cinema camera rig. Now for roughly $1800 you can get a 7D and a lens that will get you the same look. For a church it’s almost a no-brainer as most can barely afford video equipment to begin with.

2. Low Light Performance


Let’s face it, unless you are some kind of gaffing-fool, lighting is the most frustrating, but important, part of making videos. The 5D and 7D have such huge sensors that they can often shoot great looking video using only available light. I can’t tell you how freeing it is not to carry around a case full of Arrilite 1000s.

There are certainly some draw-backs (12 minute clips and line-skipping etc.), but I can’t think of a reason why any church video crew wouldn’t run out and buy one. Or three.

Have you tried these cameras?

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Brian Notess

<3 Code, <3 Film, <3 Coffee. Combine ingredients for instant fun.

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    • says

      Nikon makes great cameras and honestly their low light performance is better than the Canons, but from what I’ve seen, the Nikon compression looks a little funky. Plus last I heard they only did 720p.

      I’d love to see Nikon come up with a serious competitor to these cameras.

      • says

        Agreed. I have the Nikon D90 and as much as I love it, the rolling shutter kills my ability to pan, and the lack of auto-focus means I’m locked to tripod, shooting stationary subjects.

        peace | dewde

    • says

      Except that the D3 doesn;t shoot full 1080, only 720 which is a real shame.

      If you had both that would be amazing – aren’t they coming out with a newer body that will allow 1080?

      • says

        Yeah mark, Nikon just came out with this camera

        http://www.nikon.com/about/news/2010/0819_d3100_01.htm

        I haven’t seen anything shot with it yet. I’ll post something if I find it.

        And it’s under $700! Full 1080p- Interchangeable Lenses- Shallow Depth of Field- Extreme Low Light Performance for under 700? IN-SANE!

        I can’t officially recommend this camera because I don’t know anything about it that’s not in the press release but it looks cool. Go Nikon!

  1. Dave Sandell says

    Wait, are you recommending one over the other? The title pointed to the more expensive 5D, but the two blurbs made it sound like the less expensive 7D was the one you were really recommending. We’re considering investing, but our budget can’t afford much excess. Can you help explain the difference? And do you have a link to the lens we’d want to get?

    Thanks for helping a photography newb.

    • says

      The 5D and 7D are two different cameras. I can’t recommend one over the other without knowing what specifically you want to use them for.

      I actually prefer the 7D as a video camera but that could be because I’m used to it. There are also a couple of other cheaper cameras (t2i and 60D).

      I recommend checking out philipbloom.co.uk for a detailed rundown of specific differences.

      • says

        60D is between the 5DmkII and the 7D.

        5DmkII has more functionality sound-wise but if you were to go for quality sound you’d go with a dual system, i.e. A separate sound recording device.

        7D is awesome too. My brother has been using them with great effect.

    • says

      As for lenses, it really also depends. I love old Nikon AIS manual focus lenses (with a canon adapter of course). You can pick them up on keh.com for pretty cheap.

      The glass looks amazing and it’s way cheaper than its modern equivalent in Zeiss or Canon.

  2. D. Koundakjian says

    I have Canon T2i and love it. It isn’t as big and buff as the 7d and 5d, but it is much more budget friendly and takes awesome video (and pictures).

  3. Rob Nutting says

    We’ve recently purchased a Canon T2i with the 1.4 50mm lens. Game changer. Especially paired with a wireless lapel mic. under $2000 grand and you can make interviews that are on par with just about anything.

  4. Jason Cole says

    We have both a 5D and a 7D along with several lenses that we use for all video shoots now. We sold our Panasonic HD Camcorders. We also bought a couple of the T2i cameras to send out with our missions teams to shot video on trips. While not at the same level as the 5D, they are still very good for field shots and if they get lost or broken its not as much of a loss.

    A good friend of mine just finished a music video done on 5D and 7D in NY. Its shocking how good they can look. If you are interested…

  5. Chris Martin says

    We have a 7d, and love it. I typically take it along with our Panasonic HVX on a shoot. I run the audio through the HVX and sync it up in post that way I have 2 angles to choose from.

    We also have a little do-hiccky that will put the 7d on a timer for time lapse.

    I set it on the roof during our 2 day easter outreach and caught the whole thing from beginning to end.

    http://www.vimeo.com/10746677

  6. says

    Love our 7D. NorthRidge just purchased 4 7D’s… 2 for our Creative Arts dept. 1 for our design team and one for Student Ministries. As the Creative director of student ministries it was a no brainer to follow suit. We purchased a 7D, ZOOM h4D for audio capture, monopod, and a few other cool things. It’s incredible what we’ve been able to create and with great ease.
    The MAIN REASON we went this route: The best way to communicate to people is through “story”. When it comes to students especially. So our goal is to do so with excellence.

    If anyone has any questions feel free to contact me, I’m always up for helping out and would love to share with you how this rig has benefited our ministry and effectiveness.

    PS- the 7D is much cheaper and “almost” the same… just sayin.

    • says

      Right you are. The 7D is $1000 cheaper. And from my perspective, easier to use as a “video” camera.

      However as I mentioned to one commenter earlier- they are really two different cameras- that is to say- you can achieve a different “look” from either of them for whatever you are shooting.

      The 5D’s full frame sensor gives you the actual focal length of your glass, and can also give you a crazy shallow depth of field. Actually shallower than 35mm film.

      Again- different cameras.

  7. Brian N says

    I was on the verge of buying a T2i, but am holding out for the Nikon D90 replacement. Crossing my fingers for good autofocus and at decent recording length. I wish they’d release it already; I have projects I could use it for.

    Can anyone recommend a decent dimmable LED video light for a DSLR? I’m considering the Litepanels Micropro Hybrid, but the cheapskate in me is holding back.

  8. says

    Today is my last day as a Director/Editor for a small production company. Next week i go to work for Tearfund – a UK based international charity.

    My Job? – Digital Communications developer.

    What I’m gonna do first? – Try and persuade them to let us get a DSLR!

    They are awesome beyond belief and i really really want one for myself!

    Game changer indeed; Awesome_Level_Upgrader more likely!

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