My 5DMKII Video Set-up

Feb 23 2010

5dMKII video set up

A lot of people are asking me what I am using to record my most recent videos covering the Olympics, so I thought I’d share my set-up with you.

It’s nothing super fancy, except for the 5DMKII :) For lenses I’ve been primarily using the 35mm because it’s the widest lens I’ve got. Plus, my 50mm f/1.4 had a small accident and is currently in the Canon’s hospital for sick camera lenses. I rented the 16-35mm f/2.8 this weekend and absolutely fell in love with it shooting the crowd scenes in the Ignite your Dream video.

I’ve experimented with longer lenses, my 85mm f/1.8 used in the stadium during the victory ceremony video and the 70-200mm IS f/2.8, but found it impossible to keep steady while shooting hand-held and possibly clapping or screaming which seems to be a requirement during the games. Also, tripods and huge swarms of people don’t seem to mix well. I tried it once during the games and nearly punctured someone’s liver.

I’m using the RØDE VideoMic (Directional Video Condenser Microphone) for sound which has worked out alright. It’s obviously not ideal to shoot in noisy crowds like this video I shot in a crowd of enthusiastic hockey fans. But it’s a great, low priced mic that I’ve used in many video projects. You can tell the difference in using the VidMic compared to the on-camera mic at the end of this video.

For extra lighting in night scenes or in door shooting, I’m using a Litepanels Micro LED light. This small LED light panel runs on 4 AA batteries and has an integrated dimmer dial that allows you to control your lighting output. You can also put coloured gels in the flip-down filter holder to correct any white balancing issues.
The mic and the litepanel are connected to my camera’s hotshoe using the Cool-Lux MD300 light and sound bracket.

This is my first time shooting with the 5DMKII and it has absolutely blown my mind how crisp and vibrant the footage looks even at ISO6400. Well, that is when it’s in focus! It is definitely a challenge to grab focus in night time shoots, but I’m slowly getting the hang of it.

Any questions or comments?

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25 Responses to “My 5DMKII Video Set-up”

  1. Do you use the Magic Lantern firmware for the videos?

  2. Thanks for sharing your setup. I’m looking to get into shooting video with an HDDSLR, so this is really valuable. :)

  3. I was having trouble seeing the viewfinder properly outdoors, so I built this loupe out of a plastic cup, an eyecup from my DVX100 video camera, some black paper, and a magnifying screen from an old Game Boy accessory:

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=10188141&id=658170267

    Looks kinda stupid, but works! Also, when going tripod-less, what I’ve done is I’ve taken the dual pan-handle head off my tripod and use it as a shoulder brace. Works perfectly, but depends on what kind of tripod you have.

  4. Did you have someone to hold the camera for you, or did you pre-focus and shoot from there? And do you happen to know what settings you shot at (aperture/shutter mostly).

    All mostly out of curiosity. I don’t really do any video, but seems fun. But I’d be getting a 7D likely, the 5D is just too much, and my family of glass is 70% APS-C, heh.

  5. I’m curious about what the rig is you’ve got attached to the hot shoe and that is holding the mic and light. It looks perfect for this sort of set up.

  6. Thanks for sharing the set-up. Seeing what can be done without the need for a crate load of equipment is inspirational. With the amazing tools available these days it is such a great time to be photographer.

  7. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by photoaddicts: My 5DMKII Video Set-up: Lisa Bettany’s 5DMKII Video Set-up http://bit.ly/cjIHde

  8. @charles: nope. this is straight out of the camera & into FCP.

    @Jordan: great idea. the view finder is does not give a great representation of the footage, so that looks useful.

    @Linh: Usually someone is holding the camera when i am talking. I’ll sometimes do it myself with a tripod, but not in drunken crowds! way to sketchy. the night stuff was shot at ISO3200 or 6400, 1/10 at f/3.5 or wider.

  9. @Garrett: I’m not exactly sure what it’s called. I’ve googled y-bracket hot shoe and other combos, but i can’t find the exact piece of gear i have. i’ll call the store tomorrow!

  10. @Mostly Lisa: I am surprised the Automatic Gain Control didn’t go all over the place with people screaming and stuff going on in the background! That’s why I asked if you used the Magic Lantern firmware to disable AGC.

  11. Thanks for this information Lisa. I’ve been wondering about which way to go in terms of a mic for my 5D Mk II, so this little start is great. :-)

  12. shocked that you’re not using any sort of shoulder mount; I would’ve expected more jitter from holding the camera & awkward balance those 2 add-ons give.

  13. @Lisa, I’m heading to Costa Rica at the end of next week and I just got (Impulse Buy) the mic & light panel that you have here but I’m holding on th Y Bracket cause I googled it and can’t find a suitable one either so I look forward to you posting more info on that piece.
    Hope to hear from you soon…
    Thanks.

  14. @clarke thomas: no shoulder mount. it’s a heavy beast to tote around and it feels really unstable, but i didn’t have time to get a proper mount.

    @Tino: I found it!! It’s called the Cool-lux MD3000 light and sound bracket.

  15. That’s awesome… I got it all ordered and should have it in hand by Friday with a week to try around and test so I can be ready like a pro by the end of next week…
    Sweet info Lisa… Thanks a Million!!!

  16. If u want to know everything about shooting video with urs 5d mark II, I introduce you to GOD: http://philipbloom.co.uk/

  17. [...] outta 3 February 24, 2010 jrmagg Leave a comment Go to comments Mostly Lisa shared her 5D2 setup for Vancouver. I just need the LitePanels. OK, and the cool [...]

  18. Just to share that I just bought a 550d…

    half way to be like you – photographically speaking ;) – now I just need to start shooting :D

    and btw, thank you for the post insights!

  19. Thank you for all the information you share with us.
    For your camera this might be of interest, a new firmware is on the way, especially interesting new video features…

    http://www.canonrumors.com/2010/02/5d-mark-ii-firmware-release/

  20. Lisa, will U & Gaston do a ‘free skate’ after awards ceremony vid, luv to see that :p? xoxo.

    Save ur $. > or track down Ron Martinsen there, b4 the games end, and get him to let you try the new ‘must have’ Canon lens > 70-200 IS USM mkII.

    http://ronmart.blogspot.com/2010/02/first-look-canon-70-200mm-f28l-is-usm.html

    Doing video looks tricky, take a look @RM’s orig. photos from this group, so many are overly shallow DOF(F2.8), not so sharp on some…ISO4000 shot of Tessa & Scott looks grainy & AF on the 1D Mk IV focused on the mic screens, not their faces.

    http://ronmart.smugmug.com/Blog/Olympics/Day2/11274529_SXnBD#795203971_PyhH5-A-LB

  21. I was just at PMA in Anaheim, CA and a guy was walking around with this setup. I like it because it’s a nice little way to shoot video. Recently on TWIP they were saying how video is now becoming necessary in the future of digital cameras. They won’t even be sold without video. I am not very interested in shooting video with a DSLR and feel that asking a camera to do too much will hurt the quality of what it does. Especially if we continue to get better photography equipment. Either way I will use Sony VX 2100 for video and my NIKON for photography.

  22. [...] not the only one getting slowly sucked into the world of story telling though DSLR video, both Lisa Bettany and Cameron Moll are both bulking up on Canon kit and producing some great content. Not forgetting [...]

  23. Hello just came across your site and been reading some of your posts and just wondering why you selected a WordPress site dont you find it impossible to do anything with? Been thinking about starting one.

  24. Hi Lisa,

    Great set up. I am experimenting with the Glidecam and the 5D and think its a great combo. Here is my test footage. http://www.vimeo.com/10785108

    Take care,

  25. [...] shot the video with the same set-up I used at the Olympics, my 5DMKII, the RØDE VideoMic, a Litepanels Micro LED light. The neck strap I’m using is [...]

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