Fergle Gibson

Director of Photography


Canon 5D Mark II Test Footage and Review

The following video is test footage shot on the Canon 5D Mark II, using a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM lens, from the back of a 1999 Volvo V40 Estate.


The “wobbling” effect you see in a few parts of this video is due to the infamous rolling shutter issues of the 5D’s sensor. In this case, the “jello-vision” was as a result of vibrations caused by low engine revolutions when we were either stationary or moving slowly. Using a tripod with its rather long legs jammed into various parts of the car’s bare metal interior, as opposed to a proper car mount, didn’t help the situation, either!

So, in short, if you’re ever going to shoot a shot like this with the 5D Mark II (or the 7D), either get a car mount, and use a better, less rickety car… Or just run backwards with a camera stablization device, such as a Steadicam.

*Remember: So long as you know your camera’s weaknesses, all you have to do is work around them!*

Because I didn’t have a follow focus on this rig, and didn’t want to “follow” focus using my hand on the focal ring of the lens, I used a piece of string, tied to Mr. Geezahrelli’s belt, to give him an idea of my focusing distance, so that he’d never be too far away, and knew when he was getting too close. The other end of the string was looped (not tied) around the trunk catch, and temporarily secured under my boot, so in the unlikely event that he DID fall over, the string would quickly come loose, and he wouldn’t be dragged along down the road… on his face.


This video was edited by proxy in Vegas Pro 9.0, as I wanted the final rendered video to preserve as much of the look of the original H.264 files as possible. However, this exercise ended up being a total waste of time, and the project eventually had to be rendered to XDCAM EX @ 29.970 FPS, as this was the only codec Vegas Pro didn’t have a problem rendering in. Unfortunately, this caused unwanted motion-blur artifacts, which were due to having to interpolate the 30.000000 FPS frame-rate of the source files to the nearest available frame-rate, which was was the NTSC standard, 29.970 FPS.

Normally, I would render a project uncompressed, then import it into Quicktime Pro and re-compress the footage to a sensible size, but because Quicktime Pro would not open the rendered XDCAM EX file and allow me to compress the file to a size suitable for internet distribution, it then had to be RE-imported into Vegas, and exported as an uncompressed .MOV (a format Vegas would not render the original H.264 files to) before it was able to be opened in Quicktime Pro and re-compressed.

This long and VERY tedious process could be solved by purchasing a transcoding program, such as Cineform NeoHD and rendering directly to that codec from within Vegas. For me, however, I will be migrating to Final Cut Pro, as I feel Vegas Pro still has a long way to go until it can be used reliably for professional work. This is a shame, because apart from its few shortcomings, it is a FANTASTIC, intuitive NLE that I have enjoyed working with for many years.

In closing, if editing H.264 footage in Vegas Pro on Windows, either edit by proxy and render to Cineform HD, or transcode your footage using Cineform NeoHD beforehand and RE-render in Cineform HD from within Vegas Pro. BUT, if you’ve had enough of all that bollocks and want to do everything in a more simple, less stressful way, do what you probably should have done a long time ago, and work in Final Cut Pro… You know it makes sense.

Fergle Gibson,
Writer, Director & Cinematographer.

P.S. I will be uploading a better quality version of this video when I have the time to re-cut it in Final Cut Pro.

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