A still from the short film "One Man's Life," by Tim Sessler

More than any camera in my memory, the Canon 5D MKII changed the landscape of both digital photography and videography.

The 21-megapixel, full-frame sensor put extreme high-resolution digital photographer into the hands of both seasoned professionals and aspiring photographers.  The $2500 price tag was not out-of-reach for many, unlike the previous high-resolution champ — the $7,000 Canon EOS 1Ds MKIII.

But it was the video capability of the camera that opened the door for a new generation of independent filmmakers.  When former New York Times photojournalist Vincent Laforet used a prototype 5D MKII to create the short film “Reverie,” (below) even video professionals looked at DSLRs in a new light.

As someone who shoots video with a variety of cameras, I was intrigued and talked Amy into giving me a 5D for Christmas three years ago.  I immediately fell in love with the photo quality and the video capabilities and shot this short video with it right after receiving it:

The 5D became my “go to” camera for both video and still. It remains the workhorse for still and video work even though I use other cameras for projects, depending on the need and demands of a project.

However, the 5D and one lens was all I needed to shoot this video compilation of FloydFest 9 for The Floyd Press:

But my modest efforts are nothing compared to what is emerging from the eyes, cameras and editing consoles of a ever-growing group of younger filmmakers.  When I speak to media classes at high schools and colleges I’m amazed at the incredible ability I see from these students and every day I come across outstanding work from young, independent filmmakers.

Like this one, “One Man’s Life,” about a man facing terminal cancer, from Tim Sessler of Washington, DC:

What’s the future? Consider this. Drake Doremus and John Guleserian, two young filmmakers in Los Angeles, set out to make an independent film using the Canon 7D, another DSLR that shoot high resolution video on a smaller chip than the 5D and with a base cost (for the camera body) of just $1500.  They took their film, Like Crazy, to Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festitval this year, where it took the jury prize for Best Dramatic Film and also landed a distribution deal with Paramount Pictures.

There’s so much talent out there. And it gets better every day.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. The technology has gone way beyond what I was using in college when I majored in filmmaking. That was my second major. The first was political science. I had planned to be a documentary filmmaker, of course! Did you ever film with 16 mm film? That’s as far as I got.

    I ended up majoring in biology & now work in medical research — quite different from my original plan, but definitely “one” of my callings.

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