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Marcia Gay Harden


Celebrity shoot with 2 Canon 5D MKII cameras.

The images above were from a celebrity shoot I did earlier this year as a part of Bloomingdale's October Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It was the second time I'd used the Canon 5D MKII and the results were excellent. It wouldn't be my first camera of choice tho, in general at least, and would rely largely on what I was shooting. The audio problems are solvable with a decent sound guy and I don't mind syncing things up in post like the old days but I do find shooting on a compressed format (H.264) annoying when it comes to grading the image in post. The color information is just not there and you feel like you are dealing with some 8bit image. When I first started using the camera I was transcoding it, as one must, to an editable format like prores422 but have since started using the prores422 (HQ) setting to ensure I take as much color information into the grade. There's no doubt that you'll pay for anything incorrectly exposed with this camera and it simply doesn't carry the same latitude to afford a "fix in post" mentality.

Having said all that, the big chip and a long lens produces a beautiful and very shallow depth of field that is wonderfully cinematic and makes going back to an EX3 or the like - without any film adapter - quite disappointing.

For this shoot I needed a two camera set up so that I could walk away with two angles out of each interview. As is often the case when filming celebrities we were not given long with each person so a big plus of the Canon 5D MKII is it's cost point, making a two camera shoot easily affordable.

I wouldn't want to shoot a "run 'n gun" styled documentary with one of these but in the right circumstance it's an amazing tool to have at your disposal. Did I mention it also takes great stills!

Please note: All photos above were taken by the wonderful Tim Greeson. (

The following photos show how the interviews were used in the Bloomingdale's stores. These were taken at the flagship store in Manhattan.