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Short film shot with Canon 5D Mark II


New York-based photographer Vincent Laforet got his hands on a pre-release version of the new Canon 5D Mark II DSLR that includes an option to record HD video.

He wasn’t initially supposed to be one of the select few photographers who got to test it out before the camera was officially announced but he managed to talk his way into having it for the weekend. The catch? He had to produce a video and series of stills “completely independent of Canon”, so no budget at all, and Canon would have the rights to use any of it if they liked it.

Deal and he got the camera for the weekend.

The video that resulted from his testing is stunning. It’s hard to believe that it was shot entirely on a DSLR but it was–the Canon 5D Mark II and a few lenses.

Laforet calls it a potential “gaming changer” and breaks it down into list of reasons:

1. The 5D MKII camera produces the best stills in low light that I’ve ever seen – what you can see with you eye in the worst light (such as sodium-vapor street lights at 3 a.m. in Brooklyn) – this camera can capture it with ease.

2. It produces the best video in low light that I’ve ever seen – at 1080p. A top commercial film editor who who regularly edits RED camera footage – and has seen the raw footage from the 5D MKII – says the 5D MKII is “far superior to the RED camera” in terms of low light performance…

3. You can use your prime and zoom lenses from your Canon still cameras with it – and shoot wide open… so you can shoot films with fisheye lenses, 50mm 1.2 as well as the 200mm f2 or 400mm 2.8 that you may already own…

4. This camera is so easy to use – that you can work incredibly quickly, mostly handheld – without a huge production – and using natural light – ergo you don’t need a huge budget and tons of preparation anymore… forget the lighting trucks and generators that take up entire city blocks…

5. This camera will sell for approx. $2,700 – and perform better than many $100K plus video cameras out there…

6. Photojournalists in particular – will be able to take full advantage of this camera’s strengths – because they are used to walking into any room, and finding the best natural “available light” in the room – or knowing how to add a single light source to make it pop… they are used to working quickly and with small or no budgets… which is something this camera is begging you to do…

It has the potential to change our industry.

Without further ado, check out the video for yourself here and see what you think.

To read more of Laforet’s story of testing out the 5D Mark II, check it out here in his blog.


Microsoft airs new ‘I’m a PC’ ads


As mentioned earlier, Microsoft is changing gears a bit with their TV ads that use Apple’s ads as a staring-off point and introducing their own “I’m a PC” themed ads.

When I first heard about the new direction I had mixed feelings. I hated the previous two ads with Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates so the fact that something different was coming sounded like a good idea, but when the New York Times reported that the new ads would open with a John Hodgman-like Microsoft engineer saying “Hello, I’m a PC, and I’ve been made into a stereotype” my expectations fell.

Last night I happened to catch the first of the new ads on TV the Times was right–it did open with that line–but then went in the direction of showing people from all walks of life (teachers, doctors, engineers, actors, astronauts, etc.) telling briefly what they do with their PC’s to remind people that Windows isn’t just for spreadsheets and viruses.

I would rate the ads as better than expected. I like the new direction much more than that of the Seinfeld and Gates ads. The new ones are actually enjoyable and about something (imagine that). Good ads for a little perspective.

Check the main aid and a couple shorter versions of it below if you’re interested:

[Via Electronista]

Microsoft ending Seinfeld ads, embracing ‘I’m a PC’


After a generally very poor reception to their “teaser” ads featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates, Microsoft has announced that they are ending that line of ads and will be taking things in a different direction.

In a bit of a surprising move, the new ads will embrace the series of ads begun by Apple, at least partly. The next ad will feature a Microsoft engineer playing the role of a ‘PC’ (the role comedian John Hodgman plays in Apple’s campaign) and will reportedly begin with the line “hello, I’m a PC, and I’ve been made into a stereotype”.

I wonder if it will also feature sad music and crying in an effort to get us to feel sorry for poor PC?

A Microsoft brand marketing manager told the New York Times that Apple has been “using a lot of their money to de-position our brand and tell people what we stand for” and that they want to take back that narrative.

Well, good luck with that. I’m looking forward to seeing the new ads, but honestly I’m not expecting very much.

Note to Microsoft: Want to win people over? Make Windows 7 kick ass and not require brand new hardware to be able to use all of it’s features.

[Via Computerworld]

Second Gates and Seinfeld ad airs…eh…

The second installment of Microsoft’s new “edgy” ad campaign has aired.  Miss it? You can check out the long version of it below.

What do I think? While I do feel that it’s better than the first one, I just don’t like it–crappy ad about nothing. I just don’t find it funny.

Two ads into their campaign and I don’t feel any better about Microsoft or Windows than I did before I saw the ads.

Is that how I’m supposed to feel?

[Via Engadget]

Gates, Seinfeld to appear in mew Microsoft ads


As part of a new advertising strategy, Microsoft has enlisted Bill Gates and comedian Jerry Seinfeld to appear in a new commercial as part of their $300 million campaign to change their image.

The first commercial will likely air beginning on September 4th and push the “Windows, not walls” concept.

The campaign will be one of the largest every ran by Microsoft and is said to be a response to Apple’s “Get a Mac” ads which have done very well for Apple with their spring computer sales up 41% over the same time last year.

[Via Electronista]

10 memorable tech Super Bowl ads


For some people, the most fun while watching the Super Bowl each year takes place during the commercial breaks.

What are some of the best tech Super Bowl ads?

Valleywag has put together a list of their top 10 and at the top of the list is Apple’s “1984” ad.

The ad cost $1.6 million, was directed by Ridley Scott, and only aired once nationally. The cost was split evenly between producing it and the air time, $800k each.

It showed an anonymous heroine wearing red shorts, red running shoes, and a white tank top with a Picasso-style image of a Mac on it. She threw a sledgehammer through a giant television screen showing a “Big Brother” figure, and the Apple Macintosh was introduced.

What to check out all ten with YouTube links? Check them out here.

[Via Valleywag]