Canon 5D Mark II Used for New Captain America Movie

Captain America: The First Avenger

Captain America: The First Avenger

I went to see the new Captain America movie on Sunday.  As I sat at the end of the film reading the credits (I find them fascinating.  Does anyone else read the credits at the end of films?), I noticed a credit for Canon providing equipment to use. 

This made me wonder about what kind of gear Canon was providing and I began speculating to myself about whether Canon HDSLRs could have been used in the film – since I had just watched a Red Tails teaser earlier that day and learned that Philip Bloom had been shooting Canon HDSLRs as second unit DP.  At the end of the credits, I was distracted by The Avengers teaser (which didn’t look so great at this point) and forgot all about the credit for Canon.

As it turns out, there were several scenes in Captain America that were captured with the 5D Mark II, according to a press release from Canon yesterday.  The 5D Mark II was apparently used for several POV action shots, including a car chase and motorcycle chase scene.

The big advantage of the 5D Mark II was the ability to place it in tight quarters inside a vehicle as a B-camera and still be able to capture footage with the A-camera.  Even though the 5D Mark II was technically in the shot, it was small enough and easily concealable to allow simultaneous coverage from both cameras.

It’s a testament to the power of this camera that they were able to seamlessly mix the footage with film coverage of the same scenes, and then have the footage hold up on the big screen.  Just another notch in the Canon 5D Mark II’s belt.

As for the movie itself, I thought it was the best Marvel movie yet.  Just good, fun storytelling with a character who you can’t help but cheer on.

I’ve embedded Canon’s official press release below.

“Captain America: The First Avenger” Action Shots Captured With Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR Cameras

Full 1080P HD Capture, 24p Frame Rate and Canon EF Lenses Provide Compatibility and Creative Options for Movie Production

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., August 1, 2011 – Canon U.S.A., a leader in digital imaging, announced today that the highly anticipated feature film, “Captain America: The First Avenger”, used Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR cameras to capture many of the movie’s action shots. Throughout the super hero action picture, the 5D Mark II was used to shoot motion sequences that were seamlessly integrated with the production’s 35mm film footage.

More compact and lightweight than traditional motion-picture cameras, the 5D Mark II offers creative advantages such as compatibility with Canon’s wide range of high-performance EF lenses, user-selectable frame rates, including 24p (23.976 fps), the standard for motion-picture cinematography, and full 1920 x 1080 HD imagery captured by the camera’s high-resolution 21.1-megapixel (36mm by 24mm) Canon CMOS sensor. According to Jonathan Taylor, second unit director/director of photography on “Captain America: The First Avenger”, these features made the 5D Mark II an excellent choice for the capture of dramatic POV (point-of-view) action shots.

“The challenge with a lot of action photography is getting the camera in the right position,” Taylor noted. “I’m always looking to get the camera into impossible to reach places because those kinds of shots make action sequences much more exciting. Most 35mm motion-picture cameras and even the leading digital cinematography cameras are just too big to get into interesting positions.”

Action scenes in “Captain America: The First Avenger” in which Taylor used 5D Mark II cameras for POV shots include a car chase and crash, and a high-speed motorcycle pursuit. The small size of the camera enabled Taylor to mount it on the interiors and exteriors of moving vehicles to capture dramatic action shots. The camera’s size also ensured that it was “invisible” to the film cameras shooting the same scene from a distance.

“The thing with action is that the more angles you can shoot, the faster the cuts you can use, and the more energy you get into a sequence,” Taylor added.

Previously, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II cameras and EF lenses were used for action shots in the blockbuster hit “Iron Man 2″.



  1. Erick says

    I saw Captain America over the weekend and when I walked out, I said to my wife, “Wow, it looks like some of that film was shot using an HDSLR.” Unfortunately, I was saying it in a negative context. There were several sequences/shots that looked especially “video-like”. They had very little latitude and the whites where blown out. This was especially evident during the fight sequence in the end. The footage still looked remarkably good for a camera costing a couple grand it just really didn’t compare to the footage shot on a higher-end professional unit. Maybe if it was all shot on the 5DMKII I wouldn’t have minded or even noticed nearly as much… (I personally own a 5DMKII and LOVE it)

  2. Chris says

    Just because a company provides equipment has nothing to do with the Quality of the product. Im getting sick of companies paying to have their products used so they can claim their products as great. Ive walked out of films because they were shot on poor quality video thanks for letting me know. I wont bother attending