Canon 5D Mark II Shoots Season Finale of House

May 17, 2010 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital SLR Cameras | 25 Comments | |
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Canon has announced that the season finale of House is the first network television prime time drama episode to have been shot entirely on a digital SLR camera. The crew used a Canon EOS 5D Mark II body and a selection of EF lenses for a completely digital workflow that allowed them to complete filming the entire episode in just 10 days. The season finale airs tonight, Monday, May 17 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

Canon Press Release

Canon U.S.A. Congratulates “House” on completing the first network television episode shot on a CAnon DSLR

The Season Finale of HOUSE was shot entirely on the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon EF lenses

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., May 17, 2010 — Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, would like to congratulate the cast and crew from the hit series HOUSE on filming the entire season finale episode on the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. This crowning achievement marks the first network television prime time drama episode to be shot entirely on a Digital SLR camera, making it an industry-first.

In addition to shooting the episode on the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF lenses were used for a complete Canon workflow for image capture. Recording every second of footage to compact flash cards, the crew for HOUSE took full advantage of a completely digital workflow and was able to complete filming the entire episode in just 10 days.

“We take great pleasure in congratulating the cast and crew of HOUSE on completing the first network television episode to be completely shot on a DSLR camera,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A., “This milestone marks a paradigm shift in the way professional cinematographers and filmmakers capture HD video.”

The season finale airs tonight, Monday, May 17 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Canon encourages everyone to tune in tonight and watch. For more information on HOUSE, please visit

HOUSE is produced by Universal Media Studios in association with Heel and Toe Films, Shore Z Productions and Bad Hat Harry Productions.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.                                                                     
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. Its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), a top patent holder of technology, ranked fourth overall in the U.S. in 2009†, with global revenues of US $35 billion, is listed as number four in the computer industry on Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies 2009 list, and is on the 2009 BusinessWeek list of “100 Best Global Brands.” Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. At Canon, we care because caring is essential to living together in harmony. Founded upon a corporate philosophy of Kyosei – “all people, regardless of race, religion or culture, harmoniously living and working together into the future” – Canon U.S.A. supports a number of social, youth, educational and other programs, including environmental and recycling initiatives. Additional information about these programs can be found at To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company’s RSS news feed by visiting

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#1 seoras

so are we saying that a DSLR (with video abilities) is superior to a dedicated video recorder, many of which are made by Canon ?

3:54 pm - Monday, May 17, 2010

#2 Alex Orman

It's all well and good, but they say "it marks a paradigm shift for professional cinematographers" i have no doubt that this HD movie feature will do the same to cinematographers as the advancement of digital photography has done to professional photographers, that being that unprofessionals can now close to match the quality achieved by professionals. It is somewhat intimidating for people looking to make a profession out of their photography or cinematography.

3:55 pm - Monday, May 17, 2010

#3 dave b.

Does anyone recognize the rail system shown with the Canon camera accompanying the House final episode article?

7:13 pm - Monday, May 17, 2010

#4 seoras

I'm not that up on the latest HD recorders but I would hazard that amateurs are able to afford a dedicated recorder of pro quality already. So not sure what the point of using an dslr by pro's can be.
I can see however a large number of really crap 'films' being made by amateurs who have no concept of cinamatography. This could I suppose be an opening for inovation or it could just be a load of crap. Time will tell.


7:30 pm - Monday, May 17, 2010

#5 Alex Orman

To Seoras,

Agreed. I think that the professional cinematographers, have more of a grasp than amateurs do when it comes to their profession. They know there way around their gear and they know how to use their gear to tell the story that they want to tell.

I'm all for new tech but i think there needs to be a line drawn to limit what amateurs can do so as to keep the professionals in work.


2:27 am - Tuesday, May 18, 2010

#6 Perfekt Photo

Will be interesting to watch tonight. I was just on a local TV production this week where they used the 5D to shoot a commercial. They had to shoot it fast, in low light - they couldn't get their RED camera and lighting in quick enough.

4:33 am - Tuesday, May 18, 2010

#7 Caleb Sommerville

That rig looks SWEET. I would love to use that just to shoot an event or a sports thing or anything. It looks AWESOME.

5:24 am - Tuesday, May 18, 2010

#8 Eric

Yep...that rig does look great. Its a must for stable shooting of video for long periods of time.

I too wonder who made this rig, and how much it costs.

P.S. I've seen a video on youtube of a home-made rig made of wood. But the rig shown here looks much more professional, and it has a monitor - which is a must-have.

10:40 am - Tuesday, May 18, 2010

#9 vashistha

Well a new breed of amateur cinematographers and there websites (contest, blogs, forums...) will arise in coming 2 to 3 years..... Thanks to canon

12:03 pm - Tuesday, May 18, 2010

#10 Fotogr?fs

Great news. I like this setup for my 5D. But why trademark House is written with Caps Lock? ... HOUSE is produced by Universal Media Studios in association with Heel and Toe Films ...

2:56 pm - Tuesday, May 18, 2010

#11 Steve

Interesting how publicity departments spin things like this. I have shot a lot of television shows, just like House, and 10 days is LONG for a one hour show. Most are shot in 7 or 8 days. So although the press release implies that somehow the Canon allowed the crew to shoot faster, that is definitively NOT the case.
The advantage of the 5D over a conventional video or film camera is small size and speed of the chip. The disadvantage is primarily poor ergonomics for filming, NO depth of field (makes closeups very difficult). There is a reason professional video and film cameras are shaped the way they are, including Canon's own video cameras. One day soon they will come out with a professional video form factor and the big chip. That will be a big deal.

4:47 pm - Tuesday, May 18, 2010

#12 Caleb Sommerville

No depth of field? Poor ergonomics?
DSLRs are preferred because of their great depth of field. It's little point-and-shoots that don't have DoF.
As for the ergonomics, the sweet rig seen above solves that problem.
The two fields of still and video photography are merging, whether you like it or not.

5:34 pm - Tuesday, May 18, 2010

#13 Ronald

Caleb, Steve means the same thing I'm guessing. "NO depth of field," as in very shallow depth of field. The more depth of field, the less blur. Little point/shoot cams actually have a large dof, meaning it's difficult to throw backgrounds out of focus due to the small chip size.

I'm not trying to be cheeky, by the way!

6:20 pm - Tuesday, May 18, 2010

#14 rob

Steve, I think you miss the point entirely. Bigger sensor on the 5D mk. II means better image quality than from a video camera. The shallow DOF of DSLR cameras is a huge bonus - you can throw the background out of focus. Difficult for close-ups? Just use shorter focal length.

I agree with you about the 10-day shoot described as short being a bunch of b.s., though.

10:00 pm - Tuesday, May 18, 2010

#15 videofotographer

@steve:no depth of field?!seriously?:D

12:31 pm - Wednesday, May 19, 2010

#16 James

The rig is most likely from

News, tv, the music industry, blogs, forums, cameras, video cameras and a ton of other things are being or have been killed by digital replacements in some other form.

5:11 pm - Wednesday, May 19, 2010

#17 Dougie Prescott

I'm interested to know how much MPEG-LA charge for a licence for commercial use - see page 241 of the manual for the Canon 5D camera

9:16 am - Thursday, May 20, 2010

#18 Dougie Prescott

Rob - I think that you miss the pomy entirely - HD TV is 1920 x 1080. Any more than required will reuces the noise performance without purpose.

Having had one of these cameras on an optical bench, I can say without question that with the supplied codecs it comes nowhere near the performance of a real broadcast camera - just for a start, the codec shows severe aliasing on a zone plate.

That coupled with the non-commercial restrictions on the MPEG-LA license means that any propfessional who chooses to use this kit has to be crazy.

9:22 am - Thursday, May 20, 2010

#19 Matthew Guevara

The rig is a RedRock -

Looks amazing - retails around $1900.

2:54 pm - Wednesday, May 26, 2010

#20 toamako

Great cameras don't make great films and crap cameras don't make crap films. Great films are made on both great and not so great cameras and vice versa. "Story is King" and if a film maker is able to realize their story on whatever they are shooting then thats all that matters. It is the audience who have the last say and sorry guys they don't give a shit about zone plates.

8:55 am - Monday, June 28, 2010

#21 Alex Orman

To Toamako,

To a degree, it doesn't matter what camera you use, it is how you use it. (to quote Ansel Adams: "The most important part of a camera is the twelve inches behind it") I will admit as much. It just is intimidating when camera companies bring out things like the EOS which shoots HD movies thus eliminating the need for cinematographers altogether because people now can match the quality.

On the flip-side all this gear make it so much easier for pro's to get the desired outcome. The audience is the one who judges the pro's work, yes, and it is exactly that. The gear like the zone plates e.t.c are part of the process the pro's use to get the desired result. The audience don't have to know the process. They only need to see the result. If they don't like it, whatever. If they do, then sweet.

9:20 am - Monday, June 28, 2010

#22 Dougie Prescott

I don't give a toss about *unnaturally* shallow depth of field, or the fact that the plots of House are similarly shallow!
If you need shallow depth of field to keep people's attention in the right place you ain't much of a director

I actually want to know how much MPEG-LA (essentially Microsoft and Apple) charge for a commercial use license for these glorified domestic cameras.

1:01 am - Monday, July 5, 2010

#23 Sebastian

For some reason people are knocking that finally there is a tool to create cool looking video without dishing out 10grand!! I think it is awesome!!

I have to agree what canon has is its price for full frame sensor and awesome shallow depth of field!!! and sensor sensitivity for a low price...
overall I would definitely take a RED over a 5D though... from my experience color information can't be pushed to hard and breaks relatively easy....still can't figure out what color info

is? is it 8bit 4:2:2 ...anyone know?

but hey its a 3grand, you still get what you pay for which seems to be more than we are use to

10:49 pm - Monday, July 26, 2010

#24 giantELF

Anyone have a recommend on a good (cheaper) rig -- as this one is probably out of my price range.

Resepctfull @Steve -- and others who agreed --as for the shoot length, 7-8 days is unheard of for a quality 1 hour drama in its 8th season. The days are designed/contracted to be shorter. During ERs last few seasons the day was 6A to 3P. Most shows go 14 hours.

10 days is short. My guess is that the average HOUSE episode was 12 days so they shaved 2 days off.

My most recent show was LUCK and we skeded 12 days each ep but usually took 13-15. That's pretty long but we had a bunch of stars to deal with. And a feature producer. BTW we used %ds as well for some tough shots.

No decent show goes 7-8 days. Especially not one hour dramas. 7-8 days are just the days on location with 2-3 days on stage.

5:29 pm - Tuesday, May 15, 2012

#25 Philip Samaraev

For dslr rigs simply goto, i got mine( which is almost identical to the one in the picture) for only 200 dollars, while the redrock ones cost in 1000 dollar range.

8:22 pm - Monday, April 29, 2013