Shooting movies with a Canon 40D

This Sourceforge project “EOS Camera Movie Record” provides the ability to record high quality movies from older Canon EOS DSLR’s that have Live View functionality, but lack a movie mode from the factory (40D, 50D, 450D etc). It requires you to be tethered to a PC to record the video via USB cable, and there’s no sound input.

The video is 1024×680 pixels, and is saved as a .avi file. The video capture  seems to hover around 21-22 frames per second (confirmed in Matlab + Labview), even though the EOS Camera Movie Record window may report a higher frame rate during recording (I’ve seen up to 30.5fps). You can zoom in and out (if you’re using a zoom lens) and manually focus during shooting. The ISO/shutter speed/aperture are all user-selectable as well.

Below is a quick video of the tide rising and falling in one of my experimental mesocosms. Select the high quality version if it’s available. The clarity of the video takes a little hit during the conversion process for Youtube, but the files look quite nice on my computer.

It’s really quite a slick piece of software, and it provides the one feature that might have driven me to upgrade camera bodies.