I just created this video using Canon’s EOS 40D a digital SLR which usually isn’t able to record video. The first Canon camera that officially supported this is the 5D Mk II. A firmware hack has been floating around the net for a while. This method though does not require a hacked firmware, only a camera that has live view. I’m using Canon’s latest 1.1.1 firmware for the 40D. I’m using a tool called eos_movrec that popped up recently on Canon Rumors. Oh yeah, Windows only at the moment.
I’m using a Canon 50mm f/1.4 at f/2.0 in this case. Just connect your camera via USB. As soon as you start the tool it flips the mirror up, switches to live view mode and the current picture shows up on your monitor. Clicking on Write! starts the video capture; just hit Stop when you’re done. This creates a file out.avi in the eos_movrec folder.
The output file according to GSpot is a motion JPEG in an AVI container at
1024×600 1024×680 (sorry, for the typo) with 25fps. The bitrate for the video was 30.857 kbps. Apparently there’s some recording lag involved, at least on my system. The actual manual focus took far longer than it does in the video.
If you want to control the settings of your cam, stop the eos_movrec and use the EOS utility. You can’t change the settings on your cam while being connected via USB.
If you have any questions, let me know! I’m looking into the lag now and will do some more testing.
Update: Ok, calling it lag might not have been the correct description. It’s actually quite the opposite:
Update 2: There is a new version (0.0.5) out on the authors site. I haven’t had the time to try it yet though.
Obviously this tool is still very beta and totally unsupported! I won’t take any responsibility if it eats your kids and destroys your camera!