You Need More Than Equipment to be a Cinematographer
With its full frame 1080p video, I've seen a bunch of articles like this one that claim "The Canon 5D Mk II Will Turn Us All Into Professional Cinematographers".
Yes, the 5D Mk II, with a full-frame sensor and EOS lens system is potentially a game changer, but to suggest that we'll all be able to produce results like professional cinematographers is stretching it.
While a good understanding of photography helps with cinematography, it's necessary but not sufficient knowledge.
- composition is important but you also need to know how to move the camera during a shot
- you also need to understand concepts like "crossing the line"
- with the narrow depth of field full-frame affords, you need to be able to pull focus while shooting—that's a whole new skill to learn (and you probably need to use a follow focus)
- you can't rely on shutter speed or aperture to control exposure the same way you do with still photography—you have to learn to rely more on ND filters and lighting
- colour correction becomes even more important as mismatches are more jarring
I hope that the Canon 5D Mk II will encourage people to learn more about the art and craft of cinematography. But the equipment is not the end of the story, it's just the beginning.