Canon EOS 5D used to shoot The Mandalorian (watch on Disney+ for 1.99!)

The Mandalorian Canon EOS 5D
(Image credit: Industrial Light & Magic)

Blockbuster Disney+ series The Mandalorian made headlines for its use of bleeding edge technologies like virtual sets. However, a number of scenes in the Star Wars spinoff were actually shot using a DSLR – the Canon EOS 5D. 

Indeed, not only were these scenes captured using a Canon EOS 5D (opens in new tab), they were shot on a 28mm Nikon lens – and they were filmed by none other than John Knoll, one of the co-creators of Photoshop (opens in new tab)

• Read more: 7 Marvel movies shot on Canon cameras (opens in new tab) | Canon EOS 5D Mark IV vs EOS 6D Mark II (opens in new tab)

A fascinating behind the scenes video from Industrial Light & Magic – the Hollywood effects house established by George Lucas to create models for the original Star Wars in 1975 – reveals how the team went old school to create these shots.

If you want to catch up on the show before the release of The Book of Boba Fett this holiday season, now is the time as Disney+ is just $1.99 / £1.99 until Sunday! The offer is only valid for new and eligible returning Disney+ subscribers, who are 18 years of age or older, and after a one-month promo period the service auto-renews at the current monthly retail price (which is $7.99 / £8.99 right now) until cancelled. The offer is valid until 23:59 PST on Sunday 14 November – check it out below!

While most of the space scenes in The Mandalorian were created using ILM's computer-generated wizardry, series creator Jon Favreau was interested in creating and shooting a physical model of the the Razor Crest (the Mandalorian's ship) – partly as reference for the computer graphics artists, and partly as homage to the way the original Star Wars features were made.

This saw ILM's veteran model maker, John Goodson, creating a ship using a 3D printer and tinfoil, while Knoll (ILM's chief creative officer) devised a custom 50-foot motion control rig with a Canon EOS 5D at its heart. 

While you would assume that this would be the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (opens in new tab), it is very possible that it's actually the Mark III or even Mark II. Which may sound peculiar, given that none of these cameras have strong video specs by 2020 standards. 

However, these cameras are fantastic for the creation of stop-motion effects, whereby bursts of still images are used to capture the equivalent frames of film (the 5D Mark II is still favored by many production houses to produce stop-motion features and series). 

Of course, series two of The Mandalorian debuts on Disney+ this Friday, 30 October. And if you love Mando and Baby Yoda as much as we do, check out The Mandalorian Polaroid Now (opens in new tab) camera! 

Read more: 

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV review
(opens in new tab)The Mandalorian Polaroid Now review
(opens in new tab)How to download Photoshop and try it free for 7 days (opens in new tab)
Best Black Friday camera deals (opens in new tab)
Best Canon Black Friday deals (opens in new tab)

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.