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April 2010

The producers of 'House', one of the most successful and widely viewed TV programmes in the world, have confirmed that the show's climactic episode in season six has been filmed entirely using Canon's EOS 5D Mark II DSLR camera, reports Robert Hull.

Co-Executive Producer and Director of 'House', Greg Yaitanes, used his Twitter feed to inform fans and followers of the medical drama about this radical departure from traditional programme-making, using film, and to explain the benefits in choosing to shoot with the EOS 5D Mark II. Among a stream of positive comments about the shooting process, Yaitanes said of the camera: "I loved it and feel it's the future."

Explaining why he chose to use the EOS 5D Mark II Yaitanes said it was for its "ease of use in tight spaces," as he indicated that the episode had many hand-held shots or scenes that were shot using a small tripod. He also explained how the results were different from using a traditional camera, with the images being "richer", while "the shallow focus pulls the actors faces to the foreground," and admitted, "I was blown away by the depth-of-field."

The EOS 5D Mark II recently benefited from a Canon firmware update (Version 2.0.4) that, among other improvements, added 24fps and 25fps recording to the camera's EOS Movie function. Yaitanes has confirmed that the 'House' season finale episode was shot at 24 frames per second.

Yaitanes underlined the importance of using Canon interchangeable lenses and said that the episode had employed: "all the Canon primes, and the 24-70mm and the 70-200mm zoom." The Canon prime lenses used were the EF50mm f/1.2L USM, the EF85mm f/1.2L II USM, and the EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM.

He noted that in using the 5D Mark II the production crew didn't have to change their workflow, but that he did see: "huge potential for huge time savings." He added: "The idea that we could be untethered and go anywhere – without hauling film and bags of lenses – that was exciting."

Revealingly, Yaitanes also used his Twitter account to stoke further excitement ahead of the finale by 'tweeting' that fans would be getting a little extra courtesy of the Canon 5D Mark II episode: "Start spreading the word. The 5D finale will be a minute longer than you're used to," he wrote.

The season finale of the show, which stars Hugh Laurie in the lead role as Dr. Gregory House, is to be broadcast on the Fox network in the USA on 17 May and in the UK on Sky 1 on Sunday, 23 May. 'House' is currently distributed to 66 countries and in 2008 audience figures proved it was the most watched television programme in the world.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II is increasingly being used for film and television projects, including the films 'The Journey', 'New Town Killers' and 'Helter Skelter' directed by Richard Jobson, and the 'idents' that appear between programmes on the FIVE USA TV channel.