The Canon EOS 5D Mark II raises the specifications of the entire EOS line since it is the first EOS digital SLR camera to offer both stills and video capture. The Canon 5D Mark II also includes the majority of the hardware and software upgrades that the company launched on the Canon 50D.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II raises the criteria of the complete EOS line, since it may be the first EOS DSLR camera to provide both still and video catch. The Canon 5D Mark II also includes most of the hardware and software program upgrades that the business released on the Canon 50D.

Its upgrades are welcome, because though the Canon 5D network marketing leads the competition for overall image quality for most photographers, it lags behind in a few essential areas, the majority of which improve with the 5D Mark II.

Update: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Review

Check Out: Best Lenses for Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Though no one at Imaging-Useful would say that 12.8 megapixels is insufficient, the brand new 21.1-megapixel sensor is going to be a welcome upgrade, specifically to professional photographers who currently use a 5D. Sony’s latest digital SLR, the A900, elevated expectations for high-end DSLR performance, at least in terms of resolution, and the Canon EOS 5D Mark II certainly outperforms that camera when it comes to its noise-to-detail ratio at high ISO.

Canon also assumes the Nikon D3 and D700 with this new high-quality sensor, as the 5D Mark II offers an expanded ISO range between 50 to 25,600. As the former two cameras achieve 100 to 25,600 expanded, they do it at 12.1 megapixels.

Canon, in addition, has included the new DIGIC 4 processor, able to handle the extremely large 14-bit RAW images at the brand new high speed of 3.9 frames per second.

The brand new 920,000-dot LCD presented on the Canon 50D also helps it be over to the new Canon 5D Mark II, something the brand new 5D’s competitors likewise have within their arsenal. The 5D Mark II also shares the Live View features on the 50D, filled with contrast-detect autofocus and silent shutter modes.

Many of the other features that debuted on the Canon 50D are contained in the 5D Mark II, but one main new feature that most likely must have made it into the 50D makes its stand rather in the 5D Mark II: HD video capture. That is right, this high-end digital SLR can capture films at 1920 x 1080 pixels at 30 fps. We’d have expected them to have this in the 50D only to rise against Nikon’s D90, which may perform a 720p video, but that’ll need to wait until the next version, perhaps.

The Canon 5D Mark II is quite a camera, one which appears to trump the additional two full-frame DSLR cameras in this cost range. Indeed, the actual fact that its anticipated body-only prices will be $2,699, $300 significantly less than the Sony A900 and Nikon D700, makes the 5D Mark II that a lot more appealing. The Canon EOS-5D Mark II is slated to ship by the end of November 2008. Canon will also offer a kit that includes a 24-105mm Canon L zoom lens for a cost of $3,499.

Canon 5D Mark II: Look and feel

The looks of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II is usually all business, similar to the rest of the digital cameras in this enthusiast lineup. Controls are almost perfectly placed, and you will be familiar to owners of virtually any Canon camera in its course dating back again to the Canon 20D.

The body-only fat of the 5D Mark II is definitely 1.78 pounds (810g), and dimensions are 6 x 4.5 x 3 inches (152 x 113.5 x 75mm). These measurements are essentially identical to the initial Canon 5D.

The camera is substantial, however, not so bulky that it is hard to hold for all those with medium-sized hands. The heft certainly increases the 5D Mark II’s balance when shooting, and the big grip has a notch to greatly help guide your hands to an ideal position every time. People that have smaller hands will discover the 5D Mark II a bit cumbersome.

From leading, the 5D Mark II has a slight redesign, with much less of a nod to the 1D aesthetic, especially around the pentaprism casing. Three new elements stick out, though. The foremost is the new infrared handy remote control sensor that appears best below the self-timer light (between your grip and the lens mount). This feature has been missing from most of Canon’s high-end digital SLRs as yet, confined to the Rebel series. So rather than investing in a rather limiting cable or a pricey remote control unit, you can purchase an RC-1 or RC-5 remote control for under $30.

Underneath the 5D badge is three holes for the Film mode’s monaural mic. Below is the Mark II logo design that obviously distinguishes this model from the last. I also just like the grippy surface upon this side of the camera, coupled with a flat front, which makes it easier to contain the camera with the left when checking pictures or making settings.

An added item to consider when searching at the front end of the Canon 5D Mark II can be that big mirror inside. It’s a complete frame camera, equal in proportions to 35mm film. As great as that’s, existing owners of newer Canon hardware will need to leave their EF-S lenses out of the equation when contemplating a Canon EOS 5D Mark II as their following camera because EF-S lenses won’t even mount on the Mark II. Their short back again focuses design sticks into the camera body so very much that it could get strike by the huge mirror; as such, the camera won’t acknowledge the lenses at all.

Notably lacking from the Canon 5D Mark II is certainly a pop-up flash, something we had been happy to find on the Nikon D700 full-frame digital SLR. Even for pros, a little flash in a pinch is normally a welcome option.

Canon 5D Mark II: Viewfinder

The viewfinder in the Canon 5D Mark II includes a bigger pentaprism, and today offers 98% coverage instead of 96%, plus a 21mm eyepoint rather than 20mm. Owners of the original Canon 5D may also have to know that along with the viewfinder improvements comes a transformation to a newer group of interchangeable screens.

I still discover that the 5D Mark II’s viewfinder vignettes relatively when I look over it, but it is indeed larger than the initial 5D. It is also surprisingly bigger than the Nikon D700; although D700’s viewfinder is convenient to make use of. Finally, the 5D Mark II’s viewfinder is smaller sized than the 1Ds Mark III and Sony A900, by a comparable amount.

Canon 5D Mark II: LCD

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II’s LCD screen has also been improved to the same device used in the Canon 50D, which includes a resolution of 920,000 dots, a 160-level viewing position, and Canon’s triple coatings that try to decrease glare, smudges, and scratches. Though initially, the blue reflection is unfamiliar, it really is superior in sunlight to another display available, like the original 5D’s apparent LCD glass.

Canon 5D Mark II: Autofocus system

The autofocus sensor from the original Canon 5D offers been carried over in the new 5D Mark II, still providing nine user-addressable autofocus points (one cross-type) and 6 non-addressable assist points, however, the 5D Mark II autofocus program does are the lens micro-adjustment and source of light detection features we’ve seen on the business’s other latest digital SLRs, so are there AF improvements actually if the sensor itself was not overhauled.

In use, I came across the AF system to be quite best for portraits and other functions, though it’s hard to get accustomed to the array’s concentration in the heart of the frame. The same AF array sizes are found in the Canon 50D, where in fact the array seems large, but on the 5D Mark II, the majority of the 35mm frame region remains uncovered.

Autofocus is usually fast, though, with complete autofocus and image catch taking only 0.206 seconds. Focus acceleration varies by zoom lens, of course, but the 5D Mark II’s computation and slewing velocity are among the fastest I’ve utilized. There’s an advantage to presenting fewer AF points with regards to computational speed, to be certain, as the 51-stage AF program on the Nikon D300 and D700 can delay while the camera analyses the picture, as the 5D Mark II is fairly a bit snappier.

Canon 5D Mark II: Live View

The Canon 5D Mark II also bests the initial 5D by supplying a live view function that is comparable to that noticed on the recent Canon 50D DSLR, including a face-detection setting.

Though I advocate using the optical viewfinder frequently when capturing the Canon 5D Mark II, Live Look at still provides its uses, particularly if focusing on a tripod. But like various other recent digital SLR offerings, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II offers two settings for focusing in Live Watch mode, among which is faster compared to the other. Remember that both modes are very a little bit slower than autofocusing via the optical viewfinder, therefore my recommendation to use the optical viewfinder by default.

In both modes, you need to press the AF-ON button on the trunk of the 5D Mark II to autofocus. In the event that you just press the shutter release, the camera won’t focus. This takes some used to.

Canon 5D Mark II: Quick mode

The first Live View focusing mode uses the original SLR approach to flipping the mirror back off to utilize the phase-detect autofocus sensors for concentrating. This may indeed be quicker if you put among the nine AF factors over a location with good contrast that allows fast focusing.

Canon 5D Mark II: Sensor

When compared to image sensor from the original Canon 5D, the pixel pitch in the 5D Mark II’s imager has dropped from 8.2µm to 6.4µm — exactly like that of the 1Ds Mark III’s sensor, as well as the EOS 20D’s sensor, and the hardware architecture can be identical compared to that of the pro camera. However, Canon 5D II’s sensor sports new RGB color filter systems with a better transmission rate.

Canon 5D Mark II: Storage and battery

The Canon 5D Mark II uses a regular CompactFlash Type I and II slot, nonetheless, it supports UDMA Mode 6, which isn’t even in the marketplace yet. Current UDMA cards support data transfer as high as 45MB per second, however, when the Setting 6 cards appear, they’ll support up to 133MB per second.

The bigger news for the whole EOS line may be the 5D Mark II’s fresh Intelligent lithium-ion battery power. Though it looks nearly the same as the old BP-511A that’s still in the 50D, the 5D Mark II’s LP-E6 has the greater capability (1,800mAh) and intelligence built-in. While Sony has already established these kinds of packs for quite a while, Canon’s cameras have already been a lot less educational about the battery position before the camera was near running out.

Canon 5D Mark II: Key features / improvements

  • 21 megapixel CMOS sensor (very similar to the sensor in the EOS-1Ds Mark III)
  • Sensor dust reduction by vibration of filter
  • ISO 100 – 6400 calibrated range, ISO 50 – 25600 expansion (1Ds Mark III & 5D max ISO 3200)
  • Auto ISO (100 – 3200) in all modes except manual
  • 3.9 frames per second continuous shooting
  • DIGIC 4 processor, new menus/interface as per the EOS 50D
  • Image processing features:
    • Highlight tone priority
    • Auto lighting optimizer (4 levels)
    • High ISO noise reduction (4 levels)
    • Lens peripheral illumination correction (vignetting correction)
  • RAW and SRAW1 (10 MP) / SRAW2 (5 MP)
  • RAW / JPEG selection made separately
  • Permanent display of ISO on both top plate and viewfinder displays
  • AF micro-adjustment (up to 20 lenses individually)
  • Three custom modes on command dial, Creative Auto mode
  • Image copyright metadata support
  • 98% coverage viewfinder (0.71x magnification)
  • 3.0″ 920,000 dot LCD monitor with ‘Clear View’ cover / coatings, 170° viewing angle
  • Automatic LCD brightness adjustment (ambient light sensor)
  • Live view with three mode auto-focus (including face detection)
  • No mirror-flip for exposures in Live View if contrast-detect AF selected
  • Movie recording in live view (1080p H.264 up to 12 minutes, VGA H.264 up to 24 mins per clip)
  • Two-mode silent shooting (in live view)
  • New jump options in play mode
  • HDMI and standard composite (AV) video out
  • Full audio support: built-in mic and speaker, mic-in socket, audio-out over AV (although not HDMI)
  • IrPort (supports IR remote shutter release using optional RC1 / RC5 controllers)
  • UDMA CompactFlash support
  • New 1800 mAh battery with improved battery information/logging
  • New optional WFT-E4 WiFi / LAN / USB vertical grip
  • Water resistance: 10 mm of rain in 3 minutes

Canon 5D Mark II: Conclusion

The Canon 5D Mark II is definitely a premium DSLR. It’s not just the high resolution that means it is stand out, however, the excellent high ISO functionality, effectively providing you the independence to shoot portable in circumstances where you’d normally require a flash or a tripod.

Improvements over the initial 5D abound, including a larger viewfinder image, a faster frame rate, a larger picture buffer, and a quicker data path. Almost all of the brand new features from other latest models are also added, which includes a two-motor shutter and mirror set up, silent shutter mode, a thorough Live View mode, multi-stage noise suppression choices, and several features made to improve common complications, like blown highlights, plugged shadows, and vignetting. Two minor options put on to help make the 5D Mark II a lot more premium: a built-in handy remote control sensor and an ambient light sensor to automatically adjust the LCD.

The addition of a High-Definition movie setting opens up brand-new avenues for enterprising photographers, providing them with the capability to capture video snippets in addition to high res photographs, enhancing what they are able to offer to their clients. Because of the advent of Live Look at, it has been an obvious play, which is the best execution we’ve seen. It’s important to note that it is still an instrument for photographers, though, and doesn’t however replace the simple standard camcorder since it lacks autofocus; and significant exposure changes can lead to momentary gaps in the video. Still, video hobbyists possess seldom had so much optical range at their disposal for therefore little money.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II: Price

Image Quality
ISO Performance
Video mode
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Paul Landscape Photographer and YouTuber. He is taking photos all over the world but the main focus is the cold, rough, northern part of Europe. His style is somewhere in between dramatic and colorful fantasy and Scandinavian minimalism. Be sure to check out his YouTube channel for epic landscape photography videos from around the world.


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