Canon 5D Mark II Evaluate

5D Mark II Abstract

The Canon EOS-5D Mark II raises the requirements of your complete EOS line, as it’s the first EOS digital SLR digital camera to supply each nonetheless and video seize. The Canon 5D Mark II additionally contains a lot of the {hardware} and software program upgrades that the corporate launched on the Canon 50D.

Imaging Useful resource ranking

out of 5.0

Canon 5D Mark II Overview

Reviewed by Shawn Barnett, Dave Etchells, and Zig Weidelich
Evaluate Date: 01/20/2009

The Canon EOS-5D Mark II raises the requirements of your complete EOS line, as it’s the first EOS digital SLR digital camera to supply each nonetheless and video seize. The Canon 5D Mark II additionally contains a lot of the {hardware} and software program upgrades that the corporate launched on the Canon 50D.

Its upgrades are welcome, as a result of although the Canon 5D leads the race for general picture high quality for a lot of photographers, it lags behind in a number of key areas, most of which enhance with the 5D Mark II.

Although nobody at Imaging-Useful would say that 12.8 megapixels is inadequate, the brand new 21.1-megapixel sensor will probably be a welcome improve, particularly to skilled photographers who already use a 5D. Sony’s newest digital SLR, the A900, raised expectations for high-end digital SLR efficiency, no less than by way of decision, and the Canon EOS 5D Mark II certainly outperforms that digital camera by way of its noise-to-detail ratio at excessive ISO.

Canon additionally takes on the Nikon D3 and D700 with this new high-resolution sensor, because the 5D Mark II additionally provides an expanded ISO vary from 50 to 25,600. Whereas the previous two cameras obtain 100 to 25,600 expanded, they do it at 12.1 megapixels.

Canon has additionally included the brand new DIGIC 4 processor, able to dealing with the extraordinarily massive 14-bit RAW photos on the new excessive pace of three.9 frames per second.

The brand new 920,000-dot LCD launched on the Canon 50D additionally makes it over to the brand new Canon 5D Mark II, one thing the brand new 5D’s rivals even have of their arsenal. The 5D Mark II additionally shares the Reside View options discovered on the 50D, full with contrast-detect autofocus and silent shutter modes.

Most of the different options that debuted on the Canon 50D are included within the 5D Mark II, however one main new function that most likely ought to have made it into the 50D makes its stand as a substitute within the 5D Mark II: HD video seize. That is proper, this high-end digital SLR can seize films at 1920 x 1080 pixels at 30 frames per second. We would have anticipated them to have this within the 50D merely to go up towards Nikon’s D90, which may do 720p video, however that’ll have to attend till the following model, maybe.

The Canon 5D Mark II is sort of a digital camera, one which appears to trump the opposite two full-frame digital SLR cameras on this value vary. Certainly, the truth that its anticipated body-only pricing shall be $2,699, $300 lower than the Sony A900 and Nikon D700, makes the 5D Mark II that rather more interesting. The Canon EOS-5D Mark II is slated to ship on the finish of November 2008. Canon will even supply a package that features a 24-105mm Canon L lens for a price ticket of $3,499. See the Consumer Report under for the complete story.


Canon 5D Mark II
Consumer Report

by Shawn Barnett, with Mike Tomkins

Referred to as a Premium digital SLR at its introduction, the unique Canon EOS 5D has aged considerably over the past three years. Nonetheless, it is nonetheless regarded by many as the most effective image-maker available on the market in its class, with a remarkably easy tone curve. Certainly, I stated that photos from the EOS 5D had an intangible high quality that was troublesome to quantify. All the things has a extra “actual” look to it, a more true illustration, such that you simply really feel like you could possibly attain out and contact the item or individual photographed.

Has Canon maintained that ethereal high quality? A lot has modified available in the market since 2004, it is a good query. Nikon has thrown down the gauntlet in a number of areas of picture high quality, particularly by way of excessive ISO efficiency, that it could be comprehensible if Canon needed to abandon the surprisingly good tone curve exhibited by the 5D.

Since there is no such thing as a technique to measure the unmeasurable, I am going to have to go away it to you whether or not the Canon 5D Mark II maintains the identical degree of magic, however what’s certain is that Canon’s consideration to the excessive ISO difficulty has produced a digital camera whose excessive decision photos stand as much as substantial enlargement even on the highest settings. The 5D Mark II additionally offers you loads of freedom to play confidently with ISO settings, shifting with confidence as much as ISO 800 with practically no lack of element and ridiculously low chroma noise, particularly contemplating the 21.1-megapixel sensor dimension.

The Canon 5D Mark II is aimed on the excessive finish of the fanatic market, much less so on the “physician/lawyer” crowd we positioned the 5D with. It is also aimed on the skilled photographer searching for a smaller physique. Right now there are much more photographers prepared to pay for a critical digital SLR digital camera, and the Canon EOS 5D delivers.

The Canon 5D Mark II can also be a pleasure to make use of, feeling each bit a premium digital SLR, but with the convenience of a Canon 50D.

Feel and appear. The looks of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II is all enterprise, similar to the remainder of the cameras on this fanatic lineup. Controls are virtually completely positioned, and shall be acquainted to house owners of nearly any Canon digital camera in its class relationship again to the Canon 20D.

The body-only weight of the 5D Mark II is 1.78 kilos (810g), and dimensions are 6 x 4.5 x 3 inches (152 x 113.5 x 75mm). These measurements are primarily similar to the unique Canon 5D.

The digital camera is substantial, however not so cumbersome that it is onerous to carry for these with medium-sized palms. The heft positively provides to the 5D Mark II’s stability when capturing, and the massive grip has a notch to assist information your hand to the right place each time. These with smaller palms may discover the 5D Mark II a bit cumbersome.

From the entrance, the 5D Mark II has a slight redesign, with much less of a nod to the 1D aesthetic, notably across the pentaprism housing. Three new parts stand out, although. The primary is the brand new infrared distant management sensor that seems proper under the self-timer gentle (between the grip and the lens mount). This function has been lacking from all of Canon’s high-end digital SLRs till now, confined to the Insurgent sequence. So as a substitute of buying a somewhat limiting cable or an costly distant management unit, you should purchase an RC-1 or RC-5 distant management for underneath $30.

Simply beneath the 5D badge are three holes for the Film mode’s monaural microphone. Under that’s the Mark II emblem that clearly distinguishes this mannequin from the final. I additionally just like the grippy floor on this aspect of the digital camera, mixed with a flat entrance, which makes it simpler to carry the digital camera with the left when checking photos or making settings.

One different merchandise to think about when trying on the entrance of the Canon 5D Mark II is that massive mirror inside. It is a full body digital camera, equal in dimension to 35mm movie. As nice as that’s, present house owners of more moderen Canon {hardware} should depart their EF-S lenses out of the equation when contemplating a Canon EOS 5D Mark II as their subsequent digital camera, as a result of EF-S lenses will not even mount on the Mark II. Their brief again focus design sticks into the digital camera physique a lot that it could get hit by the big mirror; as such, the digital camera will not settle for the lenses in any respect.

Notably lacking from the Canon 5D Mark II is a pop-up flash, one thing we have been comfortable to see on the Nikon D700 full-frame digital SLR. Even for execs, a small flash in a pinch is a welcome choice.

The bigger 3-inch LCD pushed only some gadgets round on this decidedly massive digital camera: the 4 buttons to the left have moved nearer to the sting, and so they’re joined by the delete button (marked by a garbage can icon). The ability swap, too, obtained nudged proper a bit. Good of the optical viewfinder are 4 holes for the speaker, the place you’ll be able to hearken to audio recorded in Film mode. The Print/Share button simply left of the optical viewfinder additionally serves because the Reside View mode toggle button. And the AF-ON button that first appeared on the Canon 40D arrives on the 5D Mark II. Additionally observe the seal across the scorching shoe, designed to mate with the Canon 580EX II to maintain water out.

One bit that places the Canon 5D Mark II into the premium class is the small gentle sensor that seems good of the facility swap, which adjusts the LCD brightness primarily based on the ambient gentle.

The thumbgrip on the again can also be massive and textured for a superb maintain.

From the highest we get a view of the best package lens Canon has ever bundled with a digital camera, the image-stabilized Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS zoom lens. (Click on right here to see our overview of this lens on The Canon 5D, like its rivals, has no Scene modes, although it does have three customized modes the place you’ll be able to retailer your personal settings. One other new addition from the Canon 50D is the brand new Artistic Auto mode, which permits the person to regulate the Flash, decision, drive mode, and Image Model, in addition to shoot RAW. A particular menu permits you to modify aperture settings by way of desired background blur, and publicity instances by way of whether or not you need the picture darker or brighter.

The management buttons to the correct, showing above the Standing LCD have been reshuffled and regrouped from their positions on the unique 5D, with Metering and White stability bundled on the primary button, AF and Drive modes on the second button, and ISO and EV compensation on the third button. The Standing LCD gentle button has been moved from first place close to the pentaprism to fourth. It is likely to be that the bigger pentaprism inside made this transfer essential, because the Canon 50D’s illumination button did not transfer.

Bigger viewfinder. Click on for callouts.

Viewfinder. The viewfinder within the Canon 5D Mark II has an even bigger pentaprism, and now provides 98% protection as a substitute of 96%, together with a 21mm eyepoint as a substitute of 20mm. House owners of the unique Canon 5D will even have to know that together with the viewfinder enhancements comes a change to a more moderen sequence of interchangeable screens.

I nonetheless discover that the 5D Mark II’s viewfinder vignettes considerably after I look via it, however it’s certainly bigger than the unique 5D. It is also surprisingly bigger than the Nikon D700; although the D700’s viewfinder is extra comfy to make use of. Lastly, the 5D Mark II’s viewfinder is smaller than the 1Ds Mark III and Sony A900, by about the identical quantity.

LCD. The Canon EOS 5D Mark II’s LCD show has additionally been upgraded to the identical unit used within the Canon 50D, which has a decision of 920,000 dots, a 160-degree viewing angle, and Canon’s triple coatings that purpose to cut back glare, smudges, and scratches. Although at first the blue reflection is unfamiliar, it’s superior in daylight to another shows available on the market, together with the unique 5D’s clear LCD glass.

Additional AF factors.

Autofocus system. The autofocus sensor from the unique Canon 5D has been carried over within the new 5D Mark II, nonetheless providing 9 user-addressable autofocus factors (one cross-type) and 6 non-addressable help factors, however the 5D Mark II autofocus system does embody the lens micro-adjustment and light-weight supply detection capabilities we have seen on the corporate’s different current digital SLRs, so there are AF enhancements even when the sensor itself hasn’t been overhauled.

In use, I discovered the AF system to be fairly good for portraits and different work, although it is onerous to get used to the array’s focus within the middle of the body. The identical AF-array dimensions are used within the Canon 50D, the place the array appears large, however on the 5D Mark II, a lot of the 35mm body space stays uncovered.

Autofocus is quick, although, with full autofocus and picture seize taking solely 0.206 second. Focus pace varies by lens, after all, however the 5D Mark II’s computation and slewing pace is among the many quickest I’ve used. There’s a bonus to having fewer AF factors in the case of computational pace, to make sure, because the 51-point AF system on the Nikon D300 and D700 can delay whereas the digital camera analyses the scene, whereas the 5D Mark II is sort of a bit snappier.

Reside View. Click on picture for callouts.

Reside View. The Canon 5D Mark II additionally bests the unique 5D by providing a stay view operate which is analogous to that seen on the current Canon 50D digital SLR, together with a face-detection mode.

Although I advocate utilizing the optical viewfinder most frequently when capturing the Canon 5D Mark II, Reside View nonetheless has its makes use of, notably when engaged on a tripod. However like different current digital SLR choices, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II provides two modes for focusing in Reside View mode, considered one of which is quicker than the opposite. Be aware that each modes are fairly a bit slower than autofocusing by way of the optical viewfinder, therefore my advice to make use of the optical viewfinder by default.

In each modes, you need to press the AF-ON button on the again of the 5D Mark II to autofocus. Should you solely press the shutter launch, the digital camera won’t focus. This takes some getting used to.

Fast mode. The primary Reside View focusing mode makes use of the standard SLR technique of flipping the mirror again down to make use of the phase-detect autofocus sensors for focusing. This will certainly be faster as long as you set one of many 9 AF factors over an space with good distinction that permits quick focusing.

New to the system is that the chosen AF factors gentle up after the mirror flips again as much as inform you which areas are in focus, somewhat than leaving that to guesswork because the Insurgent XSi does. Autofocus on this mode is sort of a bit slower than with the optical viewfinder, however quicker than Reside mode.

Reside mode. Distinction-detect mode is named Reside mode, as a result of the Canon 5D Mark II does its focusing with the info that comes stay from the sensor. You get a rectangle that you may transfer across the display screen with the Multi-controller. If you press the AF-ON button, the Canon 5D Mark II focuses and adjustments the grey rectangle to inexperienced. You may zoom in both 5 or 10 instances to verify focus, the zoom following the AF level. It takes many seconds to focus on this mode, between 2.24 to 7.32 seconds in our testing. A histogram can be overlaid over the picture, although it is a disgrace that the histogram continues to be opaque, blocking a lot of the picture, somewhat than translucent as different firms have managed.

Reside Face mode. We have all seen face detection by now, and in the event you’ve seen Canon’s face detection on a less complicated digital digital camera, you already know about how nicely it detects faces on the Canon 5D Mark II: fairly nicely. Autofocus is lots slower on the 5D Mark II, nonetheless, because it has to course of much more information to evaluate focus, and transfer far bigger optics than are present in a digicam; but it surely’s not unhealthy. It’s going to take a number of seconds to focus at instances, particularly when handheld. Typically quicker, typically slower. The system can observe much more faces than different methods we have seen at this level, although, at as much as 35 forward-looking faces.

If the Canon 5D Mark II detects a couple of face, it provides two arrows across the body it is positioned round its top-priority face, telling you that you may flip the Fast Command dial to pick out one other face because the precedence.

Interface. The Canon 5D Mark II’s interface is generally inherited from the Canon EOS 50D. It features a tabbed menu that you may navigate with both the Predominant dial and the Fast Management dial or the Multi-controller joystick. The Predominant dial strikes amongst tabs no matter your place within the menu, and the Fast Management dial strikes up and down via the menu gadgets. The Multi-controller strikes via the tabs when pressed left and proper, and strikes up and down when pressed up and down. Urgent down on the Multi-controller or Set button (in the course of the Fast Management dial) confirms choices.

It is a well-evolved menu system that’s simple to study.

Canon stored the highest deck standing show, which is nice for me, as a result of I nonetheless use that by default; however the brand new rear menu can also be helpful for making adjustments as nicely, particularly when the digital camera is mounted on a tripod. I am not at all times pleased with it, because it does not at all times reply how I feel it ought to. Typically shifting down does not take you to the place you assume it ought to, as a substitute requiring a number of totally different course adjustments to achieve the management you want. However general, I am glad it is there as a stay menu, somewhat than only a static show.

Modes. Like the unique 5D, the 5D Mark II has no particular Scene modes as are discovered on the Canon 50D and Insurgent sequence cameras. As an alternative, the 5D Mark II emphasizes the fundamentals: Program, Shutter (Television for Time Worth), Aperture (Av for Aperture worth), Handbook, and Bulb.

Along with the inexperienced zone mode, or Full Auto, there is a Artistic Auto mode as seen on the EOS 50D. The CA mode is a cross between the Auto and Program modes. When set to CA mode, the Canon 5D Mark II permits the person to regulate the Flash, decision, drive mode, and Image Model. Setting aperture and publicity are transformed to simpler ideas of background blur (blurred or sharp), and publicity degree (darker or brighter) with a slider that is adjusted with the Fast Management dial. The extra complicated publicity choices stay underneath computerized management in CA mode. The publicity slider is the extra helpful, standing in as a extra understandable EV adjustment for brand spanking new customers.

Canon has additionally improved upon the only Customized mode supplied on the 5D to incorporate three Customized modes on the 5D Mark II. All of those new modes could be accessed instantly on the digital camera’s mode dial.

Velocity enhance. The Canon EOS-5D Mark II will get a gentle pace enhance over its 3 fps predecessor, being rated as capable of shoot photos at 3.9 frames per second. Our measurements give you 3.89, which is shut sufficient for us. That is not unhealthy contemplating what number of bits it is shifting due to its 21.1-megapixel sensor. Burst depth varies relying on whether or not you are utilizing a typical or UDMA CompactFlash card. And because the 5D Mark II is suitable with UDMA via mode 6, the buffer clearing speeds may get quicker. For UDMA playing cards, the 5D Mark II permits limitless burst depth when capturing massive / effective JPEGs, or as many as 14 Uncooked information; barely shorter than the 17 Uncooked file burst doable within the unique 5D, however then that is maybe comprehensible given the upper burst pace and vastly increased picture resolutions and ensuing file sizes. Non-UDMA CompactFlash burst depth in Uncooked mode is barely simply barely shorter, at 13 frames.

Variable RAW. The Canon 5D Mark II additionally provides a Variable Uncooked mode as seen in a number of the firm’s previous cameras. Given the massive 21.1-megapixel decision, it is probably for use very often by photographers who do not want the huge file sizes however need the 5D Mark II’s different options. The diminished Variable RAW sizes are roughly ten and 5 megapixels respectively, and are assembled from the complete picture body with none cropping.

Just a few different helpful options seen on Canon’s previous EOS 50D and carried over listed below are Excessive ISO Noise Discount (adjustable in 4 steps), an Auto Lighting Optimizer (once more providing 4 steps), and maybe most significantly for a full-frame digital SLR, Lens Peripheral Illumination Correction, or vignetting correction.

Sensor. In comparison with the picture sensor from the unique Canon 5D, the pixel pitch within the 5D Mark II’s imager has dropped from 8.2µm to six.4µm — the identical as that of the 1Ds Mark III’s sensor, in addition to the EOS 20D’s sensor, and the {hardware} structure can also be similar to that of the professional digital camera. Nevertheless, the Canon 5D II’s sensor sports activities new RGB coloration filters with an improved transmission price.

A few enhancements from the Canon 50D’s picture sensor additionally make their method into the 5D Mark II’s imager: an enchancment within the per-pixel, light-sensitive space, and practically gapless microlenses. They’ve additionally improved the output amplifier to allow quicker transfers, in addition to a 30 fps HD film output with out heating up the sensor, and Canon tells us that there are different unspecified enhancements to the best way the picture is developed on-chip. These adjustments are all stated to return collectively to imply a cleaner sign that requires much less amplification. In keeping with our check outcomes, Canon’s engineers obtained it proper, because the Canon 5D Mark II produces spectacular photos.

Storage and battery. The Canon 5D Mark II makes use of a typical CompactFlash Sort I and II slot, but it surely helps UDMA Mode 6, which is not even obtainable available on the market but. Present UDMA playing cards assist information switch of as much as 45MB per second, however when the Mode 6 playing cards arrive, they’re going to assist as much as 133MB per second.

The larger information for your complete EOS line is the 5D Mark II’s new Clever lithium-ion battery pack. Although it seems to be lots just like the outdated BP-511A that is nonetheless within the 50D, the 5D Mark II’s LP-E6 has better capability (1,800mAh) and intelligence inbuilt. Whereas Sony has had some of these packs for a while, Canon’s cameras have been fairly a bit much less informative in regards to the battery standing till the digital camera was near working out.
The LP-E6 is much more informative than previous methods, reporting battery life with six ranges on the battery icon, and one % increments within the Battery Data menu. The variety of photographs fired since final recharge can also be recorded and accessible via the identical menu, and the general anticipated battery life can also be tracked, giving a sign of when a battery has reached the top of its usable life. Since every battery has a singular serial quantity, this standing could be displayed on the Canon 5D Mark II, making it simpler to select the most effective batteries out of your arsenal on an vital or longer shoot. It is fairly a leap for the EOS system, and I am hoping we’ll see it on all future EOS cameras.

The brand new battery additionally has new recessed contacts, so it requires a brand new charger, the LC-E6 within the Americas, which incorporates the flip out prongs, and the LC-E6A which as a substitute features a energy wire matched to the widespread energy provides in different areas.

Battery and Wi-fi grips. There is a new vertical battery grip, the BG-E6, which may settle for both two LP-E6 batteries or a tray of AA batteries. There’s additionally a brand new WFT-E4A wi-fi transmitter, which is basically a clone of the WFT-E3A unit suitable with the Canon 40D and 50D, however with updates to assist the facility and connection necessities of the EOS 5D II digital camera physique. This wi-fi transmitter lets you connect both a GPS or a USB storage machine.

Twig stock. I am undecided why I preferred this massive tree, however now I am having fun with the truth that, if I needed to, I may rely each twig on this tree, due to the unimaginable element recorded via the EF 24-105mm f/4 L lens at f/8.

Capturing with the 5D Mark II. Should you’ve shot with any Canon EOS SLR for the previous 20 years, you may be fairly accustomed to the controls on the Canon 5D Mark II. They’re laid out very nicely, making for a really utilitarian design whose true magnificence is barely found if you begin to shoot.

Have been it not for my familiarity with the Canon EOS design, the one criticism I would give to the 5D Mark II is the situation of its energy swap, which is poorly situated beneath the Fast Management dial. Nevertheless, as I say, anybody accustomed to EOS design shall be accustomed to this oddity. I am much more comfy with the facility swap across the shutter button, as it’s on most Nikon SLRs. However that apart, I’ve to say it is all very simple to get used to.

Darkish nook. I used to be happy with the element I discovered on this comparatively darkish nook of this Smith Household Plantation home. Usually I would keep away from ISO 6,400, however I flipped to it with confidence.

ISO might be the setting I modify most frequently, and I can do it with both the rear standing show, the highest standing show, or the LED show within the viewfinder. I most likely use every technique about equally. After I have to make a change in a rush whereas nonetheless composing via the viewfinder, the ISO button is simple to seek out on the highest deck, only a half-inch behind the shutter button. As soon as pressed, I simply flip the Predominant Command dial to make the change and the numbers change within the viewfinder. After I examine and make my preliminary settings earlier than I start capturing, I alternate between the opposite two standing shows. I am extra accustomed to utilizing the highest deck LCD, however discover myself drawn to the colourful show on the again. The nice function is selection and flexibility, because the inventive photographer usually seems to be at his digital camera from a number of instructions relying on what and the way he is capturing.

I’ve already stated, but it surely bears repeating, that the AF cluster might be the largest adjustment a shooter switching from considered one of Canon’s APS-C-sized digital SLRs should make. I feel much more such folks will and should make this transfer, however I feel the warning is vital. You may have to regulate the best way you shoot. It actually is sort of one thing to have a digital camera’s AF system overlaying most of your body. Although I usually shoot with the middle level, when capturing candids I’ll typically lean on Mulit-point AF methods to simply make the most effective guess for me. Guesses have been fairly dependable with the APS-C designs, however with a full-frame sensor, you not solely have extra to think about within the body general, the prevailing sensors, particularly the middle level, cowl a much smaller share of the topic per level.

Add that the 5D Mark II’s extraordinarily excessive decision full-frame sensor calls for extra from these lenses than ever earlier than, and also you begin to see why getting focus proper is so crucial. The very slim depth of discipline supplied when capturing a closeup portrait indoors implies that getting the attention as a substitute of the eyebrow in focus will make or break an image. I am very grateful for the 5D Mark II’s AF Microadjustment function, as a result of I used to be capable of dial in a number of lenses earlier than a current shoot to make sure that my photographs have been certainly spot on, as a result of I had a nasty expertise with the unique 5D at instances, particularly when capturing portraits.

Spot-on. I used to be pleasantly stunned that although the depth of discipline on this shot was very slim, it is proper on his eye.

My first shot with the 5D Mark II illustrates the purpose properly. It is not notably noteworthy as {a photograph}, however I prefer it all the identical. Click on (twice) to see the full-size model, and you will see that my son’s eye is the one sharp level of deal with his face, in addition to the halo of his hair proper throughout the similar airplane. It is a good illustration of the issue one has when capturing huge open with any prime lens, in addition to the primary cause one chooses to shoot with a main lens. The colour stability could be very chilly on this picture, however that was correct for the sunshine, so it is onerous to fault the digital camera.

Additionally value noting is how the picture is framed just a little extra loosely than I usually would love. It is as a result of I knew I had my EF 85mm f/1.8 connected, and anticipated that I would have to be just a little additional again than I truly wanted to be, as a result of I am used to how this lens performs on a cropped sensor. That is one other adaptation you may must make when switching to or including a 5D Mark II to your arsenal: your expectations for every full-frame lens earlier than you pull it from the bag. I would have carried out higher with a 135mm lens for this topic, as that is in regards to the equal of an 85mm lens on a Canon cropped sensor.

Reside View makes it doable. Framing this down-angle shot would have required a ladder and superb stability, however the 5D Mark II’s stay view made it simple. Transfer the contrast-detect AF space to any one of many faces, and the remaining was simple. Besides having to rise up and down between every shot (observe the purple face on the bearded photographer).

Useful View. One other good instance of Reside View’s utility was after I shot our household portrait for this previous vacation. Although I want I had a taller tripod, it was good I did not, as a result of there was little or no room within the basement, and I may simply see the Reside View on the LCD at that peak and angle. I may have used an extended focal size and a taller tripod, however the primary function to see right here is simply the extraordinary element. And sure, I did crop and contact up this shot earlier than posting it right here, because it options yours actually and I am simply not that trustworthy.

Sports activities? Until your timing is already well-developed, I do not advocate the Canon 5D Mark II for sports activities pictures, regardless of its six further autofocus factors to assist with focus monitoring. Most of us want a quicker body price than 3.9 per second. As such, I didn’t do any sports activities capturing with the 5D Mark II.

Nevertheless, in the event you actually need to seize sports activities with the 5D Mark II, why not strive its HD film mode?

Film mode is what makes the Canon EOS 5D Mark II distinctive amongst different EOS digital SLRs: the addition of 1080p excessive definition video recording functionality. In a position to report 1,920 x 1,080 pixels or 640 x 480 pixels, each at 30 frames per second, this can be a large replace in comparison with the unique EOS-5D. The Canon 5D Mark II is restricted to both a 4 gigabyte file dimension, or 29 minutes and 59 seconds of elapsed recording time.

The Canon 5D Mark II information its movies as .MOV information, utilizing MPEG-4 compression. These information comprise PCM audio sampled at 44Khz — both recorded on the digital SLR’s built-in mono microphone, or courtesy of a typical stereo microphone mini-jack. The Canon 5D Mark II is able to providing each the Lens Peripheral Illumination Correction and Auto Lighting Optimizer capabilities for its film seize mode in addition to for stills. The identical shouldn’t be true of the digital camera’s nonetheless picture Excessive ISO Noise Discount operate, nonetheless.

Film pattern. Click on to obtain 52.3MB .MOV file. Be aware: This 1080p film is barely prone to play on quick, trendy computer systems, with more moderen film gamers.

In use, although, the 5D Mark II’s film mode is not as simple as a completely automated camcorder. It does not autofocus “stay” on the fly as most shall be accustomed to, and sudden adjustments of publicity degree may cause momentary interruptions within the recorded video stream because the digital camera works to regulate settings. Publicity can also be set routinely, together with shutter pace (from 1/30 to 1/125), aperture and ISO sensitivity. You should use EV compensation to regulate publicity up and down, and focus manually by turning the focusing ring on the lens, but it surely’s finest to do these items earlier than you start recording, as a result of making these changes makes noise that the microphone will choose up, and may trigger digital camera motion whether or not on or off a tripod.

So sadly, you’ll be able to’t exchange your camcorder outright with the Canon 5D like you’ll be able to with some extra standard digital cameras. However what you are able to do is fairly spectacular in the event you consider film making like a photographer would. The most effective films, in truth function movies, are made in small snippets which can be reduce collectively later to make the ultimate story. Not not like a marriage album. You are simply planning and capturing extra moments as video snapshots as a substitute of nonetheless photos. But it surely takes some follow.

The benefit you will have is the flexibility to make use of huge angle and telephoto optics the like of which might value you a lot hundreds of {dollars} to duplicate on a high-end video digital camera. What you are able to do with bokeh (out of focus areas) to isolate your topics from background and foreground, particularly with brief to lengthy telephoto lenses, is fairly spectacular. Quick lenses will even open up some fascinating indoor and evening cinematography alternatives to the fastidious video artist.

Be aware that the Canon 5D Mark II’s video additionally suffers from the identical Jello-effect we noticed on the Nikon D90. It is an impact produced by the top-to-bottom linear technique that the digital camera makes use of to attract a picture off the sensor. Should you pan quickly, vertical strains within the picture will seem to lean in the other way of the pan. Pan backwards and forwards quickly and your complete picture shakes like Jello.

Film snap. One different notable movie-related level is that the Canon EOS-5D II provides a “film snap” operate. Primarily, it has separate shutter buttons for film and nonetheless picture recording, and if the person presses the nonetheless picture shutter throughout film recording, the digital camera will seize a full-resolution nonetheless picture with out ceasing to report the film. It additionally inserts the nonetheless picture into the film, somewhat than leaving a clean body. This idea shall be fairly acquainted to those that use a Canon PowerShot S5 IS. It’s going to additionally remind you of spy films the place somebody is taking file footage of some suspect via a digital camera lens.

HDMI output. There is a Mini-HDMI output port for viewing photos on a high-definition show, and you may clearly additionally watch your films this manner. The output is 1080i (interlaced), not 1080p (progressive), whereas the 5D Mark II’s film information themselves are captured and saved in 1080p, which is most well-liked. No cable is included, sadly, so you may want a Mini-HDMI to HDMI cable, or an adapter.


Canon 5D Mark II Picture high quality

Canon 5D Mark II vs Canon 1Ds Mark III @ ISO 3,200

The Canon 5D Mark II’s picture high quality is exceptional. Excessive ISO efficiency is improved over the Canon 1Ds Mark III, as is the ISO vary (the latter stopped at ISO 3,200). As such, we’ll examine their ISO 3,200 photos.

Canon 5D Mark II
ISO 3,200
Canon 1Ds Mark III
ISO 3,200

On the left we see how a lot cleaner the shadow areas are, and certainly even the oil inside is obvious on the 5D Mark II picture. On the correct, nonetheless, although chroma noise and distinction are increased, and the element within the phrase MAS is a bit more crisp. In most of Canon’s digital SLRs, however particularly professional cameras, Canon has been leaving picture enchancment to the photographer, however now the corporate is clearly leaning towards making JPEGs cleaner than earlier than. It is most likely a greater method, as a result of most experts who will tweak on a pc will shoot RAW, whereas the non-tweakers simply want an excellent picture quick.


Canon 5D Mark II vs Nikon D700 @ ISO 12,800

For me, the actual intrigue with these new SLRs able to high quality excessive ISO efficiency is whether or not they’ll enable you to get the shot in low gentle with out vital injury to element from noise and noise suppression exercise. So although it is evaluating the 5D Mark II’s 21-megapixel sensor to the Nikon D700’s 12-megapixel sensor, it is fascinating to see what you get from every JPEG file.

Canon 5D Mark II
ISO 12,800
Nikon D700
ISO 12,800
Naturally you get a bigger picture from the 5D Mark II, since its sensor is nearly twice the pixel rely because the Nikon D700. Considered at 100% it is shocking that each sensors ship an analogous degree of element after noise suppression is utilized and the JPEG is created. The 5D Mark II leaves a number of extra black dots behind than the D700’s picture. As soon as cleaned up a bit extra, or translated from RAW, I am certain the Canon’s increased decision would guarantee a barely bigger printed picture, however the outcomes are nonetheless fairly comparable.

Out of curiosity, I resized the D700 picture to roughly match the pixel dimensions of the 5D Mark II picture utilizing Photoshop’s Bicubic Sharper, with a 0.3/100% Unsharp Masks, and the element continues to be comparable, if just a little softer (see backside proper picture). When capturing at increased ISOs, the actual check is whether or not you will have sufficient element to work with after the very fact, and evidently each cameras do fairly nicely.

Lest it seem to be I am attempting to advocate for the D700, the spectacular bit is that the Canon 5D with its smaller pixels and noise suppression energetic does in addition to it does towards the Nikon D700’s far bigger pixels. Each cameras will ship adequate element at increased ISOs than most some other digital camera for the cash. Keep in mind, although, that the D700’s different key benefit is the flexibility to seize as much as eight frames per second at full-frame with the battery pack, whereas the 5D Mark II is restricted to three.9 fps. So it actually comes all the way down to what you are searching for in a digital SLR.


Canon 5D Mark II vs Sony A900 @ ISO 6,400

Subsequent we now have to check the Canon 5D Mark II’s highest widespread ISO with the Sony A900 and Nikon D3x, since these are its most blatant rivals at this decision, no less than as of this writing. Beginning with the A900:

Canon 5D Mark II
ISO 6,400
Sony A900
ISO 6,400

Within the case of the Sony A900, increased decision doesn’t assist increased ISO high quality. Both the Sony’s 24.6-megapixel sensor’s smaller pixels cannot collect adequate gentle for higher efficiency, or the anti-noise processing expertise hasn’t caught as much as what Canon and Nikon are doing in the mean time. Although I am nonetheless a robust admirer of the A900’s picture high quality at ISO 800 and under, it is clearly not the digital camera to deliver alongside for handheld low-light photographs.

Canon 5D Mark II vs Nikon D3x @ ISO 6,400

The Nikon D3x simply got here out, which we have assumed shared a sensor design with the Sony A900, so its full-frame high quality can also be value taking a look at subsequent to the Canon 5D Mark II.

Canon 5D Mark II
ISO 6,400
Nikon D3x
ISO 6,400

Discuss misguided assumptions! Now you need to ask your self how the Nikon D3x may probably use the identical sensor design because the A900, when it outperforms even the Canon 5D Mark II at its highest ISO setting. Those that have been belly-aching in regards to the D3x’s $8,000 value level ought to pipe down. Nonetheless, the 5D Mark II does examine nicely contemplating its $2,700 value and video functionality. And although it appears clear that the D3x’s 24.5-megapixel sensor may go to increased ISO settings, the Canon 5D Mark II can go two stops increased and nonetheless seize affordable element in low gentle.


Decision. 21 megapixels is adequate that you simply actually needn’t fear in regards to the slight softness to the Canon 5D Mark II’s JPEGs when seen at 100% onscreen. You may be very pleased with prints from the digital camera at as much as 24×36 inches. After all you may get rather more decision and element in the event you shoot RAW and develop the file with a program just like the included Digital Picture Professional, Adobe Photoshop’s Digicam RAW, or Bibble Professional.

See the Sensor part on the Picture High quality tab of this overview for rather more on the Canon 5D Mark II’s very good efficiency.

Black dots. Shortly after the Canon EOS 5D Mark II shipped, customers started reporting a wierd “black dot” error, the place small factors of sunshine have been rendered with an accompanying black dot simply to the correct. We did not see the phenomena till we took a particular picture to display the problem. It took a number of lighting, lens, and ISO adjustments to get a shot that confirmed the impact. Be aware that these parts are very small within the body, and you’re unlikely to see them besides when the picture is enlarged considerably.

Earlier than
1/60 sec, f/8.0, ISO 3,200, 24mm
Enlarged 400%
Firmware 1.0.6
1/60 sec, f/8.0, ISO 3,200, 24mm
Enlarged 400%
Firmware 1.0.7


In December of 2008, Canon introduced that they have been conscious of the issue and dealing on a repair, and on January 7, 2009, they launched a firmware replace to deal with the issue. Above you see the earlier than and after photographs, taken from the identical location with all the identical settings.

A banding difficulty associated to the sRAW1 format was additionally fastened with the firmware replace, however we don’t have earlier than and after photographs for that.

Appraisal. The Canon 5D Mark II is one wonderful photographic device, designed and constructed for use by critical photographers, and not using a lot to distract from making nice footage. That is the great thing about the road, and one of many key carry-overs from the 5D itself: elegant utility borrowed from the Canon 20D and 40D designs, mixed with revolutionary picture high quality introduced down from Canon’s skilled line of cameras.

It does not have the very best decision available on the market, however the Canon 5D Mark II does extra with what it has than we have seen at this value vary and dimension. The distinction between 21.1 megapixels and 24.6 actually is not that giant, so even in the event you have been to stay to the decrease ISO vary, the 5D Mark II is a cut price in comparison with the Sony A900. It additionally delivers extra pixels at decrease decision than the dearer Nikon D700, although they’re fairly nicely equally competent at increased ISO settings. Sure, it’s bested by the Nikon D3x, however at lower than half the value, who’s stunned?

Every of the sub-$3,000 full-frame digital SLRs provides its personal distinctive power. The Nikon D700 could “solely” be 12.1 megapixels, however it could hearth off eight frames per second, and has some very spectacular high-ISO efficiency. The Sony A900 provides astonishingly excessive decision, at 24.6 megapixels, and but nonetheless cranks out a good 5 frames per second. And the Canon 5D Mark II has very excessive decision of 21.1 megapixels with the additional advantage of HD film seize. Until you want excessive pace seize, and a 30fps HD film is out of the query, the Canon 5D Mark II seems to supply the most effective of each of its rivals, with excessive decision seize and glorious excessive ISO efficiency. Your wants and your lens assortment will assist resolve which method you lean; the massive story is that for the primary time you will have a selection.


Canon 5D Mark II Fundamental Options

  • 21.1-megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 3.9 frames per second
  • 3.0-inch LCD with 920,000 pixels
  • Prime Standing LCD
  • ISO vary from 50 to 25,600
  • Shutter speeds from 30 seconds to 1/8,000 second
  • Compact Flash Sort I and II UDMA slots
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • 6.0 x 4.5 x 3.0 in (152 x 114 x 75mm)
  • 2.02 kilos (920g) with battery and card, however no lens


Canon 5D Mark II Particular Options

  • DIGIC 4 picture processor for quicker picture processing
  • 14-bit A/D conversion for finer coloration gradation
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps
  • Constructed-in microphone
  • 3.5mm stereo mini jack for attaching exterior mic
  • Helps UDMA playing cards for future switch speeds of as much as 133MB/sec
  • Shutter rated for 150,000 photographs
  • Higher moisture sealing
  • Peripheral Illumination Correction fixes vignetting for a lot of lenses
  • EOS Built-in Cleansing System to cut back the destructive results of mud
  • Greater optical viewfinder
  • New focusing screens
  • Improved AF sensor compensates for focus errors attributable to totally different gentle sources
  • AF Microadjustment setting permits you to tune lenses to be their sharpest
  • Filth, smudge, and glare resistant LCD cowl glass
  • Face detection autofocus picks out the closest face and even lets you transfer amongst as much as 35 faces
  • New battery provides better capability and safer contacts, in addition to information change with the digital camera to trace variety of photographs and battery power
  • Mini-HDMI video output port
  • Accepts battery grip for simpler vertical capturing and better battery life
  • Accepts Wi-fi File Transmitter grip for connectivity to WiFi networks, LANs, GPS models, and USB drives
  • Auto Lighting Optimizer helps retain shadow element
  • Spotlight Tone Precedence helps preserve spotlight element


Within the Field

The retail bundle incorporates the next gadgets:

  • 5D Mark II physique
  • Physique cap
  • Battery
  • Battery cap LP-E6
  • Charger LC-E6
  • Digicam strap
  • USB cable
  • AV cable
  • Software program CD 19.1
  • Directions CD
  • Manuals
  • Pocket information
  • Different literature


Beneficial Equipment

  • Additional LP-E6 battery
  • Giant capability CompactFlash reminiscence card (Nowadays, 8GB is a about proper if you are going to shoot JPEGs; in the event you shoot JPEG+RAW, although, or films, assume 16GB or increased.)
  • Digicam bag


Canon 5D Mark II Conclusion

Professional: Con:
  • Glorious picture high quality
  • Strong development
  • Properly-placed controls
  • Giant viewfinder
  • 3 complete standing shows
  • 14-bit Analog to Digital conversion
  • Huge ISO vary
  • Glorious excessive ISO efficiency
  • Quicker body price than its predecessor
  • Giant, high-resolution LCD
  • Reside view mode with contrast-detect AF and Face-detect choices
  • Face detection works to enhance publicity on faces
  • 5 or 10x zoom permits extra correct handbook focus
  • Silent shutter modes
  • HD video seize
  • Glorious grip; good grip surfaces
  • Constructed-in IR distant management sensor (no distant included)
  • Constructed-in microphone for audio when recording video
  • Exterior stereo mic jack
  • Speaker to play again video with audio
  • Film snap mode permits seize of full-res stills which can be additionally dropped into video
  • Scorching shoe sealed when used with Canon 580EX II
  • Ambient gentle sensor adjusts LCD brightness
  • Artistic Auto mode permits new customers to have a look at digital camera settings in another way
  • AF system is quick and correct
  • Limitless burst depth when capturing JPEGs
  • Captures as much as 14 RAW information in burst mode
  • Auto Lighting Optimizer works to save lots of shadows
  • Spotlight Tone Precedence mode works to protect highlights
  • Lens Peripheral Illumination Correction compensates for vignetting
  • Variable RAW sizes
  • Quick UDMA CF card interface, constructed to assist future excessive switch charges
  • Clever lithium-ion battery pack tracks sensor rely and battery situation by serial quantity
  • Recessed battery contacts make shorting much less probably
  • Obtainable battery and wi-fi grip provides GPS, better storage choices
  • ISO is simple to vary
  • AF Microadjustment lets you tune lenses to the digital camera physique
  • Mini-HDMI output port
  • Very easy photos with noise suppression enabled
  • A number of ranges of noise suppression obtainable
  • Glorious low-light sensitivity
  • Printed output good as much as 24×36 inches
  • ISO 6,400 photographs are usable as much as 13×19 inches!
  • Quick startup and shutdown
  • Quick buffer clearing time
  • Very quick autofocus
  • Quick shot-to-shot instances
  • Very quick add speeds
  • Glorious battery lifetime of 850 photographs with no Reside View utilization
  • Excellent package lens
  • Aggressive pricing
  • JPEGs are barely smooth
  • Digicam could also be too massive for these with smaller palms
  • Does not settle for EF-S lenses
  • No pop-up flash
  • Solely single cross-type AF sensor
  • AF array is small in comparison with general picture space
  • Comparatively sluggish body price of three.9 frames per second
  • Odd energy swap location
  • Film mode does not fairly exchange a camcorder
  • No AF in film mode
  • Films choose up all sounds when adjusting settings, together with utilizing the handbook focus ring
  • Video has Jello-effect
  • Video gaps barely when publicity adjustments quickly
  • Oversaturates reds considerably
  • Auto white stability leaves incandescent lighting method too heat
  • Reside View mode drains battery quickly
  • No IR sensor to dim LCD if you deliver the digital camera to your eye


The Canon 5D Mark II is certainly a premium digital SLR. It is not simply the very excessive decision that makes it stand out, however the glorious excessive ISO efficiency, successfully supplying you with the liberty to shoot handheld in situations the place you’d usually want a flash or a tripod.

Enhancements over the unique 5D abound, together with an even bigger viewfinder picture, quicker body price, a bigger picture buffer, and a quicker information path. Almost the entire new options from different current fashions have additionally been added, together with a two-motor shutter and mirror association, silent shutter mode, a complete Reside View mode, multi-stage noise suppression choices, and several other options designed to enhance widespread issues, like blown highlights, plugged shadows, and vignetting. Two minor choices pile on to make the 5D Mark II much more premium: a built-in distant management sensor and an ambient gentle sensor to routinely modify the LCD.

The addition of Excessive-Definition film mode opens up new avenues for enterprising photographers, giving them the flexibility to seize video snippets in addition to excessive decision images, enhancing what they will supply to their shoppers. Because the creation of Reside View, it has been an apparent play, and that is the most effective implementation we have seen. It is vital to notice that that is nonetheless a device for photographers, although, and does not but exchange the convenience of essentially the most primary camcorder, as a result of it lacks autofocus; and vital publicity adjustments may end up in momentary gaps within the video. Nonetheless, video hobbyists have seldom had a lot optical selection at their disposal for thus little cash.

When the unique 5D debuted three years in the past, it wasn’t clear why most fans would need such a digital camera. Although it captured glorious, excessive decision photos, it was slower and greater and dearer. Right now the market has modified considerably, and it is clear that the market is prepared for full-frame digital SLRs that may end up excessive picture high quality. Prime quality is one factor, however being a digital camera that may ship top quality over a variety of lighting situations and totally different ISO settings is what makes the Canon 5D Mark II such a compelling selection, and a transparent Dave’s Picks.


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