Canon 5D Mark II Evaluate


5D Mark II Abstract

The Canon EOS-5D Mark II raises the requirements of all the EOS line, as it’s the first EOS digital SLR digicam to supply each nonetheless and video seize. The Canon 5D Mark II additionally consists of many 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 all the EOS line, as it’s the first EOS digital SLR digicam to supply each nonetheless and video seize. The Canon 5D Mark II additionally consists of many 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 total picture high quality for a lot of photographers, it lags behind in just a few 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 doubtless 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 when it comes to decision, and the Canon EOS 5D Mark II certainly outperforms that digicam when it comes to 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 presents 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 photographs 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 Dwell 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 in all probability 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 motion pictures 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 in opposition to Nikon’s D90, which may do 720p video, however that’ll have to attend till the subsequent model, maybe.

The Canon 5D Mark II is kind of a digicam, one which appears to trump the opposite two full-frame digital SLR cameras on this worth vary. Certainly, the truth that its anticipated body-only pricing will probably 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 can even supply a package that features a 24-105mm Canon L lens for a price ticket of $3,499. See the Person Report beneath for the complete story.


Canon 5D Mark II
Person Report

by Shawn Barnett, with Mike Tomkins

Known as a Premium digital SLR at its introduction, the unique Canon EOS 5D has aged considerably during the last three years. However, it is nonetheless regarded by many as one of the best image-maker available on the market in its class, with a remarkably clean tone curve. Certainly, I mentioned that photographs from the EOS 5D had an intangible high quality that was tough to quantify. Every part has a extra “actual” look to it, a more true illustration, such that you simply really feel like you may attain out and contact the thing or particular person photographed.

Has Canon maintained that ethereal high quality? A lot has modified out there since 2004, it is a good query. Nikon has thrown down the gauntlet in a number of areas of picture high quality, particularly when it comes to excessive ISO efficiency, that it will 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 stage of magic, however what’s certain is that Canon’s consideration to the excessive ISO challenge has produced a digicam whose excessive decision photographs stand as much as substantial enlargement even on the highest settings. The 5D Mark II additionally provides 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 in search of a smaller physique. Right now there are much more photographers prepared to pay for a critical digital SLR digicam, 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 look. The looks of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II is all enterprise, identical to the remainder of the cameras on this fanatic lineup. Controls are virtually completely positioned, and will probably be acquainted to homeowners of nearly any Canon digicam 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 an identical to the unique Canon 5D.

The digicam is substantial, however not so cumbersome that it is exhausting to carry for these with medium-sized fingers. The heft undoubtedly provides to the 5D Mark II’s stability when capturing, and the massive grip has a notch to assist information your hand to the proper place each time. These with smaller fingers would possibly 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 components stand out, although. The primary is the brand new infrared distant management sensor that seems proper beneath the self-timer mild (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 moderately 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 facet of the digicam, mixed with a flat entrance, which makes it simpler to carry the digicam with the left when checking photographs or making settings.

One different merchandise to think about when wanting on the entrance of the Canon 5D Mark II is that huge mirror inside. It is a full body digicam, equal in dimension to 35mm movie. As nice as that’s, current homeowners of newer Canon {hardware} must go away their EF-S lenses out of the equation when contemplating a Canon EOS 5D Mark II as their subsequent digicam, as a result of EF-S lenses will not even mount on the Mark II. Their quick again focus design sticks into the digicam physique a lot that it will get hit by the massive mirror; as such, the digicam 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 had been pleased to see on the Nikon D700 full-frame digital SLR. Even for professionals, a small flash in a pinch is a welcome possibility.

The bigger 3-inch LCD pushed only some objects round on this decidedly massive digicam: the 4 buttons to the left have moved nearer to the sting, they usually’re joined by the delete button (marked by a garbage can icon). The ability change, too, received nudged proper a bit. Good of the optical viewfinder are 4 holes for the speaker, the place you’ll be able to take heed to audio recorded in Film mode. The Print/Share button simply left of the optical viewfinder additionally serves because the Dwell View mode toggle button. And the AF-ON button that first appeared on the Canon 40D arrives on the 5D Mark II. Additionally notice the seal across the sizzling 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 mild sensor that seems excellent of the ability change, which adjusts the LCD brightness primarily based on the ambient mild.

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

From the highest we get a view of the best package lens Canon has ever bundled with a digicam, the image-stabilized Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS zoom lens. (Click on right here to see our evaluate 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 Inventive Auto mode, which permits the person to regulate the Flash, decision, drive mode, and Image Fashion, in addition to shoot RAW. A particular menu allows you to regulate aperture settings when it comes to desired background blur, and publicity instances when it comes to whether or not you need the picture darker or brighter.

The management buttons to the proper, showing above the Standing LCD have been reshuffled and regrouped from their positions on the unique 5D, with Metering and White steadiness 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 mild 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 mandatory, 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 presents 98% protection as a substitute of 96%, together with a 21mm eyepoint as a substitute of 20mm. House owners of the unique Canon 5D can even have to know that together with the viewfinder enhancements comes a change to a more recent sequence of interchangeable screens.

I nonetheless discover that the 5D Mark II’s viewfinder vignettes considerably once 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 snug 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 intention 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.

Further 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 exhausting 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 big, however on the 5D Mark II, many 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 on the subject of computational pace, to make sure, because the 51-point AF system on the Nikon D300 and D700 can delay whereas the digicam analyses the scene, whereas the 5D Mark II is kind of a bit snappier.

Dwell View. Click on picture for callouts.

Dwell View. The Canon 5D Mark II additionally bests the unique 5D by providing a dwell 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, Dwell 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 presents two modes for focusing in Dwell View mode, one in every 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 suggestion 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. If you happen to solely press the shutter launch, the digicam is not going to focus. This takes some getting used to.

Fast mode. The primary Dwell 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 could 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 mild up after the mirror flips again as much as inform you which areas are in focus, moderately than leaving that to guesswork because the Insurgent XSi does. Autofocus on this mode is kind of a bit slower than with the optical viewfinder, however sooner than Dwell mode.

Dwell mode. Distinction-detect mode is named Dwell mode, as a result of the Canon 5D Mark II does its focusing with the information that comes dwell from the sensor. You get a rectangle you could transfer across the display 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 substantiate 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 may also be overlaid over the picture, although it is a disgrace that the histogram remains to be opaque, blocking a lot of the picture, moderately than translucent as different corporations have managed.

Dwell 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 digicam, you already know about how properly it detects faces on the Canon 5D Mark II: fairly properly. Autofocus is rather a lot slower on the 5D Mark II, nevertheless, because it has to course of much more information to evaluate focus, and transfer far bigger optics than are present in a digicam; however it’s not unhealthy. It will take just a few seconds to focus at instances, particularly when handheld. Typically sooner, typically slower. The system can observe much more faces than different programs we have seen at this level, although, at as much as 35 forward-looking faces.

If the Canon 5D Mark II detects multiple face, it provides two arrows across the body it is positioned round its top-priority face, telling you you could flip the Fast Command dial to pick 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 you could navigate with both the Fundamental dial and the Fast Management dial or the Multi-controller joystick. The Fundamental dial strikes amongst tabs no matter your place within the menu, and the Fast Management dial strikes up and down via the menu objects. 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 picks.

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

Canon stored the highest deck standing show, which is sweet for me, as a result of I nonetheless use that by default; however the brand new rear menu can also be useful for making adjustments as properly, particularly when the digicam is mounted on a tripod. I am not at all times pleased with it, because it would not at all times reply how I believe it ought to. Typically shifting down would not take you to the place you assume it ought to, as a substitute requiring a number of totally different route adjustments to succeed in the management you want. However total, I am glad it is there as a dwell menu, moderately 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 a substitute, 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 Inventive 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 Fashion. Setting aperture and publicity are transformed to simpler ideas of background blur (blurred or sharp), and publicity stage (darker or brighter) with a slider that is adjusted with the Fast Management dial. The extra advanced publicity selections stay underneath automated management in CA mode. The publicity slider is the extra helpful, standing in as a extra understandable EV adjustment for brand new customers.

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

Velocity increase. The Canon EOS-5D Mark II will get a light pace increase over its 3 fps predecessor, being rated as in a position to shoot photographs 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 because of its 21.1-megapixel sensor. Burst depth varies relying on whether or not you are utilizing an ordinary or UDMA CompactFlash card. And for the reason that 5D Mark II is suitable with UDMA via mode 6, the buffer clearing speeds may get sooner. For UDMA playing cards, the 5D Mark II permits limitless burst depth when capturing massive / high quality JPEGs, or as many as 14 Uncooked information; barely shorter than the 17 Uncooked file burst potential within the authentic 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 simply simply barely shorter, at 13 frames.

Variable RAW. The Canon 5D Mark II additionally presents a Variable Uncooked mode as seen in a few of the firm’s previous cameras. Given the massive 21.1-megapixel decision, it is doubtless for use very often by photographers who do not want the huge file sizes however need the 5D Mark II’s different options. The lowered 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 an identical to that of the professional digicam. Nevertheless, the Canon 5D II’s sensor sports activities new RGB colour 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 sooner 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 mentioned to return collectively to imply a cleaner sign that requires much less amplification. In keeping with our take a look at outcomes, Canon’s engineers received it proper, because the Canon 5D Mark II produces spectacular photographs.

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

The larger information for all the EOS line is the 5D Mark II’s new Clever lithium-ion battery pack. Although it appears to be like rather a lot just like the previous BP-511A that is nonetheless within the 50D, the 5D Mark II’s LP-E6 has higher capability (1,800mAh) and intelligence inbuilt. Whereas Sony has had these kind of packs for a while, Canon’s cameras have been fairly a bit much less informative in regards to the battery standing till the digicam was near working out.
The LP-E6 is much more informative than previous programs, reporting battery life with six ranges on the battery icon, and one % increments within the Battery Information 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 may be displayed on the Canon 5D Mark II, making it simpler to select one of the best 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 twine 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 help the ability and connection necessities of the EOS 5D II digicam physique. This wi-fi transmitter permits you to connect both a GPS or a USB storage system.

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

Taking pictures with the 5D Mark II. If you happen to’ve shot with any Canon EOS SLR for the previous 20 years, you may be fairly conversant in the controls on the Canon 5D Mark II. They’re laid out very properly, making for a really utilitarian design whose true magnificence is simply found while 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 placement of its energy change, which is poorly positioned beneath the Fast Management dial. Nevertheless, as I say, anybody conversant in EOS design will probably be accustomed to this oddity. I am much more snug with the ability change across the shutter button, as it’s on most Nikon SLRs. However that apart, I’ve to say it is all very straightforward 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 in all probability use every technique about equally. Once I have to make a change in a rush whereas nonetheless composing via the viewfinder, the ISO button is simple to search out on the highest deck, only a half-inch behind the shutter button. As soon as pressed, I simply flip the Fundamental Command dial to make the change and the numbers change within the viewfinder. Once I test 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 alternative and flexibility, for the reason that artistic photographer usually appears to be like at his digicam from a number of instructions relying on what and the way he is capturing.

I’ve already mentioned, however it bears repeating, that the AF cluster might be the largest adjustment a shooter switching from one in every of Canon’s APS-C-sized digital SLRs must make. I believe much more such individuals will and should make this transfer, however I believe the warning is vital. You may have to regulate the best way you shoot. It actually is kind of one thing to have a digicam’s AF system protecting most of your body. Despite the fact that I usually shoot with the middle level, when capturing candids I’ll typically lean on Mulit-point AF programs to simply make one of the best guess for me. Guesses had 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 total, the prevailing sensors, particularly the middle level, cowl a much smaller proportion 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 subject provided 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 in a position to dial in a number of lenses earlier than a current shoot to make sure that my photographs had been certainly spot on, as a result of I had a foul expertise with the unique 5D at instances, particularly when capturing portraits.

Spot-on. I used to be pleasantly shocked that although the depth of subject 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 isn’t 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 concentrate on his face, in addition to the halo of his hair proper inside the identical airplane. It is a good illustration of the issue one has when capturing huge open with any prime lens, in addition to the principle purpose one chooses to shoot with a main lens. The colour steadiness could be very chilly on this picture, however that was correct for the sunshine, so it is exhausting to fault the digicam.

Additionally value noting is how the picture is framed a little bit extra loosely than I usually would really like. 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 a little bit 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 should 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.

Dwell View makes it potential. Framing this down-angle shot would have required a ladder and superb steadiness, however the 5D Mark II’s dwell view made it straightforward. Transfer the contrast-detect AF space to any one of many faces, and the remainder was straightforward. Besides having to stand up and down between every shot (notice the crimson face on the bearded photographer).

Helpful View. One other good instance of Dwell View’s utility was once 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 Dwell View on the LCD at that top and angle. I may have used an extended focal size and a taller tripod, however the principle 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 really and I am simply not that sincere.

Sports activities? Except your timing is already well-developed, I do not suggest 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 sooner 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 wish 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. Capable of file 1,920 x 1,080 pixels or 640 x 480 pixels, each at 30 frames per second, it is a big replace in comparison with the unique EOS-5D. The Canon 5D Mark II is proscribed to both a 4 gigabyte file dimension, or 29 minutes and 59 seconds of elapsed recording time.

The Canon 5D Mark II data its movies as .MOV information, utilizing MPEG-4 compression. These information include PCM audio sampled at 44Khz — both recorded on the digital SLR’s built-in mono microphone, or courtesy of an ordinary 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 is just not true of the digicam’s nonetheless picture Excessive ISO Noise Discount operate, nevertheless.

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

In use, although, the 5D Mark II’s film mode is not as straightforward as a totally automated camcorder. It would not autofocus “dwell” on the fly as most will probably be accustomed to, and sudden adjustments of publicity stage could cause momentary interruptions within the recorded video stream because the digicam 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, however it’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 might trigger digicam motion whether or not on or off a tripod.

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

The benefit you may have is the flexibility to make use of huge angle and telephoto optics the like of which might price you a lot hundreds of {dollars} to duplicate on a high-end video digicam. What you are able to do with bokeh (out of focus areas) to isolate your topics from background and foreground, particularly with quick to lengthy telephoto lenses, is fairly spectacular. Quick lenses can 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 digicam makes use of to attract a picture off the sensor. If you happen to pan quickly, vertical traces within the picture will seem to lean in the other way of the pan. Pan forwards and backwards quickly and all the picture shakes like Jello.

Film snap. One different notable movie-related level is that the Canon EOS-5D II presents 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 digicam will seize a full-resolution nonetheless picture with out ceasing to file the film. It additionally inserts the nonetheless picture into the film, moderately than leaving a clean body. This idea will probably be fairly acquainted to those that use a Canon PowerShot S5 IS. It will additionally remind you of spy motion pictures the place somebody is taking file photos of some suspect via a digicam lens.

HDMI output. There is a Mini-HDMI output port for viewing photographs on a high-definition show, and you’ll clearly additionally watch your motion pictures this fashion. 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 popular. 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 outstanding. 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 evaluate their ISO 3,200 photographs.

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 evident on the 5D Mark II picture. On the proper, nevertheless, 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 in all probability a greater method, as a result of most experts who will tweak on a pc will shoot RAW, whereas the non-tweakers simply want a superb 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 get the shot in low mild 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 depend because the Nikon D700. Considered at 100% it is shocking that each sensors ship an analogous stage of element after noise suppression is utilized and the JPEG is created. The 5D Mark II leaves just a few 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 remains to be comparable, if a little bit softer (see backside proper picture). When capturing at increased ISOs, the actual take a look at is whether or not you may have sufficient element to work with after the very fact, and it appears that evidently each cameras do fairly properly.

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 in opposition to the Nikon D700’s far bigger pixels. Each cameras will ship enough element at increased ISOs than most some other digicam for the cash. Bear 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 proscribed to three.9 fps. So it actually comes right down to what you are in search of in a digital SLR.


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

Subsequent we have now to match 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 help increased ISO high quality. Both the Sony’s 24.6-megapixel sensor’s smaller pixels cannot collect enough mild for higher efficiency, or the anti-noise processing know-how hasn’t caught as much as what Canon and Nikon are doing in the intervening time. Although I am nonetheless a robust admirer of the A900’s picture high quality at ISO 800 and beneath, it is clearly not the digicam 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

Speak about misguided assumptions! Now you need to ask your self how the Nikon D3x may presumably 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 worth level ought to pipe down. Nonetheless, the 5D Mark II does evaluate properly contemplating its $2,700 worth 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 mild.


Decision. 21 megapixels is enough that you simply actually needn’t fear in regards to the slight softness to the Canon 5D Mark II’s JPEGs when considered at one hundred pc onscreen. You may be very pleased with prints from the digicam at as much as 24×36 inches. In fact you may get far 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 evaluate for far more on the Canon 5D Mark II’s excellent 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 had been rendered with an accompanying black dot simply to the proper. We did not see the phenomena till we took a particular picture to exhibit the problem. It took a number of lighting, lens, and ISO adjustments to get a shot that confirmed the impact. Be aware that these components are very small within the body, and you might be 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 had been conscious of the issue and dealing on a repair, and on January 7, 2009, they launched a firmware replace to handle the issue. Above you see the earlier than and after photographs, taken from the identical location with all the identical settings.

A banding challenge associated to the sRAW1 format was additionally mounted with the firmware replace, however we do not need earlier than and after photographs for that.

Appraisal. The Canon 5D Mark II is one superb photographic device, designed and constructed for use by critical photographers, with no lot to distract from making nice photos. That is the fantastic 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 would not have the best decision available on the market, however the Canon 5D Mark II does extra with what it has than we have seen at this worth vary and dimension. The distinction between 21.1 megapixels and 24.6 actually is not that enormous, so even in the event you had been to stay to the decrease ISO vary, the 5D Mark II is a discount in comparison with the Sony A900. It additionally delivers extra pixels at decrease decision than the costlier Nikon D700, although they’re fairly properly equally competent at increased ISO settings. Sure, it’s bested by the Nikon D3x, however at lower than half the worth, who’s shocked?

Every of the sub-$3,000 full-frame digital SLRs presents its personal distinctive energy. The Nikon D700 might “solely” be 12.1 megapixels, however it may possibly fireplace off eight frames per second, and has some very spectacular high-ISO efficiency. The Sony A900 presents astonishingly excessive decision, at 24.6 megapixels, and but nonetheless cranks out a decent 5 frames per second. And the Canon 5D Mark II has very excessive decision of 21.1 megapixels with the additional benefit of HD film seize. Except you want excessive pace seize, and a 30fps HD film is out of the query, the Canon 5D Mark II seems to supply one of the best of each of its rivals, with excessive decision seize and wonderful 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 may have a alternative.


Canon 5D Mark II Primary 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 sooner picture processing
  • 14-bit A/D conversion for finer colour 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
  • Larger optical viewfinder
  • New focusing screens
  • Improved AF sensor compensates for focus errors because of totally different mild sources
  • AF Microadjustment setting allows 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 permits you to transfer amongst as much as 35 faces
  • New battery presents higher capability and safer contacts, in addition to information alternate with the digicam to trace variety of photographs and battery energy
  • Mini-HDMI video output port
  • Accepts battery grip for simpler vertical capturing and higher battery life
  • Accepts Wi-fi File Transmitter grip for connectivity to WiFi networks, LANs, GPS items, and USB drives
  • Auto Lighting Optimizer helps retain shadow element
  • Spotlight Tone Precedence helps keep spotlight element


Within the Field

The retail bundle accommodates the next objects:

  • 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


Really useful Equipment

  • Further LP-E6 battery
  • Massive capability CompactFlash reminiscence card (As of late, 8GB is a about proper if you are going to shoot JPEGs; in the event you shoot JPEG+RAW, although, or motion pictures, assume 16GB or increased.)
  • Digicam bag


Canon 5D Mark II Conclusion

Professional: Con:
  • Glorious picture high quality
  • Stable building
  • Properly-placed controls
  • Massive viewfinder
  • 3 complete standing shows
  • 14-bit Analog to Digital conversion
  • Extensive ISO vary
  • Glorious excessive ISO efficiency
  • Quicker body price than its predecessor
  • Massive, high-resolution LCD
  • Dwell 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 are additionally dropped into video
  • Sizzling shoe sealed when used with Canon 580EX II
  • Ambient mild sensor adjusts LCD brightness
  • Inventive Auto mode permits new customers to take a look at digicam settings otherwise
  • 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 avoid wasting 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 help future excessive switch charges
  • Clever lithium-ion battery pack tracks sensor depend and battery situation by serial quantity
  • Recessed battery contacts make shorting much less doubtless
  • Obtainable battery and wi-fi grip presents GPS, higher storage choices
  • ISO is simple to alter
  • AF Microadjustment permits you to tune lenses to the digicam physique
  • Mini-HDMI output port
  • Very clean photographs with noise suppression enabled
  • A number of ranges of noise suppression out there
  • 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 Dwell View utilization
  • Excellent package lens
  • Aggressive pricing
  • JPEGs are barely tender
  • Digicam could also be too massive for these with smaller fingers
  • Does not settle for EF-S lenses
  • No pop-up flash
  • Solely single cross-type AF sensor
  • AF array is small in comparison with total picture space
  • Comparatively sluggish body price of three.9 frames per second
  • Odd energy change location
  • Film mode would not fairly substitute a camcorder
  • No AF in film mode
  • Motion pictures 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 steadiness leaves incandescent lighting method too heat
  • Dwell View mode drains battery quickly
  • No IR sensor to dim LCD while you deliver the digicam to your eye


The Canon 5D Mark II is certainly a premium digital SLR. It isn’t simply the very excessive decision that makes it stand out, however the wonderful excessive ISO efficiency, successfully providing 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, sooner body price, a bigger picture buffer, and a sooner information path. Practically 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 Dwell View mode, multi-stage noise suppression choices, and a number of 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 mild sensor to routinely regulate 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 pictures, enhancing what they will supply to their purchasers. For the reason that creation of Dwell View, it has been an apparent play, and that is one of the best implementation we have seen. It is vital to notice that that is nonetheless a device for photographers, although, and would not but substitute the convenience of probably 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 therefore little cash.

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


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