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Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLRs
Product DescriptionCanon's latest full-frame, pro digital SLR offers 21.1 megapixels of resolution as well as 1080p HD video capture. The sensitivity range is ISO 100 to 6400, expandable to ISO 25600. The EOS 5D Mark II also has a new 920k resolution, 3-inch Clear View LCD with Live View; and the DIGIC 4 processor can capture 3.9 frames-per-second at full resolution.
Submitted by Marc Smith
Date Reviewed: February 26, 2013
Strengths: Excellent Full frame sensor, paired with a 16-35 2.8 L II its about as wide and sharp as any combination!
Weaknesses: Speed, it is very slow at 3.6fps
Great for anything but high speed action!
Submitted by Lightcatcher a Expert
Date Reviewed: November 19, 2011
Strengths: Image quality
Full sized sensor
Weaknesses: Auto focus
High speed frame rate
In June of 2009 I stopped shooting film, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II is the reason. My last film camera was the Canon EOS 1V HS which I used for five years. I became addicted to the quality of the 1 series Canon machinery.
The 5D Mark II was Canon’s first full frame sensor DSLR that I could afford and has proven to be better than I anticipated, mostly. The 5D2 has a lengthy list of features, I’ll probably never use them all. You can find that list and camera specs elsewhere. I like the full sized sensor for wide lenses. I shoot with the Canon 15mm fisheye and the Canon 16-35mm among others.
To my way of thinking there is only one reason to purchase either a camera or lens, that reason is image quality. With a film camera, the camera is a light tight box and the detail of the scene is preserved with the lens and film and of course with digital the lens and the sensor preserve the detail of the scene. It’s been said that digital sensors surpassed film resolution at about 15 megapixels. With 21 megapixels on the sensor the 5D2 produces a RAW file of 25 megabytes give or take a few. When processed with the Canon camera software (DPP) and saved as a TIFF that file size becomes 60 megabytes. While the 5D2 body is good, it’s not up to series 1 standards, but the sensor is. The image file produced is so good it can be massively copped and still produce an excellent 13 x 19 inch print.
My 5D2 produces the sharpest photographs I have ever seen from any 35mm camera. It may match medium format in image quality.
One of the reasons I was reluctant to abandon film was that the early digital cameras were not so good at long exposures due to sensor noise. I have shot 30 second exposures at 100 & 200 ISO with excellent results. The 5D2 produces the best fireworks images I’ve ever shot. I shoot fireworks at ISO 100, f/16, manual focus with a remote release and generally expose for 3 to 6 seconds per shot with the camera on a tripod. I regularly use it for other long exposure night photography as well and I like the instant feedback that digital gives. In my film days long exposure night photography was pure guesswork, not anymore.
I use the BG-E6 battery grip with two batteries and have not had the batteries die in a full day’s shooting of maybe 150 frames. I now have over 8,000 shutter actuations on the camera and my only complaint is that the auto focus can be slow enough to miss an action shot. The 5D2 is not a good choice for fast moving sports as it will only shoot 3.9 frames per second. The image quality makes up for that. It’s a very good camera for travel, vacation, LANDSCAPE, portraits, weddings, and general photography.
To get an aperture of f/5.6 when shooting a wedding I had to set the ISO at 3,200. With application of the camera software noise reduction all of the shots were pretty clean. The newlyweds were very happy with them. I used an 18% grey card for white balance (including my flash there were FOUR different light temperatures in the church!) and shot RAW files. I shoot RAW 99% of the time so I have the latitude to process my files they way I want them and of course you can reprocess your saved RAW files differently at some time in the future.
The camera will allow micro focussing adjustments for each Canon lens and offers peripheral lighting correction to compensate for vignetting. The camera has 6 picture styles onboard and there are 7 more available for free download to the camera and to the Canon image file processing software.
I bought my camera locally for the same price that it was being offered by B&H Photo/video. The local camera store is a dying breed and I am fortunate to have a real one near me. They stock Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Panasonic. It’s great to be able to go downtown and do some hands-on research. They have free brochures too.
I haven’t used the video recording feature of the camera, I didn’t buy it for that.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Price Paid: $2700.00
Purchased At: Local camera store
Similar Products Used: Canon EOS 1V HS
Type of photography: Other
Submitted by Jake Orness a Professional
Date Reviewed: February 7, 2011
Strengths: Focus in good light is awesome- even with fewer focus points it is sharper than my MK3.
Images are what I expect out of the camera.
Video is what everyone says it is- awesome.
Weaknesses: The lower the light the more difficult to focus.
Focusing in heavy backlight is nearly impossible.
The dial mode is easily bumped to different mode so I just tape it with gaffer tape.
The flash sync being only 1/200 is a bit low for strobed action.
I originally purchased this camera to use for primarily video duties. The plan is to have a DSLR camera in 1.6 crop (7d,) 1.3 crop (MK4,) and full frame (5dmk2.) This would allow me options as each seems to have it's own strong points on the video side. In addition I was looking for some options on the still side.
After a few weeks with it I have shot a few videos (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lix00eq6Hg) and a ton of photos. While I prefer the feel of the 1 series bodies in my hand I'm pretty enthralled with the feel of the images and video coming out of this camera. I shoot nearly everyday and since I picked up this camera I've used my MK3 only once.
I will probably be using this as a workhorse camera for commercial action shoots more than the mark3.
Duration Product Used: 6-10 years
Price Paid: $2400.00
Purchased At: Canoga Camera
Similar Products Used: 20d, 7d,mK3
Type of photography: Sports
Submitted by killerbee a Professional
Date Reviewed: January 19, 2011
Strengths: High good quality pixel count
great image quality
good until 1600 iso for large printing, 6400 iso for news paper or web. 12k in a pinch
best price/image quality ratio
Super accurate center point AF spot
Weaknesses: weather sealing isn't that good, build quality doesn't add up to the price.
AF off the center point needs improvement
metering can be tricked to easy
Some banding if pushing exposure abit, better just use a higher iso.
for me weak shutter
I have been shooting with the 5D MKII for over a year and a half now and it's time to put my experiences with it out there.
First of all I have been using Pentaxes and Nikons mostly before and needed a higher MP better low light capable camera for People, stage shows and product work. At the time of purchase the only other option was the Nikon D3x or Sony 900/850. While both the competitors far out perform the MKII as machines with more detail at low iso and better AF/higher fps the canon was prices right ( vs the D3x ) and had better low light performance ( vs the sonys ). This was a compromise camera, priced right and a definite step up from crop sensor cameras.
In use it performed well IQ wise, great detail and truly usable to 1600 iso in low light and still make large 17x22 prints that cam make peoples jaws drop. The camera tho has alot of short falls as well. First for me was the metering, not as good as I was used to with the Nikons or the Pentax K7, there seems to be a bug with the 580exII flash, not terrible but just annoying enough to require you to take manual control or use FEL lock in tricky light. Also the build of the camera is NOT up to $2500 standards, the Pentax K7 being made much better with better sealing and last but not least is the AF. The sole cross center point is super accurate, fast and just nails everything every time but mode off the center point and forget it! This is a focus and compose camera and keep anything moving in the center or forget about it. Yes Nikons AF on the D300 and D700 have spoiled me but thankfully most of what I shoot doesn't move very fast and I can work with the center AF point ( which is worth the cameras weight in gold! ).
The cameras build concern did have the shutter blow out on the camera after 13k shots ( unlucky 13 again! ). Canon was quick to repair and return the camera with no fuss and it has worked flawlessly since. I think it should last well until it's replacement arrives a year from now or so.
Is it a good buy, well once your not using it on stuff that moves fast YES! It's a compromise that works great for studio use, fashion shows, stage events, landscapes, products and other walking human speed or slower subjects. If you know the limitations of the AF system and stay in the center it can be used for Sports in a pinch once you learn to predict motion and stay one step ahead of the action. Don't try and machine gun with this cam, it can't do it and you'll wade through alot of OOF shots. If you want a machine gun of a camera get a 7D but don't expect to use it in near as low light as the MKII or get the image quality.
Right now This is the only affordable full frame camera with high pixel count and good low light performance, to do better you will need to go to the D3X and that's also 3x the price ( pun intended ) or go into medium format. I still have my Pentax for small fun to shoot walk about anywhere use but the Nikons have been put into the studio closet as we don't shoot much sports and 12 mp doesn't look near as good as 21.
As a plus it does have HD video, honestly while I love the video quality I rather use a real camcorder to shoot videos, this is a form factor, ergonomic and able to let it run for 2 hrs with a novice recording while I shoot stills thing. For a short project or 2 I have used the 5D on for video it does movie like big production looking results. I can see it for that but to record my sisters piano recitals I'll stick with a real camcorder. Wedding guys would probably love this, shoot video and stills with one cam, a journalist to.
Rating the camera as a whole it is a 4 but factor in it's price and how it holds it's value I'm giving it a 5 as it has earned it despite it's flaws.
Duration Product Used: 11-20 years
Price Paid: $2499.00
Purchased At: Adorama
Similar Products Used: Nikon D700, D3x Canon 1Ds MKII, touched a Hasselblad once.
Type of photography: People
Submitted by schizoo23 a Expert
Date Reviewed: June 29, 2010
Strengths: global picture quality outstanding, high iso, video HD, full frame, grain, colors, contrast
Weaknesses: weight but you can't have everything. Add a 35/1.4 oor 24-70 L and you'll break your neck.
My 40D shutter broke; So I needed a new dslr for all the fun of everyday photoshooting.
I bought the mkII thinking "wow that's loads of money for a plastic junk". Then I shot.
Now I can say "wow I never had such a camera in my hands".
Everything is made to create the picture you have in your mind. No matter if you don't have the correct lightning, no matter if your lens doesn't open wide. High iso system is really perfect. Dynamics, grain, colors and contrast are just perfect even far better than on any film.
I used to shoot 35mm film with my contax but no more since I have this jewel.
People who find issues with this camera are just plain jealous. Of course, AF system could be better but I shoot only old manual lenses and, as far as I know, even the 50/1.4 EF runs perfectly, which wasn't the case with other bodies I had.
Buy this camera, you won't regret it a single bit. (and I'm not paid by Canon :) )
One last thing: Video. Awesome, no more, no less.
Duration Product Used: 11-20 years
Price Paid: $2400.00
Purchased At: amazon
Similar Products Used: Elan7, 350D, 40D
Type of photography: Other
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