CANON EOS 5D Mark IIGet the New Mark II – The Luxurious Camera from Canon
The Canon EOS 5D Mark II is, naturally, the long awaited update to the three year old Canon EOS 5D, which has a huge fan base who have been waiting for these news. They won’t be disappointed for waiting though, as the Mark II is almost a definitive “must have” upgrade. It now includes lots of components from the 1DS Mark III (like the Digic 4 processing engine), in a much lower price tag. The EOS 5D Mark II actually seems to have been priced according to the competition, because you won’t find many cameras with 21 megapixels on this price range.

General analysis
The Mark II is a little over 2 pounds, which makes it heavier than Mark I. According to Canon, the Mark II is better sealed against dust and weather in general in sensitive areas like the card cover and the user buttons. Shutter durability is also mentioned as being improved to over 150.000 shoots. The camera is built in a steel chassis and standard magnesium alloy, and it does feel sturdy and solid, even though there are tougher cameras out there. Also standard to Canon: good and comfortable grip and shoot.

The viewfinder was also updated, it is now a bit larger and brighter than the Mark I. Coverage was also expanded from 95% to 98%, but is still those 2% short of cameras like the A900 or Olympus E-3.

A new battery is also present, named LP-E6. This new battery is able to shoot over 750 pictures (under normal usage/temperature) and it keeps track of last usage, number of shots from last recharge, and some other information that you access through the camera’s interface.

Video capture
This is one of the main advantages in the Mark II over the competition, video capture in pure 1920×1080 at 30 frames per second, or in a friendlier format: 1080p HD! The camera is equipped with a mono mic, but has a standard stereo mic input. A 4GB card will hold up to 12 minutes of 1080p video. Autofocus is not available during the video shoot, but you can still make use of exposure adjustment, optical stabilizer and picture styles.

On this department, Canon shook things a little, so it looks a bit different from other models. On top of the camera you’ll find the main dial, four adjustment buttons (for metering and white balance), and auto focus and drive modes. All the settings made here are displayed on the top LCD (as well as on the main LCD). This new controls arrangement might take you a little while to get accustomed to, but are quite practical and well spaced around once you’re used to. The remaining controls you’d expect are on the rear of the camera (right side), and are pretty much the standard you come to expect from Canon.

Target buyers
The Mark II continues to appeal to a pro or semi-pro target buyer. Although priced to match its most direct competition, pros and semi-pros will appreciate stuff like the raw formats available in 10 and 5 megapixels, the correction to peripheral illumination, the silent live view mode, the extra focusing options, etc. All in all, it is quite flexible in comparison to its competitors, like being able to brack in increments of 1/3’s, etc. It does limit you in other ways though, like the three exposures maximum, in contrast with up to seven on some competitors.

This camera seems to lack some good-to-have features in order to keep its price among the competitors. Stuff like an internal flash would be nice although in this class you’re very likely not to make regular use of it.

Photo quality on the other hand, is just great. It keeps up with what you expect from this class range, and actually does better than expected. Under ISO1600 you get no noise or artifacts, and even over 1600 (up to 12800) you start noticing the softening, but you still get good and usable photos depending on external conditions. And the video capture, although away from the cameras main purpose, works rather well and should count a little extra on your advantages listing.

Video review: Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Photos: Canon EOS 5D Mark II


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