The full frame EOS 5D Mark II combines outstanding resolution with up to 3.9 fps shooting and superlative high ISO performance. The addition of Full HD movie recording expands the boundaries of photography.
Canon EOS 5D MK II SLR Camera EF 24-105mm L IS USM Lens 21MP 3.0LCD
I hesitated a long time before spending almost £2,500 on this camera and lens - I am very glad I took the plunge. I have been an amateur photographer all my life, but as a journalist have worked alongside professionals and respect their knowledge, skills and experience too much to think I am one. However, in my work I increasingly have to take photographs, often in meetings with appalling light. For the past 2 years I have used a Canon 450, more recently alongside a pocketable Panasonic Lumix 6.5. With either camera, where the use of flash is intrusive, it is very difficult to get shots good enough for publication. In June, just before travelling to a job, I bought the Canon 5D Mark II with the EF24-105 L range lens. From the first, with little time to get used to the camera, I have been delighted with the results. With patience and care it is possible to get very usable results in extremely low light. The Canon handled the low light well at ISO 4,000. (You can push the ISO much higher but I did not chance it.) In better light, the Mark II handles high contrast shots remarkably. I was in Ghana and in most pictures there is a combination of black and white faces. In bright light there is a tendency for the detail in black faces to disappear (it seems to me that cameras are universally set up for white faces) but I found it easy to get the detail with this camera. The standard of my pictures has improved enormously. In Ghana and more recently in France I have been able to take pictures in beautiful surroundings in good light and find the full frame quality quite breathtaking. The lens is excellent. I have also been using my two best lenses from the old set up - a Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro and a Canon 50mm 1.2. I have become more adventurous and self-critical about my photography; the camera challenges me to play to its strengths. It is heavy, true - I still slip the Panasonic into my pocket when I am out casually - but I have not found it a burden and it feels comfortable in the hands. I have disciplined myself to shoot virtually all the time on manual, seeing this as the only way to learn the best balance between speed and exposure. I have mislaid the damned manual somewhere (excellent by the way) and I need to find it again as there is a lot still to learn. I feel like I am at the start of a long relationship with this camera. It is worth the outlay if you can afford it and need to shoot in poor light. I would still hire a professional photographer when the very best pictures are needed, but when the budget will not stretch to that I can produce adequate professional quality results with this camera.Read more ›
My first foray into the world of DSLRs was an EOS 350D - which I thought was a fantastic camera at the time. I bought a 55-200 zoom lens for it and a flashgun to pop on top. Then I moved up to the 450D to take advantage of the extra facilities of a newer model and the IS kit lens which I'd read was a great improvement on the older version. That camera has and still does serve me well.
With a little money in hand, I decided to go pro and buy a full frame camera, it was the next logical step in the development of my photography. After extensive research I decided on the 5D MkII with the 24-105 kit lens.
The first impression when I got the camera was wow that is big and heavy in comparison with my 450D. It does fit into my hands better though and I quickly got used to the weight.
In use the camera feels familiar even though there are some differences in the menu system to my previous cameras. The wheel that you use to make selections is a lot slicker to use than up, down, left and right arrows. Within a short space of time, I was well enough acquainted with the camera for it to become second nature which is of course what you want.
Having owned my new camera for a couple of months now, I can tell you that the 5D MkII just oozes quality. The image quality from it is mind blowing, distinctly better than that from my APS-C cameras. I can't say whether this step up in IQ is due to the full frame format or the L quality lens - I suspect both.
I'd read about the poor AF on the Canon which is attributed to the old system that they stuck with. Since I habitually use the centre point and don't rely upon the outer points this is not a problem for me. USM on the lens makes focussing fast and quiet.
I'd also read about the sluggishness of the camera in comparison with others. That was not an issue for me either since I don't take a lot of action shots and therefore don't need a camera that can take 8 shots per second- 3.9 shots per second is more than adequate for my needs.
The Canon 5D MKII is not the perfect camera but it is as near perfection as I am going to be able to afford. For others, the newer 7D might be a better choice and for those with deep pockets the ID MKIII(S) or IV would be good. For me the 5D MkII will do nicely thank you.Read more ›
Okay i have had this camera for about 2 months and love it. My review is mainly going to be focused on video as this is my prime use.
If you want hollywood style videos with that wow feel to it this it. There are some things which you need to watch out for these include focusing, audio recording.
1. Focusing: due to its large sensor you have depth of field which is good if you like this way of filming and bad if you don't, what I mean by bad is that if you have focused on your subject/person and they or you start to move it get out of focus and you need to focus manually, this is especially a problem if you want to record children. Although the camera has auto focus it is painfully slow and is done via pushing the AF button which searches far too long.
2. The on board microphone is monaural although recoding are output stereo, not a big of a problem you say but it picks up the IS (image stabilization) continually making a whirl sound throughout you recording also the added fact that when you start focusing it picks up your hand movements and the lens turning. This can be fixed by a number of options including this item here RODE VIDEOMIC SHORT SHOTGUN MICROPHONE or a more professional setup of juicedlink and xlr mics which I want go into for this review.
Videos recorded are of a proper full hd definition of 1920x1080(p) both recording/outputting at an impressive bitrates of 35 mps on average which gives the ultimate quality. With the latest canon firmware release you can now record both in 30fps or 25fps. You obviously also have the option of full manual control across the spectrum to do whatever you please with you recordings.
Night time recording is a dream and with only street light available, i have a few people say that they can't see that good with the naked eye it's just that amazing. You get super clear noiseless videos without any extra lightning.
Transferring files to my imac is a breeze with the supplied usb cable or a firewire card reader Lexar FireWire 800 Professional CompactFlash Reader and come up as .mov files which open with ease with either quicktime or vlc. For movie editing you could use several different programs including imovie or final cut but you exported movie will not be in its full hd glory and will be somewhat downscaled to a slightly lower resolution, this could change in the near future with some sort of update i presume.
Connected to a full hd plasma you recordings will shine and give the true cinema experience of you feeling as if your there at that moment in time its super sharp and super crisp.
The actual camera build is excellent and a complete joy to hold it feels amazing and you know that the best materials have been used in making the camera. Obviously expected at these price. The menu system is a simple and straightforward and has a lot of options for tweaking a screen for your personal settings.
At the end of the day this i DSLR camera for photos and make no mistakes that with these kind of sensor and lens you can get that nice and creamy bokeh you want and the detail in pictures I have taken are just out of this world. If you're a pixel peeper, blowing the picture up to its maximum size still has a crisp and noiseless image to look at so if you're into printing these at large sizes they will be perfect.
If you have the money get one it's the perfect DSLR/HDSLR Camera/Camcorder you will not be disappointed.