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on 1 April 2010
This is the best camera available for full frame and price. It's still a hefty sum to pay, but considering the next step up, the 1ds Mrk4, full frame is now relatively feasable for amateurs. You also get HD video recording, but only for 29mins or something like 4gbs whichever comes first. Even though this isn't a sports camera, it's only 3.9fps, you should still consider getting a fast CF card. Sandisk Extreme IIIs are the best, and get 16gb minimum. The HD recording won't work properly if you get a card that writes information too slow i.e 8mb/sec min, and on 16gb CF you get 49min max @1080p, 12min on a 4gb CF according to my manual, so don't get smaller cards...

Also, the best Lens for this is actually the 24-70mm, but it's an extra few hundred and there's a mark2 with IS being released imminently (sept 2010 @photokina).

The seller vendor is always changing, be careful who you order from. My seller's choice of courier, CityLink, delievered my 5D to my neighbour who kept it for 5days!

With the 5D mrk3 release date possibly being brought forward because of Nikon's D700 replacement, this is the ideal time to get this camera at a low(ish) price, the only thing you'll see better in an update is the AF, but I don't shoot sports/action and if you know your camera skills you can focus in low light too, so this does everything I need.
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on 13 November 2009
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.
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on 26 January 2011
Really, you have very few options if you intend to produce professional quality photographic images, and this is currently the best choice. It's not worth mentioning the competition and their faults because the critisizm would last ages. However, this camera exceeds expectations. Everything is right.
So stop shopping around for a better item or better deal because you're wasting your time. It is here - the item a pro photographer needs. You could buy the Nikon flagship instead, but it's not really needed and the price is very high.
Buy another product and you've wasted time and money.
It is everything you need, and more.
And if you think the price is high - you're wrong. This is one hell of a bargain!
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on 1 September 2010
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.
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on 23 October 2011
I have owned Canon 5d markll for almost four years and I use it often. I fell in love with it as soon as it was released back in 2008 but it took me some time to save up for it.
The Image quality is excellent providing a lot of detail, rich colors and good dynamic range. 3.9 fps continuous shooting might not be enough for sport photographer but is fast enough for my needs. High ISO ability is excellent. The camera feels very well built and solid in my hands. I have took many thousands of pictures and they look simply Great. But the one think I am missing on it is a build in pop up flash for occasional fill in would be nice.
Canon EF 24-105mm f4 usm IS L
Good points : weather sealing, good zoom ratio, weight, contrast, sharpness, colors, IS, fast and quiet AF with full time MF.
Bad points: bad distortion at 24mm (it can be fixed in PP), lens is made of plastic rather than metal, IQ suffers with flare.
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on 28 May 2010
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.

A good case to go with this will be this Lowepro Flipside 300 Photo Backpack - Black with excellent quality and size.
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on 22 November 2011
Bought this as an addition to my 40d end of 2010. Use it with 24-105 f4L and 70-200 f4Lis, sometimes with 1.4 extender. After a year and about 10000 shots, mainly of my 2 young daughters, here is my feedback:
- most notable improvement from 40d is that I can use 800iso without any noticeable noise, 1600 still good. This is super valuable in lower light.
- picture quality is a bit better, not much though, the lenses are by far the main factor contributing to quality (except low light)
- 5dmkii works great with both lenses mentioned above, these are great lenses. I don't have much need for f2.8, especially with the good Iso performance. for portraits, f4 is perfect.
- I miss the 1.6x magnification sometimes so, I often carry both 40d and 5dmkii, I keep the longer lens and extender on the 40d and 24-105 on the 5d. It gives me a maximum equivalent of 450mm which is handy for candid shots of the kids outside or for when they are running around.. It also minimises dust by using both cameras Instead of swapping lenses. That tells you that the extra magnification is usually worth more to me than the modest quality difference in the bodies (unless the light is poor).
- the 40d at 7 frames per second is really noticeably faster than the 5dmkii, but I don't think that has contributed much to my results
- I have been using a battery grip on the 5dmkii for the last few months, I find it more comfy to use. I only use the original single battery in the grip, I will probably buy a Second battery later. Only con is that to change focus points in portrait, it is awkward to move the joystick/nipple.
- I use a 580exii flash, it is great, much better than my 430ex which I now use as a Slave for my indoor shots. I use the white reflector built in a lot.
- I really hate that there is no micro adjustment on the 40d, I have a Sigma 30mm 1.4 lens which lies unused because the focus is slightly out. I only use the afjustment with one lens combination on the 5dmkii but it is very valuable. I was going to replace the 40d with a 60d last month but it has no adjustment either so I decided to hang on.
- I only used the video a few times, the files are too big for my liking and the microphone picks up far too much noise from the camera/lens movements. I prefer videos on the iPhone or iPad that I can email. If you want to use it for decent videos then probably need additional sound gear.
- worth getting a 32gb card to store 1100 full raw shots. I use the extreme IV sandisk, works a treat.
- bottom line is it is a great camera, for me it compliments, not replaces my 40d due to 1.6x crop. If I broke ithe 5dmkii I'd immediately replace it with the same model. I consider it good value for money seeing the results.
- weight is really not an issue, even with flash, grip and long lens attached.
- I find the ai focus only acceptable using the centre focus point, same for 40d and 5dmkii. Frequent OOF shots for running kid using outer focus point. This is my only mild gripe, not sure if this will be reason enough to convince the wife i have to upgrade to a 1DX!
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VINE VOICEon 15 August 2011
I have only been shooting seriously for about 3 years, started off with a 300D, then a 450D, through a 550D for the last 18 months and recently moved up to a 5D. The reviews here on Amazon pretty much cover the technical aspects of the camera, so I will concentrate on my personal experiences of having moved up from an APS sized DSLR.

I spent about 2 months checking prices, features, studying loads of shots, read dozens and dozens of reviews before finally committing to the purchase. I was caught between the 24-105 and 24-70, rock'n'hard-place argument, finally ended up with the 24-70 as I already had a 70-200 f/4 L zoom, so the 24-70 made more sense. Having moved up from an EF-S 15-85mm lens, although very good quality, the 24-70 just blows it away, the 24-70 is just out of this world. OK, so you don't get IS but being mainly a tripod shooter, this is no great loss for me personally. If you're a freehand shooter, then you already know how to handle the settings to cover the loss of the IS, stepping the aperature up to get the speed up for example.

Having shot with APS sensors for so long then moving up to a full frame I was blown away by how huge the viewfinder is. Reaching the big 4-0, getting on in years (!), I recently had to start wearing glasses to read with and I have also had to use the LiveView mode of my 550D in order to manually focus. Just 20 minutes with the 5D and I was able to manually focus through the viewfinder again, a real bonus!

One of the great features of the 5D which I appreciate over the APS cameras is the addition of the extra dials and controls which means all the most commonly used features are immediately available without having to go fishing around in the menus. The most obvious example is getting AEB, two clicks and turn of the dial and you can set triple exposure for HDR.

Having very large hands and shooting APS I always used a battery grip plugin to give me more to hang on to when free-holding the camera, so I decided to buy the Canon BG-E6 battery grip for my 5D, this does add a fair amount of weight to an already heavy camera but gives you so much to hold on to. Those with slightly smaller hands would find the additional size with the grip, probably a little overkill. The camera comes in at around 850g, the lens around 700g and a loaded battery grip is around 450g, so all that weight is not something you would want around your neck for long periods, so bear that mind too.

Knowing I had to sell off my EF-S lenses I was worried I would be able to get enough coverage at 24mm but I found that a full frame at 24mm is equivalent to using 15mm on an APS sensor. I was using a Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 on my APS to get wide angles and you can use that lens on a full-frame, it still works down as far as 13mm, past that down to 10mm you get obvious vignetting as the lens is designed for APS. You cannot get away with using Canon EF-S lenses as the rear lens elements come back to far and could damage the shutter curtains on a full-frame. So as has been said, you will have to get new lenses but why would you not. Buying quality 5D camera, you wouldn't want to ruin it by fitting rubbish glass.

The quality of the images is obviously stunning, when you shoot the 5D down at ISO 100 on a clear bright day there is so little noise that you often don't have to de-noise the images unless you've really been going to town with the edits. De-noising my images during processing is something I simply do without thinking on an APS, even at low ISO settings. I noticed when zooming into images taken on the 5D, you can zoom in a lot further, not only because the images are obviously larger but the clarity is so superb before it starts to degrade.

It's obviously a massive step moving up from an APS camera to a full frame, justifying the expense to yourself ( and your bank manager! ) but if you feel as though you have a really solid understanding of what you're doing with your APS DSLR and you feel your ready to step up to the big-boy's game, it's really worth doing. The second you see those quality images leaping off the screen you will know you made the right choice and simply having that solid quality built kit in your hands makes you want to take better shots, you will really start to study those tutorials and books properly to justify the upgrade!

If you're ready and your credit card/bank manager is ready, don't think twice, just click that "Add to basket" button now!
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on 17 March 2010
This is one seriously good piece of kit. With its full frame 21mp sensor the quality of the image is sensational and because of its characteristics noise is well controlled if the iso settings are ramped up to compensate for low light. The features that it possesses are all that the serious amateur or professional requires and for them this is the one to have at this level. Agreed, it does lack some of the features of the recently released and slightly cheaper 7D - less AF points and slightly slower too, lower speed burst mode and the more versatile video options found on the newer model. However, the 7D sensor is the smaller APS size and as such does not compete with the full frame item on the 5D II. Thats not to say that the 7D is a poor camera, it certainly isn't, it's very good but for me the 5D II goes the extra mile in the quality stakes. Sports photographers might disagree as it is undeniable that the 7D's autofocus and burst shooting modes are quicker but for all round quality, both in build and results, I'll stick with the 5D ii thanks!
In a word - fabbydoozie!
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on 13 September 2012
My first impressions of the camera were amazing. I cant fault the body itself and if I were reviewing with just that in mind, it would be four or five stars. Unfortunately, this body comes as a kit and the kit includes a EF24-105mm L lens. This is meant to be one of Canons premium L range, and is stated to have an 'ultra sonic motor' which I would assume gives close to silent focusing. The model I received does not focus silently. It produces a noise similar to grinding as it focuses (about 50 percent of the time) which is followed by a loud clunk. For the money, not impressed at all.

I hope mine is just a dud and have requested a replacement from Amazon.
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