The integration of HD movie capability into a high-end 21.1-megapixel camera opens a multitude of new possibilities for photojournalists and news photographers. With its full-frame CMOS sensor and outstanding ISO performance, the EOS 5D Mark II will appeal to any photographer in search of the finest camera equipment available — from studio and wedding to nature and travel photographers.Compact, lightweight with environmental protection, EOS 5D successor boasts a newly designed Canon CMOS sensor, with ISO sensitivity up to 25,600 for shooting in near dark conditions. The new DIGIC 4 processor combines with the improved CMOS sensor to deliver medium format territory image quality at 3.9 frames per second, for up to 310 frames.
From the Manufacturer
Compact, lightweight with environmental protection, EOS 5D successor boasts a newly designed Canon CMOS sensor, with ISO sensitivity up to 25,600 for shooting in near dark conditions. The new DIGIC 4 processor combines with the improved CMOS sensor to deliver medium format territory image quality at 3.9 frames per second, for up to 310 frames.
Triggered from Live View Mode, HD video capture allows users to shoot uninterrupted at full 1080 resolution at 30fps — for amazing quality footage with outstanding levels of detail and realism.
The integration of HD movie capability into a high-end 21.1-megapixel camera opens a multitude of new possibilities for photojournalists and news photographers. With its full-frame CMOS sensor and outstanding ISO performance, the EOS 5D Mark II will appeal to any photographer in search of the finest camera equipment available — from studio and wedding to nature and travel photographers.
Other improvements to the EOS 5D include:
- Addition of Canons EOS Integrated Cleaning System, with a new Fluorine coating on the low-pass filter
- Larger 3.0-inch Clear View LCD with VGA resolution, a 170-degree angle of view and anti-reflective coatings
- Improved menu system including Quick Control Screen for more direct access to common settings
- Automatic peripheral illumination correction, utilizing detailed EF lens information to optimize JPEG images straight out of the camera
- Magnesium alloy construction with additional environmental protection
- UDMA memory card compatibility
EOS 5D Mark II Highlights
New CMOS sensor
The EOS 5D Mark IIs newly designed full-frame 21.1-megapixel CMOS sensor features ISO sensitivity from 100-6400, expandable to 50, 12,800 and 25,600. Large 6.4µm2 pixels have been redesigned to capture more light and yield a better signal to noise ratio to ensure lower noise images throughout the ISO range. The full frame sensor has the same dimensions as a frame of 35mm film. This means that wide-angle lenses stay wide, without the change in angle of view associated with smaller sensor cameras. As well as benefiting from finer control over depth of field, photographers moving up to the EOS 5D Mark IIs full frame format will find the newly designed wide, bright 98 percent coverage viewfinder on a joy to work with.
New DIGIC 4 processor
A new DIGIC 4 processor combined with 14-bit analogue to digital conversion provides smooth gradations in mono-tonal areas such as skies, and highly accurate color rendition. As well as HD movie shooting, DIGIC 4s high speed provides for long uninterrupted continuous bursts of large JPEGs, near-instant start-up times and immediate and fast review after shooting. DIGIC 4 also provides for improved noise reduction algorithms, complementing the already low-noise images from the EOS 5D Mark IIs CMOS sensor.
HD video capture
The EOS 5D Mark II is Canons first DSLR to incorporate full HD 1920×1080 video capture. Once filming is started from Live View mode, photographers can fire off either single of continuous stills, with video capture continuing after the final frame is captured.
A new 3.0-inch VGA resolution LCD provides a wide 170 degree angle-of-view, providing plenty of clarity for accurate focus checks in playback. The screen brightness can automatically adjust to suit viewing conditions, extending battery life in low light and improving viewing in bright conditions. A new dedicated Live View button switches modes to display a real-time image on the LCD. This allows EOS 5D Mark II photographers to enjoy simplified shooting from awkward angles. Simple connection to a PC provides easy remote shooting.
Precision focus and metering
A 9-point auto focus system is supported by 6 additional invisible Assist AF points, located inside the spot-metering circle to optimise subject tracking performance in AI SERVO AF mode. For accurate exposure readings in tricky lighting conditions, the spot metering circle covers just 3.5 percent of the frame.
The EOS 5D Mark IIs redesigned menu system includes a new Quick Control screen, for instant access to the most commonly changed settings. A new Creative Auto mode allows photographers to cede control of key settings to the camera, while retaining control over creative variables such background blur, drive mode and image brightness. Custom user settings allow photographers to switch between two completely different camera setups. This is ideal for changing quickly between two different environments, such as switching from working inside a church without flash to outdoors with fill-flash at a wedding.
Shooting flexibility is enhanced with a range of new accessories. Shooting capacity can be extended with either the high-capacity 1800mAh lithium-ion Battery Pack LP-E6, or Battery Grip BG-E6.
A new optional Wireless File Transmitter
The WFT-E4 offers external HDD and GPS compatibility along with ability to transmit images direct to computer or FTP server, or operate the camera wirelessly. Both the BG-E6 and WFT-E4 feature a vertical orientation shutter release and other key controls for comfortable portraiture work, with a substantial grip to help balance the camera when used with long lenses.
What’s in the Box
- EOS 5D Mark II Body
- Eyecup Eb
- Wide Neck Strap EW-EOS5DMKII
- Stereo Video Cable STV-250N
- USB Interface Cable IFC-200U
- Battery Charger LC-E6
- Battery Pack LP-E6
- EOS Digital Solution Disk
- Software Instruction Manual
Review from dpreview.com
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR: Highly Recommended by dpreview.com
Back in August 2005 Canon ‘defined a new DSLR category’ (their words) with the EOS 5D. Unlike any previous ‘full frame’ sensor camera, the 5D was the first with a compact body (i.e. not having an integral vertical grip) and has since then proved to be very popular, perhaps because if you wanted a full frame DSLR to use with your Canon lenses and you didn’t want the chunky EOS-1D style body then the EOS 5D has been your only choice. Three years on and two competitors have turned up in the shape of the Nikon D700 and Sony DSLR-A900, and Canon clearly believes it’s time for a refresh.
So here is the 5D Mark II, which punches high in terms of both resolution and features, headlining: 21 megapixels, 1080p video, 3.0-inch VGA LCD, Live view, higher capacity battery. In other words, a camera that aims to leapfrog both its direct rivals, either in terms of resolution (in the case of the D700) or features (in the case of the DSLR-A900). Full detail below.
Key features / improvements
- 21 megapixel CMOS sensor (very similar to the sensor in the EOS-1Ds Mark III)
- Sensor dust reduction by vibration of filter
- ISO 100 – 6400 calibrated range, ISO 50 – 25600 expansion (1Ds Mark III & 5D max ISO 3200)
- Auto ISO (100 – 3200) in all modes except manual
- 3.9 frames per second continuous shooting
- DIGIC 4 processor, new menus / interface as per the EOS 50D
- Image processing features: Highlight tone priority, Auto lighting optimizer (4 levels), High ISO noise reduction (4 levels), Lens peripheral illumination correction (vignetting correction)
- RAW and SRAW1 (10 MP) / SRAW2 (5 MP)
- RAW / JPEG selection made separately
- Permanent display of ISO on both top plate and viewfinder displays
- AF micro adjustment (up to 20 lenses individually)
- Three custom modes on command dial, Creative Auto mode
- Image copyright metadata support
- 98% coverage viewfinder (0.71x magnification)
- 3.0″ 920,000 dot LCD monitor with ‘Clear View’ cover / coatings, 170° viewing angle
- Automatic LCD brightness adjustment (ambient light sensor)
- Live view with three mode auto-focus (including face detection)
- No mirror-flip for exposures in Live View if contrast detect AF selected
- Movie recording in live view (1080p H.264 up to 12 minutes, VGA H.264 up to 24 mins per clip)
- Two mode silent shooting (in live view)
- New jump options in play mode
- HDMI and standard composite (AV) video out
- Full audio support: built-in mic and speaker, mic-in socket, audio-out over AV (although not HDMI)
- IrPort (supports IR remote shutter release using optional RC1 / RC5 controllers)
- UDMA CompactFlash support
- New 1800 mAh battery with improved battery information / logging
- New optional WFT-E4 WiFi / LAN / USB vertical grip
- Water resistance: 10 mm rain in 3 minutes
Review from Wired.com
Impressive Canon SLR Sports HD Video, 21-Megapixel Stills
Once in a great while, a sequel comes out that is so outstanding, it not only blows the original out of the water, it stands on its own as a paragon of excellence. Cases in point: The Empire Strikes Back, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan.
Add the Canon 5D Mark II to that list. For the better part of a year, rumors abounded about an upgrade for Canon’s full-frame prosumer camera, the 5D, but nobody expected the awesome bomb that the Canon eventually dropped on us. No mere upgrade, the Canon 5D Mark II is a milestone in many ways, and it’s one of the best cameras we’ve tested yet. It features a massive 21 megapixel sensor, full high-definition video, a giant display and much more, setting a new high-water mark for digital single-lens reflex cameras.
For starters, Canon nearly doubled the resolution of the 12 megapixel 5D. Like its predecessor, the full-frame sensor in the 5D Mark II is equal in size to a 35 mm film negative, making it much larger than the sensors used in most consumer and prosumer cameras. The size confers two advantages: It gives the camera terrific low-light sensitivity, because the sensors for each pixel are larger, enabling them to collect more photons. And it allows you to use all the lenses in Canon’s EF line to their full potential , without any magnification — an advantage especially useful for wide-angle shots. By contrast, smaller sensors effectively multiply the focal length of standard lenses, for instance converting a 28mm lens into the equivalent of a 56mm lens.
Canon also stuffed full-HD video recording into the 5D2, making it only the second SLR to record in HD (after Nikon’s impressive D90) and the only one to record in full 1080p glory. You can tell Canon didn’t think this feature would get much play by how deeply they buried it in the menu system. Fortunately the 5D2 also features a dedicated live-view button which pre-arms the camera for movie recording.
Photographers and indie filmmakers have been drooling over the 5D2’s video quality ever since Vincent Laforet’s demo movie hit the net in September. Most video cameras give a distinctly non-film look due to the poor depth of field produced by their small sensors and fixed lenses. Thanks to the full-frame sensor and Canon’s high-quality lenses, the video from the 5D2 looks a lot more like movies shot on film.
The 5D2 is only slightly larger than the 5D and keeps roughly the same lines and look of its predecessor. Notable construction changes include weather-resistance and a tough-looking “parkerized” finish normally found on military firearms. The new 3-inch, 640×480-pixel display looks great even in bright light and is perfect for zooming in close to check out your shots.
The picture quality is terrific, even at ISO 1600 and 3200, but at 6400, 12800 and 25600 the resulting images are quite noisy. At ISO 100 the full-resolution shots are simply stunning.
There are a few problems with the 5D2, notably the mysterious appearance of black dots which appear when noise-reduction, light-optimizer and highlight-tone priority are all switched on. Switching these settings off fixes the problem. Since all of these features can be recreated later during processing on your computer, that’s not a great loss.
The video mode is limited to 4GB per shot, which equates to 20-30 minutes of recording time. And unless you’re planning on making a silent movie, plan on investing in some external microphones: the built in microphone is low-quality and monophonic, and it can pick up your lenses’ autofocus noise, messing up the audio track. Thankfully the 5D2 has a stereo mic input for high-quality audio recording.
The 5D Mark II is a game-changing 21 megapixel 1080p photographer’s dream. Its few flaws are greatly outweighed by amazing new features and huge sensor size.
But good luck getting one. Prompted in part by early teasers showing the stunning quality of video that the 5D Mark II is capable of producing, shutterbugs and pro photographers alike snapped up the camera as soon as it became available in early December. Unless you pre-ordered one a long time ago, you’re out of luck until later in 2009.
RATING 9 out of 10
WIRED Kick-ass 21 megapixel, full-frame sensor. Full HD 1080p video. Weather-resistant enclosure. VGA resolution LCD display. Sexy parkerized finish.
TIRED Good luck getting one if you didn’t pre-order. Annoying black spots with certain settings. Noisy at super-high ISO range. 4GB movie size limit.
Read more digital camera reviews at Wired.com
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21.1-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, 14-bit A/D conversion, wide range ISO setting 100-6400
Body only, lenses sold separately,1-Year Canon U.S.A. Limited Warranty
DIGIC 4 Image Processor; high-performance 3.9 fps continuous shooting; Live View Function for stills
Full HD video capture at 1920×1080 resolution for up to 4GB per clip ; HDMI output
Updated EOS Integrated Cleaning System specifically designed to work with a full-frame sensor
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