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Old 17-11-2008, 20:36   #1 (permalink)
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Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

On Saturday I went along to a photography day put on by a local camera shop at Bournemouth Arts Institute and whilst there had the opportunity to get my hands on the new Canon 5D MkII.

I have made no secret of the fact I like the spec of this camera a lot and had virtually made up my mind that this would be my next camera, even without seeing one. So, how did it feel when i finally got one in my hands?....

Well, let me start by sayng this is not a review as such, it isn't in-depth enough for that. This is really a 'first impressions' type report but I did get to try it out in natural and artificial light, high and low ISOs, Live View and see the photos at 100% on a computer. I did not look at the HD videocam side of things so i shall not refer to that facility here.

Feel:

The Canon 5D feels exactly how I thought it would: not much different to how my current 40D feels. Weight is not much different and most buttons and dials are where I expect them to be. This is important as Canon EOS use will be used to certain things being in recognised places. Suffice to say i was able to pick this up and use it instantly, no need to look around at what buttons do what.

It fits perfectly in my hands, something I can never say for the lower xxxD range of Canon cameras. I have long fingers (piano player!) and big palms which means small cameras are not at all comfortable for me. This fits my hand like a glove.

The viewfinder was clear and bright as I expect it to be and the viewfinder seems to give a closer representation of the scene than my 40D. The spec claims 98% view and I wouldn't dispute that at all.

Review Screen:

This is BEAUTIFUL! The new 920,000 pixel screen is simply gorgeous and shows pictures in stunning detail. Imagine the screen on a 40D and every single pixel being cut into four and that is what you've got here. It is as sharp as a razor to look at and, contrary to what I feared, it shows blurred images better too. Because it has so many more pixels, if something is not as sharp, it shows up really well. It also showed background bokeh beautifully.

In short, where I almost always review a picture by zooming in a couple of steps, I feel I could now do it more quickly as I wouldn't have to zoom in each time.

Colours are displayed richly but naturally, not too saturated: indeed, the colours looked exactly the same on the screen as they did when transferred to a PC which I was assured had a well-calibrated monitor. That is good to know.

Live View:

For macro and with this new monitor, it is a joy. Zoom on in and you can see EXACTLY when the bit you want is in tack sharp focus. Took a couple whilst there and looked at them on the PC but, due to contractual reasons apparently, I was not allowed to bring any of the pictures home with me. Fair enough i suppose. I was blown away by how good they looked.

High ISO:

I took a shot and thought, 'that's good, now let's try it on high ISO.' Then i got a BIG SHOCK.... I was already using H1 (12,800 ISO!) It completely blew me away. Was there no noise at all? Yes, there was. Zoom in close and you could see noise in the darkest areas. However, it was a completely useable photo, albeit I wouldn't have wanted to blow it up to A3 without using further noise reduction! But hey, with my 40D I generally restrict myself to using ISO800 or below so this showed me that if I needed to get the shot, I could actually get a further 4 stops of light with the H1 ISO. I didn't try H2 as don't think I would ever go that far unless I was really desperate. I have a strong feeling it would be a very useable picture even if it did have a fair bit of noise.

Low ISO:

Suffice to say I couldn't see any sign of noise whatsoever at ISO640 so imagine what it would be like at ISO 100!

Overall:

How did I feel on first usage? Well frankly if I had had the money I would have placed an order there and then. It is the best camera I have ever used and from what I saw, if people don't need the high frame speeds of the 1D, I think this would meet their needs very well.

I cannot wait to get mine.... but have got to for a few months so it's going to be horrible! If you get one for Christmas, please don't tell me or I might just have to kill you

Cheers,
Rob
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Old 17-11-2008, 20:44   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
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Old 17-11-2008, 21:23   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

Sounds excellent Rob, thanks for the review...you just have to be a good now and hope Santa finds his way down your chimney
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Old 17-11-2008, 23:13   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

LOL Steve, only if I can persuade Santa to make a return trip sometime around May Does he do return calls or is he busy sleeping off the excesses of flying around the world in the blink of an eye LOL

I would love to get it for Christmas but there is no way I can get the funds together for it just yet. I have a fair bit of examination work between December and May so have assigned all money raised to the Canon 5D2 Fund. My better half reckons the anticipation will be all the more pleasurable.... I don't agree, it's flippin' killing me

Cheers,
Rob
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Old 18-11-2008, 01:55   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

Sounds very nice, although I have to say (and not stirring here), honestly these are all things I've thought about the D300, let alone the D3 which I haven't tried, but that is in a different price bracket.
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Old 18-11-2008, 08:09   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

Sounds awesome - cheers for the report, Rob
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Old 18-11-2008, 12:13   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

Sorry Jack but this is a review of a Canon camera. What your Nikon can do, can't do, does do or doesn't do is completely irrelevant. Please don't make everything into a brand argument as that is not the purpose of this thread.

Cheers,
Rob
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Old 18-11-2008, 13:45   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

Just to things up a bit, I think my perfect camera and lens combination would be a 5D mkII + Nikon 14-24 f2.8 and Nikon 200-400 f4.

Wish Canon would offer similar lenses as the 200-400 is the 'perfect' sports lens for what I shoot and the 14-24 is by all accounts sublime. Might just have to put me name down for a Nikon G - eos adaptor and wait X months for delivery
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Old 18-11-2008, 18:32   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Barron View Post
Sorry Jack but this is a review of a Canon camera. What your Nikon can do, can't do, does do or doesn't do is completely irrelevant. Please don't make everything into a brand argument as that is not the purpose of this thread.

Cheers,
Rob
Thought it wasn't a review?

Anyway, I'm not turning it into brand argument, but if you'd rather I just said "Very nice." then so be it.


Very nice.
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Old 18-11-2008, 18:41   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

I now declare a draw.

No more winding Mr Barron up please.
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Old 18-11-2008, 18:44   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

Sorry Rob, apologies

Would like to see the studio images it produces...
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Old 19-11-2008, 12:24   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

There are a few example pictures around now on the internet though of course the internet is not a very reliable place to look at pictures if trying to look in-depth at shadow and highlight detail, sharpness and so forth. But they certainly give a good idea when putting identical shots next to each other for comparison and what i have seen so far is excellent.

One thing I didn't mention is the weight which pleased me a lot. It feels good and solid but without having the weight of the 1D, even with the grip attached. It's not a huge amount lighter but it is definitely not the body-building tool that the 1D is

Cheers,
Rob

ps Jack, you're forgiven
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Old 19-11-2008, 12:46   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Barron View Post
but it is definitely not the body-building tool that the 1D is
Me Arnold ...... I'll be back
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Old 19-11-2008, 15:38   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

Should see my biceps since I've had my 1D
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Old 19-11-2008, 19:50   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dabhand16 View Post
No more winding Mr Barron up please.
Can't we just do it a little bit every now and then?

The camera sounds great Rob
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Old 20-11-2008, 12:15   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

What am I? A Clockwork Soilder?
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Old 20-11-2008, 17:16   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

Well it is almost that easy


(sorry, again )
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Old 20-11-2008, 18:53   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

You know what, I reckon when God made Mac owners he had such a good laugh he decided to use the leftover material to make something similar. He had a good think about it and came up with something that would fit the same mould perfectly.... so He made Nikon owners

I just hope He's run out of material now
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Old 20-11-2008, 18:55   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Barron View Post
You know what, I reckon when God made Mac owners he had such a good laugh he decided to use the leftover material to make something similar. He had a good think about it and came up with something that would fit the same mould perfectly.... so He made Nikon owners

I just hope He's run out of material now
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Old 20-11-2008, 19:10   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

LOL at Mr.Barron
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Old 20-11-2008, 21:31   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

Can't wait to get mine .....
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Old 21-11-2008, 15:46   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

This sounds really great and could stop me going from Canon to the Nikon ( D700).

Thank you for your review!
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Old 21-11-2008, 22:03   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

Yikes, don't do it Frank, that can only lead to one thing.... bankruptcy!
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Old 23-11-2008, 12:00   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

Great post Rob very interesting. I will be buying one when the faults, if there are any, have been uncovered and rectified. I am one of the Mac owners sent from God. It arrived on my door step as a surprise present from my daughter. Once I had replaced all my programs I have been delighted with it, particularly the 24 in. screen.

Kind regards.
John.
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Old 30-11-2008, 22:45   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 5D Mark II - first hands-on

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Originally Posted by John F View Post
Great post Rob very interesting. I will be buying one when the faults, if there are any, have been uncovered and rectified. I am one of the Mac owners sent from God. It arrived on my door step as a surprise present from my daughter. Once I had replaced all my programs I have been delighted with it, particularly the 24 in. screen.

Kind regards.
John.
I too am a mac owner,,I do like to hear good things about the 5DII as I have worn down my 20D with loads of "wrath" and have looked like a magnet at this camera..

I love my big screen also,,,oh,,thanks Rob for the happy review of your experience.
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