Date of last review
Fri June 5, 2009
100% of reviewers
Among the many advancements in Canon's new EOS 5D Mark II camera is the Company's proprietary DIGIC 4 Imaging Processor that powers the camera's fast 14-bit analog-to-digital conversion for smooth color tones and exceptional gradation. The Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR offers a full-frame 24 x 36mm, 21.1 megapixel CMOS sensor and continuous shooting at 3.9 frames per second (fps) for an unlimited number of full-resolution JPEGs to the capacity of the memory card or up to 14 RAW images in a single burst when using a UDMA CF card. The camera includes a 15-point Autofocus (AF) sensor with nine selectable AF points plus six additional Assist AF points (three center AF points sensitive to f/2.8 lenses) with enhanced light source detection and AF microadjustment for greater autofocus performance. The EOS 5D Mark II camera also features a large, clear 3.0-inch Clear View LCD screen with 920,000 dot/VGA resolution, four times the pixel count of the EOS 5D camera's 2.5-inch screen, for enhanced clarity and color when viewing images. The new camera is equipped with a high-performance, high-magnification optical viewfinder providing 98 percent coverage, giving a new dimension to the saying, "what you see is what you get." Professional photographers will also appreciate the enhanced 150,000-cycle shutter durability of the EOS 5D Mark II camera.
Canon, the first company to introduce a full-frame digital camera, has improved the EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera's newly developed full-frame CMOS image sensor. Utilizing proprietary Canon technology, the Company has reduced noise and expanded the sensitivity of the CMOS sensor up to ISO 25600, which is three full stops higher than the ISO 3200 limit of the original EOS 5D camera. Although the individual pixel dimensions of the EOS 5D Mark II camera are the same as the 21.1-megapixel CMOS sensor used in the EOS-1Ds Mark III digital SLR, the new sensor incorporates an improved output amplifier and a more advanced color filter that improves light transmission while retaining excellent color reproduction. By applying the same kind of advancements in sensor design and image processing technology as the recently introduced EOS 50D camera, but at higher resolution and with larger pixels, the EOS 5D Mark II achieves the highest level of image quality of any EOS Digital SLR released to date.
With the combination of its improved CMOS image sensor and the powerful new DIGIC 4 image processor, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera provides ISO speeds from ISO 100 up to ISO 6400 in 1/3-stop increments, along with two high-speed settings - H1 and H2 - of ISO 12800 and ISO 25600, respectively, as well as a low-speed setting of ISO 50. The full-frame sensor maximizes the performance of Canon EF lenses, the world's largest selection of autofocus lenses.
HD and SD Video Capture
Canon has taken its expertise in imaging, photography and video capture technology to a new level with the EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR. Answering the question of where SLR technology is going next, the EOS 5D Mark II features 16:9 Full HD video capture at 1920 x 1080 pixels and 30 fps as well as 4:3 standard TV quality (SD) video capture at 640 x 480 pixels and 30 fps, both capabilities appearing for the first time in a Canon SLR camera. Video capture is part of the camera's Live View function, using the Picture Style that has been set for Live View still image shooting. This allows skilled photographers and cinematographers to adjust image sharpness, contrast, color saturation and white balance, and have those settings apply to the movie image. When recording video, the camera's rear LCD screen can be letter-boxed by a semi-transparent border to match the aspect ratio of the movie recording size. Moreover, the EOS 5D Mark II camera's HD video capability enables new levels of creative expression through its unfettered access to the complete line of more than 60 Canon EF lenses, which provide an incredible variety of visual effects including everything from ultra-wide-angle and fish-eye to macro and super-telephoto, including many large-aperture L-series professional lenses that can keep the main subject in razor-sharp focus while blurring the background beyond recognition.
The EOS 5D Mark II will record video up to 4GB per clip or a maximum continuous movie capture time of 29 minutes and 59 seconds, whichever comes first. Depending on the level of detail in the scene, a 4GB memory card can record approximately 12 minutes of video at full HD resolution or approximately 24 minutes in standard definition.i Video clips are recorded in .MOV format using an MPEG-4 video compression and sound is recorded using linear PCMii without compression. The new camera features an input terminal for external stereo microphones as well as a built-in monaural microphone for convenience. To help show off those fantastic movies as well as still photos, the EOS 5D Mark II camera includes an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) output to display crisp, clear images on a High-Definition TV.
Live View Shooting
For both still images and video, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera features Live View, one of the most sought after features in digital SLRs today. The 5D Mark II features three Live View AF modes - Quick, Live and Face Detection Live mode - for capturing either still photos or video, each with its own attributes. Quick mode automatically sets One-Shot AF using the camera's phase detection AF system. It also allows users to select the AF point, even while the Live View image is displayed. Although the camera's reflex mirror must be lowered briefly to take an AF measurement in Quick mode, it is the fastest way to set focus automatically when the 5D Mark II camera is set for Live View.
Live mode uses contrast-detection AF with the image sensor and here, as with Quick mode, users can change the AF point using the Multi-controller. Face Detection Live mode uses contrast AF to recognize human faces. When multiple faces are detected, the largest face closest to the center of the frame is targeted as the AF point. While Live View is engaged users can still change settings including the AF mode (Quick, Live, Face Detection Live mode), drive mode, ISO speed, Picture style, White Balance, and more.
Peripheral Illumination Correction
The Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera automatically conducts peripheral illumination correction when shooting JPEG images, a function that previously could only be accomplished through post-image processing using software such as Canon's Digital Photo Professional, which Canon supplies at no extra charge. Peripheral illumination correction evens brightness across the image field, making an image of a blue sky even toned throughout and reducing light fall-off at image edges. This new feature essentially eliminates one of the limitations of previous full-frame digital SLRs.
Auto Lighting Optimizer
Canon's enhanced Auto Lighting Optimizer technology helps ensure each picture's subject is clearly visible by analyzing image brightness and automatically adjusting dark areas in images so that they appear brighter. This function is ideal in high-contrast situations such as urban landscapes captured on sunny days, where the tops of buildings are brightly lit while street level details are obscured by heavy shadows. In this type of scene, the 5D Mark II camera's Auto Lighting Optimizer technology preserves accurate exposure of the highlights while opening up the shadow areas for a more pleasing tonal rendition.
Canon's New Creative Auto Mode
Recently introduced with the new EOS 50D, Canon's "CA" Creative Full Auto setting can also be found on the EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera's mode dial. This setting allows users to make image adjustments such as aperture or shutter speed through an easy-to-understand navigation screen on the camera's LCD menu, allowing them to "blur the background" or "lighten or darken the image." These easy-to-understand image options allow photographers to experiment with image options while still shooting in an automatic mode.
Two Small RAW Formats
For photographers seeking the flexibility and creative possibilities of shooting RAW format images, without the large file size, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera offers two more manageable file size options with sRAW1 and sRAW2 recording formats. At the sRAW1 setting, resolution is 10.0-megapixels with a file size that is approximately 25 percent smaller than a standard 21.1-megapixel RAW image. With the sRAW2 setting, resolution is 5.2 megapixels at less than half the file size of a standard RAW image, retaining all of the flexibility and creative possibilities associated with full-size, conventional RAW images. Wedding and portrait photographers, in particular, will appreciate the options of variable resolution and file size which allow them to fine-tune the 5D Mark II's operation for their specific needs.
Silent Shooting in Live View
Canon has equipped the EOS 5D Mark II with two Silent Shooting modes in Live View which will prove particularly helpful to law enforcement officials, and for behind-the-scenes shooting on movie sets. In Mode 1, the camera will shoot with the mechanical shutter open at the beginning of the exposure, using the electronic 1st-curtain function of the CMOS sensor and a reduced shutter-cocking noise, allowing multiple shots to be taken with minimal noise. In Mode 2, to minimize shutter noise during single frame photography, shutter cocking does not occur until the shutter button returns to the half-way position after shooting.
EOS Integrated Cleaning System
With the introduction of the EOS 5D Mark II camera, the entire Canon EOS system is now equipped with the highly acclaimed EOS Integrated Cleaning System. The Self-Cleaning Sensor Unit for the Canon EOS 5D Mark II has been upgraded with a fluorine coating on the low-pass filter for better dust resistance.
Pricing and Availability
The Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera is compatible with Canon EF lenses and is scheduled for delivery by the end of November. The EOS 5D Mark II will be sold in a body-only configuration at an estimated retail price of $2,699iii. It will additionally be offered in a kit version with Canon's EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens at an estimated retail price of $3,499iv.
New EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Lens
The new EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM lens is the successor to Canon's EF 24mm f/1.4L USM professional wide-angle lens released in 1997. Targeting professional photographers, the new EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM lens has been introduced to address the advancements high-resolution digital SLR cameras with re-designed optics and use of a new anti-reflection lens coating called SWC (Sub-Wavelength Structure Coating) to minimize ghosting and flare. Features such as dustproof and waterproof construction that have been adopted make this a high-performance lens with specifications that respond to the demands of professional users.
Type Digital, single-lens reflex, AF/AE camera
Recording media Type I or II CF card, UDMA-compatible
Image sensor size Approx. 36 x 24 mm
Compatible lenses Canon EF lenses (except EF-S lenses)
(The effective lens focal length is the same as indicated on the lens)
Lens mount Canon EF mount
Type CMOS sensor
Effective pixels Approx. 21.10 megapixels
Aspect ratio 3:2
Dust deletion feature Auto, Manual, Dust Delete Data appending
Recording format Design rule for Camera File System 2.0
Image type JPEG, RAW (14-bit Canon original)
RAW+JPEG simultaneous recording possible
Recorded pixels Large : Approx. 21.00 megapixels (5616 x 3744)
Medium : Approx. 11.10 megapixels (4080 x 2720)
Small : Approx. 5.20 megapixels (2784 x 1856)
RAW : Approx. 21.00 megapixels (5616 x 3744)
sRAW1 : Approx. 10.00 megapixels (3861 x 2574)
sRAW2 : Approx. 5.20 megapixels (2784 x 1856)
Create/select a folder Possible
Picture Styles Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, User Def. 1 - 3
White balance Auto, Preset (Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten light, White fluorescent light, Flash), Custom, Color temperature setting (2500-10000K)
White balance correction and white balance bracketing features provided
* Color temperature information transmission enabled
Noise reduction Applicable to long exposures and high ISO speed shots
brightness correction Auto Lighting Optimizer
Highlight tone priority Provided
Lens peripheral illumination correction
Type Eye-level pentaprism
Coverage Vertical/Horizontal approx. 98%
Magnification Approx. 0.71x (-1 m-1 with 50mm lens at infinity)
Eye point Approx. 21 mm (From eyepiece lens center at -1 m-1)
Built-in dioptric adjustment -3.0 - +1.0 m-1 (dpt)
Focusing screen Interchangeable (2 types sold separately), Eg-A standard focusing screen provided
Mirror Quick-return type
Depth-of-field preview Provided
Type TTL secondary image-registration, phase detection
AF points 9 plus 6 Assist AF points
Metering range EV -0.5 - 18 (at 23°C/73°F, ISO 100)
Focus modes One-Shot AF, AI Servo AF, AI Focus AF, Manual focusing (MF)
AF-assist beam Emitted by the EOS-dedicated external Speedlite
AF Microadjustment AF Microadjustment possible
Metering modes 35-zone TTL full-aperture metering
• Evaluative metering (linkable to any AF point)
• Partial metering (approx. 8% of viewfinder at center)
• Spot metering (approx. 3.5% of viewfinder at center)
• Center-weighted average metering
Metering range EV 1 - 20 (at 23°C/73°F with EF50mm f/1.4 USM lens, ISO 100)
Exposure control Program AE (Full Auto, Creative Auto, Program), shutter-priority AE, aperture-priority AE, manual exposure, bulb exposure
(Recommended Exposure Index) Full Auto, Creative Auto: ISO 100 - 3200 set automatically
P, Tv, Av, M, B: ISO 100 - 6400 (in 1/3-stop increments)
settable, Auto, or expandable to ISO 50 (L), ISO 12800 (H1), or ISO 25600 (H2)
Exposure compensation Manual and AEB (Settable in combination with manual exposure compensation)
Settable amount: ±2 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments
AE lock Auto: Applied in One-Shot AF mode with evaluative metering when focus is achieved
Manual: By AE lock button
Type Electronically-controlled, focal-plane shutter
Shutter speeds 1/8000 sec. to 30 sec., bulb (Total shutter speed range. Available range varies by shooting mode.)
X-sync at 1/200 sec.
Drive mode Single shooting, continuous shooting, 10-sec. self-timer/remote control, 2-sec. self-timer/remote control
Continuous shooting speed Max. approx. 3.9 shots/sec.
Max. burst JPEG Large/Fine: Approx. 78 shots (Approx. 310 shots),
RAW: Approx. 13 shots (Approx. 14 shots),
RAW+JPEG Large/Fine: Approx. 8 shots (Approx. 8 shots)
* Figures are based on Canon's testing standards (ISO 100 and Standard Picture Style) using a 2GB card
* Figures in parentheses apply to an Ultra DMA (UDMA) 2GB card based on Canon's testing standards.
Compatible flash EX-series Speedlites
Flash metering E-TTL II autoflash
Flash exposure compensation ±2 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments
FE lock Provided
PC terminal Provided
Live View Shooting
Shooting modes Still photo shooting and movie shooting
Focusing Quick mode (Phase-difference detection)
Live mode, Live face detection mode (Contrast detection)
Manual focusing (5x/10x magnification possible)
Metering modes Evaluative metering with the image sensor (still photos) / Center-weighted average metering (movies)
Metering range EV 0 - 20 (at 23°C/73°F with EF50mm f/1.4 USM lens, ISO 100)
Silent shooting Provided (Still photo shooting)
Movie MOV (Video: H.264, Audio: Linear PCM)
Recording size: 1920x1080 (Full HD), 640x480 (SD)
Continuous movie shooting time: Full HD approx. 12 min. SD approx. 24 min.
* Based on Canon’s testing standards using a 4GB card.
Type TFT color liquid-crystal monitor
Monitor size and dots 3-in. with approx. 920,000 dots (VGA)
Coverage Approx. 100%
Brightness adjustment Auto (Darker/Standard/Brighter), Manual (7 levels)
Interface languages 25
Image display formats Single, Single + Info (Image-recording quality, shooting information, histogram)
4-image index, 9-image index, image rotate possible
Zoom magnification Approx. 1.5x - 10x
Image browsing methods Single image, jump by 10 or 100 images, jump by screen, by shooting date, by folder, by movie, by stills
Highlight alert Overexposed highlights blink
Movie playback Enabled (LCD monitor, video/audio OUT, HDMI OUT)
Compatible printers PictBridge-compatible printers
Printable images JPEG and RAW images
Print ordering DPOF Version 1.1 compatible
Custom Functions 25
Camera user settings Register under Mode Dial's C1, C2, and C3 positions
My Menu registration Provided
Digital terminal For personal computer communication and direct printing (Hi-Speed USB)
Audio/video output terminal 3.5mm dia. stereo mini jack (NTSC/PAL selectable)
HDMI mini OUT terminal Type C (Auto switching of resolution)
External microphone input terminal 3.5mm dia. stereo mini jack
Remote control terminal Compatible with remote control via N3 Type
Wireless remote control With Remote Controller RC-1/RC-5
Extension system terminal For connection to Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E4/E4A
Battery Battery Pack LP-E6 (Qty. 1)
* AC power can be supplied via AC Adapter Kit ACK-E6
* With Battery Grip BG-E6 attached, size-AA/LR6 batteries can be used
Battery information Remaining capacity, Shutter count, and Recharge performance displayed
(Based on CIPA testing standards) With viewfinder shooting:
At 23°C/73°F, approx. 850 shots. At 0°C/32°F, approx. 750 shots.
With Live View shooting:
At 23°C/73°F, approx. 200 shots. At 0°C/32°F, approx. 180 shots.
Dimensions and Weight
Dimensions (W x H x D) 152 x 113.5 x 75 mm / 6.0 x 4.5 x 3.0 in.
Weight Approx. 810 g / 28.6 oz. (body only)
Working temperature range 0°C - 40°C / 32°F - 104°F
Working humidity 85% or less
Battery Pack LP-E6
Type Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Rated voltage 7.2 V DC
Battery capacity 1800 mAh
Working temperature range 0°C - 40°C / 32°F - 104°F
Working humidity 85% or less
Dimensions (W x H x D) 38.4 x 21 x 56.8 mm / 1.5 x 0.8 x 2.2 in.
Weight Approx. 80 g / 2.8 oz.
Battery Charger LC-E6
Type Charger dedicated to the Battery Pack LP-E6
Recharging time Approx. 2 hours 30 min.
Rated input 100 - 240 V AC (50/60 Hz)
Rated output 8.4 V DC/1.2A
Working temperature range 5°C - 40°C / 41°F - 104°F
Working humidity 85% or less
Dimensions (W x H x D) 69 x 33 x 93 mm / 2.7 x 1.3 x 3.7 in. (Plug collapsed)
Weight Approx. 130 g / 4.6 oz.
Canon 5D Mark II DSLR 21 mp