Canon EOS 5D Mark II / 24-105mm Kit Review
The EOS 5D Mark II professional DSLR from Canon is an update to the wildly popular, perfect full-frame professional grade camera. It’s just the right equipment that you need. With a stunning 21.1-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and DIGIC 4 Image Processor, the 5D Mark II delivers the best possible detail at any cropping size. With a light sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, plus EOS technologies like Auto Lighting Optimizer and Peripheral Illumination Correction, this EOS 5D Mark II gives you real surprise and professional photography!
Record Full HD video at 1920x1080 pixel resolution in Live View Mode with this camera and watch your HD video on HDTV via the HDMI output. Review your shots on the ultra-large 3.0-inch Clear View LCD screen. 3.9fps continuous shooting ensures you never miss a moment. Combined with a Canon standard zoom EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM kit lens, your photos will always sparkle with clarity.
Slightly heavier than its predecessor (the 5D) the 5D Mark II weighs just over 2 pounds. The body itself is a steel chassis covered with magnesium alloy.
Like all of Canon's pro DSLRs, it's very comfortable to grip and shoot. The downside of the updated design is that it takes new accessories, including a new battery and new vertical grip.
Photographers who are using, or have used a Canon DSLR before should be familiar with the buttons layout. Each switch, dial and button is clearly labeled and easy to access. Canon must have realized that shutterbugs are utilizing its Picture Style function more, which is why this feature has a dedicated button on the left side of the rear LCD. Instead of having to sift through the menus, you could change the look of the pictures with the press of one button.
The deep, textured rubber grip offers assurance when the camera is held up. There is also a small indent on the grip for the middle finger to latch onto, and it was these small touches which makes shooting experience more enjoyable.
A complaint among 5D users was that the mirror component has a tendency to fall off, and it seems that Canon has done something about it. Two metal pins now holds the reflective piece down.
One gripe with the design of the 5D Mark II is the power switch and the navigation joystick. The power switch is a bit out of reach for the thumbs and if you wanted to take a shot quickly, it would be difficult to power up the camera as you hold the shooter up to your eye. Instead, you have to consciously flip the switch. For the joystick, depending on which eye you look through the viewfinder with, you may accidentally poke yourself in the face when attempting to use it when taking pictures.
One feature of the Canon 5D Mark II that stands out from the competition is its full-HD (1,920 x 1,080-pixel), 30 frames per second (fps) video recording. At these settings, users can capture 12 minutes of footage, which is plenty if you are considering using this shooter to make a short film.
As with other DSLRs, the 5D Mark II comes with a suite of exposure modes, ranging from manual to full auto. Settings can be changed by utilizing the two dials, or if you are in semi-auto mode (shutter/aperture priority), you can assign either of these dials to be operational from the custom settings menu.
The ISO range has also been expanded. In default mode, the accessible ISO sensitivity is from ISO 100 to ISO 6,400. You should be able to find the options to activate the Lo and Hi ISO, which broadens the ISO range from 50 to 25,600.
The 3-inch LCD on the rear can display 920k dots. This high-res display makes previewing images much easier.
The 1,800 mAh battery (LP-E6) used in the 5D Mark II has also been reengineered. Embedded within each battery is a microchip, and this component will communicate with the camera. This enables users to see precisely how much power is left in the camera, and how many times the shutter has been fired with this battery. The microchip can also tell the camera what is the charge performance of the battery and users can view this information on the rear LCD.
The 5D always felt a bit sluggish, despite actual performance numbers to the contrary. This camera delivers the same measured performance, but feels much zippier. It wakes up and shoots in 0.3 second and takes between 0.3 and 0.6 second to shoot, depending upon lighting conditions. It typically runs about 0.4 second from shot to shot.
For burst shooting, however, it's the slowest of all the new models. Neither its 3.8fps burst-shooting speed (unlimited JPEG/14 Raw) nor its center-intensive 9-point AF system really lends itself to seriously fast, continuous shooting of moving subjects. And if your shooting style requires lots of AF points beyond the middle quarter of the frame, this probably isn't the camera for you. But for center focusers, it works quite well.
As for the quality of the photos, the 5D Mark II delivers. It renders accurate and consistent exposures and colors. Given its resolution, its noise profile is surprisingly good: no noise or noise suppression artifacts until about ISO 1600, at which point all you see is a slight bit of softening. Depending upon subject matter, photos can remain usable as high as ISO 12,800. Even the video looks and sounds good, though the mic could use a wind filter.
The EOS 5D Mark II / 24-105mm Kit is a very good camera for enthusiasts who are looking for a full-frame option, and has all the bells and whistles which makes this shooter not only a decent still image shooter, but also an industry grade video camera, too, as long as you have proper equipment. Overall, the EOS 5D Mark II is a very impressive DSLR. Image quality is superb and the camera packed to the brim with features. Testament to how good it is, this camera can be recommended as a still-camera alone, or a movie camera alone.
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