Canon EOS 5D MARK II quintessential pro SLR: Review

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II is the full frame DSLR’s best-selling camera with 20 megapixels, it has attracted as many photographers for its image quality and the video world with impressive capabilities Shooting. It is understatement to say that the engineers in charge of developing the successor, the 5D Mark II, had to have some pressure to bear such a legacy.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II is good enough, build quality perceived by the user (finishing plastics, feeling the grip, shock resistance, etc) but was lower than its competitor Nikon D700.

The new upcoming 5D Mark III will be definitely changing the situation: not only it seems much more solid in hand, with a touch more masculine, more robust, but it goes beyond mere perception, because the housing is fully tropicalized. Every bump, fragile zone is lined with moss and other seals. While many reporters have lugged the 5D Mark II in the worst places, 5D Mark II will go much further.

Canon EOS 5D MARK II 2

The autofocus that changes everything

Whether for the 5D or Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon has always sin systems autofocus (AF) a bit dated: in his duel with the D700, the 5D Mark II was a good notch below. Here the trend is reversed, since Canon has integrated the AF system of its pro body the 1Dx. Tested with the 24-105 mm F4 L IS USM and the 50mm F1.4, the 5D Mark II was more rapid than its predecessor, even faster than the Nikon D800 in low light.


The only problem with this AF system that it is so complex that has a dedicated menu. If the autofocus pros will appreciate this rich, beginners who are satisfied with a center focus will lose interest. The positive side of the thing is that for the first time, this series of machines can finally make up a pro body kind 1D Mark IV or 1Dx and especially since the burst has been seriously revised upwards.

Finally a real burst


Six frames per second (f / s): finally a burst worthy of a pro body! While many devices are both even in the consumer segment – one thinks of 7 i / o for example Sony Nex 5N – this represents a true leap forward compared to 3 frames per second of the 5D Mark II. Again, this 5D Mark III marks a real break and take advantage of the D800, limited to 3 i / s! If the studio and landscape photographers will laugh at this profusion of images, it adds credibility “sport” of the case.

No Noise

It is also so good at your job or your photography, this function can be a decisive factor of choice. Noise reduction of the 5D Mark II is real: going from 60 dB to 50 dB normal mode when idle. The figures do not say anything without wanting to scale, know that the trigger means always – the shutter is still mechanical and not electronic – but it is limited to a thud. To get an idea, you can listen to the comparison with a Leica M6, mechanical box known for its silence.

Image Quality: Focus on high sensitivities

5D Mark II? 20 Mpix. If four years have passed between the devices, only a few more megapixels came top with the sensor of the 5D Mark II. Where the change came? Not a wider dynamic range – it’s basically the same – but a more controlled increase in ISO: when one was limited to 3200 ISO on the Mark II, 5D Mark III offers better results at ISO 6400 and we can even use ISO 12800.

When the noise misrepresent the colors from ISO 1600, can now work to ISO 6400 while maintaining a clean image.

Only 21 Mpix: advantages and disadvantages

The D800 wins logically the palm images are best defined with a 36 Mpix sensor and its increasing ISO as well controlled as that of Canon despite the greater density of photosites. Does this mean it that Nikon takes the cake? Not sure: 21 Mpix offers a more than adequate for many professionals (advertising and studio art reproduction excepted) and the image quality of the Mark III is nothing less than excellent in RAW – Jpeg’s Images are reworked a bit for our tastes.

But the advantage of the Mark III is also in the more moderate-sized files: when a shot RAW 14 bit uncompressed occupies between 60 and 75 MB on board a D800, the 5D Mark II produces images 25 to 30 MB. This not only allows the device to provide a burst twice but mostly it prevents premature saturation of memory cards and hard drives while maintaining a more than satisfactory.

Ultimately it is your practice and your needs that you guide the choice of one or the other housing.


The EOS 5D Mark II is a device that brings the line 5D maturity: if the image quality is slightly better than in the past, it is mostly on the side finishes and equipment that the unit mark its difference with the previous generation. The autofocus to burst through the video capabilities, Canon has nothing left to chance. It was all about Canon EOS 5D MARK II.

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