Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Firmware fix frees frustrated filmmakers
Review Back in 2005, the EOS 5D digital SLR marked the best way into full frame (24x36mm) shooting for Canon owners. Optically, this model was on a par with 35mm cameras of old. With a sensor this size, finally, here was a way of getting the original focal length of your old 28mm lens back from the scaling beyond 40mm that occurs when used with smaller sensor cameras.
Canon's EOS 5D Mark II - quite a step up from the original 5D
Four years on and the Canon EOS 5D Mark II incarnation notches up an impressive array of features. It’s now blessed with a fantastic 21.1Mp sensor – the same count as the EOS 1Ds Mark III – but improved still further with greater sensitivity in the ISO settings and its DIGIC 4 image processor.
It now has rapid fire shooting at 3.9f/s, a bigger screen on the back, an upgraded battery, AF micro-adjustment, Highlight Tone Priority, Auto Lighting Optimizer, vignetting correction and Live View – real time LCD panel viewing – plus an HDMI output and support for quick UDMA CF cards.
The 5D MkII also offers excellent customisation and expanded menus. All the things you would expect would make jobbing semi-pro, wedding and portraiture photographers beg to upgrade. And then Canon adds the daddy of all headline grabbers, 1080p video. So let’s get this out of the way first. Canon cannot plead surprise that the world has taken more than a keen interest in this 'other' feature.
Now had it just done 640x480 or even 1280x720 at 30fps, like most video functions on stills cameras, smaller interest would have been paid to this particular feature. Canon must have known that 'indie' filmmakers would wet themselves for the filmic look of using quality glass in front of a full-frame, CMOS 35mm sensor. The point being, the size of the light grabbing.
It is a stills camera, but its video capabilities are making the news
Billed originally as a great tool for the news gathering crowd – even phone video resolutions are making their way onto the ten o'clock news – but this is HD video at 30fps! A little overkill for that. Admittedly, it is in H.264, a codec that is very much about playout from the device, and not for ideal for your average non-linear editor. The upside is, H.264 video is comparatively light on card space.
Live view & lenses
>>Live View seems to be for camera phone numpties with a little too much cash.
It's difficult to frame a shot when holding the camera at arms length above the head - being able compose the shot using the display is very useful when photographing in a large crowd.
I'd second what several people have pointed out - quality optics (ie an L series lens) are essential to get the most out of a camera like this. Factor in upto £5k for a set of "fast" lenses. My ideal bag would include wide (16-35mm f2.8L), portrait (24-70mm f2.8L or 50mm f1.2L) and telephoto (70-200mm f2.8L IS USM).
Then you will need filters (UV, polarising), lots of memory cards, batteries, a sound tripod, remote shutter switch, flash unit and bag. You will probably also want a spare body too just in case....
Being a photo enthusiast can be very costly!
The pickpocket because carrying a bag containing several thousand pounds worth of kit around makes you a target for those who would part you from it...
I'll get my coat - check my wallet - Bah!
I'm saving up for one of these.
There is a great demo video you can have a look at called "Reverie", which you should be able to find by Googling the words below.
EOS 5D Mark II Video Reverie
Pedants, the lot of you
Yea, it was not the first (and only arguably the best), poor comment from the author either badly researched or a typo, but unlike the view of many posters this is not a history of digital article (which would be interesting, anyone remember Studiokit from the mid 90s? or the leica S series, again larger than full frame in the mid 90s?).
Stu hits the nail on the head when he brings it back to lenses, although it's not quite as simple as saying over 12 needs better lenses;
. Lots of pixels (to give the definition)
. Physically large sensor (to ensure enough photons hit the pixels)
. Big glass (to allow lots of light in)
This is why the 10Mp £49 ASDA compact is a world away from the 10Mp EOS 400D, there's lots of detailed reasons why (bokeh, circles of confusion) but it all comes down to the three factors above, get lots of light and chop it up into small bits (but not too small or reciprocity and wavelength becomes a factor).
I remain unconvinced by the article, there's a lot of space that says loads of things (some of the example images used were useless) but makes no relevant comparisons or real reasons why the 5DMk2 is so good, I have some great pictures that directly compare images on my 400D and 5DMk2 using both the 70-200 F2.8L IS and 400 F2.8L IS (the 100-400 pictured is a good lens but poor compared to these two) - A Mk1/Mk2 comparison woudl have made far more sense.
It has really undersold the 5DMk2