The ISO range is from 100 up to 3200 in auto mode, and up to 6400 in manual mode in 1/3 stop increments. There are also two high-speed settings of 12800 and 25600 set with H1 and H2 and a low speed of ISO 50. The shutter speeds remain the same, from 1/8000sec to 30secs. And the 5D MkII finally gets the integrated sensor cleaning system that the rest of the current EOS range has. It’s a welcome feature for anyone using DSLR cameras – when changing lenses, sometimes ten times an hour, dust is never far away.
Live View utilises the LCD panel for a direct feed from the sensor
Yet the real star is Live View, this is where you can look at what you are shooting on the large LCD screen, as opposed to in the viewfinder. This appeared to be a gimmick of cheaper systems, until tests were tried with a computer. Here, the software delivers a live feed of what the camera has in front of it. Hook it up using USB, then change the focus, any of the variables – shutter aperture, white balance – take the photo remotely and store the image directly on a hard drive. Wonderful. Alas, this doesn't work with video – movies are only recorded to card.
One quirky change is the capacity to capture RAW images in smaller resolutions. The idea being you can still shoot 16-bit images void of white balance etc., straight off the sensor at 10Mp and 5.2Mp – 50 per cent and 25 per cent of the standard, respectively. It’s ideal for people shooting events who can’t afford to run out of cards or know they will never need the resolution.
The temptation to record as much as possible is irresistible, but maybe we have reached a ceiling. Surely, 35mm sensors do not need to record any more information than this? You will not notice the difference of any of these RAW formats printed A4 next to each other, so unless you are going to A3 and beyond, why fill up your backup?
The 5D MkII is certainly ideal for studio 'pack-shot' based work where rapid fire is not really the name of the game, as shooting RAW will fill the buffer within 14 consecutive frames. Choose JPEG at maximum resolution instead and you could conceivably continue shooting to fill a 4GB CF card (310 images) at 3.9 frames per second.
Peripheral Illumination Correction is something that fixes the edges with a database of corrections for every EF lens. This is like admitting everything was wrong before, but sure makes you glad you now have it. It’s a form of vignetting compensation and has to be activated in the menu. It's automatic in JPEG mode and passes the info on in RAW mode to your DPP software. The 5D MkII also has two colour spaces, sRGB and Adobe RGB, and these settings are primarily for web/printing uses down the line.
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