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Canon EOS 5D Mark II 21.1MP Full Frame CMOS Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)
List Price: $2684.00

Our Price: $2684.00

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Product Description

Compact, lightweight with environmental protection, EOS 5D successor boasts a newly-designed Canon CMOS sensor, with ISO sensitivity up to 25,600 for shooting in near dark conditions. The new DIGIC 4 processor combines with the improved CMOS sensor to deliver medium format territory image quality at 3.9 frames per second, for up to 310 frames. Triggered from Live View Mode, HD video capture allows users to shoot uninterrupted at full 1080 resolution at 30fps -- for amazing quality footage with outstanding levels of detail and realism. The integration of HD movie capability into a high-end 21.1-megapixel camera opens a multitude of new possibilities for photojournalists and news photographers. With its full frame CMOS sensor and outstanding ISO performance, the EOS 5D Mark II will appeal to any photographer in search of the finest camera equipment available -- from studio and wedding to nature and travel photographers.

  • 21.1-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, 14-bit A/D conversion, wide range ISO setting 100-6400
  • Body only; lenses sold separately
  • DIGIC 4 Image Processor; high-performance 3.9 fps continuous shooting; Live View Function for stills
  • Full HD video capture at 1920x1080 resolution for up to 4GB per clip ; HDMI output
  • Updated EOS Integrated Cleaning System specifically designed to work with a full-frame sensor

Customer Reviews:

  • I have climed the top of the mountain and it is good
    Yes, I have the mk2 in hand. About 5 days now. Pictures after processing looks very similar to the original 5d, which is good because I don't have to change my workflow AT ALL. Of course the differences being size/resolution, and .. now I don't have to have a different workflow for any ISO above 400. I am actually using auto ISO - previously unavailable on the original 5D - because the images look so good. It has not yet gone above 3200 in Auto mode (I have fast glass). It's smart enough to know your focal length and seems to generally go by the 1/focal-length rule for shutter speed, adjusting ISO at it needs to.

    Video? look on youtube for 5dmk2 Blueray Heli. Make sure you watch in HD.

    There's a couple things to get used to. 1) the shutter button is much more easy to press than the original 5d. I've taken a few accidental shots so far, but I'm learning. 2) the LCD resolution is fantastic. But in mixed light, esp. with fluorescents, the LCD shows kind of funky. Perhaps it is showing the true nasty nature of fluorescent lighting mixed with flash or sunlight.

    Files are huge, transfer is slow using usb2 now.

    No black dots so far. No banding. Don't believe all the hype. I'm sure people have problems, but it's been blown so way out of proportion.

    As far as Amazon, they're having trouble meeting demand like everyone else. The high prices are not theirs. If you don't like Amazon's price then go pick it up at a local retailer - you know the one with the big yellow sign - with a 10% coupon and cancel your order if they upset you so or if you really can't wait....more info
  • A very nice upgrade and I am not going back
    For the record, some of the reviews posted on Amazon are not associated with the camera Canon 5D Mark II at all. The majority of them were about price gouging from third parties that are selling through Amazon. On the other hand, I did purchase the camera along with the 24-105mm lens through Amazon at the price of MSRP and the purchase was delivered on time. So, I believe people should step back and look at the whole picture first before posting reviews that are NOT associated with the products at all. Such action does not do justice to the product and waste lots of readers' time.

    Now, let's get down to the main issue. I have been using the digital rebel for a few years and I was looking for all sorts of reasons to upgrade to a full frame body. The Canon 5D Mark II arrived at just the right time. I placed the order along with the battery grip and I can honestly tell you that I am both happy and also disappointed at the same time. Since I am only an amateur weekend photographer, my review is only from the novice user's perspective. If you are looking for a detail feedback specs and comparisons, I believe you will be better off if you read the feedbacks from the pros.

    Starting with what I like first. The resolution of 21.1 MP is a huge leap from what I had before. The first thing to notice is that the raw image files are much larger. Along with it is the conversion time (from RAW to JPEG) needed is also much longer. This is just a one time thing during upgrade and I am sure most users will get used to it. The camera body is solidly made and the size is just right. Since I go hiking a lot, I don't consider the size (with battery grip) is much to carry. The majority of my shots are landscape done in Aperture priority. The burst rate of 3.9 FPS is plenty for me and it is not likely that I will need the feature at all. What I notice the new camera helped me the most is that during the low light condition, I can switch to the auto IOS option and I have been happy with the results that I have been getting. In addition to the still photography, I do consider the HD video as an added bonus. I do take short clips of film from time to time just to make my hiking trips more enjoyable.

    Now, let's talk about my disappointments. The 5D Mark II that was delivered to me had a HOT SPOT on the sensor. First, I did not notice this issue at all as I was too excited to have this new toy with me. But after a couple nights of testing, I noticed that there is one spot which is always shown as bright Orange Red on my still images. This HOT SPOT is hard to be seen unless one is to view the picture in 100% mode and pan through all corners. One can easily ignore this issue if one is to have just one HOT SPOT and one only takes still images. However, the newly added feature of HD Video changed that completely. The same HOT SPOT is also shown on all the films that I took. It stayed at the same coordinate and it is there on every single frame of the film. That alone did not sit too well with me. So, I made a point and brought the Canon 5D Mark II body to the service center in person to have it fix. When I talked to the service rep, I was told it would take 7-10 business days. However, the entire service transaction took more than two weeks to complete. When I called for status of my unit, I was told the sensor had to be replaced and it has been on back order. So, it appears that this HOT SPOT issue is more common than usual. In any case, I finally got the unit back and did more testing. I am happy to report that I don't have the HOP SPOT issue anymore. So, as an advice, if one is to buy the camera, I think it would be wiser to buy it in the store and have a test run at first. Perhaps take a short film clip of a dark room and see if there are any static HOT SPOT(s) on all frames of the film. This would be a good way to filter the bad from the good. Also, I have been trying to play the HD movies on my PC and I must admit, the playback is rather jerky. I was told that it is the PC QuickTime player's doing. I did not see any issue from the playback through the camera at all. In addition, I've asked a friend to play the same movie file on a MAC and it was just fine as well. In this case, I think I can only blame the Apple QuickTime software.

    In conclusion, I do like this camera and the features that it offers. However, I can't really give a five star on this review as I believe Canon may have a quality issue that they need to address first. Before you buy, do some tests in the store and pick the right one to take home with. Enjoy...
    ...more info
  • Great product!
    I love the camera, I really hurt paying so much money for a camera but it's all worth it! I used to have a Canon XTI that I really like but this item is top of the line.

    Great product, solid, remember is only good with EF lenses not EF-S.
    HD video is good but if you want to shoot video go buy a G video camera.
    ...more info
  • 4,899 from Pavilion electronics- huge ripoff
    That's almost 200% over list price! Wow I wish someone from Amazon would tell these retailers to get lost with the major price gouging. This is a cool camera but it's more than expensive enough at MSRP thank you very much. Shameful....more info
  • Got the Kit without the Lens
    So I finally received the camera but it came without the lens. The box it came packaged in clearly stated it was "Body Only" but the sticker with the UPC code was for "Body + Kit". I was charged for the Body + Kit... I'm not sure whose fault it is (Amazon or Canon) but that's what it is.

    As for the camera, I love it and the black spots reported by some users are there (christmas lights) but at extreme magnification only. Beside for my use, I don't make a living taking pictures of Christmas lights (or city lights). I'm also pretty confident that Canon will release a firmware fix soon....more info
  • Retailers with this price are high on drugs!
    This camera list for $2699 from Canon. I hope no one is stupid enough or desperate enough to pay the price listed on your site. I can not believe that Amazon is listing the camera for this price....more info
  • Excellent camera - dont buy at this price!
    This is a great camera which I will get from Amazon as soon as it is available directly from Amazon at the correct price - the list price is $2700 and these third party sellers are charging way too much!...more info
  • Limited lens
    Better body, good software, so so video, for good picture quality you need
    only new mark II lenses, like 85mm 1.2 II, 24mm 1.4 II or new zeiss manual
    lenses. The old 5d picture quality was much better. ...more info
  • So far so good.
    The dreaded "black dot" phenomenon that I keep reading about does not seem to be happening to me. I have tried to duplicate it and have had, well, good luck. Duplicating the black dots in low light high ISO conditions with pinpoints of light would be bad luck. For those of you out there who have this, I am sorry. I have had many lemon products in my life. I think my karma for that has hopefully run out till my next life.

    So far the camera is performing as expected which is amazing. I have jumped from measly 20D to this and I am amazed at the leap. i am also very glad I waited. I almost bought a 5D months ago and all the props here has to go to my brother, who soundly instructed me to wait it out. And wait I did. I ordered the camera in November and got it only a few days before Christmas. Quite a present.

    Of course you need a few good lenses with this camera to capture it's full essence. My old EF-S lenses fro my 20 D are NOT compatible. Heed this warning people. Move to the Canon L series lenses. Hopefully they will last a lifetime. I am not sure when, if ever I will need another SLR. 21 megapixels is quite a lot. I am sure at some point there will be 500, 800, 1000, even several thousand megapixels. lets just hope I can use my eyes as lenses then and plug the memory card to my head to download the images. For now I am set with this.

    The screen is a vast improvement over the 20D which was almost a measly after thought. I have bigger screens on tiny point and shoot cameras. It also has live view which comes in handy. The digital video is flawless, although I have not figured out how to do autofocus with it yet. It may not be able to, which would seem odd to me. The video is a bonus for me but autofocus for it seems an obvious necessity.

    I did almost drop it while attaching it to a new tripod. God was smiling at me as I did catch it. Be careful! It is like a small fortune for this thing.

    One final note... Do not buy the camera for this price. It sells for around $3500.00 with the 28-105 l series lens. I am not sure how these jokers think they can sell for this much and I would love to hear from anyone who paid this much.

    Remember the body sells for about $2500.00. Try B&H Photo....more info
  • worthy upgrade
    I have changed cameras through the following order
    and now 5D mark II
    I love the 5D, and its better than the previous 5D in price (when it was launched) and much richer in features and advancements.
    I won't go too technical, you can check many websites for that....more info
  • From Amateur to Enthusiast in 2, 3 purchases.
    Do you find that you purchase good stuff rather than mediocre stuff and then deal with the hassle of selling and upgrading later? Rarely find yourself comparing "toys" and you don't have the best (or close to the best?) What if getting close to the best camera didn't cost an arm and a leg to get, then..... If you're like most of us, read all the reviews you can find (thats the fun part.) ... then you'll probably end up purchasing this camera even though you don't know it yet.

    I purchased this camera in Jan 2009 once I could find it msrp. Have since purchased 2 "L" lenses the 35 f1.4 and 85 f1.2 hence, it rare that I'll find myself envying someone else's equipment ... or pictures for that matter.

    The only real mediocre aspect about this camera is the AI-Servo ... Auto Focus results in low keeper rates, try manually focusing. The in focus pictures are awesome even when printing 30" posters.

    ...more info
  • Wonderful Camera
    About a thousand dollars more then it should be. Tried my friends out, great pictures but even he admitted it was over priced. Gonna hold onto the 50d till price come down next year. It takes great pictures as well. I don't need the movie mode, that's what my video camera for. I wish you could buy the camera without the movie mode. I feel like I'm paying for something I don't want..............more info
  • "Back-lash" and a bad time for it to happen...
    As a rule I work with a Canon 1D and 1Ds. I've long had my eye on the 5D, though have purchased the Rebel XTi and XSi as in the field back-up cameras and for assistants to use. I remember the same rush with price gouging by Amazon and other distributers when the XTi and XSi first became available; much less noticeable because they are lower priced cameras. It is obvious to me, at least, that the presence of price gouging taking place now over the Canon 5D is in part due to the manufacturers marketing stratagem. Such stratagem, however, may under the present economic conditions seriously back-fire. I was considering purchasing a 5D Mark II to add to my arsenal of equipment, but what about the "black spot issue", surfacing reports by new owners that the 5D Mark II picture quality is not equal to that of the original 5D even with the greater megapixel count, and adding a marginally usable video capability to what purpose? I've growing doubts about the 5D Mark II besides a profound dislike for such marketing stratagems that creates superficial demand etc. and it appears others share the same concerns. The 5D is a major product line for Canon and I'd hate to see it fail but I and others no doubt, are beginning to think Nikon! ``````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````` Addendum (2/2/09): Several months have passed and the initial storm over the new 5D mark II has passed... And the retail price of the camera has settled at around $2,7000. (body only), about $250 more then the initial retail price announced before the release of the camera. And, so you see, the price gouging continues though it's comparatively modest in the case of most reputable retailers. I doubt that the price of the camera will drop to it's original retail price until demand completely falls off and a total end of back orders comes about which may take more then a year. Note: (body only) Amazon price is 2,699 with super saver shipping and after tax (NY) totals $2,914.92...``````````I must admit to have placed an ordered for a 5D Mark II recently, myself. For the following reasons;``````````1) The "black dot" phenomenon appears to have been resolved during manufacturing before shipping. ``````````2) While some owners of the original 5D feel the Mark II's image isn't as fine as the originals', tests by periodicals are reporting that image quality is even better then that of the 1Ds Mark III, (of course there remain many reasons why the 1Ds is a superior camera, for me, most of all the advanced AF and metering system). ``````````3) With all the Canon equipment I have besides camera bodies it's impractical to switch over to Nikon besides Zeiss prime lenses for example are beginning to become available for Canon EOS cameras with EF bayonet mounts. ``````````4) A use for a 21.1 megapixal camera. (note: Eight megapixal is more then fine for most photo work. But for oversize prints and a lot of playing with RAW images a larger megapixal camera is desirable. And, for commercial reproduction, four color offset litho printing for example, at least a 12 megapixal image is required, with a need for even greater megapixil images for high quality and large to huge reproductions). ``````````5) My use for a 21.1 camera dose note require AF and in camera metering, I've other cameras for such work (I'm sure the 5D Mark II's AF and meter are probably just fine, but I've become accustomed to working with a 1D and 1Ds and the AF and metering systems of the lesser Cannon camera models, to me seem totally inadequate now). 6) Price; to be honest I can't afford the 1Ds Mark III at present but I can afford the 5D Mark II, now...! (I have a feeling that a 1Ds Mark IV is on the horizon with it's image quality tweaked at least to equal the 5D Mark II's or more likely surpass it. I think I may wait for it before purchasing another 1Ds). ~~~~~~ For the uses I have in mind the only real draw-back for me is that the 5D Mark II must be run on batteries, a Canon BG-EG Battery Grip is going to be a must have with extra sets batteries at the ready.``````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````addendum 4/6/09: I learned of the Canon ACK-E6AC Adapter Kit for the 5D Mark II, from members of Canon Forums and have ordered this AC adapter. This adapter removes the last vestiges of reservation I had, had when I first considered purchasing a 5D Mark II. Like with 1D and 1Ds cameras, this adapter allows the 5D Mark II to be powered by AC power, which saves costly batteries during long hours of in studio work while using a tripod and also during the long hours when the camera is connected to a computer for downloads, etc.~~~~~ By the way, the superior picture quality as reported by periodical reviews is true, at least my own use of the camera would in my opinion suggest it to be so. ~~~~~ At this point if it were possible I'd change my star rating of the camera to a four and a half or maybe even a five. Best Wish's.......more info
  • simply amazing
    for anyone looking to get this camera they know exactly what they want and what they are getting, in one sentence, this camera is superb in every way....more info
  • Worthwhile upgrade from 5D
    Fantastic image quality, with excellent S/N ratio, with very usable iso 6400.
    Excellent resolution, esp when used with high grade optics
    Excellent menu system
    Very useful implementation of Auto ISO
    Video Function is amazing.

    Additional Battery is very expensive.
    Canon should have included some video editing software. I have found the best over all simple solution to be power director on PC.
    I wish all 9 focus points where cross type with extra sensitivity bellow 2.8...more info
  • Canon EOS 5d Mark II
    I have only used this camera for a few weeks, but it takes exceptional images. It has become my full time camera!...more info
  • EOS 5d MK II
    I received my 5D MK II about 3 weeks ago. I have already shot over 2,000 shots and I can't believe the pictures. Most of my work is youth hockey. Shooting in Manual mode with ISO set at 6,400, I am able to shoot at 1/500th or better at f 3.5. My standard lens is the 70-200mm f2.8L and naturally I never use flash.

    The details are incredible, noise not a factor, and it focuses pretty fast. My previous camera was the 30D, and there is just no comparison. I have had no problems with battery life either.

    For the money ($2,699) truly a great camera. I can't wait to do my next wedding.

    Chris B....more info
  • The best just got better!
    Here's my review in as few words as possible.

    The 5d was the darling of full-frame. The 5d mark II has improved it in almost every way.

    More megapixels
    Better and Higher ISO performance
    Faster framerate
    Larger and clearer LCD screen
    Better menus
    More customization options
    Added bonus of shooting HD video

    And this is only scratching the surface. This is an absolutely fantastic camera and coupled with Canons first-class lens lineup, this makes for an easy choice....more info
  • excellent upgrade
    basically a great upgrade camera. it's has a 35mm sensor size, what more could you ask for? it wouldn't be worth getting a new body if it's still an APS-C cropped sensor. just the sensor size of the 5D MkII is worth the upgrade....more info
  • Great camera if you need the horsepower and have the $
    I'm a very serious amateur photographer, and have been shooting Canon digital cameras since 2003. I purchased the 5D Mark II to replace my trusty 20D. Waited out the 40D, 50D, and 5D to get just the right camera, and from my time shooting today, it was worth the wait and premium over the crop cameras. I justified the additional cost this way: Rather than spending another $1,200 on a 16-35 lens that would yield ~26-48mm on the crop camera, I spent it on the 5D, which also gets me video capability. I can now get full use of my 24-105 for wide angle, and that lens really shines on this camera. My 70-200 is much more useful for closer quarters as well. I'm thankful that Canon didn't get the 50D right (sorry 50D buyers, but that's my opinion), as it forced my hand on this camera.

    * Focus seems faster and more accurate than my 20D, which I'm sure could use some adjusting after 40K images. I've found myself letting the 5D select the focus points more often, which I never did on my 20D (focus center, frame shot, shoot). I see no reason for any more focus points than it has for the type of shooting I do, but then I've never used a 1 series (Lord help me if I do).
    * Screen -- simply amazing when moving up from 20D
    * Viewfinder -- beautiful, bright, almost total coverage vs. looking through a cave in the crop cameras
    * Image Quality -- Wow. High ISO, low noise. Easily 3 stops better than my 20D. Have only shot a few raw shots (24MB!!!), and will be doing some comparison tonight. JPEG in camera looks amazing, and they aren't displayed with noise reduction in camera.
    * Build -- very solid, great shutter sound, buttons where they belong
    * Usability -- highly usable menus, adjustments, modes -- if you've shot Canon before, no surprises here
    * Fixed small things, like when you accidentally go from Play to shooting, or close the view, it takes you back to the last picture you viewed vs. making you start over (reference 20D -- maybe this is fixed on others since then as well)
    * Battery -- seems like they beefed it up appropriately for the large screen & live-view needs

    * Huge file sizes -- Better buy an external disk array for storage. I don't (and most people don't) really need 21 MP -- 15 beautiful MP would be better (imagine the high ISO IQ if they didn't push this to 21MP to stay in the race with Sony & Nikon!). I'm experimenting using the Medium setting (about 11 MP) to see if IQ is as good proportional to size. That will be much more usable file size for most work.
    * Nits on custom functions -- settings don't save unless you "Menu" back out after selecting them
    * Current cost of second battery (swear they were $79 a month ago, now $145!!!)

    I can't comment much on video yet, but have used enough to say that it isn't terribly practical to the average shooter. You shouldn't even consider that this is going to replace a HD camcorder for family shooting (though you may still get away with trying to justify this to your non-photography-buff spouse). I didn't buy it for the video, so I'm not going into detail on that.

    Bottom line:
    Amazing camera if you can afford it. Looking forward to putting 100K images through it in its lifetime. Hope I can afford the storage! Lemme know if you bought the battery grip and it is too big for your hands -- that is my next purchase....more info
  • Absolutely PERFECT!
    I own the 5D, and decided to upgrade for the added megapixels and quality. The 5D is awesome...the 5D II is AMAZING!!!! I am sure this review is not going to make someone buy this have probably done tons of research about all the details. If you are wondering whether all you read is accurate and the camera is worth the money - YES! I feel this is the best bang for your buck in a compact, full-frame, semi-pro level camera. I use the camera mainly for landscape photography...the images captured are stunning. I recently enlarged a print to 20x30 and could not believe the quality and detail. This is not just an increase in megapixels, but rather an increase in QUALITY megapixels. The camera is not extremely large and expensive like the "Pro" level series. The camera's size makes it perfect for traveling and hiking into remote locations. I have not used the HD video yet, but that is not the intended use of the camera. The new batteries seem to last almost twice as long as those in my 5D.

    One note...either buy extra memory cards or a back-up drive to dump photos onto...the files are huge in RAW which is what I shoot. If you plan on any HDR or panoramas or a week in the field, a couple of 8gb cards will be full quicker than you expect. The file size will be more than welcome once you enlarge or crop a photo - like I stated earlier...stunning....more info
  • Watch out for prices above MSRP
    I've handled this camera and have one arriving in the morning. I've owned a 20D and a 5D classic. I was happy with both of them. The 5D in particular. There is a very detailed review that is well organized and like him, I will probably update this later.

    The product improvements are right in line with what I was looking for in improvements from the superb classic 5D. Just be careful where you buy it.

    As another reviewer has noted, the prices some retailers are advertising are outrageous. The Canon suggested price is the $2,695 for the body. For the Body plus the 24-105 kit lens, an L f/4, the priceis $3,495. There is an advertiser who is claiming the street price is 4,495. That does not speak well of Amazon's merchant program which can be very good.

    So buy one from a good seller, enjoy it and come back and write a good review. But don't get screwed on price by this disreputable people.

    A neutral comment on the 5D specs saying that it's lightweight. That's a relative question. Compared to the 1D series, it is relatively light. Compared to the classic Nikon F, the Olympus SLRs, etc. it is not light. It's more on a par with the later series of Nikon pro cameras. You won't find this a burden if you're 25 years old. You will tolerate it with some pleasure given the quality of the image. I usually use the 24-70 and 16-35 f/2.8. That's a lot more than it seems when you've got it for a full day. It is light for a full-frame DSLR. No complaints. ...more info
  • Amazon gets no more business from me
    I pre-ordered a Canon 5D2 on September 17.
    I emailed Amazon on October 25 asking about the camera's ETA.
    Amazon replied with an apology and stated that they would upgrade my shipping to next day when the camera was received by Amazon and was ready to ship. I clicked the link on their email saying that I was satisfied and that the issue was resolved.
    Around a month later I received an email from Amazon stating that my order had been removed by Amazon because I had not responded to an email of October 18 stating that I had to give permission for the order delay or my order would be removed.
    I NEVER GOT THAT EMAIL! So they removed my order because I never responded to an email WHICH I NEVER RECEIVED!
    But notice that my email of Oct 25 was answered by Amazon with that apology and quick ship assurance which I approved of by clicking their acceptance link that the problem was resolved.
    When I spoke to Amazon "customer service," they would not reinstate my order. SO, they effectively made me put my name at the bottom of another merchant's waiting list two months after I had ordered the camera from Amazon. If they cared about my business, they would have done right by me ... but they don't care. This can happen to ANY Amazon customer at any time.
    Rest assured that B & H would NEVER do this to one of their customers, and that THEIR customer service doesn't consist of robots with heavy accents....more info
  • errors with frequent sequential shots
    I have had numerous Canon dSLRs over the years such as the 20D, 40D, Mark IIDs and rebel. I looked forward to the 5D Mark II with much anticipation and got one of the first ones. It has not lived up to my expectations. If I take several shots in a row I get an error. I suspect it will be fixed with a firmware update, but not before it interrupted a couple photo sessions and some pretty good shots. Its video is noisy and more of a gimmick than a worthy enhancement. I would avoid this particular model - maybe they will get it right with their next iteration....more info
  • Never Ever: Rent, borrow or use this Camera, if you do, you will have to own it!
    Canon 5D Mark II

    Never Ever: Rent, borrow or use the Canon 5D Mark II, if you do, you will have to own it. It's that good!


    Crazy high ISO performance
    Fantastic amazing image quality you have to see to believe!
    Great menus, sharper, brighter, easier to read then 40D
    Video, did someone say video? I love it! You will need a tripod!
    Fantastic rear LCD that you can check actual photo sharpness
    Super low light high ISO photographic tool with 25,600 ISO!!!
    Feels great in your hands, the grip texture is easy to hold and is well balanced.

    No Built in popup Flash
    A little slower shooting then the 40D
    Very demanding of lenses, high end L lenses are a must have
    Huge files: you will need larger memory cards and a larger hard drive
    Ultra large bright sharp viewfinder makes my 40D finder seem dim and tiny
    Hum... I'm thinking..


    I have had my Canon 5D Mark II for a little over two weeks now. And I'm having a hard time putting it down.

    I tried switching back to my Canon 40D and the very first thing you notice is how small, dim and fuzzy the viewfinder on the 40D is compared to the 5D Mark II. Especially if you are older you will really appreciate being able to easy see and read information in the viewfinder not to mention you can actually manually focus with it. It reminds me of my switch from the Canon Rebel XTi to the 40D. It's that big a difference.

    The Images are huge and quite simply stunning. Plus I find that I can get away with very low noise all the way up to 3200 ISO on the 5D Mark II where the 40D was very noisy. In fact I would not hesitate to say the 5D Mark II photos has less noise at 9,600 ISO then the 40D does at 1600 ISO.


    I have never had the pleasure of owning a Camera that is this demanding of the lens you use. It's like an instant lens test. I haven't seen much in-depth lens as used on 5D Mark II information on the other reviews and decided this would be good to be included in my review.

    All of these lenses are brighter in the viewfinder and focus much better on my 5D Mark II then on my 40D.

    So, with that said after several hundred photos I can give you a rundown of my most used, most favorite, best performing and least used lenses that I have used on the 5D Mark II and a few un-expected surprises along the way.

    1. Canon 200mm F/2 IS L lens. This lens is my new master of resolving power. Even wide open at F/2 it is sharper then any other lens I have ever used. I could go on and on but here's a few highlights: Lightening fast auto focus, F/2 speed at 200mm, unbelievable perfect 10 Images, public attention hog, otherworldly image stabilization, great build quality, weather sealed, fantastic perfect buttery smooth Bokeh and what a lens case! If you crave attention and demand the absolute best there is the do what ever it takes to get this lens on your Canon 5D Mark II. If you do not like public attention you may want to skip to number 2 in this list as I have never been asked so many questions about a lens as this one. But it's all worth it as the clarity, sharpness, Bokeh and colors are: otherworldly, insane, impossible, rare, perfect, out of sight, crazy!!

    2. Canon 85mm F/1.2 II L lens. Without a doubt at F/4 (after the Canon 200mm F/2 of course) this lens delivers the clearest sharpest and most resolving power onto any photograph you care to take with the Canon 5D Mark II. The clarity has to be seen to be believed. At F/1.2 the Depth of Field (DOF) is scary thin and the edges are super soft which is great for female portraiture. The super soft creamy dreamy Bokeh at F/1.2 is much smoother on the 5D Mark II over my 40D. But stop this lens down to F/1.8 and it gets scary sharp and clear. Step it down to F/4.0 and it's at its sharpest and the only lens I have that gives you 100% pixel peeping razor blade edge to edge top to bottom perfect clarity in every single area of the photo. For some reason this lens is even sharper on my 5D Mark II then my 40D or Rebel, don't know why but it is. Guess it's getting the full resolving power to the 21 megapixel sensor.

    Looking at a photo on my iMac taken with a 5D Mark II with this lens stopped down to F/4 is like standing there looking through an open window at the actual scene! You feel like you could actually open up the computer screen like opening a window and climb in!!!

    The 85mm F/1.2 is your low light monster on the 5D Mark II, I don't have to harp too much on what an F/1.2 aperture and an ISO 25,600 can do for you at night. Let's just say you can go out into what appears to be a dark night and do hand held photos.

    Not all is perfect as it's: expensive, heavy, and hard to focus wide open, focus lock does not work and it eats camera batteries at twice the rate of my other lenses. Also it doesn't focus as close on the 5D Mark II as it did on my 40D so you can't get head filling close ups. This isn't really a problem, as with 21 Mega Pixels I can crop no problem. However, all this is forgiven when I get back to my iMac and view the results. This is the very first lens I will reach for when using the 5D Mark II and the one that's on it 90% of the time. If I could have just one lens for a Canon 5D Mark II this would be the one!

    2. Tie! Canon 135mm F/2 L. It's small light and stealthy and has fastest and best auto-focus of any lens I have ever owned (after the Canon 200mm F/2 IS L). It even focuses pretty close on the 5D Mark II. This lens is amazing, the Bokeh looks like sweet candy and it's sharper wide open then the Canon 85mm F/1.2 II L lens is wide open and stop it down to F/2.2 and it's as sharp as any lens I have. It's not a zoom so it's not as versatile but it's a great waist up portrait lens out in public and in larger studios. It's one of my most used lens at outdoor public events along with the 85mm F/1.2 II L (renaissance festivals etc.) where I'm photographing people. For some reason this lens is a little sharper on my Canon Rebel and 40D I guess because I'm using the center of the lens and it's sharper on these cropped sensor cameras.

    3. Canon 100-400 F/4.5 - F/5.6 IS L lens. This is the second most used lens in my 5D Mark II arsenal. This lens was my biggest surprise of the group. Its Ok wide open but it's a monster of clarity at F/7.1 like it never was on my Canon 40D. It also becomes useable on the 5D Mark II in wider shot situations where on the 40D it was only usable as a longer lens. Sporting the longest zoom range of any Canon zoom this lens has to be without doubt the finest Zoo lens ever made. You can frame almost any animal in almost any exhibit perfectly. This is also my lens of choice for taking photos of people at events with the 5D Mark II and is the King of versatility on a full-framed sensor camera. This is my sharpest and clearest zoom lens by a long shot (no pun intended. It's as close to the you are there feeling of the 85mm F/1.2 lI lens as any zoom lens I have. It's only drawbacks are it's a little heavy, is slow aperture wise (that's Ok with the 5D Mark II high ISO capability) and it gets a huge amount of attention out in public. I don't care it's all worth it this is a must have lens with the 5D Mark II. Again, for some reason this lens is even sharper on my 5D Mark II then my 40D or Rebel, don't know why but it is.

    5-26-2009 100-400 update: So I came back from the Riparian Bird Preserve yesterday where it was rather dusty and I noticed that my sensor and mirror box were full of dust. I decided to do a test on my 100-400 lens and sure enough it does pump dust into the camera body.

    If you turn the zoom friction ring all the way loose and zoom in and out with the bottom end cap off there is no resistance. If you put the bottom end cap on tightly and zoom you can feel resistance. Then if you loosen the end cap just a little you can actually feel air being sucked in and out around the end cap as you zoom in and out.

    Thank God for my FIrefly digital sensor cleaning system! And be forewarned if you own this lens.

    4. Canon 17-40 F/4 L lens. This is my sleeper lens. A so so walk around lens on my 40D becomes a wide angle monster on my Canon 5D Mark II. This lens is soft wide open at F/4 but sharpens up noticeably at F/4.5 and becomes a super wide angle take it all in landscape and interior monster when stopped down to F/9 on a Canon 5D Mark II. This is a lens I always carry with me now since I never know when I might see a wide angle opportunity. Doesn't have the you are there feeling when viewing the photos on my iMac as much as the above three lenses but it's closer to perfection then you will ever see on a cropped sensor camera. I keep hoping that Canon will make a wide angle zoom that matches the performance of my Canon 100-400 IS L zoom lens. This lens has a similar sharpness on both the Canon 5D Mark II and cropped sensor cameras like my 40D.

    5. Canon 70-200 F/2.8 L lens. This lens is actually about even with my Canon 100-400 IS L Lens in the zoom sharpness and clarity department but it's no where near as versatile on my 5D Mark II as the 100-400. Still it's a must have lens when shooting weddings when you need the super Bokeh background melting power of an F/2.8 aperture and lower light power of an F/2.8 aperture. The sharpness and clarity at F/2.8 that was Ok on the 40D is much improved for some strange reason on the 5D Mark II. And the Bokeh is much smoother creamier and richer on the 5D Mark II.

    6. Canon 24-70 F/2.8 L lens. This is the lens I reach for when I'm shooting closer photos at a wedding and I need the versatility of a zoom. It's also the lens I reach for when shooting videos with the 5D Mark II. If I could shoot all day with the Canon 85mm F/1.2 II L I would. But at a wedding where you can't always zoom with your feet I reach for the Canon 24-70 F/2.8 L. Its good on the 5D Mark II but not as good as the 17-40 L but has better reach then the 17-40. But it does not have that uncanny you are there feel of the first three lenses on my list. The Canon 5D Mark II clearly out resolves this lens and that is very disappointing for an L lens that costs over a thousand dollars. Thank GOD for the auto peripheral as this lens is a Vignetting monster when shot wide open on a 5D Mark II, it was not on the 40D. With the Vignetting control built into Digital Photo Professional (DPP) and the on-board 5D Mark II auto control it's perfect and Vignetting is not a problem. This lens is also very fragile and has required sending back to Canon for recalibration but is a must have in my arsenal only because I do weddings. I'm hoping Canon will come out with an Image Stabilized improved version that has that you are there feel of the 100-400 zoom. Once again it seems like this lens may be losing it's calibration and I am starting to lose my patience. If you need this lens then get it just beware of possible maintenance problems.

    7. Canon 50mm F/1.8 II lens. This lens which was pretty decent on the 40D and Rebel XTi comes completely apart on the 5D Mark II. No surprise since it's only $89. I guess the surprise was how well it had worked on a Canon 40D and Rebel XTi. If you own a 5D Mark II then don't bother. If you own a cropped sensor camera its a great little lens.

    8. Canon 17-50mm F/2.8 EF-S L lens. Why am I mentioning this lens here? It's a shame this cropped sensor only lens can't be used on the 5D Mark II. It's one of my most used and sharpest lenses on my Canon 40D and Canon Rebel XTi. In fact it's my daughter's favorite lens on those two cameras. Because it's such a great sharp low light monster because of the Image Stabilization (IS) it would be fantastic on the 5D Mark II. Canon please make us a wide angle L lens with IS. It's been very reliable un-like my 24-70, I highly recommend if you have a cropped sensor camera!

    9. Canon 15mm Fisheye! This lens is a hoot on the 5D Mark II. A full 180 degrees of wide angle fun! Put it on and shoot the inside of a small car, or airplane, or take it to your local baseball diamond or anywhere you would love to see a 180 degree shot. And the curved effect on a full frame camera makes everyone who sees one of these photos go oooohhhhhh yeah cool shot. I listed this lens last because its one of those lenses you don't want to over use but one that you just have to just have to have. It's pretty sharp wide open but gets sharper at F/4 and reaches maximum sharpness at F/8. It has the old style focus system that's a little noisy and slow but it really doesn't matter as there isn't much focus range anyway everything is close to infocus at 15mm.

    Three old 5D complaints answered:

    1. Vignetting or peripheral lighting issue
    2. Dust on the sensor
    3. The rear LCD

    1. Vignetting:

    You can either have the 5D Mark II auto-correct peripheral illumination on board for JPEGs or adjust images using Canon's Digital Photo Professional (DPP) software that came with your Mark II. I have noticed on the full framed 5D Mark II my Canon 24-70 F/2.8 L lens with the peripheral illumination correction turned OFF the 5D Mark II images will severely vignette or be dark in the corners when shot wide open (F/2.8). It's almost like looking through a dark tunnel. It's especially noticeable shot wide open with the sky as a background. Auto-correct to the rescue!! With the peripheral illumination correction turned ON it's almost magical the darkening in the corners is gone! If you want you can even shoot in Raw mode and adjust the amount of Vignetting or darkness in the corners for effects such as when shooting portraits and you want to emphasis the person in the middle of the photo. Just open the Raw photo in DPP and click on the NR/Lens / ALO tab and select Lens Aberration Correction Tune and adjust the peripheral illumination to suite by dragging the slider or entering and amount. Or select all the photos in a directory and you can correct all your photos at once.

    2. Dust on the Sensor:

    The old 5D was a dust hog, no-one ever said it was not. The new one though now as a new fluorite coating and ant-dust shake. I did get some dust on my sensor after going out and switching lens in the field shooting birds but un-like my 40D I successfully blew off all the dust using my Firefly Digital Dust sensor cleaner. This new fluorite coating must make it much harder for the dust to stick to the 5D Mark II sensor then the sensor on my 40D.

    3. Rear LCD

    This has to be seen to be believed. The rear LCD is so sharp and so bright its shocking. The one on the 40D is now just OK. And I could never be sure if I got the shot or not. On the 5D Mark II you can zoom in an check fine focus. The only thing you may want to turn off is the auto light level adjuster so when walking in and out of shaded areas the brightness level does not change when the ambient light levels change. Some people may like it some may hate it. I like it myself as I can now see the image out in the sunlight unlike on the 40D where it's totally washed out. Thing is Canon lets you decide and you can turn it on or off. When off it stays the same no matter the ambient light.

    LOW ISO:

    Holy cow 6400 ISO I can shoot at F/4.5 in a dark room!!!! Took some night shots in and outside of the house and downloaded. Booted up DPP and WOW!

    Photos are great at 3200 ISO even in Raw mode with standard noise reduction. Once you apply the correct amount of noise reduction and converted to 17inch JPEG's the 3200 ISO photos are AWESOME!!! The night shots of my Christmas tree at 3200 ISO on my 40D are almost unusable. But with the 5D Mark II they are fantastic. But my 24inch iMac seems a little slower looking through the photos... In fact it seems to be crawling! I ended up having to upgrade to a Firewire 800 external hard drive to fix the problem.

    Black Dots:

    I finally got a single photo with black dots by shooting at 25,600 ISO at night around some Christmas lights. You have to zoom in to 200% and pixel peep to see them. That's one shot out of several hundred night shots! Still haven't found any dots in day time photos.

    Memory Storage:

    I'm going to have to buy larger Compact Flash Cards my 8GB card only holds about 267 shots when the 5D Mark II is set to Raw only. But it's worth it especially for high ISO shots. At times I'm hard pressed on-screen to tell 1600 ISO from the 5D Mark II to the 100 ISO out of my 40D. It's that GOOD!

    I for one never thought I would be in this love for video. But this camera is awesome, low natural light great Bokeh low depth of field video. Just in time for the holidays. The only thing is after viewing the videos back on my iMac computer no matter how steady you hands are you will need a tripod. The tiniest movements when playing back on a computer or TV seem to be magnified no matter how steady I try and hand hold the camera.

    40D to 5D Mark II transition:

    Well, it looks a lot like my Canon 40D but the controls on the back are on the left instead of the bottom.

    Has a similar feel and weight to me at least maybe just a touch bigger and heavier then a 40D. Focus is better in low light for sure. Looks great with a Canon 17-40 F/4 L lens mounted. Maybe a little more rubbery grip on the grip.

    This will be a much easier transition coming from the Canon 40D to the Canon 5D Mark II then my transition from the Rebel XTi to the 40D as the control placement and use are very similar unlike when I switched from the Rebel to the 40D and everything was in a different location.


    Put the strap on while I'm waiting for the dead battery to charge.

    Ok battery is charged now, put it in, turn it on and set the time and date.

    Then plug into the Mac and set my preferences under the styles and choose my lenses under the peripheral illumination correction. Very nice and very easy.

    Put in the owners Information and copyright info. Gotta love that it's automatically on every photo now!


    Menus are a little different, but hey they are much sharper, this LCD is really sharp and bright!!!

    Who the heck put 10 images as the default for skipping on review!!! That's another one of the first changes to go!

    Bottom line:

    Bottom line is if you own a big L lens collection and do any shooting at all in the dark without flash and don't have a full framed camera the 5D Mark II is a must have addition!

    1-11-2009 Update:

    I installed firmware update 1.0.7 which is supposed to correct the black dot problem and now I can't get it to make a black dot photo at all. So hopefully this was the fix we were all seeking.

    This full framed sensor camera continues to impress me and the sensor continues to be dust free!

    4-1-2009 Update:

    This full framed sensor camera continues to impress. Just got back from shooting the 2009 Arizona Renaissance festival where I shot both the 40D and 5D Mark II and looking at the photos the 5D Mark II just walks all over the 40D in image quality. So much so that I don't reach for the 40D much any more the 5D Mark II is that much better. Got one spec of dust from lens changing at the Renaissance but it was easily blow off with my FireFly sensor cleaner. You can see a lot of the photos I took with the 5D Mark II at

    4-27-2009 I just got back from photographing the World Premiere of X-Men Origins: Wolverine and once again the 5D Mark II was awesome. I ended up mainly using two lenses the Canon 24-70 F/2.8 L zoom and Canon 100-400 IS L zoom lens. When you have only one chance to get Hugh Jackman riding by on his Harley you want to make sure you have reliable quick focusing equipment. You can see my photos from this shoot at info
  • Amazing Camera!!
    The Canon 5D Mark II is absolutely amazing! It is worth every penny and I am very pleased. I purchased this camera primarily for the Hi-Def video feature. I do professional video work and I can't say anything negative about this camera. This camera shoots video strait to an uncompressed Quicktime .mov file. It is not AVCHD, there is no conversion needed. These video files can be placed directly on to a Final Cut timeline without any conversion or rendering. (This saves soooo much time. i.e. no log and capture and no log and transfer and no conversion in any way!!) Picture quality is amazing. I only wish I could merge the features of the Canon XH-A1 video camera with the video quality and file format of the 5D!!!! I have never really been interested in still pictures . . . until now. I took a photo of some friends from 20 feet away, when viewed in photoshop with the zoom feature set to "actual pixels" the detail was as if I had used a macro lens from 2 feet away (This is due to the 21 mega pixels). Everyone who sees the stills is amazed and I have already made money as a professional photographer!! (That's a first!)
    Ok . . . the only thing about this camera I would change is I would give it XLR inputs and a manual gain control feature and a meter to visually monitor audio levels. I imagine that if Canon did this they would lose business because no one would need to buy a pro video camera, they could just buy this! Otherwise, the audio pick up is decent . . . it's good enough to sync with the audio from other cameras, and it worked just fine with a shotgun mic and a wireless lapel mic....more info
  • Best "ProSumer" DSLR On The Market!
    I received this camera on December 1st and have taken almost 500 photos so far. A mixed blend of portraits, scenics, novalty and still life - all are amazing. I've used the cameras fully "automatic" setting - and when set to "A" - am most impressed with the ISO range and how little noise is produced at high numbers. I've been a happy owner of a 5D for some time, and the upgrade to the Mark II is worth the money - believe it!...more info
    I just picked up the body today and good god this is the best camera ever!

    The video is AWESOME!
    The image quality is AWESOME!
    The 21mp is AWESOME!
    The high def LCD is AWESOME!
    The full frame sensor is AWESOME!
    The high ISO is AWESOME!
    The auto focus is alright.


    Thanks for reading this review because its AWESOME!
    ...more info
  • D700 vs. EOS 5D Mark II
    This will be a popular comparison. D700 excels in auto focus, low noise, faster burst mode. EOS 5D Mark II excels with more resolution, bigger view finder, and HD video.

    Cost is important as well. The more important comparison is overall system costs. With either full-frame camera, the "ideal" kit will eventually include the 24-70mm f/2.8 (Canon: [...], Nikon: [...]) and 70-200mm f/2.8 (Canon: [...], Nikon: [...]).

    Once the Canon EOS 5d MkII price settles closer to the MSRP, I think the Nikon package will be more expensive by at least [...]. So keep total costs in mind....more info
  • Canon 5D Mark II Over-rated- Bugs Need To Be Worked Out Better
    I am a pro event/concert shooter and have been very happy with my 5D for the past 1.5 years. Last month I purchased a 5D Mark II and returned it 2 weeks later. I was experiencing intermittent issues with auto focus; specifically the camera would freeze up or just not respond sometimes while trying to focus. This occurred not in high speed or fast action situations, but in simple grip & grin portrait situations. I started reading the reviews and blogs and noticed that many users were complaining about this. The 5D is an excellent event camera and I will be waiting for the next generation of the 5D Mark instead of being a guinea pig for Canon.

    On another topic, though I have owned every digital Canon body starting with the D60, does this stupid dioptor adjustment dial that Canon insists on putting on every body piss anyone else off but me? It's useless (I even wear glasses and have no use for it), and has messed up many key shots when the dial was inadvertently not on the center hash mark! In my opinion, it defeats the credibility of Canon's "pro-sumer" camera line with this gimmicky and worthless crap option! Why do they insist on keeping the dioptor adjustment on every camera body and for whose benefit?
    ...more info