Our New Camera: The 5D Mark II
March 9, 2009 by Bryan
Jamie and I recently purchased the Canon 5D Mark II with the kit 24-105mm F/4 L IS USM lens. Canon recently released this camera and there is a significant backlog of orders for it at this time so we had to wait for a while to purchase it. The lens by itself has been out since 2005 but you get it at a discount when you purchase it with the kit. We also purchased a 16 Gig UDMA Compact Flash card and plan on purchasing an extra battery as soon as one is in stock and selling for the MSRP instead of 50% above the MSRP.
Trust me when I say that a lot of thought went into the purchase of the camera. I had recently become frustrated at the high ISO performance of the XTi. Although this doesn’t affect shooting outdoors very often; it does affect shooting indoors without a flash. In addition while the XTi has excellent resolution I always knew in the back of my mind that it was not up to par with the real professional cameras on the market. The 5D Mark II is very much a professional camera. The main things which set it apart are a 21 mega-pixel full-frame sensor and excellent high ISO performance with little to no noticeable noise up to 800 ISO and workable images up to 6400 ISO. The reason I say images are workable at 6400 is that they do have noise but noise reduction will get rid of it. Noise reduction (in camera or in post-processing) does reduce resolution however if you start with a tack sharp 21 mega-pixel image you will not notice the loss of resolution unless you zoom into the image at 100% and really look for it.
Overall I’ve been extremely happy with the camera so far. It is heavier but it feels good in my hand. The battery life is exceptional and will last through a couple of half day shoots without any problem. The kit lens is a real performer as well. Zoom is fast and the Image Stabilization works well. It does have some distortion at 24mm however that is to be expected and it can be corrected in post production. Shooting wide open yields perfectly out of focus backgrounds with nice bokeh.
Finally this camera adds HD video capabilities to Canon’s Digital SLR lineup. The videos are great once you get the hang of shooting via the LCD screen. The only thing I don’t like is how it saves movies in MOV format. Other then that I really like having the option to shoot video.
Below are some examples of shots from the 5D Mark II: