Canon EOS 5D Mark II 21.1MP Full Frame CMOS Digital SLR Camera Reviews Video Clip and Buy Product

April 4, 2009

The 5D Mk2 is a Very Good Canon SLR Digital Camera

The good aspects - The Canon 5D Mk2 is a very good choice if you want to buy a DSLR camera that is full-frame. I used to have a Canon 1DS Mk2, but this new model is more sensitive to light by at least one F-stop. It also has an accurate and fast auto focus system during single shot mode. Also the auto-exposure system is more is more accurate than the one on my former camera.
The LCD screen is pretty impressive. It has a 3 inch LCD screen with 900,000 pixels. Menus are easy to handle and understand and "Live View" will surely impress you if this is the first time you own a DSLR with this feature. But keep in mind that it is a battery drainer and once the imager circuitry from the CMOS heats up the live-view will be automatically turned off not to add noise to the images.
The battery grip of the BG-E6, which is optional, is also a very good accessory to take into consideration, as it's a lot easier to hold the camera taller using it.
The bad aspects - When in camera mode you don't have any control over shutter speed, ISO setting or iris. It has a lock button which you press when you think you've got the best image that the camera automatically adjusts in the settings area. The thing is that after each photo, the lock resets, so you risk in getting non consistent exposures when trying to repeatedly take a scene. You can only adjust the temperature setting.
The camera can only record at 30.00 frames per second instead of 29.97. It looks like a small difference, but due to this you'll need to modify every single file's header with Apple Cinema Tools or some other similar program before editing the movie you made and turning it into a regular broadcast, at 30FPS and 1080i/1080P. If you don't do this you'll have to render every single scene on the 30 fps time line, resulting in some skipped frames or just set up a 30.00 fps time line.
But this is only a problem if you're shooting for film or television, as no such broadcast operates at 30.00 fps. If you're using this camera only for web released videos, the 30.00 fps won't be a problem to you.
Another thing is the camera records audio using a sample rate of just 44.1kz when the standard is 48kz. Only Apple's Final Cut Pro can work with this file at any sample rate. As I've said before, this won't be a problem if your videos are for uploading on the Internet.
Also you may notice the H.264 block artifacts in some low light or low contrast scenes. I could say that these artifacts are more obvious than the Canon's HF10, 1080 video camera encoding.
The video is noise-free except for red. You'll especially notice this when shooting in shadow areas.
Getting the perfect SLR camera, is never an easy thing, especially with the way digital technology is constantly changing. Fortunately, there are plenty of helpful websites online, that can narrow down your search and help you find the DSLR camera with all the features important to you.
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5D Mk2 - The Cannon SLR Digital Camera For Me

There are loads of reasons why the 5D Mk2 is the ideal choice if you're planning on getting a Cannon SLR Digital Camera. The auto focus system is accurate and very fast when used on single-shot mode, the auto-exposure system is also very accurate and sets just the right camera settings. But before we gush on and on about how great a camera the Canon 5D Mk2 is, let's first break down the camera's basic features.
The 21-megapixel 5D Mk2 has a 3-inch LCD screen that is capable of displaying over 900,000 pixels of different colors. The LCD on this baby is probably on of the best ones you'll ever find on a digital SLR camera. The Live View feature is also extremely helpful for critical focusing, however, you can only use it for a certain period of time because it drains the camera's battery. Using the Live View for too long will also cause the CMOS circuitry to heat up, which in turn adds noise to the shots you take.
The Canon 5d Mk2 comes with an optional BG-E6 battery grip which makes it easier to hold the camera. The battery grip can simultaneously accommodate six AA alkaline or rechargeable batteries and two Canon lithium batteries. The 5d Mk2 is also capable of shooting video clips and short movies. However, user reviews say that the video mode doesn't have customizable settings for ISO, iris, or shutter speed. The only setting you can tweak in video mode is the color temperature. Some users also complain that the LCD doesn't display on-screen indicators to show the current camera settings.
There is, however, an exposure lock button which will fix the camera's settings to whatever condition is displayed on the LCD at the exact time you press the lock button. So what you basically do is you pan the 5d Mk2 around the view and location, and when you find a good setting for brightness, color, and exposure, you press the exposure lock button. The downside is that the exposure lock is reset after every shot or scene, giving you inconsistent exposures if you have multiple takes.
The Canon 5d Mk2 shoots at 30 frames per second, and not 29.97. The 0.03 difference in fps means you have to use a program (like Apple Cinema Tools) to change the header of each file before you can edit your footage to the normal 29.97 fps, 1080i or 1080p timeline. But if you're only shooting videos for high-quality release on the web, the 30 fps shouldn't be a problem. All in all, the 5d Mk2 is a good choice for a Cannon SLR digital camera. But if you will use it mainly to shoot videos, you might want to rethink getting a model that operates on 29.97 fps instead.
Getting the perfect camera, is never an easy thing, especially with the way digital technology is constantly changing. Fortunately, there are plenty of helpful websites online, that can narrow down your search and help you find the camera with all the features important to you.
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February 2, 2009

2008 DSLR Review - The Hits and Misses of the Year

2008 was an interesting year for DSLR's and photographers in general, even if you ignore the ultra-high end announcements from Leica, Hassleblad and Red. The three main players in the DSLR space (Nikon and Canon each with around 40% market share, and Sony with around 10%) all launched milestone cameras. Below we'll detail their hits, and misses.
After their groundbreaking releases in 2007 with the Nikon D3 and D300, they set the bar high for 2008, but in general didn't disappoint with four new bodies:
Nikon D60
While not revolutionary, the Nikon D60 replaced the D40x in Nikons consumer lineup, in a smaller, better package, becoming one of the smallest and lightest DSLR's ever made.
Nikon D700
Coming almost as a complete surprise, the Nikon D700 was launched mid summer, containing the 12 megapixel full frame sensor out of the flagship D3, but with a body similar to the D300. At $3,000, this camera showed Nikons commitment to FX, and the camera instantly became the choice for many pros that didn't need the weather sealing or the advanced features of the D3 (for example wedding photographers).
However within months of its release, the Sony A900 came out with a 24 megapixel full frame sensor for the same MSRP, and the Canon 5D Mark II came out with a 21 megapixel full frame sensor and 1080p HD Video, for $2,700.
While the D700 remains the most complete package (best autofocus, arguable the best metering, and for the vast majority 12 megapixels is plenty), it has come under severe pressure from its higher megapixel rivals. Just four months after its release, the street prices have dropped 25%, down to the $2,300 range for a USA model.
Nikon D90
Replacing the D80 in Nikons lineup, the Nikon D90 took the sensor from the respected D300, improved on it slightly, added video, and packaged it in a smaller, lighter body with scene modes and a more basic autofocus and metering.
The Nikon D90 was also the worlds first DSLR to feature HD Video capture, with its 720p/24 f.p.s. mode. However, a few weeks later Canon announced a much more comprehensive video offering with it's Canon 5D Mark II, and video remains the weakest feature on the D90, lacking autofocus and giving very little control over key elements like exposure.
At $999, this helped firm up Nikons consumer lineup, by creating an outstandingly capable advanced consumer DSLR in the Nikon D90.
Nikon D3x
After years of rumor, Nikon finally announced it's high megapixel camera, the 24 megapixel Nikon D3x.
The camera immediately caused a backlash with its $8,000 price point, which at the time of release was about double the street price of the Nikon D3. This the uproar was only fuelled further, when it was revealed the only significant differences between the D3 and the D3x were the sensor and a slightly improved EXPEED processor, combined with the fact Sony can produce a DSLR with the same size/megapixel sensor for a mere $3,000.
This camera is aimed squarely at the studio/landscape photographer, and initial tests have shown that the sensor is cleaner at high ISO's than the Sony (but comparable to the 5D Mark II, which has fewer megapixels). So while it's clearly an impressive camera, it remains to be seen how many photographers can actually justify the price tag.
In addition to some entry level DSLR's, can had two big releases in 2008.
Canon EOS 50D
Replacing the 40D, the Canon 50D featured a 15 megapixel 1.6x crop sensor, making it the highest pixel density available today (equivalent to a 39 megapixel full frame sensor).
However the initial reception hasn't been especially positive. Because of the high pixel density, the camera suffers more from the effects of diffraction, doesn't have the high ISO ability many hoped it would, and shows up issues with lenses more than any previous model. Despite this, it remains a solid camera at its current street price of just over $1,000.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Probably the most significant release of the year, the Canon 5D replacement features a 21 megapixel Full Frame sensor, ISO capabilities similar to the new Nikon D3x, and it became the first DSLR to feature full 1080p HD Video capture. Despite some initial problems (like the infamous "black dot" problem), for $2,700 Canon provides an amazing feature set, and appears to have hit a home run with what is arguably the best prosumer package on the market today.
After solidifying its consumer lineup, Sony went after the prosumer market with the Sony A900 featuring a 24-megapixel full frame sensor for under $3,000.
Sony A900
The camera lacks basic features expected on today's DSLR's like Live View, but the next camera available with 24 megapixels is the $8,000 Nikon D3x. However it's biggest competition comes from the Canon 5D Mark II, which has a slightly lower resolution at 21 megapixels, but more than makes up for it with its lower $2,700 price tag, full 1080p HD Video mode and features like Live View.
While clearly an impressive camera at a solid price point, unless you really need the extra resolution, it would be very hard to pick the Sony over the Canon.
With groundbreaking cameras in the Nikon D3x, Nikon D90, Canon 50D and Canon 5D Mark II, 2008 solidified full frame sensors in the marketplace, witnessed a continued push towards higher megapixels, and saw the introduction of video on DSLR's.
Looking forward, 2009 should be an interesting year. With negative economic conditions and fierce competition for market share, we should see prices drop, and features like video mature making for some interesting, if not groundbreaking cameras in the near future.
Steve Denton has been a Photographer using Nikon equipment for over 20 years, since he bought his first Nikon F Photomic.
He also runs the web site, a web site dedicated to DSLR photography, covering the latest news from the major manufactures including Nikon, Canon, Leica and Hasselblad, as well as equipment reviews, articles, travel and galleries.
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Canon, Nikon & Sony Prosumer Full-Frame DSLR's

The full frame DSLR market is heating up - by the end of the year three major vendors, Nikon, Canon and Sony, will all have Full Frame ProSumer DSLR's in the market place, all at a similar price point.
The 12.1 megapixel Nikon D700, based on proven technology from both the Nikon D3 and Nikon D300, was announced back in July, and is already available. With an original MSRP of $2,999.95, only 3 months after its announcement street prices have already dropped to around the $2,750 mark.
Rumored for months, the 24.6 megapixel Sony Alpha A900 was finally officially announced on September 9th with an MSRP of $2,999.95, and should be shipping within the next few weeks.
A few days later, Canon announced the 21.1 megapixel Canon EOS 5D Mark II, offering a very comprehensive feature set, as well as adding 1080p HD Video, while undercutting both the Nikon and the Sony with its $2,699.99 MSRP. The camera should ship by the end of the year.
Three very different cameras, all at a very similar price point, make for an interesting choice for the consumer or professional with up to $3,000 to spend on a prosumer DSLR.
Nikon D700:
The Nikon D700 has the excellent year old sensor out of the Nikon D3, in a body comparable to the Nikon D300. With the optional MB-D10 battery pack (which also fits the Nikon D300), the D700 can achieve an impressive 8 f.p.s., while capturing 14-bit files, at least until the buffer fills.
High ISO performance on the D700 is outstanding, equal to the Nikon D3. The Nikon D700 is also has proven Autofocus and Metering. However, it is the lowest resolution camera in the group at only 12 megapixels, and that will turn off a lot of potential buyers.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II:
The 21.1 megapixel sensor has a similar resolution to the flagship Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III, however it has a much broader ISO range. In fact, its ISO range exceeds even the Nikon D3 and D700 at ISO 50-25,600 (vs. ISO 100-25,600 for the Nikons).
The sensor in 5D Mark II is a year newer than the sensor in the D700, and if the low light capabilities come even close to the Nikon D700's, then Canon have a very compelling camera on its hands with a significantly higher resolution over the Nikon. There are very few sample images floating round from the Canon, so it's too early to be sure, but the Canon has a lot of potential - we'll soon see how much difference an extra year of sensor development makes.
The big new feature on the Canon is the 1080p HD Video mode. For many, this feature is a gimmick at best, but for some this is a very powerful tool - the ability to use a significant range of high quality lenses, and have control over depth of field that just doesn't exist on consumer video cameras today. This will be a major selling point for some, and a nice to have for many.
Sony Alpha A900:
The Sony boasts the highest resolution of the three cameras, but falls short in two major areas: Its ISO performance is significantly narrower than its main rivals, and it only boasts 12 bit A/D conversion. For the vast majority of shooters, the 12-bit A/D won't make much, if any real world difference. The problem is more one of perception, a $3,000 full frame DSLR is almost expected to have 14 bit A/D conversion in today's market.
Comparing the Cameras:
You drive up in your new luxury car, and the first question your neighbor asks: "How much horsepower has that thing got?" With cameras, it's megapixels - right or wrong, that's going to be the major selling point for the average consumer, with ISO capabilities a very close second.
In reality, very few photographers need more than 12 megapixels. If you are publishing to the web, 3 megapixels is usually more than sufficient - my large 1920 by 1200 monitor is approximately 2.3 megapixels. A 1080p HD TV is less than 2.1 megapixels.
Most high quality prints are printed at 300 dpi (dots per inch), 150 dpi prints still look very good. At 300dpi, an 8x10 photo requires just over 7 megapixels. A 16x20 print at 150 dpi also requires 7.2 megapixels. How many people who buy these cameras are going to print beyond that?
The main advantage of more megapixels is the ability to crop. This is especially useful for nature, wildlife and sports photographers that need as much reach as possible. What matters to them is pixel density - the more "pixels on target" you can get with your longest lens, the more you can crop and the more effective reach you have. However none of these cameras have the highest pixel density out there - if you need reach, you'd be better served with a Nikon D300 or the new Canon 50D. To get the same pixel density as the Canon 50D in a full frame sensor, you'd need a full frame camera with almost 40 megapixels.
Whether you like it or not, the attribute of the camera that makes the headlines is the megapixel number. From a marketing perspective, that puts the Nikon D700 at a major disadvantage to the Canon 5D Mark II. On paper the Canon also wins in the ISO race, but only just. Until the camera is out there in the marketplace, we won't know for sure just how good its low ISO performance is. The Canon also has 1080p Video, which as stated before, will be a major selling point for some, and irrelevant for others.
Where the Nikon beats the Canon, is about everywhere else that counts: It has a higher maximum frame rate (especially if you add the MB-D10 grip to get 8fps, which more than doubles the Canons), and on paper it also has a superior AF system and metering system. In the same way that having more horsepower is meaningless if the car can't put that power down on the road (think transmission, suspension, tires, traction control), the Nikon D700 is still a very compelling package, especially for those that shoot sport or action.
The Sony A900 wins the megapixel race, but the Canon is very close behind. However it loses badly when you factor in ISO performance. Canon also has a much wider range of very high quality lenses to back up the camera, and offers 14-bit A/D conversion verses 12-bit on the Sony for those looking for ultimate image quality. It also has video support, and is about 10% cheaper, so the Canon effectively makes the Sony A900 a non-starter for most people.
Then it comes back to Nikon versus Canon. Both companies have a large range of professional quality lenses and other accessories to back up the camera. The Nikon is the clear choice for the sports shooter. The landscape or studio photographer will lean towards the extra resolution offered by the Canon. If the ISO performance turns out to be similar for both the Nikon D700 and Canon 5D Mark II, then for the wedding photographer and photo-journalist that need the low light capabilities, the Canon's extra resolution will give it the edge. Unless that is, that they specifically don't want to have to deal with larger image files (takes up more room on memory cards, longer to upload, longer to post process etc).
For everyone else, either the Nikon or Canon should meet or more likely exceed their needs, however Canon has the marketing advantage with the headline number. If you've spent a lot of time shooting in public, then you know someone is going to come up to you at some point and say "Nice camera, how many megapixels has that thing got?"
Steve Denton has been a Photographer using Nikon equipment for over 20 years, since he bought his first Nikon F Photomic.
He also runs the web site - a web site dedicated to DSLR photography, covering the latest news from the major manufactures including Nikon, Canon, Leica and Hasselblad, as well as equipment reviews, articles, travel and galleries.
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January 7, 2009

Canon Promises 21.1 Megapixels With 5D Mark II

Canon USA just announced the Canon 5D Mark II, continuing the tradition of offering full-frame digital SLRs at a significantly lower price. For the uninitiated, full-frame dSLRs feature an image sensor as big as a 35mm film frame, allowing more versatility in terms of photographic possibilities and usable lens.
This is powered by the DIGIC 4 image sensor, sensitivity up to ISO 25,600, and the ability to capture full-HD clips at 1920 x 1080 resolution-with a max of 30 minutes or 4GB (looks like Canon's stepping up to the Nikon D90's challenge). Whatever's captured is viewable via the 33 screen on the back, or by an HD display via the HDMI port.
Canon promises an SRP of "only" $2,699, which is a lot less than the initial $3,000 price tag of the first 5D. Check out all the details in the full press release.
HD and SD Video Capture
Canon has taken its expertise in imaging, photography and video capture technology to a new level with the EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR. Answering the question of where SLR technology is going next, the EOS 5D Mark II features 16:9 Full HD video capture at 1920 x 1080 pixels and 30 fps as well as 4:3 standard TV quality (SD) video capture at 640 x 480 pixels and 30 fps, both capabilities appearing for the first time in a Canon SLR camera. Video capture is part of the camera's Live View function, using the Picture Style that has been set for Live View still image shooting. This allows skilled photographers and cinematographers to adjust image sharpness, contrast, color saturation and white balance, and have those settings apply to the movie image. When recording video, the camera's rear LCD screen can be letter-boxed by a semi-transparent border to match the aspect ratio of the movie recording size. Moreover, the EOS 5D Mark II camera's HD video capability enables new levels of creative expression through its unfettered access to the complete line of more than 60 Canon EF lenses, which provide an incredible variety of visual effects including everything from ultra-wide-angle and fish-eye to macro and super-telephoto, including many large-aperture L-series professional lenses that can keep the main subject in razor-sharp focus while blurring the background beyond recognition.
I can say that this is a great camera ever built by Canon. My cousin have this and I tried it myself. You can adjust image sharpness, contrast, color saturation and white balance, and have those settings apply to the movie image.
Check out all the details in the full press release.
Nico Uy, The owner of
For more information, you may contact me at
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Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR Camera

In conjunction with Canon boast 'defined a new DSLR category' back in 2005, Canon released their EOS 5D model. The Canon EOS 5D model was the first 'full frame' sensor camera with a compact body; namely not having an integral vertical grip and have been very popular among camera enthusiasts mainly because it is less bulky then Canon EOS-1D, if you are looking for a full frame DSLR to use with your Canon lenses. With Sony DSLR-A900 and Nikon D700 in the market, it is timely for Canon to upgrade their EOS 5D model to Mark II.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II, is superior in terms of both resolution and features such as 21 mega-pixels, 1080p video, 3.0 VGA LCD, Live View, higher capacity battery and many others. In other words, this camera has surpassed both its direct competitors in terms of resolution (Nikon D700) or features (Sony DSLR-A900).
The Canon EOS 5D Mark II is equipped with Live View and anti-dust features as well. Other improvement from its predecessor are the DIGIC 4 processor; with 14-bit analogue to digital conversion. This DIGIC 4 has allowed Canon to slightly improve on the original Canon EOS 5D's 3fps continuous shooting rate to a new rate of 3.9fps.
Aside from capturing high quality still pictures it is also the first Canon's DSLR to boast video recording. The Canon EOS 5D Mark II is able to record video in full High Definition (HD) of 1920 x 1080 pixels (1080p) at 30fps. This is also the first DSLR to record video in glorious full HD and definitely best quality video recording by a still camera. Other improvement comprise of LCD screen size of 3 inch with 920k dot / VGA resolution. Owners of HDTV will be pleased that there is HDMI port for direct connection to HDTV at 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution.
As for more traditional photographic features, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II offers an improved viewfinder with 98% coverage, a shutter rated to 150k cycles and 9-point AF system with 6 AF assist points. This definitely the must have for all camera enthusiasts.
Following are Canon EOS 5D Mark II full features:
21 megapixel CMOS sensor (very similar to the sensor in the EOS-1D Mark III)
Sensor dust reduction by vibration of filter
ISO 100 - 6400 calibrated range, ISO 50 - 25600 expansion (1Ds Mark III & 5D max ISO 3200)
Auto ISO (100 - 3200) in all modes except manual
3.9 frames per second continuous shooting
DIGIC 4 processor, new menus / interface as per the EOS 50D
Image processing features are: 1. Highlight tone priority 2. Auto lighting optimizer (4 levels) 3. High ISO noise reduction (4 levels) 4. Lens peripheral illumination correction (vignetting correction)
RAW and SRAW1 (10 MP) / SRAW2 (5 MP)
RAW / JPEG selection made separately
Permanent display of ISO on both top plate and viewfinder displays
AF micro adjustment (up to 20 lenses individually)
Three custom modes on command dial, Creative Auto Mode
Image copyright metadata support
98% coverage viewfinder (0.71x magnification)
3.0 920,000 dot LCD monitor with 'Clear View' cover / coatings, 170° viewing angle
Automatic LCD brightness adjustment (ambient light sensor)
Live View with three mode auto-focus (inclusive of face detection)
No mirror-flip for exposures in Live View if contrast detect AF is selected
Movie recording in Live View (i.e. 1080p H.264 up to 12 minutes, VGA H.264 up to 24 mins per clip)
Two mode silent shooting (Live View)
New jump options in play mode
HDMI and standard composite (AV) video out
Full audio support: with built-in mic and speaker, mic-in socket, audio-out over AV (although not HDMI)
IrPort (supports IR remote shutter release using optional RC1 / RC5 controllers)
UDMA Compact Flash support
New 1800 mAh battery with improved battery information / logging
New optional WFT-E4 Wi-Fi / LAN / USB vertical grip
Water resistance: 10 mm rain under 3 minutes
For updates and reviews on other gadgets and gears please proceed to the following URL link:
Stephen Woon is an enthusiast in gadgets and gears. Aside from collecting gadgets and gears, he has a huge collection of movies in VHS, Laser Disc and DVD. Also and avid movies reviewer and aspiring screenwriter.
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