Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR Camera Review

A significant improvement over the Canon EOS 5D is a resolution increase of around 40% to 21.1 Megapixels. Additionally, a Live View function is included, which lets users to preview photos on the cameras High-resolution monitor “ion LCD display with a 3.0” diagonal. It also has the ability to record full-motion HD video with sound, allowing you to catch both the action and the scenery at the same time.

With a resolution of 21.1 megapixels and a Full frame 35mm-format (24x36mm) CMOS sensor, the camera records image files with exceptional image quality and color accuracy. It can capture JPEG, RAW, and RAW+JPEG files. As well as a DIGIC 4 imaging processor, the camera includes a high-speed DDR-SDRAM buffer, which together with the camera’s rapid operation ensures speedy performance and picture processing times. In addition to an extremely fast full-resolution frame rate of up to 3.9 frames per second, the DIGIC 4 processor also provides improved battery life, noticeably improved image quality across the board at all ISO sensitivities, faster start-up and reaction times, and improved noise suppression at ISO sensitivities ranging from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the camera’s sensitivity being expandable to a range of ISO 50 to ISO 25600.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II is equipped with a high-resolution (920,000 dot) 3D sensor “In addition to having an LCD screen, the camera also has a ‘Live View’ feature that allows the user to frame their shots on the LCD display. This feature also includes framing functions that are not available with a traditional SLR viewfinder, such as the ability to zoom in and navigate the preview image to ensure proper focus, as well as a grid overlay to aid in proper composition. There are several focus modes available with the Live View focusing mechanism, including Quick mode, Live mode, and Face Detection Live mode. Furthermore, the Live View Feature allows for HD video recording at a frame rate of 30 frames per second, capturing full HD-quality (1080p) video at a frame rate of 30 frames per second with Face Detection and audio.

The magnesium-alloy chassis of the EOS 5D Mark II assures the camera’s long-term reliability, allowing customers to take it on safari or to a press junket with confidence that the camera will survive. Additional dust and weatherproofing measures are built into the camera body, including seals and gaskets where body panels and/or camera controls come together. When you turn on your camera (or manually when necessary), the EOS Integrated Cleaning System shakes dust particles off of the sensor’s low-pass filter, ensuring that your photographs are clear of spots and that you spend less time editing them.

Some of the other professional-quality features found on the Canon EOS 5D Mark II include 14-bit A/D conversion, a bright viewfinder (with 98 percent image coverage), Auto Light Optimizer, Lens Peripheral Illumination Correction, 9-point AF plus 6-point assist AF, 25 Custom Functions with 71 settings, and 5 metering modes, among other things (35-Zone EV, 8 percent Partial Spot, 3.5 percent Spot, Center-Weighted, and Pre-Flash E-TTL II). A whole range of demands and interests have been taken into consideration while designing the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, including those of serious hobbyists, as well as professional photographers in quest of the perfect image.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II specifications

street price
(body only)
• US: $ 2,699
• EU: € 2,499
• UK: £ 2,299
List price
(EF 24-105 L kit)
• US: $ 3,499
• EU: € 3,299
• UK: £ 3,049
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor *• 36 x 24 mm CMOS sensor
• Full 35 mm size frame
• RGB Color Filter Array
• Built-in fixed low-pass filter (with self-cleaning unit)
• 22.0 million total pixels
• 21.1 million effective pixels
• 3:2 aspect ratio
Lenses• Canon EF lens mount (does not support EF-S lenses)
• No field of view crop (1.0x)
Dust reduction• “EOS Integrated Cleaning System”
• Self-cleaning sensor unit (filter in front of sensor vibrates at high frequency at start-up and shutdown – can be disabled)
• Dust Delete Data – Data from a test shot is used to ‘map’ dust spots and can be later removed using Canon DPP Software
Image processor *DIGIC 4
A/D conversion14 bit
Image sizes (JPEG) *• 5616 x 3744 (21.0 MP)
• 4080 x 2720 (11.1 MP)
• 2784 x 1856 (5.2 MP)
Image sizes (RAW) *• 5616 x 3744 (21.0 MP)
• 3861 x 2574 (10.0 MP)
• 2784 x 1856 (5.2 MP)
File formats *• RAW (.CR2; 14-bit)
• JPEG (EXIF 2.21) – Fine / Normal
• RAW + JPEG (separate files)
• sRAW1, sRAW2 (see above) *
Auto focus• 9-point TTL CMOS sensor
• 6 “Invisible Assist AF points”
• Centre point cross type F5.6 or faster
• Center point additionally sensitive with lenses of F2.8 or faster
• AF working range: -0.5 – 18 EV (at 23°C, ISO 100)
Focus modes• One shot AF
• AI Servo AF
• AI Focus AF
• Manual focus
AF micro adjustment *• Adjust all lenses by same amount (effectively body adjustment)
• Adjust up to 20 lenses individually
AF point selection• Auto
• Manual
Predictive AF• As close as 8 m (with 300 mm F2.8L lens at 50 kph)
AF assistNo (only with external flash)
Metering• TTL full aperture metering 35 zone SPC
• Metering range: 1.0 – 20 EV
Metering modes• Evaluative 35 zone (linked to any AF point)
• Partial (8% at center)
• Spot metering (approx. 3.5% at center)
• Center-weighted average
AE lock• Auto: One Shot AF with evaluative metering
• Manual: AE lock button
Exposure compensation• +/-2.0 EV
• 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
Exposure bracketing• +/- 2.0 EV
• 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
Sensitivity *• ISO 100 – 6400
• 0.3 or 1.0 EV increments
• Auto ISO (100-3200)
• Expansion options:
review menu 1ISO 50 (L1)
review menu 1ISO 12800 (H1)
review menu 2ISO 25600 (H2)
Shutter• Focal-plane shutter
• 150,000 exposure durability
• 30 – 1/8000 sec
• 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
• Flash X-Sync: 1/200 sec
• Bulb
Aperture values• F1.0 – F91
• 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
• Actual aperture range depends on lens used
White balance• Auto
• Daylight
• Shade
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Flash
• Custom
• Kelvin (2500 – 10000 K in 100 K steps)
WB bracketing• +/-3 levels
• 3 images
• Blue / Amber or Magenta / Green bias
WB shift• Blue (-9) To Amber (+9)
• Magenta (-9) to Green (+9)
Picture style• Standard
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Neutral
• Faithful
• Monochrome
• User def. 1
• User def. 2
• User def. 3
Custom image parameters• Sharpness: 0 to 7
• Contrast: -4 to +4
• Saturation: -4 to +4
• Color tone: -4 to +4
• B&W filter: N, Ye, Or, R, G
• B&W tone: N, S, B, P, G
Image processing options *• Highlight tone priority
• Auto lighting optimizer (4 settings)
• Long exposure noise reduction
• High ISO noise reduction (4 settings)
• Auto correction of lens peripheral illumination (vignetting)
Color space• sRGB
• Adobe RGB
Viewfinder *• Eye-level pentaprism
• 98% frame coverage
• Magnification: 0.71x (-1 diopter with 50 mm lens at infinity)
• Eyepoint: Approx. 21 mm
• Interchangeable focusing screen (3 other types optional)
• Dioptric adjustment: -3.0 to +1.0 diopter
Mirror• Quick-return half mirror (transmission:reflection ratio 40:60)
• Mirror lock-up (once or multiple exposures)
Viewfinder info *• AF information:
review menu 1AF points
review menu 2Focus confirmation light
• Exposure information:
review menu 1Shutter speed
review menu 1Aperture value
review menu 1ISO speed (always displayed)
review menu 1AE lock
review menu 1Exposure level/compensation
review menu 1Spot metering circle
review menu 1Exposure warning
review menu 2AEB
• Flash information:
review menu 1Flash ready
review menu 1High-speed sync
review menu 1FE lock
review menu 2Flash exposure compensation
• Image information:
review menu 1White balance correction
review menu 1CF card information
review menu 1Monochrome shooting
review menu 1Maximum burst (2 digit display)
review menu 2Highlight tone priority (D+)
LCD monitor *• 3.0 ” TFT LCD
• 920,000 pixels
• Automatic 3 level brightness adjustment plus 7 manual levels
• 170 ° viewing angle
• Dual anti-reflection (‘Clear View’)
LCD Live view *• Live TTL display of scene from CMOS image sensor
• 100% frame coverage
• 30 fps
• Real-time evaluative metering using CMOS image sensor
• Best view or exposure simulation
• Silent mode
• Grid optional (x2)
• Magnify optional (5x or 10x at AF point)
• Three AF modes – Live mode / Quick mode / Face Detection
• Live histogram (Luminance or RGB)
• Remote live view using EOS Utility 2.0 (via USB or WiFi/Ethernet using WFT)
Movie recording *• Available optionally during Live view mode
• 1920 x 1080 (16:9) up to 12 mins (Quicktime 1080p H.264; 38.6 Mbits/sec)
• 640 x 480 (4:3) up to 24 mins (Quicktime 480p H.264; 17.3 Mbits/sec)
• Max file size 4 GB
• Quicktime MOV format (H.264 video, PCM sound)
• 30 fps
Record review• Off
• On (histogram via INFO button)
• Display mode same as last used Play mode
• 2 / 4 / 8 sec / Hold
Playback modes1. Single image with exposure, file number, storage slot
2. As 1 but also image count and quality
3. Detailed exposure information, thumbnail and luminance histogram
4. Less detailed exposure info., thumbnail, luminance and RGB histograms
Playback features• Optional blinking highlight alert
• Optional AF point display
• Magnified view (up to 10x)
• 2×2 or 3×3 thumbnail index
• Jump (by 1, 10, 100 images, screen, date, folder, movies, stills)*
• Delete / Protect
Flash• No built-in flash unit
• E-TTL II auto flash / metered manual
• Flash compensation +/-2.0 EV in 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
• X-Sync: 1/200 sec
• Hot-shoe & PC Terminal
External flash• E-TTL II auto flash with EX-series Speedlites
• In-camera flash configuration (currently only 580 EX II)
• Wireless multi-flash support
• PC Sync
Shooting modes• Auto
• Creative Auto *
• Program AE (P)
• Shutter priority AE (Tv)
• Aperture priority AE (Av)
• Manual (M)
• Custom 1
• Custom 2 *
• Custom 3 *
Drive modes• Single
• Continuous: 3.9 fps *
• Self-timer: 2 or 10 sec (2 sec with mirror lock-up)
Burst buffer• Large/Fine JPEG: 78 frames (310 with UDMA card) *
• RAW: 13 frames *
Orientation sensorYes
Auto rotation• On (recorded and LCD display)
• On (recorded only)
• Off
Custom functions *25 custom functions with 71 settings in 4 groups
Menu languages *• 25 Languages
• English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Portuguese, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Greek, Russian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Romanian, Ukrainian, Turkish, Arabic, Thai, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese
FirmwareUser upgradable
Portrait grip• Optional WFT-E4 (WiFi / LAN / USB mass storage)
• Optional BG-E6 battery grip
Connectivity *• USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• AV out (video & audio *)
• HDMI connector *
• Microphone input *
• PC Sync flash terminal
• Communication terminal on base for WFT-E4
• InfraRed *
Storage *• Compact Flash Type I or II (inc. FAT32)
• Supports UDMA cards *
• Copyright metatag support
• Canon Original Data Security Kit supported (“Original Image Data”)
Power *• Lithium-Ion LP-E6 rechargeable battery (supplied & charger)
• CR1616 for date & settings
• Approx. 850 shots at 20°C
• Battery indication 6 levels & percentage (memorized)
Dimensions *152 x 114 x 75 mm (6.0 x 4.5 x 2.9 in)
Weight *• No battery: 810 g (1.8 lb)
Accessories• Viewfinder: Eyecup Eb, E-series Dioptric Adjustment Lens with Rubber Frame Eb, Eyepiece Extender EP-EX15, Focusing Screens Eg, Angle Finder C
• Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E4
• Battery Grip BG-E6
• All EF lenses (excludes EF-S lenses)
• Canon Speedlites (220EX, 380EX, 420EX, 430EX, 430EX II, 550EX, 580EX, 580EX II, Macro-Ring-Lite, MR-14EX, Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX, Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2)
• Remote control with N3 type contact, Wireless Controller LC-5, Remote Controller RC-1, Remote Controller RC-5
• Original Data Security Kit OSK-E3

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Price