A 35mm full-frame Canon-developed CMOS sensor with 21.1 megapixels, DiG!C 4 Image Processor and ISO speeds expandable to 50-25600 combine to deliver outstanding images with low noise and natural colour reproduction. Offering key new features such as automatic image correction tools and Live View movies recorded in Full HD.
• 21.1 megapixel Canon-developed CMOS sensor captures superb image quality with low noise and natural colour
• New DiG!C 4 Processor means faster processing and new features such as Live Face Detection AF Mode
• 9-point AF and 6-point Assist AF for ultra sharp images. You can manually select any of the 9 points to ensure correct sharp focus
• Continuous shooting speed of 3.9 fps
• Now with new Live Face Detection AF mode, and Live View Movies (in Full HD)
• Standard ISO (100-6400) and expandable to an incredible L1:50, H1:12800 and H2:25600
• 3.0" (920,000 dots) LCD screen with anti-reflection and anti-smudge coating for clear photo previews
• Prevents and automatically removes tiny dust particles resulting in cleaner images
• Incredibly fast 0.1 second start up time so you are always ready to capture spontaneous shots
Full details: www.canon.co.nz
With hearing so much about the debate for full frame vs cropped sensors, and in particular, Canon's EOS 5D Mark II, I was rather looking forward to seeing if it lived up to the hype. Personally, I'd never tried a full frame camera before, and was really having trouble seeing just why this kind of camera is supposedly better than a camera with a cropped sensor, so I had hoped getting to review the 5D Mark II would help shine a bit of light on the topic.
After having just had a play with the 5D's "little brother", the Canon EOS 7D, the first things I noticed were the lack of on-camera flash, the far lower frame rate in continuous mode (only 3.9fps, compared to the 7D's 8fps... not exactly ideal for my interest in wildlife and pet photography) and that it only had 9 focus points, so while it'd still allow for reasonably accurate focusing, it doesn't give the photographer as much precise control as the 7D does, with its 19 focus points. Add that to the rather heavy tug on the purse strings and the on/off switch being in a rather awkward position, making for slower access when you're making that mad dash for the camera to snap that magic moment, although it does mean that you will probably be far less likely to accidentally turn it off right at that critical moment... it all has me starting to wonder just what the good points were about this particular camera!
Once I started shooting and processing, I began to see what this camera DID have. A day trip to the zoo gave me a good chance to try out the camera in several different lighting situations, which showed me it handles beautifully in pretty much any kind of lighting. Inside, in low lighting, it still produces a good photo with great crisp, clear details. In extremely low lighting, you can punch the ISO right up as far as 25600, which allows you even more freedom with natural light photography. Like the 7D, the 5D Mark II has the sensor cleaning function on start up and shut down, but I found that this doesn't necessarily mean dust-spot free photos, even with a clean lens, as all of my photos needed touching up to remove several dust spots. So don't rely too heavily on this feature... it reduces sensor dust, but doesn't stop it altogether.
It also has the function to be able to create your own setting presets if you're shooting in JPG format (if you're shooting in RAW, then Lightroom/Photoshop will just strip out any of the settings you add with this), which will allow you to add things like extra sharpness, contrast, a sepia/black and white/purple tone, etc. This can come in handy to be able to see if the photo you are after will look good in sepia/black and white, etc, or if you have a particular style that you like to shoot in, like extra contrasty, or dark and moody, etc.
Despite there being a full 21.1MP to play with, you're not stuck to using all of it, as there is a setting in the menu that allows you to limit the amount of pixels you use, which is handy if you know you're not going to need to print the resulting photos out in huge sizes before you start shooting, allowing you to end up with smaller files and more room on the card. Again, I didn't really play around much with the video mode, but I did check it out enough to know it makes it extremely easy to get a pretty high quality movie at 30fps. Also, while it doesn't have Nikon's dual card system, Canon's EOS 5D Mark II does allow you to shoot both RAW and JPG at the same time, which can help save a bit of time on the processing side of things.
While I found this full frame camera to be rather lacking in some areas, I still found it to be a great camera to shoot with, with a lot of room to explore creatively. It was very easy to get the hang of, and although heavier than a lot of the DSLRs out there - being a more "serious" camera - it is still light enough to be able to work with comfortably for a reasonably long duration. While it will suit many styles of photography, if subject movement is a big part of what you shoot, then I'd highly recommend checking out the 7D instead, but if studio portraiture, landscapes, or still life/product photography is what you focus on, then the 5D Mark II could very well be the ideal camera.
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A 35mm full-frame Canon-developed CMOS sensor with 21.1 megapixels, DiG!C 4 Image Processor and ISO speeds expandable to 50-25600 combine to deliver outstanding images with low noise and natural colour reproduction. Offering key new features such as automatic image correction tools and Live View movies recorded in Full ... more...
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