Conclusion: Would I recommend the EOS 5D MkII? In a word, and for the type of photography I do, unequivocally yes. I haven’t used all its features, only those that are relevant to landscape photography, but since I bought it, it’s become my main camera, thanks to a combination of superb image quality, incredible feature set and well thought-out handling. The EOS-1Ds MkII has now been relegated to the role of back-up camera. Is it perfect? No, but then no camera is.
Conclusion: Dirck Halstead was Time magazine's Senior White House Photographer for 29 years. He now is the Publisher and Editor of The Digital Journalist, the monthly online magazine for visual journalism, and a Senior Fellow at the Center For American History at the University of Texas in Austin. His new book, MOMENTS IN TIME, published by Harry N.
Excerpt: Let's cut to the chase- the Canon EOS 5D Mark II does live up to its billing. It takes a great full-frame DSLR, the original 5D (Pop Photo's 2005 Camera of the Year), boosts damn near everything, adds high-definition video capture, and turns in an overall performance that makes it a virtual steal (or at least as close as a steal comes in this price bracket). The body only street price is $2,700; $3,500 with the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM kit lens.
Summary: When are you ever going to need more than 21MP of resolution or better than a 1080p camcorder? The 5D promises to be not just the last camera you ever need to buy, but the last camcorder, too.
Conclusion: The Canon EOS 5D MkII is a remarkably capable camera with excellent imaging capability, including the ability to shoot broadcast quality HD video and record sound in stereo. It represents an advance in features over the original EOS 5D and the overall image quality is generally higher—though that higher quality may only be revealed in large prints. It’s not perfect of course.
Summary: Although some aspects of the spec (AF, metering) are looking a little long in the tooth, the superb image quality and class-leading movie output should ensure the Mark II is as popular as its predecessor. The numerous smaller improvements are welcome, and if you want full frame (without going to an even more expensive pro body) the 5D Mark II is about as good as it gets right now.
Pros: Excellent resolution, very close to Sony Alpha 900 (and essentially the same as EOS-1Ds Mark III), Very good High ISO performance, almost as good as Nikon D700 / D3, Wide range of ISO settings from 50 to 25600 (with 'ISO Expansion' enabled) and useful auto ISO setting, Finally offers selectable levels of high ISO noise reduction, ISO setting now visible in view finder (finally!), 1080p 30 fps video usable in low light conditions, with very good quality and full manual...
Cons: AI Servo (continuous AF) not as good as EOS-1 series or Nikon D700, Default noise reduction quite heavy at anything over ISO 400 (can be turned down though), JPEG output a bit soft when viewed at 100%, Still pretty average automatic white balance in artificial light, No mass storage device USB mode, Built in microphone not great, and not usable for audio notes (EOS-1 series feature), Auto LCD brightness control can mean preview image doesn't match recorded image, Even...
Summary: Traditionally, Canon and Nikon's approach to the pro market was to have one model built for speed and one for cold, hard resolution, though the advent of highly-specified offshoots at a cheaper price point means that this concept isn't as defined as it used to be. Canon users may now have the resolution of the 1Ds Mark III in a smaller and much cheaper body, but it's clear that the similarities end there.
Excerpt: There is something magical that happens when you pick up the new Canon 5D Mark II. Everything from eyeing the full-frame shot, to hitting the 3.9fps shutter, to finally seeing the image in all its glory on the crisp, sharp, full-framed 920,000 pixel LCD is awe inspiring.