Canon EOS 5D Mark II review
Review Date : Sat, 20 Dec 2008
Author : Matt Golowczynski
Canon's new 21 megapixel full frame digital SLR offers the same resolution as its EOS 1Ds Mk.III but for less than half the price. With the Nikon D700 and Sony Alpha a900 snapping at its heels what does the 5D Mark II have to say for itself?
|Pros:||Excellent image quality, good noise control, colour rendition, great LCD screen, usable video|
|Cons:||ISO 25,600 unusable, banding at high ISO's, chromatic aberrations fail to be removed, users may have preferred faster burst rate and/or more advanced focusing system to the inclusion of video mode|
Whoever coined the phrase about patience being a virtue would probably have a lot to say about Canon's EOS 5D Mark II, or more specifically on the wild speculation that preceded its launch. It's been over three years since Canon's EOS 5D was announced, which gave ample time for all manner of conjecture. The superb Photoshop skills of a few perhaps demonstrated this to its extreme, with entirely convincing images of 7D's, 6D's and even 3D's circulating internet forums for months on end, accompanied by specification lists and possible release dates - if anyone from Canon was watching, it must have been an absolute spectacle to take in.
This unprecedented level of interest wasn't without justification. The 5D's conception and following success marked it as a landmark model - not just for Canon but for the DSLR itself. Thanks to the physical and financial advantage it brought to the user, it became the darling of wedding, landscape and portraiture circles, as well as the oft-mentioned photojournalism genre, and helped pave the way for the future of the full frame.
So why the long wait for its successor? Years came and went with no solid word from the company, and when Canon did comment it said that the 5D's performance was still something to be matched, and so a replacement wasn't a priority. True, its popularity even today does nothing but confirm this, but its specifications had begun to show their age and so people rightly began to suspect that a replacement would soon arrive.
And arrive it has, this time with HD video recording at the helm, along with a new processor, 21MP sensor, and with the slightly less ambitious 5D Mark II moniker. Given the relatively long time gap between its release and that of the model it replaces, the 5D Mark II is a considerable upgrade, yet, unlike its predecessor, it's now not the only contender in its field. So, three years on, and with Nikon and Sony watching closely, exactly what relevance does the EOS 5D Mark II have?