Canon EOS 5D Mark II Review

Overall 47
Imaging 24
Features 47
Size 70
Price 0

Main Features

  • 21.0 MP Full frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 6400 (Expands to 50 - 25600)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 4.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
  • Built-in Wireless: No
  • Dimensions: 152 x 114 x 75 mm
  • Weight: 850 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Canon 5D.
  • Replaced by Canon 5D MIII.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Summary

This review is devoted to EOS 5D Mark II that Canon has first introduced to the public in Feb 13, 2009. This model is a Semi-Pro DSLR camera with a resolution of 21.0 MP and a Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sized CMOS sensor.

Initially, Canon developed this model to replace their older product 5D and, after some time, Canon has replaced this upgraded model with their most recent one 5D.

In Semi-Pro DSLR cameras (Top 10 DSLR Cameras) this model has taken rank #40 out of 200. Its Overall Score has reached 47/100 and it takes a rank of #184 out of 1174 in all Cameras.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Compared to other DSLR Cameras

Now let's delve into more details of our Canon EOS 5D Mark II review by assessing its features and specs, as well as checking what pros and cons it has compared to other average products in this category.

PROs

  • Max Shutter Speed: 1/8000
  • Min Boosted Iso: 50
  • AutoFocus Face Detection: Yes
  • Microphone Port: Yes
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Timelapse Recording: Yes

CONs

  • Continuous Shooting: 4.0 fps
  • Dxo Dynamic Range: 11.9
  • Number Of Focus Points: 9
  • Headphone Port: No
  • Wireless Connectivity: No
  • Battery Life: 850 shots
  • Storage Slots: 1

Complete Comparison of Canon EOS 5D Mark II With Other Cameras in Semi-Pro DSLR Category

In this part of our review, we are going to take a closer look at the technical specs and features presented in Canon EOS 5D Mark II. In addition, we are going to define the main pros and cons of this model and, based on this info, compare it to other average Semi-Pro DSLR cameras.

Physical Characteristics Of Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Canon EOS 5D Mark II has the following external dimensions 152 x 152 x 75 mm (59.84 x 44.88 x 29.53″) with the weight of 850 g.

The typical weight for average Semi-Pro DSLR type cameras is 783g. If we compare the average indicator to the weight of Canon EOS 5D Mark II, we can conclude that this model is heavier than many other similar products.

Talking about the camera’s thickness, it is worth saying that Canon EOS 5D Mark II has about an average thickness compared to other average cameras from this class. Its thickness is 75mm.

Look at the pictures below to see the front and top view of Canon EOS 5D Mark II with the indication of this model’s dimensions:

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If you want to have a better idea of how big the Canon EOS 5D Mark II is, look at the pictures below to see how big it is compared to a credit card and a AA type battery.

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Finally, let's check how different are the weight and thickness of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II compared to other models from this class of cameras presented by the brand’s competitors:

Battery

Canon EOS 5D Mark II — 850 shots
Min: 390 shots
Average: 871 shots
Max: 1840 shots

Thickness

Canon EOS 5D Mark II — 75 mm
Min: 64 mm
Average: 75 mm
Max: 86 mm

Weight

Canon EOS 5D Mark II — 850 g
Min: 479 g
Average: 783 g
Max: 1074 g

Unfortunately, Canon EOS 5D Mark II comes without a waterproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and avoid water.

Unfortunately, Canon EOS 5D Mark II comes without a dustproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and protect your camera from external threats such as dust.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Photo and Sensor Features

Canon EOS 5D Mark II boasts of a resolution of 21.0 MP and is equipped with a Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sized CMOS sensor.

The base of Canon EOS 5D Mark II has the following ISO range 100 - 6400 and it also comes with a possibility of extending this indicator to 50 - 25600.

Also, this model comes with the support of the RAW file. This gives you more opportunities in terms of further processing of your files as you can pick to save them in a RAW format.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II features a 21.0 MP Full frame sensor, which is not a good pick for high-quality and detailed pictures. However, we have an alternative option for you if you were looking for higher resolution.

DxOMark Sensor Scores

DxOMark gives us a possibility to make a clear and scientific assessment of the quality of camera sensors’ image. Canon EOS 5D Mark II, in its turn, features a sensor that was already studied and assessed by DxO Mark. After a complete evaluation, this type of sensor has received a score of 79 for the image quality. If you are looking to see how DxO Mark has tested and evaluated the Canon EOS 5D Mark II’s sensor.

Anti-Aliasing Filter

Canon EOS 5D Mark II is known for the lack of anti-alias (Low-pass) filter. It is one of its essential features of the sensor built in this model. The absence of this filter contributes to a higher level of details and sharpness in the pictures you take. Yet, the lack of an anti-alias filter also enhances the possibility of more occurring in certain conditions.

Now let’s check how we can compare the size of Full frame sensor featured in Canon EOS 5D Mark II with other standard sensor sizes.

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Other Characteristics And Features of Canon EOS 5D Mark II

LCD and ViewFinder

Canon EOS 5D Mark II is equipped with a Fixed Type 3" LCD screen. The resolution of this model’s screen reaches 920k dots.

In addition, this model comes with a built-in Optical (pentaprism) ViewFinder.

The ViewFinder in EOS 5D Mark II has quite nice characteristic. Its magnification ratio is 0.71x and it also provides a coverage of 98%.

Compared to other cameras from this class, this model may not come with the highest magnification and coverage indicators. However, even though its coverage is only 98%, this can’t be called a significant disadvantage.

Some of the main reasons why the OVF presented in this model is a handy tool are that it allows you to see a scene without any time lag or resolution limits. Besides, it also ensures the highest level of clarity that can be elaborated by the lens and the human eye. Who can benefit from this feature? The OVF is especially handy when shooting sports events. This smart system will allow photographers to see action instantly and figure out what is the right timing for capturing a specific moment.

Max Shutter speed

Some of the other highlights of Canon EOS 5D Mark II are its 4.0 fps max speed and 1/8000 sec max shutter speed, which allow you to shoot continuously.

Flash

Unlike some other cameras from this category, EOS 5D Mark II unfortunately, is not equipped with a built-in flash. Luckily, it has a special slot for external flashes instead.

Focusing

One more highlight that makes Canon EOS 5D Mark II stand out is the fact that it features two smart AutoFocusing systems. One of these systems is called Phase Detection and the other one is Contrast Detection. Both features stand for higher accuracy and focus speed in different situations. With the smart AutoFocus system presented in this model, photographers can choose from 9 points.

In addition, EOS 5D Mark II has a Face detection AF feature that quickly finds the faces that appear within the frame range and locks the focus on them automatically.

Video Features

As for the video quality characteristics of Canon EOS 5D Mark II, it gives you a possibility to shoot videos at the highest resolution of 1920 x 1080 You also have enough flexibility in terms of how you can save your files. Namely, Canon EOS 5D Mark II allows you to save files in H.264 formats.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II provides full HD resolution, which means that this model shows decent performance in most situations.

In addition, Canon EOS 5D Mark II is equipped with a special port that you can use to connect an external microphone for recording high-quality sound with its help.

Connectivity and Storage

You can connect EOS 5D Mark II to compatible devices via its USB 2.0 or HDMI ports.

Battery Life

In concordance with generally accepted CIPA standards, the battery featured in Canon EOS 5D Mark II provides a shooting life of 850, while the average battery life of cameras in this class is 871 shots.

With the commonly accepted standards in mind, we can conclude that Canon EOS 5D Mark II is above the average indicator of battery life. However, we believe it is still a great idea to grab a few extra batteries if you are planning long photo trips.

How Good is Canon EOS 5D Mark II for Different Types of Photography?

In this part of our review, we are going to focus on Canon EOS 5D Mark II’s performance in various fields of photography. Each sub-section stands for a specific photography area. In every part, we will review Canon EOS 5D Mark II’s name performance and give it an overall score. This first spider web graph indicates how we can compare the EOS 5D Mark II to the average DSLR camera.

Hover your mouse over the points to see the score details for each photography type.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II for Portrait Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Canon EOS 5D Mark II performs Portrait Photography, we gave it a score of 100. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Canon EOS 5D Mark II can be called a Great model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Portrait Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Portrait Photography.

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (21 MP)
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Canon is famous with its skintones
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • No Image Stabilization

Canon EOS 5D Mark II for Street Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Canon EOS 5D Mark II performs Street Photography, we gave it a score of 74. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Canon EOS 5D Mark II can be called a Strong model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large Full frame(36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Big battery life (850 shots)

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (152 x 114 x 75 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization
  • Small Number of autofocus Points (9)

Canon EOS 5D Mark II for Sports Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Canon EOS 5D Mark II performs Sports Photography, we gave it a score of 92. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Canon EOS 5D Mark II can be called a 92 model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Nice Low Light ISO (1815)
  • Big size (152 x 114 x 75 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (4.0 fps)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (9)
  • Bad Max Native ISO (6400)
  • Small battery life (850 shots)

Canon EOS 5D Mark II for Daily Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Canon EOS 5D Mark II performs Daily Photography, we gave it a score of 80. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Canon EOS 5D Mark II can be called a Great model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (850 g)
  • Big size (152 x 114 x 75 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Canon EOS 5D Mark II for Landscape Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Canon EOS 5D Mark II performs Landscape Photography, we gave it a score of 94. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Canon EOS 5D Mark II can be called a 94 model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Landscape Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Landscape Photography.

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Good Dynamic Range (11.9)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (1815)

Disadvantages:

  • Low resolution sensor (21 MP)
  • Bad Max Native ISO (6400)

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Detailed Specs

General
Brand Canon
Model EOS 5D Mark II
Announced Feb 13, 2009
Body Type Mid-size SLR
Lens
Manual Focus Yes
Lens Mount Canon EF
Number of Lenses 256
Focal Length Multiplier 1x
Macro Focus Range
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type
Screen Size 3″
Screen Resolution 920k dots
Live View Yes
Touch Screen No
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism)
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 98%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.71
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 4.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes
Aperture Priority Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes
Custom White Balance Yes
Image Stabilization No
Built-in Flash No
Flash Range 0
Flash Modes no built-in flash
External Flash Yes
AE Bracketing Yes
WB Bracketing Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes
Average No
Spot Yes
Partial Yes
AF-Area No
Center Weighted Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Scores 79
DxO Color Depth 23.7
DxO Dynamic Range 11.9
DxO Low Light ISO 1815
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS
Sensor Size Full frame
Sensor Dimensions 36 x 24 mm
Sensor Area 864.00 mm2
Sensor Resolution 21.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 5616 x 3744
Max Native ISO 6,400
Max Boosted ISO 25,600
Min Native ISO 100
RAW Support Yes
AutoFocus
AF Touch No
AF Continuous Yes
AF Single Yes
AF Tracking Yes
AF Selective Yes
AF Center Yes
AF Multi Area Yes
AF Live View Yes
AF Face Detection Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes
Number of Focus Points 9
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a
Video Features
Video Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080
Video Formats H.264
Microphone Port Yes
Headphone Port No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity No
HDMI Yes
USB USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing Yes
Water Proof No
Dust Proof No
Shock Proof No
Crush Proof No
Freeze Proof No
Weight 850 g
Physical Dimensions 152 x 114 x 75 mm
Battery Life 850 shots
Battery Type 850 shots
Battery Model LP-E6
Other Features
Self Timer Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes
GPS
Storage Type Compact Flash (Type I or II), UDMA, Microdrive
Storage Slots 1

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