Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Review from the reader Radozhiva.

Review of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera specially for Radozhiva prepared Roman Kurbatov.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Oddly enough, the Radojuva website still does not have a review of this camera, it's time to fix this annoying flaw.

So, Canon EOS 5D Mark II. A legendary camera in the opinion of some (oh, this esoteric COLOR), hopelessly outdated in the opinion of others. The “two” appeared 12 years ago - an eternity by the standards of modern technology. And, having appeared, in a sense, it made a revolution. Even earlier, the no less legendary "one" (aka 5D Classic) burst into the market for a relatively affordable full frame, showing that this is the prerogative of not only professional studio and reportage cameras. (Subsequently, the 5D line kept getting more expensive and more complicated, until the same niche - the available FullFrame was already occupied by 6D). And the "two" has already set the trend for semi-professional solutions, together with their descendants, becoming the main tool of photographers - "bombing" - weddings and correspondents who shoot ordinary subjects that are not related to sports, war and natural disasters and do not require top 1D. But most importantly, the Mark II swung to the sacred - to video filming.

"Soap boxes" allowed you to shoot short videos even before, and in DSLRs, capturing (not shooting) video became possible using external devices thanks to the LiveView mode, but full video recording, and even in FullHD format, first appeared in the 5D Mark II, very much liked by many. As for weddings, who could earn extra money by working as cameramen, and for film studios, which received a pretty decent camera for ridiculous, by the standards of the film industry, money. The 5D Mark II was used in some scenes for blockbusters such as Captain America and Iron Man 2, selected episodes of House and 24, and the low-budget debut film Finding Sonny was first filmed entirely on this camera. The 12 minute cut length limit is not a big problem for movies, as rarely does a take last longer than this.

Such recognition from videographers can do a disservice to those who want to buy a used camera now, since a camera with a minimum "mileage" in the form of the number of shutter releases may have a matrix "killed" by video lovers. By the way, for the same reason, I do not risk using my "deuce" as a webcam. Yes, the image quality is very high, but the camera heats up noticeably and the life of the matrix is ​​definitely reduced. The 5D Mark II is not directly supported by the recently released EOS WebCam Utility, but thanks to its LiveView, it can be used for this on Linux thanks to third-party utilities.

In principle, the 5D line continues to be used in the world of cinema to this day, if not for video shooting, then for the so-called. timelapse scenes - a sequence of individual frames shot at large time intervals or in motion or stop-motion - with “flying around” a frozen scene. In the latter case, a large number of cameras are used, arranged in a semicircle and filming the scene from different angles with a slight difference. Sequential inclusion of frames that were captured at the same time creates the illusion of a frozen picture. They do something similar when shooting miniatures. And if for the series The Mandalorian we only know that to shoot the miniature of the spacecraft used in the film, only one of the cameras of the 5D line (possibly Mark II) was used. 12 years in the service of Hollywood - the camera is definitely too early to write off.

Briefly about the characteristics of the camera. Full-frame sensor, honest 36 x 24 mm (the first "five" lacked a fraction of a millimeter to the full frame, 35,8 x 23,9). 21.1 megapixel - quite a bold pixel at a pretty decent resolution. The ISO range is 100-6400 (the first five had 1600, which is clearly not enough by today's standards), it is software expandable up to 50-25600. 3200 and 6400 can hardly be called "working", but with some post-processing they are quite acceptable.

The display is slightly larger than that of its predecessor and, according to reviews, is much better. Perhaps I was not very lucky with the copy, because the display of my camera is somewhat colder in colors. Since I shoot exclusively in RAW, it doesn't matter - you can always tweak the color temperature in post-processing, but you shouldn't be guided by the screen to judge scene colors. Although the color itself (more precisely, the color temperature and tint) has to be corrected extremely rarely, mainly for artistic purposes - the sensor is practically not mistaken.

Unlike its predecessor, the camera uses the LP-E6 battery, which is standard for the entire semi-professional line - all dual-digit cameras work with it, starting with 60D, the 6D, 7D lines, as well as the new EOS R mirrorless cameras. At one time this factor became a determining factor for me when choosing between the 5D Classic and 5D II. Another important difference is dust and moisture protection. It's not as good as the subsequent cameras in the series, but it does, which makes the two a pretty decent option for a traveling full-frame camera.

The autofocus module does not seem to have changed compared to its predecessor. It's still the same phase nine-point autofocus with 6 additional (non-selectable points). I would not call it problematic, rather inconvenient to use and very inferior to modern professional and semi-professional models (especially the luxurious 7D Mark II module, which covers almost the entire frame). Although for fans of shooting with manual lenses, this criterion is unlikely to be decisive.

There is only one slot for memory cards, cards of the rapidly aging CompactFlash format are used. There is an important nuance here. My camera froze when trying to shoot a video with a SanDisk card and later on the forums I came across information about the incompatibility of the 5D Mark II with the card controllers of this manufacturer when shooting video. Photos are taken without restrictions. With the second card - Transcend - this did not happen. If you are going to buy yourself a “deuce”, and to it a memory card, this point should be taken into account.

An option for this particular camera model is the BG-E6 battery grip, which duplicates all controls, only for vertical orientation. It makes the camera look like the reportage monsters from the 1D line and adds solidity to the photographer in the eyes of others, and in addition allows you to double the battery capacity or use AA AA size AA batteries (in the amount of six pieces) instead. For work in a studio, an exotic WFT-E4 II module may be useful, which looks like a battery pack, but in addition to an additional battery and duplicate buttons, it also gives the ability to connect to the camera via Wi-Fi and Ethernet.

Considering the fact that the screen of the entire 5D line is not rotatable, you can also pay attention to the Canon Angle Finder - an optical device that fits into the viewfinder eye and allows you to shoot, for example, macro from ground level, looking through the eyepiece from above and magnifying the image for better focus ... Working with a tripod will be much easier with it.

All in all, from the totality of its characteristics, we can say that the 5D Mark II has everything necessary to become the first full-frame camera and even now represents a certain value. Specifically, my copy, apparently, was operated quite tough. Two weeks after buying an inexpensive second-hand copy, I discovered that the USB connector (by the way, mini-USB, in the form of a trapezoid, and not the newer flat micro-USB) had stopped working. I decided to take the camera to the service along with a freshly bought battery pack with a sticky scroll wheel, and after opening it, it turned out that the camera was most likely drowning. Part of the board was covered in rust, and the USB connector was soldered. The camera was revived and despite such treatment in the past, it continues to work flawlessly for the second year. Old Jupiter, Mir or Helios, as well as any ancient Canon EF lens type 20 / 2.8, 24 / 2.8 (non IS), 28 / 1.8, 35/2 (non IS), 50 / 1.4, 85 / 1.8, 135 / 2.8 SF, pancake 40 / 2.8 or any of the many tilt-shift lenses, in general, everything that was designed for film, thanks to the large pixel, will be very appropriate on two pads.

Nothing prevents you from using the camera in a budget studio for staged static photos, and with some 17-40 / 4L the camera may well become the main tool of a landscape photographer for very modest money. For those whose budget is limited, but want to try premium technology, it is worth looking towards the old "elek" - 20-35 / 2.8L, 80-200 / 2.8L and even conventional zooms.

Recently, Arkady posted a note that caused a lot of responses about the number of lenses necessary and sufficient to solve most photographic problems. Aside from sports and on-the-scene reporting, where burst speed, AF tenacity and ease of use, and extremely high ISO operation come to the fore, the 5D Mark II can be considered the smallest full-frame camera, sufficient for any applications: from amateur astrophotography to underwater photography. This is a kind of watershed of "DSLRs", where the life of the camera will be interrupted, rather, by physical degradation than obsolescence, and buying a new camera will require asking about the expediency of investments, especially for amateur purposes. Yes, the cameras of the next generations introduced enough innovations that significantly increase the convenience of working with them - powerful autofocus, an informative viewfinder with levels, higher working ISOs, but it is unlikely that each of these new capabilities or their combination will allow the photographer (and their absence will prevent) shooting worthy shot.

You will find more reviews from readers of Radozhiva here.

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Comments: 136, on topic: Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Review from the reader Radozhiva.

  • Maria Bardina

    Thank you for the review.
    In my opinion, you should not find fault.
    The person slowly tried to make a selection in different lighting conditions, different subjects. Arkady's reviews are good, there are no words, there is a lot to learn. But he is often given a technique for a denk, and this also imposes certain restrictions)

    • Ivan

      This review was not done by Arkady.

      • Maria Bardina

        yes, I know, just in the feed the author was criticized and compared with the reviews of Arkady, and I said a few words in defense of the author of that review

  • Sergei

    One minus of this device is autofocus misses. Otherwise, given the cost today for amateur photography - some pluses! For the price and quality of images (from FF), only 5D will be worthy. I like 5D more for shooting people, and Mark ii is better for landscape (IMHO from the photos I've seen on the net). In 5D 12 MHP for a landscape, it will still not be enough. If you do not take into account 5D and Fuji S5 (both are available), then in terms of the beauty of the picture and the price, there is nothing close. I am looking for a Mark II slowly. I wonder if it is possible to find out how many videos were shot on it, so as not to fly into a tired matrix?

    • Vadim

      I'm also interested in this information (about finding out the presence of a tired matrix). For myself, I believe that the low mileage of the camera in most cases may be indirect evidence that it was often used specifically for video. especially spruce on the case, traces of operation are clearly visible.

      • Nikita

        Dorechi is not a bad idea. As if I had passed on the camera, but it was wiped out, then it brought me to think.

  • Michael

    People, who knows what kind of joke?? 86 pieces in stock.

    • Dmitry Kostin

      After the rental.
      Or refurbished.
      For some time, there was a topic on photo_ru with a recommendation not to buy second nickels on aliexpress. There was a discussion about some kind of scam.

      • Michael

        Here it is, it will be necessary to familiarize yourself with By the way, maybe I even read here on Radozhiv, or somewhere else this information ran through in the discussion that the Chinese are now buying Helios at our flea markets, such as Avito. Isn't it for the same "refubish", hmm ... I also wonder why. Some kind of detective.

        • Mr. boggy

          The market is already flooded after videographers, and from the second or third hand, they bombed fucking weddings in video mode, and this is the most affordable full-frame video recorder, because the matrices after the video can be killed for nothing. This model should be taken from amateurs who save, usually a complete set and there are no scratches on the cases and carefully check for noise and broken / hot.

          • Vladimir

            Well, why are “SHITTING” weddings. Did your wife leave you after a failed party? Why so insult those who photograph weddings? It's just uncivilized. With such success, only amateurs who photograph butterflies once a year can be considered photographers?

            • Vova


  • Mr. boggy

    Oh, well, no, “fractions of a millimeter were missing” ... How important and critical that it’s not even worth mentioning this.))) In general, no one will ever see this by eye, considering the matrix itself with its bayer and other filters. We also see a completely different picture in the viewfinder, there the magnification factor and their distortions are introduced. The final picture on the matrix is ​​already the third thing.

  • Mr. boggy

    The size of a pixel cell 5D μ2 is completely equal to the pixel as on matrices 20D and 30D, the working one is closed up to f 11. It is already “half-bold”. At the First Pyatak, it was equal to 10D, the working closed aperture is easy to f13.

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