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Canon EOS 5D Mark II: Amateurs Need Not Apply

Bang For Your Buck and Canon’s T1i

For prosumers who have been wistfully casting their eyes on a more expensive professional camera, this camera can present a real value. The EOS 1Ds Mark III is a $7,000 camera, with 21.1 megapixels. But the EOS 5D Mark II costs only $2,700 and also has 21.1 megapixels. Sure, the 1Ds has major advantages over the 5D (primarily the sturdiness of the body and the better focusing system, as well as a more extensive feature set), but color is equal or better with the 5D. This camera is also only $1,300 more than Canon’s 50D, which is a true consumer DSLR.  The EOS 5D Mark II bridges the gap to professional quality and could be an excellent investment.  

But if it is an easy-to-use video camera in a consumer-level DSLR that you want (and that’s probably what most of us amateurs aspire to), you might want to consider Canon’s newest DSLR: the EOS Rebel T1i. It costs only $900, including the lens, and shoots HD video at 1920x1080. That’s something the rest of us can get excited about.

  • GeoMan
    Must say I’m a little disappointed with this so called review. First and foremost this is a still camera aimed at the advanced armature/professional photographer with the added feature of being able to take HD video. That target market already knows a fair deal about photography and using cameras so why spend half the review bashing the camera on a feature that isn’t its primary function (video)? No quantification of noise at increasing ISO, in camera noise reduction, RAW versus JPG performance, dynamic range, bundled software and no comparison to its competition (Nikon D700, Sony Alpha A900)? If you want high resolution and excellent low light performance for static subjects go for the Cannon, if you want something that’s better at action/sports photography go for the Nikon.
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  • one-shot
    For computers, I go to Tomshardware/Anandtech/Tech Report. For cameras, I go to DPReview.com. This "review" was lacking in so many ways compared to a more in depth review, which this camera does deserve. No ISO comparisons, no CA comparison, no falloff comparisons for different apertures etc. Tomshardware, please spend more time on camera reviews because not spending enough time is an injustice to the manufacturer's respective products and the reader.
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  • theuerkorn
    I agree with previous comments. A bit basic and and comparisons are a bit out of place. I think an actual user report (rather than repeat specs) would have been better.
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  • theuerkorn
    I agree with previous comments. I think a better format (than just repeating specs) would have been to put out some actual user experience. This is not the site for in-depth reviews anyway a la dpreview.com, but plain repeats of info that can be had from a spec sheet isn't useful either.
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  • Shadow703793
    +1 for dpreviews. Agree with above that this was a cr@ppy review. This is a high end pro CAMERA, not a HD VIDEO RECORDER.
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  • zodiacfml
    we already know and read dpreview and clearly this review is for amateurs done by an amateur. the review still had its purpose to amateurs like me and shows that it can't do video like a normal video camera and i agree those above that user experience format is a good idea.
    though i want to add that the problem with the video focusing can be minimized if we planned the shot by limiting the length of a shot to the focused subject, around 5 seconds per shot/clip.
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  • michaelahess
    I'll stick with my D300. It cost less, probably has very equal quality, and video is just a gimmick on these things anyway. And 21mp? At that res, focus will limit the actual quality when you get to the pixel level anyway.

    Now as soon as they make a viable full frame focus lens, this will be awesome. Ya know, where the focal point is optimized for every pixel, not just your "subject".
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  • I agree, I have a 5D and I upgraded to the Mk II and am quite happy with it. I like the tonal compression and the fact that it can fix the vignetting effect of some lenses. It store the vignette information of each lens and applies it to the image.
    I also like the way the ISO can auto adjust to keep the shutter speed to 1/30s in low level light.
    However I don't have a video camera and I didn't buy it to use the video mode. However it's there if I want to use it.
    Also the focus can be done manually and I read that focus is very important in video and pros use a focus puller to focus for them.
    That is, another person who focuses for the photographer. Therefore, an auto focus wouldn't be very useful.
    Also the ISO can't be changed in video mode. But you can't change it in a film camera either.
    In my view, if you take movies, then you use a specialist movie camera, like a RED One which does the job more effectively. The RED is probably not a good still camera either.
    Daryl
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  • marokero
    A lot of my co-workers are adding this Mk II to their repertoire. Unfortunately one thing this camera carries from the original 5D is the same autofocus system, which isn't great for tracking action. Canon should've improved the autofocus in this new iteration, especially for low light scenes - pity, since the image quality is really good at the high ISOs these low light scenes require (as in weddings and other event photography).
    Reply
  • ohim
    http://www.usa.canon.com/dlc/controller?act=GetArticleAct&articleID=2326

    HD movie shot with Canon EOS 5D Mark III
    Reply