Saturday, December 20, 2008

5D Mark II First Impressions

Well, I have had the 5DII for about a week now and gotten to go on a couple shoots with it. Below is a quick list of thoughts after using it for a bit. This is not a review, there are plenty of those by people far more qualified than myself.
  1. Size & Weight: It is larger and heaver than my 40D. However, as I like a larger body size this works for me. I still added a battery grip and find the 5DII to fit my hand the best of any Canon I have used in years. My xxD bodies fit will but this one is just outstanding.

  2. Feel: It has a nice feel to the touch than my 40D. The covering feels softer and higher grade for lack of a better expression.

  3. Menu System: I know it is different than the 40D but not enough to make using it difficult. Now that the 5DII has a my menu I have what I need at my fingertips just like in my 40D so the learning curve was very small.

  4. Back Buttons: Ok, this is one of the biggest learning curves for me. Having the buttons below the screen on the 40D for the past 18 months I have gotten used to having them there. It is taking some getting used to having them on the side. I know when I pull out my 40D I will be going to the side instead of the bottom. My wife just laughs at me as I make a "Doh" sound every time I go to the wrong spot.

  5. Back Screen: Absolutely fantastic. I never thought the 40D screen (or any previous Canon DSLR screen) was bad until I got my hands on this one. It presents a crisp and clear image that when magifying allows for precise knoweldge of focus accuracy. This is turning out to be a pleasure and having used it with Live View while doing some night photography it has finally converted me to the value of Live View. On the 40D I didn't use Live View as the back screen made the image look drab.

  6. Top Screen: Seems a little larger than my 40D's and some of text is different sizes. But on the whole it is similar and consistent with what I am used to. The only thing that gets me is the backlight button is now on the right when I am used to it on the left. I think I can live with that. :-)

  7. Shutter Sound: Notably much quieter than the 40D. I see that as having huge benefit for event shooting when you don't want to draw attention to youself.

  8. Shutter Button: Very smooth, almost a buttery feel to it. Very easy to press and helps promote a smooth motion which helps promote better technique and more a squeeze versus press (which can lead to increased camera shake) method.

  9. Battery Life: As expected it is great. I like having the meeter which tells me the level for both batteries in the grip. As a bit of a worrier about power this gives me more confidence when I'm out. But that could just be me and my paranoya.

  10. ISO Performance: The ISO performance is fantastic on this camera, it is worth upgrading for this alone. Below are links to some posts I've done for a few quicks tests to show the high ISO performance. Take a look, I think you'll agree that the 5DII is usable up to 6400 at a reasonable print size.
Person High ISO Test
Flag High ISO Test
Ladder Joint High ISO Test

These are just my impressions and as I said not scientific in any way. They are just hte opinions of some guys that likes to take pictures. Let me know your thoughts as well, I would love to see what others think of the 5DII.

Have a great one.