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Canon 5D Mark II
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Canon 5D Mark II

Canon EOS 5D Mark II and 50mm f/1.4. enlarge.


May 2010    Canon 5D Mark II Review       More Canon Reviews


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Math      top

DIGIC 4 Imaging Processor. 14-bit analog-to-digital conversion.


Live View      top

Quick, Live and Face Detection Live modes. In Live View, you can change AF mode (Quick, Live, Face Detection Live mode), drive mode, ISO speed, Picture style, White Balance, and more.

Quick mode automatically sets One-Shot AF using the regular AF system. It also allows users to select the AF point, even while the Live View image is displayed. Although the camera’s reflex mirror must be lowered briefly to take an AF measurement in Quick mode, it is the fastest way to set focus automatically when the 5D Mark II camera is set for Live View.

Live mode autofocuses from video off the sensor, just like point-and-shoots. Like Quick mode, you can change the AF point using the Multi-controller.

Face Detection Live mode is like Live mode, and recognizes human faces. When multiple faces are detected, the largest face closest to the center of the frame is targeted as the AF point.


Creative Auto Mode      top

New with the EOS 50D, Canon’s “CA” Creative Full Auto setting allows making adjustments like aperture and shutter speed through an easy-to-understand navigation screen on the camera’s LCD menu, with more sensible names like “blur the background” or “lighten or darken the image.”


Two Small Raw Formats - so?      top

You'd have to be a real idiot to care about smaller pixel size raw files. These give you lower resolution with larger file sizes than JPG!

Canon calls these dopey things "sRAW," and in the 5D Mark II, sRAW1 and sRAW2.

sRAW1 is 10 megapixels with a file size that is still at least 75% the size of a bloated regular raw image.

In sRAW2, resolution is piddly 5.2 megapixels, but still half the file size of a huge raw image.


Adaptive Dynamic Range Optimization

Called "Auto Lighting Optimizer" by Canon, this is common in the newest generation of cameras from Nikon and Canon. It is a subtle and extremely important way to improve almost all images. It lightens shadows that get too dark, while holding the highlights.

High Tone Priority, which preserves highlights, only works between ISO 200 and ISO 1,600.

Sadly, Canon doesn't seem to have as all-encompassing a solution as Nikon's ADR, which handles highlights, shadows and everything all at once at all settings.

Stealth Modes

There are two Silent Shooting modes in Live View. This lets you shoot without appearing or sounding like you're taking pictures!

In Mode 1, the mechanical shutter is open at the beginning of the exposure, and instead uses the electronic 1st-curtain function of the CMOS sensor and a reduced shutter-cocking noise, allowing multiple shots to be taken with minimal noise.

In Mode 2, to minimize shutter noise during single frame photography, shutter cocking does not occur until the shutter button returns to the half-way position after shooting.


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