5D Mark II
Canon calls this the 5D "Mark II" because it's mostly just a old 5D with the big little improvements I just mentioned.
3 Total Recall memories, the Quick Control Screen, a great LCD and Auto ISO make all the difference in the world to me, and I loved my old 5D as it was. There is no perfect camera, except for the old Mamiya 6 and today's Mamiya 7.
Here's what should have been fixed after three years of the 5D, but still isn't:
Defective power switch top
The same crappy, defectively designed power switch is still there.
It usually gets knocked as I carry the camera around my neck, meaning when I go to make a shot, either the camera turned itself off, or the big dial ignores me.
Even Nikon's crappiest cameras have had power switches concentric to the shutter release for over ten years, and on all of them, I can turn them with my shutter finger without taking the camera away from my eye.
Still have to hit play top
You still have to hit play after making a shot in order to be able to zoom, or to go to other shots. If this wasn't a family website, I'd use expletives to express my disappointment.
No full stops top
You still can't set the 5D Mark II to adjust exposure in full stops. It's halves or thirds, and that's it.
Dim numeric finder display top
The viewfinder display is still too dim to read easily in daylight, and the numbers are too thin.
Even Nikon's cheapest D40 is far, far superior here.
There is more stuff in the 5D Mark II finder over the old 5D, but you still can't see it very well.
The bar graph display is small, and for I know, maybe smaller than in the old 5D. This is an important display; a pro camera would put the bar graph big, bold and vertically along the side of the finder.
No easy manual WB setting top
There is still no practical way to set manual gray-card white balances.
You can do it, but it takes a few hands.
Canon's video and point-and-shoot cameras do this much better; these designers need to go have sake together and figure it out.
Can't display all the shots left top
Canon still can't figure out how to move a decimal point. If you have more than 999 shots left on your memory card, the 5D Mark II still gets stuck at 999, while even the Nikon D40 is smart enough to say "2.7k" if that's how many shots you have left.
This is straight out of the 1970s! Even Canon's point-and-shoots show four digits for shots left.
Hint: hit the INFO button while the 5D Mark II is resting, and the tech data display will use four digits to real all the remaining exposures.
Limited data playback top
The 5D Mark II still can't show focal length when playing back.
No exposure mode indication in finder top
There's no indication of the exposure mode in the finder, so I have to divert my creative energies away from the finder and look on top as I spin the mode knob.
Uncomfortable dial design top
The front control dial is still in the wrong place, at the wrong angle, and made of the wrong material. It's a hard, thin dial that you have to turn using the inside of your pointer finger, right on the side of your joint. It hurts if you shoot with it for a while.
By comparison, Nikons that cost one-third as much have nice, big, soft, perfect-feeling dials right where my fingers naturally land. They feel good, they are at the right angle, they are in the right place, and I can spin them with the pad of my fingertip, not the side of my finger, right on the joint, as with the 5D Mark II.
No long-exposure countdown top
There's no bulb timer, or count-down of long exposures, on the rear or top LCDs. All it does is blink the remaining exposures number instead. (Of course that number is an embarrassment, since it's usually stuck at 999 instead of the actual value.)
No facial recognition top
All-sensor AF rarely picks the correct sensor to pick the subject's closer eye unless you're either lucky, or put the subject directly under one of the AF sensors. The Nikon D3 and D700 are far superior here, magically nailing almost every people shot
Depth of field preview button in the wrong place top
The depth-of-field preview button still requires a second hand to hit it. You have to use your left hand, not your shooting hand, because Canon put it on the wrong side of the camera.
The LCD never fills with the image top
Canon 5D Mark II. enlarge.
You can't do this. The image never fills the LCD. I created this illustration in Photoshop. A firmware defect in the actual 5D prevents this, and instead always shows exposure data in a black bar along the top, even when zoomed.
Oh, pardon me: this isn't a problem left un rectified since the 5D; this was fine in the old 5D. This problem is new in the 5D Mark II!
Help me help you top
I support my growing family through this website, as crazy as it might seem.
If you find this as helpful as a book you might have had to buy or a workshop you may have had to take, feel free to help me continue helping everyone.
The biggest help is to use these links to Adorama, Amazon, B&H, Calumet, Ritz, J&R and when you get your goodies. It costs you nothing and is a huge help to me. eBay is always a gamble, but all the other places have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed. I recommend them all personally.
Thanks for reading!