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Steve Foss

Canon 5D Mk2 just announced

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The 5D Mk2 was just announced by Canon. Just over 21 Mp. ISO 50-25,600. Tremendous noise performance. HD video. $2,700. Wedding photographer's dream camera. Sigh. Drool. Guess it's time to sell the boat. I haven't had time to fish anyway.

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Uh oh. At 2700 that might just be the ticket. Should be just about what my tax return ends up being this year. Pay bills, or buy a camera that will help me pay bills. Maybe I will wait to get a new body til then.

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Not the top feature of this camera...but cool to see. Don't know much about other cameras out there...as far as this already being offered else where.

HD video capture

The EOS 5D Mark II is Canon’s first D-SLR to incorporate full HD 1920x1080 video capture. Once filming is started from Live View mode, photographers can fire off either single of continuous stills, with video capture continuing after the final frame is captured.

A new optional Wireless File Transmitter –

the WFT-E4 – offers external HDD and GPS compatibility along with ability to transmit images direct to computer or FTP server, or operate the camera wirelessly. Both the BG-E6 and WFT-E4 feature a vertical orientation shutter release and other key controls for comfortable portraiture work, with a substantial grip to help balance the camera when used with long lenses.

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Yeah, that's a great feature, hemi. The Canon "1" series bodies offer wireless transmission, as do some of the mid-range bodies. The transmitters are pretty spendy, if I recall.

And I always buy a battery grip to go with the camera, aside from extending shooting time between battery changes, being able to compose vertically without having to wrap your hand around the camera is a very big plus.

While this is a lot of fun, and the new 5D Mk2 is a very strong body upgrade in a competitive market, frankly it's more camera than I need for my work. Even shooting the 30D for indoor weddings at iso1600 I have a small amount of noise reduction to do in post processing, and using the original 5D at iso1600 and 3200 means no noise ninja at all. For nature photography, the 12 Mp full frame 5D is a wonderful camera, particularly for macro and landscape work.

Not that I'd mind picking up a Mk2, you understand. I think I could find some way to use those 21 Mp and high-iso capability and all that other cool stuff. gringrin

And lightly used 5D bodies have been going for around $1,600. When the Mk2 hits the shelves, I reckon a person could pick up a 5D used for about $1,300. And that's a big silver lining to being unable to afford the Mk2. gringrin

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So I was reading over lunch break today the specs on the Canon HSOforum. There were a few typos in the listings on their HSOforum, one of which saying the camera had a 1.6 crop sensor, right under the 24x26 full frame sensor size line. It will be an intersting couple months looking for a new camera body that is for sure.

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The 5D Mark II is full frame. Same basic autofocus system as the old camera. Canon is getting slammed hard on a number of forums. This was not what people were expecting. Common complaints;

-Old autofocus system with minor improvements. Not as good as the 40D/50D

-Lousy 3.9fps

-Lack of any weather sealing

I've talked to three other pro's that were in the market for this camera and all of them said they will now not be upgrading.

The problem is I think people want all the features from a Mark III in a lower priced camera, not going to happen. Canon needs to protect its top of the line cameras as well.

Speculation is they have gone as far as they will on the Mark III and new efforts are being put into the IV. The camera is at 14 months lifecycle and Canon typically goes 18 months to new models. We will see.

With all the whining about the 5D Mark II I wouldn't look for prices on 5D's to come down anytime soon. The 50D looks better and better all the time.

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I may be off base here, but the full frame cameras sound to me like something a studio and wedding photographer would be more inclined to use. In that respect, they wouldn't need lightning fast focusing or 5 plus fps or normally weather sealing. Whereas, these are things that a wildlife photographer would be more apt to find important, thus the 40D or 50D for them.

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Mike, that is why the 5D MkII looks good to me. I have a few weddings lined up for 09 already, as well as a lot of children shoots that people want me to do. I am of the age right now that all of my friends have little kids and everyone wants me to do a shoot at least every three months for them. I am not much of a birding photographer, which to me is the best case scenario for using a 1.6 crop sensor. I would also like to pick up a 17-40 for landscape work, and not worrying about getting the best use out of a wide angle would be nice.

The only reason I haven't been pursuing weddings more than I have lately is because I am using the old DReb and it just doesn't stack up. I ended up renting a 5D for one wedding last year and fell in love.

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Quote:
I may be off base here, but the full frame cameras sound to me like something a studio and wedding photographer would be more inclined to use.

Unfortunately the three I talked to yesterday are wedding/portrait shooters frown They have all been disappointed with low light focusing in the 5D. They were hoping for an upgrade there. Two sound like they will hang with their 5D's and maybe go to a 50D, the other shoots a Mark III.

Landscaper shooters another market for full frame are mentioning the weather sealing issue.

One must keep in mind no one has had any hands on with the camera so until that happens its all speculation. Nothing like the inter web to stir things up.

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Nothing like the inter web to stir things up.

True that brother. Over on the other FM, there is a thread going asking what the 5D MkIII will have on it. Best comment so far was backlit cupholders.

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It's interesting how different people have different experiences. I've used the 5D for three weddings now, and its low-light focus performance has been better for me than the 30D. I'm using mostly the 70-200 f2.8L for indoor ceremonies and one shot focus mode, and so far (as long as I don't get lazy about where I lock on as a focus point) there's always been enough contrast on at least one part of a face for the autofocus to easily grab. The same has been true of photographing the low-light dances using the 17-40 and bouncing flash.

I believe used 5D prices will come down. There are many, many 5D owners out there who are not as nitpicky about gear as some of the pros and who will be upgrading. But as Dan mentioned it's all opinion at this point.

I personally was surprised to see so many excellent features in a $2,700 camera. Whether it will be greatly popular on the market at that price, given some of the advance complaints, who knows?

It sure is interesting to see how these cameras keep developing. smilesmile

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And some people no matter how loud they complain will still run out and buy the newest thing on the block! You will never meet everyones expectations on what they feel they need. I think it has good features at that price point as well. I hope it turns out well for Canon. They have taken a beating the last year and one half.

The pricing on 5D's will come down, its a matter of how long to see a nice drop. The Mark II's didn't start a good drop until a little over a year after the Mark III. Market share on the 5D and Mark II are likely in the same ballpark. It really depends on how well the camera performs and is accepted. Good reports and the market will drop, bad reports and they hold their value.

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If they put all the features a person could ever want in a camera, there would be no reason to upgrade in the future. They aren't as dumb as some people make them out to be. I will probably try to rent one first to see if I like it, then go ahead at that point if I am impressed enough to knock the dust off the wallet.

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I've been reading further, and it looks like the 5D II sensor is the 1Ds III sensor with some improvements in pixel design (thus noise improvements as well). So the 5D II has BETTER image quality than the current 1Ds III, and at a third the cost. Yikes, it really makes you wonder what's in store with the 1Ds IV. Like 26 MP? 30?

I've just finished reading an in-depth look at all the camera's features on dpreview, and Canon says it has improved weather sealing on the Mk II over the original 5D. No comment in that review on whether autofocus has improved or not. Dpreview says the 3.9 fps max burst rate is probably conservative on Canon's part because they've been burned by high burst rate boasts in the past. As a wedding, portrait and landscape shooter, I don't care about high burst rate anyway.

Dan, here's a question for you. It's my understanding that the Digic IV processor on the 5D II is supposed to provide better autofocus performance than the older processor on the 5D. I've been told the same thing comparing the 50D to the 40D. Yes? No? I'm really interested in your thoughts on this, because we often differ in perspective.

Ah! Now I see that the 5D and 5D II both use a dedicated microprocessor for AF performance, not the camera's main processor. Dang, it beats all what a person can find online! gringrin

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Steve, my limited knowledge and understanding is that the auto focus system is basically unchanged from the 5D. What the new processor is supposed to provide is better AI Servo performance. This is from the invisible 6 points around the center point. I've also read the 5D had the same system? Now considering no one has really tested it...who the heck knows. Some have good luck with low light focus, some have not so good luck with low light focus. Same old, same old right? Which lens were they using, what were the conditions. All those things as you know effect focus performance.

The other enhancements with the new Digic IV are the better tonal adjustments, the Auto Lighting Optimizer, the Peripheral Illumination Correction. Both the 50D and 5D Mark II provide this.

The complaint on focus seems to be why they didn't use the cross-type focus points which are found on the 40D, 50D instead of a single diagonal (giving both horizontal and vertical enhanced sensitivity) on the 5D II. The cross type focus points allow greater sensitivity along both horizontal and vertical planes with fast lenses, the current and new 5D are only more sensitive along the horizontal. So the new camera shoud give great AI Servo performance Canon says better than the 40D/50D, great news if you are a sports guy or wildlife shooter, but the fps's are too slow and so the debate rages!

The focus system on the 40D and 50D are unchanged, the only upgrade is the Digic IV which in theory should provide better focus performance, its a more powerful processor. Of course it has to use that extra power to maintain FPS with more megapixels, the image enhancements and all the other cool stuff they put on the camera.

Its all just speculation on both cameras isn't it? No one is actually using either camera. I thought I might be this morning but guess what? Canon delayed shipment on the 50D one week, now that shocked me! Why is anyones guess, already putting in a firmware upgrade? Supposedly toward the end of next week.

As an aside when I was checking on the status of my 50D they told me that they have a lot of pre-orders in already for the 5D Mark II. So inspite of a few prolific inter web posters it seems as if people will be buying. Good news for all I think including those looking for a nice used 5D. wink

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Forgot to comment on the weather sealing, a little foam around the battery door, and rubber seals on the top buttons. I guess people wanted body and lens sealing as well. Chuck Westfall from Canon says the 5D Mark II should be good for 10 minutes of light rain.

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Thanks, Dan. Good perspectives.

There's a very active Canon gear sell board where lightly used 5D bodies have been going for $1,600 to $1,700, with few up for sale. After the announcement and the specs and advance reviews, I checked that site yesterday and suddenly there are 5D bodies all over the place (like 10 new for-sale listings), as low as $1,400.

Good news for me! Now I just gotta find a way to make that 5D happen! gringrin

I agree completely about online hoopla. So much out there isn't worth the keystrokes that went into it, and a person's gotta search for the grain within the chaff.

As for weather sealing, even when I had the "1" series bodies in my hands with L lenses attached, if I was out in rain or snow I had my waterproof bad-weather sleeve covering lens and camera. Too much for my nerves to completely trust the weather sealing. shocked

Here's what Rob Galbraith has to say about the autofocus system on the Mk2 vs the original 5D. Pretty technical in some ways, but here goes:

"The 5D Mark II's AF system, including its CMOS AF sensor, carries over mostly unaltered from the 5D, and is comprised of nine AF points plus six Assist AF points. The centre AF point acts as a cross-type sensor with lenses whose maximum aperture are f/5.6 or faster. If an f/2.8 or faster lens is used, the centre AF point detects focus with triple the precision of slower lenses.

The Assist AF points are arranged in two lines of three just above and just below the centre AF point and are invisible to the photographer (in fact, they can't be manually chosen). With the centre AF point active and AI Servo dialed in, these six additional points clustered within the spot metering circle work in conjunction with the centre AF point to improve subject tracking performance, much like a similar option in earlier 1-series cameras does for certain sports with lots of erratic movement. Two of the Assist AF points are cross-type with f/2.8 or faster lenses.

Somewhat surprisingly, Canon has not adopted the 40D/50D's AF system which, on paper, is superior, given that all nine of its AF points are cross-type. Canon USA's Westfall says the reason for that is the "6 Assist AF points plus center point were deemed to provide a higher level of performance for AI Servo AF than the center point-only arrangement of the [40D and] 50D." Given that we've previously found the overall autofocus performance of the 5D to be decent, while the 40D's tracking capability has been erratic at best, Canon has likely chosen the better of the two AF systems for the 5D Mark II.

The 5D and 5D Mark II share one other notable AF hardware similarity: both utilize a dedicated microprocessor to perform AF calculations (in contrast, Canon's Mark III models, for example, utilize DIGIC III for this).

The 5D Mark II does include two changes in its AF system, relative to the 5D: it now has the ability to detect scene colour temperature and light flicker, then incorporate that as part of the camera's autotofocus calculation, plus AF Microadjustment, to compensate for focus calibration error in the camera body or combination of body and attached lens, has been added."

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Exactly what I read as well Steve. That is one reason for the 40D post. The fact that there are a number of pre-orders already from my store I think bodes well. I hope those prices drop a bit more on the 5D. Once people actually try the new 5D that could certainly happen!

The 50D announcement dropped used 40D prices as well.

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Just saw the first under-$1,400 used price on a 5D. Six months old, 2,000 actuations, flawless. $1,350. I gotta sell a magazine cover or something before I go crazy! There is some hope here, and my fingers are crossed so hard I need Aleve to keep from grimacing. I'll tell you, it's very difficult to type with your fingers crossed. gringrin

I was out this afternoon/evening with the CPS 5D and got some nice wide angles of a huge thunderstorm cell (now spawning tornadoes near the North Shore) as it developed right above my head while I was waiting for sunset at an Echo Trail lake overlook. Couldn't have gotten that much drama with the 17-40 on the 1.6 crop sensor.

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