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24Peter
02-10-2009, 07:07 PM
Just finished renting a 5D II from lensprotogo.com (http://www.lensprotogo.com/ - $260 less 10% NAPP discount for 1 week - includes shipping.)

The good: Well it's all about resolution with this camera. For an admitted pixel peeper like myself, it's bliss. I love zooming in on an image at 100% and seeing stuff I couldn't see when I took the picture. From a practical standpoint however, I'm not sure all the extra pixels (over my 40D) matter that much. Certainly for prints, unless you're outputting really large, you'll probably never see the extra resolution. And anything less than full size on a computer monitor, it's hard to appreciate all the detail in an image. But I have to admit, those 21MP really get me excited. Here's a link to a full size pic (see if you can see me in the pupil of Tony's eyes):

http://photos.imageevent.com/24peter/uploads/postuploads2/IMG_2058.JPG

(Tony is an aspiring actor/comedian based in Los Angeles.)

Here are a couple of comparison shots (straight out of the camera jpegs, identical sharpening, contrast, staturation Picture Style settings):

5D II
http://photos.imageevent.com/24peter/uploads/postuploads2/IMG_1598.JPG

40D
http://photos.imageevent.com/24peter/uploads/postuploads2/IMG_7219.JPG

The not-so-good: the biggest let down on the camera has to be the AF system. In less than great light, it's slow. Sometimes very slow. Slows and hunts when my 40D is still going strong AF-wise. I'm really surprised Canon choose to stick with the old AF system. For a camera with high ISO/low light capabilities, it's a surprising choice. I can say once the AF locks, it's usually accurate. And in normal to good light, the AF speed is fine. But once the light dims, be ready to wait.

High ISO - I'm not a high ISO shooter. In fact, in comparing the 5D II to my 40D I was surprised to see how good my 40D looks at ISO 3200 since I never use it. But, there's really no comparison. For many people, the high ISO capabilities of the camera will be its # 1 draw. Like adam said, it's a wedding photographer's dream. (I'm comparing .jpegs - I'm sure you RAW guys can do even better.)

5D II ISO 3200
http://photos.imageevent.com/24peter/uploads/postuploads2/IMG_1049.JPG

40D ISO 3200
http://photos.imageevent.com/24peter/uploads/postuploads2/IMG_7196.JPG

Video - this was kind of a let down for me. I'm a video guy for years now. I've had a Canon HV20 for the past three and continue to be amazed as how good the video is from it. Plus the HDV files are quite easy to edit/down-rez. The 5D II video, while recorded at 1080p, seems to be wrapped in a 1080i wrapper. 1080p is progressive; 1080i is interlaced. Both when output via the HDMI to my 47" 1080p LCD HDTV and after editing and down-rezzing to standard DVD in the computer, the video looked really interlaced - jaggy edges, shiny lines, etc. I've seen beautiful video shot with the 5D II on-line, so I'll chalk it up to me not knowing how to handle the H.264 codec. But I'm sticking with my HV20 for now.

Also, while this probably goes without saying, the camera ergonomics are terrible for shooting video. Just adding an articulating LCD screen on the back of the camera would do wonders to improve the useability of both the video and Live View functions of the camera. I'm not sure what Canon is thinking here.

LCD screen - not a big one for me. I'm fine with my 40D. I am able to judge sharp v. blurry shots no problem. The 5D II LCD is nice, but not a must-upgrade feature for me.

Other
- Been a lot of talk about the new battery. Fine for taking stills - around 600+ .jpegs per charge with a lot of chimping. But look out for Live View and video - both suck the battery dry very fast.
- The large viewfinder is nice, but the AF point pattern is a joke. The outter AF points are much too close to the center to be truly useful (same as the original 5D). For full body model shots, between waiting for the AF to lock and then having to recompose using the center AF point, made for very slow shooting.
- wide angle shooting - my 17-40 was WAY fun on the 5D II. For some reason I liked it more than the Canon EF-S 10-20 I used on my 40D. Here's a sample @ 17mm (corners aren't great, but WEEEEEEEEEEE!):

http://photos.imageevent.com/24peter/uploads/postuploads2/IMG_1321.JPG

- file size - be prepared to buy more hard drives - and a new computer! Even the sRGB .jpegs (5-9MB each) I was shooting slowed down XP and CS3. I can't imagine what shooting RAW is like in terms of HD space and resources!

Price - I have to say, $2700 is probably a fair starting price for this camera ($3100 with a 2nd battery and battery grip(e)). But I'm really happy with my 40D, so thinking I'm gonna wait to summer to see where prices are on the 5D II. If Nikon does a 24MP D700x then (esp. if it's less than $4K), I suspect we'll see a nice price drop from Canon. And even without a new Nikon, once the initial supply/demand issues worked out, I suspect they'll be some good deals on the camera by August.

So overall, it's a nice cam. Not as ground breaking as the original 5D, and not without some issues. But a lot to offer many different kinds of photographers.

cdifoto
02-10-2009, 07:29 PM
So to summarize:

If you don't want/need 21MP, sit this one out.

Am I close? :D

te1221
02-10-2009, 09:00 PM
Couldnt agree more Peter. While I love my 5DII, I'm on the lookout for a 1D Mark III to snag with my tax return :)

24Peter
02-10-2009, 09:08 PM
So to summarize:

If you don't want/need 21MP, sit this one out.

Am I close? :D

Well actually I think more people would probably want the high ISO feature - but if you don't need that, unless you're a Pixel Peeper like me, you probably could skip it. :D

24Peter
02-10-2009, 09:16 PM
'Nother one:
http://photos.imageevent.com/24peter/uploads/postuploads2/IMG_1816.JPG

Csae
02-11-2009, 04:31 AM
I dont know if its me, but zooming in on your fruit shots, it looks like the 5D II is slightly out of focus, ? Maybe different aperture? Then the 40D. The orange in the 40D Looks dead on focused, while on the 5DII it looks OOF, but i can't tell exactly Where its focused?

Nickcanada
02-11-2009, 07:18 AM
Nice stuff there Peter.

adam75south
02-11-2009, 07:29 AM
i definitely agree peter. i plan to shoot mine at the sRAW1 most of the time anyway. for me, it's all about the ISO 6400. although i am a little curious to try out ISO 50 on the sky.

24Peter
02-11-2009, 10:25 AM
I dont know if its me, but zooming in on your fruit shots, it looks like the 5D II is slightly out of focus, ? Maybe different aperture? Then the 40D. The orange in the 40D Looks dead on focused, while on the 5DII it looks OOF, but i can't tell exactly Where its focused?

I know what you're saying. It was F11 on both cameras. On a FF (compared to a crop 1.6X camera) at the same aperture, it will be a shallower DOF. On the 5D II shot, if you look at the back edge of the front strawberry, that was the point of focus, so it was a bit behind the back edge of the lemon wedge. Overall I was happy with the AF of the 5D II in good light; my only concern was the slow focusing in less than good light.

Zoinac
02-11-2009, 10:25 AM
I'm seriously considering buying a 5dII to compliment my 50d. I love the 50D, great camera, but sadly I was saving my money for the 5D II and a few projects came up before the 5D came out..

I would really like to see some comparison shots between a 50D and a 5D II at high iso. If anyone knows of any reviews between the two I'd love a link!

24Peter
02-11-2009, 10:42 AM
I'm seriously considering buying a 5dII to compliment my 50d. I love the 50D, great camera, but sadly I was saving my money for the 5D II and a few projects came up before the 5D came out..

I would really like to see some comparison shots between a 50D and a 5D II at high iso. If anyone knows of any reviews between the two I'd love a link!

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1032&thread=30863836 though his test results seem a little extreme. I suspect the camera's are a little closer noise-wise.

Rasidel Slika
02-11-2009, 11:01 AM
what lens were you using when you observed the AF slowness?

adam75south
02-11-2009, 11:02 AM
I'm seriously considering buying a 5dII to compliment my 50d. I love the 50D, great camera, but sadly I was saving my money for the 5D II and a few projects came up before the 5D came out..

I would really like to see some comparison shots between a 50D and a 5D II at high iso. If anyone knows of any reviews between the two I'd love a link!

you're welcome to any of my 5d II raws from this weekend's wedding. almost shot entirely at ISO 6400. I don't have a 50d or i'd help you out with your comparison.

24Peter
02-11-2009, 11:03 AM
what lens were you using when you observed the af slowness?

17-40 f4 L; 24-105 f4 L IS; 70-200 f4 L IS; 85 1.8; 50 1.4; 28 1.8, 135 2.8 sf

Rasidel Slika
02-11-2009, 12:13 PM
I'm very surprised by that.

te1221
02-11-2009, 01:52 PM
Going from a 1D mk2n, the difference was very obvious.

I also have my 40D from work, and the 40D focuses much faster, while I notice that the 5D is more accurate with locking onto its target.

24Peter
02-11-2009, 02:46 PM
Don't get me wrong: in good light, the 5D II AF is fine. So depending on what kind of shooting you're doing, you may be OK. But I did notice that once the light got dim, the 5D II took longer to focus than my 40D. But even then the 5D II focus was usually accurate. So I didn't come away with a bunch of mis-focused shots. I just had to wait a little longer to push the shutter. I don't think I was imagining it: many others have noticed this too. And think what you will of Popular Photography, but when they reviewed the 5D II, they put up actual numbers showing how the AF lags in lower light situations.

Rasidel Slika
02-11-2009, 03:11 PM
I must just be very lucky with my original 5D - I shoot at nightclubs almost exclusively and never have AF issues.

I guess I thought the 5DII *should* be better than the original. Maybe not (?).

Nickcanada
02-11-2009, 03:36 PM
When I tried out the 5D classic I thought the AF was okay but not really a serious upgrade over my 20D. the center point is suppose to be stellar for tracking due to it's invisible points but as far as exterior points, my 50D smokes the 20D and 5D AF systems. I'm talking about dark concert type stuff.

Rasidel Slika
02-11-2009, 03:50 PM
When I tried out the 5D classic I thought the AF was okay but not really a serious upgrade over my 20D. the center point is suppose to be stellar for tracking due to it's invisible points but as far as exterior points, my 50D smokes the 20D and 5D AF systems. I'm talking about dark concert type stuff.
given that statement I would think similar holds true for the 5D2

adam75south
02-11-2009, 04:21 PM
i've never shot with the 5d classic, so i wouldn't know, but i would say the 5d II is very similar to the 30d on AF speed.

although i have read where the AF is better on the 5d II due to the faster processor.

and i shot a wedding reception with my 5d II and had no problems. it wasn't as fast as my 40d but more than adequate. i was locking on my girlfriend's face the other day with nothing but light from her laptop monitor. it was slow but it would lock. i think when peter says dim light he means it. think ISO 6400 f/2 1/50s. i'll post up what i'm talking about tomorrow.

michaelb
02-11-2009, 05:42 PM
Nice review Peter.

I've not used the 5DII, but I feel the same way about the 5D's AF as compared with the 40D.

The 5D is accurate with the center AF point, but it just feels so much slower than the 40D when you use the two side by side. Also, the outer points have a greater tendency to hunt and are less reliable on the 5D in low light; they are much better on the 40D, IME.

I'm still really dissapointed in Canon's AF decision with the 5DmkII; there is just no reason why they shouldn't have at least equalled the 40D's AF. 15 mp with 40D AF and I would have considered the 5DmkII, but as it is I'm just not interested.

Rooz
02-11-2009, 05:48 PM
disappointed ? sure. i was too when i tried it, i didnt like it much at all.

but...consider the price point for a 21mp full frame camera. thats some serious resolution for bugger all money, (comparatively speaking). you cant have everything...

24Peter
02-11-2009, 06:25 PM
given that statement I would think similar holds true for the 5D2

if you mean the 50D's AF would also smoke the 5D II's, then yes, that is the consensus...

Zoinac
02-11-2009, 06:36 PM
you're welcome to any of my 5d II raws from this weekend's wedding. almost shot entirely at ISO 6400. I don't have a 50d or i'd help you out with your comparison.

I'd love a few raws. I'll pm you my e-mail address, send a few over! I'm looking to see how the 5d II handles underexposure noise. If there is an area of my shot that is underexposed my 50D comes up with terrible amounts of red red noise! Ruining the usefulness of 14bit Raw to fix my oppsies. Send a few if you feel up to it!

24Peter
02-11-2009, 06:36 PM
disappointed ? sure. i was too when i tried it, i didnt like it much at all.

but...consider the price point for a 21mp full frame camera. thats some serious resolution for bugger all money, (comparatively speaking). you cant have everything...

yeah - I hope I haven't over-stated the issue: you get a lot of value for the $ with this camera. And while a little bit of an annoyance in low light, you quickly adapt - it's a fine camera to shoot with in most circumstances.

michaelb
02-11-2009, 06:55 PM
disappointed ? sure. i was too when i tried it, i didnt like it much at all.

but...consider the price point for a 21mp full frame camera. thats some serious resolution for bugger all money, (comparatively speaking). you cant have everything...

I think many more people would have been happier with say 15mp and an upgraded AF than 21mp and an antiquated 20D AF system.

I don't need 1D level AF, but I expected the 5DmkII to at least match my 40D's AF - I mean, who didn't?

Rasidel Slika
02-11-2009, 07:08 PM
I guess I forgot about that... I do remember reading that the 5D2's AF is pretty much the same as the 5D1. And, that is a shame.

Csae
02-11-2009, 08:18 PM
The problem is that the 40D has an excellent AF, close to the 1D levels.

If you had that AF, and Full Frame, and enough MPs (Because those are required, marketing wise.) Then why would anyone buy a 1D ? The only difference would be a marginally better AF, and a small body durability increase. Hardly worth the thousands of dollars worth the difference.

So with the 5DII They gave us a cheap FF, in the form of an upgrade to the 5D with the newest features to sell it better and nowadays you can't release an upgrade without more MPs so...

That being said, i honestly have no problem with the AF on my 5D. Its not perfect, but none of the problems are worth writing home about either.

People always got the 5D because its FF, i don't see why the 5D II would be any different, you get better fps out of a 40D/50D anyways and a better reach. It would of been nice to get better AF, but im not dissapointed that it didn't happen.

Rooz
02-11-2009, 08:27 PM
I think many more people would have been happier with say 15mp and an upgraded AF than 21mp and an antiquated 20D AF system.

I don't need 1D level AF, but I expected the 5DmkII to at least match my 40D's AF - I mean, who didn't?

i dont disagree. just making the point about price vs features.

i for one hope the d700x or d800 whatever they call it doesnt hit the 21mp mark. 15mp is plenty for me and should be a good balance between iso and resolution.

michaelb
02-12-2009, 06:23 AM
The problem is that the 40D has an excellent AF, close to the 1D levels.

If you had that AF, and Full Frame, and enough MPs (Because those are required, marketing wise.) Then why would anyone buy a 1D ? The only difference would be a marginally better AF, and a small body durability increase. Hardly worth the thousands of dollars worth the difference....

I personally don't want a 1D at this point simply do to the size/weight issue. The 1DsIII as a 45 point AF system; I didn't expect that, but there is no reason why the 5DmkII's AF shouldn't at least be on par with the 40D.
The only really positive thing I've heard about the 5DmkII's AF is CW's previous thread, which did seem very positive in terms of its servo AF performance.

adam75south
02-12-2009, 09:58 AM
I personally don't want a 1D at this point simply do to the size/weight issue. The 1DsIII as a 45 point AF system; I didn't expect that, but there is no reason why the 5DmkII's AF shouldn't at least be on par with the 40D.
The only really positive thing I've heard about the 5DmkII's AF is CW's previous thread, which did seem very positive in terms of its servo AF performance.

i'm happy with the 5d II's AF system. definitely not on par with the 40d, but it's good....better than i expected actually.
i do agree with you though michael, i'd probably have taken 40d's AF with 15MP, but there is something really cool about matching the 1dsIII's resolution...and beating it's ISO performance.

here's a shot at 6400 f/2 1/50s lit only by her laptop screen. had no problem AFing this shot. when she leaned back on the couch though, it started hunting a bit.