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The Canon 5D is sharper than the $5,000 Nikon D3 or D700, and the 5D sells for about $800 used. The Canon 5D was the world's best portrait and landscape camera for under $8,000 in its day, and today, still a steal. On 17 September 2008, the 5D was been replaced by the EOS 5D Mark II, which takes the same pictures, but has far superior ergonomics and a fantastic LCD. I'm a sucker for a bargain, so I bought my 5D on November 15th, 2006 from Adorama back when Canon was offering a $600 rebate, so long as you also got an appropriate lens.
Look at the example files to see what I saw that had me running out to go shoot with the 5D instead of writing about it.
When my Nikon D3 hits my hands it probably will have the same image quality and better ergonomics, but costs double and weighs a lot more. Not only is resolution and sharpness far beyond any smaller format camera due to the practical limitations I discuss in the Full Frame Advantage, but if you want no noise, the 5D goes down to ISO 50! I'd love it to be a joy to hold and use, like the Nikons whose industrial design is done by Giorgetto Giugiaro. I'd love to have an easier way to set manual custom white balances, something Canon does extremely well on their compacts and the XL video cameras, but requires way too many button presses on their SLRs. I'd love to have faster data transfer via the USB port, and preferably, a Firewire 800 port. I'd love for the 5D to pop up as a drive instead of only being able to download from it through software. I'd love to be able set my camera to add my © notice to metadata directly in-camera without needing to talk to the camera with a computer. I'd love to have a modern camera with all the information readouts and controls on the back where I can see them, not on a top LCD like old film cameras.
I'd love a new flash exposure control system that nails every flash exposure perfectly as my Nikons do.
My Canon 5D, bought around November 2006 when Canon was giving a $600 rebate and with a serial number beginning with 1, has the worst, dimmest and most off-color LCD I've ever used, just like the 30D. Be sure to read the Specifications and Introduction sections above where I address many other performance details. I was astounded when I discovered that a cheap $175 Russian fisheye on my 5D gave better image quality than my brand-new 10.5mm Nikkor on my D200. This is part of The Full Frame Advantage, part of which which is that even bad lenses can look better on full frame than great lenses on a smaller format.
This is crazy, I've never seen anything as good as this out of my Nikon D200 in terms of definition. On my second, third and fourth charges I got 800 shots at the 30% icon (the steady, partial cell).
It's got a great charger, too: it has a folding plug with a clever blinking light that tells the charge percentage.
An indicated full charge from a battery discharged to the steady partial battery icon (30% charge) recharges in only about an hour. The manual says that the 100% indication (a steady light) is really only a 90% charge, and to let it sit for a few more hours if you want 100%. I have to hit the play button and wait a moment to be able to zoom an image I just shot, or to select other images. After the 5D goes to sleep after you last looked at an image, playback wakes up at the most recent shot, which is not necessarily where you wanted to see. My 5D has a relatively slippery plastic covering, not the much better rubbery covering of the Nikon D200.
The numeric display at the bottom is often hard to read because the numbers are very thin and dim.
I kid you not; when I first got my 5D I laughed when I finally recognized the sound of the 5D firing.
Program Shift means you can spin a dial to select alternate sets of apertures and shutter speeds in Program.
Use an RS-80N3 (a button on a 2.6' (80cm) cord for $50), or the TC-80N3, which is the same thing, but with a timer and LCD clock display for $135. Sorry, there's no normal cable release for a $2 conventional cable release, and no integral infrared remote like the Nikon D40.
There is no hard mirror lockup, nor does any other digital camera of which I know have one. If you use one of those $100 electronic releases, set the custom function but not the self timer. Smarter photographers who often use this mode save it as a camera preset, the C position on the mode dial, explained next. At 10 F (-10C), it works fine, but I've not had it out for more than 30 minutes at that temperature.
I shoot not in the default FINE JPG (the quarter circle and L), but prefer the great looking, smaller file size NORMAL JPG (The Stair-step and L). If you want, you can pay Canon $100 to add a lock button in the middle of your mode dial so that the dial doesn't move unintentionally. Its light weight and ultra-high technical performance have made it the first choice for outdoor and landscape digital shooters who have to carry it all day. Not only does the technical performance of the Canon 5D Mark II far exceed Nikon's D700, D3 and D3s full-frame cameras, the 5D Mark II weighs much less than any of them! Sure, the Nikon D700 or D3X feels much tougher when you're playing with it indoors, but when you have to carry it around your neck all day, the more plasticy 5D Mark II excels.
The 5D Mark II is also the world's best camera for when you're shooting more than one kind of thing. Sure, if all I shot were sports, news or action, the Nikon D3s is a much faster, tougher professional camera with better low-light AF in the corners for twice the price, and if all I did was shoot in a studio all day the Nikon D3, D3s or D3x are better because they allow easy in-camera 4:5 cropping, and if all I did was shoot in very low light even the D700 has better autofocus when using the side AF sensors, and if just want family pictures, the D40 weighs even less, but when I want take one camera to do the work of all these at the same time, the Canon 5D Mark II is unbeaten. The 5D Mark II is more than fast enough for action shots of family, it doesn't weigh much, and it has unbeaten technical full-frame performance. No Nikon at anything less than three times the price comes close to the high technical image performance of the 5D Mark II.
The reason the 5D Mark II is so flexible is because it has three programmable Total Recall positions on its top mode dial: C1, C2 and C3.
Each easily can be programmed to recall everything about how you have your camera set: sharpening, color, saturation (and every setting for every one of the nine presets in the Picture Controls menu), self timers, LCD brightness, time-out settings, autofocus settings (modes and sensors selected), P Tv Av M exposure modes, resolution, file format(s), advance, metering, exposure compensation(s), white balance, WB tweaks, how many files the playback jumps when you move the top dial, everything in every menu, everything. If you reset a few things to something screwy and want to return to your preset preset, simply turn the knob away and back to the C setting you desire, and it's all as you preset it. I set my C1 position for general high-resolution photos in any light with one-shot AF, highlight optimization, LARGE JPG, auto ISO, high saturation, A5 tweaked AWB and more. If you're following me, one click gets me my entire slew of settings in an instant to catch nature or to catch family. Its accurate: it matches my calibrated Apple monitor so I can make critical tone and color evaluations on it. The 5D Mark II can be set so that one tap of the SET button wakes up a control screen on the rear LCD, from which we can control everything with the dial, joystick and SET button. All these great ergonomic items might make me forget what most people find exciting: the incredible resolution of the 5D Mark II, unbeaten in any digital camera at less than three times its price.
The digits at the bottom are smaller and thinner than my taste, I prefer the fatter, brighter ones in Nikons. The finder shows a multitude of things, including ISO and the ISO chosen by Auto ISO, but one item curiously absent is ISO when you are attempting to set it. AF works great under almost all conditions, except light so dim that I can't read, under which condition it gets slower.
There is a simplicity to Canon's 9-point AF system lost on Nikon users: the thumb controller has 9 positions, so you can select any AF point in just one push. Good news: the files record this setting in the EXIF, and the 5D Mark II displays the set values on playback. Likewise, the 5D Mark II can fly through images on playback at amazing speed, in a completely better realm than the klunky LEICA M9. If anything, the 3.9FPS rate is too fast, and I wish the 5D Mark II had a menu setting to give a Cs rate of about 3 FPS. Auto ISO isn't programmable or changable, but it's also much smarter than the Auto ISO in Nikons.
In the 5D Mark II, Auto ISO knows your lens focal length, and automatically varies the lowest shutter speed accordingly.
Since Canon's Auto ISO can't be altered, it's useless for shooting action with wide and normal lenses. Canon's Auto ISO still isn't smart enough to know if you have Image Stabilization switched ON or OFF.
Auto ISO works even with Highlight Tone Priority ON, although of course it starts at ISO 200 instead of ISO 100. By inefficient, I mean that too often my flash runs out of power, or takes longer to recycle, than it would have if the 5D Mark II had a faster flash sync.
The trick high-speed sync modes are just gimmicks, and are manual-exposure, and waste even more flash power. As mentioned at the top, the bright, sharp and contrasty anti-reflection-coated LCD is excellent. If you crank it up, it's blinding and easy to see in daylight, and you can turn it down when shooting outdoors at night, so you don't accidentally underexpose. The automatic brightness feature drives me crazy, because it dims the screen as I turn to put the camera in my shadow. I put this item in my MY MENU menu so I can change it for direct sunlight or total darkness. With the Quick Control screens, the top LCD is merely vestigial for setting the camera, but I find it annoying that when the camera is asleep, it is completely blank. I prefer the top LCDs of Nikons which usually show basic settings or shots left, even when asleep.
Few lenses are as good as the 5D Mark II, so most of the time you'll be seeing limitations in your lenses more so than limitations of the 5D Mark II. I tend to photograph most things at +3 saturation, and people at +2 saturation, in the Standard Picture Style. At +3 saturation, things lit by warm evening sunlight tend to take off and get even more vivid, sort of like Velvia, but they shoot more towards a vivid yellow than go redder. I'm especially impressed at how good the 5D Mark II usually looks at my default Auto settings, even in poor light.
I'm impressed at how great her baby skin looks, and the colors of her clothes are bright, too, and this is exactly as they came out of the camera in JPG — no raw whacking needed.
Even better, when the auto settings don't give good results, it's easy to tweak the white balance, contrast and saturation to get what I want, fast, even under mixed artificial light, by looking at the LCD and seasoning to taste. I'm impressed at how easily I can pull good results out of horrible mixed lighting conditions.
This night shot (the dot in the sky is a planet) was made at my default settings in full auto: point and shoot. If you split pixels, you will be wanting to shoot Canon's fixed (prime) lenses and leave your zooms at home. The 5D Mark II is so good that it has more resolution than most of Canon's medium and wide zooms, especially if you worry about the corners. Out-of-the-camera JPGs have the usual cartoonish Canon look: edges are sharp, but textures are softer. As hoped, lower resolution files get sharper because Bayer Interpolation is no longer needed. This is much better than Nikon, whose images don't get any sharper at 100% when set to smaller resolution like MEDIUM and SMALL. See Canon 5D Mark II Comparisons for actual examples and comparisons to other cameras at high ISOs. This shot out an airplane window was made at my default settings in full auto: point and shoot. I get great results with 30 second exposures, even without using the time-wasting Long Exposure NR mode. Unlike every current Nikon DSLR, the 5D Mark II has no ability to correct lateral color fringes.
It rarely makes any difference, however because it forces the 5D Mark II to shoot at at least ISO 200, often shadow noise is increased visibly compared to ISO 100 or ISO 50. The rear LCD can be matted with a semi-transparent border to match the aspect ratio you've chosen. Tweakers managed to break the first version of the 5D Mark II and get some blacker pixels on the edges of blown-out highlights.
Canon fixed this with a firmware update about a week after this was discovered way back in 2008. The 5D Mark II becomes uncomfortable after hours of shooting as pressure points make themselves obvious. The grip is also too small; my fingertips are always hitting the front of the body as they wrap around the grip. The 5D Mark II's menu system is much better designed than Nikon's outdated, overgrown one-dimensional system.
On the 5D Mark II, you use the thumb button (or top dial) to select which of several menus you want horizontally, and then all those menu choices fit on the screen. Thus often when you draw your camera to fire, you'll discover that it's either turned itself off, or more common, has disabled the rear control dial.
Like all Canon cameras, a firmware defect still forces us to have to hit PLAY before we can zoom a just-shot image, or swap to other images when an image pops up immediately after we've shot it. Worse, the PLAY button is on the other side of the camera, so you need a second hand to hit it. The Canon Digital Rebel T1i does this better: at least it has its play button where you can hit it with your shooting hand, even if you still have to hit it to do anything with an image just shot.
Nikons don't play this game with us; when an image pops onto a Nikon LCD after shooting it, you can zoom, scroll and select other images without ever having to press PLAY. The little battery icon has more than enough segments to tell you what's going on, even in the viewfinder.
It charges very quickly, not more than a couple of hours for a totally dead battery, and it has a superb two-color light that blinks orange to tell you the percentage of charge, and turns green when full.
The one at the top is the one in the camera, and the others are what you've registered and used before, along with their charge states when you removed them. The 5D Mark II is so smart that it knows that shots made at higher ISO will have larger JPG file sizes due to the additional noise, and you'll see the shots remaining count drop as you increase the ISO. The 5D Mark II is fairly stupid when it comes to sticking a card in it shot on another cameras. Poke in a card that's been shot on Nikon, and the 5D Mark II starts recording into the last Nikon folder, numbering its files just after the last Nikon shot! If the 5D Mark II were smarter, it would create a new folder for itself, and number from wherever it last left off.

For instance, I took a card out of my well-worn Nikon D3 and popped it into a brand-new 5D Mark II. I had to format the card, make one shot, put the card in my Mac, renumber the one file back to IMG_0001.JPG, and stick it back in the 5D Mark II to get the 5D Mark II back on track.
I then have to rotate the actual pixels in iView's lossless rotate, so that the images read correctly in every possible application.
The 5D Mark II comes one step closer to correct: it's the first camera I've seen that rotates its embedded thumbnails automatically. Please, Canon, let our cameras allow us to zoom and swap images right after we take our pictures, without requiring us to press the PLAY button first. The menu option to assign the SET button to be a PLAY button isn't acceptable, because I program my SET button to access the Quick COntrol panel. It constantly turns off my 5D Mark II, or at least disables my command dial, as I carry the 5D Mark II around my neck, so almost every time I draw it to my eye, I have to take my camera away from my eye and fiddle with the switch. Nikon does this right: their power switches are concentric to the shutter button so they never get knocked, and they are easy to turn by feel with your camera as you're shooting. Canon needs either to move the switch, or add a clever interlock so it never moves by itself. The Canon 5D Mark II is the world's best DSLR for nature and landscape shooting because its technical performance is as good or better than competitive cameras that cost up to three times as much, and because it weighs so much less than other full-frame DSLRs.
When you're in the woods all day, even if the performance was merely as good, the lower weight means you'll cover more ground and have more fun, which begets better landscape and nature pictures. The Canon 5D Mark II is the world's best DSLR when you're shooting more than one kind of thing at a time. If I'm shooting one thing like sports all day, or shooting in my studio all day, sure, I'd rather shoot a Nikon D3s that weighs and costs twice as much, and if I'm going on vacation without my family I'd rather take a tiny Canon S90 instead, but if I'm going on vacation with my family and want to do some serious shooting at the same time, the Canon 5D Mark II is the best. The 5D Mark II just became the world's best vacation camera, if you have to deal with action, like kids, on the same trip so that a compact camera won't do. The Canon 5D Mark II offers the highest possible technical image quality in the smallest SLR package available. The Canon 5D Mark II is the most practical, and rightfully the most popular digital camera with landscape photographers today.
The 5D excels not just in size, weight, price and technical quality, but also by having superb ergonomics, making it easy to get shots fast, before they go away.
If you want a bargain and don't appreciate the huge LCD and exquisite ergonomics of the 5D Mark II, the old Canon 5D has much the same technical quality, with less noise and lower resolution, but with an awful LCD and pretty crummy ergonomics. As this page is copyrighted and formally registered, it is unlawful to make copies, especially in the form of printouts for personal use.
The Canon EOS-5D Mark II raises the standards of the entire EOS line, as it is the first EOS digital SLR camera to offer both still and video capture. Its upgrades are welcome, because though the Canon 5D leads the race for overall image quality for many photographers, it lags behind in a few key areas, most of which improve with the 5D Mark II. Canon also takes on the Nikon D3 and D700 with this new high-resolution sensor, as the 5D Mark II also offers an expanded ISO range from 50 to 25,600. Canon has also included the new DIGIC 4 processor, capable of handling the extremely large 14-bit RAW images at the new high speed of 3.9 frames per second. The Canon 5D Mark II is quite a camera, one that seems to trump the other two full-frame digital SLR cameras in this price range. Called a Premium digital SLR at its introduction, the original Canon EOS 5D has aged significantly over the last three years. Also 4,080 x 3,744 and 2,784 x 1,856 pixels in JPG, and 3,861 x 2,574 and 2,784 x 1,856 in raw.
If you use Highlight Optimization, ISO starts at a minimum of ISO 200 in manual and auto ISO setting. White Balance is trimmable in 9 steps each towards amber or blue and towards green or magenta. Using a fast (UDMA) card, it's essentially unlimited in JPG, since the 5D Mark II can spit images out to your card faster than it can shoot them.
The buffer is only 13 or 14 deep for raw, and if you shoot raw + a LARGE FINE JPG, only 8 deep.
The file sizes vary with subject detail, and Canon says 4GB will get you about 12 minutes in HD or 24 minutes of regular definition.
If you have less detail in your subject, you can run as long as 29 minutes and 59 seconds if you can do it without hitting 4GB first. I have no idea of the maximum capacity rating; I use a Lexar 600x 32GB CF card, and it holds 10,000 large JPGS!
The Canon EOS 5D Mark III should be available by the end of March for a body-only retail price of $3,499.00. The EOS 5D Mark III inherits many features from Canon’s recently announced flagship DSLR, the EOS-1D X, including a DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor and a high-performance 61-point High Density Reticular AF array with up to 41 cross-type points and five dual cross-type points available, depending on the lens in use.
The EOS 5D Mark II blazed the trail for EOS cameras and Canon to enter the professional video and cinema markets, paving the way for Canon’s recent introduction of the Cinema EOS system of cameras and lenses.
The new full-frame CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5+ processor have enhanced the camera’s image processing performance over the 5D Mark II, significantly reducing moire and color artifacts in scenes with horizontal lines.  The video footage produced will exhibit less moire than seen in previous DSLR models, resulting in a significant improvement in HD video quality. The Canon EOS 5D Mark III also includes manual audio level control with 64 levels, adjustable both before and during movie recording. With its completely new 22.3-megapixel full-frame Canon CMOS image sensor, the EOS 5D Mark III becomes the highest resolution Canon Digital SLR released to date. The low-light capability of the EOS 5D Mark III is evident in its incredible ISO range and image quality in poor lighting conditions. The new 5D Mark III is also equipped with Canon’s EOS Integrated Cleaning System, featuring a Self Cleaning Sensor Unit with a fluorine coating that repels dust and dirt particles. For still photographers, Canon has included its new 61-point High Density Reticular AF System, originally introduced with the top-of-the-line EOS-1D X professional camera. All AF functions now have their own menu tab for quick and easy access (formerly AF custom functions in previous EOS models).  A new AF Configuration Tool allows for customized setting of tracking sensitivity, the acceleration and deceleration of tracking subjects, and AF point auto switching, all of which are easily accessed and adjusted via the new AF menu tab.
The EOS 5D Mark III uses the same high-performance AI Servo III AF tracking algorithm as the flagship EOS-1D X professional DSLR. Complementing the EOS 5D Mark III camera’s 61-point AF system is Canon’s 63-zone iFCL dual layer metering system.
The EOS 5D Mark III camera features a built-in HDR mode, merging three images at various exposure levels into a single image, in-camera, for stunning photographs of landscapes and architecture with enhanced tonal gradation beyond the range of the naked eye. The EOS 5D Mark III is the second EOS Digital SLR after the EOS-1D X to feature Multiple Exposure capabilities with the ability to combine up to nine individual images into a single composite image, with no need for post-processing in a computer. A new feature seen for the first time in the EOS System on the 5D Mark III is Comparative Playback allowing photographers to display two images side by side on the camera’s 3.2-inch LCD screen. The EOS 5D Mark III features a rugged camera body with magnesium alloy body covers and a stainless steel lens mount. The EOS 5D Mark III incorporates Silent shooting modes, available for low-speed continuous shooting as well as single exposures. The EOS 5D Mark III features a 3.2-inch Clear View II LCD screen with 1,040,000 dot resolution. Battery Grip BG-E11 is an optional accessory for the EOS 5D Mark III that accepts one or two LP-E6 lithium-ion battery packs or a set of six AA-size batteries. The Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR camera is expected to be available at the end of March 2012 and will be sold in a body-only configuration at an estimated retail price of $3,499.00.
The EOS 5D Mark III requires a firmware upgrade to be compatible with the GPS Receiver GP-E2, which will be available soon. Mike Perlman grew up in Nintendo Land and developed a relationship with all things electronic and nerdy early on in his childhood career. The 5D doesn't handle as fast as a Nikon and isn't built anywhere near as tough as a pro Nikon, but if your subject holds still and you aren't shooting in the rain, the 5D easily can exceed the technical quality of anything from Nikon. I love it so much that I've been so busy shooting with it these past 18 months instead of writing about it. I love its vivid color (when set to my standard of +3 saturation) and its pure image quality. Of course none of this matters unless you get the far more important basics of lighting and composition out of the way first, and then it only matters if you print large and look too closely, but for those of you who care, just get a 5D. It has no Auto ISO, so I have to jack the ISO around manually for each shot, although I can do it without removing my eye from the finder. My D200 fits like a glove, while my fingers hurt after holding the 5D for any length of time.
For instance, I have to use a second hand to hit the depth-of-field preview since its on the wrong side. I hear that the latest 5Ds, as of at least December 2007, have an improved LCD, with serial numbers beginning with 2. Forget manual focus lenses with an adapter; there is no exposure metering and it just gets silly. I find the accuracy and consistency of AF is better than it is on my Rebel XTi, important if you use fast lenses. There is also no ISO 64 or ISO 80, which is good since they'd just get in the way along with all the other third stops.
Set everything about the camera's state by MENU > Register Camera Settings, and recall them at the C on the top left dial. This means if you have a single-pixel red pip of a flower on a green background, that the redness (but not sharpness) is smeared a bit.
Of course if I use a good lens, my 15mm Canon fisheye on the 5D is the best fisheye system I've ever used, and works spectacularly well for stretching back out in DxO software. The first is with thee 16-35 L II, the middle two are with my inexpensive 17-40mm L, the last and sharpest one is with the extraordinarily sharp 100mm Macro. These files are the most compressed (normal, or stairstep icon) Large JPG direct from my 5D, no raw, no Photoshop, no nothing.
Since each of these 6MB JPGs take as much room as 100 of my other web pages, I'd like to, but won't post any better, newer ones since they are such data hogs as the internet goes. Not only is it clean, but more importantly, its sharper since the 5D doesn't need to apply as much sharpness and texture-robbing noise reduction. The buttons, especially the depth-of-field preview, is on the wrong side, so I need a second hand to use it. I prefer other cameras that return to the last viewed image, unless of course you make a new shot or turn off the camera, for which every camera shows the most recent shot. Like almost all modern cameras, the numbers adjust their brightness automatically to conditions.
Then set the self timer by pressing the DRIVE - ISO button and spinning the top front command dial. Tap the shutter, the mirror flips up, the timer counts down on the top LCD, and the 5D makes the exposure. I prefer to pull out my SanDisk Extreme IV card and suck it out instantly with SanDisk's special reader.
Shot on and read with the Extreme IV cards and reader, 800 MB should transfer in 34 seconds, not seven minutes. If you want the very best possible image quality in any digital camera costing less than $8,000, go get a 5D today. If you shoot landscapes digitally while backpacking, get the 5D regardless of your budget, since the 5D is the lightest full-frame digital camera. I enjoy carrying the 5D Mark II all day and night, but I'd be looking forward to dropping the metal D700 or D3s back at the hotel as soon as I could at the end of a day. If I'm shooting in Yosemite Valley, and suddenly my kids do something cute, I can keep my eye on the finder as I turn the camera, and in one click of the mode dial by feel, I've reset everything about the 5D Mark II to my own preset settings for for kid's action pictures, as opposed to the settings I was using a second before for grand landscapes. For nature and landscapes, the 5D Mark II is way better than anything from Nikon at even three times the price, and even if someone gave me an $8,000 Nikon D3X, it's so heavy that I wouldn't want to carry it all day out in the woods.
The 5D Mark II instantly changes all of its settings as you click from one C setting to the other. I use one Nikon for my family pictures, and a second in my studio because Nikon's settings banks don't recall everything, and they take about twelve button pushes to recall those memory bank settings each time.
Maybe you'd use one setting for night shots, since the 5D Mark II also recalls the LCD brightness and long-exposure NR settings. The illustration above can't do it justice, because the 5D Mark II's LCD has a much higher resolution and much more brightness than the computer on which you're seeing this image. Don't turn it up that far all the time since it will blind you indoors, but when you need it, it screams.
This just made obsolete the top-panel LCD and those tiny little setting buttons, and no more menus for setting shot-to shot parameters.
Hit SET to call it up, highlight what you want to change with the thumb button, and spin the big dial to change the setting. Faster lenses are no brighter, and you can't see the actual narrower depth of field of faster lenses. To set ISO (or preview the selected Auto ISO), sadly you have to take your eye from the finder and look at the back or top of the camera. Push the top right button on the back of the 5D Mark II; no menus required for any of this. It flies along at close to 4FPS at full resolution, and never gets hung-up computing or storing data.
Since the 5D Mark II only runs at Ch, I often fire two shots when I really only wanted one. Instead of staying at the lowest ISO until the slowest shutter speed is hit as does Nikon, Canon's Auto ISO starts ramping up the ISO before the shutter speeds start approaching the slow limit.
If your flash hasn't yet recycled (no ready light), it will seamlessly shoot exposing for ambient light, and the instant the flash comes up, will shoot based on the flash. I used an old 220EX for fill-flash, and occasionally as the key light, and automatic exposures were usually quite good. I don't notice any difference between the back of my camera and my calibrated Apple monitor.
I lessen this by shooting at ISO 50 and turning off High ISO NR, which lessens the softening of textures enclosed by edges.
I usually shoot set down to 11MP (Medium) and get images much sharper than from 12MP (native) cameras, like the Nikon full-frame cameras.
It's only about as good as Nikon's DX (small-format) D300 with it's Adaptive Dynamic Range turned on.
With the correction turned on, which it is by default, the frame is evenly lit, instead of highlighted in the center. You can choose the Picture Style set for Live View to adjust sharpness, contrast, color saturation and white balance. It's not that obvious as you look at each camera, but Nikons are sculpted to fit and feel perfect, while the 5D Mark II looks prettier, but its squarer surfaces don't fit or feel as good. I have to pull-in my big American fingers and thumb to hit buttons, unlike a Nikon F5, which is designed for adult hands. To go down the list, use the rear dial or the little thumb button, and hit SET to play with them.

If you carry the 5D Mark II around your neck with a strap, it will get knocked by your belt. They'll be as much as 8 MB if you've filled the frame with sharp detail, and 3 MB or less if much of the image is blank sky or clouds. These files will be larger, but since I can't see any difference, I shoot in NORMAL and save hard drive and CF space.
It won't matter when you print, but if you use your images as many places as I do, you must make sure that they don't come out crooked on anyone's computer or TV. I still have to rotate the actual JPGs, and when I do, iView dutifully rotates the embedded thumbnails back to crooked. Even ISOs too obscene to display in the viewfinder, like H1 and H2, read as ISO 12,800 and ISO 25,600 in iView. This slows us down, and makes it very hard to shoot with one-hand since the PLAY button demands a second hand. Sadly, it is already fairly stiff (much stiffer than Nikon's), but its defective placement right on the bottom edge of the camera ensures that it always gets knocked. I've got some more whining under What Still Sucks about the Canon 5D Mark II, but they are just my usual grumbling.
Even if you spend three times as much for the even smaller LEICA M9 with similar resolution, the Canon 5D Mark II's colors are much better. Nikon has nothing close to its multiple Total Recall C1, C2 and C3 settings, so I can photograph precise landscapes on one setting, active kids on another an instant later, and still have a third setting for whatever else I might shoot that day. Only the LEICA M9 offers this level of performance in a smaller package, but the M9's colors look awful by comparison. However, if $1,250 is your budget and you're only shooting one kind of subject at a time, a used old Canon 5D is also a very good idea. This firmware makes the 5D Mark II a totally different and better camera from the original v1 firmware. If you wish to make a printout for personal use, you are granted one-time permission only if you PayPal me $5.00 per printout or part thereof.
The Canon 5D Mark II also includes most of the hardware and software upgrades that the company introduced on the Canon 50D. Sony's latest digital SLR, the A900, raised expectations for high-end digital SLR performance, at least in terms of resolution, and the Canon EOS 5D Mark II indeed outperforms that camera in terms of its noise-to-detail ratio at high ISO.
While the former two cameras achieve 100 to 25,600 expanded, they do it at 12.1 megapixels. The 5D Mark II also shares the Live View features found on the 50D, complete with contrast-detect autofocus and silent shutter modes. That's right, this high-end digital SLR can capture movies at 1920 x 1080 pixels at 30 frames per second.
Indeed, the fact that its expected body-only pricing will be $2,699, $300 less than the Sony A900 and Nikon D700, makes the 5D Mark II that much more appealing.
Nevertheless, it's still regarded by many as the best image-maker on the market in its class, with a remarkably smooth tone curve. The Mark III also has a new 61-point High Density Reticular AF System with the AI Servo III AF tracking algorithm, a feature shared with the Canon EOS 1D X. The enhanced processing power enables fast continuous shooting of up to six fps, exceeding the speed of the EOS 5D Mark II model by more than 50 percent, and with improved weather resistance the EOS 5D Mark III is a serious option for sports and wildlife photographers.
Now, the EOS 5D Mark III continues Canon’s commitment to these new markets with new and requested features from cinematographers, television production professionals and independent filmmakers. Like the EOS-1D X, the 5D Mark III also includes two methods of SMPTE-compliant timecode embedding, Rec Run and Free Run, allowing video footage from multiple cameras and separate audio recordings to be synced together in post production. Accommodating documentary filmmakers, and event videographers using EOS DSLR cameras, the 5D Mark III includes the ability to record video continuously up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds across multiple 4GB files.  Long-form filmmakers will enjoy the camera’s automatic file splitting in combination with the extended memory capacity offered by dual card slots. There is also an automatic audio level setting, or sound recording can be turned off entirely. It is eminently suitable for a wide variety of assignments including weddings and portraits, nature and wildlife, travel and landscapes as well as commercial and industrial photography.
Adjustable from ISO 100 to 25,600 within its standard range, the new model also offers a low ISO 50 setting for studio and landscape photography and two extended ISO settings of 51,200 and 102,400, well suited for law enforcement, government or forensic field applications. These new features include six fps continuous shooting, HDR and Multiple Exposure modes, in-camera RAW processing, a comparative playback function, Scene Intelligent Auto mode, two forms of movie compression, and support for high-speed UDMA 7 Compact Flash memory cards.
These settings are particularly useful to wedding photographers for candid photos that do not require the EOS 5D Mark III’s 22 megapixel full resolution, because they take up less space on the memory cards and speed up post-processing without losing the critical benefits of RAW image data, such as highlight and shadow control as well as white balance adjustment. A significant advancement over previous 5D-series AF systems, the new 61-Point High Density Reticular AF included in the EOS 5D Mark III is the most sophisticated SLR AF system Canon has ever released. A built-in Feature Guide advises photographers on which settings to use according to subject matter. This new feature works together with the 61-point High Density Reticular AF system to provide superb tracking performance that blends very well with the new camera’s 6 frames-per-second high-speed continuous shooting capabilities. The ‘FCL’ stands for ‘Focus, Color and Luminance,’ and references the fact that the metering system not only measures color and luminance data, but also analyzes the data provided by each point of the AF system. Four different compositing methods are provided for maximum creative control, including Additive, Average, Bright and Dark.
The images can be displayed with a histogram to check exposure levels, or magnified to check for focus or facial expressions. The new camera also has dust- and moisture-resistant design with improved gaskets and seals. Battery life is estimated at 950 exposures at normal temperatures, an improvement of 100 exposures more than the EOS 5D Mark II. Three recording methods are supported: Record the same data to both cards, record different file sizes or types to each card, or automatically switch to the second card when the first card is full. The WFT-E7A connects to the camera through its USB port and includes a built-in gigabit Ethernet connection, time syncing for multiple cameras on the same network, FTP mode, EOS Utility mode, WFT Server mode and Media Server mode. This new grip has a multicontroller and a multifunction (M.Fn) button together a with a full set of grip controls for easy operation when shooting portraits or other vertical format photos. Compatible with all EOS Digital SLRs, this new model eliminates the need for accessory radio slave units and their inherent limitations.
Providing full support of Canon’s new radio-based wireless flash technology, the new ST-E3-RT can control up to five groups of flashes, up to 98.4 feet (30m) from the camera. Therefore, be sure to use GPS in accordance with the laws and regulations of your country or region. Unlike pro cameras, it's light enough to want to take in your backpack everywhere to bring back extraordinary images. When printed big (much bigger than 12 x 18") its image quality is better than even my Nikon D3, a news and sports camera. Fall 2007 colors are here, and my 5D is the best I've got before the leaves blow off the trees.
It's easy to shoot my Nikons with one hand, but difficult and painful to try to do the same with my 5D.
Colors desaturate as they get brighter on the LCD, even though the actual recorded image is fine. On playback, spinning the knob to select among images can start working like a rubber band: spin the knob and it take a while for the 5D to catch up.
When I use program shift I usually use it when I'm using ultrawide lenses and want smaller apertures, so I prefer Program Shift to work like my Nikons and stay shifted until I change modes or turn off the camera's power switch. You can do the same thing with the camera's shutter release button if you don't have a $100 remote cord, but since the second press also would be on the camera, that would defeat the purpose. For instance, a shot of a blank sky might be a 500kB JPG, while a shot of a forest showing with every single leaf might be 6MB. Sure, I'll bet a Canon 5D Mk II is annonced around the end of August 2008, but you can't shoot with that today, and I'l bet you a Mk II will cost $2,700. With the 5D Mark II, I enjoy carrying it everywhere, and thus get more great pictures because it's with me, and not left at home. If you set something screwy for one shot, don't worry: after the camera times-out in about a minute (also selectable in a menu), when you wake it for the next shot, it's back where you preset it. Maybe you'd set one for motorsports at a high ISO, Tv exposure mode and no Image Review. This is which is why it's so wildly popular with digital nature and landscape shooters, who are usually shooting only one thing at a time. For instance, if you have the left sensor selected and want the right sensor, just click right. Unlike the 51 AF sensors with real facial recognition in Nikons, the all-sensor position of the 5D Mark II isn't very smart.
Picture Control was standard, except for my personal default of +3 saturation, and highlight and shadow tweaks were on. Post a camera-original JPG online, and it usually reads crooked in a browser, for instance. There are no perfect cameras, except for the discontinued Mamiya 6 and today's Mamiya 7, and possibly the LEICA M3. The closet thing from Nikon is the hulking D3X, which weighs twice as much and costs triple the 5D Mark II.
The original Canon 5D still has technical performance better than Nikon's newest D700 and D3s. We'd have expected them to have this in the 50D simply to go up against Nikon's D90, which can do 720p video, but that'll have to wait until the next version, perhaps. Indeed, I said that images from the EOS 5D had an intangible quality that was difficult to quantify.
6fps continuous shooting and Multiple Exposure modes make their way onto the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, and the camera will offer an HDR mode with five different image effect settings.
Building upon the trailblazing success of the EOS 5D Mark II, the EOS 5D Mark III also incorporates enhanced video features for professionals in the fields of cinematography, television production and documentary filmmaking, including better noise reduction, longer recording times and a built-in headphone jack for audio monitoring.
With a gapless microlens design, a new photodiode structure and improved on-chip noise reduction, the new sensor achieves higher sensitivity and lower noise levels for both RAW image data as well as in-camera JPEGs and EOS Movies compared to the 5D Mark II. M-RAW and S-RAW also preserve the full field of view rather than cropping the image or resorting to JPEG mode to reduce resolution.
Canon’s iFCL metering keeps exposure levels stable from shot to shot, even as the light source changes.
Compositing results can be viewed in real time on the camera’s LCD monitor, and there is a one-step Undo command that allows photographers to delete an image and try again if desired. For better file management especially when working with multiple cameras, the new model also supports custom file names. The camera’s optical viewfinder has been upgraded to approximately 100 percent coverage, and it features an Intelligent Viewfinder display with an optional grid on demand. With this new WFT model, professionals can synchronize clocks on multiple cameras and use the unit to support linked shooting when utilizing multiple cameras.  In addition, Bluetooth-compatible equipment can be easily linked to the device as well. The BG-E11 is made from sturdy magnesium alloy and has the same degree of weather resistance as the EOS 5D Mark III.
Speedlite 600EX-RT features Master-Slave two-way transmission, letting the photographer control the Speedlite settings directly from the “Master” camera. The remote shutter release capability enables photographers to either fire a single camera remotely (by pressing a button on the ST-E3-RT), or to fire up to 15 EOS cameras with Canon’s Linked Shooting feature. The Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7A is scheduled to be available by the end of April 2012 at an estimated retail price of $849.99.
This free website's biggest source of support is when you use this link to them at eBay, or any of these links, when you get anything, regardless of where you live. It's as if the video circuitry is clipping the highlights of each channel before they get to the LCD; I'll have to experiment - but whatever the reason, it's much worse than the Canon point and shoots! I set that for use in my studio under strobes, so it recalls my manual white balance for my strobes, the ISO and contrast and exposure and everything, every time.
This has never affected a real picture, but you'll see it if you look for it at 100% with other deliberate test images (Try a wide shot of a magenta bougainvillea). Never again will you make the first shot of the day at ISO 12,800 and 2,500K WB from the night before. The old 5D's images are spectacular, its just that the old 5D is no fun to use with its tiny, dim and off-color LCD. Canon will also offer a kit that includes a 24-105mm Canon L lens for a price tag of $3,499. Remember, we only see and can control nine of them; the other six in red below are invisible to us.
The EOS 5D Mark III is Canon’s answer to hundreds of thousands of advanced amateurs and emerging professionals looking for a compact, high-quality camera system to help them achieve their artistic vision, whether it be through still or video imagery.
Sound can be recorded either through the internal monaural microphone or via an optional external microphone through the stereo mic input. The camera’s autofocus information is also used to help determine which area of the scene is of greatest importance in determining exposure. The EOS 5D Mark III camera’s Multiple Exposure mode even allows photographers to specify a previously captured RAW image as the starting point for a new Multiple Exposure composite image, or shoot continuously when photographing moving subjects. The EOS 5D Mark III’s newly developed shutter unit has a durability rating of 150,000 exposures, and shutter release lag time has been reduced to 59 milliseconds, making the shutter button very responsive. There is also a new image rating feature that lets photographers rank their photos from 1 to 5 stars for quick editing.
The EOS 5D Mark III also has a built-in Dual Axis Electronic Level that can be displayed on both the LCD screen and the optical viewfinder. Making it easy to control and adjust, all of the Speedlite Transmitter features are accessible through the Flash control menu of the EOS-1D X and EOS 5D Mark III cameras.
As a signal is received from GPS satellites, take sufficient measures when using in locations where the use of electronics is regulated. The Mark III’s ISO range has been boosted to an obscene 102,400 max, hinting at an improved low light sensitivity.
The EOS 5D Mark III introduction coincides with Canon’s 25th anniversary celebration of the EOS camera system. Notably, the EOS 5D Mark III is the first EOS Digital SLR to feature a built-in headphone jack for real-time audio monitoring during video capture. An eight-channel readout doubles the speed of image data throughput from the sensor to the DIGIC 5+ processor, resulting in better video image quality as well as six fps for still photos. Canon’s locking mode dial is standard on the new model and a new custom function allows photographers to shut off other dials to prevent inadvertent operation.
I use my LCD to set color and exposure as I shoot which gives me printer-perfect JPGs directly out of my 5D without needing to jerk around in RAW, so I wish the LCD was up to it.
Canon’s  award-winning EOS system first debuted in March of 1987 with the introduction of the EOS 650 SLR camera and three EF lenses. Other innovations of the new 61-point High Density Reticular AF include expanded AF coverage area, superior focusing precision and low-light sensitivity to EV -2, and greater low-contrast subject detection capability compared to earlier EOS AF systems.

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