Well, the Canon EOS 5D MkII is here. It's been a while but it's been worth the wait. The EOS 5D MkII is bursting with new features including a 21.1MP full frame sensor, HD movies, ISO 25,600, 3.9fps, a high resolution LCD, a 150,000 cycle shutter and the even better news is that the price of the Canon EOS 5D MkII is $2700, lower than Nikon's $3000 for the 12MP D700 and Sony's $3000 for the 24MP A900
The look of the camera is quite familiar. Like the original EOS 5D, the new Canon EOS 5D MkII doesn't have a pop-up flash. The command dial and buttons on the top of the camera are quite similar to the old 5D. The back of the Canon EOS 5D MkII revels some of the new features as shown below. There's a small speaker/microphone just to the right of the eyepiece for example, but otherwise it's very familiar to EOS 5D users:
One feature of note is the use of the new LP-E6 battery pack. Although similar in size and shape to the familiar BP-511/512 it's not interchangeable. You can't use a BP-511/512 in the new Canon EOS 5D MkII and you can't use the new LP-E6 in earlier EOS bodies which use the BP-511/512. The new lithium-ion LP-E6 battery pack is approximately 30% more powerful than the previous BP-511A.
One feature missing on the Canon EOS 5d MkII (and not expected of course) is the ability to shoot in a crop sensor mode with EF-S lenses, as Nikon's D700 and Sony's A900 can do with their APS-C coverage lenses. As I said, this isn't unexpected due to the design of the EF-S lens mount (which in retrospect doesn't seem like it gained much for Canon), so if you have EF-S lenses and want to upgrade to the Canon EOS 5D MkII, you won't be able to use them. If you use 3rd party APS-C coverage EOS compatible lenses, you can shoot, but you'll have to do your own cropping!
The Canon EOS 5D MkII is expected to be available by the end of November. You may be able pre-order it from the stores listed below via the links provided (though Amazon seem to have currently stopped taking pre-orders). They won't charge your credit card until it actually ships. Amazon, Adorama and J&R offer free shipping. Though both Adorama, J&R and Amazon were originally taking pre-orders, as of right now (October 28th 2008) only B&H are still accepting pre-orders. I assume that Amazon, J&R and Adorama have so many on pre-order that they're hesitant to take more, so it looks like B&H may be your best bet. They're probably the largest photo retailer and so may get allocated more cameras. Availability is still being quoted as late November or early December 2008.
This article will be updated as more information comes to light, so check back for images and updates. I wanted to publish this ASAP since I know a lot of readers have been waiting for the details of the Canon EOS 5D MkII for a long time!
LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., September 17, 2008 Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, today introduced the EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera, the long-awaited successor to Canon's highly popular EOS 5D, introduced in 2005. Building upon the qualities that made the EOS 5D camera so successful, Canon has coupled the creative power of a full-frame CMOS sensor in a relatively compact and affordable camera body, together with groundbreaking HD video capture that opens the door to a much wider range of imaging possibilities for photographers. Along with the ability to capture full HD video clips at 1920 x 1080 resolution, Canon's EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera features a 21.1-megapixel full frame 24 x 36mm CMOS sensor, DIGIC 4 imaging processor and significantly lower noise, with an expanded sensitivity range from ISO 50 to ISO 25,600.
"The anticipation surrounding the launch of this camera model has exceeded our
greatest expectations, and we believe our loyal customers will be awed by the level of
innovation and features built into the new EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR. Once they have the
chance to experience the camera, we believe they will agree that it was worth the
wait," stated Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer
Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A.
Among the many advancements in Canon's new EOS 5D Mark II camera is the Company's proprietary DIGIC 4 Imaging Processor that powers the camera's fast 14-bit analog-to-digital conversion for smooth color tones and exceptional gradation. The Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR offers a full-frame 24 x 36mm, 21.1 megapixel CMOS sensor and continuous shooting at 3.9 frames per second (fps) for an unlimited number of full-resolution JPEGs to the capacity of the memory card or up to 14 RAW images in a single burst when using a UDMA CF card. The camera includes a 15-point Autofocus (AF) sensor with nine selectable AF points plus six additional Assist AF points (three center AF points sensitive to f/2.8 lenses) with enhanced light source detection and AF microadjustment for greater autofocus performance. The EOS 5D Mark II camera also features a large, clear 3.0-inch Clear View LCD screen with 920,000 dot/VGA resolution, four times the pixel count of the EOS 5D camera's 2.5-inch screen, for enhanced clarity and color when viewing images. The new camera is equipped with a high-performance, high-magnification optical viewfinder providing 98 percent coverage, giving a new dimension to the saying, "what you see is what you get." Professional photographers will also appreciate the enhanced 150,000-cycle shutter durability of the EOS 5D Mark II camera.
Canon, the first company to introduce a full-frame digital camera, has improved the EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera's newly developed full-frame CMOS image sensor. Utilizing proprietary Canon technology, the Company has reduced noise and expanded the sensitivity of the CMOS sensor up to ISO 25600, which is three full stops higher than the ISO 3200 limit of the original EOS 5D camera. Although the individual pixel dimensions of the EOS 5D Mark II camera are the same as the 21.1-megapixel CMOS sensor used in the EOS-1Ds Mark III digital SLR, the new sensor incorporates an improved output amplifier and a more advanced color filter that improves light transmission while retaining excellent color reproduction. By applying the same kind of advancements in sensor design and image processing technology as the recently introduced EOS 50D camera, but at higher resolution and with larger pixels, the EOS 5D Mark II achieves the highest level of image quality of any EOS Digital SLR released to date.
With the combination of its improved CMOS image sensor and the powerful new DIGIC 4 image processor, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera provides ISO speeds from ISO 100 up to ISO 6400 in 1/3-stop increments, along with two high-speed settings - H1 and H2 - of ISO 12800 and ISO 25600, respectively, as well as a low-speed setting of ISO 50. The full-frame sensor maximizes the performance of Canon EF lenses, the world's largest selection of autofocus lenses.
HD and SD Video Capture
Canon has taken its expertise in imaging, photography and video capture technology to a new level with the EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR. Answering the question of where SLR technology is going next, the EOS 5D Mark II features 16:9 Full HD video capture at 1920 x 1080 pixels and 30 fps as well as 4:3 standard TV quality (SD) video capture at 640 x 480 pixels and 30 fps, both capabilities appearing for the first time in a Canon SLR camera. Video capture is part of the camera's Live View function, using the Picture Style that has been set for Live View still image shooting. This allows skilled photographers and cinematographers to adjust image sharpness, contrast, color saturation and white balance, and have those settings apply to the movie image. When recording video, the camera's rear LCD screen can be letter-boxed by a semi-transparent border to match the aspect ratio of the movie recording size. Moreover, the EOS 5D Mark II camera's HD video capability enables new levels of creative expression through its unfettered access to the complete line of more than 60 Canon EF lenses, which provide an incredible variety of visual effects including everything from ultra-wide-angle and fish-eye to macro and super-telephoto, including many large-aperture L-series professional lenses that can keep the main subject in razor-sharp focus while blurring the background beyond recognition.
The EOS 5D Mark II will record video up to 4GB per clip or a maximum continuous movie capture time of 29 minutes and 59 seconds, whichever comes first. Depending on the level of detail in the scene, a 4GB memory card can record approximately 12 minutes of video at full HD resolution or approximately 24 minutes in standard definition.i Video clips are recorded in .MOV format using an MPEG-4 video compression and sound is recorded using linear PCMii without compression. The new camera features an input terminal for external stereo microphones as well as a built-in monaural microphone for convenience. To help show off those fantastic movies as well as still photos, the EOS 5D Mark II camera includes an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) output to display crisp, clear images on a High-Definition TV.
Live View Shooting
For both still images and video, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera features Live View, one of the most sought after features in digital SLRs today. The 5D Mark II features three Live View AF modes - Quick, Live and Face Detection Live mode - for capturing either still photos or video, each with its own attributes. Quick mode automatically sets One-Shot AF using the camera's phase detection 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 uses contrast-detection AF with the image sensor and here, as with Quick mode, users can change the AF point using the Multi-controller. Face Detection Live mode uses contrast AF to recognize human faces. When multiple faces are detected, the largest face closest to the center of the frame is targeted as the AF point. While Live View is engaged users can still change settings including the AF mode (Quick, Live, Face Detection Live mode), drive mode, ISO speed, Picture style, White Balance, and more.
Peripheral Illumination Correction
The Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera automatically conducts peripheral illumination correction when shooting JPEG images, a function that previously could only be accomplished through post-image processing using software such as Canon's Digital Photo Professional, which Canon supplies at no extra charge. Peripheral illumination correction evens brightness across the image field, making an image of a blue sky even toned throughout and reducing light fall-off at image edges. This new feature essentially eliminates one of the limitations of previous full-frame digital SLRs.
Auto Lighting Optimizer
Canon's enhanced Auto Lighting Optimizer technology helps ensure each picture's subject is clearly visible by analyzing image brightness and automatically adjusting dark areas in images so that they appear brighter. This function is ideal in high-contrast situations such as urban landscapes captured on sunny days, where the tops of buildings are brightly lit while street level details are obscured by heavy shadows. In this type of scene, the 5D Mark II camera's Auto Lighting Optimizer technology preserves accurate exposure of the highlights while opening up the shadow areas for a more pleasing tonal rendition.
Canon's New Creative Auto Mode
Recently introduced with the new EOS 50D, Canon's "CA" Creative Full Auto setting can also be found on the EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera's mode dial. This setting allows users to make image adjustments such as aperture or shutter speed through an easy-to-understand navigation screen on the camera's LCD menu, allowing them to "blur the background" or "lighten or darken the image." These easy-to-understand image options allow photographers to experiment with image options while still shooting in an automatic mode.
Two Small RAW Formats
For photographers seeking the flexibility and creative possibilities of shooting RAW format images, without the large file size, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera offers two more manageable file size options with sRAW1 and sRAW2 recording formats. At the sRAW1 setting, resolution is 10.0-megapixels with a file size that is approximately 25 percent smaller than a standard 21.1-megapixel RAW image. With the sRAW2 setting, resolution is 5.2 megapixels at less than half the file size of a standard RAW image, retaining all of the flexibility and creative possibilities associated with full-size, conventional RAW images. Wedding and portrait photographers, in particular, will appreciate the options of variable resolution and file size which allow them to fine-tune the 5D Mark II's operation for their specific needs.
Silent Shooting in Live View
Canon has equipped the EOS 5D Mark II with two Silent Shooting modes in Live View which will prove particularly helpful to law enforcement officials, and for behind-the-scenes shooting on movie sets. In Mode 1, the camera will shoot with the mechanical shutter open at the beginning of the exposure, using 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.
EOS Integrated Cleaning System
With the introduction of the EOS 5D Mark II camera, the entire Canon EOS system is now equipped with the highly acclaimed EOS Integrated Cleaning System. The Self-Cleaning Sensor Unit for the Canon EOS 5D Mark II has been upgraded with a fluorine coating on the low-pass filter for better dust resistance.
Pricing and Availability
The Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera is compatible with Canon EF lenses and is scheduled for delivery by the end of November. The EOS 5D Mark II will be sold in a body-only configuration at an estimated retail price of $2,699iii. It will additionally be offered in a kit version with Canon's EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens at an estimated retail price of $3,499iv.
New EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Lens
The new EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM lens is the successor to Canon's EF 24mm f/1.4L USM professional wide-angle lens released in 1997. Targeting professional photographers, the new EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM lens has been introduced to address the advancements high-resolution digital SLR cameras with re-designed optics and use of a new anti-reflection lens coating called SWC (Sub-Wavelength Structure Coating) to minimize ghosting and flare. Features such as dustproof and waterproof construction that have been adopted make this a high-performance lens with specifications that respond to the demands of professional users. A welcome complement to the EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera, the EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM lens is scheduled to be in stores this December at an estimated retail price of $1,699v.
||Digital, single-lens reflex, AF/AE camera
||CF Card Type I and II, UDMA-compliant CF cards, via external media (USB
v.2.0 hard drive, via optional Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E4A)
|Image Sensor Size
||36.0mm x 24.0mm (35mm Full-frame)
||Canon EF lenses
(35mm-equivalent focal length is approx. 1.6x the lens focal length)
||Canon EF mount
||High-sensitivity, high-resolution, large single-plate CMOS sensor
||Effective pixels: Approx. 21.1 megapixels
||Total pixels: Approx. 22.0 megapixels
||3:2 (Horizontal: Vertical)
|Color Filter System
||RGB primary color filters
||Fixed position in front of the CMOS sensor
|Dust Deletion feature
||(1) Automatic sensor cleaning
(2) Manual cleaning of sensor
(3) Dust Delete Data appended to the captured image
||Design rule for Camera File System 2.0
||Still: JPEG, RAW (14-bit, Canon original), sRAW1, sRAW2, RAW+JPEG
||(1) Large/Fine: Approx. 6.1MB (5616 x 3744 pixels)
(2) Large/Nomal: Approx. 3.0MB (5616 x 3744 pixels)
(3) Medium/Fine: Approx. 3.6MB (4080 x 2720 pixels)
(4) Medium/Normal: Approx. 1.9MB (4080 x 2720 pixels)
(5) Small/Fine: Approx. 2.1MB (2784 x 1856 pixels)
(6) Small/Normal: Approx. 1.0MB (2784 x 1856 pixels)
(7) RAW: Approx. 25.8MB (5616 x 3744 pixels)
(8) sRAW 1: Approx. 14.8MB (3861 x 2574 pixels)
(9) sRAW 2: Approx. 10.8MB (2784 x 1856 pixels)
Exact file sizes depend on the subject, ISO speed, Picture Style, etc.
||With the WFT-E4A attached, image recording to the CF card and to the USB
external media connected to the WFT-E4A will be possible as follows:
(2) Automatic switching of recording media
(3) Separate recordings according to image-recording quality
(4) Recording images having the same size
||Enabled with WFT-E4A attached
||Consecutive numbering, auto reset, manual reset.
Possible to create new folders and select folders in the CF card
|RAW + JPEG Simultaneous Recording
||Provided (RAW/sRAW+JPEG also possible)
||sRGB, Adobe RGB
||Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, User Def.
||Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten Light, White Fluorescent Light,
Flash, Custom, Color Temperature setting
|Auto White Balance
||Auto white balance with the image sensor
|Color Temperature Compensation
||White balance correction: ±9 stops in full-stop increments
White balance bracketing: ±3 stops in full-stop increments
Blue/amber direction or magenta/green direction possible
|Color Temperature Information Transmission
||Vertical/Horizontal approx. 98%
||Approx. 0.71x (-1m-1 with 50mm lens at infinity)
||Approx. 21mm (from eyepiece lens center)
|Built-in Dioptric Adjustment
||-3.0 to +1.0m-1 (diopter)
||Interchangeable (Eg-D: Grid lines, Eg-S [point of Focus], Eg-A standard
focusing screen provided
||Quick-return half mirror (transmission: reflection ratio of 40:60, no
mirror cutoff with EF600mm f/4L IS USM or shorter lenses)
||AF information (AF points, focus confirmation light), Exposure information
(shutter speed, aperture, ISO speed, AE lock, exposure level, spot metering circle), Flash
information (flash ready, flash exposure compensation, High-speed sync, FE lock), Image
information (Highlight tone priority, monochrome shooting, maximum burst, white balance
correction, CF card information), battery information
||Enabled with depth-of-field preview button
||TTL-CT-SIR AF-dedicated CMOS sensor
||EV -0.5-18 (at 73°F/23°C, ISO 100)
||Auto, One-Shot AF, Predictive AI Servo AF, AI Focus AF, Manual focusing
|AF Point Selection
||Automatic selection, manual selection
|Selected AF Point Display
||Superimposed in viewfinder and indicated on LCD panel
||When an external EOS-dedicated Speedlite is attached to the camera, the
AF-assist beam from the Speedlite will be emitted when necessary.
||35-zone TTL full-aperture metering
||EV 1-20 (at 73°F/23°C with EF50mm f/1.4 USM lens, ISO 100)
||Program AE (Shiftable), Shutter-priority AE, Aperture-priority AE,
Creative Auto, Full auto, Manual exposure, E-TTL II autoflash program AE
|ISO Speed (Recommended Exposure Index)
||Automatically set, ISO 100-6400 (in 1/3-stop or 1-stop increments)
Basic Zone modes: ISO 100-3200 set automatically
Extension settable (with C.Fn.I-3-1): ISO 50 (L), 12800 (H1), 25600 (H2)
High Tone Priority settable: ISO 200-1600
||Manual: ±2 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments (can be combined with
||Auto: Applied in One-Shot AF mode with evaluative metering when focus is
Manual: By AE lock button
||Vertical-travel, mechanical, Electronically-controlled, focal-plane
||1/8000 to 1/60 sec., X-sync at 1/200 sec.
1/8000 to 30 sec., bulb (Total shutter speed range. Available range varies by shooting mode)
||Soft-touch electromagnetic release
||10-sec. or 2-sec. delay
||Remote control with N3-type terminal
|Zooming to Match Focal Length
||E-TTL II autoflash
|Flash Exposure Compensation
||±2 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments
|External Flash Settings
||Flash function settings, Flash C.Fn settings
||Single, High-speed continuous, Low-speed continuous, and Self-timer
(10-sec. or 2-sec. delay)
|Continuous Shooting Speed
||Max. 3.9 shots/sec.
||JPEG (Large/Fine): approx. 78 (CF)/approx. 310 (UDMA CF)
RAW: approx. 13/approx. 14 (UDMA CF)
RAW+JPEG (Large/Fine): approx. 8 (CF/UDMA CF)
Based on Canon's testing standards with a 2GB CF card, high-speed continuous shooting, ISO 100 and Standard Picture Style
Varies depending on the subject, CF card brand, image-recording quality, ISO speed, drive mode, Picture Style, etc.
|Live View Functions|
||Still photo shooting and video shooting
||Quick mode (Phase-difference detection)
Live mode/Face Detection Live mode (Contrast detection)
Manual focusing (5x/10x magnification possible)
||Evaluative metering with the image sensor (still photos)
Center-weighted average metering (video)
||EV 0-20 (at 73°F/23°C with EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens, ISO 100)
||Provided (Two-type grid displays)
||Provided (Mode 1 and 2)
||TFT color, liquid-crystal monitor
||Approx. 920,000 (VGA)
||Approx. 100% (viewing angle: approx. 170°)
||Auto, 7 levels provided
||25 (English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Portuguese, Finnish, Italian,
Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Greek, Russian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, 15/15 Romanian,
Ukraine, Turkish, Arabic, Thai, Simplified/Traditional Chinese, Korean, Japanese)
||Single image, Single image + Image-recording quality/shooting information,
histogram, 4- or 9-image index, magnified view (approx. 1.5x-10x), rotated image
(auto/manual), image jump (by 10/100 images, index screen, by shooting date, by folder),
slide show (all images/selected by date/folder)
||Provided (Overexposed highlights blink)
|Image Protection and Erase|
||Single images can be erase-protected or not
||Single image, check-marked images or all images in the CF card can be
erased (except protected images)
||JPEG images compliant to Design rule for Camera File System (DPOF printing
possible) and RAW/sRAW images captured with the EOS 5D Mark II
|Easy Print feature
|DPOF: Digital Print Order Format|
||Version 1.1 compatible
|Direct Image Transfer|
||JPEG and RAW images
Only JPEG images can be transferred as wallpaper on the personal computer screen
|Camera User Settings
||Register under Mode Dial's C1 and C3 positions
|My Menu Registration
||For personal computer communication and direct printing (USB 2.0 Hi-Speed)
|Video Out Terminal
||(1) Video OUT terminal: NTSC/PAL selectable
(2) HDMI mini OUT terminal
|Extension System Terminal
||For connection to WFT-E4A
||One Battery Pack LP-E6
AC power can be supplied via AC Adapter Kit ACK-E6 with Battery Grip BG-E6 attached.
||Provided. Power turns off after 1, 2, 4, 8, 15 or 30 min.
||One CR1616 lithium-ion battery
||Approx. 0.1 sec.
|Dimensions and Weight|
||Approx. 6.0 x 4.5 x 3.0 in./152.0 x 113.5 x 75.0mm
||Approx. 28.6 oz./810g (body only)
|Working Temperature Range
|Working Humidity Range||85% or less
The Canon EOS 5D MkII should be available by the end of November, but I'm sure that vendors will be taking pre-orders which they will fill in the order in which they are placed. Reputable vendors don't make any charges on your credit card until the item actually ships. Currently I'm only seeing ADORAMA accepting pre-orders, but you can check also B&H and J&R via the links below to see if they have any additional information about their pre-order process for the Canon EOS 5D MkII