Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens: Front right side view
Canon announces its latest the full frame DSLR i.e Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR on 17 September 2008, Wednesday. Something different than before is that the DSLR has full HD 1080 movie recording capability.

Some of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II specifications:

  • New 21.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor with improved EOS Integrated Cleaning System (E.I.C.S.)

  • New Full HD 1080 resolution movie recording

  • 3.9 frames per second continuous shooting

  • High performance DIGIC 4 providing superb image quality

  • Maximum 310 large JPEG images in a single burst with a UDMA card

  • 3.0” VGA (920k dots) Clear View LCD

  • ISO 100-6400 (expansion from 50 up to 25,600)

  • 9 AF points + 6 Assist AF points

Estimated retail price in the USA: Body only, US$2699 (about BND4000). Body and 24-105mm f/4 IS USM kit lens, US3499 (about BND5250).

According to Canon USA press release, Canon EOS 5D Mark II will be available by the end of November 2008.

Rear view

Front view

My Comments

Canon EOS 5D Mark II is a kind of DSLR that I am waiting for. Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III is a very good full-frame DSLR, but its price turns my excitement down. I like Canon EOS 5D Mark II’s specifications especially its megapixel count i.e it has 21.1 MP, and its full HD 1080 movie recording capability.

The question is that how I am going to edit the full HD 1080 movie. My present computer cannot even play smoothly 720p/1080p AVCHD video, such as movie trailers, cooking shows and photojournalistic documentaries, which I have downloaded through the iTunes.

Therefore, if I want to fully utilise the HD movie recording capability of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, I need to buy a computer that capable of editing the full HD movie and encode it in 720p/1080p AVCHD or 720p/1080p WMV HD format. Such computer may cost me about BND1500 to BND2000.

Back to taking still photo, Canon EOS 5D Mark II is going to give me a low noise photo at high ISO setting. I need a DSLR that has such capability due to my preference of not to use flash while taking photos of wedding and certain other events. And, Canon EOS 5D Mark II is going to be a great camera that can fulfill my such needs.

Previously, I did take nice photos of my son and daughter at their uncle’s wedding ceremony (without flash) BUT I felt disappointed by the amount of noise it has, especially when viewing the photos on the TV screen.

If I Buy One: Canon EOS 5D Mark II

The EOS 5D Mark II body costs about BND4000 (estimated price) and BND5250 (estimated price) when buying the body together with the 24-105mm f/4 IS USM kit lens.

I expects the price will be about BND300-BND400 cheaper in a few months after it is first available in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei market. Of course, how much cheaper is depending upon where and when you buy the camera.

From my readings about the previous Canon EOS 5D, a very good lens must be used in order to fully utilise the capability of full-frame sensor and a large number of megapixel count. So, I need to buy a Canon L Series lens if I want to do so.

In relations to the lens, I have not decide yet whether I go for the kit lens i.e 24-105mm f/4L IS USM OR go for 24-70 f/2.8 f/2.8L USM. Both of them are Canon’s L Series lenses but the former has f/4 maximum aperture and IS (image stabiliser built-in in the lens) while the latter has f/2.8 maximum aperture and no IS. I will consult this issue at Brunei Forever Forum ( a Brunei’s photography forum) later.

If I am going to buy one, I also need to buy a Battery Grip BG-E6. I find it very difficult and uncomfortable when taking photos without the battery grip, especially when there is a heavy and long lens installed.

And, I also need to consider some budget to buy full HD editing and encoding capable computer if I want to get involved in the videography using the DSLR (or/and even with the full HD camcorder).


If I buy Canon 5D together with the 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens and the battery grip BG-E6, they will cost me about BND5800. And at this price, it is a lot of money to spend at my current level of income. I expect the price will be BND300-BND400 cheaper, or even more cheaper than that if I am waiting a bit longer.

Lastly, when money is no objection (with certain limitation, of course), I will go for Canon EOS 5D Mark II for the image quality (especially at high ISO setting) and full HD 1080 movie recordings. And it is a Canon DSLR…I really want it, actually.

*I can still watch the full HD 1080 movie recording taken using Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR directly from it through the TV set.

(Photos: Courtesy of Canon USA. The Canon EOS 5D Mark II photos are the press release photos which is available at Canon USA’s press release website. All right reserved by the respective owners.)

(Click the picture)