Canon EOS 5D MkII Review

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £2100.00

This camera has now been superseded by the Canon EOS 5D Mk III.

Sometimes this job makes me cry. I’ve been hanging on to the EOS 5D Mk II, and the awesome 85mm f/1.2 lens that arrived along with it, for as long as humanly possible, but on Monday it has to go back to Canon, where it will have the drool professionally cleaned off it and then be loaned out to some other camera journalist who will be putting his filthy hands all over it by this time next week.

It feels like being dumped by a girlfriend on Friday, and then finding out she’s already found a new boyfriend by Monday. It’s doubly galling because I know that there’s no way I can afford to buy a camera like this for myself, so you wretched ingrates had better get clicking on those adverts. He’s kidding – Ed.

Announced in time for the Photokina camera show in September last year, the EOS 5D Mk2 is, as you may have guessed from the name, the long-awaited replacement for the ageing but still popular EOS 5D, which was launched in 2005 and is widely regarded as a classic.

Following such a successful camera was never going to be easy, but Canon has taken its time and has come up with a combination of technically advanced contemporary features that makes the EOS 5D Mk2 a more than worthy successor.

The main features are impressive enough. It has a 21.1-megapixel full-frame 36 x 24mm CMOS sensor, live view shooting on a 3.0-inch LCD monitor with a resolution of 920,000 dots, an advanced DIGIC 4 processing engine, 1080p HD video recording with a connection for an external microphone, and an extended maximum ISO setting of 25,600.

The body is cast from magnesium alloy with environmental seals against dust and moisture, it has an integrated sensor cleaning system and it can shoot at 3.9 frames per second. It also costs around £2,100 for just the body, and those full-frame Canon lenses aren’t cheap. A basic EF 24-105mm F4.0 IS USM kit lens will add another £400 to the price, and that f/1.2 85mm costs over £1,700. This is a camera expressly designed for those who are very serious about their photography, and who both want and can afford the very best.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.