5D II Under review

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5D II Under review

Postby gstark on Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:42 am

Leigh got a call yesterday morning from his friendly Canon rep, asking if he'd like one for review. His secondary response, to me, was that he needed to rearrange some deckchairs, as he didn't think he had enough room in his backpack to bring it home. A problem I'm sure we all wish we shared.

I got an SMS from him in the evening ...

Post this for me on the forum ..... this camera is bloody amazing


So there you have it.

I'm expecting to get my hands on this over the next few days, and we'll be able to add something slightly more substantive to this in the not too distant future.

Stay tooned.
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby Big V on Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:07 pm

Gary looking forward to your thoughts. As a side note our Media and Arts Production department at School are buying two of these next week with the 24-70mm 2.8 lens for the specific purpose of video. So it will be interesting to compare their thoughts as well. It will also give me an opportunity to put one through its paces but I am only interested in the photo side as processing and editing video is a real timne consuming task. Our MAPS people run Sth Australia's oldest multi-award winning most Industry supported Media Training with 25 years of success. You can see here the type of work they do http://www.maps.sa.edu.au/ So their take on it will be worth noting.
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby gstark on Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:51 pm

Tony,

I've had a brief chat with Leigh, but I won't be able to get my hands to form my own views on this until tomorrow afternoon.

They supplied him with the 24-105 L glass, and the initial impressions that I have from him are the basic speed is very good (apart from the fps, of course), and IQ - stills and video - and the variety of options available are just staggering.

With 24mm available on a FF body and its high ISO performance, it should be quite usable in the radio studio tomorrow night, so we may get to grab a few new "station personality" type portraits. :)

Hell: let's set it up with its LV, and push a stream of tomorrow night's program in HD onto the web as a webcast. :)
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby radar on Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:29 pm

Gary,

have a look at this short video done with the 5D II from a guy in WA.
http://vimeo.com/2904752?pg=embed&sec=2904752

Very nice stuff in the right hands,

Looking forward to a more in-depth review

Cheers,

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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby smac on Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:29 am

I have had my 5D2 for about three weeks and have found it to be a big improvement over the 5D.

The video that Andre has linked was shot with the 85L. I have shot a few videos with the same set up and Andre is right, "great stuff in the right hands". I am sure that I will get the hang of it soon enough as my videos were crap in comparison.

I have found the micro zoom adjustment to be an interesting feature as I was sure that a couple of my lenses weren't giving me sharp auto focus on my old 5D. I have "played" with it a little bit but I really need to invest some time in this before I go adjusting focus for each of my lenses.

Gary, I think that you are going to be impressed with the results of your review.

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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby gstark on Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:06 am

Andre,

Great link; thanx.

Stuart,

Yes. While this may be a pre-emptive thought, it almost seems like this could be a camera for which a Nikon-Canon lens adaptor might be worthwhile getting, so that I could use my 85 f1/4 on it. For video recording, the AF and metering features assume less importance.
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby smac on Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:16 am

Gary,

If you are going to use it primarily for video, you might want to visit this new forum. http://cinema5d.com/index.php "the Forum for DSLR Filmmakers".

Hey, you never know you might even want to dedicate a section on DSLRUsers.com for DSLR Video.

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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby gstark on Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:38 am

Stuart,

smac wrote:If you are going to use it primarily for video


This is only a review unit; we'll maybe have it for a little more than a week. While we'll certainly play with the video capabilities, our primary focus will be using it for still imaging.

Hey, you never know you might even want to dedicate a section on DSLRUsers.com for DSLR Video.


We've already had that discussion (mods and admins) and it was decided that video is a different medium and beyond the realm of this forum and beyond the spheres of knowledge its members' expertise.

If we're wrong, please let me know: I can always start a new subdomain for that, and thus keep it, and its discussions, separate.
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby gstark on Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:11 am

I have yet to have a decent play with this camera, and that's not going to happen till Wednesday, I guess.

We did have it in the studio last night though, and in between pushing buttons for the show, I was able to grab a couple of images in the studio. Also, Leigh grabbed a few while we were driving out to Burwood, and here are some of those images

I am immediately impressed with the dynamic range that the camera can handle.

Streetscape along Broadway from the car. ISO 1600

Image

Here's a full-size crop from that image ... just a little to the right of the centre of this image

Image

The level of detail that's been retained in the wall, at this ISO and for the lighting conditions, is quite impressive.

As I said, I've not yet had a chance to become even vaguely amiliar with the camera, so what I wanted in this shot was to have a shot with our special guest as the point of focus, and Leigh OOF in the background. While I was making the image (we were on the air at the time, and you can hear the shutter being tripped in the podcast) the focus point seemed to want to be on Leigh, and my lack of familiarity precluded me from being able to override this within the short timeframe that I had.

Image

However, Leigh was not the point of focus used in this image. :)

Image

The menu interface is quite different, yet very similar, to that in use by high end Nikons. Both systems use a tabbed paging system to navigate through different areas of menu functionality, with the Nikon tabs being vertically oriented along the left edge of the screen, whereas the Canon's tabs appear along the top of the screen.

The glass we have been supplied with this camera is excellent, as can be seen by the crop sections I'm posting here. Focus speed is excellent.

More to come ... :)
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby Potoroo on Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:46 pm

Big V wrote:As a side note our Media and Arts Production department at School are buying two of these next week with the 24-70mm 2.8 lens for the specific purpose of video.

What is it going to give them a camcorder won't?
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby gstark on Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:06 pm

Potoroo wrote:
Big V wrote:As a side note our Media and Arts Production department at School are buying two of these next week with the 24-70mm 2.8 lens for the specific purpose of video.

What is it going to give them a camcorder won't?


That a camcorder won't? If you're talking about a typical, low end camcorder, quite a bit.

Like a large image sensor.

A choice of glass. Good quality glass, at a low cost when compared with what high end video and movie glass might cost.

The ability to bring OOF elements into play in a manner that a small sensor (typical on most camcorders) simply cannot do.

And a significant saving in cost when compared with high end camcorders.
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby gstark on Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:30 am

I've now had a chance to play with this camera, and yes, I'm impressed.

In fact, I would say that this may well be the best Canon currently on the market, and perhaps the second best Canon ever made, behind the old A1.

First of all, it's great to be shooting at full frame. Where men are men, and 24mm is 24mm.

The camera feels very nice in the hand. Solid, workable, not too small, not too light. The 24-105 is nice glass, and it too feels to be of good, solid construction. While the body doesn't feel fully hardened, it does feel robust, and comparable to the Nikon D300/D700, which is its direct equivalent.

After a quick look through the manual, I've figured out how to control the focus points, and I do like the way this has been implemented. One of the choices is to use the control pad on the back of the camera. This is like a mini joystick, and it's located just above and to the left of the control wheel on the back of the body. When set to this setting, you simply push this pad in the direction of the focus point you wish to choose (up, down, left, right, etc) and that point is selected. To select the central point, just push the control stick in/down - its central position.

This method is quick, easy, and logical; I like it.

The AF functionality is quick. Very bloody quick. I think that Canon's USM technology is more responsive than Nikon's AF-S, and focus acquisition was lightning fast. Couple that with the ease of focus point selection, and you have a focusing system that is easy to work with and is very quick and effective.

While one criticism (in the past) of the Canon range has been the need to have to use seventeen fingers in order to make some selections, this has been addressed some time ago: you can (and the 30D works the same way) just press the button representing the function that you want (ISO, AF mode, etc) and then turn either the front or rear control wheel to alter the setting that you are changing.

Ergonomics are still, to my hands, not as strong as they are on Nikon bodies. I don't like the placement of the shutter release button, for instance; it feels too far forward, and uncomfortable. The distance between the shutter release button and the forward control feels too far, but yet, when I look at the physical placement of these two controls, and compare them with the equivalent controls on a D300, the distance appears to be similar.

That one has me puzzled. I'm wondering if it's something to do with the fact that the control wheel and the shutter release are placed at very different angles to one another? I don't know, but making changes with that control wheel feels like it's placing a slight strain on the finger, which I don't feel when using the equivalent functionality on the Nikon.

On the back of the camera, the menu button feels slightly recessed. To me, this makes it slightly more difficult to press. Apart from that, the menu is easy to navigate, with options well laid out. At the bottom of the screen there's a small display element that shows you, at a glance, the current status of your settings within the selected group. This is good.

The rear LCD lacks the high resolution that the Nikons have, and that makes focus review a tad more difficult. That said, the display is adequate for most functions.

Live view (and video mode) is easy to engage: slightly easier than on the Nikons, with just a single button press engaging LV. The Auto WB is nice, and seems to work well. This is coming from somebody who doesn't like AWB at all. :)

In use, my right hand goes around the right hand side of the body, where the grip is. No surprises there. But within the grip is where the CF card slot is located. Opening the cover entails sliding the cover to the rear of the camera, and then lifting the cover from the slot. This area all sits under the palm of the hand, and it felt to me as if the cover was moving slightly under the palm of my hand, and this felt a little disconcerting.

Image quality was all that I expected from a camera of this calibre. AF speed, as noted above, was surprisingly good; fps rate is slow, but this was not a surprise, and was not an issue for me.

While I thought that the original 5D was a nice camera, it never endeared itself to me; it just didn't feel "good enough" for me, and I don't know quite how I might be able to better articulate that.

The Mk II is a vast improvement on the original, however, and it is one that I could happily live with.
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby dviv on Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:11 am

Thanks for the review Gary - I now have serious gear envy (again!)

The million dollar question is coming.... :mrgreen:
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby gstark on Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:29 am

dviv wrote:The million dollar question is coming.... :mrgreen:


Dave,

I presume you're referring to the last line in my review? The answer would be no, but that's because I cannot, at the moment, afford it.

While I'd probably buy the D700 before the Mk II because that's where my lens investment lies, I am very impressed with not just how good the Mk II is, but how much better it is than its predecessor.

I think we're now going to see the DSLR market split into two distinct sections - full frame and crop bodies. That was something that has been tried in the past, with film SLRs and the APS film format, but that never really took off.

Crop DSLR bodies are already well established however, and they're getting very cheap. Moving back into FF bodies presents a reentry point into that end of the market. I don't know that this is what would have been the original marketing goals, but I don't expect to see too many people from the Nikon or Canon corporate worlds complaining.
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby dviv on Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:19 pm

fair enough :D

When will we be seeing this gem on the bargains page?

and how much? *gulp*
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby gstark on Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:57 pm

I actually had a price from Poon, late last year, and while it wasn't too bad, local prices remain cheaper at this time.

I'm expecting, with local prices about to rise, that the local/grey pricing relationships will start to return to something that is more typical of what we've been used to over the last few years.

While that means better sales for Poon, it also, sadly, means that members' prices will go up, relative to what they're paying (from local sources) today.
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby Big V on Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:11 pm

We have been quoted $3800 for the body here in Adelaide. Whne we actually get our hands on it I will let you know why they have chosen this over a traditional video camera but believe me if Peter Thurmer is wanting it and he is the head honcho of MAPS and as this course is one of Australias premier courses not to mention the number of awards they have won, they would not be looking to use this technology if it was not special. The low light capabilities speak for itself, the ease of use, the variety of glass you can thow at it both Canon and Nikon heck the adpater is only 25 dollars from ebay etc etc the list goes on and all will be revealed soon.
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby Bindii on Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:14 pm

What a fantastic review Gary!!!! Even better so for me as my 5DII arrived yesterday and I'm itching to finish work so I can go and pick it up! *does the happy 5D dance* :P
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby gstark on Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:47 pm

Sue,

I expect that you will enjoy this very much; it's a very capable camera, and in your hands, I expect to see some really great images.
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby Bindii on Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:32 pm

gstark wrote:Sue,

I expect that you will enjoy this very much; it's a very capable camera, and in your hands, I expect to see some really great images.


OMG!!! Its arrived!!! And its bewdiful!!! *insert multiple orgasm smilies here*

and just as soon as I learn how to use I'll be boring you all to tears with my shots...

charge batteries charge dammit!!!
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby gstark on Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:48 pm

Bindii wrote:charge batteries charge dammit!!!


Yeah ... that's a real pisser: why doesn't it use the same batteries as the 30D/40D etc ?

I cannot think even think of a bad reason for the battery to be different.
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby dviv on Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:50 pm

gstark wrote:
Bindii wrote:charge batteries charge dammit!!!


Yeah ... that's a real pisser: why doesn't it use the same batteries as the 30D/40D etc ?

I cannot think even think of a bad reason for the battery to be different.


From Canon:

The Li-Ion battery for the 5D Mark II (LP-E6) has a 1800mAh capacity. Each battery contains a microchip with a unique identifier for reporting charge status and battery health for display on the camera. The 5D Mark II's 'Battery Info' screen can track battery health and shooting history for up to six LP-E6 batteries.
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby gstark on Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:26 pm

dviv wrote:The Li-Ion battery for the 5D Mark II (LP-E6) has a 1800mAh capacity. Each battery contains a microchip with a unique identifier for reporting charge status and battery health for display on the camera. The 5D Mark II's 'Battery Info' screen can track battery health and shooting history for up to six LP-E6 batteries.



David,

Ok, so there's an extra couple of contacts inside the body (and on the battery) to handle the communications. Those contacts are clearly not going to be on the lesser bodies, but does that make the batteries' primary function - providing power to the camera - no longer compatible? You just lose the extra functionality.

For the primary function, it's still just two bloody contacts. I'm not convinced.
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby DaveB on Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:18 pm

Intro for those who don't know me, and reminder for those that do: I've been using Canon DSLRs since 2000, and currently use a 40D and 5DmkII pair (I got the 5DmkII in mid-December). I've just returned from a month's travel including taking these cameras to Antarctica.

gstark wrote:After a quick look through the manual, I've figured out how to control the focus points, and I do like the way this has been implemented. One of the choices is to use the control pad on the back of the camera. This is like a mini joystick, and it's located just above and to the left of the control wheel on the back of the body. When set to this setting, you simply push this pad in the direction of the focus point you wish to choose (up, down, left, right, etc) and that point is selected. To select the central point, just push the control stick in/down - its central position.

This method is quick, easy, and logical; I like it.

This is the way I've had my cameras set up since the 20D. Luckily I don't use battery grips these days: with a grip and in vertical orientation the joystick is uncomfortably far from your hand.
Generally it works very well, but with a couple of caveats:
  • It is sometimes awkward to select the "diagonal" focus points: the ones on the sides of the diamond. Especially with gloves on.
  • It only works when the metering is active (e.g. after a half-press of the shutter). I've often tried to set the focus point only to get no response, then remember to wake the meter up.


While one criticism (in the past) of the Canon range has been the need to have to use seventeen fingers in order to make some selections, this has been addressed some time ago: you can (and the 30D works the same way) just press the button representing the function that you want (ISO, AF mode, etc) and then turn either the front or rear control wheel to alter the setting that you are changing.

This is a criticism you've aimed at the 1-series bodies. The basic way this works in the 5DmkII is fundamentally unchanged (although refined) from 2000's D30 body.

I don't like the placement of the shutter release button, for instance; it feels too far forward, and uncomfortable.

I've heard a few people say similar things. All Nikon users. To me it feels perfectly natural.

The rear LCD lacks the high resolution that the Nikons have, and that makes focus review a tad more difficult.
It does? My understanding is that the resolution is essentially the same as the recent Nikons. It's definitely a long way ahead of the 40D. Especially combined with the improved quality of the underlying review image (the 40D shows a low-quality JPEG).

Live view (and video mode) is easy to engage: slightly easier than on the Nikons, with just a single button press engaging LV.

One thing that many people don't realise is that it also (finally!) provides one-button mirror lockup. Press the LV button, and your mirror is up. Take your shots, and when you want the shutter down press the LV button again. On my recent trip I used this several times just for the resulting silent shooting (e.g. in a church with prayers actively going on).

fps rate is slow, but this was not a surprise, and was not an issue for me.

Actually, for action shots I've been starting to prefer the 5DmkII over the 40D. Sure the 40D is 6.5 fps, and the 5DmkII is 4 fps (OK, who's going to quibble over 0.1 fps?). But 4 fps isn't really that slow for most applications, and the increased buffer size means I'm less likely to miss action because the camera's busy flushing the buffer. I felt this keenly when shooting lunge-feeding whales recently. The 50D's (instead of the 40D) increased card-writing speed and larger effective buffer would have changed the equation of course.


I'm REALLY happy with the camera. Other than little annoyances (e.g. the focus-point selection issue mentioned above) my only complaint is that my computers are starting to struggle with the larger files (especially when stitching together HDR composites!) and I'll probably have to upgrade one of them in the coming year. But for me it's definitely been worth it!
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby gstark on Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:11 pm

Hi Dave, and welcome back. I'm looking forward to seeing some of your images from the trip, once you get over the jetlag. :)

And thanx for the feedback on this; it is, for me, a very nice camera, and I think a significant improvement over its predecessor.

DaveB wrote:
gstark wrote:After a quick look through the manual, I've figured out how to control the focus points, and I do like the way this has been implemented.


Generally it works very well, but with a couple of caveats:
  • It is sometimes awkward to select the "diagonal" focus points: the ones on the sides of the diamond. Especially with gloves on.
  • It only works when the metering is active (e.g. after a half-press of the shutter). I've often tried to set the focus point only to get no response, then remember to wake the meter up.



Yes, I agree with all of your points here. That said, the waking of the camera is one that is typical of all cameras, really. And it's also one that you might be able mitigate slightly by setting a longer time value before the camera puts itself to sleep. Of course, that may have a detrimental effect on battery life. :)


While one criticism (in the past) of the Canon range has been the need to have to use seventeen fingers in order to make some selections, this has been addressed some time ago: you can (and the 30D works the same way) just press the button representing the function that you want (ISO, AF mode, etc) and then turn either the front or rear control wheel to alter the setting that you are changing.

This is a criticism you've aimed at the 1-series bodies. The basic way this works in the 5DmkII is fundamentally unchanged (although refined) from 2000's D30 body.


Ok ... the old D30 is not a body that I've had much experience with. But yes, it is an issue on the 1 series, and I think that it is somewhat ... less than ergonomically ideal. :)

I don't like the placement of the shutter release button, for instance; it feels too far forward, and uncomfortable.

I've heard a few people say similar things. All Nikon users. To me it feels perfectly natural.


Yeah, but you have seven fingers on your right hand too. :mrgreen:

Seriously though, dviv and I were comparing some aspects of the D300 and 30D at our Christmas BBQ last year, and there was interesting difference in how our hands went around the respective cameras' grips. As I recall it, David felt that the tips of his fingers, on the Nikon, were bumping up against the camera body in the area between the grip and the lens. he didn't have this feeling on his Canon, and thus it felt more comfy; less "cramped". I don't get that sort of feeling, but it suggests that perhaps the Canon grip may be a bit thicker (I don't know; I've not looked or compared), or perhaps he's holding the camera in a slightly different manner to what I am ... or he may just have longer fingers.

I guess that if he's holding the camera in a slightly different way to what I am, then perhaps that may be true of others, and perhaps that might help explain this. I don't know.

Is it important? I don't know that either.

The rear LCD lacks the high resolution that the Nikons have, and that makes focus review a tad more difficult.
It does? My understanding is that the resolution is essentially the same as the recent Nikons.


My apologies; you are correct. Thanx for pointing this out.

Live view (and video mode) is easy to engage: slightly easier than on the Nikons, with just a single button press engaging LV.

One thing that many people don't realise is that it also (finally!) provides one-button mirror lockup. Press the LV button, and your mirror is up. Take your shots, and when you want the shutter down press the LV button again.


That is a very good point.


On my recent trip I used this several times just for the resulting silent shooting (e.g. in a church with prayers actively going on).

fps rate is slow, but this was not a surprise, and was not an issue for me.

Actually, for action shots I've been starting to prefer the 5DmkII over the 40D. Sure the 40D is 6.5 fps, and the 5DmkII is 4 fps (OK, who's going to quibble over 0.1 fps?). But 4 fps isn't really that slow for most applications, and the increased buffer size means I'm less likely to miss action because the camera's busy flushing the buffer.


It does make a bit of a difference when you're used to the faster speed of the D300 with the MB-D10. As I said, I don't see this as an issue given the camera's intended market.

I'm REALLY happy with the camera. Other than little annoyances (e.g. the focus-point selection issue mentioned above) my only complaint is that my computers are starting to struggle with the larger files (especially when stitching together HDR composites!) and I'll probably have to upgrade one of them in the coming year. But for me it's definitely been worth it!


I can understand your happiness; I think that this is the best Canon currently on the market, and perhaps the best Canon since the old A1.

The issue with your computers is one that you're going to be seeing every three years or so, I'm afraid. Just as well storage is so cheap these days. :rotfl2:
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby Potoroo on Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:11 pm

DaveB wrote:Luckily I don't use battery grips these days: with a grip and in vertical orientation the joystick is uncomfortably far from your hand.

I've always insisted on battery grips for two reasons, so I can use AA batteries and so I can fit a handstrap. Since my right hand never leaves the grip with hand-strap I don't use the vertical controls. Over the years I've become accustomed when shooting in portrait to simply curling my right arm over, bearing the bulk of the weight on my left hand which grips the zoom ring. With the 50D body my thumb is thus still within reach of the joystick and Quick Dial.
Generally it works very well, but with a couple of caveats:
  • It is sometimes awkward to select the "diagonal" focus points: the ones on the sides of the diamond. Especially with gloves on.

I have exactly the same complaint about my 50D. I often find it quicker and easier to select the manual focus point using the Quick Control screen (see below) and the Quick Dial.
  • It only works when the metering is active (e.g. after a half-press of the shutter). I've often tried to set the focus point only to get no response, then remember to wake the meter up.

Bearing in mind I have not used a 5D2, I wonder if that's a significant design difference between it and the 50D or whether you just have your camera configured differently to me. I have my LCD by default in Quick Control screen mode. You can see the focus point selector box towards the bottom left, next to the large mode box showing Av:

Image

In this mode I can select the focus point at any time.
One thing that many people don't realise is that it also (finally!) provides one-button mirror lockup. Press the LV button, and your mirror is up. Take your shots, and when you want the shutter down press the LV button again.

The 50D does this also (the Direct Print button, often described as the most useless button ever, doubles as the LV button). However, the 50D at least is somewhat power hungry in LV mode, which makes me still wish for a genuine one-button mirror lockup. At least being able to put the mirror-lock up custom function in My Menu makes it much easier to find and use.
Last edited by Potoroo on Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby DaveB on Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:18 pm

gstark wrote:
DaveB wrote:
gstark wrote:After a quick look through the manual, I've figured out how to control the focus points, and I do like the way this has been implemented.

Generally it works very well, but with a couple of caveats:
  • It is sometimes awkward to select the "diagonal" focus points: the ones on the sides of the diamond. Especially with gloves on.
  • It only works when the metering is active (e.g. after a half-press of the shutter). I've often tried to set the focus point only to get no response, then remember to wake the meter up.

Yes, I agree with all of your points here. That said, the waking of the camera is one that is typical of all cameras, really. And it's also one that you might be able mitigate slightly by setting a longer time value before the camera puts itself to sleep. Of course, that may have a detrimental effect on battery life. :)

Nope.
It's not a problem with the camera going to sleep. It's a problem that the focus point control via the joystick only works when the meter is active. Once you take your finger off the shutter the meter only remains active for a little while. Usually it's long enough that you don't notice, but not always! The delay on this is something that is not configurable.
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby gstark on Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:29 pm

DaveB wrote:
gstark wrote:That said, the waking of the camera is one that is typical of all cameras, really. And it's also one that you might be able mitigate slightly by setting a longer time value before the camera puts itself to sleep. Of course, that may have a detrimental effect on battery life. :)

Nope.
It's not a problem with the camera going to sleep. It's a problem that the focus point control via the joystick only works when the meter is active. Once you take your finger off the shutter the meter only remains active for a little while. Usually it's long enough that you don't notice, but not always! The delay on this is something that is not configurable.


Ok, interesting. Thank you.

I'm interested in Potoroo's comments about this as well, and how this works on the 50D. I think Leigh still has the camera (I don't think Canon-san has asked for it to go back as yet) so I may grab it for a few minutes when he gets in later tonight and have a play.
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby Potoroo on Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:09 pm

gstark wrote:I'm interested in Potoroo's comments about this as well, and how this works on the 50D. I think Leigh still has the camera (I don't think Canon-san has asked for it to go back as yet) so I may grab it for a few minutes when he gets in later tonight and have a play.

I may have found a clue. The alternative method on the 50D to select the focus point is the AF point selection button (third on the right of the three buttons at the bottom of the picture):

Image

Custom Function III-3 modifies the behaviour of this button. There are three options:

0: Normal
1: Multi-controller direct (ie, the joystick)
2: Quick Control Dial direct

What I just discovered is that while I can change the focus point at any time when option 0 is selected, I can only select it for the 6 (?) seconds the meter is active when in modes 1 and 2. It may well be Dave's problem can be solved if there is an equivalent custom function on the 5D2.
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby DaveB on Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:19 pm

Potoroo wrote:
DaveB wrote:Luckily I don't use battery grips these days: with a grip and in vertical orientation the joystick is uncomfortably far from your hand.

I've always insisted on battery grips for two reasons, so I can use AA batteries and so I can fit a handstrap.

Ok, I can vaguely understand the AA battery thing (but have you ever used that on a DSLR? It's painful and it's easier to have a spare Li-Ion on hand...
But the hand-strap thing... I have hand-straps on all my EOS bodies, and they don't have grips. Many QR plates (e.g. from Camdapter, Kirk, and RRS) have mounting loops for the standard Canon E-1 hand-strap. No need for a grip.

Potoroo wrote:Custom Function III-3 modifies the behaviour of this button. There are three options:

0: Normal
1: Multi-controller direct (ie, the joystick)
2: Quick Control Dial direct

What I just discovered is that while I can change the focus point at any time when option 0 is selected, I can only select it for the 6 (?) seconds the meter is active when in modes 1 and 2. It may well be Dave's problem can be solved if there is an equivalent custom function on the 5D2.

The same functionality is available in the 20D/30D/5D/40D/50D/5DmkII.
Mode 2 is useless to me: the rear dial is no longer available to control exposure compensation or aperture.
Mode 1 is great, except for the 4-6s problem we're talking about.
Mode 0 is the old traditional way of setting the focus point. It's ok, but can be slower than the joystick.
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby Potoroo on Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:28 pm

DaveB wrote:Ok, I can vaguely understand the AA battery thing (but have you ever used that on a DSLR? It's painful and it's easier to have a spare Li-Ion on hand...

Obviously we're deep in personal preference territory here but yes, I have. I haven't put either on the scales but there's no significant weight difference between my recently (and reluctantly) retired EOS 1 with Power Booster Drive E1 and the 50D with the BG-E2N. Either body with the 28-80L is a monster but I got used to that a long time ago. As to ease of changing batteries, I see no real difference between swapping a Li-Ion and a battery magazine. Admittedly, today's proprietary batteries are rechargeable but in the worst case scenario I can always buy alkaline AAs to keep me going.
But the hand-strap thing... I have hand-straps on all my EOS bodies, and they don't have grips. Many QR plates (e.g. from Camdapter, Kirk, and RRS) have mounting loops for the standard Canon E-1 hand-strap. No need for a grip.

I've yet to find a base-plate hand-strap solution I really like. I like the extra height provided by the grip. The one difference I have noticed with the 50D is I need to keep the hand-strap a little looser than I am used to so I can access the rear controls with my thumb.
The same functionality is available in the 20D/30D/5D/40D/50D/5DmkII.
Mode 2 is useless to me: the rear dial is no longer available to control exposure compensation or aperture.
Mode 1 is great, except for the 4-6s problem we're talking about.
Mode 0 is the old traditional way of setting the focus point. It's ok, but can be slower than the joystick.

Oh, well. It was worth a shot. What about the Quick Control screen option?
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby DaveB on Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:42 am

Potoroo wrote:
DaveB wrote:Ok, I can vaguely understand the AA battery thing (but have you ever used that on a DSLR? It's painful and it's easier to have a spare Li-Ion on hand...

Obviously we're deep in personal preference territory here but yes, I have. I haven't put either on the scales but there's no significant weight difference between my recently (and reluctantly) retired EOS 1 with Power Booster Drive E1 and the 50D with the BG-E2N. Either body with the 28-80L is a monster but I got used to that a long time ago. As to ease of changing batteries, I see no real difference between swapping a Li-Ion and a battery magazine. Admittedly, today's proprietary batteries are rechargeable but in the worst case scenario I can always buy alkaline AAs to keep me going.

What I meant was "have you ever tried actually using AAs?" They don't last long, and you have to have remembered to bring the AA magazine along..

I've yet to find a base-plate hand-strap solution I really like. I like the extra height provided by the grip.

Fair enough.

What about the Quick Control screen option?

Having the rear LCD lit all the time is not an option I'm interested in (at least the 400D/etc have a sensor to optionally turn it off when your face gets close). I have my camera set so when I press the SET button that screen comes up, and it's very useful for situations where the camera's on a tripod high enough that it's impossible to see the top LCD, but having the screen on during normal operations is very distracting (and chews some power I suppose).
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby gstark on Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:08 am

DaveB wrote:What I meant was "have you ever tried actually using AAs?" They don't last long, and you have to have remembered to bring the AA magazine along..


While I can't speak on this wrt Canon, on the D300/D700, using AA batteries is a very viable option. The standard battery gives about 700-800 shots, and the MB-D10 accepts a variety of battery choices, including 2x EN-EL3As, or 8 AAs. I use it with the latter, and typically get over 2000 frames from a freshly charged set before I change the batteries; I have yet to exhaust a set. I carry one spare set and figure that 4K shots capacity (plus 700 from the battery embedded within the body) is more than adequate.

As the AA magazine is the only one I use, and it's always installed in the MB-D10, remembering to bring it is not a major problem.

And the added bonus of using the AAs in this configuration is the increase in the available fps.

I have the 5D2 for the upcoming weekend ... :)
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby DaveB on Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:38 am

If someone's using the AA magazine as a backup, it's likely that at that point the only batteries they have access to are alkalines. Those aren't going to last as long as good NiMHs.
For me I'm happier with the power-to-size/weight ratio of the Li-Ion batteries than carrying yet more NiMH AAs.
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby Potoroo on Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:36 am

DaveB wrote:If someone's using the AA magazine as a backup, it's likely that at that point the only batteries they have access to are alkalines. Those aren't going to last as long as good NiMHs.

I use Imedion low-discharge 2100MaH NiMhs. At around $22 for 4 they're cheap enough that having a spare set in a battery magazine is not an issue and 6 in a magazine last longer than the 1300MaH BP-511A. I don't know how they would compare to the 1800MaH LP-E6 but I like having the alkaline option in case of emergency or operator stupidity.
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby gstark on Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:34 am

Dave,

Quick question for you: how do I get the 5D II to switch into high ISO mode?

I have, through the menu settings, turned on the "Expanded ISO", but I still only see the maximum ISO of 6400. What am I missing here?
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby DaveB on Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:49 am

With ISO expansion (C.Fn I-3) on you can go past 6400 to H1 and H2 (and below 100 to L).

However, make sure you've turned off highlight tone priority (C.FN II-3) or you will be restricted to ISOs 200-6400.
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Re: 5D II Under review

Postby gstark on Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:52 am

DaveB wrote:However, make sure you've turned off highlight tone priority (C.FN II-3) or you will be restricted to ISOs 200-6400.


Thank you. That was what I needed to know.
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