Best Buy
  • Price: 2173

  • Company: Canon

  • Pros: Super stills quality; excellent high-ISO performance; durable, weatherproof chassis; industry-leading video capture.

  • Cons: Still using original 9-point AF system; some handling niggles, particularly with video capture.

  • Our Rating: We rate this 9 out of 10 We rate this 9 out of 10

The full-frame Canon EOS 5D Mk II is the replacement for the 12.8-megapixel EOS 5D and packs a new 21-million pixel CMOS sensor, three-inch photo-quality LCD, Live View with stills and full HD video, and improved weatherproofing.

The full-frame Canon EOS 5D Mk II is the replacement for the 12.8-megapixel EOS 5D and packs a new 21-million pixel CMOS sensor, three-inch photo-quality LCD, Live View with stills and full HD video, and improved weatherproofing.

Like its popular predecessor, the Mk II is a full-frame model with the capacity to take advantage of the original field of view of Canon’s 35mm format EF lenses. And like the Canon EOS-1D models, the Mk II is not compatible with the EF-S lens range, due to their smaller image circle.


In the hand, the Mk II feels reasonably heavy and solid – it dwarfs APS-C and 4/3-format digital SLRs but is a good deal more discreet and portable than the Canon top-tier professional models.

We were also impressed with the viewfinder image in terms of its size and brightness; a range of information is displayed, including ISO and battery levels. It maybe the same AF as that found on the original 5D, but the 9-point AF system has six additional unmarked AF assist sensors. In use, it’s both fast and accurate.


The three-inch LCD is highly detailed, with 920,000 pixels and a huge asset when recording HD 1080p video, essentially capturing the Live View feed. A nice touch is that the remaining recording time is based on card capacity, but this then switches to a countdown during capture.

As a video camera, the EOS 5D Mk II has its weaknesses. Continual auto-focus during video capture isn’t possible: you can use AF in Live View first, then manually focus after – but this takes practice to perfect. As with Nikon’s D90, you can’t alter ISOs or exposure settings during capture, but you can set the taking aperture first, allowing those highly desirable shallow depth-of-field shots.