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Cameras

EOS 5D Mark II – the world’s first DSLR capable of shooting Full HD video


The EOS 5D Mark II represents a revolution in the digital SLR camera market. Just as the original EOS 5D created a new market segment between the professional EOS-1 series cameras and the consumer EOS 20D, the EOS 5D Mark II takes photography in a new direction.

Who is it for?

The EOS 5D Mark II will find favour with many genres of photographer; from photojournalists and social photographers to landscape and natural history shooters. In fact, the only group of photographers it won’t suit are those shooting high-speed sports when a faster frame rate is required to keep up with the action.

Apart from stills photographers, the EOS 5D Mark II will also appeal to those interested more in moving images as the Full HD video recording simplifies the HD video capture process. It also allows the use of all the EF lenses from the Canon lens range, so would-be film-makers have no shortage of options when it comes to choosing the look and feel of their productions.


Key features


  • 21.1 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor
  • 3.9fps shooting speed
  • 1920x1080 Full HD Movie Capture
  • ISO range from 50-25,600 with expansion
  • DIGIC 4 processor

For the first time, a digital SLR still camera features the ability to record Full High Definition (HD) 1080p video suitable for use across any media. It provides the ability for photojournalists to shoot stills and video without changing cameras, and amateur moviemakers to shoot high quality video without needing expensive camera set-ups and a dedicated film crew.

The advantage of the full-frame CMOS sensor is immediately clear – low light performance is excellent and the depth-of-field in videos can be tightly controlled in a way that video cameras with smaller sensors cannot achieve. It is also possible to shoot stills while shooting video.

While the ability to shoot Full HD video may be the headline feature, there are other important features. The camera features a standard ISO range that runs to 6400, with expansion settings to 12,800 and 25,600 for when the light levels really fall and you need to get a shot. This high ISO, low light performance comes courtesy of the improved CMOS sensor and the presence of the DIGIC 4 processor, which removes image noise while retaining detail in the image.

A 3.9fps shooting speed is fast enough for the needs of most photographers this camera is aimed at. When shooting JPEG images to a UDMA enabled memory card the buffer capacity is only limited by the capacity of the memory card.

The 920,000-dot VGA LCD screen provides incredible clarity and using it with the Live View Mode makes checking fine focus before taking the picture easy. The large viewing angle also makes Live View Mode even more useful as you can still view the LCD screen even if your camera is positioned at a strange angle.

The Live View Mode is also improved, providing three autofocusing methods – Quick AF, Live AF and Face Detection AF. To ensure accurate autofocus in normal use the wide-area AF features a centre cross-type sensor, eight other AF sensors, and six AF Assist points for use in AI Servo focusing.

To keep images dust free the camera also features the proven EOS Integrated Cleaning System to shake off dust particles from the sensor, plus the ability to collect Dust Delete Data for mapping any remaining dust out in post-production using Canon's Digital Photo Professional software.

Fittingly for a camera that is destined for professional use, the shutter life has been uprated to 150,000 actuations. The EOS 5D Mark II also features improved weather sealing to keep the elements out and allow professionals to keep shooting in many varying conditions.

Full-frame sensor

The full-frame sensor provides a field of view the same as film. Depth-of-field is the same as well, allowing for finer control over what is in and out of focus. The larger sensor also means larger pixels, with inherently lower noise levels.

DIGIC 4 processor

The DIGIC 4 processor is the heart of the EOS camera. It processes the data from the sensor and turns it into something usable. The high level of computing power available in the DIGIC 4 allows for very advanced noise processing to ensure noise-free images. It has also allowed the facility to shot up to ISO 25,600 while retaining good image quality. The DIGIC 4 processor is also responsible for providing the processing power to capture the Full HD movie data from the sensor, as well as providing features such as Highlight Tone Priority and Peripheral Illumination Correction.

High Resolution 3-inch LCD screen with Live View

The screen on the EOS 5D Mark II is a VGA 640x480pixel unit with 920,000 dots. This provides a sharp, clear view of images in review and also makes using Live View easier as you can judge focus more accurately, especially when shooting in movie mode.

9-point AF

The AF system ensures the image is in focus before the shot is captured. The 9-point AF on the EOS 5D Mark II features a cross-type centre point and 6 AF-Assist points to aid in tracking subjects in AI Servo shooting.

EOS Integrated Cleaning System (ICS)

Dust is a fact of life with digital cameras. The EOS ICS helps to minimise dust entering the camera, repels dust that does get in and removes dust that’s made it onto the sensor.

Technical product specifications are currently unavailable.