Canon EOS 5D Mark II
|Type||Digital single-lens reflex camera|
|Sensor||36 × 24 mm CMOS|
|Maximum resolution||5,616 × 3,744 (21.1 megapixels)|
|Shutter speed range||30 to 1/8000 s|
|Exposure metering||TTL, full aperture, 35 zones|
|Exposure modes||Full auto, programmed, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual|
|Metering modes||Evaluative, Partial, Spot, C/Wgt Average|
|Focus areas||9 user points + 6 assist points|
|Focus modes||One-shot, AI Servo, AI-Focus, Manual|
|Continuous shooting||up to 3.9 frame/s.|
|Viewfinder||Optical pentaprism with 98% coverage and electronic (Live View)|
|ASA/ISO range||100–6400 (expansion from 50 up to 25,600)|
|Rear LCD monitor||3.0 inches (76 mm), 640 × 480 (921,600 dots)|
|Storage||CompactFlash (CF) (Type I or Type II)|
|Battery||Li-Ion LP-E6 Rechargeable (1800mAh)|
|Weight||810 g (body only)|
|Optional battery packs||BG-E6 grip allows use of 6 AA cells, a single LP-E6 or two LP-E6 batteries|
The Canon EOS 5D Mark II is a 21.1-megapixel full-frame CMOS digital single-lens reflex camera made by Canon, the first Canon EOS camera to have video recording capabilities. It succeeds the EOS 5D and was announced on 17 September 2008.
Improvements over original EOS 5D
- Movie recording full HD at 1920 × 1080 and SDTV at 640 × 480 resolution.
- Monaural microphone for audio during video recording, speaker for playback and microphone jack for external stereo microphone
- Live preview with ExpSim LV "exposure simulation" live preview (full exposure preview control utilizing ExpSim LV, a first for video in a DSLR)
- Live preview with contrast-detect autofocus
- HDMI video output for live preview or playing clips and images on an external monitor via Type C MiniHDMI port
- Dust reduction system to perform automatic sensor cleaning
- Battery management software
The 5D Mark II is the first camera in the EOS line to provide video recording functions. Still photography during video recording is possible, but the camera suspends recording video until the final still frame is captured.
The Li-Ion battery for the 5D Mark II (LP-E6) has an 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.
While the Nikon D90 was the first DSLR to shoot 720p high-definition video, and the Panasonic GH1, a MILC, was capable of 1080p/24 recording before the 5D Mark II officially gained this capability, the latter was the first full-frame DSLR to feature 1080p video recording. The Canon PowerShot SX 1 IS followed with 1080p video in a bridge digital camera soon after.
The 16:9 aspect ratio portion of the sensor used in video mode is similar in sensitive area to a VistaVision 8/35 frame. This large sensor allows videos to be recorded with very shallow depth of field for a "film look". The 21 megapixel sensor is downsampled to HD resolution by only using every third line and 4:2:0 chroma subsampling, leading to concern about Moiré patterns in recorded video.
Video clips can be up to 4 GB in size, approximately 12 minutes of 1080p HD or 24 minutes of SD (640 x 480) footage. These limits stem from the 4 GB maximum file size supported by the FAT32 filesystem format used on Compact Flash cards. The camera also imposes a hard maximum clip length of 29 minutes 59 seconds if the 4 GB limit has not already been reached. Video and audio is recorded to QuickTime (MOV) container files with H.264/MPEG-4 (Base Profile @ L5) compressed video and uncompressed 48 kHz/16-bit PCM audio at . The bitrate for 1080p is approximately 38 megabits per second (4.8 Mbyte/s), while for SD it is approximately 17 megabits per second (2.2 Mbyte/s). Although the internal microphone is mono, stereo audio is supported through the audio input jack. When recording for long periods, especially in warmer climates, increased video noise may occur due to CMOS overheating.
The EOS 5D Mark II is capable of video recording in low-light situations and it is sold for a relatively low price, compared with professional video cameras. For the first eighteen months of its release, the camera only had a 30 frame per second (30p) video mode. On 15 March 2010, Canon released a firmware upgrade to add a 25p mode for PAL format compatibility and a 24p mode for compatibility with motion picture film cameras.
The firmware update also modified the 30p mode to record 29.97 frame/s and the new 24p mode actually records 23.976 frame/s to have frame rates compatible with NTSC. Lastly, the update added manual control of the audio record levels and an official way to disable the automatic gain control.
Following the success of the Canon Hack Development Kit (CHDK) for Canon's PowerShot cameras, third party firmware was also produced for the 5D Mark II. The Magic Lantern firmware provides many additional video and cinematography related controls and meters such as false colors, and zebra stripes for exposure control, depth of field estimates via peaking filters, audio VU meters and disables the automatic gain control on the microphone input (although some of these features have since been added to Canon's official firmware, as noted above). Recent nightly builts have even managed to provide a stable output of uncompressed 14-Bit RAW video data onto fast UDMA 7 CF cards at almost HD resolution (1004p vs. 1080p at Full HD). Although the size of the files and high price of appropriate cards are considered moderate drawbacks and the 5D Mark III generally shows better performance regarding RAW video, the Mark II, being the oldest among them, still remains to be the next best among reasonable choices for DSLR RAW video output and showcases thus, that uncompressed HD RAW video on a DSLR was already theoretically possible with technology of the year 2008.
Independent film and television
Notable film and television productions that used the Canon 5D Mark II include (in order of release):
- The opening title sequence for the 35th season of NBC's Saturday Night Live, first broadcast on 26 September 2009. The camera, alongside the Canon 7D, was used due to its size, which allowed covert shooting on the streets of New York City, and depth of field capabilities, making it a suitable substitute for the series' usual 35mm film.
- The documentary film the Conquest of High Passes directed by Wout Conijn and filmed by cinematographer Jean Counet has been shot on the Canon 5D Mark II. The documentary, broadcast on 26 November 2009 by Dutch public broadcaster BOS was shot in Tibet, without permission. The Conquest of High Passes was the first high end documentary being shot on a 5D Mark II in the Netherlands.
- The House episode "Help Me", broadcast by Fox on 17 May 2010, was shot entirely on the Canon 5D Mark II, replacing the drama's usual 35mm film format. Portions of the seventh season were also recorded with a 5D Mark II.
- The BBC Two comedy series Shelfstackers, first broadcast on 4 September 2010, is the first BBC programme to use the camera. The corporation had initially refused its use due to "lack of quality" but were persuaded otherwise by the series' director, Dom Bridges. All six episodes of the series were shot on the camera for a total budget of £160,000.
- The Road to Coronation Street, broadcast by BBC Four on 16 September 2010, is the first UK television drama to be shot on the Canon 5D Mark II. The drama's director of photography was impressed and plans to use the camera on the seventh series of the BBC One drama Hustle.
- The 2011 short film Scenes from the Suburbs directed by Spike Jonze used a version of the camera modified to use Panavision lenses to shoot all of the night scenes alongside 35mm film used for the day scenes.
- The resurrected Hawaii Five-0 TV series is currently shot using Canon 5DmkII.
- Dutch public Broadcaster VPRO's documentary series Backlight used the 5D Mark II for the first time on Bregtje van der Haak's award winning documentary California Dreaming. Cinematographer Jean Counet used both Canon's 5D Mark II and the 7D for the first time for this prime time documentary series changing its regular use of its Sony XDCAM broadcast cameras into DSLRs and EOS cinema cameras.
- Behzat Ç. Bir Ankara Polisiyesi, a Turkish TV series is being shot on Canon 5DmkII.
- The 2012 film Act of Valor was shot with the use of the Canon 5D Mark II.
- Dimensions, a multi-award winning 2012 British period sci-fi feature film, was shot using Canon 5D Mark II for 'less than the price of Batman's cape'.
- Marvel's The Avengers is reported to have some Canon 5D MkII shots.
- Department, a 2012 Bollywood movie, is reported to have been shot using Canon 5D Mark II
- ParaNorman, a 2012 3D stop-motion animated adventure horror film produced by LAIKA, Inc., was shot on sixty Canon 5D Mark II cameras.
- Nirel, First International Tulu movie, directed by Ranjith Bajpe, is reported to have been shot using Canon 5D Mark II.
- Escape from Tomorrow, a 2013 feature film, was shot guerilla-style with two Canon 5D Mark II cameras at the Disney theme parks.
Third party production rigs and lenses
Several aftermarket vendors have developed professional video accessory packages, to take advantage of the large 35mm sensor, which provided cinema-like depth of field. Redrock Micro and Zacuto are two of these.
For 3D video shooting Anachrome 3D is offering several dual camera mount packages, which make use of several short focal length Canon prime lenses. Specialized "shifting prisms" compensate for the "too wide" spacing of the pair of cameras. By inverting one of the cameras, the spacing is further reduced. Sync issues are also addressed in these 3D packages, with a "sync comparator" as "gen-locking" two 5DM2s is not readily do-able at this early stage.
A company in Los Angeles, CA, Hot Rod Cameras, is offering cinema style PL lens mounts, which will allow a few of the larger cinema lenses used on Arriflex film cameras to be fitted to the 5DM2. The sensor is actually the size of two motion picture 35mm frames, similar to a 20th-century wide-screen process promoted by Paramount Studios, Called "Vista-Vision". This was 35mm film, run horizontally through the taking camera, using twice the area of a normal 35mm cine frame.
The included software package contains the following software: 
- Digital Photo Professional
- ZoomBrowser EX / ImageBrowser
- EOS Utility
- Picture Style Editor
|2009-01-07||1.0.7||Early buyers of the camera reported black pixels appearing in high contrast situations. In late 2008, Canon officially acknowledged that there was an issue with black dots and vertical banding noise in certain circumstances.|
|2009-06-02||1.1.0||Originally, the camera lacked manual control when filming video. On 2 June 2009 version 1.1.0 of the firmware was released which provided control over aperture, shutter speed and ISO while recording video.|
|2009-12-17||1.2.4||Supports the WFT-E4 II wireless file transmitter and to correct an issue where visible noise may appear in photos taken in continuous Bulb shooting.|
|2010-03-16||2.0.3||Supports 1080p at NTSC 29.97 frame/s, 1080p at PAL 25.00 frame/s and 1080p at cinematography 23.976 frame/s. It also added a function for manually adjusting the sound recording level (64 levels), a histogram display (brightness or RGB) for shooting movies in manual exposure, shutter-priority AE mode (TV) and aperture-priority AE (Av) mode to the exposure modes for shooting movies and changed the audio sampling frequency from 44.1 kHz to 48 kHz. On 17 March 2010 the firmware was found to have some bugs with the audio functions and thus retired.|
|2010-03-19||2.0.4||Fixes the 2.0.3 bugs, and add 24p framerate and manual audio recording.|
|2010-10-19||2.0.8||Solves several issues related to the camera operations under specific circumstances.|
|2011-05-30||2.0.9||This update improves performance with certain UDMA cards and solved other issues.|
|2011-11-14||2.1.1||Fixes a phenomenon where shooting stops after capturing one image when in continuous shooting mode or auto exposure bracketing (AEB) continuous mode. It also corrects wording in the Dutch language menu screen.|
|2012-02-29||2.1.2||This update optimizes the camera’s performance when using certain UDMA 7-compatible CF cards released in February 2012 or later.|
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- "'House' season finale filmed with Canon 5D Mark II.". Retrieved 13 April 2010.
- "Canon 5D Mark II used to shoot entire House season finale, director says it's 'the future'.". Retrieved 15 April 2010.
- Bloom, Philip (19 April 2010). "EXCLUSIVE: In depth interview with Greg Yaitanes, Executive Producer and Director of "House" Season Finale shot on Canon 5DmkII". Retrieved 23 May 2010.Interview with Greg Yaitanes about Season Finale of House by PhilipBloom (m4a). Retrieved 23 May 2010.
- Hart, Hugh (21 January 2011). "DIY Filmmakers Dig High-Def, Low-Cost DSLR Cameras". Wired. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
- "Another BBC Series Shot On The Canon 5D Mk2". Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- "First UK Drama To Use Canon EOS 5D MkII As Main Camera". Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- The Suburbs Deluxe Edition CD-DVD. Making of featurette.
- "Cameras of Hawaii Five-0". Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- Behzat Ç. Yazan: Simto ALEV 15 Şub 2011 Tweet (15 February 2011). "Behzat Ç". Simtoalev.com. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
- "Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR Cameras Take Moviegoers Deep Into the Daring Operations of Active-Duty U.S. Navy SEALs in Relativity Media's Act of Valor" (Press release). Canon U.S.A., Inc. 24 February 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
- Ford, Rebecca (21 October 2011). "'Avengers' D.P. Says He Did Not Use iPhone on the Film". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR Cameras Help Capture the Summer Animated Feature "ParaNorman" in 3D". 17 August 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
- Sciretta, Peter (January 21, 2013). "'Escape From Tomorrow': A Feature Film Shot in Disney Theme Parks Without Disney's Permission [Sundance 2013 Review]". /Film. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
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- "Canon responds to black dot and banding concerns: Digital Photography Review". dpreview.com. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
- "Canon Enables Manual Exposure in Video on EOS 5D Mark II" (Press release). Canon UK. 27 May 2009. Retrieved 27 May 2009.
- "EOS Digital". Retrieved 8 February 2010.
- "5D Mark II Firmware 2.0.3 Available.". Retrieved 23 March 2010.
- "5D Mark II Firmware 2.0.3 Broken". Retrieved 23 March 2010.
- "EOS 5D Mark II Firmware Upgrade 2.0.4". Retrieved 23 March 2010.
- "Canon 2.0.4 firmware update". Retrieved 23 March 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Canon EOS 5D Mark II.|
- Canon EOS 5D Mark II – Canon USA
- Canon EOS 5D Mark II – EOS website (Japanese)
- Specifications sheet – Canon UK
- Canon EOS 5D Mark II In-depth Review – February 2009 at Digital Photography Review
- Full-length review at DigitalCameraInfo.com
- Canon 5D Mark II video performance review