Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Released September, 2008
New: EOS 5D Mark III (Mar, 2012)
  • 21 MP
  • Full frame 36 x 24 mm CMOS
  • 3" LCD
Its combination of professional-level build quality, superb handling, high-speed performance, class-leading image quality and the added bonus of HD video recording and its other advanced features will be more than enough to satisfy even the most demanding photographer, and it is sure to match the popularity of its illustrious predecessor.
by TrustedReviews (Apr, 2012)
8.9 Out of 10

Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

EOS 5D Mark II
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth, DxOMark Dynamic range and 1 more


How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

EOS 5D Mark II
focus points


How much delay is there between you and your photo?

EOS 5D Mark II
continuous shooting


What do the experts think?

EOS 5D Mark II
Reviews from,,, and 5 more


Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

EOS 5D Mark II

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

EOS 5D Mark II
1,815 ISO
Nikon D610
2,925 ISO
813 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

EOS 5D Mark II
2,600 LPH
EOS 1Ds Mark III
2,100 LPH
Nikon D610
2,900 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

EOS 5D Mark II
206 ms
75 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

EOS 5D Mark II
82 ms
Nikon D610
54 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

EOS 5D Mark II
400 ms
700 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

EOS 5D Mark II
3.9 fps
7 fps
7 fps

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

Reviews Word on the street for the Canon EOS 5D Mark II

It is essentially a simplified Aperture Priority mode, giving you the options to choose between a blurred and sharp background and a darker or brighter image.

It has a 24.6-megapixel CMOS sensor, built-in sensor-shift image stabilisation and sensor cleaning, 5fps shooting in Raw+JPEG mode, a tough weatherproof body and what is widely acclaimed as the best viewfinder on the market.

Many of the new capabilities definitely target pros: a pair of low-resolution raw formats (10 and 5.2 megapixels), more interchangeable focusing-screen options, in-camera peripheral-illumination correction to compensate for brightness nonuniformity across the image, and a silent Live View mode.


8.7 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight


That said, the 5DM3's JPEGs do look fine up through ISO 1600, and depending upon the scene and your needs they can be quite good through ISO 6400.
by c|net (Jan, 2009)
Extended to an uncalibrated 12,800 ISO there is quite a lot of noise, but the banner letters are still readable.
by TrustedReviews (Apr, 2012)
It has essentially the same sensor as the £5,800 EOS 1Ds Mk3, but the 5D Mk2 pairs it with the more advanced DIGIC 4 processor.
by TrustedReviews (Apr, 2012)


Usually I'm not a fan of the lenses that ship as part of kits like this, but I ended up liking the 24-105mm a lot more than I expected and think it's a good match for anyone looking for a first lens to pair with the camera.
by c|net (Jan, 2009)
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.
by TrustedReviews (Apr, 2012)
Overall I consider that a plus, but it does require some changes to your old metering habits if you're a big spot-meter user, especially if you shoot a lot of wide angle.
by c|net (Jan, 2009)


The most notable feature advantage the 5D Mark II has over its competitors is the movie-capture capability.
by c|net (Jan, 2009)
Movie clips are recorded in the Quicktime.
by TrustedReviews (Apr, 2012)
Though it has 6.25-micron sites compared with 6.4 microns on the older sensor, Canon claims that all the other advances, including the better processing in the Digic 5+ engine, delivers overall better noise performance - two stops better for JPEG and video.
by c|net (Jan, 2009)


First live view has to be activated in the menu, and then the Live Mode focus has to be selected.
by TrustedReviews (Apr, 2012)
The main nine-point AF system is so quick in good light that it is virtually instant, however it is considerably slower in lower light and I did find it hunting around a bit from time to time in late evening light conditions.
by TrustedReviews (Apr, 2012)
You can select from six preset configurations of the AF system: general, obstacle-insensitive, objects moving into a specific range of AF areas, acceleration sensitive, erratic speed, and erratic speed and direction.
by c|net (Jan, 2009)

Image quality

The graph below shows how the camera's tone curve and dynamic range is affected by the wide range of contrast settings.
by DPReview (Feb, 2009)
There is so much to talk about with this camera that I could probably fill another couple of pages and still miss something, but time and space require that I wrap things up, which brings us finally to the vital subject of image quality.
by TrustedReviews (Apr, 2012)
Note that at two stops negative compensation you can no longer be guaranteed color accuracy, with some channels clipping earlier than others.
by DPReview (Feb, 2009)

Specifications Full list of technical specs


Megapixels 21 MP
Resolution 5616 x 3744
Size Full frame
Area 36 x 24 mm
Crop factor 1.0x
Pixel size 41.1 microns
Light sensitivity 100 ISO to 6,400 ISO
Light sensitivity (Boost) 50 ISO to 25,600 ISO
  1. RAW
  2. JPEG
Self cleaning sensor Yes
Tested vertical resolution 2,600 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 2,600 LPH

focus system

Type Phase detection
Focus points 9
Cross type focus points 1
Supports continuous No


Min 30 s
Max 1/8000 s

form factor

Size 152 x 114 x 75 mm
Thickness 75 mm
Weight 850 g
Is weather sealed Yes


Is a smart camera No
Includes a GPS No
Supports HDR No
Automatic panorama No
Create realistic 3D images No
Image stabilization None


Video 1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps
Shoots video in 24p Yes
Shoots high speed video No
External mic jack 3.5mm
Autofocus while shooting video None


Type LCD
Size 3"
Resolution 920 k dots
Has a touch screen No
Has a flip out screen No
Supports live view Yes


Viewfinder mirror Opaque
Viewfinder Viewfinder
Type Pentaprism
Coverage 98%
Magnification 0.71x
Viewfinder size 0.71x


Max continuous shooting 3.9 fps
Battery life 850 photos
Continuous shooting 3.9 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 206 ms
Shutter lag 82 ms
Startup delay 400 ms
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