new cam.. new creative flair?.. my 5D Mark II impressions

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After two years of using the original 5D now comes the 5D Mark II model. Full of feats and extras from the 3 years old tech of the first version. I got mine last friday from Canon Marketing Philippines Inc. Im actually satisfied with the 5D but the demands of commercial photography commands me to do the upgrade. And being an artist and tech-geeky sometimes needs some new brush (camera) to renew its passion and creative flair 😉

Moving on…Initial impressions of this camera.

Physical

I salute Canon maintaining a separate body + grip design (form factor).  Obviously lugging heavy gear for long periods of time is no fun, so sometimes if you want to reduce weight you just unscrew the grip and saves you from body pain. It still doesn’t have a pop-up flash which you wont need anyway since you have up to ISO 3200 usable.

The body is more curvier specially at the Canon logo area (pentrapism). The buttons at back are adjusted to make room for the new 3.0″ LCD. Yes, there is AF-on button now working for both stills & video. It also has some nice touch of  weather sealing. The mode dial markings are now engraved and wrapped with rubber grip.

Usage

I just had my unit last friday and since im very familiar with Canon cameras i dont need to tinker  the manual page by page. The 5D Mark II’s menu system is now like the familar 40D /50D cameras that was also first introduced on the high speed 1D Mark III. Its more easy to navigate, more user friendly including the custom functions.

The 5D and 5D Mark II are virtually the same but packed with plus features. The imaging sensor is now at 21 megapixels and it now houses the latest DIGIC IV imaging processor. AF points are pretty the same to me but Canon stated that it better? I noticed some tiny-weeny-bit improvement in speed or probably Im just excited? Really, nothing to write home about it, it is exactly the same.

High Megapixels is good, but it comes with a price, I initially tested one of my favorite primes, the EF 50mm f1.4 and disappointingly it performs below my expectations. It cannot resolve the resolution that the 5D Mark II is giving, plus the CA (Chromatic Aberration) is now more pronounced. Fortunately, my recently acquired EF 70-200 f2.8 L IS and EF 24-70 f2.8 L doesn’t suffer with the same fate like my other consumer lenses. From my initial testing inside my studio, the 5D I renders more 3d’ish detail than the 5D Mark II. This is now getting more confusing?? Yes and yes IQ from the original 5D is better by 10%. Il perform another set of testing tomorrow with my L lenses to nail my observations. Could it be that these days monitor resolution cant display the level of detail in 21mp? Or does our eyes cant see those resolution by near distance? I dont know but again from my initial observations the 5D’s images have better shadow detail, clarity and sharpness. Although what I can tell now is that, 5D Mark II colors are more accurate.

Video: Nothing to compare right now, in terms of DSLR video quality. The D90 has it but very premature falls behind with the quality from the 5D Mark II. The video feature is just great the only downside is the lack of manual settings. I have to fiddle with it more since im very new to this video thing. Actually, this is the feature of the cam im more excited, il be making some personal projects and im now imagining the possibilities it can provide. I will start to learn and study videography.

So by far here are my quick impressions… Il probably make a complete review during the long holidays this December.

As a tradition of course. I took some “binyag” shots of my new baby. 😉

more in the coming days…