Canon 5D Mark II

It is now official. After posting teasers on their web sites for the last week, at midnight last night, Canon officially announced the much awaited Canon 5D Mark II.

So what’s new and improved?

*The sensor jumps from 12.8 megapixels on the current model to 21.1 megapixels on the new model. So long as the quality remains good, more megapixels means bigger enlargements.

*High ISO sensitivity jumps from 3200 to 6400 but it can be expanded to ISO 25,600. This is huge news if the quality is still good at the higher ISOs.  This should mean better pictures at much lower light levels and faster shutter speeds at lower ambient light levels.

*Now for the really surprising, good news (at least so far as I am concerned). For a long time I have wondered why Canon didn’t put a movie mode in a digital SLR.  This is a basic feature of many point and shoot digital cameras and it is one of the reasons I run around with a digital point and shoot (the Canon Powershot S3 IS).  I like to capture short video clips. Canon finally did it. The Canon 5D Mark II incorporates full HD (1920×1080) video at 30 fps. Finally!!  This is the first and only (as of Sept 17) D-SLR to provide a High Definition movie mode.  You can play high resolution movies from the new Canon 5D on your HD TV.

*The 5D Mk II has Auto ISO in all modes except manual. If the shutter speed drops below a certain point due to a drop in light levels, the camera jumps the ISO to maintain the desired shutter speed.

More additions and upgrades to the 5D Mark II:

*The dust reduction feature that is part of several other Canon D-SLRs.

*Digic IV image processing.

*A still photo continuous capture rate of 3.9 frames per second.

*“Live View” mode with many options.

*A 3 inch high resolution (VGA) LCD screen.

There is a lot more to this camera but the feature above interest me the most. You can read an excellent preview at

The specs sound very good. How good is this camera really?  I will let you know when reliable test reports begin to appear.

As always, I recommend that you wait to buy any new model of camera until a few months after the camera hits the shelves. That will give Canon time to work out the “new model bugs” that so often happen. The 5D Mark II should be “bug free” a few months after its release. (I know you can hardly resist if you have been waiting for this model.) The cost is expected to be around $2700 USD.

Canon’s 5D Mark II promo page.

Canon has posted a couple of downloadable, full-sized jpeg images here.