After agonizing over the decision for months, I finally got myself the Canon 5D Mark II DSLR. And despite the initial cost, I’m so glad I did! This camera has pretty much spoiled me and I don’t think I can ever look back.
What I love:
- Excellent low light performance: The 35mm full frame format allows for very usable images up to ISO 3200. I can usually handhold my shots without flash.
- 21-megapixels is huge, but also means I have a lot of leverage to do creative cropping in Adobe Lightroom 2 when I need it to improve a shot’s composition.
- The 3.9 fps continuous shooting mode is good enough for me to shoot sports, pets, etc. When I need to shoot action, I usually set the camera to 1/500-1/1000s shutter speed, center-point focus, and AI-SERVO autofocus.
What irks me:
- Auto ISO basically doesn’t work in Manual Mode (M). It only jumps to ISO 400, even if that results in really poor exposures. In Aperture-Priority (Av) and Shutter-Priority (Tv) modes, it does what you would expect and chooses an ISO sensitivity needed to get a correct exposure based on your shutter speed and aperture settings. I just don’t understand why it wouldn’t be desirable to calculate this when I’m in Manual Mode and setting my shutter speed and aperture manually.
- ISO 6400 is okay and sometimes you really need the extra stop of light sensitivity, but it’s too grainy for my tastes and there are often banding artifacts in the image. ISO 3200 can already be grainy, but is a mostly acceptable tradeoff.
- The movie mode doesn’t support 60fps at 720p. It’s doubtful Canon will ever add this functionality through a firmware update even though many users are clamoring about it. If you want that mode, get a Canon 7D or Canon 1D Mark IV.
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