5D Mark II - Impressions... that's right ;)

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Antithesis, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So, I had a bit of a hands on the new Mk 2 at a local pro shop (our studio is in line to get one of the first ones in the state, sometime in the next couple weeks, maybe even next week). I have to say, the build quality feels substantially better than the Mk 1. It feels closer to the D700 or D300 in terms of build (which were always a bit stouter than Canons prosumers). The prism seems more robust from the outside, but isn't much brighter or clearer than the Mk 1 and the body seems well sealed. The new LCD is definitely a big step up from the smaller one on the Mk 1, and is far clearer. The menus are certainly prettier, but take a little getting used to when switching from the older 5D. They are the same menus from the Mk3, they just have prettier animations and look substantially better on the HD LCD.

    Aside from the obvious stuff we've already read in reviews, here are things that really stuck out. The shutter sounds far nicer than the old camera. It sounds closer to the cha-chink of a D3 than the Mk 1, except with a crazy futuristic compression noise (no other way to describe it, has to be heard to understand). It makes it just feel like a far more advanced camera than it's older brother (which it is).

    ISO noise: Is phenomenal. 6400 looks roughly like ~1000-1250 on the old one, maybe better (which is very, very usable, like all day). I haven't had a chance to really nit pick, but zoomed in all the way on the LCD, there wasn't much noticeable noise. 12k starts to get much worse and 25,600 is for emergency use only (equiv. to about 3200 on the old body). I only got a chance to play with it for about 15 minutes, but I could tell that Canon has done well on the sensor. The evening before, they had an entire seminar on the new camera, and my coworkers (avid Nikon D3 shooters) got to see images in large print and blown up on a monitor and they were shocked. Apparently noise handling is better than the D3 (yep, I said it). It does get the same barring at extreme ISO's that the current 5D gets, but if you need to shoot over 6400 at f1.4 or 1.2, you should probably consider a flash or leave the cave your in.

    Video: Looks very good. Shooting at 1.4 through live-view is a trip. Oh, and the new lens baby composer on HD video is absolutely crazy. Quite a good time. The controls feel clunky at first with the video, but it gets a little easier. The face recognition works surprisingly well in video mode as well. I was able to get it to lock at f1.4 with someone bobbing in and out of frame. I have a feeling it'll unlock some pretty cool video opportunities that just weren't available to consumers before this.

    I do have some images floating around on a drive in the studio somewhere, but i'm not sure where my boss dropped them. Your just going to have to take my word for it for the time being: Canon has developed a phenomenal camera. When they release a smaller MP full frame sensor in a pro body, the ISO noise race will be completely over. This technology is fantastic, and flash photography is quickly becoming superfluous.
     
  2. Cool, thanks for the update. Makes me a little regretful to have bought the 1Ds Mk III in June. OH well, maybe I'll get one as a second body - tbd. The low-light stuff is highly relevant to me.
     
  3. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    I'm curious about it and I hope we get one in our store soon.
     
  4. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If, say, a 12MP camera and a 21MP camera had the "same level" of pixel-to-pixel noise (not overall), would the 21MP give a more pleasant effect since the overall grain is finer?
     
  5. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This is a valid point.

    Indeed, if you give me a noisy high-ISO 21 MP image, I could process it with noise reduction software, which will reduce sharpness a bit if you do aggressive noise reduction, then reduce it to 12 MP and hence gain pixel-sharpness a bit.

    it is kind of unfair to compare noise levels pixel to pixel on a 21 MP image with a 12 MP image ;)
     
  6. Ls3D

    Ls3D TPF Noob!

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    Yes, thanks for that report!

    I had my hands on one today at a local camera expo, looking through the viewfinder was my first mission as a 40D user for the last year. My eyes exhaled a sigh of relief and my wallet said now you've done it.

    Then I was glad I had already studied the manual as I was able to put her in movie mode and pull focus without a hitch while recording. Everyone wanted to paw the thing so I lovingly placed it back in the reps hands as I bowed lower than anyone else in the room.

    When I started asking question about the video capabilities it was a bit funny to cycle through a few reps until finally there was the senior guy who could actually talk shop about it. He was not sure about my first question (oversampled data tossed or filtered to produce 1920 width) but confirmed the auto aperture I was not fully clear about, (auto ISO in video I understood) and basically the bleeding edge experimental nature of the rig in regards to the video capabilities.

    Since it is only a pleasant bike ride away, I may go back tomorrow and see if I can learn some more, and also compare my 70-200 on the two bodies to really seal the deal.

    Regarding the show, it was almost a warehouse style event. I was expecting a lighting grid, banners and all the usual trade show type structures and fan fare, but even though it was sparsely presented a good range of products were on hand and the reps were knowledgeable and friendly.

    The Fluid Mask (vertus v3?) was very impressive! I'm telling you the mask it can cut are unbelievable... pulling smoke off a splotchy green background with no aliasing. Getting every sub-pixel of hair in a wild shot. I'm probably going to have to pick it up - period.

    -Shea
     
  7. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This is a great report. As more and more real people give this thing a try, the reviews just keep getting better.
     
  8. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Right, and I wonder if the high resolution even with noise will do something for B&W photos - at least I'm a sucker for grainy B&W photos, and often the grain on DSLRs just doesn't seem fine enough. Now, I'm no expert on film grain by any means, but at least between an 8mp noisy B&W image and a 12mp noisy B&W image, the 12mp 'grain' looks better. Anyway, just clarification of the earlier post.
     
  9. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Which shop do you work in? I think Pro Photo takes delivery sometime soon (I've heard next week for the last few weeks in a row, so hopefully next week).

    It kinda sucks not being able to review the RAWs yet and really nitpick and get the full scoop, but from what I can tell it seems pretty good. We're having a guy come in and give us a crash course in Final Cut so we can start working with the video asap to add to our slideshows. iMovie is pretty limited and doesn't give you the best quality output from what I've seen so far.

    There should be a link up pretty soon to a slideshow/video our studio is making for Lensbaby and prophoto, I'll try to get a link when it's complete.
     
  10. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I haven't had a chance to look at some RAWs and verify if this is the case. We could only assume that the grain would be "finer", but you tend to get the banding in extreme cases too, which totally ruins the quality of the grain.

    I was just saying that overall, the image seemed to have less grain than the D3 at similar ISO's. The only reason I say this is because I edit images from a D3 on a regular basis (hundreds to thousands a week), and the noise from the 5D2 seemed less pronounced at say 3200 or 6400. And I'm not attacking the D3, just using it as a benchmark.
     

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