At last Canon has upgraded the camera that first made full-frame digital photography possible for many enthusiasts. Will it enable the company to regain the top spot in the DSLR market? We review the Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

LCD viewfinder:
Dynamic Range:
AWB Colour:


Canon EOS 5D Mark II review


Price as reviewed:


Canon EOS 5D Mark II at a glance:


  • 21.1 million effective pixels
  • Full-frame CMOS sensor
  • 3in, 920,000-dot LCD screen
  • Live View
  • Full HD (1080p) video recording in 12-minute bursts
  • Street price approx £2,250

Canon’s EOS 5D was the first camera to make full-frame photography possible for many enthusiast photographers. As such, it enabled them to use their existing Canon EF-mount lenses and see the same composition in the viewfinder as they do with their film cameras.

Combined with the fact that it is capable of producing excellent images, the Canon EOS 5D was an aspirational model for many photographers. It has been the camera of choice for numerous photographers, from the serious enthusiast to the professional.

However, it seems this success may have gone to Canon’s head, as the company appears to have been resting on its laurels and letting the competition catch up. Nikon, for example, now has three full-frame DSLRs, with the relatively recent 
12-million-pixel D700 being the 
most obvious competitor for the EOS 5D, and Sony has released the impressive 24-million-pixel, full-frame Alpha 900 with an enticing street price of around £1,700.

New technology, such as in-camera sensor cleaning, dynamic range optimisation and Live View, has also come along, appearing in the rest of Canon’s DSLR range as well as many of its rivals’ cameras.

This has left the EOS 5D looking rather dated, and for many months a replacement was expected with each photographic trade show being the anticipated launchpad. Now the waiting is over and the Canon EOS 5D Mark II is here. Could it help Canon win the DSLR market crown back from Nikon?

  1. 1. Canon EOS 5D Mark II at a glance:
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. Build and handling
  4. 4. White balance and colour
  5. 5. Metering
  6. 6. Autofocus
  7. 7. Resolution, noise and sensitivity
  8. 8. Dynamic range
  9. 9. Viewfinder, LCD, live view and video
  10. 10. The competition
  11. 11. Our verdict
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