Back in August 2005 Canon 'defined a new DSLR category' (their words) with the EOS 5D. Unlike any previous 'full frame' sensor camera, the 5D was the first with a compact body (i.e. not having an integral vertical grip) and has since then proved to be very popular, perhaps because if you wanted a full frame DSLR to use with your Canon lenses and you didn't want the chunky EOS-1D style body then the EOS 5D has been your only choice. Three years on and two competitors have turned up in the shape of the Nikon D700 and Sony DSLR-A900, and Canon clearly believes it's time for a refresh.
So here is the 5D Mark II, which punches high in terms of both resolution and features, headlining: 21 megapixels, 1080p video, 3.0" VGA LCD, Live view, higher capacity battery. In other words, a camera that aims to leapfrog both its direct rivals, either in terms of resolution (in the case of the D700) or features (in the case of the DSLR-A900). Full detail below.
Key features / improvements
21 megapixel CMOS sensor (very similar to the sensor in the EOS-1Ds Mark III)Sensor dust reduction by vibration of filterISO 100 - 6400 calibrated range, ISO 50 - 25600 expansion (1Ds Mark III & 5D max ISO 3200)Auto ISO (100 - 3200) in all modes except manual3.9 frames per second continuous shootingDIGIC 4 processor, new menus / interface as per the EOS 50DImage processing features:Highlight tone priorityAuto lighting optimizer (4 levels)High ISO noise reduction (4 levels)Lens peripheral illumination correction (vignetting correction)RAW and SRAW1 (10 MP) / SRAW2 (5 MP)RAW / JPEG selection made separatelyPermanent display of ISO on both top plate and viewfinder displaysAF micro adjustment (up to 20 lenses individually)Three custom modes on command dial, Creative Auto modeImage copyright metadata support98% coverage viewfinder (0.71x magnification)3.0" 920,000 dot LCD monitor with 'Clear View' cover / coatings, 170° viewing angleAutomatic LCD brightness adjustment (ambient light sensor)Live view with three mode auto-focus (including face detection)No mirror-flip for exposures in Live View if contrast detect AF selectedMovie recording in live view (1080p H.264 up to 12 minutes, VGA H.264 up to 24 mins per clip)Two mode silent shooting (in live view)New jump options in play modeHDMI and standard composite (AV) video outFull audio support: built-in mic and speaker, mic-in socket, audio-out over AV (although not HDMI)IrPort (supports IR remote shutter release using optional RC1 / RC5 controllers)UDMA CompactFlash supportNew 1800 mAh battery with improved battery information / loggingNew optional WFT-E4 WiFi / LAN / USB vertical gripWater resistance: 10 mm rain in 3 minutes