Canon’s new EOS 5D Mark II DSLR, which goes on display at Photokina next Tuesday, boasts a 36 x 24mm Canon-developed CMOS sensor with 21.1 megapixels plus a new DiG!C 4 image processor.


September 17, 2008: Canon’s new EOS 5D Mark II DSLR, which goes on display at Photokina next Tuesday, boasts a 36 x 24mm Canon-developed CMOS sensor with 21.1 megapixels plus a new DiG!C 4 image processor.
Successor to the popular ESO 5D, the new camera has a stainless steel chassis, a durable magnesium-alloy body and a shutter mechanism that is rated for 150,000 cycles. Physically – and in many respects functionally – similar to the recently-released EOS 50D, the 5D Mark II is slightly larger and, like its predecessor, lacks a built-in flash. The new camera’s AF system has been carried over from the earlier 5D but enhanced with the ability to detect colour temperature in scenes and handle light flicker. Both models use a dedicated microprocessor to calculate AF and AF Micro-adjustment to compensate for focus calibration error in the camera plus lens has also been added in the new model.


Front view of the new EOS 5D Mark II with the 24-105mm lens that will be offered with the camera body.


Rear view showing the LCD screen and control layout.
The 5D Mark II’s CMOS image sensor has the same photosite count as the sensor in the flagship EOS-1Ds Mark III and boasts the same fill ratio (light capturing ability) plus a pixel pitch of 6.4 microns. While the earlier EOS 5D model lacked sensor dust removal, the new model comes with Canon’s EOS Integrated Cleaning System plus a new coating on the front filter to repel dust. The new DiG!C 4 image processor offers faster signal processing than its predecessor and ensures high-speed start-up (0.1 second) plus smooth continuous shooting capabilities with burst speeds up to 3.9 frames/second in 14-bit colour. It also supports a wide sensitivity range, with ISO speeds expandable from ISO 50 to ISO 25,600 and delivers images with low noise and natural colour reproduction throughout the sensitivity range.


Cutaway view showing some of the camera’s internal mechanisms.
The new image processor also equips the camera with new features, including movie recording capability. In any shooting mode users can capture still photos and movies with sound in Full HD quality or standard TV quality (VGA), making this the ideal camera for photographers who need to efficiently capture stills and movies without compromising on quality. Video clips are recorded in MPEG4 format with two resolution settings: 1920 x 1080 and 640 x 480 pixels. Frame rates and compression ratios are not adjustable. Sound can be recorded with video clips, either through the camera’s built-in microphone or through an external microphone connected to the 3.5mm stereo jack in the camera body. Microphone levels are adjusted automatically and two audio channels are digitised in PCM format at 16-but/44.1kHz quality.


The ESO 5D Mark II with the optional battery grip.
Contrast-detect autofocusing can be used while shooting video clips, a step up from the video capabilities of the Nikon D90, the only other DSLR to date with video capture. In auto white balance mode, the white balance will adjust to changing light during a video recording. The camera can also record a still image while a video clip is being recorded. An HDMI mini plug connection is provided for playing video clips on a HD TV set. Other new features include automatic image correction tools in the form of Auto Lighting Optimiser and Peripheral illumination correction functions. The 5D Mark II also sports a redesigned autofocusing system with nine cross-type AF points plus six Assist points.
Another feature carried over from the EOS 50D is the 3.0-inch high-resolution LCD monitor, which has 920,000 dots plus a wide viewing angle. The EOS 5D Mark II also includes the 50D’s Live View shooting with Auto Focus capabilities plus a Live Face Detection mode in Live View shooting. By distinguishing human faces in each shot and adjusting the focus and exposure accordingly, Live Face Detection allows photographers to ensure their subjects are captured clearly and accurately.
The new camera will ship with updated versions of Canon’s Digital Photo Professional (Win/Mac), ZoomBrowser EX (Win), Image Browser (Mac), PhotoRecord (Win), EOS Capture (Win/Mac) and Photostitch (Win/Mac) software applications. A special Wireless File Transmitter (WFT-E4/E4A), wired Ethernet and 802.11b/g wireless grip transmitter have been developed exclusively for the 5D Mark II to allow transfer of images and storage of video as it is being recorded to a compatible storage device.
Compatible with Canon’s range of EF lenses (excluding EF-S lenses), the EOS 5D Mark II is targeted at serious enthusiasts and professional photographers. The EOS 5D Mark II body will be available in Body Only (RRP TBC), and as a Premium Kit with the EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens (RRP $TBC). These kits will all be available from December 2008 through Canon dealers nationally. For more information, contact Canon on 1800 021 167, or visit the website at


Image sensor: 36 x 24 mm CMOS sensor; 21.1 megapixel resolution (effective)

Dust removal: EOS Integrated Cleaning System
Shutter speed range: 30 to 1/8000 sec. plus Bulb; X-synch at 1/200 sec.

Exposure Compensation: Manual, AEB ±2: – 1/3 or 1/2-stop increments
Self-timer: Electronically controlled timer with duration of 10 or 2 seconds
Focus system: High-precision 9-point AF with all cross-type sensors plus 6 assist points

Focus modes: Single-servo AF (S); Continuous-servo AF (C); Focus Tracking automatically activated according to subject status, 2) Manual focus (M) with electronic rangefinder
Exposure metering: Evaluative, Centre-weighted, Partial (9%), Spot metering (3.8%)
Shooting modes: Program AE, Shutter-priority AE, Aperture-priority AE, Manual

Picture Style settings: Six setting options: Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome; three more customised Picture Styles can be registered via a PC

Colour space options: sRGB, Adobe RGB

Custom functions: 25 plus 2 custom user settings
ISO range: ISO 100-6400 (L: 50, H1: 12,800, H2:25,600)
White balance: TTL white balance with Auto plus nine manual settings with fine-tuning; WB bracketing supported
Flash: n.a. but hot shoe with support for E-TTL II Autoflash
Flash exposure adjustment: -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV
Sequence shooting: 3.9 fps/78 shots max burst (JPEG)
Storage Media: CompactFlash (Type I/II, compliant with UDMA)
Viewfinder: SLR-type with fixed eye-level pentaprism; 98% coverage; dioptric adjustment -3.0 to +1 dpt; accepts interchangeable focusing screens (Eg-A screen included)

LCD monitor: 3-inch low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD with approx. 920,000 dots (VGA), 170-degree wide-viewing angle, 100% frame coverage
Live viewing: Yes. (Quick, Live & Live Face Detection AF Modes)
Playback functions: Full-frame, index (4 or 9 frames) and thumbnail with shooting data, jump (10 or 100 frames), playback zoom, slide show, histogram, highlight alert, auto/manual image rotation

Interface terminals: USB 2.0 Hi-speed, Video Out (PAL/NTSC); HDMI mini, remote control terminal (RC-1, RC-5 compatible); A/V out, PC terminal, external microphone input
Power supply: LP-E6 Li-ion battery (included)
Dimensions (wxhxd): 152 x 113.5 x 75 mm (body only)
Weight: 810 grams (body only)