REVIEW: Canon 5D Mark II

I started looking for a new camera body a few months ago. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a massive budget but I knew the camera needed two things:

  • A full frame sensor (to anyone who doesn’t know what that means, it means the sensor that picks up all the information for the camera to take a picture is the same size as 35mm piece of film for when everyone used film cameras before it all went digital.) Today, this means you can shoot better quality images with a higher ISO speed (or as some people used to call it ‘film sensitivity’) so grain/noise isn’t an issue
  • More Auto-Focus points. Because I’m doing more Sports photography, I need more AF points to make sure my images are sharp and focussed on the fast moving object/person.

So, with those two things in mind I went on doing my research. In an ideal world where money is endless and I could get any gear I wanted, I would definitely get the Canon 5D Mark III. (Sorry Nikon lovers, I’m in the Canon camp!) It’s one of, if not the best camera that Canon is producing at the moment but unfortunately as we all know, a lot of the time the best gear comes with the highest price tag and I simply can’t afford it. However, I was looking at the other 5D models and I really liked the 5D Mark II, the model just before the Mark III. As with all the 5D cameras, it is full-frame and has 6 extra A-F points than the camera I was previously using. So already this camera was looking very good to me, and then I had a look around online and it was within my budget!! Happy days!

So after it arrived, I opened up the box and was extremely happy with the body itself. It has a special handgrip which my previous cameras didn’t have. It is a little heavier than the other cameras I’m used to, but that doesn’t bother me much at all. I fitted my 28-105mm lens and set off to practise. My last camera was a Canon 600D and the display layout was completely different so getting used to that was certainly fun.

The only disadvantage with the camera I found was that it’s a Compact Flash Card only which was a little bit of a faff as I have managed to build up my supply of SD Cards so I had to buy a load of CF Cards which set me back about £50. I also had to buy a special memory card reader. But even after all that, the camera itself, I couldn’t find fault.

The first two jobs I had using the camera were photographing the Flying Scotsman on it’s first public run in over 10 years….


…and then Bury vs Bradford @ Gigg Lane in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup…


After getting used to the different screen layout, I have really started to like and enjoy using the 5D Mark II. I have already bought a battery grip to add extra battery life and even though it makes it that little bit heavier, it’s well worth it to have twice as much battery life, especially on those days I’m shooting for 6-10 hours.

Overall, I’m extremely happy with my purchase and I definitely recommend it to anyone wanting a professional camera on a budget.

Published by megthorntonphoto

I am primarily a wedding photographer. However, I shoot events and commercial products.

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