5D vs. Mark II

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by fumosanto, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. Hey everyone... New user, new post...
    I'm debating purchasing a gently used 5D; however would like to know if there are any major differences in perfromance to the newer Mark II. Aside from the 1080p video option of the Mark II, what major advantages does the Mark II have compared to 5D. Also, in addition, what are (if any) limitations with the Mark II (I've heard issues regarding noise, black spot, etc. which firmware may fix).
    At the end of the day, I can snag the 5D for $1700, and is there any justification to dropping an extra $1000 on the Mark II?
    Any opinions/information would be helpful.
  2. The Mk II has a large capacity to crop an image, live view works very well and has become a valuable tool to me, sensor cleaning and a much nicer LCD make it worth the upgrade to me, as well as the ability to print large. Also I have had zero problems with my 5DMkII, most of what you hear about problems are highly exaggerated. You should be able to get used 5D's for $1200 easy.
  3. I've also found the mkII to have better low light performance (1600 on the 5d was pretty unusuable, whereas I use up to 3200 on the mkII as long as the output isn't going to be too large), and I think it has more tonal detail. Live View is also extremely convenient when using a tripod or monopod for an unmoving subject.
  4. fwiw, if you decide to go with the mark ii, you don't necessarily have to spend $2700. i just got mine new on ebay for $2400 plus 8% cashback with bing, which brings the total to about $2200. be careful of who you buy from however, as your camera won't be warrantied unless the seller is an authorized canon retailer. my seller was, and i could give you more info on them if you want.
    it's probably easier to buy direct from adorama or b&h, and of course it's great to support local stores if you can, but $500 is a pretty substantial difference.
  5. I agree with Jonathan. You don't have to pay $2700 in the end. I bought the 5D Mark II from Adorama with Bing 10% cashback. It'll take 60 days to get the money but hey, I'll wait a couple months for it.
    I'm pretty sure I saw the same or at least similar deal Jonathan got on Ebay...missed it by a day :(
    I own the original 5D and have been very pleased with it. But I'll be thrilled to have Live View and I'm very interested in the quality of the higher ISO settings. From the images I've browsed through on Flickr, there's a pretty substantial difference up around ISO800 and beyond.
  6. I agree with Jonathan. You don't have to pay $2700 in the end. I bought the 5D Mark II from Adorama with Bing 10% cashback. It'll take 60 days to get the money but hey, I'll wait a couple months for it.
    I'm pretty sure I saw the same or at least similar deal Jonathan got on Ebay...missed it by a day :(
    I own the original 5D and have been very pleased with it. But I'll be thrilled to have Live View and I'm very interested in the quality of the higher ISO settings. From the images I've browsed through on Flickr, there's a pretty substantial difference up around ISO800 and beyond.
  7. $1700 seems high for a gently used 5D. KEH is selling several in EX condition, ranging from $1370 to $1480.
    5D2 has video, live view, better low-light performance (by approximately 1 stop), more pixels. 5D has a lot of pixels and very good low-light performance. 5D2 has a better LCD and slightly faster frame rate. They're both very good cameras and capable of excellent results.
  8. "I can snag the 5D for $1700..."
    Get the 7D then instead. The 5D is OLD tech. The 5D is essentially a 20D at full frame. 4+ year old technology.
  9. The 5D should cost less than 1700! For big prints and with good technique, the 5D Mk2 is much better.
    For photojournalistic shooting and smaller prints the 5D is just fine. I'm in the market for another camera but it won't be a 5D or 5DMk2. It will be Canon's next generation 5D (I mean full-frame, 12-15ish million pixels, and high ISO performance....if they make one).
    Cheers, JJ
  10. Okay, so from what I'm hearing, the MK2 is better for the following reasons:
    • Sensor Cleaning
    • LCD
    • Low Light Benefits
    • Cleaner high ISO
    • Live View
    • Pixel size
    I don't want to entertain a 7D, as I'm really looking for a full frame sensor. I currently shoot with a G10, and noise is my biggest complaint with that camera. I constantly shoot at ISO 80-200; anything above that turns noisy. Plus, no matter what my setting, blue (sky) is always filled with noise.
    I have come across a 5D refurb with warranty for $1700, so my used option is no longer a valid option. So again, are the features listed above worth the $500-$800 price difference?
    And again, thanks to everyone for their feedback; you're a tremendous help.
  11. Both the Mk I and Mk II are almost unbelievably better than the G10 at high ISO. With correct exposure the 5D is quite clean at 1250, and the 5D2 is even better.
  12. As Alan mentions either will be miles beyond what you are using now and should bring a smile to your face.
    Past the new features and specs, to my aging eyes there is quite a difference between the two.
    I originally borrowed a friends 5D for awhile a little over a year ago and to emphasize Ken's point, was not sufficiently blown away compared to my 40D to spring for it. I did grab the 5D II when it came out and was instantly happy. When I compare MY test shots from the 5D to similar ones from the 5D II the difference was very obvious - this is while using the same lenses (good L glass).
    While I'm sure counter-examples exist, and as much as I like to think I keep improving as a photographer, to me the new body shows much better results for the photos I take. Only you can decide whether the improvements folks have listed are 'worth it', but to me it is not even a close contest.
  13. You should be able to purchase a near mint 5D for as little as $1,100 to $1,200. I did.
    As Ken suggests, the technology is about the same as the 20D except for being full frame.
    Still, for portraits and landscapes, I'd take the 5d mk1 anyday over the 40D or 50d. Anything up to 1600 ISO is fine (it can go up to 3200). Higher ISOs on the 40D and 50D, IMHO, give poorer results (but it's close)
    So is it worth the extra $1,200 to $1,500 for the mk II version of the 5D? Give us a better idea of what you shoot. Keep in mind you could get a 40D or 50D plus the 5D mk 1 for what a new (or even used) 5D mk ii will cost you.
  14. Yeah, sensor dirt can be a problem with the old 5D (which I have). Of course, if you need video, larger pixel count, .....
    I still love my 5D, but will be more careful in changing lenses in the future to keep dust off the sensor.
    And welcome to the site.
  15. Wow, great input from everyone here, and thanks again all.
    Jeff brings up a good point which I neglected to clarify. I mainly shoot landscape, and rarely shoot anything indoors. Astrophotography is also something I'd like to eventually take an interest in. I live in AZ; therefore bright light and blue sky is always a factor, however with more travelling comes more photo opportunities.
  16. MkII has 21MP vs 12MP. Both handle high ISO noise very well. Although the MkII has a higher resolution and the pixels are smaller, it has a newer better processor to handle the noise very well. Look on ebay, you should be able to get a nice 5D for about $1200.
  17. Before I would get the original 5D, I would buy the 7D. Also the 1700 price for the original 5D seems too high. Heck, I will sell you mine for that much! In my little test (just for me) the 7D iso was one stop better than the original 5D. The metering and AWB is dead on compare to my old 5D. v/r Buffdr
  18. If you shoot landscape and push the boundaries of large print size then there are real image quality advantages to the 5D2. If you don't push print size these advantages diminish, possibly to insignificance with the exception of higher ISO performance.
    Aside from image quality, there are other difference that may or may not be significant. These include things like dust reduction that works, live view, etc.
    I have both bodies. I can reliably get photographs that will print well at 16" x 24" with excellent quality from the 5D and larger is certainly possible.
  19. Mike, if someone is charging you $1700 for a used 5D, your getting ripped. As previously mentioned, used ones go for $1200 and under. So the difference is far more than $500-$800. If it were just $800 more, I'd certainly get the 5D Mark II.
  20. I have 5D Mark II and previously owned a 5D1. And tomorrow I will be buying a 5D1 again (for $1100) and selling my new 5D2.

    One: money, I don't use digital that much and body prices drops day by day, mostly from brand new stuff.
    Two: Because much of the new things (LCD, Live View, Video HD, High ISO, High pixel density) are great, but I think some of them steals my focus on "photography". I don't want to be thinking of making a video or sth.
    Three: 5D1 is a great photographic instrument. And the old style basic things are just right. With the Ee-s screen it's awesome.
    Four: For the real Jump in quality I will be getting a digital back for my hasselblad 500 in the future. When it comes to field photography, 5D2 quality is really close to 5D1. Maybe you can notice it printing 16*20 and up.
    Five: I like classic, so I usually don't crop images. Bresson said something like this "If you don't get the full composition right, no cropping can save your picture". Like this, I believe that there is no advantage on cropping files from 5D2, it simply never worked out for me.
    Have a good one.
  21. Mike,
    The previous posters have pretty well listed the advantages of the MkII.
    But, only you can list the advantages of $1000 :)
    Do you print much? You could easily spend $500 on ink in a year. Need a lens? They're kind of pricey, especially zooms. You get the idea.
    That said, the 5D (original) is a very fine camera, capable of very good images, even for pretty large prints. I have one and I'm not trading it for the MkII unless I have a lot of extra money :)
    Whichever you get, you'll love it.
  22. Bresson said something like this "If you don't get the full composition right, no cropping can save your picture".​
    If HBC actually said that (which remains to be verified) it goes to show that even successful and highly-regarded artists can cling to silly ideas. Untold millions of commercial and photojournalistic images have been cropped with great success. Granted, many times cropping WON'T fix a problem photo, and granted, nailing the final crop in camera is usually the best approach. But that doesn't mean that cropping is useless or even a bad practice. Sometimes the final image simply doesn't match a particular camera's aspect ratio.
    P.S. on topic: IMHO, the 5DmkII is AMAZING. If you want to spend less, consider a 7D instead of an old 5D. As many have mentioned, the orignal 5D IS a very nice camera, and those who own them still get excellent results from them. But if you're starting from scratch, why not leverage the advantages of the latest technology?
  23. I own both 5D and 5DMkII, and here's my list in my particular usage (photos in portraits, fashion, hitech):
    • 5DMkII is amazing in low light, 5D usable up to 1000ISO and then the noise starts to get at you...
    • 5DMkII batteries fare a lot better (but do not expect to be able to use old stuff from 5D)
    • the ultrasonic sensor cleaner is an advantage, far less dust spots to worry about
    • for me, live view, HD video and most digital gimmicks of 5DMkII are wasted
    • most seriously, I have had to repair the 5DMkII twice, first the thumbwheel was inoperative, and just two days ago the camera (5 days after the expiry of warranty period) went nuts - the buttons won't budge, the shutter won't release for most of the time etc. I have never experienced quality problems this severe with anything I have purchased, esp. having paid 2300EUR for the thingy. Prosumer goods this expensive should not fail this often, and I think something went wrong in the release of this particular model at Canon.
    If your aspiration is improving your basic photographic skills, a used 5D would, in my opinion, do just fine. My answer to the question "why not buy the latest technology" is "why go through the pain of sorting out the bugs in the cutting edge products", "why have features you do not need" and "if latest technology is what you must have, what might be coming up after 12 months of more wait".
  24. What lens are you buying or do you already have, the extra money will go toward a good quality lens. As to noise a 20D will do much better than the G10 at high ISOs. Don't disreagard the 7D because it is a crop camera, unless you are doing some thing that absolutely requires full frame. For $1700 dollars you can buy one of the entry level DSLR and an excellent lens to go with it, 17-55 f/2.8 IS, for instance.
  25. If your new to SLR's the 5D will be more than adequate. I've owned both the 5D and the 5DII and they are both excellent cameras that will provide results head and shoulders above the G10. Manuels got it right. Your going to need lenses and the good ones aren't cheap. If your patient you can pick up a decent 5D on Ebay for around 1000 bucks. This leaves 1200-1500 for lenses.
    A 5D with a 17-40L, 50mm 1.4, and a 85mm 1.8 would be a kit that will give you years of quality service. By the time you outgrow the 5D you'll be able to pick up a Mark2 for about the same price your thinking of dropping now. The biggest drawback with any DSLR is that they simply do not hold your value. About six years ago I paid a grand for a new 6 megapixel digital Rebel. Now their giving them away on Ebay for around 200 bucks.
    Get the body for as cheap a price as you can find and save your real money for lenses. Browse the galleries and see what people have done with the 5D. It's an amazing camera that in most cases is more than what people need. The only negative I can throw out there against the 5D is the lack of a sensor cleaning system. Darn thing seems to be a magnet for dust at times.
  26. What will you do with the extra money if you'll buy the 5D1? Is your lens setup up to your preference?
    Happy shooting,
  27. This is a budget matter.
    I shed a tear when I traded my 5D for a Mark II; I almost kept it because we'd been so much together.
    But, the Mark II is a better camera for MY needs. I do a lot of fast-draw shooting. With that 21.1 megapix, I can use shorter lenses. Just a month ago, I shot a hiking photo and the hikers were quite a distance away. Still I shot the scene with a 16-35, probably 20-ish. I had a great vista photo, but when I cropped down, I could see the faces, expressions and the whites of the eyes of the people who were on the trail. And the cropped file was still above 5 mb and could stand alone as a closer photo.
    It focuses like lightening and the depth of field with shorter lenses is terrific.
    Also, as a sharpness junkie, it is noticably sharper to the trained eye. But to get that improved sharpness, you have to anchor the camera, or use a measured flash rather than an auto flash close up.
    Still, today, I'd still buy a used 5D before I'd buy a new 50D or 7D because of the full frame capability. I'm not keen on the video, although it's nice to have if a job comes up. So as a still camera, teh Mark II is the best I've ever owned and the 5D the second best digital and the third best camera behind the company's last F1.
    As a pro, you need to make the investment. As an amateur, even a serious amateur, the first 5D is a great camera, still better than everything else other than Canon's top pro team.
    Now, excuse me, I have to get to the soup kitchen since I can no longer afford food.
  28. I assume you're aware of the extra 9mp. Unless you care about video that's the reason to buy it. Noise and overall image quality on the 5D2 is absolutely stunning.
  29. Walker Evans once said (paraphrasing because I don't recall the quote): If you need to crop, then crop.
  30. Bresson said something like this "If you don't get the full composition right, no cropping can save your picture"​
    Whether HCB said it or not, it is nonsense. A crop is a new picture, not a salvaged version of the original. I personally do not think that one can have too many pixels and cropping options.
    Should one buy the 5D II to get more cropping options? I am not sure. In any case, one of the reasons for shooting full-frame is to be able to get shallow DOF without having to use telephoto lenses. In that regard, however, both variants of the 5D give great results.
    As for astro-photography, some subjects benefit from the telephoto effects of the cropped sensor cameras. Whether to pick up a 50D or spring for the 7D--in addition to the FF camera --is a factorable issue. I personally don't think that 21 MP is overkill for landscapes or even portraits, but high pixel density can actually help with much astro-photography. As for landscapes and portraits, people are paying tens of thousands of dollars for digital Hasselblads. It is hard to have too many pixels for landscape photography, in my opinion. Lots of pixels also give fine, crisp prints without adding unsharp mask.
    In any case, 21 MP is still nowhere close to medium format, in my opinion, although it is getting close enough for most people most of the time. If one is a resolution junkie, however, the 5D II is the clear winner for all of the Canon DSLRs, unless one must have the weather-sealing and overall durability of the 1Ds III.
    There are so many variables to consider here. Although I would like to sell anyone my lightly-used 5D (I have three FF Canons!), I would have to tell them up front that the 5D II is probably worth the additional cash--or the wait until such time as one can come up with the cash. Then again, when was the last time I ever paid cash for anything as expensive as a FF Canon?
  31. Mike, my experience has been that the 5D2 has totally exceeded my expectations. I initially wanted to get the Mk1, but just when I'd saved up enough to get one, they announced the Mk2. I tried out the Mk1 back in 2006 and was convinced it was "the one" from my very first encounter with it. When I tried the Mk2 early 2009 and looked at the files, it blew me away. Got mine in Oct. Noise is so very low. Live view is a useful tool (reduces the "Hail Mary" factor in those overhead shots at weddings ;-)), I can basically shoot in the dark (dimly-lit restaurants, etc.) with a lot of confidence. HD video is a different beast which I plan to get to grips with eventually (might as well!). Overall, if you have the cash for it, I highly doubt you'd regret the purchase.
    <p>Caveat: make sure you have decent glass. You'd rather have that and "settle" for a Mk1 rather than get a 5D2 and use sub-par lenses.
  32. for me, live view, HD video and most digital gimmicks of 5DMkII are wasted
    For me, live view turned out to be - unexpectedly - one of the most powerful and useful features for my photography, much of which is urban and natural landscape and night photography. (I wrote up a post on the subject summarizing some of how I rely on it.)
    I'm not a video shooter so that doesn't matter to me. I do appreciate the effective dust reduction system of the 5D2. I shoot outdoors a lot and often change lenses, sometimes in windy conditions. After a year I have not had to do a "sensor cleaning" at all. I get an occasional dust spot, but these generally disappear by themselves after a few on/off cycles.
  33. Mike, let us know what you decide to do. I'm happy to say that I sold my 5D a couple of days ago (as much as I liked it) and now only have the 1Ds II to get rid of. (I'm planning to keep the 5D II). It was getting rather ridiculous with three FF cameras. One FF Canon ought to be enough for an amateur who shoots as rarely as I do. Still, they are wonderful instruments, and I hope that you get the one you really want.

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