Canon EOS 5D Mark II — Features

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II is a 21.1-megapixel full-frame CMOS digital single-lens reflex camera made by Canon. It succeeds the EOS 5D.

Improvements compared to original EOS 5D

  1. 21.1 megapixel (5,616 × 3,744 pixels), compared to 12.8 megapixels (4,368 × 2,912 pixels)
  2. DIGIC 4 image processor, compared to DIGIC II
  3. 100–6400 ISO (expandable to L (50), H1 (12800), H2 (25600)), compared to 100–1600 (expandable to L (50), H (3200))
  4. 3.9 frames per second continuous shooting (78 JPEG or 13 Raw in a single burst), compared to 3 frame/s (60 JPEG or 17 Raw)
  5. Small Raw modes: sRAW1 mode (10 megapixel/3861 × 2574 pixels), sRAW2 mode (5.2 megapixel/2784 × 1856 pixels)
  6. 98% viewfinder coverage with 0.71× magnification, compared to 96% coverage
  7. Larger 3.0-inch (76 mm) LCD display with 920,000 pixels, compared to 2.5-inch (64 mm)
  8. 1800mAh LP-E6 battery, compared to 1390mAh BP-511A

New features

  1. Movie recording full HD at 1920 × 1080 and SDTV at 640 × 480 resolution.
  2. Monaural microphone for audio during video recording, speaker for playback and microphone jack for external stereo microphone
  3. Live preview with ExpSim LV “exposure simulation” live preview (full exposure preview control utilizing ExpSim LV, a first for video in a DSLR)
  4. Live preview with contrast-detect autofocus
  5. HDMI video output for live preview or playing clips and images on an external monitor via Type C MiniHDMI port
  6. Dust reduction system to perform automatic sensor cleaning
  7. Battery management software
  8. The 5D Mark II is the first camera in the EOS line to provide video recording functions. Still photography during video recording is possible, but the camera suspends recording video until the final still frame is captured.
  9. The Li-Ion battery for the 5D Mark II (LP-E6) has a 1800mAh capacity. Each battery contains a microchip with a unique identifier for reporting charge status and battery health for display on the camera.
  10. The 5D Mark II’s “Battery Info” screen can track battery health and shooting history for up to six LP-E6 batteries.

Video recording

The 5D Mark II was the first DSLR to feature 1080p video recording. The Canon PowerShot SX 1 IS followed with full HD in a bridge digital camera soon after. The 16:9 aspect ratio portion of the sensor used in video mode is equivalent in sensitive area to a VistaVision 8/35 frame. This large sensor allows videos to be recorded with very shallow depth of field for a “film look”. The 21 megapixel sensor is downsampled to HD resolution by only using every third line and 4:2:0 chroma subsampling, leading to concern about Moiré patterns in recorded video.

Movie clips can be up to 4 GB in size, approximately 12 minutes of 16:9 HD (1920×1080) or 24 minutes of 4:3 SD (640×480) footage (depending on scene complexity). These limits stem from the 4 GB maximum file size supported by the FAT32 filesystem format used on Compact Flash cards. The camera also imposes a hard maximum clip length of 29 minutes 59 seconds if the 4 GB limit has not already been reached.

Video clips are recorded as Quicktime MOV files with H.264/MPEG-4 (Base Profile @ L5) compressed video and uncompressed PCM audio at 48 kHz. HD bit rate is approximately 38 Megabits per second (4.8 Mbyte/s) and SD bit rate is approximately 17 Megabits per second (2.2 Mbyte/s). Although the internal microphone is mono, stereo audio is supported through the audio input jack. When recording for long periods, especially in warmer climates, increased video noise may occur due to CMOS overheating.

Video functionality

The EOS 5D Mark II is capable of video recording in low-light situations.Initially, the camera only had a 30 frame per second (30p) video mode. Later, Canon released a firmware upgrade to add a 25p mode for PAL format compatibility and a 24p mode for compatibility with motion picture film cameras. The firmware update also modified the 30p mode to record 29.97 frame/s and the new 24p mode actually records 23.976 frame/s to have frame rates compatible with NTSC. The update also added manual control of the audio record levels and an official way to disable the Automatic Gain Control.

Canon also released firmware version 2.0.4 for the 5D Mark II, adding 24p frame rate and manual audio recording.

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