By Dan Finkelstein
on 1.14.09

It Might Just Change The Way You Shoot Photographs – For Good.

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There is something magical that happens when you pick up the new Canon 5D Mark II. Everything from eyeing the full-frame shot, to hitting the 3.9fps shutter, to finally seeing the image in all its glory on the crisp, sharp, full-framed 920,000 pixel LCD is awe inspiring.

Speaking of awe inspiring, see the photograph of the moon that Dan captured using the 5D Mark II after the jump.

Canon released the 5D Mark II early this winter and, despite the supply failing to meet public demand, I managed to get my hands on one of these black beauties. I’ve been a Canon loyalist since I purchased my Canon 20D and lenses a few years back. I having spent some time with the evolutions thereof (30D and 40D) and have appreciated their improvements, but its predecessors simply can’t match the prowess and power of the enchanted 5D Mark II. [Continued after the jump]

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Yes, that’s the actual moon. Yes, Dan shot this using an 800mm lens mounted on the Canon 5D Mark II for the purposes of this story. Yes, we were just as amazed.

When you mix the potency of Canon’s full-framed sensor with L-series glass, you are in for a life-changing experience. I recently met a friend at a local park here in Southern California, and we arrived at the tail end of the “magic hour” (or the Golden Hour) thinking for sure we had missed our window of opportunity.

With any other camera this may have been the case, but here is where the 5D truly shines. I framed up my buddy and hit the shutter expecting to get a dark photo with muddled colors. My jaw dropped as I previewed the image and saw how much light was captured. Were my eyes deceiving me? Had a light turned on somewhere? Did I activate the flash? Nope, it was all thanks to the exceptional Canon 5D Mark II.

canon-5d-mark-ii-top.jpgWhere my eyes saw a dimly lit subject, the Mark II saw a figure that was more than well lit. The ISO settings get ridiculously high on the 5D (100-6400 plus digital pushing to 25,600!), and when compared to the 40D, you’d think you were seeing things. Even on 6400 ISO (super light-sensitive), I was still able to get great photos with just a pinch of noise. Any of you men who’ve had time behind a digital SLR will truly appreciate this low light capabilities.

The 5D Mark II is expensive, but then again you get what you pay for (and pay for what you get). If you have the cash for the 5D, you won’t be disappointed on any front (except for maybe it’s 30fps video capture instead of a more film-like 24fps). Be sure to spring for some nice L-series lenses (again, pricey), and you’ll be on your way to shooting jaw dropping photographs. By the way, the 5D Mark II also shoots 1080p HD video.

Technical Notes:

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II captures at a jaw dropping 21.1 megapixels in full-frame (most DSLR’s like the Nikon D90 we use at Gear Patrol are APS sensors, not full-frame which is equivalent to 35mm).

The 5D Mark II is powered by Canon’s DIGIC 5 image processor with advanced technologies like auto lighting optimizer (as written in Dan’s account above), peripheral illumination correction, and live view shooting (you can see what you’re shooting through the 3.0 inch screen, not just the viewfinder). The 5D Mark II can capture at 3.9 fps, has 9 autofocus points, and is weatherproof. With lenses, it’s also the equivalent price to a car down payment.

Cost: $2,700

Also See: Red Scarlet Digital Stills and Motion Camera | Canon Powershot G9

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