Canon 5D Mark II

Good morning, you.

This weekend I had the ‘pleasure’ of getting my hands on what seems to be the most popular camera in the known universe.


Now it is plain to see that I am a Nikon man. Always have been. I believe their entry-level cameras are vastly superior to that of Canon, but I always maintained that when you moved up the spectrum to the pro-level cameras, Canon caught up.

So I was keen to finally get my hands on the 5D Mark II. It seems that everyone uses this damn thing, and now I’m just not sure why.

Before I go any further in to this little rant, I will freely admit that the image it takes are truly excellent. I have no problems with them at all. It is just being able to get these photos that baffles me. Why does it have to be so difficult?

Turning the camera on should be the easiest and most simple action ever. I also maintain that it should be able to be done with one hand. Now I have relatively big hands, but I cannot do it due to the placement of the switch. Fair enough, not sure a big deal I guess.

Switching settings should also be one of those natural, easy, fluid motions. But how can it be when the dials aren’t where your fingers are? The top mounted finger dial is ok, but it is cumbersome to use. Nikon use the front and back scroll wheel, which sits perfectly under your thumb and index finger.

Changing the focusing so that I could select the AF point got me very frustrated. I could do it on the rear LCD, or on the top panel, but not when looking through the viewfinder. Is it possible to do this? I don’t know, or care anymore. I resorted to manually focusing most of my shots because of this. Oh and on the same lines, 9 AF points? Really? I know that Nikon use 51 in their similar level cameras, which is possibly too many, but 9 just is not enough for this level of camera.

I was also quite disappointed with the viewfinder. It seemed perfectly fine, but for a full frame camera I wanted more to be honest, something brighter, and more pleasing to use.

The first big gripe I had when I got hold of this camera though, was it’s built quality. Most of it was hard and strong and chunky and fine. But the memory card door. Cheap, cheap cheap plastic that felt worse than the one on my old Nikon D50. Surely for this sort of money we should be getting more than that.

Oh and while I remember, protecting the images. It took me a long time to figure out how, mainly because I didn’t think something like that would be buried in the menu. Surely it is something we need straight away, but no.

Sorry Canon fans. But this camera is truly bad. I was hoping to really like it, because it seems ever popular for some reason. Like I said, images are excellent, and maybe that is why. Or maybe it is the megapixel one-up-manship that has taken hold of everyone.

Now it is possible that i am being too harsh. I’m sure if i were a Canon user i’d have taken this camera and simply loved it. But even when i gave the 5D to a non-camera user, along with a Nikon D300s, the instant favourite was the Nikon. This was simply because it was easier to use. However, after a few hours with it i was able to coax out the photos i wanted. And these are brilliant quality.

Anyway, enough of me. I actually took some good photos with this camera, and shall be posting something up about them soon enough.

I will also do a short write up and review about the lens i used with the 5D – the Tamron 70-200mm f2.8.