Canon EOS 5D Mark II SLR Review

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Canon EOS 5D Mark II





Record Modes & Menus



Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Above you can see the Camera settings and Shooting function displays. The Camera settings screen shows which modes you have registered under the Camera 1/2/3 positions on the Mode dial, Color space, White balance shift/bracket settings, Color temp. currently being used, Auto power off and Auto rotate display settings, Free space on the memory card, and the time and date.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II

The Shooting function display is actually an interactive shortcut menu. From here you can access options like Shutter speed, Aperture, Picture Style, ISO, Highlight tone priority, Exposure level/AEB range, Flash exposure comp., Shooting mode, AF point, White Balance, Metering mode, Image quality, AF mode, Drive mode, Battery check, White balance correcting, Max. burst, and see the number of shots remaining. The amount of options available depends on the exposure mode being used. Above you can see the limited settings offered when using Program mode.


Canon EOS 5D Mark II

To access the 5DMk2's main menu system just press the MENU button. You can use the main control dial or the 8-way joystick controller to navigate the menus.


Record Menu

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Rotating the Quick Control dial or using the 8-way controller will give you access to these options under the Camera or Shooting menu:

  • Quality: - Choose the RAW (RAW, SRAW1, SRAW2) and JPEG (Large Fine/Normal, Medium Fine/Normal, Small Fine/Normal) settings by rotating the Control and Quick Control dials
  • Beep - Enable/disable "button beep" sounds
  • Shoot w/o card - Allows or denies shutter release when no memory card is installed
  • Review time - Sets review timeout on LCD - 2 sec., 4 sec., 8 sec., Hold
  • Peripheral illumination correction - Enable or Disable, helps with light fall-off or darkening at the corners of your images when using certain lenses
  • Exposure Comp./AEB - Choose the EV compensation for AE Bracketing and Exposure compensation (-2 to +2EV in 1/3 or 1/2EV steps)
  • White Balance - Choose from Auto, Daylight (5200K), Shade (7000K), Cloudy (6000K), Tungsten light (3200K), White fluorescent light (4000K), Flash, Custom, Color Temp.
  • Custom WB - Set the custom white balance value using a stored image
  • WB SHIFT/BKT - Set white balance correction or the step increment for white balance bracketing
  • Color space - sRGB, Adobe RGB
  • Picture Style - Selects image effects; see next menu description.
  • Dust Delete Data - Takes an exposure (of a white object) to identify dust spots on the image sensor. The dust data are appended to subsequent images for post-processing removal by Canon's software.


Picture Style Menu

The Picture Style menu has two looks. The first is what you see when you select the Picture Style option in the Record Menu, and the second is the graphical display when you press Picture Style button on the back of the camera. They Both have the same options, listed below:

  • Standard: For vivid, sharp and crisp images
  • Portrait: For nice skin tones, slightly sharp and crisp
  • Landscape: For vivid blues and greens, very sharp and crisp images
  • Neutral: For natural colors and subdued images; no sharpening applied
  • Faithful: For colormetric adjustment of colors of subjects shot under a color temperature of 5200K; no sharpening applied
  • Monochrome: For Black and White images
  • User Def. 1-3: For user-defined Picture Styles
  • Detail set.: For changing parameters of the pre-defined and user-defined Picture Styles

The numeric parameters (or N) shown for each style are from left to right Sharpness, Contrast, Saturation and Color Tone.


Metering, ISO, Autofocus, Drive and White Balance Menu's

The 5DMk2's settings for Metering mode, White balance, AF mode, Drive mode and ISO are directly accessible by pressing the dedicated buttons mounted around the Data LCD on the top of the camera. You can also access these settings by using the Shooting function display, which brings up the screens below.


Canon EOS 5D Mark II

The metering system can be set for Evaluative, Partial, Spot and Center weighted average modes.


Canon EOS 5D Mark II

ISO can be set to AUTO or in a range from 100 to 6400. You can also enable ISO expansion via the Custom Function menu, which adds L (50), H1 (12800), and H2 (25600).


Canon EOS 5D Mark II

You can choose Single or Continuous (up to 3.9fps) image capture as well as set the Self-timer/Remote control for 10/2 seconds or Custom.


Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Auto focus mode options are One-Shot AF, AI Servo, AI Focus AF or MF


Canon EOS 5D Mark II

White balance selections include Auto, Daylight (5200K), Shade (7000K), Cloudy (6000K), Tungsten light (3200K), White fluorescent light (4000K), Flash, Custom, Color Temp.



Custom Functions

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

C.Fn I: Exposure
  • Exposure level increments - 1/3-stop or 1/2-stop
  • ISO speed increments - 1/3 or 1 stop
  • ISO expansion - Off or On
  • Bracketing auto cancel - On or Off
  • Bracketing sequence - o, -, + or -, 0, +
  • Safety shift - Disable or Enable (Tv/Av)
  • Flash sync. speed in Av mode - Auto, 1/200-1/60 auto or 1/200sec. (fixed)


Canon EOS 5D Mark II

C.Fn II: Image
  • Long exp. noise reduction: - Off, Auto or On
  • High ISO speed noise reduction - Standard, Low, Strong, or Disable
  • Highlight tone priority - Disable or Enable
  • Auto lighting optimizer - Standard, Low, Strong, or Disable

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

C.Fn III: Autofocus/Drive
  • Lens Drive when AF possible - Focus search On or Off
  • Lens AF stop button function - AF stop, AF start, AE lock, AFpoint:M->Auto/Auto->Ctr, One Shot/AI servo, IS start
  • AF point selection method - Normal, Multi-controller direct, Quick Control Dial direct
  • Superimposed display - On or Off
  • AF-assist beam firing< - Enable or Disable
  • Mirror lockup - Disable or Enable
  • AF point area expansion - Disable or Enable
  • AF Microadjustment - Disable, Adjust all by same amount, Adjust by lens


Canon EOS 5D Mark II

C.Fn IV: Operation/Others
  • Shutter button/AF-ON button - Metering + AF start, Metering + AF start/AF stop, Metering start/Meter + AF start, AE lock/Metering + AF start, Metering + AF start/Disable
  • AF-ON/AE lock button switch - Disable or Enable
  • Assign SET button - Normal, Image quality, Picture Style, Menu Display, Image replay, Quick control screen, Record Movie (Live View)
  • Dial direction during Tv/Av - Normal or Reverse direction

  • Focusing Screen - Eg-A (supplied), Eg-D or Eg-S
  • Add original decision data - Off or On


Live View and Video Capture



Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Live view mode allows you to use the 5DMk2's LCD to frame you pictures, much like a consumer point-n-shoot. Here you can see the live image with info enabled. There are icons for shutter speed (0"5), Aperture (4.0), exposure comp. (0), Number of images remaining (491), ISO (200), battery level, and the AF frame.


Canon EOS 5D Mark II

The 5D Mark II is the first digital SLR I have worked with that offers a video capture mode, much less full HD resolution. You can shoot video at either 1920x1080 or 640x480 with a frame rate of 30fps. Sound is also recorded, and the camera uses H.264 compression to help conserve memory card space. Movie files are saved as QuickTime .MOV format files.


Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Live View menu options:

  • LV func. setting - Disable, Stills only, Stills+Movie
  • Grid display - Off, Grid 1, Grid 2
  • Silent shoot - Mode 1, Mode 2, Disable
  • Metering timer - 4, 16, 30 seconds or 1, 10, 30 minutes
  • AF mode - Quick mode, Live mode, Live Face mode
  • Movie Rec. size - 1920x1080 or 640x480
  • Sound recording - On or Off




Setup Menu

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

  • Auto power off - 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30 minutes or Off
  • Auto rotate - Enable auto rotation of portrait mode images in camera, on computer or both
  • Format - Format the CF card
  • File numbering - Continuous, Auto reset, or Manual reset
  • Select folder - Choose the folder in which images will be saved in
  • LCD brightness - LCD back light intensity, Auto (3 levels) or Manual (7 levels)
  • Date / Time - Set date and time
  • Language - Sets the menu language
  • Video system - NTSC or PAL video output
  • Sensor cleaning - Choose when the Sensor is cleaned: Auto, Clean Now, Clean Manually
  • Live View function settings - See menu above
  • Battery info. - Remaining capacity, shutter count, Recharge performance
  • INFO button - Normal display, Camera setting, Shooting function
  • External Speedlite control - Flash function settings, Flash C.Fn settings, Clear All Speedlite C.Fn's
  • Camera user settings - Save current settings to the Custom or Camera user setting positions on the mode dial (1/2/3)
  • Clear settings - Clear all camera or Custom Function settings
  • Firmware Ver. - Display the current firmware version, can be user-updated


My Menu

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

  • Register - For faster access, you can register up to 6 menus and Custom Function setting you change frequently
  • Sort - Change the order of your registered menus
  • Delete - Choose to delete a registered menu
  • Delete all item - Delete all registered menu items
  • Display from My Menu - Enable or Disable the My Menu tab to be shown first when you press the MENU button


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