Canon EOS 5D Mark II: The Ultimate Camera for Photography Enthusiasts

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II is a versatile camera that offers exceptional image quality, detailed shots, and high-speed shooting capabilities. With its advanced features, it has become one of the best tools for professional photographers.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Canon EOS 5D Mark II article cover photo

Key Features

Feb 13 2009


21 megapixels


Sensor TypeFull frame

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Overview of the EOS 5D Mark II

Are you a photography enthusiast looking for a camera that can deliver the best shots? Look no further, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II is the perfect choice for you. One of the bestselling camera models in the industry, it has been used by many professional photographers worldwide. The Canon EOS 5D Mark II offers a wide range of features that can deliver outstanding results, including high-speed shooting capabilities, exceptional image quality, and detailed shots. In this article, we will dive deeper into the features of this camera and why it is the ultimate choice for photography enthusiasts.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


High image resolution (21.1 megapixels)
Full-frame sensor for better low-light performance
Advanced autofocus system
Fast shutter speed
Excellent color accuracy
Great dynamic range


Expensive for beginners
Heavy and bulky
Limited burst shooting speed
No built-in flash
Advanced features may be overwhelming for beginners
No WiFi connectivity

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Weather sealed
Dimensions152 x 114 x 75mm

Weather Sealing

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera is equipped with environmental seals that make it resistant to weather, preventing water and dust from entering the camera. If you enjoy outdoor photography and need a camera that can handle extreme conditions, the EOS 5D Mark II is an excellent choice.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderOptical (pentaprism)
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution920k dots
Body typeMid-size SLR

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 920k dots. This makes the Canon EOS 5D Mark II not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


EOS 5D Mark II includes a optical (pentaprism) viewfinder with no electronic viewfinder of resolution with a coverage of 98% and a magnification of 0.71x. This feature enhances the camera's suitability for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Canon EOS 5D Mark II has a 21MP sized CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 21 pixels. Canon EOS 5D Mark II has a native ISO range of 100 - 6400 which can be boosted to 50 - 25600. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Feb 13 2009


100 - 6400

ISO Range

SensorFull frame
Extended ISO50 - 25600
Max resolution5616 x 3744 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


79 / 102

Color Depth

23.7 / 26.5

Dynamic Range

11.9 / 14.8

Low Light ISO

1815 / 4505

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera has above average color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also above average, allowing it to retain low amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is poor, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the EOS 5D Mark II is average

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: Full frame



Connectivity, storage, battery

StorageCompact Flash (Type I or II), UDMA, Microdrive
Battery Life850 shots
Battery ModelLP-E6
Wireless Connectivity


The Canon EOS 5D Mark II supports Compact Flash (Type I or II), UDMA, Microdrive with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Canon EOS 5D Mark II uses the LP-E6 model of battery pack. This is rated for 850 shots shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Canon EOS 5D Mark II does not have a built-in flash, but it does offer a flash shoe that allows you to attach external flashes. This provides more versatility in your lighting choices.


The Canon EOS 5D Mark II boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/8000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Canon EOS 5D Mark II includes two autofocus (AF) systems: contrast detection and phase detection, with 9 number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II?

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II features a CMOS sensor

Is the Canon EOS 5D Mark II weather sealed?

Yes the EOS 5D Mark II does have weather sealing.

When was the Canon EOS 5D Mark II announced?

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II was announced on Feb 13 2009

Does the Canon EOS 5D Mark II have in-body image stabilization?

No the EOS 5D Mark II does not have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II?

The EOS 5D Mark II has a native ISO range of 100-6400, which can be expanded to ISO 50-25600 for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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