Canon 5D MII

Canon EOS 5D Mark II front

Canon 5D MII overview

Canon 5D MII is Canon's Advanced DSLR camera first announced on February of 2009. The camera uses a 21MP, CMOS Full frame sized sensor and has a peak resolution of 5616 x 3744.

Canon introduced this camera in order to upgrade the older Canon 5D (Read Full Comparison) & subsequently introduced the fresher Canon 5D MIII (Read Full Comparison) in order to upgrade this camera.

The 5D MII is rated #37 out of 92 in Advanced DSLR cameras & all around #207 out of 1465 for cameras in our list. You can use our Advanced camera search to get camera ratings based on your customized factors.

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Below is a diagram of multiple criteria used in the scoring system.

Canon 5D MII family

The Canon 5D MII is part of a family of cameras. You can view the complete range below.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Canon-EOS-5D-Mark-IV front thumbnailCanon 5D MIV
5D MII vs 5D MIV
30MPFull frame7.0 fps2016
Canon-EOS-5DS front thumbnailCanon 5DS
5D MII vs 5DS
51MPFull frame5.0 fps2015
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Canon-EOS-5DS-R front thumbnailCanon 5DS R
5D MII vs 5DS R
51MPFull frame5.0 fps2015
Canon-EOS-5D-Mark-III front thumbnailCanon 5D MIII
22MPFull frame6.0 fps2012
Canon-EOS-5D-Mark-II front thumbnailCanon 5D MII21MPFull frame4.0 fps2009
Canon-EOS-5D front thumbnailCanon 5D
5D MII vs 5D
13MPFull frame3.0 fps2005
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Canon 5D MII Pros and Cons

Below is a checklist of advantages and disadvantages of the Canon 5D MII based on criterias that are typically seen as useful in a camera.

big sensor size (Full frame)
comes with Top display
exports RAW formats
features face detect autofocus
features tracking focus
great min ISO (100)
has HDMI out
has mic support
has phase detect autofocus
high res video (1920 x 1080 pixels)
maximum shutter speed is high (1/8,000 seconds)
MP count good (21 megapixels)
nice clear screen (920 thousand dots)
pretty good screen size (3 inches)
switch lenses (Canon EF mount)
weather proofing
you can focus manually
doesn't have a selfie friendly display
lack of image stabilization
missing headphone support
missing Time Lapse mode
no moving screen
slow fps (4.0 frames per second)
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Canon 5D MII Sensor specifications

The Canon 5D MII is powered by the Digic 4 chip. The measurement of the sensor in the Canon 5D MII is 36mm x 24mm (Full frame). The 864 mm² sensor can resolve 5616 x 3744 pixels at aspect ratios of 3:2.

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The CMOS sensor has 21 megapixels and supports a native ISO range of 100 - 6400. This ISO can be increased digitally to 50 - 25600. RAW photos are saved which means that the user has wider margin for error.

The picture below illustrates the 5D MII's sensor dimensions in comparison to other common sizes. The 5D MII sensor has a crop factor of 1 and is outlined in green.

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To get a sense of various aspect ratios, you can refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Canon 5D MII dimensions

Canon 5D MII is 1.87 lb (850 grams / 29.98 oz) & the over all size of the camera is 152mm x 114mm x 75mm (6.0" x 4.5" x 3.0"). The weight of general Advanced DSLR camera is 776 grams so the Canon 5D MII is very similar in comparison with its rivals.

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Below is a visual of the Canon 5D MII besides a soda to help you to get a sense of its scale.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II dimensions scale

The top view directly below will illustrate the button design on the 5D MII.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II topview buttons dials

Canon 5D MII Lens specifications

The 5D MII uses the Canon EF mount and has 306 lenses that you can purchase. Below is a few of the lenses we have in our collection which will fit the 5D MII.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Tokina-AT-X-Pro-11-16mm-f2.8-DX-Canon-EF lensTokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f2.8 DX11-16mmf/2.8 560g
Zeiss-Otus-28mm-F1.4-EF-Mount lensZeiss Otus 28mm F1.428mmf/1.40g
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Canon-EF-600mm-F4L-IS-III-USM lensCanon EF 600mm F4L IS III USM600mmf/4 3050g
Canon-EF-35mm-f2-IS-USM lensCanon EF 35mm f2 IS USM35mmf/2.0 335g
Samyang-AF-14mm-F2.8-EF lensSamyang AF 14mm F2.8 EF14mmf/2.8485g
Sigma-70mm-F2.8-DG-Macro-Art-Canon-EF lensSigma 70mm F2.8 DG Macro Art70mmf/2.8515g
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Sigma-24-70mm-F2.8-EX-DG-HSM-Canon-EF lensSigma 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG HSM24-70mmf/2.8 790g
Photography Glossary

Canon 5D MII Connectivity

The 5D MII has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras which include NFC and / or Bluetooth compatibility are able to be controlled wirelessly by smartphones. You will be able to send photos and usually alter camera settings without connecting physically to the camera.

Some applications even give a Liveview and press the shutter whenever you aren't near the camera. If the camera provides a HDMI port, it can easily be connected to an external screen. Nearly all cameras will allow you to recharge the battery using the USB socket.

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Canon 5D MII Video specifications

The highest video quality in the Canon 5D MII is 1920 x 1080 and you can capture in H.264 format. 1080p quality offers a decent balance for quality and file sizes but FULL HD is not going to give you any room to crop. Although the camera contains a mic jack, it is unfortunately lacking a headphone jack which means that you will not have the ability to monitor your sound levels.

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Canon 5D MII Weather Sealing

Canon 5D MII has got weather sealing making it a very good selection for use for challenging climates. This is especially helpful when you are not sure about the conditions you may face for outdoor photography.

Canon 5D MII Display and Viewfinder

The Canon 5D MII houses a 3 inch fixed display boasting a resolution of 920 thousand dots.

Unfortunately the display is not a touch screen. The 5D MII also includes a Top display so its possible to quickly see camera settings.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II screen and viewfinder Cutting-edge AI developed by Apple deciphers subtle nuances in pixels

The ViewFinder specs for Canon 5D MII are as follows:

  • ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism)
  • ViewFinder Coverage 98%
  • ViewFinder Magnification 0.71x

Viewfinders are very useful for bright outdoor conditions which can easily make the camera display washed out and very difficult to see.

Canon 5D MII Shutter specifications

Canon 5D MII can shoot continuously at 4.0 frames per second. The highest shutter speed is 1/8000 seconds.

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Canon 5D MII Flash and Hot shoe specifications

Canon 5D MII comes with external flash ability but is without built in flash. The highest flash sync speed is 1/200 seconds.

Canon 5D MII Autofocus specifications

Canon 5D MII comes with both Phase Detect Auto Focus as well as Contrast Based Auto Focus. Phase Detection focusing is a lot snappier & accurate compared with Contrast Based focusing. The camera boasts Face detect making it valuable for people photography.

The Sensor boasts 9 focus points to select from. It also includes Tracking Auto Focus for moving objects. Canon 5D MII boasts manual focusing if required for low light or you want to have more accurate control on focusing.

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Canon 5D MII Battery life

The battery power (LP-E6) on the Canon 5D MII is built to last for 850 photographs with respect to the CIPA measurements which is about the same as it's competitors. The typical Advanced DSLR camera battery life is 909. Nikon D780 features the highest (2260) battery life for this range of cameras.

Here is a number of Advanced DSLR cameras that come with the highest battery life:

Canon 5D MII for specific types of photography

The following diagram indicates a analysis of the Canon 5D MII for specific types of photography. To read more, browse to the specific section below.

Canon 5D MII Portrait photography factors

The Canon 5D MII receives a rating of 79 which is superb, meaning that it is a great choice for portrait images. Shooting portrait images favors heavily to sensor dimension, support for RAW files in addition to the option to work with external flash.

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has manual focus
decent MP (21MP)
great sensor size (Full frame)
offers face detection focus
saves RAW formats

Canon 5D MII Street photography details

Getting a modest score of 59, the Canon 5D MII is somewhat suitable to buy for street photography. A good street photography camera features a good balance of image quality and portability.

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sensor size is large (Full frame)
saves RAW files
environment sealing
screen does not articulate
does not have image stabilization

Canon 5D MII as a Sports photography camera

A nice sports photography rating of 70 means the Canon 5D MII is a respectable option for taking photos of sports. A camera needs good focusing and shutter speeds for sports photography.

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high shutter speed (1/8,000s)
good MP (21MP)
sensor size is big (Full frame)
supports tracking focus
environment proofing
sensor has phase detect AF
max frames per second very slow (4.0 fps)
lack of image stabilization

Travel photography with Canon 5D MII

Size is pretty important when selecting a travel camera. Overall, the Canon 5D MII gets a moderate 55 as a travel camera which is relatively adequate to take on your holidays.

Photography Glossary
weather sealing
decent sensor resolution (21 megapixels)
missing Time Lapse mode
screen isn't selfie friendly

Canon 5D MII Landscape photography advice

If you're looking to choose a camera for landscape photos, the most critical aspect will be image quality. The Canon 5D MII with it's above average grade of 70 for a landscape camera is a fine option among it's competition.

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you can focus manually
interchangeable lenses (Canon EF mount)
screen is a good size (3 inch)
MP count good (21MP)
great sensor size (Full frame)
supports RAW files
environment proofing
lack of image stabilization
no Timelapse function

Canon 5D MII Vlogging features

A vlogging camera really should posses a moving screen, mic input and preferably IBIS. Taking all things in to account, the Canon 5D MII is just not good as a vlog camera as it delivers a lousy rating of 29.

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provides face detection autofocus
video res high (1920 x 1080 pixels)
comes with external microphone support
screen isn't selfie friendly
no image stabilization

Canon 5D MII Alternatives

If you need replacements to the 5D MII, below is a collection of the highest rated cameras which fall within the class of Advanced DSLR.

The line chart down below shows you a bird's eye view of the 5D MII compared to it's highest rated rivals suggested earlier.

Following are several cameras you might have a look at as alternate options. To read a complete comparison, go to the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Advanced DSLR
Physical type
Mid-size SLR
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Processor Chip
Digic 4
Sensor size
Full frame
Sensor dimensions
36 x 24mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
21 megapixel
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
Highest resolution
5616 x 3744
RAW support
Highest native ISO
Highest boosted ISO
Lowest native ISO
Lowest boosted ISO
Focus manually
Touch to focus
Autofocus continuous
Single autofocus
Autofocus tracking
Selective autofocus
Autofocus center weighted
Multi area autofocus
Autofocus live view
Face detect focus
Contract detect focus
Phase detect focus
Total focus points
Lens support
Canon EF
Total lenses
Crop factor
Display type
Fixed Type
Display sizing
3 inches
Resolution of display
920 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch screen
Display technology
TFT liquid-crystal color LCD
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO All around rating
DXO Color Depth rating
DXO Dynamic range rating
DXO Low light rating
Lowest shutter speed
30 seconds
Highest shutter speed
1/8000 seconds
Continuous shooting rate
4.0 frames per second
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation
Set white balance
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash distance
no built-in flash
Flash modes
no built-in flash
External flash
AE bracketing
White balance bracketing
Highest flash synchronize
1/200 seconds
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Highest video resolution
Video file format
Mic support
Headphone support
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
850 gr (1.87 pounds)
152 x 114 x 75mm (6.0" x 4.5" x 3.0")
Battery life
850 images
Type of battery
Battery Pack
Battery ID
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse recording
Type of storage
Compact Flash (Type I or II), UDMA, Microdrive
Card slots
Price at launch