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Thread started 29 Dec 2008 (Monday) 07:44
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5D2 First Impressions (5d, 40d user) - long read :)

 
Super-Nicko
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Dec 29, 2008 07:44 |  #1

Ok... so its new - and i have been way too busy with christmas to have a proper go... not to mention renovating my master ensuite while on my break - but after using the 5D and then more recently the 40D as my main camera - i ALWAYS have said i just love the 5d photos more - i dont know if its the full frame and added DOF with same framing or the image quality... i cant pick it but i really do think its a bit of both... so on that note - the 5D2 really is a stunning performer.

Just some side notes... i calibrated ALL my lenses on the 5D2 - I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN DISAPPOINTED with the 40D sharpness - and now i think i know why - ALL my lenses EXCEPT the 100 macro needed some adjustment - and my 100-400 was simply HORRIBLE. I have always thought so just that now i can read it in microadjust points - -15 out at 400mm, -10 out at 100mm arrgh - it will never look good on the 40d... and never has. (i compromised with 13)
Brand new 24-105 only out by 3... never been happy with 24-70 on 40d... it is out by 7 or 8 . stunning now!

So yeah all cameras need microadjust...

VIDEO - Stunning quality... I run a Quad Core 2.66 OC'd to 3.4GHz, vista 64, 8GIG ram, ATi 4870, alll the bells and whistles... it chugs on full HD editing... i have no output ability for HD so am crunching all my vids down to a measly crappy DVD Quality... need a FULL HD tv now and Bluray player... and a top of the wazzza mac!

I think alot of people will be disappointed with the video for the fact its massive and they really will need new PCs if they want to make HD movies... this stuff is 6x bigger per frame than DV quality AVI's

a 3min clip took me 30min to render (arghh 10x) (hq with 2 passes) need to have a play with my output settings

it crunches at 300 mb/min. It will not edit seamlessly on my rig (as in pull / roll edit in the timeline )

It will not playback smoothly in ADOBE PREMIERE PRO CS3 nor vidsudio 11.5 (corel ulead)

it will play back a clip nicely in its native format on the screen but i am getting what i think is lost frames... im tending to review it at half size on quicktime.

This is no way a review nor a judgement - just an average users first impressions. These are just some of the things im finding out as I go... and i know there are solutions etc out there - ive been scouring forums looking for info and data, on if my pc should be able to easily edit this footage - ive found it is easy to do - just that it wont playback at smooth full speed - sound is full speed but vid seems about 15-25fps instead of 30. the output files are fine - but im used to editing at realtime review and scroll so its a bit strange.

Fast panning looks sh!te. I dont know if its jello whatever or if its iso adjustments for exposure... nice smooth movements needed or even better - put it on a tripod. Ive been using my tripod as a massive ballast (legs up but spread) to give the rig some mass when doing video on the move. IS lenses are a godsend here... i cant hear the IS on the vid.. but i can hear moving the focus and zoom rings. (need a gyro :)hehhe)

Just incase you dont know - you cant set aperture for movies... there are some workarounds - which work to some degree - the most consistant being locking down aperture with the DOF preview button and then unlocking the lens off the mount about 2mm - which forces a chosen aperture... i know im gonna lose the camera tho as im in the habit of picking up cameras by the lens barrel. There is also a software workaround but it seems less consistant.

We really need a firmware fix... the camera can handle indoor work at f5.6-f8 but if you have a 2.8 lens on or worse 1.4 - it just opens her up and off you go... near on impossible to get my almost 1.5year old (even when he is stationary in the bath!) (i know this isnt a point and shoot style video camera, i understand its limitations but when i lock down f5.6 in this situation there is mildly more noise - but much better for focus)

I love the thin dof video too - dont get me wrong.. but some aperture control would be lovely - as would locking down the exposure so there is no variance within the clip (if thats what you want)

Other camera bits - i like that the "lightup top lcd" button is the first button - smaller than the iso/af/metering buttons... handy when you need it rather than it being almost out of reach.

Nice that the ISO is the first button now (i change ISO alot while staying with eye to finder) - not like the 5d - which i had a bugger adjusting to when switching between 40d and 5d.

The metal parts are finished nicely... i like the new finish.. :) (minor point i know)

Menu is finished niceley - soft fade ins are not too amatuer like but make you feel like your handling a camera thats had the full hit of thinking things out from the R&D dept at Canon - well displayed and written out for those functions I dont use alot but need occasionally - they are where you think they are rather than having to dig too much.

Im finding focus speed to be of no concern.. im not shooting sports though - but it is fast and it is accurate and i havent missed a shot yet due to misfocus thats not my fault. It isnt AS FAST as the 40d. But i dont feel disadvantaged when im using it, and i need some more out and about time to see if this point holds true.

The jpg file sizes are big as you know - averaging 6-9MB as L Jpgs - and in camera when you zoom in these take a split second to 'refine' to full res... as they do in picasa when i view them on pc..

i havent got a grip yet and im used to having one - biggish hands... will get one asap.. although ive enjoyed the smaller size as the 40d and 5d basically never go without a grip so it makes it quite good for going out - i can jam an extra prime in my day bag without a grip on which is cool.

Main reason for grip would be for the extra battery - not like 5d nor 40d... it seems to suck down batteries... maybe its my excited overuse of video (id say its almost certainly that) - 40d its so long between recharges its ridiculous... but this is a event per battery type deal... 400 pics and a some video and goodbye. I think this will get better as i play with the camera less in time and just go back to taking pictures... but im simply stunned by the images coming out of this thing and am loving using it.

So as i said this isnt a review or anything as structured as that.. just some impressions from a camera user - not a pro. I dont want this to be a flame about what ive missed or what ive said wrong... i may have missed some fuctionality when reading the manual - please correct me if im wrong. I would have been keen to read some of what i have written prior to buying the camera just as background info.

I really think the VIDEO use will be used individually as something that with time and effort will yield stunning results, or for the average punter like me, able to catch my mates having a good time without carrying a video cam, and the occasional effort type vid of the kids in the backyard with the tripod setup and some pc editing to suit. I think its a case of you get out what you put in. If your lazy point and shoot with the video - thats what youll get. Same with anything i suppose.

5D users will be right at home with expecting great IQ, and that certain pop you just get when using FF.

40D users will be blown away, mainly because of the change to FF, but IQ and high ISO is amazing. i rarely went above 1250 on 40d, now im comfortable with 3200. I was on the 5d too, but moreso now i think. Not to mention the LCD - nice.

I feel the shots have more contrast - maybe its dynamic range - idont know...

I am happy with my purchase... and happy to give you guys and girls my impressions.

Xmas pic - (deliberately desaturated)

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jacobsen1
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Dec 29, 2008 08:44 |  #2

damn, sounds like I should really play with the AF micro adjust? I've never had an issue with any of my lenses in terms of sharpness or AF accuracy, but what could it hurt? My issue is I'm waiting on my 5Dii l-bracket so I can slap it on the old tripod... :(

Nice review.


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jeev
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Dec 29, 2008 08:46 |  #3

Nice to hear that you are having fun with the new toy.. Enjoy


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coltranekoh
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Dec 29, 2008 08:54 |  #4

I am terrified of trying the micro adjustment, worrying it might screw things up.
:(




  
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Super-Nicko
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Dec 29, 2008 09:40 |  #5

Cheers Ben.. glad you enjoyed the read.. i never felt i had quite the prob with calibration on the 5d as i do with the 40 and now i can prove it.... bit sad really with the fact that the 2 expensive lenses i have were the worst... (24-70 and 100-400)

Ive had alot of experience with 17-40 70-200f4 L IS aswell on 5d and never ever felt it was missing focus...

seriously considering sending in the 40 to be looked at...

Cheers jeev..

and to coltranekoh - No stress - if you bugger it up you can just set it all back to +/- 0 and its as mis focussed as its always been

I just used the focus test chart in good light - set up the tripod at 45 deg to the paper on the ground and started shooting... reviewed ON LCD too not even on PC... and just started moving it - take new shot - look and move the slider until its consistently centred.

You really cant go wrong... these things are designed to be used and theres ALWAYS the reset button....

Dont be afraid... go for it. Im just worried im gonna hate using the 40D now for the fact that ive NEVER liked the focus precision (due to lens / body calibration)

What do i take to the AVALON air show? the 5d2 is new and id love to test it out esp the video... but the 40 is so fast at tracking... and the 640mm reach on the 400... just take both i spose... going all that way.

Just editing xmas video now - using ulead vidstudio 11 - cant be bothered with premiere pro for basic clip and transition edits... looked at a tester i made to std DVD - bloody impressive qual on my rear pro - im sure it;d be better on my plasma (no dvd player hooked up)

Its never bothered me before with std DV - but now i realise that standard dvd is such low pixel count with the massive tvs that are standard now...


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Dec 29, 2008 09:45 |  #6
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nice post - think i'll add it to the reviews section - http://****/dinR (external link)


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Dec 29, 2008 13:57 |  #7

coltranekoh wrote in post #6962602 (external link)
I am terrified of trying the micro adjustment, worrying it might screw things up.
:(

The micro-adjustment is really simple and cannot mess things up. My 135L was slightly back focussing and a quick tweak sharpened it up. It is very easy to re-set to neutral!
Ian


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Dec 29, 2008 16:53 as a reply to  @ Ianfp's post |  #8

Thanks for spending the time to post your views :)
Very interesting points.

I'm still waiting in line for my 5DmkII body and this makes me long for it even more...
We have seen a few kit here up til now and I hope to get one before February.
I guess the Swedish market is very small :(


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Dec 29, 2008 18:14 |  #9

Nice post. I have to sit down and do micro focus adjustments. I'm convinced my 70-200 is off a bit.


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Dec 29, 2008 18:18 |  #10

Incredible! I'm glad you've found the 5D2 to be such a great tool; it's refreshing to hear.

I really like the second pic (agree it's in the eyes...) -- can you post a 100% of whatever you focused on? (I'm asking just to compare sharpness with my own lenses, creepy a request as this may sound...)


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versedmb
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Dec 29, 2008 18:55 |  #11

Ianfp wrote in post #6964102 (external link)
The micro-adjustment is really simple and cannot mess things up. My 135L was slightly back focussing and a quick tweak sharpened it up. It is very easy to re-set to neutral!
Ian

My 85 1.8 is now on its 3rd trip back to Canon, this time my 5D went with it - persistent back-focusing. This is the one feature of the 5D II that I would really love to have. I suspect that many "soft" lenses aren't soft at all - its just slight mis-focusing.


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Super-Nicko
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Dec 29, 2008 21:23 |  #12

Cheers Mitch - never been 'published' before hehe :)

No worries on the small review... now im beginning to think i should have put more effort in and posted a review that had some order and some comparison pics! oops...

Heres the crop - amazing with all those pixels - if you peep you can see the DOF is sooo thin.. its f2.8, 1/160th, 70mm ISO 400 on the 24-70

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Here is another nice close face shot - with a crop aswell... this one is 1/125 f4 ISO200 @105mm with 24-105

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and the crop of the centre of the pic

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Dec 29, 2008 21:39 |  #13

PS this camera really makes you not need to pixel peep like i find i do with the 40d... the overall effect of the in and out of focus parts really are what makes up these images... for example with that f2.8 face shot... at a pixel level the eyelashes are blurred which would only be 5mm from the front of the eyeball...

lovin it - will keep shooting and sharing. :)

ALSO - just outputted a mix of christmas video all shot with 5d2 to DVD (used PAL format this time as its got extra horizontal lines of resolution but does drop to 25FPS - so its a bit of a compromise... so the image looks better but it seems a tiny tiny bit 'frame droppy' but seriously not enough to bother me... i like it... blows my sony DV cam away on all levels...

Stopping the lens to f8 when filming kids etc has really helped to get 'everything' in when u need to -- ie tripod scene of everyone opening presents etc.

Would be good to have a DV format video option (widescreen) 720 x 576 (pal) but i dont know if i could help myself and capture in full HD anyways for future proofing...

JUST for example for you lot... took christmas photos on the day - some throughout the whole day...

got 179 photos at 1.09GB
took 37 movies at 7.25GB (about 25mins worth)

so yeah really really glad i got a 16GIG extreme III card... i would consider that photo session to be light - as i was hosting the party and didnt have time for taking much footage.


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Dec 29, 2008 21:50 |  #14

It is pretty amazing, and I'm beginning to think (albeit with some waxing and waning) that it might be sufficient not to pixel peep even with an XSi or 40D, depending on the photographer's needs... your point with the 5 mm DOF is an extremely good one!

Thanks again for doing this -- really appreciate it!

And please do keep shooting and sharing. :)


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Dec 29, 2008 22:08 |  #15

Thanks for the thread, Super-Nicko. Good assessment for those of us that haven't made the move.... yet!


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5D2 First Impressions (5d, 40d user) - long read :)
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