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Canon 5D Mark II vs Canon 5D Mark III


Canon EOS 5D Mark II redefined the DSLR category, because it is among the first, if not the first EOS DSLR camera that combines still and video capture in one package, along with numerous upgrades that makes this camera in-demand even in 2019, although its launch date was back in 2008. Is it worth it investing in a camera launched in 2008? Yes, it is, and you will find out why! We are talking about a real powerhouse here!

On the other hand, we have Canon EOS 5D Mark III, a camera which is a direct successor to EOS 5D Mark II that combines countless useful features under the hood, and that’s one of the main reasons why are photographers impressed by this camera.

Basically, we have a battle of a pioneer of the photography world against a top notch-performing, modern camera that can elevate user’s shooting experience to a whole new level.

But, the age is just a number here, the battle is going to intense since we can’t choose the winner from the very beginner, that’s why, let’s start reviewing both products and only after that, we can decide who wins the race!

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Head To Head Comparison

Canon 5D Mark II

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II looks classy. Its magnesium-alloy construction that employs environmental sealing against dust and moisture is a proof that good-looking unit can be exceptionally durable, hence, photographers will never feel restricted in terms of capturing photos and videos!

For your information, this model measures 5.98 x 4.47 x 2.95″, weighs approximately 810 grams without a lens and although it has a slightly chunkier grip, still, this camera is portable without a doubt and feels comfortable and lightweight while you’re shooting!

On the top-right corner of the camera, there is a status panel LCD that is followed by 4 buttons, while on the rear, is a large, 3″ fixed LCD screen that is surrounded by multiple buttons and an optical viewfinder. When you see it as a whole, I think that you will like it because its design allows you to have a quick access to the menu and its presets.

Moreover, EOS 5D Mark II employs a monoaural microphone, a microphone jack for attaching external stereo microphone and a Type C Mini HDMI port of which you can take advantage and have a live preview of the video output as well as of the images and clips on an external monitor!

Speaking of the performance, well, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II incorporates a 21.1MP full-frame CMOS sensor with a 14-bit A/D conversion, 9-point autofocus system, DIGIC 4 Image processor, a continuous shooting speed of 3.9 fps, and a native ISO range that starts from 100-6400 but it can be expanded from 50 to 25,600 which is awesome considering the fact that this camera isn’t the newest one you can find, but it is definitely a pure class.

Once you start shooting pictures, you will instantly notice that the color representation is truly astonishing, and this is just a result of the DIGIC 4 processor and its 14-bit conversion that distribute accurate color rendering exactly as you’d expect from Canon!

When it comes to the ISO range, well, you will be completely free to play with the ISO settings. TO be more precise, the results of shooting through ISO 800 is pretty good with unnoticeable loss of details and extremely low chroma noise. At ISO 1600 the result is similar to ISO 800, but the only difference is that you will see a hint of noise although you would have to really focus on the picture, while on the ISO 3200, you can see a more noticeable noise that is present on the image, however, the picture remains well-defined. Once you reach ISO 12,800, then you will see a higher level of noise while at 25,600, as expected, the imagery becomes blurry.

In addition, Canon 5D Mark II distributes fantastic results for landscape photography, cityscape photography and for macro photography, but you should avoid shooting fast-moving objects or sports photography because its continuous shooting rate is kind of slow.

Aside from shooting photos, you can record videos as I’ve mentioned earlier, right? For your information, this model records Full HD 1920 x 1080 videos at 30fps, and thanks to its LCD screen that offers a wide 170-degree angle of view and it its ability to automatically adjust its brightness according to various viewing conditions, your videos will always look good and your overall experience will be exceptionally convenient.

Finally, the included 1800 mAh battery has a life expectancy of about 850 shots, but if you have spare batteries you can achieve a full-day shooting without any problem!

Canon 5D Mark II Sample Footage:

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Canon 5D Mark III

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III continues the tradition of having fully weather-sealed body as its predecessor, the 5D Mark II, and has a fairly similar dimensions as well, measuring 4.6 x 6.0 x 3.0″ with an approximate weight of 2.09 pounds.

For your information, Canon has used magnesium alloy and polycarbonate throughout the crafting process hence, its construction is better in comparison to the 5D Mark II, and what I really like about its body is the textured rubber-like coating that is present on the fingerprint, and the reason is pretty simple. Once you have this unit in your hands, you will feel more secured on one side while on the other, the camera will be really comfortable to hold.

In addition, there are numerous control buttons placed on this camera, such as buttons for adjusting the ISO, Drive mode, Metering mode, as well as a multi-controller of which you can take advantage in order to go through menus and adjust the autofocus points according to your preferences.

On the rear, you can also find a 3.2″ 1,040,000-dot LCD display that will offer you a clear sight even if you’re shooting in bright sunlight conditions, as well as a quality viewfinder with up to 100% coverage, and if we compare it with EOS 5D Mark II, I think that this model is significantly better.

In terms of the interface, EOS 5D Mark III packs an HDMI mini output, dual card slots for SD and CF, headphone mini jack, built-in monaural microphone ,external microphone (stereo mini jack), Hi-Speed USB, and unfortunately, lacks Wi-Fi.

Performance-wise, this model employs a 22MP full-frame CMOS sensor, an impressive 61-point AF system, native ISO that stretches from 100-25,600 which can be expanded up to 50-102,800, DIGIC 5+ image processor, and a continuous shooting rate of 6fps.

What does this means in practice is that your photos will be filled with vibrant and accurate colors, while the in-camera HDR result will add a natural look to your imagery for your ultimate user experience.

Moving on, EOS 5D Mark III is a truly versatile performer that can distribute nearly perfect results throughout its ISO range. For instance, if you shoot at ISO 12,800 you will have the opportunity to taste the low-light capabilities of this camera due to the fact that your imagery will have numerous details that will instantly grab your attention. At ISO 8000, the overall quality of the photos will remain pretty adequate for a variety of different photographers, while if you set the ISO at 20,000, your photos will be usable yet again, which is awesome!

I would also like to mention that even though the continuous shooting rate of 6 fps isn’t spectacular, you can opt to capture fast-moving objects in a better fashion than with Mark II, while if we put into perspective its 61-point AF, this unit can lock onto a target quickly and effectively even in low light situations! Before we move to the next section, there is yet another thing worthy of mentioning and that’s regarding the autofocus settings. You can change the autofocus settings to use zone AF which gathers autofocus points into zones and you can do this by using the joystick that is set on the rear of the camera.

Speaking of the video, without thinking twice, I can say that 5D Mark III will never disappoint you. Namely, you can shoot Full HD videos at 24, 25, and 30 fps, and although even its predecessor could shoot at 30 fps, this one, the newer model outputs better performance because videos are a way more clear. It’s great at shooting any kind of video, and i use it as my main camera for concert photography.

Last but not least, the battery life is capable enough to withstand up to 950 shots of photos which is more than Mark II, and yet again, the Mark III wins here.

Canon 5D Mark III Sample Footage:

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Canon 5D Mark II vs Canon 5D Mark III Feature Comparison

  Canon 5D Mark II Canon 5D Mark III
Camera Type DSLR DSLR
Megapixels 21.1 22.3
ISO Range Native 100-6400 Expand. 50 to 25,600 100-25,600,Expand. 50-102,800
Flip-Out Screen No No
Microphone Yes Yes
Viewfinder Yes Yes
Touchscreen No No
Video Recording Yes Yes
Sensor Size CMOS CMOS

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In the end, I’m sure that even though Mark III can be considered as a winner here, Canon 5D Mark II does not disappoint as well, because if we take into consideration its release date, I think that you can consider this unit as a camera that was ahead of its time, which have also established the foundations of the updated version, the Mark III.

I can simplify your decision even more by telling you the advantages of choosing these products. For example, Canon EOS 5D Mark II is less heavy and its price range is heavily discounted which means that it is suitable for a variety of customers, while on the other side, Mark III offers more advantages starting from its faster burst, better LCD screen, better low-light sensitivity and results, etc.

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