updated 02:35 am EDT, Wed September 17, 2008
Canon EOS 5D Mark II SLR
Canon on Wednesday introduced its EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera, the successor to Canon's popular EOS 5D. The full-frame (24 x 36mm), 21.1-megapixel CMOS sensor is housed in a more compact and affordable camera body and offers HD video capture at 1920 x 1080 resolution. Leveraging the new DIGIC 4 imaging processor, the company claims the new sensor delivers lower noise along with an expanded sensitivity range from ISO 50 to ISO 25,600 (three full stops higher than the original EOS 5D). Canon's proprietary DIGIC 4 Imaging Processor delivers fast 14-bit analog-to-digital conversion and continuous shooting at 3.9 fps for an unlimited number of full-resolution JPEGs (up to the capacity of the memory card) or up to 14 RAW images in a single burst when using a UDMA CF card. Compatible with Canon EF lenses, it is scheduled for delivery by the end of November and will be sold in a body-only configuration ($2,700) and in a kit version with Canon's EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens ($3,500).
The EOS 5D Mark II camera features a large 3.0-inch Clear View LCD screen with 920,000 dot/VGA resolution -- more than four times the pixel count of the EOS 5D camera's 2.5-inch screen -- and also includes a 15-point Autofocus (AF) sensor with nine selectable AF points plus six additional Assist AF points with "enhanced" light source detection and AF microadjustment to improve autofocus performance. In addition, it is equipped with a high-performance, high-magnification optical viewfinder providing 98 percent coverage as well as an enhanced 150,000-cycle shutter durability.
Canon claims that the new camera sensor incorporates an improved output amplifier and a more advanced color filter that improves light transmission while retaining excellent color reproduction.
"By applying the same kind of advancements in sensor design and image processing technology as the recently introduced EOS 50D camera, but at higher resolution and with larger pixels, the EOS 5D Mark II achieves the highest level of image quality of any EOS Digital SLR released to date," the company said in its release.
The new image sensor and the powerful new DIGIC 4 image processor enable the Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera to provide ISO speeds from ISO 100 up to ISO 6400 in 1/3-stop increments as well as two high-speed settings - H1 and H2 - of ISO 12800 and ISO 25600 (respectively). The camera also features a low-speed setting of ISO 50, the company noted.
For the first time, new SLR camera features 16:9 Full HD video capture at 1920x1080 pixels and 30fps as well as 4:3 standard TV quality (SD) video capture at 640x480 pixels and 30fps: the video capture, part of the camera's Live View function, will record video up to 4GB per clip (12 min of HD or 24 min of SD video) or a maximum continuous movie capture time of 29 minutes and 59 second. It records video in .MOV format using an MPEG-4 video compression, while sound is recorded using linear PCM without compression. In addition, the new camera features an input terminal for external stereo microphones as well as a built-in monaural microphone for convenience.
Canon also said that the new SLR will automatically offer peripheral illumination correction when shooting JPEG images -- a funciton that was only previously available through through post-image processing using software: peripheral illumination correction evens brightness across the image field, which it claims "essentially eliminates one of the limitations of previous full-frame digital SLRs."
The Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera offers two additional file size options with sRAW1 and sRAW2 recording formats. At the sRAW1 setting, resolution is 10.0-megapixels with a file size that is approximately 25 percent smaller than a standard 21.1-megapixel RAW image, while the sRAW2 setting delivers 5.2 megapixels of resolution at less than half the file size of a standard RAW image.
New Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Lens
Canon also debuted the new EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM lens as a successor to Canon's EF 24mm f/1.4L USM wide-angle lens. Targeting professional photographers, the new dust-proof and water-proof lens features re-designed optics and a new anti-reflection lens coating called SWC (Sub-Wavelength Structure Coating) to minimize ghosting and flare. It is scheduled to ship in December for $1,700.