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Viewfinder

The Mark II has a slightly larger viewfinder coverage than the original EOS 5D, by a whole two percentage points, which we really couldn't see, but it's all good. One noticeable difference was the color, the Mark II's viewfinder is clearly whiter whereas the original 5D's has a very slight yellow color cast, this gives the Mark II's the impression of being brighter. The eyepiece rubber is removable allowing for the eyepiece cover or different eyepieces / angled finders to be fitted. Unfortunately the eyecup is almost flush with the LCD, unlike the one used on the 1 series bodies which sticks out farther and is more comfortable to use (and reduces smudge marks made by your nose on the rear screen).

Interchangeable focusing screens

The 5D Mark II supports interchangeable focusing screens however they're not the same as those which fitted the EOS 5D, these have the 'Eg' prefix rather than 'Ee'. That said we did try and the Ee screens and they did fit the Mark II which could be good news for existing owners (Canon did warn that metering may be affected).
  • Eg-A Standard Precision Matte
      - the supplied focusing screen, bright and with a normal matte
     
  • Eg-D Precision Matte with grid
      - a more matte finish easier manual focusing also includes a grid pattern
     
  • Eg-S Super Precision Matte
      - even more matte but obviously slightly darker, optimized for F2.8 and faster lenses

Viewfinder view

The viewfinder gains permanent display of the ISO sensitivity, plus a little 'D+' symbol that indicates whether Highlight Tone Priority is active and a more detailed battery status indication. Unfortunately the AF points cover the same, rather limited area as the original 5D.

AF point behavior remains unchanged: In automatic AF point selection mode the AF points chosen by the camera are highlighted briefly when you initiate AF (half-press shutter release / AF button), otherwise the selected AF point is highlighted. In automatic AF point selection mode the AF point will only highlight once an AF lock has been achieved. With a single AF point selected it will blink once as you half-press the shutter release and once more upon AF lock (or not at all if no AF lock was possible). In AI Servo AF mode (with the shutter release half-pressed) the selected AF point blinks just once and then tracks AF.

1 Battery status 9 Exposure level indicator / compensation
2 AE lock / AEB in-progress 10 ISO speed indicator
3 Flash ready / FE lock warning 11 Highlight tone priority
4 High-speed sync (FP flash) 12 ISO speed
5 FE lock / FEB in-progress 13 Monochrome shooting
6 Flash exposure compensation 14 White balance correction / WB bracket
7 Shutter speed / status indication 15 Maximum frames in a burst
8 Aperture / status indication 16 Focus confirmation

Compact Flash Compartment

The Compact Flash compartment on the Mark II is at the rear corner of the hand grip and is opened by sliding the door towards you and flipping outwards. The door itself has a metal hinge and opens with plenty of room to remove the CF card once ejected. The CF activity light is to the bottom right of the quick control dial. In addition to the Type I and Type II Compact Flash cards (including the >2GB, FAT32 varieties) supported by the original 5D, the Mark II also supports the faster, more recent UDMA standard and the Compact Flash+ standard.

Battery Compartment

The battery compartment on the EOS 5D Mark II is in the base of the hand grip, behind a simple clip-locked door. The door itself is removable (to make way for the optional battery grip). The Mark II gets a brand new Lithium-Ion battery, the LP-E6, which provides 1800 mAh of capacity (400 mAh more than the BP-511A used in the EOS 50D) and also communicates more detailed battery status information back to the camera. There's a tiny rubber flap on the inside edge of the hand grip (nearest the lens mount), where the cable from the optional AC adapter's dummy battery exits.

Battery Charger

A new battery means a new charger, the LC-E6E (Europe/Asia) or LP-E6 (North America). This charger provides charge status information and takes approximately 90 minutes to charge a battery.

WFT-E4/E4A Wireless Battery Grip (optional)

With the new WFT-E4/E4A you can shoot wirelessly (802.11b/g) direct to FTP servers as well as have two-way communication over PTP and HTTP. In HTTP mode you can effectively remote control the camera, see a live view, change settings and take shots. The USB port can be used to store directly to external USB hard disks (although only small flash devices can be powered by the grip) or provide GPS data from USB GPS devices. The one thing the WFT-E4/E4A doesn't do is provide any extra power to the camera, as you can see it doesn't have a dummy battery stalk, instead the camera battery stays in the camera and the grip simply attaches to the bottom of the camera (and communicates through a new connector).

Connections

The Mark II's connectors all live down the left-hand edge of the camera under a split rubber flap. There are now effectively two columns of connectors each with its own cover. On the left we have PC sync, the remote terminal (N3) and Microphone input, on the right Audio/Video out, USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed) and HDMI (mini). Note that the camera is not supplied with a HDMI cable.

The covers for the connectors have undergone a redesign. On the original 5D, the covers were hinged at the top, which meant they had a tendency to drop down back into place. With the MKII the covers move out and swing out of the way - a much more usable design.

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