Spoiler: 5D MkII

Started Jul 8, 2008 | Discussions thread
OP nougat New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Spoiler: 5D MkII

I see a lot of valid points regarding Live View mode and why it won’t be on the 5D MkII when it’s a feature even on the sub-$1,000 450D. I called up my source and bribed him with Keebler Tollhouse cookies and he gave me more information. You may not like the answer if you're a Live View fan. The 16MP sensor is actually a new design for Canon and isn’t going to be pulled from their parts bin like they generally like to do with updated models. I don’t know/understand the specifics but it’s engineered to be the lowest-noise sensor around. The downside is that it doesn’t run in continuous mode too well and suffers from heat which leads to noise (a relatively large amount in this particular case). Since most people say they don’t care about Live View (especially with a fixed LCD) and/or associate it with amateurish P&S cameras, Canon thought it was better to leave out the feature rather than put in something that will impact the image quality, or worse--reliability (something more important in a semi-pro workhorse vs. lesser 40D and 450D).

So the 5D MkII is going to be a purist’s camera, albeit with no pro AF (no one wants to hear that the 1D’s AF system is being shoehorned in…it’s technically and PR-wise easier to make all the focus points cross-type).

And that makes me wrong about the ISO 25,600 being a marketing gimmick. It’s actually supposed to be fairly usable on this new sensor. To what extent I don’t know, but it’s supposed to be better than the Nikon (Sony) sensor at the same sensitivity...probably not by much but just enough to say it's better (so I guess in a way it still is marketing).

As for the onboard pop-up flash… It was just something easy for them to add last-minute when they heard about the D700 having one (Canon got the Nikon leak before the public did). Plus, the future 5D MkII replacement (3D? 6D? whatever it’s called) will have built-in master flash triggering for Canon flashes. The pop-up flash is just a freebie workaround (for use with optical slaves?) until those models come out.

The high-resolution LCD is also a bit of a freebie. The supplier in Singapore sells it in bulk for only about $10 more compared to the cost of current Canon LCDs (not sure if it's the same supplier). That’s why we’re seeing high-resolution displays for “free” in Sony Handycams and VGA-quality resolution in factory car navigation systems. It's going to be the baseline very soon and it would be silly for Canon to wait until the next 5D update to add it.

What we’re gonna see (or what Canon wants to see at least) is that Canon will cover the $1,800-$3,00 gap pretty well. They don’t have the time to create a truly standout product to compete against the D700 so they are taking a different approach—to get the most picture quality possible in a simple package. The sensor is something they’ve been working on for a long time and that has been their main focus for over a year. They were simply caught off-guard with all the cool new Nikon features, which they hope to catch up to within a year. For now Canon wants to lay claim to having the best IQ around (and a much lower price tag).

In any case, I think the next several months are going to be a lot more fun with a lot of options and a lot of chatter. I doubt Nikon is sitting still, either. At the very least all the commotion will turn more people on to photography which can only be a good thing.

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