5D Mark II compared to 1Ds Mark III, D700

Started Dec 6, 2008 | Discussions
dtedesco Regular Member • Posts: 165
5D Mark II compared to 1Ds Mark III, D700

I've been working with the new 5D Mark II for a few days now. Here are some first impressions and comparisons that I though folks might find useful.

5D Mark II vs 1Ds Mark III
-------------------------

These are definitely different classes of camera. The 5DM2 is very well built but it is not built like the 1DsM3. It is considerably lighter and items like the CF door don't seem quite as tough. Controls are compressed (more dual purpose buttons). The large control wheel is somewhat smaller. There is a much greater possibility of accidentally switching modes via accidental bumping of the dial than on the 1DsM3. Shutter noise is very different.

The LCD on the 5DM2 is vastly better, no comparison.

Image quality is very similar.

High ISO is much better on the 5DM2. This is the most striking improvement and it is really substantial.

5D Mark II vs Nikon D700
-------------------------

D700 is a superior build. Heavier, denser, feels more like a mini-D3 or Mini 1-series. D700 includes built-in flash (fine for fill but otherwise...) but that doubles as a remote trigger (very helpful if subjects don't blink/squint on the pre-flash).

Comparable LCDs.

5DM2 has considerably better resolution. High ISO is better on the D700 - but only by a small margin. This seems to be an astonishing accomplishment for Canon. It is strange they did not roll this out on a 1-series body first, as it is clearly class leading.

Some thoughts
--------------

The 5DM2 is not a mini-1Ds, whereas the D700 is a something of a mini-D3. It is a different animal. Everything about it is excellent, although AF and build are not at 1DsM3 levels. However, it is a far better high-ISO shooter. It is the best 20+mpix high-iso shooter on the market today.

The 5DM2 could be a real hit to Nikon. I originally thought that the D3X + D700 might make an excellent companion set, providing high speed, high ISO and max IQ (which they should). But the 5DM2 has effectively put both in a single camera. Now, I imagine the D3X will have a little IQ advantage and I know from experience that the D700/D3 has a slight high ISO advantage. But the 5D does both very, very well in a single body for much less $ (if that matters).

I shoot travel, adventure and landscape photography. The 5DM2 seems to be an excellent choice in this regard. It is smaller and lighter than the 1Ds, has a much smaller charger, offers better low-light IQ and similar IQ at base ISO.

On the subject of camera durability - I wonder how important this difference is between the 5DM2 (which is well built) and the 1DsM3 (exceptionally well built)? I have lugged a 1DsM3 all over the planet, and its really never take a physical beating. Managed to scratch the LCD badly via loose gear in a bag, bumped it around a bit but I baby my cameras for obvious reasons. I dropped a D700 onto concrete and broke a Nikor 24-70 in half (uh!) in the process, but the camera was fine. I suspect the 5D would survive this beating equally well.

I am leaning towards having 2 5DM2 bodies when performance is critical, rather than 1DsM3 backed up by a 5DM2. Odds of killing two bodies seem pretty low, and I can swap batteries, share chargers, share BG.

Sure the shutter on the 1Ds is rated for 2x the life, but you won't run it down on a single outing. And at less than half the price, you can just get a brand new 5DM2 if your shutter life is running low and making you nervous.

The only other place the 5DM2 fails noticeably short of the 1DsM3 is on AF. It is also 1fps slower. I think if AF speed is critical, you need to stay with a 1-series body or go D3/D700 (although I find my D700's AF to lag the 1D/1Ds AF).

If you need higher than 4 FPS, then obviously this is not the camera. A 50D, D700 w/battery grip, D3 or 1DM3 will be better.

But I would bet that the 5DM2's AF and build quality are more than adequate for most applications. And the high-ISO/high-resolution capabilities are unique at this time. I am impressed enough that I am considering canceling my D3X order, as the high-res/high-iso power of D3X+D700 seems to have been nearly rolled into 1 with the 5DM2 (other than fps) - at lower cost to boot. Unless Nikon basically drops or greatly minimizes the anti-alias filter (giving similar sharpness to a MFDB) I don't see the IQ leap being massive enough to make a difference in many situations. As for those that it does, many will be shooting MFDBs anyway.

Anyway, hope that helps. From what I've seen, the 5DM2 is something you can buy with confidence as a wonderful all-round camera. Oh, yeah - it also does video. I didn't buy it for video and won't use it for more than casual video of family as an alternative to taking a video camera, but you get this too which is cool. Others will surely value this much more so.

SoCalMan Regular Member • Posts: 297
Re: 5D Mark II compared to 1Ds Mark III, D700

You don't specify whether your high ISO comparisons are based on RAW images or in-camera JPGs. This information would be very helpful.

Jim Meketa

Perry Cho Regular Member • Posts: 391
Re: 5D Mark II compared to 1Ds Mark III, D700

Thanks for your comprehensive review. I did similar tests as I own both the 1dsmkIII and 5dmkII. I find the high ISO on both cameras to be almost identical. At ISO 3200 I have difficulty splitting images from both these cameras. My test were based on raw images. It really shows how good the high ISO ability of both the 1dmkIII and 1dsmkIII are. Pity the 1dmkIII focus issue has taken away how good the high ISO that these cameras produce.

The 5dmkII will make a great backup camera to my 1dsmkIII.

I tried using it to shoot small moving birds and it is definitely too slow, too few focusing points and not as sure footed as my 1dmkIII. Pity it does not have the 1 series focusing ability like Nikon's D3/D700 combination.

In conclusion I think the 5dmkII is a fantastic camera at almost 1/3 the price of the 1dsmkIII. 21mp, great LCD, high ISO performance plus it is small and compact as compared to my 1dsmkIII. Now I feel more comfortable taking the 5dmkII into restaurants and take pictures of my family without feeling out of place :).

Perry.

 Perry Cho's gear list:Perry Cho's gear list
Sony a7R III Canon EOS 5DS R Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Sony a7S
RedFox88 Forum Pro • Posts: 29,632
Re: 5D Mark II compared to 1Ds Mark III, D700

dtedesco wrote:

5DM2 has considerably better resolution. High ISO is better on the
D700 - but only by a small margin. This seems to be an astonishing
accomplishment for Canon. It is strange they did not roll this out
on a 1-series body first, as it is clearly class leading.

Canon has a history of "testing" features on lower models before giving it to a higher model. Examples:

EOS-3 was the first to get 45 AF points in 1998 before it went to the 1v.
XTi got 10MP sensor before the 40D came out
XSi got a 12MP sensor before the 50D came out and was more than the 40D.

Features tried out in lower models to judge customer reactions and to then tweak them for use in higher models.

Tom Melanson
Tom Melanson Senior Member • Posts: 1,214
Re: 5D Mark II compared to 1Ds Mark III, D700

Nice summation. Greatly appreciated.
Tom
--
(See equipment list under 'profile')

 Tom Melanson's gear list:Tom Melanson's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L II USM Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L USM +9 more
Peter Aczel Senior Member • Posts: 1,874
Thanks

Very interesting, good comparison, thanks for it.
PeterA
.............................................................................
http://www.aczelpeter.uw.hu

 Peter Aczel's gear list:Peter Aczel's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L II USM Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM
James Bligh Senior Member • Posts: 2,355
Re: 5D Mark II compared to 1Ds Mark III, D700

Barely a week after 5DII is available many problems are being reported. Not to mention banding noises black dots appear at the right side of highlights (even in low ISOs) and a hardware problem is suspected. If my recollection is correct, very few issues were reported about D3/D700.

dtedesco wrote:

The 5DM2 could be a real hit to Nikon. I originally thought that the
D3X + D700 might make an excellent companion set, providing high
speed, high ISO and max IQ (which they should). But the 5DM2 has
effectively put both in a single camera. Now, I imagine the D3X will
have a little IQ advantage and I know from experience that the
D700/D3 has a slight high ISO advantage. But the 5D does both very,
very well in a single body for much less $ (if that matters).

There has not been a single objective test result reported about 5DII yet. We will see soon whether 5DII is a winner in both worlds as you mentioned but the reported bugs make me highly doubtful.

I shoot travel, adventure and landscape photography. The 5DM2 seems
to be an excellent choice in this regard. It is smaller and lighter
than the 1Ds, has a much smaller charger, offers better low-light IQ
and similar IQ at base ISO.

A reviewer of 5DII in my country tells that noise reduction is applied even at base ISO in 5DII (same as 50D) and because of NR, HTP & ALO images become softer. There are two similar functions in Nikon, Active D-lighting & high ISO NR, but Active D-lighting is OFF by default and high ISO NR applies from ISO 2000 & upwards. In 5DII NR is ON by default and it applies even at base ISO and the problem is complicated by HTP & ALO intervening together. The reviewer recommends that a user should change parameters of three auto functions in every shooting situation to get a best possible result. He implies that 5DII may be an auto everything camera and the result may be contrary to the intention of a user. To sum it up you may surrender to the decision of the camera or you should change settings very frequently and you know it is not so easy.

-- hide signature --

'Mediocre, mediocre, I am a champion of mediocrity!' -- Salieri in AMADEUS

wildlife1212 Senior Member • Posts: 1,109
Image please...

-nt-

James Bligh Senior Member • Posts: 2,355
Purple & Red colored fringing in 5DII

There seems to be one more problem.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1032&message=30258842

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromatic_aberration

James Bligh wrote:
Barely a week after 5DII is available many problems are being
reported. Not to mention banding noises black dots appear at the
right side of highlights (even in low ISOs) and a hardware problem is
suspected. If my recollection is correct, very few issues were
reported about D3/D700.

dtedesco wrote:

The 5DM2 could be a real hit to Nikon. I originally thought that the
D3X + D700 might make an excellent companion set, providing high
speed, high ISO and max IQ (which they should). But the 5DM2 has
effectively put both in a single camera. Now, I imagine the D3X will
have a little IQ advantage and I know from experience that the
D700/D3 has a slight high ISO advantage. But the 5D does both very,
very well in a single body for much less $ (if that matters).

There has not been a single objective test result reported about 5DII
yet. We will see soon whether 5DII is a winner in both worlds as you
mentioned but the reported bugs make me highly doubtful.

I shoot travel, adventure and landscape photography. The 5DM2 seems
to be an excellent choice in this regard. It is smaller and lighter
than the 1Ds, has a much smaller charger, offers better low-light IQ
and similar IQ at base ISO.

A reviewer of 5DII in my country tells that noise reduction is
applied even at base ISO in 5DII (same as 50D) and because of NR, HTP
& ALO images become softer. There are two similar functions in Nikon,
Active D-lighting & high ISO NR, but Active D-lighting is OFF by
default and high ISO NR applies from ISO 2000 & upwards. In 5DII NR
is ON by default and it applies even at base ISO and the problem is
complicated by HTP & ALO intervening together. The reviewer
recommends that a user should change parameters of three auto
functions in every shooting situation to get a best possible result.
He implies that 5DII may be an auto everything camera and the result
may be contrary to the intention of a user. To sum it up you may
surrender to the decision of the camera or you should change settings
very frequently and you know it is not so easy.

-- hide signature --

'Mediocre, mediocre, I am a champion of mediocrity!' -- Salieri in AMADEUS

OP dtedesco Regular Member • Posts: 165
Re: 5D Mark II compared to 1Ds Mark III, D700

I only shoot RAW.

For for background, primary is travel/landscape photography (although I have a studio as well). Currently shooting D700 (for fast fps, high ISO and exceptional 14-24 WA lens), 1DsM3 (first choice for all-around shooting), P45 on Cambo RS (for serious landscape work when workable and nearly always in conjunction with the 1Ds or D700), P45 on Phase 645 SLR (using less now that I have the Cambo), G10 (when I don't want to carry much).

Also have the DP1, G9, Panny G1 and E-420. I rarely shoot any of these. G1 is going to mom as a holiday gift (it is a really cool camera, btw - I am just not reaching for it much).

Currently deciding how to add the 5DM2 into the mix. Leaning towards 5DM2 and D700 as high-res/fast AF+FPS combo. Bummer is lack of compatibility between lenses (I have the Nikon G adapter but really only use it with the 14-24) and duplicate chargers, batteries etc. Would drop the 1DsM3 from my regular kit and possibly sell it. Bear in mind that I am traveling and trekking long distances with my gear, so weight is a bigger issue for me than many.

Been shooting more Canon than Nikon over the years, but prefer the controls on Nikon in most (but not all) regards.

SoCalMan wrote:

You don't specify whether your high ISO comparisons are based on RAW
images or in-camera JPGs. This information would be very helpful.

Jim Meketa

OP dtedesco Regular Member • Posts: 165
Re: 5D Mark II compared to 1Ds Mark III, D700

I have not done a straight head-to-head comparison but will shortly.

I find the 1DM3 (which I used to own) to be better at high ISO than the 1DsM3. That test I did myself. Also, slightly wider DR.

Perry Cho wrote:

Thanks for your comprehensive review. I did similar tests as I own
both the 1dsmkIII and 5dmkII. I find the high ISO on both cameras to
be almost identical. At ISO 3200 I have difficulty splitting images
from both these cameras. My test were based on raw images. It really
shows how good the high ISO ability of both the 1dmkIII and 1dsmkIII
are. Pity the 1dmkIII focus issue has taken away how good the high
ISO that these cameras produce.

The 5dmkII will make a great backup camera to my 1dsmkIII.

I tried using it to shoot small moving birds and it is definitely too
slow, too few focusing points and not as sure footed as my 1dmkIII.
Pity it does not have the 1 series focusing ability like Nikon's
D3/D700 combination.

In conclusion I think the 5dmkII is a fantastic camera at almost 1/3
the price of the 1dsmkIII. 21mp, great LCD, high ISO performance plus
it is small and compact as compared to my 1dsmkIII. Now I feel more
comfortable taking the 5dmkII into restaurants and take pictures of
my family without feeling out of place :).

Perry.

Blindphoton Forum Member • Posts: 53
Your view on "black pixels"

Thanks for your views - possibly most useful to date.

Did you see any evidence of the so called 'black pixels' which appear to the right of badly blown out highlights when viewed at 100%+? These have been reported at a wide range of camera sites across the web, and so doesn't appear to be an isolated issue.
--
W Bill Wilson

 Blindphoton's gear list:Blindphoton's gear list
Fujifilm X20 Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS 20D Canon EOS 5D +9 more
OP dtedesco Regular Member • Posts: 165
Re: 5D Mark II compared to 1Ds Mark III, D700

I tend to agree that if the cost is a concern, it makes sense to wait for the camera to be fully vetted by reviews and the industry at large. I went in early on the 1DM3 and caught the AF issue. Not a huge deal but certainly less than ideal. I personally enjoy photography and camera technology - and am fortunate that a $2.5k expense is not a major concern. Worst case I eBay it for a small loss if I hate it - its not $2.5 down the tubes.

Right now, as far as the 5DM2 goes, I am not seeing anything significantly negative but I am seeing some nice positives. More thorough analysis still needs to be done though...

On a related note, it will be interesting to see how Nikor glass performs with 24mpix. The Nikor 70-200 looked soft in the corners on my D700. On a D3X, we may see more challenges - or maybe not. (I've used the Nikor 14-24 on the the 1DsM3 and it shines) My point is that if you go in early, before things are tested/vetted, you'll be accepting some risk in this regard, just as with the 5DM2 now or any new camera.

Also, for whomever asked for images, I will try to put up some. Posting images serious business around here and I feel it needs to be done right/very carefully or not at all. If I can put together a well controlled test in my spare time and find it useful in better understanding each camera, I will post my results (with lots of disclaimers ;-> ).

James Bligh wrote:

Barely a week after 5DII is available many problems are being
reported. Not to mention banding noises black dots appear at the
right side of highlights (even in low ISOs) and a hardware problem is
suspected. If my recollection is correct, very few issues were
reported about D3/D700.

OP dtedesco Regular Member • Posts: 165
Re: Your view on "black pixels"

No but I have not tried to recreate this issue. I will check it out when I can.

Blindphoton wrote:

Thanks for your views - possibly most useful to date.

Did you see any evidence of the so called 'black pixels' which appear
to the right of badly blown out highlights when viewed at 100%+?
These have been reported at a wide range of camera sites across the
web, and so doesn't appear to be an isolated issue.
--
W Bill Wilson

OP dtedesco Regular Member • Posts: 165
Re: 5D Mark II compared to 1Ds Mark III, D700

As requested, I did some image testing and posted it to a new thread. Hope this is helpful!

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1032&thread=30267279

planetMitch
planetMitch Regular Member • Posts: 301
Re: 5D Mark II compared to 1Ds Mark III, D700

Thanks for the review! Added to wiki on the reviews page
--
Mitch
http://planet5d.com NEW! planet5d.com THE 5d Wiki!
(includes mk ii info and samples - all in one central location)
http://twitter.com/planetMitch - posting status updates on twitter

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