This page is a collection of photo samples taken with the Canon 5D Mark II digital SLR camera, plus related image galleries, user pictures and other examples that I’ve come across in forums, online communities, blogs and related websites.
This should help in determining if the image quality of the 5D Mark 2 meets your expectations.
Bear in mind that the majority of these photos are re-sized, and may have gone through post-processing, retouching or other edits. I just thought that it would be interesting to see, at a glance, what 5DM2 owners and users are shooting with their camera.
Full-sized images, where available, will assist with judging the image quality.
Attribution is given by linking to the source and where available, the author’s homepage or photo gallery.
Cricket sports pictures by Frederick Briggs (via DPReview). Frederick used a Sigma 120-400mm f/4.5-5.6 AF APO DG OS HSM telephoto zoom lens for these shots.
The new Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS USM macro lens was mounted on the 5D Mark II to snap these gorgeous images.
Full-resolution comparison sample images: 5D Mark II vs Olympus E-P1
The images are JPEG files straight out of the camera, unedited.
Mike Pasik shared three fantastic pictures of Sarah Palin who was in “Auburn New York to celebrate Founders Day”.
Mike also revealed the lens he used for the shots, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM for the 1st image, and a Canon EF 1.4X II Extender (TC / teleconverter) was added in to extend the reach of the lens for the second and third photo.
See more at Mike’s “Sarah Palin at Founders Day in Auburn New York” gallery.
Jeff Keller, the reviewer, took 21 test photos for this review.
A Canon EF 1.4X II telephoto extender (TC, or teleconverter) was utilized to extend the reach of the 70-200 f4L for two of the images.
Jeff also mounted a Canon Speedlite 430EX II flash on the 5D2 for three of the pictures.
Matt Anderson shares some 5D Mark II plus 17-40 RAW sample files for download
Lens used for the photos was the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L.
5D Mark II at a basketball game
Even though the 5D Mark II has a slower continuous burst fps (frames per second), he had way more keepers with the 5D2 than from the 40D, and he attributes this to the fact that he could comfortably shoot the 5D2 at ISO 2000 to 3200 (the 40D was set to a max of ISO1000, which resulted in motion blur).
AF (autofocus) was on AI Servo mode, the lens used was the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM.
Professional portrait of the new US President, Barack Obama
The new official portrait was released on January 14th, 2009. There is a link in that blog post to a 1916 x 2608 pixel portrait image. Open up that image in an EXIF viewer (I used Preview on the Mac for this) and you can clearly see that the photo was taken with a 5D Mark II by Pete Souza, who had accepted the position of official White House photographer for President-elect Barack Obama.
Engadget says that this photo is the first of any US President to be taken with a digital camera.
The Mac version of Adobe Photoshop CS3 was used to process the photo.
Wikipedia has a list of portraits of US Presidents for comparison on composition and framing.
User photos with the 5D Mk2
These are simply outstanding — you have to see them full-size to appreciate the level of sophistication Canon has put into the 5D Mark II’s in-camera noise reduction process.
The ISO 3200 and ISO6400 portraits can be printed really large, and the print will still look acceptable for most purposes.
Lens used was the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM.
Lovegrove Consulting provided 11 lightly-edited JPEG image sample shot at ISO values ranging from 800 to 6400.
My favorite is this ISO1600 portrait shot under warm lighting. If you had told me it’s shot at ISO 200, I would have believed you.
Once you’re at the page, click the thumbnails to access the full-sized file.
All can be printed at large sizes with great quality.
I am stunned!
High ISO Casual Portraits
These full-sized photos by Erik Five Gunnerud circulated a few days after the announcement of the camera, and I have to say that I’m simply blown away by the quality.
You can visit his Flickr set to view the photos. Don’t forget to click the thumbnail once, then click on the All Sizes icon above the thumbnail and select Original to see the full-sized, unedited version.
What’s even more impressive are the high ISO images. Viewed at 1024 x 683 (when you select the Large option), I wasn’t able to discern any significant degradation in detail, color, contrast and tonality when comparing the ISO 3200, 6400 and 12,800 (yes, 12800!) pictures.
I’m also struck by the virtual lack of any line and pattern noise, banding or striping artifacts.
Here are the direct links to the original versions of the three high ISO images I was talking about. Don’t forget to view them using the Large size, just for fun, as this size gives you a good idea of the quality you can get at regular-sized prints:
Other photos in that set:
Read a related forum discussion where reactions such as the following were posted:
Based on my experience with my MKIII, I’d say the 5DMkII is at least 1 stop better, if not almost 2 stops better.
… a realistic 1 to 1.5 stops better than 1D3, but being downsizing and DiGiC IV digital-domain noise-reduction the key success factors. I suspect there should be a relatively narrow difference in true, absolute sensor performance… yet we are talking about 21 Mpixels vs. 10 Mpixels, which is already a feat, by itself.
Kudos to Canon.
These are very nice examples. It seems the 5DII will be an amazing low light camera indeed. The blotchy artefacts I noticed in some previous samples are less obtrusive in the ones we have here and I am beginning to believe they are strictly JPG-related. I compared the ISO 12,800 sample to a few of the ISO 3,200 images from my 5D and they are very very close. So, I’d say the 5DII offers an improvement of 1.5 to almost 2 stops over the old 5D. That is almost too good to be true. ISO 6,400 looks simply excellent to me. I already love this 5dII. It looks much more elegant and well designed than the old one as well.
By Mike Collins, in reply to a question on how these 5d MK2 samples compare with the 1D Mark 3 at ISO 3200:
Its really hard to answer this because we don’t know what conditions the picture was taken in. My Mark III does outstanding at 3200, and I shoot at 6400 regularly. Take a look at my gallery and most of my recent volleyball is 6400, and the football and some of the soccer is as well. But this 5D goes two notches better. The problem is that noise is very much effected by the quality and quantity of the light. This guy was shooting inside a well lit area at f/1.4, so it was probably exposed well. When shooting in very low light, often you are needing to under expose a little to get shutter speed, even at high ISO. But being a Mark III owner, I’ll say that I’m very impressed with these shots. I wish the body had decent speed and AF and I’d get one for sports.
And did you notice the gorgeous bokeh? Well, that’s thanks to having photographed them wide open at f/1.4 with the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 lens.