Canon EOS 5D Mark II: Barely worth it!

This just in: Canon EOS 5D Mark II: Barely worth it!

I’ve been getting quite some hits from that article on my blog in the last 24 hours. That guy seems to have a serious problem with us. It almost seems personal. Perhaps someone from Canon used to frequently beat him up in school and kick his dog or something. Even Thomas Hawk had something to say about it. Hang in there Thomas, I’m sure you’ll get your 5D Mark II eventually.

And thanks to Trent Nelson for including my blog in his Top 5 Cool Things for 2008. Don’t worry about becoming a Canon Explorer of Light, Trent. Since Michael Newler’s “departure” the program isn’t what it used to be. There’s just a lot that needs to be done but there’s a lot of internal fighting and ass kissing going on. I am one of very few people who seem to have the guts to speak my mind about issues and about what we need to do to improve. There are also a few engineers speaking up, but it’s not enough. There are plenty of people who admit to me in private about things not going well, but most of them are afraid to speak up and lose their jobs during these tough times. But the thing is, they don’t seem to understand that by doing nothing, they’re going to lose their jobs eventually anyway because of the bad company results. And it looks like those times have arrived.

14 thoughts on “Canon EOS 5D Mark II: Barely worth it!

  1. Nothing like seeing the lemming philosophy @ Canon. If some want to jump off a cliff, everyone should all jump off a cliff and take the company with them.

    Now that I’m done with that, I’m going to go take photographs of bright lights in the utter cold at night with my 5D Mark II set at SRAW1, then push it 3 stops higher and pixel peep at 1000% to see if I can see some black dots and banding all the while getting an Err 20 or Err 30. Perhaps then and only then will Canon select me to become an Explorer of Light!

  2. That’s a great strategy Drfl, but be sure to insist that the camera is working just fine after seeing the black dots and banding and the Err 20/30 screens, and you’ll be an Explorer of Light in no time in the current program.

  3. You mentioned Canon’s “Explorer of Light Program”. Can you please also comment on the new CPS (Canon Professional Services) program. It used to be free for photo professionals, but starting 2009 Canon is charging a fee, and I’m pretty pissed off about it!

  4. “It used to be free for photo professionals, but starting 2009 Canon is charging a fee”

    They have to charge now because all the pro’s have switched to Nikon 🙂

  5. CHUCK I’m so sad with issues of the 5DII … can’t believed such a great company had missed BIG. of course any one can say or cursing 24/7 but this time it’s surreal …I personally had broke my 20D twice first was 70.000 actuations second time 65.000 they fixed for no charge also they couldn’t believed been amauter had going 135.000 in 14 months ( I can give you the s/n to check for your self) then 30D also 5D my only complain was the AF thought the 5D was one of the best AF’s I had work with it. I don’t wand to see Canon of the road. Neither I’m the guy who logging to complain and complain I love shooting …hope the bast for Canon and all who shooting with it!!!!!
    Happy Holidays!

  6. Mr. Fake Chuck,

    Don’t be beaten down by Konel Donkey’s kicking. The 5DII is selling so well in Hong Kong that it is still selling HK$20800 at the shops, no sign of price dropping yet. Canon HK has to double their shipping order for X’mas despite the economic drop. And I finally got my 5DII last week. I can tell you what you have been worrying about is a non-issue. I have a comparison with the 1DsIII and frankly I don’t see the IQ any lesser except I pay much lesser money for 5DII. Never expect such good value for money. The AF just works great. No worry. Get some sleep, celebrate the X’mas and be happy with playing your Nikon toys. BTW, did you see MR of LL’s very boosting article on the Sony A900. Guess he has got an issue with Nikon and trying to hammer the D3x’s sale. Now that Nikon has finally surrendered and provided him with a D3x for his antarctic trip for driving the camp nails to the ice in case he has forgotten to bring the hammer. Ha ha, just kidding. I think MR is going to write some good word for the D3x when he returns. Money talks.

    Merry X’mas and best regards,
    Mr. Fake

  7. Drfl you jerk!

    You can shoot a well exposed, normal looking picture that shows highlights and shadows in sRAW1, and you will see all sorts of shit from RGB blotches and lines running down the god damn picture that you don’t need to view at 1000% to see! Try 100%, or 50%, or 25%, or 12.5%! LOL, I can see the lines & shit in the shadows on 4×6 proof prints too!

    Much of the reason why I bought the 5D2 was because I *could* use it in SRAW1! Now I can’t, and now I have to buy a new fucking computer just to process the huge god damn RAW files. I thought to myself, Wow, a 10MP, FF body, plus the occasional full size RAW file for situations where I’d need every pixel I can muster. But now that isn’t so. Oh, and in RAW mode, I see RGB blotches in iso 100 & 200 minus the lines, but still, this is just not acceptable considering my 5 year old 20D smokes the 5D2 in IQ already! Along with a new grip, and 6 new batteries, I have spent over 3K on this?

    Drfl if you need to blast the image to see where it falls apart, then you ought to get your eyes checked!

  8. I am an engineer working on image processing software for airborne digital mapping and I’ve seen these black dots before. It’s a software bug caused by a pixel interpolation algorithm. The s/w engineers at Canon will easily be able to modify the firmware for this – that’s a genuine fix, not a sticking plaster. The unforgivable thing is that they didn’t test it thoroughly enough; but I suspect that whilst this is all a bit embarrassing for Canon, in a few weeks we’ll have a firmware patch and have one great camera in our bags.

    Karel Donk’s review is a waste of time. He is clearly writing without even having held the camera. The Digital Picture review is only partial at the moment, but they are blown away with the quality. As a illustration of what kind of idiot Karel Donk is, he says that he doesn’t know if you can turn off NR, but includes two images from TDP that clearly state with and without NR. The guy’s a jerk.

  9. Mr. Westfall: Hope you had some nice holidays with your family. Don’t listen to the pixel peepers, they’re worried about being anal instead of taking great photos.

  10. Rick,

    I don’t have to hold the camera for what I wrote there, the evidence is overwhelming. Other reviews are also saying the same things and I cite them. About that NR bit, I updated my post with what I meant:

    “What I mean by this, is that even if you turn off the noise reduction on the camera completely, the camera still applies a bit of noise reduction even at lower ISO values which you can’t turn off. I have yet to confirm if this is really the case.”

  11. Here’s the Canon EOS 5D audio sync issue or problem.

    Last Wednesday I used my two 5D MkII’s in a 3 camera music video shoot. The third camera was a Sony PMW-EX1. Audio was recorded on two additional devices. One audio recording device was an Edirol R4 Pro. The other audio recording setup was a Tascam USB Interface to a MacBook Pro.

    The Sony Camera, Edirol, and Tascam/MacBook Pro devices all synced sound perfectly over the full duration of the shoot (just over 20 minutes). To clarify – once the different sources are sync’d quickly and easily to the slate clap on the waveform at the beginning of the shoot they all stayed perfectly in sync for the rest of the video.

    Both Canon cameras audio and video sync’d perfectly to each other but drifted significantly from the other 3 devices even over a 3 minute segment. The is a very serious problem for me and one that introduces significant post-production trouble and expense.

    This issue was so unexpected (I haven’t run into this in years of working with a range of equipment) that I performed 3 subsequent tests to confirm that the 5D MkII’s run too fast. The results from the tests show both of my 5D Mark II run about 14 frames too fast in 10 minutes. Audio that is 1 full frame out of sync is noticeable on sharp sounds causing an echo. Audio that is 2 or 3 frames out of sync causes echo on any sound and looks odd in terms of lip sync.

    That the two Canon cameras audio sync’d OK to each other tells me that the cameras can be calibrated to a standard. Evidently they are just calibrated to an incorrect standard.

    Anybody else experience this? Does anybody really know if this is likely a chip issue or a firmware issue? Does anyone know an easy reliable way to get the clips to conform to the standard without time-consuming constant tweaking?

    I contacted Canon tech support and the girl there couldn’t care less. She said: There is no fix and that the 5d isn’t really a video camera so what did I expect? Nice!

  12. @ michael

    Knock the 5D all you want on image quality and even sound quality, but the sync drift you are describing is not in camera. It is in the kludgy ghetto multicam setup you are using. If you don’t jam sync timecode into all of your record sources simultaneously they will not sync up. This even happens to pro broadcast gear. Don’t ask the camera to fix problems in your knowledge/skill set.

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