The Dark Side

I finally got to play with my new toy last night- my new Canon 5D MkII DSLR. So far, I'm really enjoying it. I shot these at ISO 6400 with barely any light at all:


Focus isn't great on some, as I was focusing manually - too dark for AF, and I'm out of practice. (The last time I had to manually focus was in college shooting sports with Nikon F4's and manual focus lenses.)

The video in the same lighting conditions is less impressive, but I think the stuttering is directly linked to the ancient memory card I was using:

Impressions so far:

  • Focus is pretty good - extremely fast, though I need to play with the settings to highlight a specific focus point. Wish they were spread out more, like on Nikons.
  • The viewfinder is awesome. Much better coverage than Nikon's consumer cameras. Nearly as good as my old F5, with almost 100% coverage of the image. Makes manual focusing much easier, even with a slowish lens (f/4).
  • Camera and lens feel like they're hewn from solid metal. I guess they are, in part, but it's a big shock moving from my D70. The downside (for some) is that it's a good bit heavier, even without a battery grip on the bottom, which I'll probably get eventually. Lens in this case is the kit 24-105 f/4 IS. The 70-200 f/4 IS actually feels lighter.
  • Low light performance is pretty impressive, at least with stills. I need to do a lot more testing, but images at 6400 have less grain than images at 1000 on the D70. Of course, since I don't have a Canon flash (yet), they need to be.
  • For shooting video, an external microphone is needed. The internal mic is mono-only, and it's located right next to the lens mount, where it picks up the noise of the image stabilizer and focus motors. That's the constant crackling you hear in the video. Luckily the 5D MkII (unlike the Nikon D90) has a microphone port, and mini shotgun mics can be had fairly cheaply.

Now, is anyone looking for Nikon gear for Christmas?


Congrats on your new baby and the other new baby, your 5d. I can't believe the grinding sound is from the IS, yikes. Tim to play around with that custom white balance. ;-)


Oh my goodness....the still shots don't do him justice! He is so very beautiful!

Christian's picture

Perhaps we'll shoot some video in actual daylight over the weekend!