Why can't I love the Canon 5D Mk II?

canon 5dm2001
Originally uploaded by soundimageplus
Its coming up to a year since I bought a Canon 5D Mk II.
Its about the longest I've ever kept a DSLR.
I've also taken more pictures with it than any other digital camera I've ever owned.
Its my first choice when it comes to commissioned photography.
It produces 60MB files.
It shoots amazing full HD video.
I have no intention of selling it until the 5D Mk III comes out.
It works flawlessly, quickly and efficiently.
Its the best camera I've ever used for low light performance.
Its probably the best value DSLR on the market.

So why don't I like it very much?

The answer to this question is not easy to answer. Particularly if you are looking for common sense!
It should be everything I want in a camera. Its perfect for both stock photography and commissioned photography. It produces huge high-quality, high-resolution files that easily satisfy both clients and picture libraries.

canon 5dm2002

canon 5dm2009

I have a set of the Canon F/1.8 primes - 28mm F/1.8, 50mm F/1.8, 85mm F/1.8. All of which are terrific, fast & cheap (ish) lenses. They are what I use for indoor events and weddings. Again they do the job in an efficient way & produce excellent images.

Between commissions this kit just sits on its shelf. If I'm going out stock shooting I'll pick up any other camera apart from the Canon. I'll shoot multi-image panoramas on my m4/3 cameras rather than use it. I struggled around with my D3X rather than use it, I spent a fortune on a manual focus 10MP Leica rather than use it. I'm going to spend a larger fortune on a Leica M9 rather than use it.

Canon 5D Mk II

Canon 5D Mk II

What makes this camera so indispensable to me, and yet so unappealing?

As I said before if you're looking for common sense then stop reading now!

1) Its ugly! I find all Canons ugly. Their cameras, their lenses, everything. They remind me of 1980's cars.
2) Plastic, Plastic, Plastic! They feel plastic, they look plastic. No matter that the lenses are built like tanks* - I don't like handling them or using them.(* I should point out here that I once dropped my 85mm F/1.8 from a substantial height. It still works perfectly and there isn't a scratch on it.)
3) While the 5D Mk II images are better than most, I've never liked Canons approach to image capture. I've always felt that in their quest for low noise they sacrifice a level of sharpness.
4) They are all black, always!
5) I always think of Canons as "Corporate cameras" soulless, identical, conventional.
6) If cameras were cars, Canons would be BMW's - efficient, powerful, uncomfortable. With a BMW you have to fit around the car, not the other way round. Nikons are Audi's. Similar to BMW's but better designed. Leica's are Shelby Cobras, basic but capable of incredible performance in the right hands, and terrible consequences if you don't know what you are doing. Micro four-thirds are like Ford Ka convertibles. Affectionately known as "Hairdressers cars" by some of my friends. However some of us think they look very stylish!!!

So there you are. I did say stop reading if you were expecting common sense!
If I was sensible I would have a couple of Canon 5D MK II's and that would handle everything I ever needed.
Maybe thats my primary dislike of them, they are sensible! Thats not a word anyone who knows me would ever use to describe me.
Impulsive, fickle, opinionated, emotional - yes, sensible - no!

If anyone ever asks me what camera would I recommend to someone looking to make a career in photography, I would answer the Canon 5D Mk II. It ticks more boxes than any other DSLR on the market currently.

Just don't expect me to like it.

D & A


Canon 5D Mk II

portland castle

Canon 5D Mk II