The Good Excellent performance and photo quality; good video capture capabilities and quality.
The Bad No built-in wireless controller; large spot meter; no built-in flash; more direct controls would be nice; AF system could use an update.
The Bottom Line A great follow-up to the 5D and top-flight full-frame camera, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II delivers the fluid shooting experience and fine photos you expect from a professional model.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Editor's note, October 9, 2012: In light of changes to the competitive landscape, we've decided to adjust the rating of this camera by dropping the features subrating from 9 to 7. Though it's still an excellent camera, its 3-year-old feature set can't match that of more modern units; the video capabilities which were unique at the time no longer are.
Three years is a long time for any product to hang around, especially when the technology changes as rapidly as it does for digital cameras. Though it's always had a big fan base,users have nonetheless been itching for more. The successor Canon delivers: the EOS 5D Mark II is in many ways a must-have upgrade, especially for the wedding photography crowd for whom the 5D is a workhorse. And with many of the imaging components of the (including a later version of the image-processing engine, Digic 4) for a price tag $5,000 lower, it's certainly an attractive alternative. It's also priced fairly aggressively compared with the competition despite its new 21-megapixel CMOS sensor and groundbreaking movie capture capability.
The camera comes in two official configurations: the body-only or a kit version with the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens. Usually I'm not a fan of the lenses that ship as part of kits like this, but I ended up liking the 24-105mm a lot more than I expected and think it's a good match for anyone looking for a first lens to pair with the camera. As with all of the high-resolution models, however, it really makes a difference to go for the sharpest lenses in the arsenal.