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Thread: Canon EOS 5D, 50D, or 5D Mark II?

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    Canon EOS 5D, 50D, or 5D Mark II?

    Hello folks, this is my first question in here and I'll be needing some serious advice...

    EOS 5D or 50D? I plan to do everything, from street photography, to travel pics, to portraits, etc. I already know which lenses I'll be needing:

    Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM and

    Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM

    EOS 50D promises almost everything in my novice opinion, but everybody speaks very highly of the 5D. Plus I keep reading (everywhere mind you) about noise problems with the 50D. On the other hand, 'new' tecnology Vs 'old'... DIGIC III vs IV...

    Now, I can buy the 5D Mark II if I wanted to (doesn't mean I can 'afford' it), but I'd have to be persuaded that I won't regret my purchase within the next 3 years as I don't plan to replace a 3000 Euro purchase that soon for a new, better release by Canon!

    That's it for now, your suggestions are welcome.

    Thanks.

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    Re: EOS 5D, 50D, or 5D Mark II?

    Michael, I'm pondering some of the same comparisons + the new T1i (500D in Europe.) One thing I might point out is that the two lenses you have listed fit different cameras EF-S lenses like the 10-22 you mentioned only fit the smaller sensor cameras like the 50D or 500D. The 24-105 will fit any of the cameras. On the 50D or 500D the 10-22 is a wide angle zoom with a full-frame equivalent focal length of 16-35, while the 24-105 on the smaller sensor camera is an equivalent 38.4 mm to 168 mm. (The formula for the small sensor is 1.6 x nominal focal length.) The 10-22 won't even physically attach to a full-frame camera like the 5D or 5D Mk II, but you could buy a 16-35 for them that would give the same field of view.

    Clear as mud?

    Joe

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    Re: EOS 5D, 50D, or 5D Mark II?

    Hi Joe, thanks for your quick response and and time. I appreciate the effort you made to explain these differences to me, in other words; clear as mud!

    May I ask what you'd advise me to get for a body, and why? Thanks once again.

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    Re: EOS 5D, 50D, or 5D Mark II?

    Quote Originally Posted by akamc77 View Post
    Hello folks, this is my first question in here and I'll be needing some serious advice...

    EOS 5D or 50D? I plan to do everything, from street photography, to travel pics, to portraits, etc. I already know which lenses I'll be needing:

    Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM and

    Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM

    EOS 50D promises almost everything in my novice opinion, but everybody speaks very highly of the 5D. Plus I keep reading (everywhere mind you) about noise problems with the 50D. On the other hand, 'new' tecnology Vs 'old'... DIGIC III vs IV...

    Now, I can buy the 5D Mark II if I wanted to (doesn't mean I can 'afford' it), but I'd have to be persuaded that I won't regret my purchase within the next 3 years as I don't plan to replace a 3000 Euro purchase that soon for a new, better release by Canon!

    That's it for now, your suggestions are welcome.

    Thanks.
    Hi Michael,

    The original 5D certainly struck a chord with many photographers - particularly those who prefer a full-frame format. Because of the relatively low pixel density it had particularly good low-noise characteristics, and despite its age, the image quality it produces is on most occasions more than adequate. In terms of technology it was more or less the 20D or 30D of the full-frame world.

    The 5D2 brought that segment of Canon's market "up to date" again, in particular, adding more pixels - Higher ISO options - and video capability. It's not long since been released, and it's "unlikely" to be updated again in the next couple of years, although I really must stress the term "unlikely" as the only people who really know aren't telling

    The 50D is more or less the crop-factor equivalent of the 5D2; both are positioned at the pro-sumer / advanced amateur segment of the market.

    I think that for you, the fundamental decision you need to make is do you run with a crop factor camera, or a full-frame camera. Many will try to convince you that shooting with a full-frame camera is the holy grail of camera experiences, but the reality is that shooting FF can work for you, against you, or make no difference. I've written a little more about that here.

    If you can afford it, I'd make the choice between the 50D and 5D2 (unless you really want to go 1 series). Both will be updated at some point, but that doesn't make your existing choice perform any worse; rather than choose a camera based on which has the better specifications, my suggestion is to also consider the category of "more than adequate" for both (eg pixel count, noise etc); many of the specs don't translate into anything noticeable in the real world.

    In your case shooting with a 50D will give you a 1.6x reach advantage for a lens of a given focal length ... and you can go wider by using EF-S lenses. On the down side, if you ever do decide to go the full frame way then you'll have to sell any EF-S lenses.

    Is this helpful? (I'd rather stop at this point and get some feedback from you beore I end up writing 1/2 a book for you that goes off in a direction that doesn't help). Perhaps you could have a read through these responses and get back to us with your initial thoughts so we can fine tune things from there?
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 18th May 2009 at 01:48 AM.

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    Re: EOS 5D, 50D, or 5D Mark II?

    Quote Originally Posted by joec View Post
    Michael, I'm pondering some of the same comparisons + the new T1i (500D in Europe.)
    Hi Joe,

    Based on personal experience with entry-level class Canon cameras, my suggestion would be to at least consider a pro-sumer version as well if you're going to be getting stuck into photography, simply on the basis of improved ergonomics.

    I invested in a 350D many years ago - tried a friends 20D - and immediately sold the (virtually brand new) 250D at a loss. No regrets.

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    Re: EOS 5D, 50D, or 5D Mark II?

    Hi Colin, thanks for your input. After pondering on your words below...

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I think that for you, the fundamental decision you need to make is do you run with a crop factor camera, or a full-frame camera. Many will try to convince you that shooting with a full-frame camera is the holy grail of camera experiences, but the reality is that shooting FF can work for you, against you, or make no difference...

    ...In your case shooting with a 50D will give you a 1.6x reach advantage for a lens of a given focal length ... and you can go wider by using EF-S lenses. On the down side, if you ever do decide to go the full frame way then you'll have to sell any EF-S lenses.
    ... and on the page you linked me with, my anxiety is significantly reduced and I'm on the verge of buying my first DSLR. Just need a little nudge and I'm in!

    I've (almost) settled for the EOS 50D + EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM becuase your points are very compelling.

    Since, like you explained, the EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM will give me (almost) the same angle, view and range as a compatible lens on a FF, I see only advantages. I'll stick to one 'all round' lens (the EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM) for the time being, and as need arises I include more lenses to my kit, starting with the EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM. This combo should cover enough range and angle to keep anyone hapy I presume.

    This will also give me a good start without much pain, and if I have to upgrade in the near future it'll be for an FF of good pedigree. What do you think?

    Best regards,

    Michael.

    PS: one more thing... am I right in asuming that the 50D has an edge over the 5D MK II where zoom/range is concerned? Particularly where lenses with range up to 400mm are concerned... *redundant, I know*
    Last edited by akamc77; 18th May 2009 at 04:02 PM.

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D, 50D, or 5D Mark II?

    For what it's worth, here is my humble opinion based on a couple of years of experience:

    First off, and I am sure you are past this point already, but I would not go back to anything other than SLR; I had a Rebel Xti for a around a year, until the 5D MKII came out. Specially if you are not a genious in photography, you can not find a better choice than 5D MKII (of course, as Colin mentioned, if you don't want to pay more for 1D and specially if you are concerned that what you buy will be upgraded soon). The picture quality is way better, and I have used a Rebel Xsi and I have compared them with pictures from 40D. I know there are lots of places you can see pictures taken with these cameras and lots of reviews you can read, but what I am telling you is based on what a novice can do with these and what a novice can get from each one of these.

    Also, I personally will never go back to anything below FF. I know in some cases it does not make any difference...

    And lastly, specially if you become more interested and want to do more, the cheaper cameras have a lot of limitations, so I would go with the highest I can afford (5D MKII) isntead of trying cheaper ones and switching cameras every year.

    "My" main reason is that, with the cheaper ones, I always thought that the reason I can not take a good picture is that my camera is not capable of producing good results. This I knew was not true but, specially if you are not that good at it initially, has a bad effect on you mentally. Now, I can rest assured that it is me not the camera and I really go after ways to improve my image quality. Again if you can afford it go with the best, because what you are calculating right now is with your current skills and knowledge but soon, specially if you visit this forum a lot , you will soon see that nothing short of the best will satisfy you. I think same thing is true with the lenses. The moment you try one of those L ones, you never go back to non-L lens...

    And if you are not a professional and if you are not doing this for a living, don't forget that these are all toys/gadgets (and if you are a boy ) and we all have experienced that feeling when a new toys comes to the market... so with all due respect to Colin, I do not consider that "more than adequate" a category since this is not a business for me (counterintuitive huh?), if I can afford it, I buy the best.

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Alis; 19th May 2009 at 12:37 AM.

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    Re: EOS 5D, 50D, or 5D Mark II?

    Quote Originally Posted by akamc77 View Post
    What do you think?
    In a word "perfect". Don't change a thing

    Probably the only "real world advantage" of FF lenses are that they're usually a little faster (F2.8 etc), but if your shooting landscape or architecture (the most typical uses of a WA lens) then you'd typically be stopped down to F11 or F16 on a tripod anyway.

    PS: one more thing... am I right in asuming that the 50D has an edge over the 5D MK II where zoom/range is concerned? Particularly where lenses with range up to 400mm are concerned... *redundant, I know*
    In terms of reach, sort-a/kind-of - the other variable is the number of pixels; Case-in-point ... a few weeks ago a friend of mine and myself ended up shooting at the same boat racing event. He was using a Canon 1D3 (10MP, 1.3x crop-factor) and I was using a Canon 1Ds3 (21MP, FF). He was gloating that his camera was faster and had the reach advantage. I'd have to concede the speed bit (even though I shot 1050 to about his 5!), but he's incorrect on the reach bit ... if I only use the same part of my sensor as he has available using all of his, I get around 13MP shots to his 10 - so I can out resolve him by around 30%. However it's a tall order when the difference is FF -v- 1.6x crop factor when the 1.6x crop-factor camera already has 15MP. So to be more accurate the 1.6x frop factor doesn't equate into an exact 1.6x reach advantage, but in the case of the 50D -v- 5D2 it's pretty close. 50D is also a LOT faster.

    I think you've made a good choice ... congratulations on your purchase (<-- assumptive close ... the little push you needed eh?)

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D, 50D, or 5D Mark II?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    ...In a word "perfect". Don't change a thing ...

    ...I think you've made a good choice ... congratulations on your purchase (<-- assumptive close ... the little push you needed eh?)
    Dear friend, I'm not letting you off that easy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    ...Probably the only "real world advantage" of FF lenses are that they're usually a little faster (F2.8 etc), but if your shooting landscape or architecture (the most typical uses of a WA lens) then you'd typically be stopped down to F11 or F16 on a tripod anyway.
    Yes, but I'll be doing a lot of portraits, street, spontaneous photography, etc, and I need REALLY COOL pics. Yeah, I know, the person behind the camera, etc, still...

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    ...In terms of reach, sort-a/kind-of - the other variable is the number of pixels; Case-in-point ... a few weeks ago a friend of mine and myself ended up shooting at the same boat racing event. He was using a Canon 1D3 (10MP, 1.3x crop-factor) and I was using a Canon 1Ds3 (21MP, FF). He was gloating that his camera was faster and had the reach advantage. I'd have to concede the speed bit (even though I shot 1050 to about his 5!), but he's incorrect on the reach bit ... if I only use the same part of my sensor as he has available using all of his, I get around 13MP shots to his 10 - so I can out resolve him by around 30%. However it's a tall order when the difference is FF -v- 1.6x crop factor when the 1.6x crop-factor camera already has 15MP. So to be more accurate the 1.6x frop factor doesn't equate into an exact 1.6x reach advantage, but in the case of the 50D -v- 5D2 it's pretty close. 50D is also a LOT faster...
    You're right about everything you said. I've been doing my research and I agree with you. But in my web travels I noticed one consistency. FF pictures look way much better than CF pictures, and that's what I want. Or are my eyes playing tricks on me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    ...Is this helpful? (I'd rather stop at this point and get some feedback from you beore I end up writing 1/2 a book for you that goes off in a direction that doesn't help). Perhaps you could have a read through these responses and get back to us with your initial thoughts so we can fine tune things from there?
    You've been very much helpful and I thank thee. Pulling you back in I ask: Why do YOU use FF? What equipment do you use and why? How does your equipment benefit you? What inspires you? I've seen your pictures and they are marvellous. Are you a serious hobbyist or do you make your bread with photography?
    Last edited by akamc77; 19th May 2009 at 07:25 PM.

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D, 50D, or 5D Mark II?

    Quote Originally Posted by akamc77 View Post
    You're right about everything you said. I've been doing my research and I agree with you. But in my web travels I noticed one consistency. FF pictures look way much better than CF pictures, and that's what I want. Or are my eyes playing tricks on me?
    The only significant difference is that FF has about a 1 stop tighter depth of field over a 1.6x crop-factor camera, for the same lens. If you're using a EF-S lens that has a max aperture that's also 1 stop less that an L-Series "equivalent" then that'll also be a 1 stop depth of field loss; Losing 2 stops worth of DoF WILL be quite noticable if your shooting "creatively" (my term for those who narrow depth of field portraiture); so in that situation a FF camera and fast glass is probably going to win. It's interesting that you like my work - and yet what your looking at is a mixture of work shot with 1.6x, 1.3x, and FF class cameras - all L-Series glass though (it's all I use).

    You've been very much helpful and I thank thee. Pulling you back in I ask: Why do YOU use FF? What equipment do you use and why? How does your equipment benefit you? What inspires you? I've seen your pictures and they are marvellous. Are you a serious hobbyist or do you make your bread with photography?
    I currently only use a Canon 1Ds3, and L-Series glass exclusively. I went to FF for the sole reason I hit the limits of the 1D3's 1.3x limited field of view when trying to capture dramatic wide-angle skies (at 16mm), so I got the FF camera and a 14mm lens: Problem solved I shoot landscape mostly with the 16-35/2.8L lens, and it benefits me because I can capture high-quality images that I print up to 44" wide on canvas - sell - and I benefit from having the money (truth be known it's more of a benefit to the kids and SWMBO, but that's another story!). At present I'm morphing into a full-time professional from an IT consultant slowly, as I inch closer to retirement

    At the end of the day, if you can afford a FF camera and good glass then there's no real drawback - but it will cost you a LOT more if you choose top-shelf quality at every turn - and that in turn depends on what you want to do. Quality is everything to me and it's immensly satisfying to be able to capture scenes like the portraits a did a couple of days ago; high resolution - pin sharp - stunning contrast and colour fidelity ... shots that require minimal processing and can withstand printing at ANY size.

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    Re: EOS 5D, 50D, or 5D Mark II?

    Michael, you're getting plenty of good advice from these guys. I might add one comment to Colin's statement "In your case shooting with a 50D will give you a 1.6x reach advantage for a lens of a given focal length ... and you can go wider by using EF-S lenses. On the down side, if you ever do decide to go the full frame way then you'll have to sell any EF-S lenses."

    My Digital Rebel (300D) has both EF-S and EF lenses (one of them the L Series 400mm 5.6). I don't think if you move up some day to full frame, that you have to sell anything. I intend to keep my 300D as a second body for backup and also for it's greater reach or to have a second lens handy. I could get a 24-105, say, for the full-frame, use my EF-S 10-22 to avoid having to buy the 16-35 for the FF. Besides if I really need reach for my bird photography, the 400 would have an equivalent 640 mm reach on my 300D versus 400 on the FF.

    Joe

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D, 50D, or 5D Mark II?

    I own a 350D (same crop factor as 50D) and recently purchased a 5D (although I have spent 2 years analysing RAW files from this camera), so I think I can see advantages and disadvantages on both, and also extend the comments from the 5D to the 5DII:

    50D:
    - The main advantage for me is that the Canon 10-22 is fantastic. I am very disappointed at the high price and distortion levels of the 17-40 and 16-35, which would be the equivalent field of view lenses for FF. It's true I like to shoot architecture, but it's also true that other brands (Nikon 14-24) have ultra-wide angle lenses for FF the outperform the characteristics of the 17-40 and 16-35 in FF so the problem is not in FF, but in Canon FF wide angle designs.
    In brief: I am very disappointed with Canon ultra wide angle zooms, I prefer much more the cheaper 10-22 on a APS-C body.
    - You will have more tele power. If you are shooting nature (animals, birds,...) you get extra 60% tele with the same lens.
    - For being a cropped format with respect to FF, lenses are used at their best so vigneting is very rare on APS-C while common on FF, and geometrical distortions are more visible in FF because of its wider angle of view for a given lens (I was amazed to test my beloved 70-200 f4L at f/4 on the 5D, vigneting and distortion were terrible).
    - It's cheaper

    5D & 5D2:
    - I recently bought a 5D because I want to enter the world of TS lenses, and for this FF is a must. However the old 5D is slow at focusing, slow at displaying the images in the screen and slow in continuos shooting. It's a 4-year old design and this has consequences.
    - The 5D2 has partially solved these disadvantages (it's new processor is fast in saving the image files), and has extra resolution up to 20Mpx. Be careful with this, unless you are printing large copies the extra resolution can even turn into a disadvantage for the extra needed storage space and specially the extra processing power (I have processed 20Mpx files with layers on my laptop and it can be painful).
    - A FF body will allow more creativity thanks to depth of field control. You can much more easily blur the background in a portrait for example, your lenses will become faster (more defocusing power) just with the format change.
    - Also noise performance is better in a FF body, specially at high ISOs. You will be able to shoot under low light conditions with a FF camera (even the old 5D, improved with the 5D2) better than with the 50D.
    - FF have a wider viewfinder where scenes can be more easily composed.

    In brief there is no clear winner, each format has its advantages and disadvantages.
    For the tele end APS-C is clear winner.
    For using the sweet areas of all lenses APS-C is a clear winner.
    For creativity (DOF control) FF is clear winner.
    For shooting in low light conditions FF is clear winner.
    For the wide angle end, FF should be a winner but unfortunately this is not like that in Canon zooms.

    BR

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D, 50D, or 5D Mark II?

    Quote Originally Posted by akamc77 View Post
    You're right about everything you said. I've been doing my research and I agree with you. But in my web travels I noticed one consistency. FF pictures look way much better than CF pictures, and that's what I want. Or are my eyes playing tricks on me?
    Probably because FF-users on average being more experienced photographers with good quality lenses and good post-processing skills.
    You might be right with your view FF pictures consistent look better than CF but i expect it's due the photographers qualities.

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D, 50D, or 5D Mark II?

    I've been debating whether or not to get a 50D or a 5D or the new Rebel as well ...

    I am pretty much stuck on the 50D because of the fast FPS and the size and cost.

    I don't think I'd ever get a mark..they are way too large for my type of walking around and hiking shooting I do and everytime I hold one it reminds me of holding a websters dictionary.

    So that being said I'll get the 50D and use the money I save from not getting the 5dmii to buy an L lens...or at least part of one.

    I just got my first L lens about a week ago a 70-200 F4 and holy moly what a difference it makes...I am kicking myself in the head for not buying better glass earlier...
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 25th May 2009 at 11:47 PM.

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D, 50D, or 5D Mark II?

    Hi guys, it's been a while. I was busy with a project...

    I finally settled for the EOS 5D Mark II (surprise!), but don't know what lens to get. I'm stuck between the ef 16-35mm II L and the ef 24-105 IS L.

    I plan to own both lenses in the future, but can afford just one at the moment. I would like to procure the 'better' or most handy of the two first, then compliment later. All tips and advice are very much welcome!

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D, 50D, or 5D Mark II?

    Quote Originally Posted by akamc77 View Post
    Hi guys, it's been a while. I was busy with a project...

    I finally settled for the EOS 5D Mark II (surprise!), but don't know what lens to get. I'm stuck between the ef 16-35mm II L and the ef 24-105 IS L.
    If you're needing a walk-about / travel lens then the EF24-105mm is really your ONLY choice between the two. The EF16-35mm is a fantastic lens, but waaaaay too wide on a FF camera for those frequent occasions your going to need the length.

    If you need to shoot wider than 24 on occasions, just take a number of overlapping shots and stitch them.

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    Re: EOS 5D, 50D, or 5D Mark II?

    Quote Originally Posted by joec View Post
    My Digital Rebel (300D) has both EF-S and EF lenses (one of them the L Series 400mm 5.6). I don't think if you move up some day to full frame, that you have to sell anything. I intend to keep my 300D . . . Joe
    Not too many years ago, many amateur Photographers carried two SLR bodies – one with B&W and one loaded with Colour Film. Professionals often carried up to four bodies, in some instances.

    Since the advent of DSLR, this is less often the case, because we capture RAW and play later.

    A few years ago, I cut over my W&P studio to DSLR. We bought kits based upon each having a 30D and 5D, specifically to leverage the lens kits. My personal DSLR kit comprises an APS-C and also a 135 format body.

    As two examples of lens leverage, and using the bodies mentioned on this thread as an example:

    Driving a 50D and a 5D:

    . consider the F/2.8L series zooms – the 24 to 70 becomes superfluous apropos FL / FoV

    . consider the prime group: 24; 50; 100(macro) 135 – becomes FoV effective 24, 38, 50, 80, 100, 135, 160, 190

    Pretty efficient rig with two Zooms and three or four Primes? There are many other less flamboyant combinations, too, these are just two examples

    I mention this because the original question had a factor of “building a kit” in it.

    Obviously if the goal is to build a kit this way, any EF-S lens (or other APS-C format lens) will not be fully interchangeable, and that should be taken into consideration.

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 26th May 2009 at 05:05 AM. Reason: spelling correction

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D, 50D, or 5D Mark II?

    Quote Originally Posted by akamc77 View Post
    Hi guys, it's been a while. I was busy with a project...

    I finally settled for the EOS 5D Mark II (surprise!), but don't know what lens to get. I'm stuck between the ef 16-35mm II L and the ef 24-105 IS L.

    I agree, the 24 - 105F/4IS is a far more flexible lens in this situation given the choice of these two lenses, for the reasons Colin has outlined.

    WW
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 26th May 2009 at 05:58 AM.

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D, 50D, or 5D Mark II?

    Thanks Collin, William, I'll be getting the 5D MK II with the 24-105 IS L lens. Will let you know when it arrives

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D, 50D, or 5D Mark II?

    Quote Originally Posted by akamc77 View Post
    Thanks Collin, William, I'll be getting the 5D MK II with the 24-105 IS L lens. Will let you know when it arrives
    Hi guys, I got the 5D Mark II tonight and I have to say that it is one awesome beast! I played with it for a while until it was obvious that I really had to charge the battery. I'm waiting now for the battery to fully charge. Thank God it's friday, I have the entire weekend to play with it, woohoo!
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 29th May 2009 at 11:06 PM.

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