Canon EOS 5D Mark II tips and tricks to improve quality


  • Karma Traveler reports that best image quality is achieved at 100 ISO. If all you care about is noise, that switch to 160 ISO
  • I read in a German photo magazine (sadly forgot which one it was) that noise is negligible up to 800 ISO. They did go even further to say that overall quality is best at 400 and 800 ISO. Anybody can say if it is true or not?
  • Some people out there report that you get even lower noise ratios when you turn off “Highlight Tone Priority” and “Automatic Lighting Optimizer” in your camera settings.

Image quality

  • In a post from Lloyd L Chambers he suggests that we need really high quality lenses for the 5DII. Following original Canon lenses only produce minor sharpness even when stopped down: EF Canon EF 24-105 f/4.0 L, Canon EF 50 f/1.2 L and Canon EF 70-200 f/4.0 L. As for the 70-200 f/4.0 L IS USMI can approve, I shortly got both, the 4.0 and the 2.8 (both IS USM), and as in various tests was proved, the EF 70-200 f/4.0 is best suited for APS-C and performs on the smaller sensors even better than the f/2.8. Vice versa the EF 70-200 f/2.8 performs best on full frame sensors whereas the f/4.0 versions lacks sharpness. Therefore it is an investment not only in the camera needed to get best quality. To dig in deeper follow links to reviews of the according lens through
  • Fix the black spot issue with a firmware update. On January 8th, 2009, Canon released firmware v1.0.7 to fix the black spot issue in Canon 5D Mark II cameras.

Canon 5DMKII style adjustments/crushed blacks (from

  • “For those who wish to further enhance the colors and dynamic range of their 5DMKII cameras you will want to go to this site, download the optional picture styles and learn how to tweek the parameters… then upload them to your camera. You should have no problem correcting the crushed blacks or blown highlights with these instructions… enjoy :-)” There are some more useful information in this thread about shutter control in video mode, so check it out!
    Links: Canon Picture Style Editor and Main Page


Overall zoom performance compared to 40D

  • I previously owned a Canon EOS 40D as well and when I got my 5D MarkII I was in the situation to decide whether to keep my old body or not. Ok, all pros out there have a secondary body, but as a private person it was a decision to have 500 Euro more or less. I compared magnification of both cameras to see if I loose zoom range with the 5 D II. I got my 24-105 at maximum zoom and fired a shot with each body at the same distance. Due to resolution, I approximated the magnification loss to by around 10% compared to 40D (incl. crop factor), though it is a minor loss. Keep in mind that the 40D has a crop factor of 1.6x and the better overall detail fo the 5D II and the better ISO performance I sold my “old” body at once. 

9 responses to “Canon EOS 5D Mark II tips and tricks to improve quality

  1. I have noticed that the 5D2 is 3 stops better than my 50D. The noise I see at ISO 25600 (H2) is that of the 50D at 3200. This makes me unconcerned about noise at any ISO on my 5D2.

    I am using 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, and 300 f4 and all seem to perform better on the 5d2 than the 50D. And the 50D is no slouch.

  2. Nice post. I’m wondering if there are some special techniques to use video with the Mark II, maybe slow motion or something interesting. Also, I heard that the Mark II has a special way to simulate infrared photography. Wondering if you know something about that.


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