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Canon 5D Mark II or Canon 1Ds Mark II?

Tanya Sakolsky , Oct 13, 2008; 02:31 p.m.

I originally posted this in Digital Cameras, but I was told that I might get more answers if I posted here.


I am currently trying to figure out what I should upgrade to. I have had a canon 20D for the past few years. A family friend offered to sell me his used Canon 1Ds Mark II for $2000.

Do you think it would be better to wait and get the new Canon 5D?

Thank you for your help! Tanya


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Ross Murphy , Oct 13, 2008; 02:45 p.m.

I would rather the 5D2 myself, with the newer technology. A lot will depend on what you shoot and what you can afford. Ross.

Scott Ferris , Oct 13, 2008; 02:49 p.m.

Hi Tanya,

My vote is still very much for the 5D MkII. It has better image quality than the 1DS MkIII which was better than the 1DS MkII, well Canon say it does. Low light performance will be much better than the 1DS MkII as well, and the 5D MkII is half the size and weight. Unless you really need the very high build quality and better AF of the 1DS MkII then the 5D MkII adds up to a much better camera.

Take care, Scott.

Buffdr Rasouliyan , Oct 13, 2008; 02:49 p.m.

IMHO this is easy decision. I would get the 5D Mark II. Way better LCD, higher ISO, lighter and hi def video! Plus it will be new! Hmm now I wonder why a person would be selling a 1Ds MKII? I bet he is thinking about the 5D MII as well. Get it new with warranty. v/r Raz

J Smith , Oct 13, 2008; 03:01 p.m.

What kind of pictures do you take? In what conditions? What lenses do you have?

Correct Exposure , Oct 13, 2008; 04:04 p.m.

Well, the 1DS Mk2 may be 4 years old, but it still has features the 5D Mk 2 lacks. This is an interesting question b/c dual card slots, full weather seals, excellent exposure system and 17 mp for 2 grand is a steal.

Have fun deciding. :)

James Colwell , Oct 13, 2008; 04:07 p.m.

Man, I'd jump at the 1DsII for $2000, assuming it's in good condition and comes with charger, and a few batteries. How many shots has it taken? Heck, I'd take it without the charger and batts.

Jos van Eekelen , Oct 13, 2008; 04:31 p.m.

Have a look here: http://www.digitaljournalist.org/issue0810/tech-tips.html for a comparison between the 1Ds mk III and 5D-II. Look for yourself what the differences are between the mk II and mk III and how important they are for you.

John Bellenis , Oct 13, 2008; 04:46 p.m.

Unless you need (really NEED) the stronger build, the extra fps and buffer size, I would go for the 5D MkII. I have both the original 5D and the 1Ds MkII and prefer the 5D (I know I am somewhat in the minority here).

I like a lighter camera, I much prefer the larger LCD screen of the 5D and simply don't need the build and drive speed, etc. I got the 1DsMk II as I wanted the resolution and a full frame body. The 5D had very similar resolution, full frame and was less bulky with a much better LCD. The !DsMk II became a back up. I now have 2 5D Mk IIs on order.

Any of these cameras will take excellent pictures though, so you have to considers which features are important to you, consider the price difference and decide what's best for you.

Christopher Hartt , Oct 13, 2008; 05:43 p.m.

Wow, give your friend my contact info for the Ds2 if you don't buy it.

The point has been made - it depends upon the type of shooting you do. I'm a professional photog - shoot weddings, landscapes and commercial. The dual cards, custom fn, build integrity, battery grip, etc of the Ds2 make it the best body for me. Even before the 5D2, there were photographers (almost entirely those who do not own a One Series camera) who would argue that the 5D is 'just as good' as the Ds2. When you've used one however and depend upon a camera for important images every day, the Ds2 is a clear winner over the "prosumer" cameras. And just so that I don't start a riot here, I'm classifying consumer/prosumer cameras as those that have only 1 memory card capability. My commercial clients (and even some brides) insist upon having independent memory capability.

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