So I've been taking photos with my Canon 600D forever now, and I've been pleased with most of my results. TBH, the times I've been disappointed, it's probably not because of the camera. However I've been dying to get my hands on a full frame body, with slightly better IQ and the extra use of my 50mm f/1.8.

Now, is the Canon 5D Mark II still a great camera? This of course being compared to my 600D. I don't care about the extra weight. The reason for asking is that it was released two years prior to the 600D, did that much happen? I mostly shoot people—friends and family—portraits, and candids.

And yes, I have a few L lenses, so I've already upgraded that part.

Thanks in advance, please tell me to add info if needed.

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    Define great. Any way you slice it, this seems like a question that's looking for purchasing advice, and that's off topic here. – Caleb Sep 27 '16 at 6:44
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    Only very recently, I’ve asked myself the same question and in the end chose the 6D with a 24-105/3.5-5.6 over (used) 5DMIIs for auto-focus and high ISO reasons, mainly. The MIII was an option as well, but too expensive for me. So far, it’s been a great upgrade to the previous 550D and I’m very happy with my choice. – PattaFeuFeu Sep 27 '16 at 16:27

I've taken some great images with my 5D Mark II. But I've also taken some great images with a Rebel XTi/400D. I've also found that it is easier to get great images and to get more of them in certain situations with a 5D Mark III and the improvements it has over the 5D Mark II than it was to get them with the 5DII.

I still use my 5D Mark II regularly, but only in ways where its weaknesses don't matter (e.g. with the widest angle lens I am using in a multi-camera setup). There are other cameras that have been introduced since the 5D Mark II that are even better. The 5D Mark II is a great camera, but the AF system is slooowww, inconsistent from shot-to-shot, and it has trouble focusing in very dim light - sometimes the same light in which the 6D and 5DIII can focus. Image quality is outstanding, but the 6D and 5DIII are both better in terms of IQ and AF.

If you've been shooting with your 600D "forever now" and plan to use your next purchase equally as long then you should probably consider a more recent model that can last you further into the future.

The replacement 5D Mark III was introduced in early 2012, so the newest 5D Mark II bodies are at least four and a half years old. The oldest copies that were sold when the 5D Mark II was introduced in 2008 are now eight years old. Many used copies of the 5D Mark II have got a lot of shutter clicks on them. I used mine for three years as my primary camera body and put over 60,000 shutter actuations on it before relegating it to a backup/2nd body role when I bought a 5D Mark III.

If you are absolutely bound and determined to buy a used 5D Mark II and you manage to find one in good condition then it will be a step up from your 600D. But for just a bit more a used 6D or even 5D Mark III would be an even bigger step.

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The 5D2 is still as great a camera as it ever was.

Rent it. Try it for a couple of days and see how it works for you. You can find all of its features, both praised and hated ones on the internet. Make up your mind how you think about them.

I mostly shoot people, friends and family, portraits and candids.

Are you using off camera flash, too? The 5D2 does not have a pop-up flash and thus cannot act as a remote master without additional gear.

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  • I only use external Speedlight, so that wont be a problem. Thanks for input! – Tindra Sep 27 '16 at 9:13
  • @Kuckel do you imply that you already have a trigger on your camera by saying that you "only use external Speedlight"? Which could mean that you don't even use the pop-up flash as master? The way you omit this information makes it unclear if you actually understood my answer, which essentially was: "If you use external flash, you could have a problem" and your response is "I only use external flash, so there's no problem". Please clarify how you trigger your speedlights. – null Sep 27 '16 at 9:27
  • @null Who is still renting 5D Mark IIs? The newest copies are 4.5 years old and all of the rental houses have long since transitioned to the 5D Mark III. – Michael C Sep 27 '16 at 9:40
  • @Michael Clark lens rentals for example they also offer buying the rented camera, which seems to be an interesting offer for somebody unsure about a used gear purchase. – null Sep 27 '16 at 10:40
  • @null I just meant that I do not use the built in flash on my 600D, since I bought a external one at the same time as I bought the camera itself. And I missed your last part so no, I guess I'll have to buy extra gear for that. Still I'm more interested in the camera qualities since i barley ever use the flash. Sorry for misreading. – Tindra Sep 27 '16 at 11:04

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