One of the great things about being a paying member of Canon Professional Services is the product loans they do at no charge to let you try before you buy. I normally shoot with the original 5D but borrowed the mkII from Canon for a couple of weeks to see if it was worth moving up a generation.
The thing I was really interested in was shooting at very high ISOs. The mkII goes up to 25600 which essentially allows me to take photos in near darkness. The above photo was shot with my 24-70L at f2.8/25600ISO but I also used it combined with the 50mm 1.4 and I was able to shoot in such dark conditions that the lens was having trouble grabbing enough light to even focus.
The images come out with a lot of noise, both luminance and color, but with just a few quick adjustments in Lightroom the worst of it is gone. The result is an acceptable candid image and, more to the point, one that is impossible to capture any other way without off camera flash.
I’m sold on the usefulness of the 5D mkII in low light. It’s really amazing. Is it $1,000 worth of amazing (the difference in price between the mkII and original 5D)? I’m not sure yet. For the subject matter I shoot it’s a close call. A price drop on the mkII would probably send me over the edge and land me a new camera. Time will tell.