5D Mark II Team

Improvements & Gear

Accessories

This is a list of some important and even essential accessories you might want to consider. All of them were tested by the authors of this blog, and we can recommend them without any doubt.

These are some of our suggestions (more coming soon):

Canon Speedlite 580EX II Flash  

The flash is one of the most common accessories you need for photography.

This is the best flash Canon has built to date. It is the most powerful, the most featured, the most rugged (and the largest too).

The fully swiveling bounce head zooms automatically covers a range of 24mm-105mm, plus built-in 14mm panel (it also has a built-in bouncing panel)

Supports Wireless TTL flash when triggered by other on-camera 580EX; or when combined with ST-E2 Transmitter & multiple 580, 550 EX’s or 480 EX’s. It can work as a “master” when mounted on the camera.

So if you’re looking for the best Canon flash, this is the one.

Some of its features include:

  • E-TTL II, E-TTl, TTL & Manual
  • Guide Number 190′ (58 m) @ ISO 100 and 105mm
  • Dust- and Water-Resistant
  • Metal Hot Shoe
  • Auto Zoom
  • Bounce Head: Yes (-7º to 90º)
  • Full swivel: 180° in either direction
  • AF Assist beam: up to 45-point AF
  • Runs on 4 AA Batteries
  • More specifications and pictures here.

It comes with a nice soft case and a hot shoe stand (which is obviously detachable).

Highly recommended!

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Canon Speedlite 480EX II Flash 

The flash is one of the most common accessories you need for photography

The Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash is Canon’s mid-range shoe mount flash, yet it offers several of the same advanced features as its bigger brother, the 580EX II. It is designed to fully support the entire range of Canon digital SLR and G-series cameras.

If you don’t need the full power and features of the 580EX II than this is the right flash for you. More compact, but still very powerful and featured.

The bounce head zooms automatically covers a range of 24mm-105mm, plus built-in 14mm panel. Its Wireless E-TTL II compatibility permits it to function as a slave unit, triggered by a 580EX, ST-E2, or MR-14EX. Any number of 430EX and 550EX Speedlites can be combined as slave units for creative effects.

Some of its features include:

  • E-TTL II, E-TTl, TTL & Manual
  • Guide Number 141′ (43 m) @ ISO 100 and 105mm
  • Faster & Quieter Flash Recycling
  • 6 Custom Functions
  • Metal Hot Shoe
  • Auto Zoom
  • Bounce Head: Yes (0º to 90º)
  • Swivel: 180° to the left, 90º to the right
  • AF Assist beam: up to 9-point AF
  • Runs on 4 AA Batteries
  • More specifications and pictures here.

It comes with a nice soft case and a hot shoe stand (which is obviously detachable)

It is not “weather resistant”, the ergonomics of the buttons is not as good as its bigger brother (you have to press buttons deeper and it has 2 buttons instead of a rear wheel), and is less powerful, but again, if you don’t need the top-level features of the 580EX II, then the 480EX II is highly recommended.

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LCDVF 

A “must have” accessory for your DSLR. This “loupe” with excellent optics and design will give you a larger view of the rear 3″ LCD of your camera, thus improving your shooting experience and helping you to get much better results.

Either if you are a still-only photographer or if you record video, or both, you will find this item extremely useful and even essential.

Once you get it and see the benefits, you won’t like to go shooting without ii. Highly recommended.

Check our small REVIEW here.

IMPORTANT: There are also versions for 3:2 and 16:9 aspect ration LCD screens to fit most current cameras in the market.

Buy one clicking here.

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Canon BG-E6 Battery Grip 

This one is for Canon EOS 5D Mark II SLR Digital camera. Please check the BG-E7 Battery Grip if you use a Canon 7D

It allows you to load a choice of one or two LP-E6 battery packs.

Highly recommended, especially if you use LiveView mode and/or shoot video and want to double the battery life.

With the included BGM-E6 Battery Magazine you can alternatively also run the camera off six AA batteries.

It also gives better balance and comfort, especially if you have big hands.

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Zoom H4n Handy Recorder Kit with 8GB SD Card and Remote Control 

This is a professional audio recorder, amazing value. The B&H Kit is an amazing deal. Don’t miss it while it’s in stock.

  • True X/Y Stereo Mics
  • Selectable Recording Patterns
  • Records up to 24-bit/96kHz
  • XLR/TRS Combo Inputs
  • Built-In Speaker
  • USB 2.0 Connectivity
  • Backlit LCD Display
  • Uses AA Batteries
  • Includes Wired Remote
  • Includes 8GB SD Card

– New FIRMWARE UPDATE 1.70 available:

Added the function that recording level of INPUT1 and 2 can be set individually. GREAT improvement for video & filmmaking purposes.

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Visible Dust Arctic Butterfly 724 Brite 

Essential for cleaning the sensor of your camera. There are some other options and kits you might want to consider too.

“Visible Dust Arctic Butterfly 724 (Brite) has a bright LED that illuminates the sensor during the cleaning process. This illumination reduces the possibility of fibers being dragged accidentally against the surrounding cavity hence reducing the potential cause of smear usually caused by contaminated fibers.

With the LED as a guide, it becomes easier to spot dust particles. The internal engine meets certain RPM standards and also creates a centrifugal force that enhances dust rejection as well as bolstering the charge enhancement of fibers. (…)”

Important: Cleaning the sensor is always a delicate operation. Do not touch the fibers of the tool with your fingers! use the button to start the engine to clean them instead. Do not start the engine while cleaning the sensor! Read instructions carefully.

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VariZoom VZ-Shoe Swivel Shoe Camera Mount 

This little piece of equipment is really handy.

It’s sturdy, very strong (more than other similar ones).

Designed to mount an external monitor, it can also be used to mount the Zoom H4N Digital Audio recorder or any other accessory over your DSLR using the hot shoe.

Cheap and handy. Highly recommended.

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Pelican Carry On 1510 CASE with Dividers (Desert Tan) 

There are lot of bags and cases. But if you use to travel and want to protect your equipment, check the specifications and features of this one. It’s really amazing considering the quality and protection it gives to your valuable gear.

We even use it for daily transportation of our gear. GREAT value.

This model comes in 3 options (and 3 colors): Case without foam (empty), Case with Foam, Case with Dividers (the model on the picture)

Some features:

  • Watertight, Dustproof Case
  • Made of Ultra High Impact Copolymer
  • 11-Piece Divider Set is Included
  • ABS Double Throw Latches
  • Built-in Purge Valve
  • Front Large Folding Haul Handle
  • Large Side Folding Haul Handles
  • Retractable Extension Handle
  • Polyurethane Wheels with SS Bearings

We suggest the “Desert Tan” color. The reasons are simple: it doesn’t absorb as much sunlight as the black one (then it doesn’t heat up as much either when exposed to direct sunlight) and it is more unnoticeable than the olive green and black ones to people’ sight (and to customs or check points too).

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LaCie 1TB Rugged Triple Interface Portable Hard Drive 

The drive connects to your computer via USB 2.0, FireWire-400, or FireWire-800. Backup software for Mac and Windows is included, as well as 1 year of access to LaCie’s online service.

Ideal for backups of your valuable data when traveling or while shooting on the field. Some of its main features and benefits include:

  • Rugged enclosure with rubber shock absorber is shock proof up to 7.2′ (2.2 m), meeting the stringent MIL standards
  • FireWire-800 supports bus transfer speeds of up to 100MB/sec
  • Bus-powered for true portability
  • Connects via FireWire-800, FireWire-400, or USB 2.0
  • Plug & play design

Check the full specifications on the product’s page.

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More coming soon, stay tuned!


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