Canon 5D2 – mode dial and target audiences

The Canon EOS 5D Mark 2 doesn’t have the traditional mode-dial settings for Sports, Landscape, Macro, etc. These settings mainly impact shutter- versus aperture trade-offs and possibly burst mode settings.

Prosumer market?

Apparently you are supposed to know what you are doing if you purchase a camera like this. After all, the camera caters to advanced amateurs willing to lug the extra weight around, buy fancy (and heavy) lenses and pay the price premium for all this. The Canon 5D2 and its successor, the Canon 5D, were seen as the camera of choice for professional wedding photographers, professionals on a budget, or even simply as backup cameras for professionals with a top-of-the-line Canon 1D or 1Ds. It is also suitable for the enthusiasts with enough time to worry about equipment details and enough commitment to save up quite some money to make their peers envious with at fancy equipment. All these groups are supposed to know what they are doing, and know how the camera is intended to be used. So you also won’t find a pop-up flash (unlike the comparable Nikon D-700).

Or anybody who can afford it?

But  interestingly, the mode-dial also has two separate “fully automatic” modes for dummies: Full Auto (green, classic) and the new Creative Auto. In the latter mode you get a slider for “light or darker picture” and even one for “blurring the background”. In addition, unsafe settings which may cause problems are locked. So apparently Canon’s product managers didn’t want to rule out users who don’t even want to bother learning about shutter speeds and apertures.

One explanation might be that some people have enough money to buy a camera like this. But don’t have the interest to learn how to use it. So if I owned a large yacht, I guess I would be unhappy if I bought an expensive quality camera but I couldn’t get it to take a decent picture. Let’s hope the salesman was smart enough to tell me to buy a flash unit (although that is still a nuisance to charge and mount).

Interestingly “dummy modes” are conceivably useful if more than one family member shares the same camera. But on the other hand, this may not be the kind of equipment you put in the hands of kids. So what is “creative mode” good for on a camera like this?

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