What are the improvements? See the official propaganda here:
For my architecture business. I used it on my first assignment yesterday...........
1) The highlight warning on the main preview is invaluable (It is not super accurate as it is based on a JPEG preview rather than the RAW data. It gets you in the ballpark though, setting the color space to SRGB seems to help some).
2) Highlight compensation is good for slightly blown out windows and MKII has better Dynamic Range in general (this setting does result in more shadow noise, which acn br moderated by running a noise reduction software in the shadow area like Noise Ninja).
3) The brighter viewing screen is MUCH easier to see in daylight.
4) The files are HUGE-no more uprezing for a double page spread (and the file degradation that accompanies uprezing-the best program that I found for that was Genuine Fractals).
5) I believe I am getting better gradation in the skies. This I believe is related to the new 14 processor? In any event the tonal transitions seem to be smoother.
6) The live view may be useful in tight spots where I can't get behind the camera to see through the eyepiece. With a handheld mirror I should be able to accurately focus with the live view. I haven't tried it yet.
***NOTE**** I used it today (2/16/09) in a tight spot where I could not get my eye up to the eye piece. Live view worked perfectly for both composing and focusing.
7) The Shooting function display is large and really helpful. At a glance without going to the eyepiece or scrolling through the INFO menu, I can see all my settings.
8) The dust reduction WORKS. Because of static electricity the winter months are the worst for dust. After three shoots and many outdoor lens changes, not a single piece of dust has appeared. This is a big time saver on the computer.
9) The noise is better.
This is one sweet camera, that is a really well designed tool for the working photographer.
On the downside there may be issues with the 5DMII and its poor weather sealing. Photographers working in environments like the Antarctic have reported failures. See:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/antarctica-2009-worked.shtml. None of this has anything to do with how I shoot architecture and I have had no issues to date. For my purposes, I love the camera.
More to come as I think about it and process the files. A decent overview of the 5DMII can be found here:
and the best user overview is here: Luminous Landscape