The Canon 5D mk2 was my second dslr camera. My first was the Canon 40D. I think what was most appealing about the 5D was the full frame sensor. I'd never used a full-frame camera before but liked the idea of realising the full potential of my one and only prime lens - canon 50mm f1.4. That the 5D also shoots HD video was further justification for my pricey acquisition. Well not that pricey considering my previous camera, the Panasonic DVX100, cost over $5000 nzd. But to be honest... video production was only a secondary motive.
I was hardly aware that there was so much enthusiasm for these HD capable DSLRs from video producers around the world. Of particular interest were the 7D and 5D followed shortly by the 550D, all by Canon. Nikon also had HD ready DSLR's that fell out of favor with its users for some reason I don't remember and didn't really care. The Irony now is that many Canon HD DSLR users attach older Nikon manual focus lenses to their canon bodies because 1) they are better than the Canon manual focus lenses and 2) they are easily made compatible via a cheap lens mount adapter whereas Canon FD lenses are a night-mere to use with Canon EOS cameras and don't really work.
After playing around with the 5D a bit it wasn't difficult to see what all the hype was about. The picture quality is jaw-dropping at first. Much of its mystique is about... How can such a small little camera produce such stunning pictures? Then, after the initial amazement one comes back to reality about its many limitations and the focus quickly turns to how its power can be harnessed.
I came from a television / documentary making background so my demands differed from those of movie makers. Most concerning to run and gun style operators was the lack of audio recording facilities. Despite a number of peripheral companies developing work-around products weak audio capabilities continue to limit the practicality of the 5D. It is also very small which is great for holding up to your eye but not so with out-stretched arms. Thus followed a wave shoulder rigs, lcd viewers, follow focuses and the like... some of which costing more than the camera itself. After hours of online window shopping / fantasizing about elaborate rigs and pimped out monstrosities I finally came to a more minimal solution.
Although there is much ground to cover I am now at a stage where I feel confident in using my 5D in a professional environment. Part of the appeal of these cameras is the excitement of the unknown taking it's users on a journey of discovery. Kinda like Captain Kirk on Startrek but not as cool and more geeky.