Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM review

The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM is a high-tech update to a popular tele zoom

Canon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS II USM
(Image: © Canon)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The latest and by far the greatest in a long line of Canon budget telephoto zooms for full-frame SLRs, the Mark II represents a major upgrade over the first ‘IS USM’, with much higher-performance autofocus and image stabilization systems, plus a multi-function electronic display. Handling and image quality are impressive, making this fairly compact and lightweight lens a smart buy for both full-frame and APS-C DSLRs.


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    Fast and near-silent autofocus

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    4-stop image stabilizer

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    Multi-function electronic display


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    No weather-seals

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    ‘Optional’ hood is expensive

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The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM follows in the footsteps of budget telephoto zooms of the same or similar focal lengths, stretching back to the original EF 75-300mm of 1991. For our money, previous editions have all been good rather than great but this latest edition represents a serious step up in handling and overall performance.


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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.