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Canon EOS 5D

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223 279533 Nov 30, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $2,661.82
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.92
8.61
9.4
5d_586x225_2_

Specifications:
The new Canon EOS 5D offers advanced photographers a lightweight, robust digital SLR that uses Canon's superlative EF lenses without a conversion factor. Its full-frame 12.8 Megapixel CMOS sensor combines with Canon's DIGIC II Image Processor, a high-precision 9-point AF system with 6 assist points, and "Picture Style" color control to deliver images of superior quality with enough resolution for any application. With its wide-angle capabilities, 2.5 inch LCD and magnesium-alloy body, the 5D is the perfect addition to the Digital EOS line.

World's smallest and lightest full-frame digital SLR* with a 12.8 Megapixel CMOS Sensor and superb image quality.
DIGIC II Image Processor for outstanding image quality and performance - 3.0 fps for up to 60 consecutive JPEG or 17 RAW frames in a burst.
New larger 2.5 inch LCD screen can be viewed even at extreme angles up to 170°.
New "Picture Style" function for superior command of in-camera color, contrast and sharpness.
High-precision 9-point AF with 6 additional Supplemental points surrounding the center point for superior focus tracking.
Strong and light magnesium-alloy body with new shutter durability-tested to 100,000 exposures.
Compatible with over 50 Canon EF lenses and most EOS System accessories.


 


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jjarecki
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Registered: Nov 22, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,299.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Full frame (great for Architecture, landscape), excellent quality, large lcd on back (what a difference!).
Cons:
Still a bit pricey, no built in flash (these have saved me a couple of times when my strobe failed), slow 3 fps drive...bear in mind these are small things in my mind, and for my needs.

I have used the 5D on 3 assignments and one personal project so far, and have really liked it. I have gotten much good info from this site and felt I should contribute also. The only thing in my book that makes this camera unattractive is that it is still pretty expensive. The quality of the images and ease of use are really great. I highly recommend the camera.

Nov 22, 2005
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Tom_W
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Registered: Jan 20, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5380
Review Date: Nov 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Full frame, high megapixel count, low noise and wide dynamic range. Excellent out-of-the-box images. Big viewfinder. Nice LCD display size and resolution. Good ergonomics.
Cons:
Not as stoutly built as the 1-series, no AF with f/8 lenses. LCD, while nice, is hard to view in sunlight. Frame rate is a little slow at 3 fps.

I'm one of the few that switched from the 1D Mk II to the 5D. Let me say straight up that both are excellent cameras.

While that switch might seem odd to some, it made the most sense to me for my purposes. I was willing to trade the stout, almost bulletproof construction of the 1-series for the light weight and full-frame sensor of the 5D.

What I like about the 5D is the ability to take images straight from the camera and apply minimal processing to get the prints I want. Perhaps this is due to the variety of picture styles, but the results are to my liking. I like the size and weight of the 5D. Previously, I carried a 350D/XT when I wanted to travel light, but that camera, as nice as it is, doesn't match the dynamic range or noise characteristics of the 5D.

As for noise, while the 5D seems to be using a sensor design similar to that of the 1D Mk II, it does present better noise characteristics at ISO 1600 & particularly at 3200. On a flat dark surface, the difference isn't so noticeable in testing, but on more detailed surfaces, dark or light, the 5D seems to retain detail better, and keeps colors more accurate. Plus, since it is a 12.8 megapixel camera as compared to an 8.2 mpx camera, the noise has a finer grain than when the image is framed equally and sized equally as one would do if printing equivalent output.

The AF on the 5D is very good. I've compared low-light focusing of the 5D vs. the 1D II and found little difference (in the type of shooting that I do), with perhaps a slight edge in low-light capability in favor of the 5D (the specs bear this out). As for tracking, I found no difference, though I must confess that I did not get to track extremely fast moving objects where the 1D II might have the advantage. The 5D performs well in tracking with the subject in the spot-metering circle. Outside of that, I would expect the advantage to go to the 1-series. The 1-series allows excellent tracking outside of the spot-metering circle, since it saturates a larger area with AF sensors, and has a dedicated processor to deal with all the data. Overall, unless you're shooting a great deal of fast-moving subjects, the 5D is very comparable to the 1-series in my observation.

In build, the 5D is closer to the 10D/20D type of camera than the 1-series. It is not as robust as the 1D II, but it is still fairly robust. The 1-series cameras are tanks. The 5D is more like a lightly-armored Humvee - durable, but it won't take the shelling that the 1-series can handle. I won't hesitate to take the 5D into the wild, or into a dirty factory, but if I were spending every Sunday along the sideliines of an NFL game, I'd probably opt for the 1D II.

I don't think I need to continue here, as this review is getting a bit long-winded. For those considering the 5D, I hope this helps you in your decision. Look at what and how you shoot and then decide if this is the right camera for your needs and wants. It's very good at what it does - all you have to do is decide if what it does matches what you want.


Nov 20, 2005
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jan zlin
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Registered: Oct 23, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 1
Review Date: Nov 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: This camera from my perspective as Pro-Photographer, is very positive new comer... First of all this one after Canon Flag-ship Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II is second to non as far as quality of images is regarding to..... and I think, that, that is what a lot of pro's is concern about! Second reading what others have to say it look's like that they do not own one yet or where unable to explore all this camera may offer...... I think for price and image quality this one was a main reason why I switched from NIKON to Canon system, and I never look back over my shoulder even being lighter today for 30 000.00 bucks .....
Cons:
Weather seal.



Nov 17, 2005
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I Simonius
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Registered: Apr 22, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 51
Review Date: Nov 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: FF, 13MP, size! Cfn on dial
Cons:
Print button. No weather proofing. No Mirror lock up button Not enough Cfns on dial

CONS (get the moans out they way):
Print button?!! - what's that about, that's a P&S spec surely?????? OK then, if we're going that route, where's the 'email-pic-to-friend' and FAX button? :-P

Print button is a complete waste of a chance to put in a mirror lock up button, I hope they sell LESS printers because of it! (unfortunately Canon will probably give it 6 months to see if they sell more printers as a result and if they do they'll keep the horrid thing, but with a bit of luck they'll come to their senses and see they'll sell more 5Ds if they get the camera RIGHT for those that use it)

I would hazard as guess that a high majority of buyers will be landscape photographers and L glass buyers, so why no weather proofing?

Cfns choice on dial - MISSED the opertunity to have a plethora of Cfn setting where the 'basic' modes were on the 20D

PROS:( apart from the obvious excellent specs which it goes without saying are great):

Size? LOVE the fact that at last there's a CanonDSLR FF 35mm that doesn't feel like a medium format camera in disguise, so I can use the 17mmFL and not do my shoulders in after a day carrying it, and it's not too obtrusive. Great!

13MP means the print size is getting close to what I want!

I like the fact that it's very similar to the 20D, was easy to move up:-)


Nov 15, 2005
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Memphis
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Registered: Mar 15, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 769
Review Date: Nov 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Full frame, low noise, and the price.
Cons:
None yet

I've been a Nikon shooter since I started playing around with photography a few years ago and I was dead set on picking up a D2x until I tested it under the conditions that I shoot under. I was totaly displeased with the amount of noise in my night photography.

I would have never switched to canon but I had the chance to field test a 5D plus a few lenses and I was blown away. This camera is very film like (something I was thinking about going back to) and the low noise while shooting in low or almost no light at high ISO's is shocking. Low noise plus 12mp is was I was looking for and I found it with this camera.

I will say I do like the way the nikon is set up as far as controls but it's because thats what I learned on first.

I'll update this review after I shoot with the camera for a few months.

Till then

Ciao


Nov 8, 2005
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Kit Laughlin
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Registered: Mar 7, 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 3491
Review Date: Nov 6, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: First affordable digital FF camera. Better than my 1Ds in the shadow details and lack of noise in both shadows and OOF areas. Standard focussing screen easier to manual focus than 1Ds'. 100% useable ISO 1600. Excellent clean files.
Cons:
Needing to go the the MENU for mirror lockup is just plain stupid. Even if consigned to the one (!) Custom button, still amazingly shortsighted. Mirror lockup on a button/lever is as vital to me as being able to change ISO on a dial.

Ergonomics: you will need the wrist strap; this is solid. Not weather-sealed, as many have noted, but I don't shoot in the rain. I would get an Aquapac or similar rather than expose an expensive camera to the elements.

The mirror lockup aspect is a real limitation to me, as I shoot macro product shots, and have to shoot the photos for a book on Japanese gardens soon. The designer has already mentioned that he wants these images to be sharp sharp sharp (did I say sharp?); and as he wants front-to-back sharpness, we will need relatively long exposures, as these gardens are often in shadow. For this and macro, mirror lockup is the way to go—that, and a heavy tripod and a sheet or two of what we call 'poly' (white polystyrene). These gardens are too big to light, usually.

As others have noted, being able to have that function on the Custom button is good—but being able to have a tungsten setup on the day, and a custom white balance if under mixed lighting as I was last week would have been helpful too. I see that now that all sorts of silly presets are absent from the program dial, from my point of view Canon wasted an opportunity to have a halff-dozen custom presets on the rest of the dial.

I use three Canon lenses (35 ƒ2, 85 ƒ1.8, and 100 ƒ2.8—IMO this last is one of Canon's finest lenses. For the rest, I use Leica-R glass, and one Zeiss, the fabled 21 ƒ2.8. My work is all slow, relatively speaking (compared to a sports photog), so for me manual focus and manual stopdown is not a drawback. Getting the adapters for these lenses to focus properly on infinity is though, sometimes, and quite a bit has been written on this in the 'alternative DSLRs' forum. Manual focus must be precise for the images to 'snap'. Canon make a purpose-built manual focus screen, and mine is on order. BrightScreen do not make a micro-prism or split prism finder for the 5D yet, but I have emailed them with this request. I mention all this because it is clear that many other forum members are thinking along the same lines—and a 1Ds mk II is an expensive experiment if you don't like the results!

I heard from a member of the Digital Imaging Group (part of Australian Canon) that Canon are coming out with a range of improved primes in the wide end, and he said by the middle of next year. I have no idea if this is true, but pass it on to you all here. The wides are the reason I use Leica/Zeiss glass. If Canon (who in the past have also made some fabled primes, like the 28 ƒ2.8) do actually manage to match the MF lenses in sharpness and low distortion that I am using currently, I will buy those just for the convenience. Until then, it's 'hybrid city'!

The EVF is useless outside in bright daylight, even on the brightest setting. The viewfinder view is great, but (and this may be because I am using non-Canon lenses outside) shutter speed and exposure (adjustable on the big main dial under your thumb) is harrd to see sometimes. Indoors, just fine.

One button I personally won't be using is the "direct print" one. It's a bit embarasssing to see it there, frankly. I guess this is the 'prosumer' part of the 5D.

I am considering getting the vertical grip—but not for either the extra battery capacity or for using to grip with! For me, with only medium sized hands, the little finger of my right hand is completely off the base (vertically, the camera is relatively shallow); this means that a the leverage we use via the whole hand on (say) a 1Ds to counteract the weight of a lens is reduced significantly. If you hold the 5D and the 1Ds, both with a Leica 180 or any of the 'L' zooms on them, you will feel what I mean immediately.

Compared to the 1Ds, I like the fact that you don't need to hold down one button to set another or to use a dial. I don't seem to need this protection against accidental resetting, though I am sure if I worked with gloves on, I would miss this.

Overall, I am happy with this camera. For my work and the look I want, FF is necessary, just to be able to control DOF. As well, the large clean files that come from it are liked by designers and publishers, many of whom are (forgive me for saying this) stuck in the Dark Ages in this respect. On another site, a reviewer wrote that the 5D looked like a 20D on steroids, and that's pretty much right.

Finally, I gave this camera only an '8' in overall rating, just to encourage Canon to keep on trying! Cheers.


Nov 6, 2005
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John Daniel
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Registered: Jun 6, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1327
Review Date: Nov 6, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Photographs details and dynamic range. options for quick choices and customs settings; new photographs type system; full 24X36 frame for 17X11 prints; extreme low light focus, excellent ISO from 50 to 1600 for large prints; a lot more details and precision in pictures; very solid construction (feels great); I love it.
Cons:
No flash but hey it is a pro type camera and for me it's not a problem, lower multiple shot speed(3pps). That's it.

Coming from the 20D and still using an EOS 3, I have been enjoying this new camera. I am more into landscape and animals-birds photography and this 5D is providing great dynamic range and details when using smaller apertures (really better than the 20D). If someone says it's a steroids 20D, this person has not used or understand the capacities of these 2 cameras. Yes the 5D shares some of the 20D characteristics, but it is different in photo quality and choice process as well as sensor size. Noise is also better controlled thn the 20D.

The body is a solid construction; better design than 20D for connectors and the set button option for choice is great. I did not mention anything on the large 2.5 inches LCD screen: well it is finally usable to see the quality of a picture up to a higher level of details.

Still being in position to compare to film I would say the 5D is really comparable if not better than film in the opportunies it offers and in quality of pictures. So far I am very satisfied and cannot think of a real bad side of it for what I use it for.

Even the price is OK when you think that the 1DS MKII is twice a much money.


Nov 6, 2005
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buchangrant
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Registered: Feb 24, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 9
Review Date: Nov 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Size, weight, image quality, processing speed, non pro image, great LCD screen
Cons:
I'll let you know in 5 years

After a year of using a 1Ds for the image quality and a 20D for the low light ability, finally along comes a camera which has both and in each case, does it better! The 5D takes such incredible low noise/low light shots that (unlike the first reviewer who was dissapointed at the lack of internal flash) I cannot imagine ever needing a to use a flash!

The only reason I bought a 1Ds was to get full frame! Its been great, a lovely camera but its pro build comes at a price and my shoulder can only take so much weight!. I dont need waterproofing, I dont need to shoot 10,000 frames per day!, I dont need the sort of pro features the 1Ds comes with but I do need its image quality and I have it with the 5D! Infact as many have reported, the files come out of the box with less post work needed than the 1DS and the 5D produces useable results from 800 -3200 (unlike the 1Ds)

The LCD screen is still useless in daylight but its the first time I have been able to dump pics of the card (because I could positively tell they were rubbish) when viewing them on the camera!

Also, I know some people like the attention, all the looks you get using a "brick" like this, those people would happily wear a sign on their back that says "PROFESSIONAL AT WORK - STAND BACK!!!!" but I am fed of it, I used the 5D in Venice this weekend and thoroughly enjoyed blending in with all the other many SLR users. My results can be seen at:
http://www.pbase.com/buchangrant/venice

Get this camera, you will not regret it!!! I have put my 1Ds and my 20D up for sale and I may buy a second 5D body in the spring


Nov 5, 2005
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jd1566
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Registered: Dec 7, 2004
Location: South Africa
Posts: 46
Review Date: Oct 31, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,300.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Full frame sensor
Cons:
Flash sync down to 1/200. No weather sealing. 3fps. NO FLASH!

Overall this is a ground breaking camera from Canon, offering "affordable" full frame to the masses. That is however where it stops. Most of the reviews wax lyrical about the magical qualities of this camera. I think we need to temper our enthusiasm for something new with a critical look at what Canon has in actual fact done.
In almost every other area Canon has "sacrificed" the body, probably to make room for it's replacement in about 18 months with the 3D (speculation on my part).

The good (full frame), the bad (see below) and the ugly (the mirror box is plain UGLY!)

Lowered frame rate from 20D (now 3fps)

No flash. The Eos5 Film camera had a flash.. why can't this one have it? Fill in flash is one of the most useful features of modern cameras.. Now you have to carry a bulky external one (at extra cost).. There seems to be this misconception that pro-cameras shouldn't have a built in flash. I beg to differ. Check out Minolta's 9 film camera.. weather sealed like the 1V and WITH a built in flash just in case you need a bit of fill to put a catchlight in the subject's eyes. Flash is a PRO FEATURE. Wake up Canon!

Limited use of custom function on dial, which defaults to original setting when camera powers down, even if you make changes on the fly.. so limited use of an excellent feature. Fix it with a firmware update.. don't force us to buy a newer camera instead.

Print button? On a $3300 camera? Where is the dedicated mirror lock up button instead which pro's and consumers have been screaming to Canon for the past 3-4 years! Who asked for a print button?! Common Canon.. LISTEN TO US!

Only 800 shots on a full battery? That's less than the 20D, and that has a flash. Newer cameras like the D200 from Nikon can manage 1800 photos on a single battery charge! So obviously you haven't put your best technology in this 5D beast. Do better!

A-DEP - One of the few useful additions to the command dial that Canon has made.. and now removed. Why invent something practical and then just take it away??? It's a great feature when you don't have time to check the depth of field via the dedicated button, or low light levels mean you can't see well due to the aperture stopped down. PUT IT BACK VIA FIRMWARE!

Ergonomics - The camera feels good in the hand, the notch in the grip makes it easier to know where shutter button is. The joystick (also on 20D) makes image preview easy.

LCD in bright light is a disaster.. That's where you need to see what you're doing? Good first attempt with big lcd, but source a brighter one.

Viewfinder - ISO is sort of present, but could be better.. Come ON Canon. Let us know what we're doing. ISO has become like aperture and shutter speed! We use it and change it all the time.. DON'T just let us see it when we change it.. KEEP it in the viewfinder all the time. A nice big viewfinder is a definate plus, as are the interchangeable focusing screens..

Overall I recommend this camera for one reason only. FULL FRAME. If you don't need it wait for the 20D replacement which will be cheaper, faster, more portable than the 5D, or go for the D200 from Nikon which is an excellent camera for the price and offers weather sealing, all for $1700. If FF is important to you (let's face it.. it's the Nirvana of DSLR's!), then go for it but understand that Canon has severely compromised this camera.. leaving out enough important features to create room for a future update. Though I don't advocate waiting for the future, because digital is here and now.. and you can learn so much from it just by shooting.. you might want to consider the next release of this camera. The 5D is where the D30 was in 2000.. same price point, ground breaking.. which means the 5D has a way to go to reach perfection.

Still, it's a an ugly duckling that has resolution to spare and enables you to take some really amazing shots (if you know how!). Your choice.. I bought it.. and will live with it's warts!




Oct 31, 2005
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kevin_stone
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Registered: Aug 1, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light, same controls as my 20D, FULL FRAME, amazing viewfinder
Cons:
None yet

Ahhhh my lenses are now as they were intended, the shutter sound is a lot better, and the viewfinder is a dream, as if someone turned on the lights. Light, fits like a glove, waiting for the battery grip. Did I mention the viewfinder?

Oct 29, 2005
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RikWriter
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Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2501
Review Date: Oct 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,299.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality is excellent. Low noise at higher ISO settings. Excellent dynamic range. Full frame in a reasonably priced, lightweight, carryable camera. LCD screen is HUGE...much more usable than the 20D. Great battery life. AF is excellent.
Cons:
No A-DEP setting! (It was my favorite.) Slow frame-rate.

Awesome camera. Full-frame is a revelation: lenses I hardly ever used on the 1.6x crop camera are now my mainstays. I will be hanging on to this camera for quite some time.

Oct 29, 2005
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thepiecesfit
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Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1284
Review Date: Oct 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,750.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: full frame, large viewfinder, fast focus, HUGE buffer 60jpg 17raw, instant on, usable iso 3200, great dynamic range, lots of pixels (cropping room), nice skin tones, improved auto white balance
Cons:
1/200 max flash sync, mirror lockup hidden deep in menu, no popup flash, cannot reach the joystick in vertical position with the grip attached

What a fantastic camera, Canon delivers once again!! I am a former Canon 10D owner. This camera does everything from better focus to write speed to instant on. The noise levels are fantastic, iso 3200 is workable. The body is very solid, the grip is magnesium and rubberized as well not plastic like the 10d. The resolution this camera spits out is great, compared to a 1ds mark II a 5d interpolated to the same resolution is virtually indistinguishable. The most important feature is an affordable full frame sensor. Feels just like looking through a film camera, it is great.

Some things I would have liked to see is a higher flash sync speed and the positioning of the joystick so I could manually select the AF points in the vertical position.


Oct 29, 2005
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fotografz
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Registered: Mar 11, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 218
Review Date: Oct 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,900.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Smallest full frame DSLR, which is a relief from 8 hours of carrying 1DsMKII at weddings (or for travel). Excellent power source using small batteries easily carried in pocket as back-up. slightly better built quality than previous Ds. Like other Canons good performance at higher ISOs
Cons:
Doesn't allow histogram viewing with full LCD image display... nor overexposed highlights warning. Must scroll to crowded frame for these tools which negates the practicality of the larger LCD in actual use. Images aren't as crisp as with 1DsMKII when using big aperture lenses like the 85/1.2. Good camera but it's no replacement for a 1DsMKII despite it's almost 13 meg sensor.

I've shot 4 weddings and some portraits with this camera so far. 100% L lenses were used as well as a number of Carl Zeiss optics. As with previous D cameras, this one is extremely user friendly in terms of controls. It appears to produce images in need of more sharpening than those from the 1DsMKII. This is more apparent when using super fast optics ... which could be a focus accuracy issue OR more likely that the lighter weight is less stable than the 1DsMKII when shooting in lower light handheld.

Oct 28, 2005
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W.Genger
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Registered: Sep 10, 2005
Location: Germany
Posts: 61
Review Date: Oct 25, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Good an stron build, same handling as 20D, FF Sensor, LCD viewing angle, buffer memory for 60 JOEG's in full size, image quality
Cons:
LCD brightness could be better, only 97% instead of 100% in viewfinder visible, 3fps iinstead of 5fps as 20D

The initial thouts on the possile problems of a full frame sensor with regard to distortions and so on are much less than expected. The camera shows even with an 14 years old lens 35-105 3.5-4.5 a very good image quality.

The noise level of the images is very low even at ISO 800.

Th price listed is nearly the same as the price for the EOS D60 at market introduction


Oct 25, 2005
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mholdef
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Registered: Sep 25, 2005
Location: France
Posts: 1128
Review Date: Oct 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fantastic image quality. No disappointment coming from film. In fact opens new horizons and greater control of the entire photography workflow.
Cons:
Build quality is very good but if increased a half noth would be excellent.



Oct 20, 2005
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INXCO
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Registered: Oct 6, 2005
Location: Belgium
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:



Oct 17, 2005
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Canon EOS 5D

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
223 279533 Nov 30, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $2,661.82
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.92
8.61
9.4
5d_586x225_2_


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