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Canon EOS 5D

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223 281079 Nov 30, 2013
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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 170į.
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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Registered: Oct 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Jul 15, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,750.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Inconspicuous size, truly unbelievable high-ISO performance, Full Frame, beautiful image quality, more rugged than it appears
Lack of weather-sealing, AF could be a touch faster

Most people say that 1-series cameras are ideal for photojournalism, but I must partially disagree. As a photojournalist, you are expected to record life as it happens - and not interfere or alter anything or anyone or any situation that you come across. With a 1-series, if you walk into a crowded room you are immediately noticed because of the giant hunk of metal hanging around your neck.

With a 5D, however, popping a 50mm on the front, and ditching the battery grip, you can enter and leave a situation or event without turning any heads.

Also, most people don't like having a giant camera shoved in their face - the 5D is small and is not intimidating, which is a feature I feel to be greatly underrated and under appreciated.

Now, I am not trashing on 1-Series, as I am not a fool, but I have absolutely fallen in love with the inconspicuous size of the 5D.

That being said - I use the battery grip frequently. Sometimes you do want to be noticed, sometimes people treat you differently if you appear to have a "pro" camera. This may seem trivial, but in my day to day assignments it is something I constantly come across.

The battery grip is also a must-have item for shooting w/longer lenses.

Now, all that aside - I must remark on the absolutely unreal high-ISO performance of this camera. It has taken me quite awhile to become comfortable shooting @ 1000-1600 ISO, but now that I have I will not turn back. It is amazing how much light 1600 ISO picks up, and how the resulting images are indistinguishable from 800 ISO images. I have a fair number of shots that were run (newspaper work) 3-columns wide and were shot at >1000 ISO.

As far as sports - the 5D is capable, but not the perfect choice. AF is fast w/2.8 lenses. Irregardless, having the right lenses is more important than having the right camera for sports photography, IMO.

The lack of weather-sealing really annoys me with the 5D. I have shot in the rain a few times with it, but I was constantly wiping it off, and was very worried that it might damage the camera.

Image quality is also amazing, I no longer shoot RAW because Jpegs w/the right parameters produce consistently high quality images.

A tip for all you 5D owners - shooting in "landscape" mode produces beautiful images in most situations. Skin colors are accurate, and other colors really pop. I feel like I am shooting with Kodachrome.

I think thats all I wanted to say.

A highly recommended camera. There are many trade-offs between this and the MarkIIn, all of which are relevant to your needs.

Jul 15, 2007
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Mikkel Tschern
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Registered: Jul 12, 2007
Location: Denmark
Posts: 2
Review Date: Jul 12, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,250.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Full frame, simple menus, useful at ISO 1600/3200, great image quality, compact compared to 1-series, bright viewfinder compared to crop cameras
Some times has a hard time focusing at outer focal points, 3 FPS, 1/200sec flash sync

Jul 12, 2007
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Registered: Mar 18, 2007
Location: France
Posts: 30
Review Date: Jul 2, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: FullFrame = normal focal length, Very low noise even at ISO1600, Big and bright viewfinder. Accurate colors and Best dynamic range ever.
Little information in the viewfinder, eyepoint so small. No AF assist lamp.

I've used almost all canon low_end bodies like 300D 30D.. so that when i swiched to the 5D, there's no trouble.

The body, with bigger grip and the well positioned groove seems tobe much more confortable to hold than 20D/30D series but just a bit better than the original Rebel (300D). Its build quality is just great compared to any lower class cameras and it is very solid.

The viewfinder is just great, very bright,large with high contrast level that makes things seem tobe much more realistic and i CAN MANUALLY FOCUS almost eveytimes. The only drawback is that the EYE-POINT IS JUST TOO SMALL that i have to put my eye very close to the viewfinder in order to see all the information and field of view.

AF points abit too centered but it's okay. AF performance is simply superb, much more faster than my 30D, more accurate. In low light condition, AF is very reliable, it can focus in almost every situation where my 30D and 350D surrender from the first try.

LCD is a big mistake of this camera, i can never trust it. Its brightness level is very poor that everytime i see my photo on the LCD, it shows my photo underexposure although when i see on my computer, the photo is super well exposed. Also dont count any color accurate with this LCD.

Photo quality is the best argument to buy this body. Colors are super accurate and easy to see. Very good light metering, dynamic range is the best i have seen.

FullFrame = better DOF and we are again at the right value of our lens's focal length.

If all you need is photo quality, this is probaly the best camera. (except the 1DS)

Here are some photo taken with the 5D:


Jul 2, 2007
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Kirk Anderson
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Registered: Jun 26, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent ISO handling, good auto focus (provided you have a good lens), full frame sensor. View finder and the LCD screen is larger than most cameras in its class.
9 focus points, an outer circle of focus points like the 1DS mkII would be great. Better or faster buffer would also be great since my newest CF cards write at 40MB per sec. But the next generation of the 5D should be amazing.

First I would like to state that I bought this camera understanding its limitations--just as you should have.

There are people complaining about the camera but giving it a high rating. Some of the complaints include dust, vingetting, limited choices of lenses, on board flash, 3fps, and weather proofing.

All of which are true, except the vigenetting, but each must be addressed.
Dust is a part of digital, learn to clean it or don't change lenses as often, I can clean it in less than a minute. (email me I will tell you how and you will be amazed at how easy it is)
Vingetting has nothing to do with the camera--it is your lens.
Limited choices of lenses--69 lenses compared to Nikons roughly 45 perhaps you would prefer a Leica that has under twenty. Canon also has a better selection with aperatures as large as 1.2.
On board flash--you really should have stuck with the Digital Rebel if you need the built in flash.
3fps and weather proof are a downside because of the amount of megapixels and price, if you're willing to spend the extra thousand dollars, get the Mark II.

Nikon users will take time to adapt to Canon, but you must all realize why you have switched, I certainly do.

This camera has its intended uses, it is not made for sports photography, it was made for portraiture, landscape, architectural, wedding, and a few others. The cameras ISO handling is one of the best ever.

Jun 26, 2007
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Registered: May 28, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2871
Review Date: Jun 18, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,700.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image quality, size, DOF, and no lens conversion factor.
Image dust, heavy vingetting, menu layout, LCD is horrible for detailed inspection of images, and ergonomics.

Have been a Nikon gearhead since day one. Bought the 5D for high iso lowlight performance. It's a hate love relationship. I hate the ergos, menu system, control, and overall feel of the camera. Nikon has a much better grasp on this end of the design realm.

But I am willing to overlook all that because of the surperior image quality. I have only been shooting with this camera for a couple weeks now. I always feel unconfident in the image review because the LCD is horrid, the mystery of what my image really looks like kills me. But when I upload the images onto my computer I am comforted by the wonderful images that this camera produces.

The AF focus points aren't as nicely laid out as the D2X.

Bottom line, I'm willing to make myself become accustomed to the Canon way of doing things just for the image quality. There's nothing like an image from full frame and the 85mm wide open.

Jun 18, 2007
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mark petri
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Registered: Oct 24, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1006
Review Date: May 6, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,800.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: full frame, IQ
Control Layout

I've held off writing this review until now-- around 10k shutter releases and 6 months using it or so. Also, as a former Nikon shooter and given Bob's recent review as a former d200 owner, I approach the review from that angle. Perhaps a point or will touch a nerve with someone of the fringe out there and you may not agree with, but it's my review and I'll stand by it 100%.

Background-- simple, for the most part a 20 year nikon owner, owned the d200 with a pro assortment of lenses. Enthralled with the notion of returning to FF, which along with last year's double rebate, led me to give the 5d a go. Personally, i don't give a hoot about canon or nikon per se', I care about my photography and making images.

I will also preface my opinions with the fact the my favorite SLR body was the F100, which fit my hand like a glove. The D200 is modeled after it for the most part, which imho is the perfection in terms of ergonomics.

Now the 5D. As, I mentioned, I really loved the notion of returning to full frame with digital and scooped up the 5d once the large rebates took effect.

The positives are that the IQ, detail, and noise control are all top notch-- absolutely superb! Although the D200 IQ was also darn good, I feel that the 5d edges it out when you look closely. If someone was primarily shooting for web display and lower resolution though, they would probably see very little if any difference.

The only downside to the 5d is the handling. Coming from Nikon, I find the control layout an annoyance and while I'm quite familiar with all the controls, shooting is certainly not nearly as fluid as with the D200. In terms of the common bash of being a dust magnet: I had a "dirty" body from the dealer in terms of excessive dust in the viewfinder, which I promptly exchanged. Since then, I've had no real issue of dust of excessive grime on the censor. In fact, I've only used my blower to this point. I consider this a non-factor assuming you didn't have a dust magnet to begin with. In terms of another common bash (EOS flash), I use the 580EX and it's perfectly fine-- does what I expect, no issue at all there.

Overall, it's a super camera. In terms of IQ, the camera won't be the limiting factor in terms of your photography. In terms of compare/contrast with the d200, you get a little better IQ with the 5D at the cost of ergonomics and slightly better build quality in the D200. Ergonomics is a personal thing tho, and you may or may not find this to be an issue. By no means does the 5D have bad ergonomics-- I would say it is good in this dept. However, the D200 is nearly perfect imho.

So would I recommend this body? it depends on your situation:

#1. if your a demanding/experienced photographer (new to digital or a canon user): ABSOLUTELY.
#2. if your a D200 owner now and just curious: No, unless there is some other compelling reason to switch (i.e. optics).
#3. a novice thinking it will help your photography: ABSOLUTELY NOT. FF or high end won't help you in the least except make you broke perhaps.
#4. If you like shooting long telephotos: NO. Having a cropped sensor extends your reach for free Smile Sport shooters won't be lining up for the 5d.

In terms on periphery and for those thinking of switching from nikon:

Ironically, the body (FF) got me to switch, but I'm a little quirky and prefer my 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, etc prices to be just that. For the non-quirky of you, I can safely say it's not worth switching over for FF. However, I'm quite satisfied that I switched as I ended up liking the canon glass choices more than nikon ... and my 35mm is actually 35mm Smile

Summary impressions: (i.e. canon vs. nikon):

Body: I would opt for a D200 over the 5D given the ergonomics and price differential in a vacuum (i.e. no other considerations).


Telephoto: big + for canon. Besides the nikon 200-400 VR f4, canon's long tele offering is better by at least an order of magnitude. Where both companies have the same offering, I find the quality/performance about a dead draw (e.g., 70-200 f2.8 IS vs. 70-200 f2.8 VR). Canon has many more long tele offering tho... amazing choices and reasonable prices.

Pro primes: about even

Pro zooms-- slight edge to canon

Consumer zooms-- nikon by a wide margin, but I'm not interested personally in consumer zooms.

Both companies are top notch in terms of support, responsiveness, etc. Some minor issues about canon accessory pricing (e.g, shutter release), but nothing really worth griping about.

There you have it, good luck!

May 6, 2007
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Gunnar Sigmars
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Registered: Apr 20, 2007
Location: Iceland
Posts: 2
Review Date: Apr 20, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: IMAGE QUALITY. FF, superb high ISO performance.
sensor dust

This camera has it all I have use it for a year and so far Iím very satisfied. I take mostly landscapes photos and FF comes in handy if you are using ultra wide angle zoom lenses like 16-35mm

Apr 20, 2007
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Registered: Mar 27, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Accept no substitutions, Outstanding colour, great low-light ability, depth and contrast, makes even consumer lenses look good
Better customer support

As finicky as a Ferrari but well worth the trouble. Once you learn to handle its features and clean the senser its a great camera. I learned the hard way that brushes drag oil onto the senser. Your much better off with a controlled cleaning tool to remove hard to get to crud.

Apr 16, 2007
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bob fleck
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Registered: Dec 1, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 251
Review Date: Apr 3, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $2,200.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: FF if thats a positive...I like the single wheel for getting thru the menu
limited choices in lenses..construction is horrible for the price...playback quality stinks

FULL FRAME...over rated for sure...switched from nikon D200,and Iam not seeing a big difference in my files. Sure the nikon has alittle more noise...sometimes,which can be takin care of in bibble and such. If I had it to do over again,I would have kept my D200 and bought a D2x as a second body. Nikon still has a better pro lens line-up and better build quality!

Apr 3, 2007
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Arif Alam
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Registered: Mar 26, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Superb IQ, low noise and fantastic colours
Would be nice to have a on board flash as a back up for fill in flash.

Recently got this camera after months of envy. I also have a 30d and 400d. My 50mm 1.4 prime is now even more useful and the wide angle of the 24-105L is fantastic.

I know this may sound very silly but a camera for this price and pertability should have an on board flash as back up particularly for fill in flash during the day. Otherwise no complaints.

Mar 26, 2007
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Registered: Oct 28, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 80
Review Date: Mar 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: image quality, best high iso performance, awsome resolution and shadow detail.
None really apart from things said many times before (no MLU button), only 3fps.

My first impressions are that this camera is in a class of its own for overall image quality.
The low light level ablity to produce clean crisp images at high ISO,s with no noise is truly excellent.
Raw images taken in neutral mode give you what you saw through the viewfinder with very little post processing.
The improvement over the 20D files is much much greater than i expected.
Now that the UK price has dropped it has made the move to FF more justifiable.

Mar 16, 2007
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Buy and Sell: On

Registered: Jan 25, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 8616
Review Date: Feb 8, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,000.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: FF, superb high ISO performance, "compact" size, superb IQ, has the best DR in Canon DSLR line
low fps, "limited" buffer, not weather seal

I bought this camera not for its full frame but for its superb low light performance. After using the D200 and 1DII for over a year, when it comes to high ISO performance, the 5D is in a league of its own. Nothing comes close! Here's my take:

5D 3200 ISO is as clean as 1DII 1600! 1DII 1600 ISO is as clean as D200 1000.

When mate with the 85 1.8 lens, the combo rocks! IQ from this camera is also superb with little sharpening required. DR is also the best there is and I thought my 1DII was great. It's also nice to have a "compact" DSLR again, especially when I have new baby to carry around. In low light, its AF performance is faster than the 1dII but not so for outdoor shoot. 1DII is still the king in this area.

I paid $2000 for a used unit with 8k clicks over at FM B/S forum. I could have paid a little more for a brand new unit after the double rebate but I chose not to. After reading many horror stories on the rebates, I simply skip this route. Just didn't want to deal with the headaches.

On the negative side, I wish this camera had weather seal, at least in some major areas. The 3 fps rate is slightly slow for me. Would be nice if it was 5fps with buffer in the high teens or low 20s, like the D200.

Highly recommended!

Feb 8, 2007
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Registered: Dec 7, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 45
Review Date: Feb 1, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: full-frame sensor, big view finder, great ISO performance
wish it had more focus points

The 5D is a big change from my 350D. The biggest difference is the view finder--I don't have to strain to see what I'm shooting. I also prefer the controls, the added focus points and the feel of it in my hand. Of course the ISO perforance is great too. I often find myself shooting at 800 or 1600 without any worries about image quality.

It's sometimes a tough decision to decide which camera is the best, but I have no regrets on purchasing this camera. It really is that great.

Feb 1, 2007
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Espen Hildrup
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Registered: Nov 10, 2006
Location: Norway
Posts: 141
Review Date: Dec 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: IMAGE QUALITY ! The details in the shades, the details in the highlights ! Very low noise, noise, built quality , full frame, price, +++ !
None !

This is a very special product ! The 5D is an incredible camera; full frame - at a very reasonable price.

I had Olympus E1 and Nikon D200. The D200 was nothing but a disappointment, E1 a really nice camera. But with 5D it all came together.

The image quality is oustanding; the details in the shaddows and highlights - the dynamic range. The very low noise ...

The controls; well, maybe they could have had a better layout - but that is totally over-powered by the image quality ! I am a very happy camera-owner these days !

Dec 20, 2006
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Registered: Nov 22, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: affordable full frame, image quality
sensor dust

Iíve used it for 6 months and so far very happy. Image quality is exceptional for the price. Iím in a race for better quality in digital and often rent Phase One and Leaf digital backs. Unfortunately MF digital is still very expensive and affordable only by financially gifted. 5D is a cutting edge of digital image quality still today; itís not far behind 1Ds mkII.

Other pointed at `drawbacks`, they are make sense at some level, Iím just not trying to look at 5D as an ultimate camera with universal use. Itís a more a portraiture/fashion/advertising and less sport/event camera, 3fps is more than enough, and mirror-lock-up is somewhere deep-down in the menus also fine by me [I would not consider it as landscape camera]. In case of event/documentary I use good-old 1D with 4mpx, really no need for more details, but need a quick response and 8fps for sureÖ

10/10 is well deserved rating for this amazing camera! Well done Canon.

Dec 20, 2006
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Registered: May 18, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 149
Review Date: Dec 19, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Full frame sensor, image quality, build quality, price.
Uses 20d-30d controls instead of 1 series. 1/200th sync speed.

I bought the 5d at Dell.com and with rebates and double discounts, it was under 2,000 USD including tax. That's an incredible value for a full-frame digital camera with 12.8 mega-pixels.

I have a 20d, a 30d and a 1d mk2, and the images are outstanding on the 5d. The biggest plus is that my lenses truly work like they were designed for with the full-frame sensor. The problem with all cropped sensor cameras is that you never get a really wide-angle view without using a lens that distorts and your telephoto images don't have the same bokeh.

This is the first digital camera that feels like a film camera and produces images that are truly film-like.

The only difference between the 5d and its big brother, the 1ds mk2, is weather sealing, faster frame rates, 3 more mega-pixels and an integrated battery grip. And you have pay four grand more for those features.

I think most photographers will have a 1d series camera with the 5d and unfortunately the controls on the 5d are from the prosumer cameras, so there is a small learning curve if you're mixing the two.

Even if Canon comes out with a replacement within a year, I don't see the 5d becoming obsolete anytime soon as any improvements will be incremental, no revolutionary. Image quality is good enough for any publication. The only real thing I need is a fast sync speed, 1/200th is not fast enough, and if Canon ever comes out with 1/500th or higher sync speed, a lot of pros will be upgrading.

Dec 19, 2006
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Canon EOS 5D

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
223 281079 Nov 30, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $2,661.82
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating

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