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Canon EOS 5D

5d_586x225_2_
Review Date: Apr 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Terrific image quality in a compact body, big, bright viewfinder, very responsive to controls (no, for me the 3 fps doesn't seem too slow). True "35mm" lens FoV, and all the detail the the full image circle can provide.
Cons:
more frequent sensor cleaning is desirable for those who shoot often at small aperture. LCD viewing in bright daylight could be better, even with the "brightness fix" in the updated firmware.

I took possession of my 5D (upgrade from 10D) in September '05. After 6+ months with the canmera, I'm still impressed by the image quality every time I process shots. The detail and dynamic range are both of note; the less-aggressive AA filter is really a benefit. The images need very little in the way of sharpening, and any sharpening is best done at very low radius. The shear amount of detail captured when using high-quality glass is stunning. The importance of the fact that the camera uses most of the image circle helps immensely here. The 5D has a reputation for being very hard on lenses. It does show up problems in corners that are not seen with smaller sensors, but so did film. Over most of the frame, it's actually no worse a test than the 10D was; the larger pixel pitch helps.
The RGB histogram provides far superior exposure information to the luminosity-based histogram on non-1-series Canon DSLRs.
The AF accuracy is greatly improved from the 10D; my 50/1.4 was pretty much unusable wide open on the 10D, but spot on every time on the 5D. Low-light focusing is better as well.
High-ISO performance on this camera sets a very high benchmark indeed. While ISO 800 was just usable on the 10D, the 5D provides very usable ISO 1600 and darn good ISO3200! For those of us that enjoy existing light photography, this camera is heaven.
The less agressive AA filter results in more easily visible sensor dust, and the increased possibility of moire showing up. I don't think it actually *collects* more dust, but it shows up faster. More frequent sensor cleaning is required, but that's a small trade-off for the incredible image quality. The good old copperhill method provides good, fast, inexpensive cleaning results. Moire has not been a problem for me; on the few occasions it has shown up, I've been able to handle it in post-processing. I would not trade the greater detail to get rid of minor, occasional moire.
In summary, this is the camera I've been wanting for years. The 10D was a stopgap. I don't want to perpetuate "full frame hype," not everyone wants or needs the larger sensor size. For those who have the use for the larger format, though, this camera does not disappoint. The current price point, and the current rebate, make it a terrific deal. I don't regret for a second paying even the higher price... 6 months of 5D photos are definitely worth it.