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Compared to... EOS-1Ds Mark III

The EOS 5D Mark II's 21 MP sensor means it's beginning to tread on the toes of Canon's flagship professional DSLR, the EOS-1Ds Mark III. Given the huge price difference between the two cameras it will be interesting to see if Canon has managed to match the EOS-1Ds Mark III's image quality in its more affordable little brother.

Studio scene comparison (JPEG)

Canon EOS 5D Mark II vs. Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III

Camera settings:

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II: Canon EF 85 mm F1.8 lens, Manual exposure,
    ISO 100, JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Standard PS), Self-Timer
  • Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III: Canon EF 85mm f1.8 USM lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100 (default base) JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Standard), Self-Timer
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III
5,607 KB JPEG (5616 x 3744)
5,505 KB JPEG (5616 x 3744)

These two cameras have the same resolution sensor, both full frame, both made by Canon. You would expect the image quality to be very similar, and they are. Apart from slight focus differences caused by the very limited depth of field when shooting this close at F9 on a full frame camera (meaning you have to ignore the top crop and the paper clips when assessing sharpness), the detail and noise levels are indistinguishable. Pretty good for one camera that costs half as much as the other.

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I own it
I want it
I had it
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Total comments: 6

Great Camera. Its "just work".


It has shown its great value over money.


I work in Nyc as a fashion photographer and I have to say the the 5d series are the most used cameras out side of medium format cameras .Ive been shooting with the mark 3 for over a year after shooting with the mark 2 for 2 years great both great cameras. You can see the shots I've taken with it for my work on my website hope it helps!! also note I only shoot RAW format.

1 upvote

Was it really 2009? I'm still in the first flush of my love affair with this camera. And I'm still fathoming the depths of its capability. Okay, she's got a lot of paint missing these days, but the images are still magic. Whenever I use another camera, I sigh and wonder why I didn't use the 5D2.
A brief history of photography:

silver chemistry

flexible roll film



5D Mark 2...


As I know when the original 5D debuted three years ago, it wasn't clear why most enthusiasts would want such a camera. Though it captured excellent, high resolution images, it was slower and bigger and more expensive. Today the market has changed significantly, and it's clear that the market is ready for full-frame digital SLRs that can turn out high image quality. High quality is one thing, but being a camera that can deliver high quality over a wide range of lighting conditions and different ISO settings is what makes the Canon 5D Mark II such a compelling choice, and a clear Dave's Picks.
It's really very very good.

1 upvote

6D or the 5D Mark II?

Total comments: 6