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Output image file quality / JPEG artifacts


Standard Test Scene
The EOS 5D provides three output image size options (12.7 MP, 6.7 MP and 4.2 MP) in combination with either of two JPEG compression settings (Fine or Normal). Additionally of course the 5D provides a RAW capture mode, written to Canons second version RAW format (.CR2).

You can combine the two in RAW+JPEG mode writing one JPEG (of any size/compression) and one RAW.

Below you will find 200% magnified crops of the same 240 x 100 portion of the center of a sequence of images taken at full size but different output settings. The RAW file was converted to a TIFF using Canon RAW Image Task 2.2 (via Zoombrowser EX).

4368 x 2912 RAW - 13,996 KB .CR2 (not for download) (VGA TIFF crop)
4368 x 2912 (L) JPEG Fine - 4,916 KB .JPG
4368 x 2912 (L) JPEG Normal - 2,450 KB .JPG
3168 x 2112 (M) JPEG Fine - 2,859 KB .JPG
2496 x 1664 (S) JPEG Fine - 2,008 KB .JPG

You would be very hard pressed to notice any difference between the RAW converted image and JPEG Large/Fine, a relatively low compression level combined with a quality JPEG encoder. Even at the Normal setting artifacts don't really jump out of the image, you can detect some around fine detail if you look closely but it's safe to say that if your CF card is near full switching to Normal will gain you twice as many more shots with little downside.

Color space

The EOS 5D provides the independent selection of output color space, you can select from sRGB or Adobe RGB directly from the record menu (just above the selection for Picture Style). Images taken in the Adobe RGB color space have their filename prefixed with an underscore (_) this complies with DCF 2.0 (Exif 2.21), which makes it difficult to keep images in order if you shoot a mix.

Place your mouse over the label to see a ColorChecker chart shot in the respective mode. As you can see in this comparison rather than producing an identical result using Adobe RGB mode will deliver noticeably more vivid (and likely more accurate thanks to its wider gamut) color than sRGB. This is a bigger swing of saturation than we have seen from previous Canon digital SLRs.

sRGB Adobe RGB (converted to sRGB)

Color space: CIE u'v' Color Distribution chart

Note that in these samples the Adobe RGB image has not been converted to sRGB and so to view it correctly you will have to load it into a color space aware photo application and assign the Adobe RGB color space. Below each sample is the CIE u'v' Color Distribution chart; larger gray triangle approximately represents the range of color which the human eye can resolve, the inner triangle the available gamut in each color space (sRGB or Adobe RGB).

sRGB Adobe RGB
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Comments

Total comments: 7
SculptedPhotography
By SculptedPhotography (5 months ago)

The 5D was and is my first digital camera. It has served me with spectacular results. It's main minus for me has been its inability to use the higher ISO's, as anything higher than 200 produces visible grain in images that I print very large on my epson 24" printer. I almost always shoot with a monopod to assure the results.
Technology has changed and improved and I am searching for a replacement. I am invested in excellent Canon lenses and want to stay with Canon. I also want a camera that is not as heavy as my 5D (I am old and am fatigued by the weight of the 5D which I affectionately call "my brick".) Price is an issue too.
Still casting about trying to find a replacement.

0 upvotes
frosty 7
By frosty 7 (1 month ago)

hi i jus bot a canon eos 5d from a friend am i able to record video with the camera ?
thanks

0 upvotes
Ugo78
By Ugo78 (3 weeks ago)

No, unfortunately you are not able to shot video, neither by installing Magic Lantern (because the camera is not equipped with live view).

0 upvotes
KariIceland
By KariIceland (5 months ago)

I wish you guys would do a new comparison with the 5D, would love to see it vs the newer dslr's

2 upvotes
qianp2k
By qianp2k (5 months ago)

Agreed! In all cameras announced around that time, only EOS 5D still attracts many discussions in DPR forums. How many are still talking Nikon D200 that announced just three months later these days? If you don't print/view in very big size, EOS 5D actually withstands most today's FF cameras very well till ISO 800/1600 in IQ, no mention crop cameras.

0 upvotes
sh10453
By sh10453 (5 months ago)

I love my 5D.
Using the 5D with quality Canon L lenses produces images that I do not see a difference between them and those taken by a newer camera (5D II, 5D III).

If video is not needed or required, then finding a clean 5D would be prudent.
Some very well kept, used lightly by some hobbyists can be found at around a $1,000 or less.

I have no immediate plans to shell out $3,000 or more for a newer model that is not going to give me much over the 5D, in terms of image quality.

But for commercial photographers, that's a different situation.

0 upvotes
Macandts
By Macandts (5 months ago)

Ditto. I could not be happier with my 5D. I'm also disappointed that the set up for image comparison keeps changing. It makes it difficult to compare any older digital camera with anything contemporary.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 7