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Compared to...

Imagine you have between $1,500 and $8,000 to spend on a digital SLR, ok we admit, not a likely scenario, however thanks to the 'new market' position of the EOS 5D, its high pixel count and full frame sensor we had to choose a range of different SLRs for this comparison. The only other model we would have liked to include is the Nikon D200 but as we have not yet received a production unit that comparison will have to wait for its review.

Camera Body Price Sensor
Megapixel
difference
Canon EOS 20D $1,499 8.2 MP CMOS (1.6x crop) -36%
Canon EOS 5D $3,299 12.8 MP CMOS (FF) -
Nikon D2X $4,999 12.4 MP CMOS (1.5x crop) -3%
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II $7,999 * 16.7 MP CMOS FF +30%

* At the time of publication the EOS-1Ds Mark II was available at $6999 from some stores

Lenses used

For these studio scene comparisons we used 50 mm lenses on the 'cropped' cameras (EF 50 mm F1.4 for the 20D and the Nikkor 50 mm F1.8 for the D2X) and the EF 85 mm F1.8 on the full frame EOS 5D and EOS-1Ds Mark II (whose images have been re-shot using this prime lens since the D2X review).

Studio scene comparison (JPEG)

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F).

Canon EOS 5D vs. Canon EOS 20D

Camera settings:

  • Canon EOS 5D: Canon EF 85 mm F1.8 lens, Aperture Priority,
    ISO 100, JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Standard PS), Self-Timer
     
  • Canon EOS 20D: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority,
    ISO 100, JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Parameter 1), Self-Timer
Canon EOS 5D
Canon EOS 20D
4,012 KB JPEG (4368 x 2912)
2,987 KB JPEG (3504 x 2336)

The EOS 5D carries some 56% more pixels than the EOS 20D and it really shows, it's capable of extracting far more detail from the scene than the EOS 20D (which to be fair still does a very impressive job). It looks as though the EOS 5D's "Standard" Picture Style is a good match for the EOS 20D's "Parameter 1" (default) setting, with very similar tone and color response. Theoretically of course it would be difficult to spot the difference between an EOS 20D and EOS 5D shot printed at 11 x 8 inches (300 dpi).

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Comments

Total comments: 11
Hai Ching Lee
By Hai Ching Lee (4 months ago)

Hi...!

I bought one last month for Usd500 in super good and working condition but without any lens......
I bought an L Lens 24-105mm f4 for another Usd 500...... a 50mm f1.4 for Usd350.......
After much testings around, I noticed 5D is not good at Indoor unless with the help of a Flash......However , at Outdoor I must say it is a Super duper Good Full Frame machine even though it is around 8 years old........!!!

I still feel it is a Good Investment as far as dollars and cents counts......
An FX cameras from Nikon like the D700 body will cost Usd1.3k in Malaysia......

I also own a Nikon D90 with standard kit lens 18-105mm, 70-300mm Tel lens, a Fx 24-50mm f3.5-4 and 20mm f2.8 and others...
Recently I bought an Adapter for Nikon lens to Eos FX body like 5D..........It WORKS very well but have to Manually focus......So now I can have Nikon lens on 5D body which safe me a lot for a start....!!
Used 5D MK-II is selling here at around Usd1.6k which I am looking forward to...!!

0 upvotes
JSnees
By JSnees (5 months ago)

I am using a nikkon D 5100. Have the opportunity to purchase a cannon eos 5d in excellent condition for $500 with 50mm f1.8 lens. Any advantages to this camera vs what I currently have besides FF? Good investment? I currently do not own any pro lenses from nikkon.

0 upvotes
SculptedPhotography
By SculptedPhotography (10 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 (6 months 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 (5 months 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
InfraOptic
By InfraOptic (4 months ago)

Easy answer: Buy a Sony A7 mirrorless and a metabones adapter to use all Canon AF lenses.

0 upvotes
KariIceland
By KariIceland (10 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 (10 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 (10 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 (10 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
MFog
By MFog (2 months ago)

I just sold my trusty old 5D. I love the camera but I will not miss cleaning the sensor every other week and fixing dust spots in lightroom! That was always a royal pain in the neck. Still a great camera.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 11