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Compared to...

Studio scene comparison (JPEG)

Canon EOS 5D vs. Nikon D2X

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
  • Nikon D2X: Nikkor 50 mm F1.8 lens, Aperture Priority,
    ISO 100, JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters, Self-Timer
Canon EOS 5D
Nikon D2X
4,012 KB JPEG (4368 x 2912)
4,394 KB JPEG (4288 x 2848)

First of all it's obvious there's a pretty significant difference in sharpness here. The D2X image was taken in that cameras 'Auto' setting which typically selects Normal equivalent sharpness, as you will see in the comparison below the D2X's High setting is much closer to the EOS 5D's 'level 3' sharpness (as used in Standard Picture Style). Overall detail levels look similar although the difference in sharpness makes it pretty difficult to be conclusive from this comparison. Color balance is similar, tonally the D2X appears to use a slightly flatter curve.

Canon EOS 5D vs. Nikon D2X (High Sharpness)

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
  • Nikon D2X: Nikkor 50 mm F1.8, Aperture Priority,
    ISO 100, JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, High Sharpness, Self-Timer
Canon EOS 5D
Nikon D2X
4,012 KB JPEG (4368 x 2912)
4,394 KB JPEG (4288 x 2848)

Turning the sharpness up to High on the D2X isn't something you would do every day and the results is an interesting observation on the different approach to sharpening taken between these two cameras (professional targeted digital SLRs do typically have less sharpening applied in-camera). With the sharpness setting between the two cameras more equal we can see that the EOS 5D does manage to deliver fractionally more detail than the D2X, especially 'high frequency' (very fine) details such as the subtle thin lines on the coins from the Martini label crop and the leaves on the Baileys label.

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


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...!!

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.

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.

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 ?

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).

By InfraOptic (4 months ago)

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Total comments: 11