PIX 2015
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One of the first 'wow' factors for anyone coming from a digital SLR with an APS sized sensor will be just how big the viewfinder view is. Welcome to full-frame land where everything is bigger, the view through the viewfinder really fills your vision, it's bright and clear and easy to pick the focus point. The viewfinder view is essentially identical to the EOS-1Ds series.

The rubber surround can be removed and the supplied eyepiece cover (on the shoulder strap) can be slipped over to stop stray light from entering the chamber during long exposures. The eyepiece will also take E-series dioptre adjustment lenses to further expand the dioptre correction range.

Viewfinder view

Through the viewfinder you'll see the spot metering circle and the nine focus points of the AF system. In automatic AF point selection mode the AF points chosen by the camera are highlighted when you initiate AF (half-press shutter release / AF button), otherwise the selected AF point is highlighted*. Note that the ISO sensitivity is now displayed on the viewfinder status bar when it is changed (I would still have liked to have seen a permanent display of ISO and WB in the viewfinder).

* In automatic AF point selection mode the AF point will only highlight once an AF lock has been achieved. With a single AF point selected it will blink once as you half-press the shutter release and once more upon AF lock (or not if no AF lock was possible). In AI Servo AF mode (with the shutter release half-pressed) the EOS 5D blinks the selected AF point once and then tracks AF.

Six other invisible AF points

In addition to the nine visible AF points there are also another six invisible points within the spot metering circle. According to the EOS 5D user manual these are only used in AI SERVO mode for predictive AF tracking, if the subject moves completely out of the center circle then other points will pick it up.

Battery Compartment

The EOS 5D's battery setup is identical to the EOS 20D; the battery is located in the base of the hand grip, behind a simple clip-locked door. The door itself is removable (to make way for the optional battery grip). The EOS 5D is supplied with the higher capacity BP-511A Lithium-Ion battery pack which provides 1390 mAh at 7.4 V (10.3 Wh). There's a tiny door on the inside edge of the hand grip where the cable from the optional AC adapter's dummy battery exits.

Battery Charger

As with the EOS 10D/20D the 5D is supplied with the CB-5L battery charger, it's relatively small and lightweight and easy to pack for trips. Charge time is around 90 minutes and the LED on the top of the charger indicates charge progress.

Battery Grip (optional)

A new model, a new optional battery grip. In the case of the EOS 5D it's the new BG-E4 which apepars to be made from magnesium alloy (although the battery 'stalk' is plastic). The grip can take two BP-511A (or BP-511/512/514) batteries or six AA batteries via the supplied magazine (not really intended for long term use, just a backup feature).

The grip is attached to the EOS 5D by removing the battery compartment door (which fits neatly into a slot on the edge of the inserted part of the grip), inserting into the battery compartment and screwing tightly to the tripod mount. The BG-E4 and two batteries adds 475 g (1.1 lb) to the weight of the EOS 5D with just one battery.

CompactFlash Compartment

The CompactFlash compartment on the EOS 5D is at the rear corner of the hand grip and is opened by sliding the door towards you and flipping outwards. The door itself has a metal hinge and opens with plenty of room to remove the CF card once ejected. The EOS 5D supports both Type I and Type II CompactFlash cards and cards greater than 2 GB in capacity (FAT32).

I sound like a stuck record

Anyone who has followed my Canon digital SLR reviews will know that I'm no fan of what happens when you open the CF door. As with previous EOS digital SLR's if you open the CF door on the EOS 5D the camera powers down, it continues to write the current image but if any more images are buffered to be written they will be lost. Canon state that it's designed this way so as to avoid corruption of the entire card if the user were to remove it during a write. My answer would be that you could either lock the door until writing has completed or use a beep alarm to warn the user that buffered images are still being written (standard on PowerShot G series digital cameras for years).

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Total comments: 16

Still worthy 10 years on because you can shoot it at any selectable ISO in RAW and it`ll be excellent, doesn`t ever get noisy (about half a stop or less noisier than the D700 or D3S in Capture one at ISO3200) , even the DR is good - JPG engine is both dated and limited but as a RAW only camera, it stands up .. Pixel level sharpness (therefore resolution of fine details) is better the D700 or D3 due to a weaker AA filter .

Focus is fast enough , though really best seen as a centre focus only system due to the lack of cross sensors anywhere else , excellent on batteries too.


Totally agree, except for the focus part, it can be improved for that value.

Hai Ching Lee


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...!!


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.

Pascal Parvex

Well, that is a great deal. I would do it.


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

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


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


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


Since you have invested in Canon lenses, I think the Canon 6D is what you are looking for, if you are still looking.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.

Pascal Parvex

I don't know what you mean. I own the 5D since 2006 and have cleaned the sensor only once.

Total comments: 16