PIX 2015
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Top of camera controls (left) - Exposure Mode Dial

Situated on the top of the camera on the left hand side is the exposure mode dial. Note that compared to the EOS 20D this has been simplified considerably and now only features fully automatic, 'creative' modes, Bulb and the new Camera user setting mode.

Fully Automatic Exposure

Camera has complete control over exposure, essentially point-and-shoot operation. In this mode ISO sensitivity is set to 'Auto', White balance is 'Auto' and AF mode 'AI Focus'. You can only select self-timer.

Program Auto Exposure (Flexible)

The standard Program mode everyone will be used to, can set the ISO, exposure compensation, use AE lock, bracketing etc. The Program AE on the EOS 5D is flexible, that means that you can select one of a variety of equal exposures by turning the main dial (top of camera). Example:
 • 1/30 F2.8 (metered)
 • 1/20 F3.2 (turn left one click)
 • 1/15 F4.0 (turn left two clicks) etc.

Shutter Priority Auto Exposure

In this mode you select the shutter speed and the camera will calculate the correct aperture for the exposure (depending on metered value; metering mode, ISO). Shutter speed is displayed on the viewfinder status bar and on the top LCD, turn the main dial to select different shutter speeds. A half-press of the shutter release causes the camera's exposure system to calculate the aperture, if it's outside of the camera's exposure range the aperture will blink. Available shutter speeds below represent 1/3 stop increments, 1/2 stop increments can be selected via custom function 6.

1/8000, 1/6400, 1/5000, 1/4000, 1/3200, 1/2500, 1/2000, 1/1600, 1/1250, 1/1000, 1/800, 1/640, 1/500, 1/400, 1/320, 1/250, 1/200, 1/160, 1/125, 1/100, 1/80, 1/60, 1/50, 1/40, 1/30, 1/25, 1/20, 1/15, 1/13, 1/10, 1/8, 1/6, 1/5, 1/4, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.8, 1, 1.3, 1.6, 2, 2.5, 3.2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 20, 25, 30 sec

Aperture Priority Auto Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the camera will calculate the correct shutter speed for the exposure (depending on metered value; metering mode, ISO). Aperture is displayed on the viewfinder status bar and on the top LCD, turn the main dial to select different apertures. A half-press of the shutter release causes the camera's exposure system to calculate the shutter speed, if it's outside of the camera's exposure range the shutter speed will blink. Available apertures will differ depending on the lens used, the list below represent 1/3 stop increments, 1/2 stop increments can be selected via custom function 6.

F1.0, F1.1, F1.2, F1.4, F1.6, F1.8, F2.0, F2.2, F2.5, F2.8, F3.2, F3.5, F4.0, F4.5, F5.0, F5.6, F6.3, F7.1, F8.0, F9.0, F10, F11, F13, F14, F16, F18, F20, F22, F25, F29, F32, F36, F40, F45, F51, F57, F64, F72, F81, F91 (exact range depends on lens used)

Full Manual Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the shutter speed from any combination of the above. Top dial selects shutter speed, rear dial selects aperture. Half-press the shutter release and the meter on the viewfinder status bar and top LCD will reflect the exposure level compared to the calculated ideal exposure, if it's outside of +/- 2EV the indicator bar will blink either + or -.

Bulb exposure

In this mode the shutter stays open for as long as you hold the shutter release button, use either dial to select aperture. (Note that this is a departure from the EOS 20D which implemented Bulb in manual mode).

Camera user setting

This mode dial position is essentially a 'user memory', from any of the P, Tv, Av, M or B modes you can select the 'Register camera settings' option from the menu to preset this mode. Virtually all settings (including custom functions) are then memorized and can be recalled by switching to this mode.

Top of camera controls (right)

Top of the camera on the right side is the status panel LCD, directly above this are four buttons (LCD panel backlight, AF/WB, Drive/ISO, Metering/Flash compen.) In front of these buttons is the main dial and shutter release button. Settings buttons are press once, turn a dial to change setting value and then half-press the shutter release to return to shooting mode (or press another button).

The table below shows the relationship between each of the settings buttons and the parameters changed by either turning the main dial (top) or quick control dial (rear).

Button Main Dial
Quick Control Dial

Auto Focus Mode

 • One Shot (focus lock on half-press)
 • AI Focus (locks but monitors movement)
 • AI Servo (continuous predictive focus)

AI Focus mode initially locks just like One Shot mode but monitors the focused subject, if the subject moves it will automatically switch to an AI Servo operation.

White Balance Mode

 • Auto (3000 - 7000 K)
 • Daylight (~ 5200 K)
 • Shade (~ 7000 K)
 • Cloudy (~ 6000 K)
 • Tungsten (~ 3200 K)
 • Fluorescent (~ 4000 K)
 • Flash (~ 6000 K)
 • Custom (2000 - 10000 K sample)
 • Kelvin temperature (2800 - 10000 K)
Drive Mode

 • Single shot
 • Continuous
 • Self-Timer

Self-Timer delay is by default 10 seconds, however if you use mirror lockup (C.Fn 12) the delay is reduced to 2 seconds.

ISO Sensitivity

 • L (ISO 50) *
 • ISO 100
 • ISO 125
 • ISO 160
 • ISO 200
 • ISO 250
 • ISO 320
 • ISO 400
 • ISO 500
 • ISO 640
 • ISO 800
 • ISO 1000
 • ISO 1250
 • ISO 1600
 • H (ISO 3200) *

* Enabled via C.Fn 8

Metering Mode

 • Evaluative (35 zone)
 • Partial (8% of center of frame)
 • Spot (3.5% of center of frame)
 • Center-weighted Average

Flash Compensation

 • +/-2 EV
 • 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps (C.Fn 6)
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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