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Under your thumb

On the right side of the camera "under your thumb" are two buttons. The AE lock button (press to read and lock exposure, can be re-programmed) and the AF point selection button (press to select AF point, AF point selection can also be re-programmed).

Shooting mode

AE / FE Lock

Press to trigger automatic exposure and lock the exposure for the next shot. Hold the button to lock the exposure for more than one shot. The exact function of this button can be programmed via custom function 4 (see below).
AF point selection button

Press to choose a single AF point, turn the main dial or the quick control dial to scroll around the available AF points. Alternatively you can also use the multi-controller to select a point directly (press the selector for the center point). The exact function of this button can be programmed via custom function 13 (see below).

Play mode

Thumbnail index / reduce magnification

If in single view play mode, pressing this button will switch to a 3 x 3 thumbnail index. If already magnified it will step back in magnification levels once.

Press to magnify the current image, there are fifteen steps up to a maximum magnification of 10x. Use the quick control dial to pan around the image, press the direction switch button to change from horizontal to vertical panning. Note that it is possible to change image while maintaining magnification, just roll the main dial.

Shutter button / AE lock button function (C.Fn 4)

Most sports photographers will prefer to use setting 1 or 3 where you can control WHEN the camera AF executes, a simple press of your thumb will start AF, then you can fire off as many shots as you like (more quickly obviously) without the camera refocusing, plus you can manual focus once the AF has completed.

Custom Function 4
Shutter button half-press AE Lock button
AE, AF AE lock
AE lock (shutter release priority) AE, AF
AE, AF AF lock (no AE lock)
AE (shutter release priority) AE, AF (no AE lock)

AF point selection method (C.Fn 13)

Personally I preferred setting 1 which allows you to simply press the multi-controller to select an AF point or press the the AF point selection button to return to auto AF selection mode.

Custom Function 13
AF point selection method
Press AF point selection then use dial / multi-controller
Push multi-controller to select AF point, selection button for Auto
Quick control dial to select AF point, selection button has no function

Rear of camera controls

The control layout at the rear of the EOS 5D is virtually identical to that of the EOS 20D apart from the addition of the Direct print button (above the LCD). Control layout is logical and easy to use, the quick control dial is perfectly located and extremely useful (more manufacturers should fit big dials on the rear of their cameras!)

Shooting mode

Enter / Leave the Menu

The camera menu is described on the following pages of this review.

Displays current camera settings / information (click here for an example).

Play mode

Direct Print

Press this button to begin printing of the displayed image on a connected printer.
Enter / Leave the Menu

The camera menu is described on the following pages of this review.

Changes the play display mode: No information, brief information, detailed information and histogram.
Jump mode

Enters jump mode which allows you to skip images by a preset amount or by a particular criteria. You can change the jump mode by pressing the SET button:

 • Jump 10 images
 • Jump 100 images
 • Jump shot date
 • Jump folder

Displays the last image shot (the last image on the card). The EOS 5D is a shooting priority camera, which means that no matter what is displayed on the rear LCD this will be canceled if any of the camera's photographic functions (example half-pressing the shutter release) are accessed.

Press to erase the current image, displays an OK / Cancel dialog. In play mode you also get the option to erase all images (except those protected).

Lens mount controls

On the side of the lens mount are the final set of camera controls. First is the lens release button and below this the depth of field preview button which stops the lens down to the indicated / selected aperture to give a preview of DOF in the viewfinder.
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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