Canon EOS 5D Review
Conclusion - Pros
- Excellent resolution, a real upgrade for eight megapixel Canon owners (EOS 20D)
- Full frame 35 mm size sensor delivers film-like shooting experience, real wide angle
- Very large, bright viewfinder really fills your vision
- Very low noise even at higher sensitivities
- About a third of a stop more sensitive than indicated
- Very well implemented large buffer supported by fast CF throughput
- Very well built, more robust feeling than the EOS 20D (closer to 1D build)
- Very fast in use, short shutter lag, instant startup
- Spot metering (wasn't available on the EOS 20D)
- New Picture Styles make it easier to get 'ready to use' results straight from the camera
- Wide range of image parameter adjustment (-4 to +4 for most)
- Wide range of ISO sensitivities, ISO 50 - 3200 (with 'ISO Expansion' enabled)
- Huge LCD monitor with great resolution, dimmer than some smaller screens
- Soft touch shutter release
- Proper RAW+JPEG with immediately selectable JPEG image size
- Interchangeable focus screen
- Remote tethered capture software for studio work (included)
- Orientation sensor
- Optional WFT-E1 wireless transmitter (802.11 b/g)
- Supplied software bundle very good; ZoomBrowser EX and DPP both matured now
Conclusion - Cons
- Edge softness / falloff / chromatic aberrations, needs good lenses
- AI Servo (continuous AF) interference banding issue (certain lenses, high sensitivities)
- Same old 'CF compartment door shuts camera down' issue
- Picture Style differences between RAW Image Task/Camera and DPP
- Picture Style tone curve not indicated in camera menu (contrast is an offset, not absolute)
- Pretty average automatic white balance in artificial light
- Mirror lock-up still buried in menus (should be a continuous shooting mode option)
- No mass storage device USB mode, limited throughput (just 2.5 MB/sec)
- No anti-reflective coating on LCD monitor
- No GPS support
- No built-in flash, no built-in AF assist lamp
- Price premium over cropped sensor cameras
A lower-priced full-frame digital SLR was a logical step for Canon, the only thing we weren't sure of was how that camera would look when it arrived. Up until now if you wanted a Canon mount full frame camera you would go for the EOS-1Ds / Mark II or the now discontinued Kodak Pro SLR/c. Since the advent of the digital SLR many photographers have been looking forward to the day they could (afford to) buy a body with a full frame sensor which would mark the 'complete transition' of 35 mm photography into digital.
The EOS 5D with its sub-$4,000 price tag was introduced to a fairly rapturous reception among existing Canon owners here on dpreview as well as the two ends of the spectrum from other brand owners; everything from jealousy and incredulous dismissal. It's pretty clear that two camps have now established themselves, quite a few people have nailed their preference to the wall, being in the "Full Frame or nothing" group or the "Cropped is better" group.
The task for us in this review was an interesting one, first of all we had to review the camera in the same way we would any other digital SLR but also to explore many of the assumed advantages and disadvantages, myths and facts around full-frame. The results of our 'extended test suite' were a confirmation of what we expected (and knew), that a full frame camera fully exposes the limits of the lens used and that simply because the pixel pitch is larger we aren't automatically going to get more dynamic range and lower noise. (Remember the EOS 5Ds pixel pitch is the same as the EOS-1D Mark II).
The EOS 5D is a fantastic photographic tool which is capable of producing really excellent results. The caveat is that it takes a little more care and understanding of your equipment (especially lenses). We found resolution to be absolutely excellent with crisp detailed results straight from the camera (JPEG) and even more detail available if you shoot RAW. Different 'looks' can be easily achieved via Picture Styles (almost like changing film) and the range of in-camera image parameters has been expanded. Noise levels are essentially identical to the EOS 20D as is dynamic range, this is neither a surprise or a disappointment, it simply means consistency and the maintaining of an expectation built by Canon in the performance of its CMOS sensor.
If you want a (new) Canon full frame digital SLR the choice now is between the $3,299 EOS 5D or the $7,999 EOS-1Ds Mark II. As we have demonstrated the EOS-1Ds Mark II does deliver more detail and resolution but to the majority of photographers this advantage will be wasted (although this is unlikely to be a deciding factor for decided EOS-1Ds Mark II buyers, its advantages over the 5D are far more wide ranging). Thus to anyone looking for the 'purity' of full frame (and a Canon mount) the EOS 5D would be absolutely Highly Recommended.
For everyone else however it's a hard decision. If the EOS 5D had been introduced a couple of years ago before the availability of designed-for-digital ultra-wide angle zoom lenses it could easily have walked away with a clear lead against 'cropped sensor' models. However there are many photographers quite happy with the results they get from their current cameras, only history will tell if the EOS 5D is the start of a full frame revolution or simply the first of a new niche format.
|Mayfield Preserve Peacock by davidjcook|
|Look Ma, no cashiers by CalBoy87|
from The retail store of tomorrow
Chinese optical manufacturer Kipon has added the Nikon Z and Canon R mounts to its range of adapters made to attach medium format lenses from Hasselblad, Mamiya, Pentax and others to full frame cameras.
Palette Gear has announced an update to its modular, physical editing interface that lets MacOS users now use their palette with Capture One 11 and 12.
German company OPC Optics announced that it has acquired the trademark rights to Meyer Optik Görlitz at the insolvency procedure of NetSE in Koblenz.
Shopping for a photographer? We've got some gift ideas for all budget sizes, but here you'll find our budget-friendliest suggestions – just right for stockings.
It's not always easy to find marble, wood or concrete surfaces on demand. Enter Replica Surfaces, small tiles designed to replicate popular photo surfaces and backdrops.
Lensrentals Founder Roger Cicala set aside some time to take apart Canon's new 50mm F1.2L RF lens and in doing so revealed a number of interesting discoveries.
Google is cracking down on unsupported video files being uploaded to its Photos platform and taking up free storage space.
With a nickname like 'bokeh master,' we had to see what the Sigma 105mm F1.4 was all about. Take a look at our gallery of samples shot with the Sony a7R III.
The Nikon Museum in Shinagawa, Tokyo has an exhibition showing off some of the most rare and unique prototype lenses Nikon ever developed.
VSCO has announced it will stop selling its film emulation presets for desktop programs March 1st, 2019.
On their latest models the two smartphone manufacturers have replaced the dreaded display notch by a design that features a circular hole for the front camera in the display.
With the latest version, Adobe Camera now lets you import Raw files from the newest iPhones, Pixel devices, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and Nikon Z6 among others.
The Nikon Z6 may not offer the incredible resolution of its sibling, the Z7, but its 24MP resolution is more than enough for most people, and the money saved can buy a lot of glass. Find out what's new and notable about the Z6 in our First Impressions Review.
Sigma says its 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sport lens is set to hit shelves by the end of December 2018 at a retail price of $1,499.
DxO PhotoLab 2.1 brings a collection of new features to MacOS and Windows users alike.
The new 'Elegant' lens series includes entirely manual F2.4 lenses in 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm and 90mm focal lengths.
A feature alerts pilots visually and/or verbally when their drone is approaching airspace that is unsafe or areas where drone flying is not permitted.
GoPro announced Monday morning that it plans to move production of United States-bound cameras out of China, citing tariffs concerns.
The Sigma 56mm F1.4 combines a sensible sub-$500 price tag and excellent performance, providing a portrait-friendly 85mm equiv. view on Sony's APS-C mirrorless cameras.
Azriel Knight of the YouTube channel This Old Camera explains the history of DX encoding.
The 250mm F4 is Fujifilm's longest lens for its medium-format system. It's equivalent to about 200mm on a GFX camera, and we put it to work on some portraits as well as some scenes around Seattle's waterfront – take a look.
Sony has removed the ability to download firmware version 2.0 for its a7 III and a7R III mirrorless cameras from its website.
Handing out awards for the best gear of the year is a big job, so we called in some reinforcements from Calgary to help us.
A new patent from Canon lays out the schematics for a speedbooster-style adapter for mounting Canon EF lenses onto EOS M cameras, but with a variable baffle to reduce the risk of flare.
The Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board has started a campaign asking visitors to stop geotagging their specific locations when visiting Wyoming's national parks.
Film simulation app Filmborn has been updated with new presets, features, and overall improved support on Apple's latest mobile operating system and devices.
The Colorado Tripod Company has introduced what it claims is the world’s first titanium tripod system, with a funding campaign on Kickstarter.
We've been shooting with the LX100 II both in and out of the studio, as part of our ongoing review. We're pretty impressed, so far, with the revised JPEG color and addition of a touchscreen both noticeable improvements.
An upcoming Xiaomi smartphone might use a 48MP sensor for pixel-binning, high-quality digital zooming and other algorithm-powered imaging features.
It's not cheap, but you may soon be able to get your hands on peel apart film once again thanks to ONE INSTANT.