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Canon 5D review roundup
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news posted on February 10, 2007

 
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Canon EOS 5D review roundupCombining the high-end specifications of the EOS-1 Line and the operational ease of the EOS 20D model, the new Canon EOS 5D digital SLR is a premium digital SLR designed for a wide range of photographers. While a 35mm full-size image sensor is already available on the groundbreaking Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II camera, many photographers have been asking for a DSLR with a full-frame sensor that is smaller, lighter and more affordable.

Think camera has reviewed Canon EOS 5D and wrote:
"The EOS 5D isn't the ideal camera for everyone and there are some minor compromises as well as some excellent features. It isn't a point and shoot camera by any means and both the body and the price tag are substantial - but it's smaller and better priced than many full-frame sensor cameras. If this is your first foray up the chain of D-SLR's and you don't want to spend too much first time round, the EOS-5D is a good starting point. Performance is neither exceptional nor lacking: for example whilst it doesn't compete with extra-fast models designed for sports photography, you won't find it slowing you down even when you're shooting in RAW. It should be viewed as a very good prosumer camera rather than a professional one - many pros use it but they are generally happier to work within its limitations than spend 3 times as much on a 1DS MkII."
Read whole review here

Lets go digital has reviewed Canon EOS 5D and wrote:
"I am convinced that the EOS 5D is not the end of a period but the start of a whole new interesting era; a time with affordable cameras that combine a high resolution and an outstanding image quality. The Canon 5D has truly impressed me and I reluctantly returned it to Canon. The Canon 5D is a more than recommendable camera, it's an absolute must for the Pro, but also for those who'd like to go on to a higher level, an excelling camera!"
Read whole review here

Pop Photo has reviewed Canon EOS 5D and wrote:
"Among the 5D's other ample virtues are a very large continuous shooting buffer (17 RAW and 60 JPEG frames, at 3fps); a fast nine-point AF system; and a true 3.5 percent spot meter. We found the camera solid, comfortable, and fast handling—yet quieter and less obtrusive than its professional rivals. All in all, it reminds us of how shooting 35mm used to feel."
Read whole review here

DCResource has reviewed Canon EOS 5D and wrote:
"Camera performance is first-rate. The camera starts up instantly, focuses quickly (depending on your lens, of course), and takes pictures without noticeable lag. You can keep shooting until the buffer fills up, which takes quite a while, especially with a high speed memory card. The camera's continuous shooting mode also impressed, with the ability to take 100 JPEG or 18 RAW images in a row at 3 frames/second (which is actually slower than on the 20D). Battery life on the 5D was also very good. Photo quality was excellent as well. The 5D takes well-exposed, colorful images with nearly no noise or purple fringing. Photos are as smooth as butter, as is the case with Canon's D-SLRs. Even at high ISO sensitivities, noise levels are remarkably low. The only downside here is that you need some nice glass attached to the camera in order to get the most out of it. Even with some pretty nice lenses I still saw some blurry edges and corners here and there."
Read whole review here
Sample images here

Bob Atkins has reviewed Canon EOS 5D and wrote:
"The EOS 5D is a good compromise for a significant number of photographers. It combines high image quality with the ability to fully utilize EF series wideangle lenses (like the EF 16-35/2.8L). If 3fps is a fast enough frame rate (and for most photographers, it is) and don't need to regularly shoot outdoors in pouring rain, at around $4200 less than it's nearest full frame competitor (the EOS 1Ds Mk II) it's a very attractive camera. Under most shooting circumstances it produces higher quality images than the EOS 20D and it's undeniably a nicer camera to use with the larger viewfinder, clearer LCD screen and additional firmware functions such as the style modes and RGB histogram. There are circumstances under which it is possible for the EOS 20D to outperform the EOS 5D, specifically if the 5D image must be cropped because of the lack of a long enough lens - but obvious solution for this dilemma is of course is to buy both an EOS 5D and an EOS 20D for backup - and get the best of both worlds! That would still be about $3000 cheaper than buying an EOS 1Ds Mk II."
Read whole review here

Good gear guide has reviewed Canon EOS 5D and wrote:
"Canon is the only company currently producing full-frame sensors for its professional D-SLRs. These measure the same size as a frame of 35mm film, and therefore do not affect the field of view of lenses. The physically smaller sensors employed by virtually every other D-SLR (including Canon's consumer models) reduces the field of view, thereby effectively multiplying the focal lengths of all lenses by 1.6. While this can actually benefit people wanting high magnification, it clearly reduces the coverage of wide-angle lenses."
Read whole review here

Luminous landscape has reviewed Canon EOS 5D and wrote:
"The bottom line then is this – the Canon 5D is an immensely satisfying camera. In a physical size, weight and form factor it is little different than the mainstream of 5 – 8 Megapixel APS sized cameras. But Canon has, with the 5D, provided photographers with a full-frame 35mm of sufficient resolution – 12.8 Megapixel – to meet the print and reproduction size needs of the vast majority of serious photographers. Image quality, whether at normal or at high ISO, is as good as it currently gets. In this field test I did not have the opportunity of testing image quality aspects such as long exposure noise reduction and the like, but plan on doing so once production cameras become available. Functionally, the 5D, while not blazing any new ground, provides a set of features and functions that will more than satisfy the vast majority of advanced amateurs and pros. All of this at a price that while by traditional measure is still higher than photographers would like, at least is no longer stratospheric, and dare I write – is almost affordable for many serious photographers."
Read whole review here

CNET has reviewed Canon EOS 5D and wrote:
"Finally, it's worth noting that mediocre lenses will take a big bite out of the Canon EOS 5D's image-quality advantages. These lenses -- and there are quite a few, including many from Canon itself -- don't deliver enough detail, especially near the edges of the frame, to fully exploit the sensor's resolution. You may also notice problems such as light falloff and chromatic aberration more easily than you did with film. In short, to get your money's worth out of the EOS 5D, you'll need top-notch optics."
Read whole review here
Sample images here

EPhotozine has reviewed Canon EOS 5D and wrote:
"The Canon EOS 5D is a very capable camera, which produces silky smooth images right up to ISO400 and beyond that, noise levels are still very well controlled thanks in part to the full frame sensor. Sensor size is also to blame for another trait, vignetting with wide angle lenses is a real problem if you like to shoot wide open. Value for money is the EOS 5D's weakest point. With an RRP of £2540, that makes this camera cost £1240 more than the rival Nikon D200 (based on RRP's), with what appears to be only a marginal gain in image quality. Of course this only applies with the right lenses, which are also costly."
Read whole review here

Steve's Digicams has reviewed Canon EOS 5D and wrote:
"With its 12.8-megapixel full-frame imager, accurate autofocus system, precise metering system and responsive performance, the EOS-5D fills a big gap in Canon's dSLR product line between the 20D and 1DS Mark II. To some users of Canons Digital Rebel/10D/20D dSLR's, the 5D's combination of additional resolution, high-ISO image quality and wide angle-friendly full frame image sensor will be very attractive. But the camera body is only part of the system and, depending on your existing inventory of lenses and computer equipment, an upgrade to the 5D may cost far more than its $3300 MSRP would suggest. To realize the best that the 5D is capable of delivering, you'll need Canon's professional L-series lenses, whose total cost may exceed that of the camera body. In addition, the file sizes of the 5D's 12.8-megapixel images are enormous, requiring additional CF memory capacity and placing even more demands on your digital darkroom; additional RAM and hard disk capacity may be required, and a DVD-RW drive would be recommended for archiving your work."
Read whole review here
Sample images here

Digital Camera Info has reviewed Canon EOS 5D and wrote:
"Following our period of evaluation with the Canon EOS 5D, we can fully confirm that the camera is indeed all it’s slated to be. Images produced with the camera’s 35.8mm x 23.9mm 12.8 megapixel full frame CMOS sensor were sharp and contained low noise. While the camera is not meant for speed, its 4-channel readout and DIGIC II processor handled volumes of large files with ease – processing 15 RAW images in under 22 seconds. However, the biggest surprise was the effectiveness of the newly implemented Picture Style settings. While it is slightly deceiving at first (since “0’s” are not equal to other “0” settings), the amount of control provided by the parameters was enlightening. Colors can be made to accurately reproduce the scene or slightly embellish the look and saturate the tones nicely, adding vibrancy. The design of the camera made it easy to handle and it fit my hands better than any Canon DSLR released to date. Other than a disappointing LCD screen and limited x-sync, the EOS 5D is about all consumers can ask for at a retail price of $3299. Currently, the 5D is truly without competition."
Read whole review here

Press release

Photographers who have yearned for a full-frame digital SLR that won't break the bank—or their backs—just got their wish with the new compact Canon EOS 5D digital SLR, which offers a full-frame CMOS sensor with 12.8 megapixels of resolution, available in October for an estimated selling price of $3,299*. As the world's smallest and lightest** full-frame digital SLR, the EOS 5D model features Canon's proprietary DIGIC II Image Processor, which allows users to shoot up to 3 frames per second and record up to 60 full-resolution JPEGs and 17 RAW images in a single burst. The camera includes a new 9-point AF system with six supplemental AF points for fast and precise focusing and a new 2.5" LCD/TFT screen with 230,000 pixels that's viewable even at extreme angles.
Canon EOS 5D reviews

"The Canon EOS 5D digital SLR is the camera that will make quality-minded 35mm and medium format film shooters switch to digital once and for all," said Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the Consumer Imaging Group at Canon U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. "Wedding and portrait photographers who need facial detail in their group shots require the large file sizes the EOS 5D model can provide. For landscape and nature photographers who want to enjoy the entire range of their wide angle lenses, the EOS 5D DSLR's full-frame sensor is a dream come true. And for those photographers who hesitate at carrying around EOS-1 Series heft, they will love the EOS 5D digital SLR's lightweight feel almost as much as their accountants—or spouses—will love the price."

A Premium DSLR with Outstanding Image Quality
Combining the high-end specifications of the EOS-1 Line and the operational ease of the EOS 20D model, the new Canon EOS 5D digital SLR is a premium digital SLR designed for a wide range of photographers. While a 35mm full-size image sensor is already available on the groundbreaking Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II camera, many photographers have been asking for a DSLR with a full-frame sensor that is smaller, lighter and more affordable. Enter the Canon EOS 5D digital SLR. Boasting a 12.8 megapixel, 35mm full-size image sensor in a magnesium alloy body weighing just 28.6 ounces (810 grams), the EOS 5D digital SLR is a petite but powerful imaging machine. Perhaps best of all, the EOS 5D model is a great value at $3,299 for the complete Power Kit with a full software package including the new Digital Photo Professional v2.0.

The heart of the Canon EOS 5D digital SLR is its extraordinary new, Canon-designed and -manufactured CMOS image sensor. At 12.8 megapixels, there is enough resolution for a double-page spread in a magazine, a large print of the bride and groom, facial detail in group shots or a landscape of impressive dimensions. The sensor's 35.8 x 23.9mm size means that each pixel can be a generous 8.2 microns, resulting in exceptionally low shadow noise. The sensor's low power consumption extends battery life and lowers noise. A finer CMOS production process and optimized photodiode construction increase the light-sensitive area of each pixel and improve dynamic range as well.

The full-size sensor maximizes the performance of Canon EF lenses, the world's largest selection of autofocus lenses. With the full-size sensor, EF lenses - even wide-angle lenses - have the same look and feel they have with conventional SLR cameras, preserving their optical signatures. Imaging quality in the EOS 5D is enhanced with the addition of the DIGIC II image processor, which provides detailed and natural color reproduction and fast image processing, including an incredible burst performance of 60 Large/Fine JPEGs or 17 RAW images at 3 fps. DIGIC II also enhances start-up time on the EOS 5D DSLR, bringing it down to a lightning fast 0.2 seconds.

Picture Styles for Better Pictures
In the analog era, photographers would select the brand of film that suited their own shooting style or the subject being photographed. In the digital era, they have to rely on the image quality features and settings provided by the camera manufacturer. Some users, though, have experienced confusion about what effects these settings would have on the image. To provide better clarification, a new feature called Picture Styles combines processing parameters and color matrix settings into easy settings designed to obtain the desired effect, almost like choosing a type of film to obtain a specific result.

For users who do not want to bother with post processing, there is the Picture Style called Standard that produces images that look crisp and vivid with the sharpness set to mid-scale and the color tone and saturation set to obtain vivid colors. In the Portrait setting, the color tone and saturation are set to obtain nice skin tones with the sharpness set one step weaker than the Standard setting so the skin and hair look softer. Under the Landscape setting, the color tone and saturation are set to obtain deep blues and greens, the sharpness is set one step stronger than Standard so the outline of mountains, trees, and buildings look crisper. The Neutral setting is the same as the default setting for EOS-1 series cameras where natural color reproduction is obtained and no sharpness is applied. This is the ideal setting for post-processing. The Faithful setting is the same as Digital Photo Professional's Faithful, so when the subject is photographed under a color temperature of 5200K, the color is adjusted colorimetrically to match the subject's color with no sharpness applied. Monochrome is the same as the EOS 20D camera's monochrome setting and with User Defined, the user can create and save their own preferred settings.

Sophisticated New Autofocus System
The Canon EOS 5D digital SLR has a new nine point AF system with six Supplemental AF points, a new AF algorithm and a new AF circuitry. The new AF system improves subject detection and focusing precision at the center, the most frequently used area, and significantly enhances subject tracking performance.

On the EOS 5D model, the nine AF points are concentrated at the center, but the extreme left and right points are located in the same positions as the corresponding AF points on the EOS-1Ds Mark II. In addition, the six invisible Supplemental AF points, grouped around the center of the image, provide highly accurate focusing and do a great job of tracking the subject in the AI SERVO AF mode. In addition, three AF points on the new EOS 5D model work with f/2.8 or faster lenses for enhanced precision.

Highly Durable New High-Speed Shutter
The EOS 5D digital SLR has a newly developed, high-speed and highly durable shutter unit that was designed to meet the demanding requirements of a full-frame sensor in a relatively compact body. The shutter is a vertical travel, focal plane type with two parallelogram link curtains. Each curtain has four blades, three made from KN Mylar and one from Duralumin, to create a professional-level shutter with a durability rated at 100,000 shots.

Premium Design and Construction
The EOS 5D digital SLR has a solid, substantial and organic feel along with its compact dimensions and relatively light weight. With the top, front and rear covers and battery grip made from light and highly durable magnesium alloy, this new model is truly a premium camera. The EOS 5D model also has an improved grip and mode dial, a modified terminal cap share and clearer rear controls.

The pentaprism has an all-new shape necessitated by the full-frame sensor and all associated components such as the mirror, mirror box and shutter. Thanks to Canon design and manufacturing know-how along with having the low-pass filter integrated with the CMOS cover glass, the EOS 5D digital SLR is unusually streamlined for a camera with a full-frame sensor.

The camera body consists of a stainless steel chassis and a mirror box made of high-strength engineering plastic. Since the grip and front cover are one piece, body rigidity on the EOS 5D DSLR is excellent. The exterior surface is a high-density black satin finish with a leathery touch that feels smooth in the hands. The three grip surfaces are covered with rubber and the electroplated "EOS 5D" badge and recessed and painted Canon logo give a quality appearance to the camera.

High Performance LCD Monitor
The EOS 5D model has a 2.5" polysilicon TFT LCD monitor with approximately 230,000 pixels. At 170 degrees, it has an exceptionally wide viewing angle. In contrast, picture brightness on older LCD screens was often lost if viewed from even a slight angle, so oftentimes image review involved a lot of guesswork. The new LCD on the EOS 5D model, however, maintains the same brightness from almost any viewing angle. Brightness on the monitor is also adjustable in five levels and the screen's backlight feature uses six LED modules, as opposed to three on previous models, to help illuminate the 2.5" LCD evenly. Along with the larger monitor, the menu text is also larger and easier to read. The full-featured INFO screen includes files sizes, RGB histogram and AF frame displays. In addition, Quick Review images are now enlargeable.

New Automatic and Intelligent Noise Reduction Function
Because noise is difficult to see on a camera's LCD monitor, even one as large and detailed as the EOS 5D camera, it is hard to know whether noise reduction should be turned on or not. Thanks to a new automatic noise reduction feature on the EOS 5D DSLR, getting rid of unwanted noise has been made even easier than with previous models. In the C.Fn-02-1 setting, automatic noise reduction occurs when noise is detected for exposures of 1 second or longer, regardless of ISO. In the C.Fn-02.2 setting, full-time noise reduction for exposures of 1 second of longer occurs regardless of whether noise is detected and regardless of ISO. With these two options, photographers using the Canon EOS 5D DSLR can adjust the camera's noise reduction capabilities to suit a particular situation.

Other High-End Features
The EOS 5D DSLR has a bevy of other high-end features including the same ISO range as the 1Ds Mark II—ISO 100-1600 in 1/3-step increments and ISO speed extended at L:50, H:3200. Also included on the camera is ultra-precise white balance with nine types of white balance settings, white balance bracketing (blue-amber and magenta-green, even on RAW and RAW+JPEG shots) and white balance correction. Other features include enhanced 35-zone exposure metering; spot metering in approximately 3.5 percent of the viewfinder area; six selectable JPEG recording modes including RAW and simultaneous RAW+JPEG; a large bright viewfinder with three interchangeable focusing screens; new flexible and convenient folder creation and selection; and more advanced PictBridge functions.

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