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Canon EOS 5D – Mini Review

Canon-Eos-5D-ReviewThe Canon EOS 5D made waves when it was announced as the first DSLR with a full frame sensor that wasn’t priced in the Pro range. While it’s still not priced in the reach of most digital camera owners it is an incredible camera that bundled with the 24-105mm L Series lens has tempted many serious amateurs and Pros alike.

The Canon EOS 5D is a very solid camera (with the 24-105mm lens you’ll really feel it around your neck after a day of carrying it around) with magnesium alloy construction. This is of course when you compare it with the 20D and 30D – however when you look at the next cameras up in Canon’s Pro DSLR range this is actually pretty light and portable option.

It is obviously aimed at the serious photographer as it doesn’t have any shooting modes beyond what a pro would use (ie no portrait, landscape, sports modes) and has no integrated flash (unlike it’s little brothers the 20D and 30D have).

Image quality is superb. I spent a month with this camera last year and was constantly amazed by the sharpness, smooth tones and wonderful contrast that this camera’s 12.8 megapixel sensor produced. Giving it back to Canon at the end of my time with it was no easy thing.

In fact I loved it so much that the day I handed it back I decided to start saving for my own and in the last couple of months made my purchase – I’ve not looked back since.

What I love about the Canon EOS 5D

There’s a lot to love but let me mention just a few things:

  • Viewfinder and LCD – the first two things I noticed about the 5D after it’s weight were the size and clarity of the viewfinder and LCD. They make taking and reviewing images a breeze.
  • Resolution – having upgraded from the 8 megapixel 20D I’ve come to love the resolution that the 12.8 megapixel sensor in the 5D has to offer. Pictures are consistently sharp and have low noise – even when bumping up ISO.
  • Full Frame Sensor – I’ll be honest, it’s taken a while to get used to and shooting with wider angle lenses has taken some adjustment but I’m coming to love the full frame sensor and what it opens up when I’ve got my 17-40mm lens attached at the 17mm end of things.
  • Spot Metering – this was something I always missed on the 20D
  • 50 ISO – stepping ISO back to 50 instead of 100 is a nice luxury to have.
  • Construction – this camera really feels like a serious camera. It’s solid and feels so nice in the hand.

What I don’t like about the Canon EOS 5D

  • Burst Mode – The main thing that I’ve found frustrating with the 5D is the slower burst mode/continuous shooting. 3 frames per second is OK – but coming from the 20D I’ve become used to a 5 frame per second burst. Doesn’t sound like a lot – but when you’re shooting action it is.
  • Price – this camera not only feels heavier in the hand – it magically lightens your wallet. It’s not cheap – having said that, it’s a lot cheaper than Canon’s higher end DSLRs and fills the gap in their range quite nicely.

The Canon EOS 5D Features at a Glance

Sensor – 12.8 megapixels
LCD – 2.5 inch, 230,000 pixels
Focal Length Conversion – 1.1 – Full Frame
Lens Mount – Canon EF (no EF-S)
Kit Lens – 24-105mm L Series
ISO Range – 50-3200
Memory Card – Compact Flash (CF)
Metering Modes – Muti-zone (35 zones), Evaluative, Centre weighted, Partial, Spot
Exposure Modes – Auto, Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual
Focusing Modes – 9 point Auto Focus (with 6 more assist points), Manual, Focus Point Selection, AI Focus, One Shot, AI Servo
Shutter speed – 30 seconds – 1/8000 and Bulb mode
Flash Modes – No Built in Flash, hotshoe
Drive Modes – Single, Continuous (3 frames per second), Self timer
Weight – 810 grams (body only without battery or memory card).
Battery – Lithium-ion, BP-511
Battery Life – 800 shots

Get a Price on the Canon EOS 5D at Amazon

Do you have a Canon EOS 5D DSLR? If so please leave your own review of it below.

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Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse

is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals.

He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

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