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February 2010

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Canon EOS 5D

Canon-Eos-5DThe Canon EOS 5D has a feature list that includes a 12.8 megapixel Sensor (full frame), 3 fps till a maximum of 60 with JPG high quality, AF with 9 points, LCD of 2.5 inches, Magnesium body, DIGIC II and USB 2.0.

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Read our Review of the Canon EOS 5D

Canon EOS 5D News Release

Amstelveen, The Netherlands, 22 August, 2005 - Canon, a leader in photographic and imaging technology, announces the 12.8 Megapixel EOS 5D, creating a new D-SLR category combining a full frame CMOS sensor with a lightweight, compact magnesium alloy body. Weighing just 810 grams, it features a second generation 35.8 x 23.9 mm CMOS sensor, 3 frame per second, 60 Large JPEG frame burst and 0.2 second start up time operation.


�The discreet full frame EOS 5D is the camera many photojournalists and agencies have been asking us for,� said Mogens Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging Europe. �It will be an indispensable piece of equipment for a wide range of professionals � from contemporary wedding to reportage photographers.�

Marking five years since Canon�s first CMOS image sensor appeared in the EOS D30, the release represents Canon�s fifth new CMOS sensor to be released since April 2004. �CMOS sensors are a critical technology advantage driving Canon�s rapid digital SLR development,� remarked Jensen.

Equivalent in size to a frame of 35mm film, the camera�s 35.8 x 23.9 mm CMOS sensor gives photographers a full angle of view without magnification or cropping effect. It provides tighter control over depth of field and improves image quality by capturing more light with its large pixels.

Canon EOS 5D Key features

Super responsive, the EOS 5D is driven by the same DIGIC II processor found in Canon�s EOS-1D professional range cameras.

Protected with a rugged yet lightweight magnesium alloy exterior, the camera also features new Picture Style pre-sets, a new hi-resolution 2.5� LCD monitor, 9-point auto focus with 6 invisible Assist AF points to improve tracking performance, compatibility with Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E1, custom mode for fast recall of user defined camera set-ups, USB 2.0 Hi-Speed interface for fast downloads and 1/8000 � 30 second shutter speed with X-sync at 1/200s.

The CMOS advantage

With five years of in-house CMOS development since the original EOS D30, Canon�s latest CMOS sensor features 12.8 Megapixels, and the same second-generation on-chip noise reduction circuitry used on the EOS-1Ds Mark II. This effectively suppresses random noise and eliminates fixed-pattern noise for extremely clean, hi-fidelity images. Wide 100-1600 ISO speed range is extendable to L:50 and H:3200. Large 8.2 m pixels allow the capture of a superior dynamic range, enabling the reproduction of subtle tonal gradations in shadow, midtone and highlight areas.

Improved in-camera control

New Picture Style pre-sets simplify in-camera control over image quality. Delivering more immediately usable JPEG images straight out of the camera without need for post-production, Picture Style pre-sets can be likened to different film types � each one offering a different colour response. Within each easily selectable pre-set, photographers have control over sharpness, contrast, colour tone and saturation.

The pre-sets include:

* Standard � for crisp, vivid images that don�t require post-processing;
* Portrait � optimises colour tone and saturation and weakens sharpening to achieve attractive skin tones;
* Landscape � for deep greens and blues with stronger sharpening to give a crisp edge to mountain, tree and building outlines);
* Neutral � ideal for post-processing;
* Faithful � adjusts colour to match the subject colour when shot under a colour temperature of 5200K;
* Monochrome � for black and white shooting with a range of filter effects (yellow, orange, red and green) and toning effects (sepia, blue, purple and green)

Additionally, 3 user-defined entries allow the possibility to create additional variations on the in-camera styles or install additional custom Picture Style files. Additional custom Picture Style files may be downloaded from Canon�s web site.

Picture Style replaces internal image processing previously controlled by setting processing parameters and colour matrix. Picture Style is also supported by the supplied Digital Photo Professional and RAW Image Task software.

New LCD monitor

For improved image review and menu readability, the EOS 5D is fitted with a new large-size high-resolution 2.5� 230K pixel poly-silicon TFT LCD monitor. The improved screen retains brightness and visibility throughout a wide 170� angle of view, both vertically and horizontally, making it easy to view images when the camera is mounted in a fixed position.

Auto focus

A newly developed 9-point auto focus system features 6 additional invisible Assist AF points located inside the spot-metering circle. These points come into effect when the camera is switched to AI SERVO AF with the centre focus point selected and are automatically used to improve the camera�s subject tracking performance.

Ergonomics and control

The �Premium EOS� design features a magnesium alloy exterior with rubberized grip surfaces. The discreet and lightweight compact body measures just 152 x 113 x 75 mm and weighs only 810 g making it two thirds the volume and weight of the EOS-1Ds Mark II.

In a handy new feature, current camera settings can be stored and assigned to the C (camera settings) position on the Mode Dial. This allows photographers to switch quickly between two completely different camera set-ups without having to switch bodies � ideal for photographers who need to rapidly switch their cameras from an indoor to outdoor shooting condition, for example. Exposure mode, ISO speed, AF mode, drive mode, Picture Style, white balance and custom functions are all stored in the custom setting. There are 21 custom functions with 57 user-definable settings to enable photographers to configure the camera for their preferred way of working.


With the optional Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E1, photographers can work cable-free as full-frame image files can be transferred automatically through a wireless LAN to a computer in seconds .

A USB 2.0 Hi-Speed interface allows rapid transfer of images from camera to computer, ideal for shooting straight-to-hard-drive with the camera tethered to a computer in a studio environment, thus providing full screen previews of images as they are shot. The EOS 5D also has a Video out interface to allow playback and review on a TV monitor, and is PictBridge compliant to support direct printing to any compatible photo printer without the need for a computer. It takes both CompactFlash Type I and Type II cards, including cards of 2 Gb capacity and larger.

Compatibility and accessories

The EOS 5D offers complete compatibility with all Canon EF lenses , providing photographers with access to a vast range of lenses with focal lengths from 14 to 600 mm.

The camera�s launch coincides with the release of the high performance EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM a lightweight Image Stabilizer lens. Completing Canon�s f/4L-series zoom lens range, the new lens complements the EF17-40mm f/4L USM and EF70-200mm f/4L USM lenses. An ideal match for the lightweight EOS 5D, these lenses are designed for professional photographers requiring high quality lightweight lenses with a fixed aperture throughout the zoom range.

Also compatible with EX series Speedlites and other EOS accessories, the camera provides photographers with a highly adaptable and flexible camera system. Canon�s E-TTL II flash metering ensures accurate flash exposures by taking into account such factors as lens distance information, ambient light readings and the detection of reflective objects in order to calculate flash output.

The BG-E4 is a new battery grip designed especially for the EOS 5D. Constructed with the same magnesium alloy as the camera�s exterior, it has a solid and comfortable hold. The grip can accommodate two BP-511A/514/512/511 battery packs or six AA batteries . The Battery Grip BG-E4 features a shutter release button, AE/FE lock button, AF point selector and main dial to enable comfortable use of the camera when held vertically.

The camera�s focussing screens are interchangeable: in addition to the �Standard Precision Matte� (Ee-A) focussing screen supplied with the camera, �Precision Matte with Grid� (Ee-D) and Super Precision Matte (Ee-S) screens are available.

The EOS 5D supports the optional Data Verification Kit DVK-E2 v2.2, which verifies the authenticity of images taken with the camera.

New software

The EOS 5D is supplied with the EOS Digital Solution Disk v11, which includes a new version of Canon�s Digital Photo Professional (DPP) RAW processing software � now at version 2.0. DPP now supports RAW images shot on all EOS digital cameras from the EOS D30 onwards, and includes support for Picture Styles. Improvements and additions are aimed at improving functionality and workflow efficiency for professionals, and include: easy image selection with three levels of check marks; real-time adjustment of sharpness; improved image correction (Copy Stamp); enhanced image transfer function �single image transfer to PhotoShop is possible; extended colour space support, now including Apple RGB and ColorMatch RGB; and improved usability of the CMYK simulation function.

Also provided is on the EOS Digital Solution Disk v11 is ZoomBrowser EX (PC) and ImageBrowser (MAC) v5.5 for managing images, EOS Capture v1.5 for remote shooting, PhotoStitch v3.1, PhotoRecord v2.2 (PC) and RAW ImageTask v2.2. The EOS 5D is compatible with CANON iMAGE GATEWAY , which provides a 100 MB online photo album.

Comprehensive range

This new category camera adds to Canon�s already comprehensive D-SLR range. In terms of speed and resolution, Canon has the leading performance camera in every D-SLR segment, all launched since April last year:

* EOS-1Ds Mark II � 16.7 Megapixel full frame 35 mm sensor, 4 fps
* EOS-1D Mark II N � 8.2 Megapixel APS-H size sensor, 8.5 fps
* EOS 5D � 12.8 Megapixel full frame sensor, 3 fps
* EOS 20D � 8.2 Megapixel APS-C size sensor, 5 fps
* EOS 350D Digital � 8.0 Megapixel APS-C size sensor, 3 fps

Get the Latest Price and Pre Order the Canon EOS 5D 12.8 MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)

Canon EOS 5D Reviews

Update: Some have reported that some models of the Canon EOS 5D have banding Problems.

Lets Go Digital has a hands on First Impressions Review of the Canon EOS 5D and writes - 'Packed in a room of 3 x 3 meters together with 40 highly interested journalist I finally got where I came for in the first place, the Canon EOS 5D. Amazingly light weighted, around 820 g, and a perfect balanced body are the first things that comes in my mind when holding the Canon 5D in my hands. The new Canon 24 - 105mm F4.0L IS USM lens was mounted on the EOS 5D D-SLR and we found the new Canon BG-E4 battery grip attached to the camera. This new accessory is especially designed for the EOS 5D. The new grip is made from the same material as the camera's exterior; magnesium alloy. The BG-E4 grip accommodates two Canon battery packs or six AA batteries. The grip features a shutter release button, AE/FE lock button, AF point selector and main dial to enable comfortable use of the camera when held vertically. Together the combination feels solid as a rock.'

Luminous Landscape has a good first impression review of the Canon 5D and describes its physical appearance as - 'The easiest way to visualize a 5D is to imagine a Canon 20D that has a somewhat thicker body and larger prism. Because this is a full-frame camera the mirror box needs to be larger than that in a 1.6X factor body, as does the prism, and so the body is somewhat fatter and slightly taller. Indeed, if you mount the accessory battery grip the 5D and the 1Ds MKII is quite similar in size, if not in weight. Note though that while the 5D is based on the paradigm of the 20D, it is a completely new body size.'

Luminous Landscape also has a first impressions review of the Canon EOS 5D which includes image samples. They are pretty impressed so far with the Canon EOS 5D and write - 'I can only tell you that the dynamic range and overall image quality of the 5D sample that I have for testing is as good if not better than the best of the cameras that I've used before.

The photograph Gaze above tells the whole story of the 5D's image quality. It has been slightly cropped at the bottom and right side, and white balance was set using the fur of the stuffed animal. It has been sharpened using Photokit Sharpener. That's all that has been done to the raw file. (Processed with a beta version of Camera Raw). The photograph was taken in the open shade at ISO 400.'

Rob Galbraith also has a good first impression review to the Canon EOS 5D DSLR and writes - 'At first blush, it looks like what Canon has put together is a 20D with a larger sensor. But the camera really represent a hybrid of features, some unique to the 5D, some pulled from the 20D and others it shares with Canon's 1-series digital SLR models (and the EOS-1D Mark II N in particular).

For instance, the control layout of the camera closely mirrors that of the 20D (though the 5D is closer in size to the original EOS-1 without its power booster), the 35-zone metering component is the same, the AF system is an improved version of that found in the 20D, the viewfinder information is nearly identical and the new Battery Grip BG-E4 is similar in design to the 20D's BG-E2.'

DP Review has a good hands on preview of the Canon EOS 5D and writes - 'By 'full frame' we mean that the EOS 5D's sensor is (virtually) the same size as a 35 mm negative, this means that lenses used on the camera will produce the exact same field of view as they would on a 35 mm film camera (as they were designed). This is especially advantageous when shooting wide angle as we will get a much wider field of view than we would on a digital SLR which 'crops' (such a the EOS 20D). The diagram below demonstrates the difference in field of view between the EOS 5D and the EOS 20D using the same lens with a focal length of 17 mm. The EOS 20D would only be able to capture a portion of the center of the field of view produced by the lens, the EOS 5D captures the entire view.'

Bob Atkins has a useful comparison of the Canon EOS 5D and EOS 20D and basically asks 'which one'? He writes - 'The price difference is $2000 which isn't insignificant! Though the 5D is a breakthrough in pricing for a full frame camera, it's still out of the reach of many photographers at $3300. For those doing studio work or landscape and editorial shooting, the 5D will be a great camera and I'm sure it will sell very well indeed. For anyone shooting a lot of action, the slightly more expensive ($3999) EOS 1D MkII N, with it's 8.5fps frame rate and 48/22 JPEG/RAW buffer will still probably be the camera of choice. For penurious amateur wildlife shooters who never have a lens long enough to capture their subjects, the 20D probably remains the camera of choice due to its higher pixel density and significantly lower price. The 1Ds Mk II will still command the attention of those wealthy enough to buy it and who need the durability of a fully weather sealed camera with the ultimate in full frame image quality. However I'd guess that the 5D might well eat into 1Ds MkII sales as the $4700 price difference is more than a lot of people will be able to justify.'

Luminous Landscape has a field report review of the Canon EOS 5D DSLR in which they rate the 5D pretty highly writing - '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.'

Virtual Traveller has a review which compares the Canon EOS 5D and the Canon EOS 20. The 5D reviewed has a 24-105 f4L IS USM lens and the 20D has a 17-85 f4-5.6 IS USM lens. They write - ' The 5D and 24-105L combination is better than the 20D and 17-85. No surprise there. Really, the results of my tests are that there are no surprises. The 5D is as good as I expected it to be, and I expected it to be amazing. For my travel purposes, it is better than the chunky EOS 1Ds, making it the best camera currently available, indeed the best camera ever.'

Lets Go Digital reviews the Canon EOS 5D where they conclude - '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!'

DP Review has reviewed the Canon EOS 5D and gives it a 'highly recommended' rating. They recommend - '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.'

CNET reviews the Canon EOS 5D and writes - 'For some photographers, a sensor the same size as a frame of 35mm film (24mm by 36mm)--often referred to as full frame--is the Holy Grail of digital SLR technology. It promises the familiar shooting experience in viewfinder size, in lens angle of view, and in certain aspects of a picture's look. Until now, this object of lust was available only at great expense ($7,000 or more) or in cameras with significant design and performance quirks. But Canon's EOS 5D changes that, combining a 12.8-megapixel, 23.9mm-by-35.8mm CMOS sensor with a competent midsize SLR body for less than half the price of the only full-frame alternative available at this writing, also a Canon, the EOS-1Ds Mark II.'

Steves Digicams reviews the Canon EOS 5D SLR and writes - '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.'

Popular Photography reviews the Canon EOS 5D and writes - 'The EOS 5D appears to follow a path between two extremes. On the yin side, its full-frame sensor gives photographers the advantages of the expensive EOS 1Ds Mark II and the best image quality you can find in a sub-$3,500 DSLR. On the yang side, its construction, size, and array of features are closer to those offered by the APS-sensored EOS 20D. Now if it only cost less, more photographers would reach nirvana.'

Bob Atkins reviews the Canon EOS 5D and writes - '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.'

Imaging Resource has posted a comprehensive review of the Canon EOS-5D Digital Camera where they write - 'In addition to all the test results and analysis, we did notice something intangible in the images coming from the Canon EOS 5D. Others have mentioned it too: greater detail in the shadows, and a finer tonal range that give the images a special glow that you don't get from a 20D or 30D. We do notice a difference in the tonal curves on the 5D, which might account for the unique flavor 5D images seem to have. For the record, we highly recommend the Canon EOS 5D as a full-frame d-SLR option, but do counsel readers to consider their sub-frame options carefully before taking the plunge with a 5D.'

Shutterbug reviews the Canon EOS 5D and writes - 'Personally, I would feel secure paying the tab for a 5D, especially if I were doing photography for business and profit. But these are unsettled times and the road ahead seems to be enveloped in fog. I can�t speak for what the future will hold, but if a great performing camera is what you want and need, and you have the courage, go for it. It seems to me, from what I�ve experienced using the Canon EOS 5D, it�s unlikely to disappoint.'

Digital Camera Info has posted a review with a comparison of the Nikon D200 vs. Canon EOS 5D. They compare them on a number of different aspects and conclude by writing - 'The D200 is a much faster camera with a more logical ergonomic design. With the Nikon, users can turn the camera on and snap off a shot in a single motion - an action that would require two hands and far more time with the 5D. The D200 can also shoot 5 frames a second, while the 5D can only muster 3. This combined with the D200�s more robust body (not to mention its more affordable price tag), makes it a much more formidable alternative for photojournalists or casual shooters. At lower sensitivity settings (ISO 100-400), the two cameras produce images of comparable quality in terms of noise, color, dynamic range and sharpness. While the 5D still retains a slight edge, the difference is negligible for the quality both cameras produce. However, once the sensitivity is pushed to ISO 400 and beyond, Canon earns the extra $1,300 tacked on the 5D�s price tag. At sensitivity settings beyond ISO 500, the 5D continues to create images of exception quality, while the D200 falters and produces results more consistent with consumer-level designs.'

Pro photographer Sean Reid from Imaging Resource has posted a second review of the Canon EOS-5D DSLR and writes - 'All things considered, this is the best DSLR, for my own work, that I have ever used. I do primarily three kinds of photography. The first is work that I assign myself and this often takes the form of projects that can last for several years. The best of that work is eventually edited, printed and used for exhibition. Unless I'm working on something where I want to be very close to the subject (macro) or very far from the subject (telephoto) I usually prefer to work with my R-D1 rangefinders. That is unless I need the drawing of the pictures to be more like medium format - for that I once used the 1Ds and now use the 5D. I also now use the 5D for my personal work with subjects that are very close or very far. If I need a silent camera or want the kind of drawing that only a small-sensor camera can provide, I tend to use a Leica Digilux 2.'

Camera Labs reviews the Canon EOS 5D and writes - 'Build-wise the EOS-5D may be little more than a 20D or 30D with a higher resolution, full-frame sensor, but the resolving power is a big step-up from 6 and 8 Megapixel cameras, and while you may need technical charts to notice any detail advantage over Nikon's D200, the benefits of the low noise full-frame sensor are clear and rivalled only by Canon's high-end 1Ds Mark II. Sure, you may need to match the 5D with high quality optics, but Canon's range of f4.0 L models are relatively affordable - and while the 24-105mm f4.0L is an ideal all-rounder, it's the 17-40mm f4.0L which really shows off the sensor's potential coverage.'

ePhotozine reviews the Canon EOS 5D and writes - '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.'

Think Camera reviews the Canon EOS 5D DSLR and writes - '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 our Review of the Canon EOS 5D

Get the Latest Price on the Canon EOS 5D at Amazon and .

Posted by Darren in our Canon category on August 23, 2005


Posted by: at February 1, 2009 12:00 AM

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