Canon EOS 5D Camera

Canon EOS 5D Product Review

Canon EOS 5D CameraWhether you’re an old pro at photography or considering the Canon EOS 5D as your first digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera, you want to know that the camera you’re buying is the right option for you. DSLRs offer significantly better quality and more options for accessorizing and shooting than you can find with simple point-and-shoot cameras. These are the cameras many professionals use and offer a wide variety of lenses that can be swapped out and used. The advantage of a DSLR is that you can see exactly what you’re aiming to shoot. The viewfinder is combined with a mirror-lens to show you what you’re pointing your camera at.Since it is not powered, users can save the battery life of their camera by relying on the viewfinder instead of the display. The Canon EOS 5D is an excellent option for the advanced photographer.The price for this camera is somewhat higher than those DSLRs that don’t offer a full 35 mm sensor and full-frame shots. Still, a full frame camera is necessary for advanced photographers wanting shallower depth of field and optimal image quality. Overall, users working indoors and with less active subjects will find the Canon EOS 5D an excellent full-frame option.

What Is The Canon EOS 5D?

Canon is a respected brand in the world of photography with a long history of churning out quality products. The Canon EOS 5D is no different. It is an affordable prosumer full-frame DSLR that improves on the earlier Canon 20D.This camera has a larger sensor and viewfinder, and a slightly larger price. The full-frame on this camera allows photographers to get much shallower depths of field and higher quality images than what crop sensor cameras offer.

Product Specs

Canon EOS 5D variety of lenses

Image by dujin yun from Pixabay

Canon’s range of DSLRs offers the chance to take excellent photographs. This camera is 12.8 megapixels, a significant improvement over the 8.2 megapixels on the 20D. It offers dimensions of 4368 x 2912 pixels and is full-frame.None of the frame is cropped out, something that can be common with DSLRs outfitted with sensors smaller than 35mm. However, when viewing with the 2.5-inch viewfinder, only 96% of the full image will show, even though the entire frame will be captured. It has a wider ISO range than earlier Canon models, ranging from ISO 50 to 3200. The noise at each ISO is very similar to the more formidable Canon EOS-1D, despite being smaller and more affordable. Budget-conscious shoppers will be very happy with the reduced noise in low-light shots.Photographers can also take advantage of the 5D’s single spot metering, located in the center of the frame. Its auto-exposure works quite well and offers +/- 2 EV over/under exposure control.There are six different preset filters or styles that adjust the contrast, color, and sharpness of the images as they are taken. These include Portrait, Landscape, and Monotone styles. Users can also create their settings to quickly switch to.The modes switch has removed many of the other modes seen on earlier versions, including the Landscape and Portrait modes. It does still have a Full Auto mode for those who want to point-and-shoot. There is a ‘C’ mode that refers to Camera User Selection.?“When you photograph people in color you photograph their clothes. When you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their soul!”– Ted GrantIn this mode, the photographer can automatically use the most recently saved settings. However, be careful if you change the settings while in ‘C.’ The camera might refer back to previous settings when the camera goes to sleep or powers down.This DSLR has a large image buffer that allows longer periods of continuous shots. Compared to some other models, the three frames per second (fps) continuous shooting mode is somewhat slow, but the feature is still robust when the image buffer size is taken into account. This shouldn’t be a problem for most consumers, but professional sports photographers will want to look elsewhere.The quietness of the shutter is another plus when using this camera for continuous shooting. You’ll be significantly less likely to annoy the people around you at public events when shooting action shots.The 5D has an accurate and quick autofocus system. It relies on AI Servo AF which uses nine visible and six invisible AF points to focus. The autofocus works well even in action shot and low-light situations. The autofocus will not work with lenses that have a maximum aperture opening smaller than f/5.6, if you are using a pre-modern lens, or if you are using an incompatible extender, such as those sometimes used in macro photography.The Canon EOS 5D weighs in at 32 oz (the Mark III is slightly higher at 33.5 oz). While this is twice the weight of the simpler point-and-shoot Canon PowerShot, it is still well below the heftier Canon EOS-1D series’ 48-56 oz weight. It is built tough with a magnesium alloy and stainless steel chassis. There is a slight drawback in its design since it is not sealed against dust and weather. This will be more significant for landscape photographers who work in harsh environments.The battery should last for around 800 shots at room temperature; though, the low-power indicator will show when it is at half-power and begin flashing at 25% power. If you are working in colder climates, the battery could die twice as quickly. There is an optional battery grip for the Canon EOS 5D that can double your battery power, though it will come with additional weight. The battery takes 90 minutes to charge.

Pricing

Canon EOS 5D Camera

Image by dujin yun from Pixabay

The Canon EOS 5D has had four variations. The original 5D is usually only available used and ranges from around $350 for the body only (without any lenses) to $1,200 for a used body and lens. The newest Canon EOS 5D Mark IV typically sells for around $3,000 new without any lenses or accessories. With lenses and accessories, you can purchase a Mark IV bundle for $4,000 to $4,500.

How It Compares

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.     

  • Nikon D7200
  • Pentax K-S2
  • Nikon D5500

Canon EOS 5D

Canon EOS 5D 12.8 MP Digital SLR Camera with EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens
  • 12.8-megapixel CCD captures images up to 4,368 x 2,912 pixels
  • 2.5-inch LCD screen can be viewed even at extreme angles of up to 170 degrees
  • Consecutive shooting allows the capture of 3.0 frames per second for up to 60 consecutive JPEG or 17 RAW frames in a burst
  • Includes EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM lens
  • Captures images on CompactFlash Type I and Type II cards, compatible with cards of 2 GB capacity and larger

Ease of Use

The Canon EOS 5D is not intended for beginner photographers. Since many of the easy-to-use modes have been removed, this model is more suitable for advanced hobbyists and professional photographers. Advanced photographers will appreciate the custom user setting mode though the function of this setting could be improved.

Performance

The 5D has high-quality noise reduction and auto-focus features. The frame rate is somewhat lacking in continuous shooting mode. However, it makes up for this drawback with a full-frame and 12.8 megapixels.

Design Quality

The body of the 5D is built rugged with a magnesium alloy and stainless steel chassis. This camera should stand up well in most situations. The fact that it hasn’t been sealed to prevent dust or weather affecting the camera could be too much of a detractor for a few photographers, but most will find it suitable for their purposes.

Warranty

Canon offers limited warranties to repair or replace damages due to manufacturers defects. These warranties last for one year from the date of original purchase and will not qualify for the purchase of used cameras.

PROS

  • Full-frame 35 mm sensor and 96% viewfinder
  • Low noise levels for ISO 50 to 3200
  • Quiet shutter sound
  • Custom user settings
  • Accurate and quick autofocus with 15 auto-focus points
  • Good battery life (800 shots at room temperature)

CONS

  • Relatively slow 3 fps continuous shooting rate
  • Not sealed against dust and weather
  • No easy-to-use modes, like portrait or landscape

Nikon D7200

Sale
Nikon D7200 DX-format DSLR Body (Black)
  • 24.2 MP DX-format CMOS image sensor
  • No Optical Low-Pass Filter (OLPF)
  • 51 point autofocus system
  • 6 frames per second (fps) shooting capacity
  • EXPEED 4 image processing; ISO Sensitivity: ISO 100 - 25,600.Lens mount: Nikon F mount, (with AF coupling and AF contacts)

The 24.2 megapixel Nikon D7200, while not a full-frame camera, offers features that excel in areas that the Canon EOS 5D is lacking. Its continuous shooting mode is twice as fast as the 5D, shooting at 6 or 7 frames per second, depending on the zoom level. It is also dust- and weather-sealed, a necessary feature for some landscape and wildlife photographers that work in harsh conditions.The Canon’s 15 point auto-focus system, while fast and accurate, can’t compete with the D7200’s 51 point auto-focus system. Even with the extra points for detection, the auto-focus works at lightning speeds. The Nikon D7200 has an impressive ISO range, going from ISO 100 to 25,600.  However, the noise above ISO 800 affects the quality of the image, and after ISO 6400 the images are less usable.

Ease of Use

Like the Canon EOS 5D, the Nikon D7200 is intended for more advanced users. The auto-focus is one of the best on the market with lightning-fast 51 point auto-focus detection.

Performance

The ISO range is impressive and produces high-quality images even in low-light situations at ISO 3200 to 6400. Continuous shooting allows for up to 7 frames per second, a significant improvement over the Canon’s slow 3 fps.

Design Quality

The Nikon D7200 is designed for heavy use with a magnesium alloy frame. It is also much lighter than 5D, weighing only 27 ounces. It is also dust and weather sealed.

Warranty

Nikon offers limited warranties to repair or replace damages due to manufacturers defects. These warranties last for one year from the date of original purchase and will not qualify for the purchase of used cameras.

PROS

  • 24.2 mega-pixel DSLR
  • 6 to 7 fps rate in continuous shooting mode
  • Dust and weather sealed
  • Fast and accurate auto-focus with 51 auto-focus points
  • Low noise at ISO 100 to 800, some noise ISO 800 to 6400
  • Lightweight at only 27-ounces
  • 3.2 inch LCD
  • Built-in Wi-Fi compatibility
  • 2,000 shots for each battery charge

CONS

  • 1.3 crop sensor instead of full-frame
  • The display is not touchscreen
  • The build is not as sleek as other models
  • Relatively expensive for not being full-frame

Pentax K-S2

Pentax K-S2 20MP DSLR Two Lens Kit w/ 18-50mm WR & 50-200mm WR (Black)
  • 20 MP AA filter less APS-C CMOS Sensor w/ISO Speeds up to 51200
  • In camera Wi-Fi with dedicated Wi-Fi connect button/dedicated "selfie" mode
  • Large High-Resolution 3 inch variable angle swing out LCD Monitor (921K Dots)
  • Fully Weather-sealed, Dustproof, Cold proof Design w/in body shake reduction
  • 4K interval movie capture & 1080P h.264 HD video

 The Pentax K-S2 is another cropped-frame DSLR that is a good alternative for those not wanting to spend as much for the full-frame of the Canon EOS 5D, or aren’t willing to sacrifice dust-proof and weatherproof sealing.

Ease of Use

The K-S2 is easy to use. Beginners report getting up and running almost immediately despite DSLRs being more complex cameras. The swing-out display is particularly useful in a variety of situations, and the dust- and weather-proofing mean that photographers don’t need to worry about the environment when out on location. 

Performance

Pentax offers robust image stabilization and a decent frame per second rate (5.2 fps) on its K-S2. However, the rating is reduced to 3-stars due to issues with poor battery life and a somewhat limited 11 point auto-focus system.

Design Quality

The nice thing about the K-S2 is that it’s lightweight, at only 24 ounces and is dust- and weatherproof. Unfortunately, the plastic body means that photographers risk breaking this camera over the years if they aren’t careful.

Warranty

Pentax cameras purchased from authorized dealers are eligible for a limited warranty to repair or replace damages due to manufacturers defects. Pentax warranties are valid for 90 days after the date of purchase.

PROS

  • Dust and weather sealed
  • Image stabilization
  • 5 fps in continuous shooting mode
  • 3 inch swing-out LCD with 100% coverage
  • Smartphone app to remotely control the camera
  • 24-ounce body weight
  • Built-in Wi-Fi compatibility

CONS

  • Less durable body made from plastic
  • 11 point auto-focus somewhat behind competitors
  • Crop sensor
  • 400 shots per battery charge in optimal conditions

Nikon D5500

Nikon D5500 DX-format Digital SLR Body (Black)
  • 24.2 MP DX-format CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter (OLPF)
  • 39-point Autofocus (AF) system
  • 5 frames per second continuous shooting
  • ISO 100 - 25,600
  • High resolution, vari-angle LCD with familiar, smartphone-like touchscreen for easy use

Unlike some of the other options listed here, the Nikon D5500 is a 24.2 megapixel DSLR that is suitable for beginners as well as intermediate photographers. It offers easy-to-use features that a photographer new to DSLRs will appreciate. The D5500 is significantly lighter than other models, thanks to its rugged thermoplastic shell.

Ease of Use

The Nikon D5500 is extremely easy to use and has features that make it a great option for beginners and intermediate photographers alike. Beginners will appreciate the artistic filters readily available on the camera. However, more advanced photographers may desire a camera with more manual function options available for creating custom settings.

Performance

The D5500 has a decent frame per second rate when in continuous shooting mode, at 5 fps. The 24.2 megapixels allow for superior detail when cropping images, even though it isn’t a full-frame camera. The ISO ranges from ISO 100 to 25,600. Unfortunately, noise levels begin to degrade the quality of the image significantly beyond ISO 3,200. 

Design Quality

While the carbon-reinforced thermoplastic shell is not quite as durable as a magnesium alloy frame would be, it does offer significant improvements in strength and durability over other plastic cameras. The thermoplastic shell is more closely comparable to metal chassis cameras. Nikon uses an injection-molding machine to create a structural skin with superior rigidity and strength. The process allows for a much lighter-weight and cheaper camera without sacrificing its durability.

Warranty

Nikon offers limited warranties to repair or replace damages due to manufacturers defects. These warranties last for one year from the date of original purchase and will not qualify for the purchase of used cameras.

PROS

  • 24.2-megapixel camera
  • Thermoplastic shell reinforced with carbon fiber
  • 3.2-inch swing-out, variable-angle touchscreen display
  • 39 point auto-focus system
  • ISO ranges from ISO 100 to 25,600
  • 5 fps continuous shooting
  • Smartphone app to remote control the camera
  • Built-in Wi-Fi compatibility
  • Super light 17-ounce weight

CONS

  • Autofocus slows when using live view mode
  • Noise begins to significantly affect image quality at ISO 3,200
  • Small buttons on the back
  • Crop sensor
  • 95% optical viewfinder
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Conclusion

Canon EOS 5D Camera

Image by dujin yun from Pixabay

The Canon EOS 5D is an attractive option for professional and advanced hobby photographers. Photographers will particularly appreciate the ease of saving and using custom user settings.The 5D is ideal for many professional photographers in a variety of situations, but would not be a good choice for sports photographers or some wildlife photographers. Photographers who rely on fast continuous shooting rates to get the perfect image of moving subjects will not appreciate the Canon EOS 5D’s slow 3 frames per second rate.

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