Canon EOS 5D

Last Update: Review & Sample Photos @ CameraLabs (added on 03.11.06)

The heart of the Canon EOS 5D SLR is its all-new, specific to the 5D model, 12.8 megapixel full-frame, Canon-designed and -manufactured single-plate CMOS sensor. Each pixel is a very large 8.2µm, and is therefore able to receive a great deal of light, producing not only excellent resolution but a wide range of ISO settings and low noise levels on a par with the 8.2 megapixel EOS-1D Mark II camera. The DIGIC II Image Processor, DDR SDRAM and 4-channel reading enable an incredible burst performance of 60 Large/Fine JPEGs or 17 RAW images at 3 fps.

Canon EOS 5D
Canon EOS 5D Latest Price

REVIEWS (Last updated: 03.11.06)

CameraLabs did some test to find out whether you nee to upgrade your Canon camera to the Canon EOS 5D and concluded:
“So as we concluded in our Canon EOS 5D review, it all boils down to how much you want that full frame sensor. The 5D body prices may have fallen considerably since launch, but once you’ve taken pricier lenses (not to mention a Speedlite) into consideration, it’s still a significantly more expensive system than the 350D / XT or 30D with the EF-S 17-85mm lens. It also makes the Nikon D200 look great value.
So the 5D with a decent lens is expensive compared to the next models down in Canon’s range, but those who want high detail with low noise, not to mention one of the best viewfinder experiences in the market will justify the purchase. If it makes it any more palatable, perhaps it’s best to consider the 5D not as expensive compared to the 30D and D200, but a bargain compared to the 1Ds Mark II. It may not have mainstream appeal, but the 5D remains a decent upgrade for many Canon owners and a camera we’ve greatly enjoyed using since its launch.”

ThinkCamera have reviewed the Canon EOS 5D where they rate the camera 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. “

ePhotozine reviewed the 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.”

CameraLabs reviewed the Canon EOS 5D and wrote:
“The Nikon D200 beats the 5D in all these respects while virtually matching its resolving power and crucially coming in around £700 cheaper for the body alone. Certainly, if you have no allegiance to either company and are happy using cropped sensors with very short focal length lenses, then the D200 is a better bet. But if you’re an existing Canon SLR owner looking to upgrade, whether from digital or film, or simply someone who wants to match 35mm quality and coverage, then the 5D is a compelling proposition. Certainly if you were already considering a 30D and a decent EF-S lens, the 5D body is tantalisingly within reach. Ultimately you’re buying the 5D for the sensor, which along with Canon’s image processing, delivers superb pictures, beaten only by the high-end 1Ds Mark II.”

ImagingResource reviewed the Canon EOS 5D and wrote:
“The EOS 5D’s images show really excellent definition in the fine details. Some edge enhancement is visible along sharp, strongly contrasting images, but it’s relatively innocuous, is largely invisible and doesn’t seem to lead to loss of significant detail. (Edge enhancement creates the illusion of sharpness by enhancing colors and tones right at the edge of a rapid transition in color or tone.)……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.”

Bob Atkins reviewed the 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. “

Shutterbug reviewed the Canon EOS 5D and wrote:
“Even the first test prints I made came close to that ideal. The prints from the 5D’s raw files are quite comparable to those made from the best 35mm film scans, even those done at 5400dpi, which I used for test printing for my recent Epson R2400 report. In addition, the 5D files are incredibly consistent in image quality across a variety of quite distinct subjects. And compared to scanned film images, the raw Canon 5D images are grainless.”

Jeff Keller has posted his review on Canon EOS 5D and wrote:
“I have one thing to say about those results: WOW. Noise levels are incredibly low, even at ISO 1600, which is the cleanest image I’ve seen yet in this test. You should be able to make large prints without any issues on this camera.
Overall the EOS-5D’s photo quality was excellent. The camera took well-exposed photos with accurate color and low purple fringing levels. As for noise? Well, there isn’t much, as you’ve hopefully seen in these tests. I took many photos at the big SF Auto Show back in November at ISO 1000 and above, and all of the pictures could be printed at 8 x 10 or larger. As is the case with all D-SLRs, Canon has the in-camera sharpening turned way down, and if you want things to be sharper you can either increase that, or just post-process in Photoshop. “

Larry Greenhill reviewed the Canon EOS 5D @ PhotographyReview and wrote:
“At ISO 100, the EOS 5D’s image quality is clean and smooth, with no artifacts or jaggies. Noise in the shadows is minimal all the way up to ISO 800. The sample images taken in the forest (see right) reveal detail in the shadows, both at the corners and at the center of the image. Some mild noise becomes detectible at ISO 1600. See the controlled studio tests to best evaluate image quality and compare with other cameras. The 5D’s color reproduction was impressive, both in dynamic range, depth, and ability to register what was there.
The Canon EOS 5D lives up to the hype. It breaks new ground with its full-frame sensor and huge rear panel LCD. Comparing it to Canon’s $7,999 flagship EOS 1Ds Mark II tells it all. The 5D offers a comparable full-frame sensor but beats the more expensive Canon with its lightweight construction, simple control layout, simplified menu, and a much larger LCD monitor. “

Eamon Hickey just reviewed Canon EOS 5D and gave it 7.9 out of 10 (Very Good) at CNET. In conclusion he wrote:
“The good: Top-notch, high-resolution images; 35mm-size sensor obviates focal-length conversions; big 2.5-inch LCD; unmatched low-noise images at ISO 1,600 and 3,200.
The bad: Overall build quality and performance typical of much cheaper cameras; no constant ISO display; images show occasional red fringing around highlight transitions; automatic white balance occasionally inconsistent.
Our test images from the Canon EOS 5D are superb overall. Its 12.8-megapixel sensor delivers loads of detail and smooth, rich tonality. The dynamic range in our photos equaled–or bested–the results from every other dSLR we’ve tested, with the exception of the Fujifilm S3 Pro. Noise in our ISO 1,600 and 3,200 test images is astonishingly low, yet detail is retained. It was easy for us to get natural, smooth skin tones with many complexions. All in all, this camera is a top choice for shooting portraits, still-lifes, landscapes, architecture, and some kinds of commercial studio subjects, especially if you need or want to make 16×20 or larger prints.”

George N. Nyman published a personal comparison with samples of Canon EOS 5D with Nikon D2x and wrote:
“The Canon 5D is a very attractive camera but still, the contrast rendition is not really close to perfect as the overall image contrast is pretty high. There are subprograms which allow for a slightly smoother contrast with less steep curves – and this helps a bit, but still, I do see in critically illuminated scenes too much contrast in the digital shots.
The color rendition on the other hand is very brilliant – the 5D is a color-friendly camera, the images are very pleasing but sometimes maybe a bit too colorful – this can be adjusted as well, but using the standard shooting modes, for my liking. the colors are a tiny bit too colorful.
Something else which I think I should mention is the fact that for my liking the images of the 5D are a bit too soft – they need considerably more sharpening to be crispy than the ones coming out of the Nikon D2X. At very first glance, one could think that the resolution is slightly limited, but no, all the details are existent, they are just very soft and this creates this initial feeling that the images are a tiny bit out of focus – but they are not. When you compare the raw images (in their initial factory default settings) of both cameras, of the 5D and the D2X, you immediately see the difference between them – Nikon’s default raw image is crispier and a bit less colorful whereas Canon’s default raw image is more colorful and a bit less crispy.”

Let’s Go Digital just posted their review on Canon EOS 5D DSLR Camera and wrote:
“Impressive is the Canon EOS 5D certainly where image quality is concerned in combination with the new EF 24-105 f/4 L IS USM lens. The sharpness is outstandingly high and the colour reproduction especially accurate. Picture Style lets you adjust it to your own taste. What’s more is the fact that the new Canon EOS 5D excels on noise and dynamic range. Moreover, ISO 3200 can be used perfectly for high quality prints and in light as well as dark areas the detail remains clearly visible. This is really impressive; you have to see it to believe it. The Canon 5D and the EOS-1D Mark II N are similar in this case. For the competitors it will be a hard nut to crack! ”
… 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!

Mike Chaney compared the image quality on Canon EOS 20D VS Canon EOS 5D and wrote:
“The 5D is certainly an excellent camera in every respect. In addition to fantastic image quality, it also boasts long awaited features like a real spot metering mode and an LCD preview screen that is huge in comparison to the 20D and its predecessors. I’ll leave playing with the controls and taking the “money shots” to the other reviewers but I’ve certainly enjoyed my head to head comparison and hope that others can benefit from the information here. Say what you like about form factors, 1.5x – 1.6x versus full frame, but I suspect full frame sensors might be here to stay after these initial entries come down in price a bit. And for those of you who don’t want to give up your 20D for a 5D because you do a lot of telephoto shots and you actually like the 1.6x form factor, remember that the 20D might have a 1.6x form factor to get you closer with telephoto but the 5D has 1.25x the pixels as the 20D on both axes so you can recover at least some of that extra magnification by just cropping your photos since you have so many pixels to work with.”

Ronan Burke, a wedding photographer had his hands on the new Canon EOS 5D and Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS from his last wedding job and wrote:
“Image quality from the pair: I’m don’t use any form of in-camera sharpening or colour tweaking so I can’t comment on any of these. Opening the image Canon Raw and processing it from there results in excellent images for my purposes. Skins are silky smooth: a quality I like from Canon DSLRs. Images definitely need more sharpening than those straight from the 1Ds. For an A3 print I’d generally sharpen a 1Ds image (using CS2’s smart sharpen) by 100%, Radius 1. To get the same results from the 5D meant using around 150%,1. However there is so little ‘noise’ that I don’t see this as a problem. Exposure latitude seems excellent. The couple in shade and the background sunny didn’t cause any problems: the background is bright but not unnatural. To check my sharpness theory I shot images of a CD box outside with the 1Ds and the 5D, both with an EF50 f1.8 set to F8 (I used CD boxes to see how easy the bar codes are to read). The 1Ds definitly has more detail to start with. I also did the same test at f1.8 to check there was no forward or back focus problem that apparently affected early 10Ds.”

Philip Harle comparing the EOS 5D/24-105 f4L IS combination with its precedessor, the EOS 20D with 17-85 f4-5.6L and wrote:
“The 5D and “L” lens, as might be expected, is a little better, but the chromatic aberration is still fairly minging. At 3200ASA, it’s a different story. Both results are softer and noiser, but the 5D is clearly the better of the two.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.”

Michael Reichmann has just posted his field report on a pre-production Canon EOS 5D at Luminous Landscape and wrote:
“The 5D produces images essentially as good as those from the 1Ds MKII – and that’s about as good as it gets. It has slightly lower resolution, of course, but with some theoretical advantages associated with larger pixel size and more recent sensor chip design.
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. “

Doug Harman from had his first look on Canon EOS 5D and wrote:
“What we have here is a very highly specified machine indeed, but given its professional bent, there are a couple of surprising omissions. There’s no water or dust resistance and there’s no sound memo feature. While the latter is a minor omission, the former may be off putting, particularly for any professional that regularly shoots outdoors. However, given the projected pricing of the new camera of around £2540 it is still very temping, we’ll just have to wait until the review sample arrives to see just how well it performs in earnest rather than the hands on look we got while at the launch. ”

Joey Terrill’s, a magazine photographer based in Los Angeles, comments on Canon EOS 5D:
“The Canon EOS 5D looks to be everything I’ve been waiting for in a DSLR camera. If the image quality is everything that I anticipate from Canon, then I will most likely acquire two as soon as they’re available. The pixel count, buffer size, feature list and weight are all very appealing and the price makes acquiring one seem more like a buying a camera and less like buying a car.”

Bob Atkins compared the Canon EOS 5D, Canon EOS 20d and Canon EOS 1D MkII N and wrote:
“Tough choice. 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”

Dennis Hissink from Let’s Go Digital had his hands on Canon EOS 5D DSLR Camera and wrote:
“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. Together the combination feels solid as a rock.

The button lay-out of the Canon 5D is very simple, you might expect a whole bunch of buttons to control this high-end model, but in fact it all seems very user-friendly and easy. Very handy is the new features that enables to save certain camera settings to the C position of the Mode Dial.”

SAMPLE PHOTOS (last update:03.11.06)

– Ron Eggers has posted three samples from Canon EOS 5D which are available at full size resolution at PPMag.

Click to see Canon EOS 5D samples

Canon EOS 5D sample photo gallery @ DCRP

– Our sample pictures shot with Canon EOS 5D and Sigma 12-24mm F/4.5-5.6 EX DG (real world and 100% crop test shots)

– Our sample pictures shot with Canon EOS 5D and Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L (100% crop)

– DoctorG1 has posted some sample pictures of his new Canon EOS 5D with Canon EF 28-300L f/3.5-5.6L IS USM at his fotopic gallery. He also commented:

“I really love this lens and camera combo , its close focus abilities at all focal lengths are wonderful and its range is just sublime”

Please click on the image above to enter the gallery

– Francesco has posted his personal test of Canon EOS 5d with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM

Please click on the image above to visit his gallery

– Jos has posted sample photos of Canon EOS 5d with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM at his smugmug gallery

Please click on the image above to visit the gallery.

– A gallery with around 100 beautiful samples of Canon EOS 5D with Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8, hand held at ISO 1600 has been posted at

Please click to the image above to enter the gallery

– Canon EOS 5D 1/160s f/16.0 at 100.0mm iso250 Portrait
Sample 1, Sample 2, Sample 3 (posted by Ron Purdy)
gallery 1 (posted at Canon Japan)
Canon EOS 5D sample photos gallery 3 (posted at Luminous Landscape)
Canon EOS 5D sample photos gallery 4 with ISO 3200 samples (@
Canon EOS 5D VS Canon 1DS MKIIsample photos gallery (posted at MR. X)
Canon EOS 5D with Canon 100-400mm IS (posted by Bob Rahto)
Canon EOS 5D @ ISO 3200 Samples (posted by Daniel Bayer)


EOS 5D or 1D Mark II
Canon 20D v Canon 5D
Canon 5D sample image makes 17-40 look bad!
Canon 5D @ 16mm


– Download Canon EOS5D User Manual (PDF, 4.40 MB)


The EOS 5D’s CMOS advantage (PDF)
The dawn of EOS (PDF)
The DIGIC II image processor (PDF)
Picture Style (PDF)
The full frame advantage (PDF)
Canon EOS 5D White Paper (PDF)

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