Canon EOS 5D review

First released in November 2005, Canon EOS 5D is certainly a 13.0MP Semi-Pro DSLR camera with a Full frame (36 x 24 mm ) sized CMOS sensor. Canon later replaced 5D with 5D Mark II. Stick to the link to read our in-depth comparison of these cameras:

Canon’s press material for the EOS 5D claims that it ‘defines (a) new D-SLR category’, while we’re not typically too concerned with marketing talk this particular statement is clearly quite accurate. The EOS 5D is unlike any prior digital SLR in that it combines a full-frame (35 mm sized) high resolution sensor (12.8 megapixels) with a relatively compact body (slightly larger than the EOS 20D, although in your hand it feels noticeable ‘chunkier’). The EOS 5D is normally aimed to slot in between the EOS 20D and the EOS-1D professional digital SLR’s, an important difference when compared to the latter is that the EOS 5D doesn’t have any environmental seals. While Canon doesn’t specifically refer to the EOS 5D as a ‘professional’ digital SLR it will have obvious appeal to specialists who want a high-quality DSLR in a body lighter than the EOS-1D.

Update: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Review

Check Out: Best Lenses for Canon EOS 5D

Canon EOS 5D: Price

Canon 5D is a member of Canon’s 5D series of cameras. Canon’s EOS 5D cameras are probably the best selling Full-Frame DSLR cameras of all time overall, very popular amongst professional photographers and serious amateurs, even though their sales decreasing in recent years due to rising mirrorless FF cameras like Sony A, Nikon Z, and Canon’s very own R series.

Canon 5D has a 13.0MP Full-Frame (36 x 24 mm ) sized CMOS sensor and features a Digic II processor. You can shoot at a maximum resolution of 4368 x 2912 pixels with factor ratios of and 3:2. 5D includes a native ISO range of 100 – 3200 and it can save files in RAW format which gives you a wider area for post-processing.

My initial description of the EOS 5D in comparison with the EOS 20D was ‘chunkier’, and I still think that’s a fair comment. It’s actually not that much larger compared to the EOS 20D, about 8 mm (⅓ inches) wider and taller but thanks to a remolded and grip (which now has a finger hook) and its extra weight (125 g / 4.4 oz) the EOS 5D does create the impression that it is both more substantial and more robust. Other than this the EOS 5D does look remarkably similar to the EOS 20D, also the control layout on the rear of the camera is usually virtually identical. The intention, of course, is definitely to tempt existing EOS 20D owners to upgrade with the least amount of fuss.

Canon 5D is not the highest resolution full-frame camera. Sony A7R IV with its 61.0MP sensor can be leading in this class. Check the evaluation of Canon 5D vs Sony A7R IV or have a look at the Highest quality DSLR cameras list.

DxOMark is certainly a benchmark that scientifically assesses the image quality of camera sensors. Canon 5D sensor offers been tested by DxO Mark and got an overall score of 71 for its image quality. You will find the details of their analysis of Canon 5D here.

Let’s look at how the size of the Canon 5D’s Full-frame sensor compares with other standard sensor sizes.

Canon 5D: Body-Specs

Canon 5D weighs 895 g (1.97 lb / 31.57 oz) and has external measurements of 152 x 113 x 75 mm (5.98 x 4.45 x 2.95″). Considering that the average pounds of DSLR type cameras is 773g, its excess weight is about average in its course. With a thickness of 75mm, it also has an average thickness.

Weather Sealing

Canon 5D provides environmental sealings on its body which makes it a weather conditions resistant camera, providing resistance against the water and dust getting into the camera. If you like outdoors digital photography and want to be able to use your camera in severe conditions, Canon 5D will serve you well. If you attach one of these Canon 5D weather conditions Sealed lenses to your camera, you will have a great all-weather kit.

LCD and Viewfinder

Canon 5D includes a Fixed Type 2.5″ LCD screen with a resolution of 230k dots. At only 2.5″, the display screen is on the smaller side and 230kdot resolution is lower than most of the recent versions in this class.

5D has a built-in Optical (pentaprism) viewfinder. The viewfinder has insurance coverage of 96% and a magnification ratio of 0.71x. 96% coverage means that what you discover in your viewfinder while shooting will slightly be different from the actual picture.

Max Shutter speed

Canon 5D can shoot continually at max swiftness of 3 fps and has max shutter quickness of 1/8000 sec.


Unfortunately, 5D does not have a built-in flash but it has a flash shoe for mounting exterior flashes.


Canon 5D features a Phase Detection autofocusing system. The AF program has 9 points to pick from.

Video Features

Unfortunately Canon 5D doesn’t have Video recording ability.

Connectivity and Storage

Canon 5D has a USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) port to connect your camera to additional devices.

Canon EOS 5D: Battery

Canon 5D is driven by a battery that provides a shooting existence of 400 regarding CIPA standards. Due to the fact the average battery lifestyle of DSLR type digital cameras is 911 pictures, Canon 5D includes a short battery life because of its class so we strongly recommend 5D owners to buy some extra batteries.

Canon EOS 5D: Conclusion

A lower-priced full-frame digital SLR was a logical step for Canon, the only thing we weren’t sure of was how that camera would look when it arrived. Up until now if you needed a Canon mount full-frame camera you would go for the EOS-1Ds / Mark II or the today discontinued Kodak Pro SLR/c. Since the advent of the digital SLR many photographers have been looking forward to the day they could (afford to) buy a body with a full-body sensor which would indicate the ‘complete transition’ of 35 mm picture taking into digital.

The EOS 5D using its sub-$4,000 price tag was introduced to a fairly rapturous reception among existing Canon owners right here on DSLRCameraSearch and also the two ends of the spectrum from various other brand owners; everything from jealousy and incredulous dismissal. It’s pretty very clear that two camps have now established themselves, several people have nailed their preference to the wall, getting in the “Full Frame or nothing” group or the “Cropped is better” group.

The task for us in this review was an interesting one, first of all, we had to review the camera in the same way we would any other DSLR but also to explore many of the assumed advantages and disadvantages, myths and information around full-frame. The results of our ‘extended test suite’ were a confirmation of what we expected (and knew), that a full-frame camera fully exposes the limits of the lens used and that simply because the pixel pitch is normally larger we aren’t automatically going to get the more dynamic range and lower noise. (Remember the EOS 5Ds pixel pitch is the same as the EOS-1D Mark II).


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