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166 of 170 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Major positives and minor negatives
Here are the basics that I considered and have found out from about 9 months of ownership. Keep in mind opinions on photography equipment varies greatly by the user and what the equipment is used for so while I think the 5D is near-perfect, others might not.

While the positives and negatives seem even in number, the positives FAR outweigh the negatives. I have...
Published on February 21, 2007 by Ahamed B. Iqbal

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548 of 762 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Bag...
PLEASE READ MY MOST RECENT POST IN THE COMMENTS SECTION ON 11/30/07 FOR UPDATES AND RESPONSES TO THIS REVIEW. THANKS.

I purchased this camera a little over a month ago. I have since sold it, and switched to using Nikon. I can no longer support Canon, and this saddens me, for I grew up using Canon since I was 8 years old. Here is why I gave this camera 2...
Published on June 23, 2006 by M. Ryley


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166 of 170 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Major positives and minor negatives, February 21, 2007
This review is from: Canon EOS 5D 12.8 MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (Electronics)
Here are the basics that I considered and have found out from about 9 months of ownership. Keep in mind opinions on photography equipment varies greatly by the user and what the equipment is used for so while I think the 5D is near-perfect, others might not.

While the positives and negatives seem even in number, the positives FAR outweigh the negatives. I have no regrets about my purchase.

Positives
+Full frame sensor: allows me to acheive true wide angle photographs with no crop factor
+Image size: I have had a number of large (20"x30") prints made and the results are flawless
+Ability to shoot in RAW: While the files are huge (12MB+ each), the information and options this format provides has really expanded my technical and creative abilities.
+Build quality: While I haven't tried the true Canon Pro series (1 series), the 5D is pleasantly sturdy and feels solid in my hands. I can see how some might find it too heavy, especially with an L series lens.

Negatives-
-Lens requirements: Because of the full frame sensor, the 5D brings out the best (and worst) out of the corners and edges of your lenses. You will be able to tell a lesser quality lens more easily on the 5D than on a cropped sensor lens. The obvious negative is that better lenses like the L-series are generally much more expensive ($600+)
-No flash: Not a big deal to me but I've noticed that people are surprised when they see the 5D has no flash. This doesn't matter that much since built in flashes are rarely useful in most situations.
-Dust in sensor: Make sure you get a good sensor cleaning kit shortly after getting the 5D. There are steps you can take to minimize dust like changing lenses rarely and always indoors but you will need to clean the sensor every few months depending on use. To test if you need to clean (on any DSLR), put the camera on a tripod or flat surface, point it at a white wall , focus, and shoot with a long exposure and small aperture (5+ seconds and f/16 or smaller). If there is any junk on your sensor you should see it.
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78 of 79 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Should be 4 and half stars, December 12, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon EOS 5D 12.8 MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (Electronics)
The 5D is worth it, and then some. I'd buy it again in a heartbeat. Visually it performs better than anything else I've seen. I'm VERY attached to 35mm and this camera either matches film (beautiful tones; sumptuous shadow detail) or outperforms film by a margin (flexibility, detail, the utter lack of noise at high ISO settings).

I completely disagree with the assertion elsewhere that vignetting is inevitable. I shoot wide open almost all the time because I dislike flash. You'll find me indoors in the dark Seattle winter with the aperture wide and the ISO cranked to 800. The low noise/high resolution sensor is perfect for this. It out performs my 30D by a huge margin under such conditions.

Build quality? There's probably a grain of truth there. I hear the Nikons are better sealed, but the 5D feels neither cheap nor shoddy.

I use both the cheapy 50mm/f1.8 and the expensive 24-70 f2.8L series. They only time I've seen any vignetting is when shooting - CORRECTION - when shooting with a too cheap Hoya Polarizer attached. [ORIGINAL TEXT - when shooting at 24mm under bright sunlight; f4.0 to f8; I see some light roll-off in the corners as noted by M.Ryley, but none of the softness that he mentions]
This phenomenon is simply not there at all with longer focal lengths.

As for speed - maybe I have faster CF cards since I bought them recently, but this hasn't been an issue for me at all. However, I do prefer to use my faster 30D for sporting events where speed is of the essence.

I'm a semi-pro; I've been taking picture for over 20 years. I asked 5 full time professionals and a few gifted amateurs to recommend a camera before I made this purchase. Every one of them recommended the 5D - citing image quality. It gives probably three-quarters of the performance of the 1D at only one third of the price.

I recommend this camera.
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133 of 139 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Camera for both professional and amateurs alike!, January 4, 2007
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This review is from: Canon EOS 5D 12.8 MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (Electronics)
This is one of the greatest things ever in my opinion for both professional, and amateur photographer. Af least, it was for year 2006.

And I am very happy to tell everyone that many of my current works for magazine are actually using this wonderful camera.

There are several distinct advantage using this camera in the professional environment.

1. They are affordable full size sensor camera. Output quality will meets most of requirement given by the client.

2. Battery is interchangeable with 20/30D, so it is ideal candidate for 2 camera configuration with 20D/30D.

3. As far as Portrait photography are concern, it is currently one of the best in image quality and compared to the 1DS's older design sensor, when situation is ideal, it sometimes create superior result.

4. Very low ISO noise, it is really useful for anyone who frequently shoot for low available light situation. ISO800 was useable even for the magazine purpose.

5. Relatively lower shutter noise compared to the 20/30D that are helpful for some of noise sensitive shoot.

6. Availability of third party add on are actually important to me when I looked for camera. 5D is very good with availability and compatibility or such 3rd party equipment. And I am very happy to use many of 3rd party products with 5D.

1DS, due to the its form, has major difficulty with some of affordable 3rd party tool, most notably bellows system.

7. Weight is considerably less compared to the 1DS series and it is still full sensor size camera.

8. DOF of full size sensor camera thus great Bokeh can be archived if used with great lens.

9. Ability to shoot AdobeRGB color space RAW format

10. Fairly easy to find additional equipment at the local camera store, when you are on the road (I think

that is very important)

There are some disadvantage for this camera

1. It is 12.8M pixel despite the fact it is full sensor (or Leica format) size and it is 4M pixel smaller than 1DS MKII. And there are few occasion, it will not be enough for the given assignment(You really need to consider type of work you do)

2. It does have lower burst rate compared to 1D MKII or 20/30D that is not exactly ideal for the performance art, sports events, or outdoor bird photography.

Due to that fact, I normally bring my 20D with me, so if I need decent burst rate, I will rely upon my 20D instead.

3.It is not weather sealed, thus, you really cannot take it out when weather is not exactly ideal without shortening camera's life. So, it is not ideal camera for field photographer who shoot at challenging environment.

4. It is still expensive for the amateur and, it is still expensive for the professional photographer with rather low fee structure.

5. 9 point sensor is more than enough for the most of people. It is however, not for the some of professional who requires quick focus and shoot. It is bit frustrating to work with its AF, if you are used to with 45 point sensor of 1D/1DS series.
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will love it! It's real., July 11, 2007
By 
Bruce Fields (New York, New York USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Canon EOS 5D 12.8 MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (Electronics)
I've been shooting professionally since the 70's and most of my work has been in the still life arena. My personal interests have always been more in the area of portraits, landscapes and street shooting (Cartier-Bresson is one of my icons). View cameras and mid-format were my mainstay until I had to start using digital and I came in early, buying the then new Kodak DCS-560 which was the EOS 1N converted to digital and providing state of the art at that time (6.2 MP), for the humble sum of $25,000. Yes, that's right.

I used it as a studio camera and got decent results, pleasing most clients. In later years I rented the latest top runners for jobs as needed and the last one I used in this way was the Mark II. It was great to shoot with and I was able to produce 30x40 tack sharp portrait posters for the client with no trouble, using the RAW files it produced.

So why all this yaddayadda you might ask? Only to establish a) I have a base of experience which may be of some value and b) I am probably pretty fussy about my equipment.

With this being said I bought the 5D because I believed it would give me what I needed (and wanted). I could have bought the Mark III, but I was looking for a camera to do what the 5D does and didn't require the extra features of the Mark III, most of which are really much more technical than even most professional photographers could ever really utilize. I was concerned with what I consider "reality." The DCS-560 is the same general size, shape and weight as the Mark III. I know what it's like to carry that around the world. What would the Mark III offer me that I must have that the 5D wouldn't? Better image quality? Not really. Truth is that the 5D image quality is extraordinary and I can't think of a single purpose I will ever encounter where the supposed "improvement" of the MIII would be needed or, really, even apparent. If I were doing some really technical shot which required a feature of the MIII which the 5D lacks, I'll rent one. My opinion is it will never happen.

What about build quality? I like the fact that the MIII is weather proofed and it would be reassuring, certainly, if the 5D were as well. Again, truth is I take very good care of my equipment and always treat it with respect. I don't see myself exposing my 5D to harm by moisture (I can use a camera glove if I need to shoot in a downpour, not a very common occurrence I wouldn't think). Otherwise, the 5D is solidly built, feels very sturdy, and will not succumb to uselessness if exposed to marginal weather conditions, as long as I remain aware enough to just take proper care while using it. It's not hard to do. A journalist or someone who needs to shoot a lot in really serious weather would need to have a MIII. I don't. And that leaves burst speeds. I don't shoot sports and when I need to catch a moment in people shots where I'm looking for a particular expression, for example, the 5D speed works just fine. At a certain point, a higher burst speed is really overkill.

All cameras have strengths and weaknesses. To my thinking, the 5D's strengths are apparent: superb image quality (be sure to use the best optics. L series lenses, the 100 macro and a few others work for me), excellent build quality and finish, the best ergonomics I have ever found in a camera (shared by the EOS series as a whole) and a really great price. Compared to that $25,000 DCS I bought so many years ago (yes, the technology has advanced and the prices have come down) and even to the MIII, the price is a bargain. The only "weakness" would have to be the lack of extra insurance of a weather proofing construction.

So far my experience with this camera has been excellent. I just love it. It satisfies all my requirements and I don't feel that I am compromising any of them, simply because a higher priced and more feature filled model exists. The results I have been getting amaze me. Detail, lack of noise, color saturation and tonality, ease of operation, relative size and weight, battery life, ease of quickly changing modes and shooting parameters, the feel of it in my hands, all speak well to me. Right now it's my favorite camera. I like it so much, and it does so much of what I actually want and need, I don't think I'll be looking to replace it for quite a while. If you can embrace reality and not get sucked into hype (what you don't need), you will love it too. Highly recommended!
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259 of 287 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real winning full frame camera in a nice form factor-finally!, October 24, 2005
By 
T. Tom (SF Bay Area, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Canon EOS 5D 12.8 MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (Electronics)
This is a great camera and brings Canon's top of the range Pro line a bit closer to amateurs. In fact, it's good enough for professional use and I know of several pros using the 5d (in addition to myself). There are 4 main advantages to the 5d:

Full frame - there is no more 1.6x or 1.3x crop factor to deal with. A 50mm lens gives the same field of view as a 50mm lens on a film camera. The focal length labelled on the lens is what the body captures.

Image quality - although not as many megapixels, the 5D is comparable to even to the top of the line 1dsMKII with regards to image quality. In fact, the 5D performs even better at high ISO speed ratings 800 and above than the more than double cost 1dsMKII.

Large LCD Screen - the screen is much larger than on previous cameras, including the 1dsMKII. It's very 'photographic' and while it's not that bright when outdoors in the sunlight, it's quite nice and usable still.

Form Factor - it has a smaller form factor than the higher pro cameras and is not very heavy. This is a plus in my book. Even if you are a pro, you don't want to necessarily look like one all the time. If you do want to look like one, you can add the optional battery grip.

I would recommend this camera to anyone. I can think of zero complaints for the pro or advanced amateur photographer.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transition from Xt to a 5D, July 22, 2007
This review is from: Canon EOS 5D 12.8 MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (Electronics)
I first started out in DSLR's with a Canon Xt or 350D for the numerical crowd out there. Then recently upgraded to a Canon 5D.

The usual good-bad review.

First the good.

Resolution is far better than the Xt, obviously. Blowing up photos to poster size is no problem with the 5D. Even cropping at 100% still shows the detail in the photo (Warning: Zooming in at 100% of a photo to test its 'sharpness' is not wise. How many times do you take a developed photo and hold it close to your face to achieve 100% crop? Probably never.)

The controls are effective in the fact that I didnt accidently change a setting like I did many times with the Xt. And the scroll wheel is a fantastic feature to use, everything from scrolling through picture to scrolling through settings, it is very very effective.

Full frame.
Ahhh yes one of the reasons I upgraded. I had heard so much about this, and at first thought to myself it wouldnt be all that fantastic. WAS I EVER WRONG! Full frame (heard many times) is a dream. The coverage you get is astonishing when compared to a 1.6 camera body.
Perfect for landscape/cityscape photography. If you upgrade to a 5D you will immediately notice this. Also, if youre wondering if you should or shouldnt upgrade to a FF, my advice would to be just go for it.

ISO handling.
Another reason I upgraded. I shot my first wedding with the Xt and even though it performed like a champ, the one thing it was lacking was the ISo handling. Very grainy at 1600. The 5D is arguably the best at ISO handling. When exposed correctly (which is with any camera), the noise associated with high ISO numbers is hardly noticable.

Design.
Nice size and weight. Another plus going from the Xt to the 5D.

Viewfinder.
I have to watch my language when describing this, it is that amazing.
I am truely astonished by this thing. It is like nothing I have ever seen. Looking through it pleases my eye. Very bright, very large...no way there can be a complaint on the viewfinder. A extremely large noticable feature when compared to the Xt.

Now for the bad. Although I dont consider these "bad" as apposed to 'different'

A 50mm lens is exactly that, 50mm. With 1.6x crop cameras a 50mm would be equivalent to a 80mm on a FF camera. Some call it 'added reach' when refering to 1.6x crop cameras. If you are into sports or anything that requires as much zoom as possible this will hinder that added appearant "reach".

FPS.
The frame rate is 3fps which is the same as the Xt. For my style of shooting FPS is not a must have feature. If it is for you then dont get this camera.You will only get frustrated.

Conclusion.

An ugrade that I dont regret one bit. The FF is a true dream. The high ISO handling will come in extremely handy for my upcoming wedding. The size of it is perfect, although I will eventually get the battery grip.
Controls are nicely done. Canon really did a fantastic job on this. I would highly recommend this camera to anyone wanting to upgrade from a 10D, 20D, 30D, XT, or XTi. The only body that can better this is the 1D series.

Get it, you wont be sorry.
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it for image quality at every ISO setting, August 26, 2006
By 
PJ (GTA, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Canon EOS 5D 12.8 MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (Electronics)
After 3 decades as a Nikon 35mm film 'loyalist' I was tired of waiting for a 35mm sized digital sensor where I could use the 17mm focal length end of my expensive Nikkor 17-35mm lens (click on the comment bubble at the end of this review and read my clarification). A co-worker let me test drive his Canon 5D, Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8L USM and SanDisk Extreme III 2 GB card.

Viewing the images on his LCD computer screen helped me decide to sell everything Nikon and switch to the established DSLR leader, Canon. Finally, no more heavy and bulky Nikon F5 and having to pay and wait for film processing! No more scanning negatives for hours each night!

As an owner of the 5D, XT, EF 17-40mm f4L USM, EF 70-200mm f4L IS USM with tripod collar and Canon Speedlite 580EX, the thousands of RAW images taken in ISO's ranging from 50 to 3200 with the 5D have been truly satisfying. Note: the XT is also a winner.

The 5D's image quality stunned every person I have given 4" x 6" and 8.5" x11" colour and monochrome images to. Credit must be given to Canon's Digital Photo Professional (DPP) RAW processing software, Canon's i9900 bubblejet printer (please read my Amazon review), Canon paper and Canon ink. I rarely have to use Adobe Photoshop CS2 anymore because of DPP's quick-to-use tools.

The 5D and any one of the lenses with flash fits nicely into a Tamrac Velocity 7 bag (please read my Amazon review). The larger Tamrac Velocity 9 bag will fit the entire 2 body with lenses and flash kit but the bag is a bit awkward (please read my Amazon review).

A built-in flash would have been nice but not absolutely necessary because writing times to the CF card would have been longer delaying the next shutter release. Also, battery life would have quicky dwindled. Stick with the 580EX when flash is required.

Bottom line: If you believe that it costs Canon more to manufacturer a full-frame CMOS image sensor and don't mind spending several months salary on the 5D, go for it! Also, choose your lenses carefully. Canon L lenses go well with the 5D.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, December 16, 2006
By 
J. Wong (Portland, OR) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Canon EOS 5D 12.8 MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (Electronics)
I've had my 5D for nearly a year and have used it in a wide variety of conditions. It took about five or six months for me to really get to know the camera. Now that it and I understand each other, I'm extremely satisfied with the images it produces.

The controls are logical and well placed. The fine gradations of f-stop, ISO, and shutter speed allow great control. The grip is good and the build is very solid. While I understand that the 5D is not weather sealed by Canon standards, I've taken it on a drizzly three day backpacking trip and many rainy weekend sports events. Other than sluggish performance from cold batteries, I've never had a weather related problem.

The 5D's dynamic range is also outstanding. You may need photoshop work to rebalance light and shadows in high contrast situations. An amazing amount of tonal gradation and detail is sometimes waiting to be brought to life in the dark and bright areas of a picture.

Resolution is also outstanding. I've been very pleased with the 13X19's I've made of many landscapes. You'll want good glass for this camera, to squeeze everything you can out of that wonderful full frame sensor. I really appreciate the way the full size sensor allows you to get a full 24mm wide angle out of a lens like the 24-105mm.

Low light performance is also outstanding. I shot an Xmas program picture in a church last week from a distance of 35 feet at 105 mm and ISO 800 (1/80, 4.0), with no flash. There was faint (and manageable) noise in the shadows, but the spotlighted performers in the foreground were crisp and clear. Wow!

I miss having an in-camera flash, but the camera is almost too big and certainly weighs enough as it is. I shot a wedding and reception some months ago, with a zoom lens and an external flash on the camera all evening, and learned a lot about how much the camera weighs.

One minor complaint: the auto white balancing is not perfect. Images taken under indoor lighting without flash often have color casts. Custom white balancing works pretty well, but if you're moving through different kinds of light, you may have processing work to do.

Apart from the reservations I've stated, I'm really impressed and happy with my 5D. It's plenty of camera for even discriminating users. I think it will be at the top of the DSLR world for many years to come.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Performance and Compact Sized Full-Frame SLR, December 17, 2006
This review is from: Canon EOS 5D 12.8 MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (Electronics)
Who ever thought that people want cameras with APS, or smaller sized sensors? The lens magnification fact is extremely bothersome, and Digital-only lenses? If you are an avid film shooter, and want to switch to digital, or use a digital camera as a part of your workflow, this is THE camera to get, assuming of course you are willing to make an investment. Canon Double Rebate promotion does not hurt either. This camera has everything you would expect from a professional tool, and more. It has a bright viewfinder, thanks to a larger mirror. The focusing screen is good for general shooting, and different screens are available for specific uses. All functions are easily accessible, and most common functions are attached to hard buttons. The shutter is smooth, focusing is quick. Overall, this is an excellent camera, I just wish it was cheaper. But, you get what you pay for. I highly recommend this camera for landscape and panorama shooters, where a full frame sensor is essential.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the Full Frame Sensor, but......, September 7, 2006
By 
K. Warkman (Brooklyn, N.Y.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon EOS 5D 12.8 MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (Electronics)
This is an excellent camera. I upgraded from the EOS 20D which was also a great camera. I upgraded for a couple of reasons. The first was the Full Frame sensor. The EOS 20D has a 1.6X crop factor which effects your lenses overall focal length. On the EOS 5D you get the true focal length of your attached lens. Just like film SLR cameras. Awesome! The one problem I've noticed with the Full Frame sensor on the EOS 5D is it is huge. When you are changing lenses this sensor picks up every little piece of dust, dirt and fibers like a vacuum. I'm constantly cleaning the sensor with a blower. I also had to bring it to a Canon service center. Just to remove some of the dust off the sensor that my blower could not remove. The Canon service center was very far from my home. (Very annoying). I never experienced this problem with the EOS 20D. But, the images you get from the full frame sensor are far superior to the smaller sensor on the EOS 20D.
The other reason I upgraded was the larger LCD. The 2.5' LCD screen is a nice plus. The images look bright and sharp.
Overall I love this camera. Build, features and image quality are excellent!!!
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