Canon EOS 5D
- Excellent build quality and ergonomics, Full frame sensor, Great LCD screen
- It's expensive
Canon's EOS 5D is the most affordable full-frame D-SLR yet, allowing lenses to be used without affecting their field of view. It's quite a premium to pay even considering the 12.8Mp resolution, but if you curse the cropped view of cheaper D-SLRs, this could be the camera you've been waiting for.
Price$ 4,999.00 (AUD)
Canon's EOS 5D is a 12.8 egapixel D-SLR, or digital single-lens reflex, designed for serious enthusiasts and professionals. It's the first affordable D-SLR with a full-frame sensor, widely considered to be the Holy Grail of digital photography.
That said, when we say it's affordable, we mean compared with Canon's existing full-frame D-SLR, the 16.7 megapixel EOS 1Ds Mark II. The 5D may indeed be much more wallet-friendly, but we're still talking about serious money.
The 5D's 12.8 megapixel CMOS sensor delivers images measuring 4,368x2,912 pixels that look great printed up to A3. They're recorded onto CompactFlash memory cards and as with other D-SLRs, you'll need to supply your own; best-quality jpegs typically measure between 3 and 8MB each. The 5D can take any EF-mount lens, and thanks to its full-frame sensor, their effective focal length remains unchanged. This means it's not compatible with Canon's range of EF-S lenses, though - these are designed for D-SLR bodies with physically smaller, 'cropped' sensors.
As with other D-SLRs, composition and focusing are performed using the EOS-5D's optical viewfinder alone, although the full-frame sensor means there's a proportionally larger view. This is no different from a traditional 35mm film SLR, but it feels a world apart from the cropped view of D-SLRs with smaller sensors.
Build quality and ergonomics are excellent, with the 5D looking and feeling like a slightly larger version of the earlier 20D. Measuring 152x113x75mm and weighing 810g without battery, it's also considerably smaller and lighter than Canon's flagship full-frame body, the 1Ds Mark II. The 5D may not share the full environmental sealing of the Mark II , but it's a far more portable and discrete proposition. It's also good to see Canon finally fit a decent-sized and detailed screen on the back of one of its D-SLRs: a 2.5 inch model with 230,000 pixels.
The usual Program, Auto, Manual, Shutter and Aperture Priority modes are present and correct, but this is a pro camera, so there are no scene presets. Exposures range from 1/8,000 to 30 seconds and bulb, while sensitivity runs from 50 to 3,200 ISO. Burst mode is average at 3fps (frames per second), but the buffer can handle a considerable 60 jpegs. Like other pro bodies, the EOS has no pop-up flash - only a hotshoe and PC Sync port for external lighting.
In use the 5D handles very well, starting instantly and feeling responsive. The images are unsurprisingly packed with detail and are a significant step-up from existing 6Mp and 8Mp cameras; indeed, only the 16.7 megapixel 1Ds Mark II currently out-resolves it. The physically large sensor also keeps noise levels low even at high sensitivities.
The 5D's unique selling point is of course its full-frame sensor; it's a joy to use ultra-wide lenses without compromise. Conversely, telephoto lenses may no longer have their field of view effectively multiplied, but there are plenty of pixels if you want to crop in.
The 5D is a wonderful camera, but you're paying a high premium for the full-frame sensor. D-SLRs with similar resolution but cropped sensors should arrive later this year at considerably lower prices; indeed, if you don't mind multiplying all your lenses by 1.6, stick with these cropped bodies. However, for wide-angle fanatics who want lenses to act as they would on a 35mm body and enjoy high-resolution, low-noise images, the 5D is a dream come true. It may not be cheap, but it's a relative bargain compared with the only full-frame alternative.
Canon is the only company currently producing full-frame sensors for its professional D-SLRs. These measure the same size as a frame of 35mm film, and therefore do not affect the field of view of lenses. The physically smaller sensors employed by virtually every other D-SLR (including Canon's consumer models) reduces the field of view, thereby effectively multiplying the focal lengths of all lenses by 1.6. While this can actually benefit people wanting high magnification, it clearly reduces the coverage of wide-angle lenses.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 2 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 3 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
- 4 Ford Focus ST (2015) review: Absolutely mental styling, engine, handling
- 5 LG 65-inch UHD TV (65UF950T) review
Deals on Good Gear Guide
- Networking, Wireless & VoIP
Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
- Canon goes big on resolution with 250-megapixel sensor
- Hey, Saturn, take a selfie! World's biggest digital camera will photograph the universe
- GoPro Hero4 Session: half the size, waterproof to 10 metres
- Sony wants to bring 4K video capabilities to more digital cameras
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDatabase Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTManual Test Engineer | Financial Institution | Web testingNSW
- FTSystems Administrator | National commercial law firm | MS, AWS & eDiscoveryNSW
- FTAccount Manager | Client Side - Previous Agency Experience Welcome!!NSW
- FTField EngineerNSW
- FTLevel 2 IT Support TechnicianVIC
- CCMilitary simulation programmer with C# and Unity - 3 monthsNSW
- FTSales SpecialistNSW
- FTMid level IT consultant | Systems Integration & Managed ServicesNSW
- FTProduct Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTLinux Administrator with AWS & DevopsNSW
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web Application DeveloperNSW
- FTAccount Manager | Music IndustryNSW
- FTSenior Consultant | Project work | National Systems IntegratorVIC
- FTSenior Account Manager - PR AgencyNSW
- FTDigital ManagerNSW
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW
- FT1st & 2nd level IT support all-rounder in beautiful rural BathurstNSW
- FTBusiness Development & Account ManagementNSW
- FTSystems Administrator - Managed ServicesNSW