Friday, July 4, 2008

Canon 5D Review

These are my thoughts on the Canon EOS 5D. I've only had the camera for a little while now but here goes:
I have previoulsy used the Canon Rebel XT and XTI so I figured that there would not be too much to learn about the new camera. I was mistaken on this point. We were going to The Fremont Street Experience the evening that it arrived. I did not have time to read the manual before we left and I neglected to take it with me assuming I could just figure it out. Most of the controls were no problem. Changing the shutter speed was pretty straight forwards as changing the ISO and white balance. It was nite time on Fremont, as usual, when we got there so I had my 580EX II on the camera. One of the ways to tone down flash in a picture is by changing the apeture on the camera. Shutter speed has no effect on the flash because flash is already so much faster than shutter speed to begin with. Trying to change to apeture on the 5D was problematic to say the least. I could not do it unless I was in Apeture Priority Mode which resulted in me losing control of the shutter speed. This was not good.
Note: I have now read the manual and figured it out. The way that you adjust the shutter speed and the apeture is much better on the 5D than the XT/XTI in my opinion.

  • Full Frame Sensor--1.6 Crop factor for the XT and XTI
  • 1/8000 shutter speed--1/4000 for the XT and XTI
  • 3200 ISO--1600 for the XT and XTI
  • One sperate control for the shutter speed and apeture--XT and XTI requires you to hold down a button and then turn a dial.
  • The battery acually ejects the battery--I often found my self gently shaking my XT/XTI trying to get the battery out.
  • Easy access to the CF card-- The CF cards on the XT/XTI were sometimes a bit harder to remove.


  • Did I mention it was HEAVY!--Not really a con because I knew that when I bought it.
  • Did I mention it was BIG!--Not really a con because I knew it when I bought it.
  • No built in flash--Again I knew this when I bought it. To me it is a Pro because with the XT and the XTI I encountered the dreaded "Error 5" related to the on board flash.
  • No sensor cleaner like the XTI has.
  • Price. I bought mine at B&H Photo . After a $300 instant rebate from Canon I paid $2,599. Best Buy sells it for $2,999. This is MUCH cheaper than you can buy it else where. B & H is a very reputable company that I have purchased from many times before with no problems. One warning to anyone wanting to buy a camera is to NEVER buy from online retailers that are based out of New York City!!!!! Especially Brooklyn. They are bait and swithers and mostly sell grey market equiptment that has NO warranty at all!!!! Buyers beware. If you do buy from one of the companies, be very careful.

Part of my collection

Above you can kind of get an idea of the size difference between the XTI and the 5D. The XT and XTI are roughly the same size and weight.

Here are two pictures that illustrate the effect of a full frame sensor and the 1.6 crop factor. Both were taken with the same lens, same settings and on a tripod at the same location. The settings were:
Exposure:0.013 sec (1/80)
Focal Length:28 mm

28mm 1.6 Crop

Canon XT.

28mm Full Frame

Canon 5D.

As can clearly be seen the 5D with a full frame sensor gives you a much larger field of view and thus allows you to get a truely wide angle shot that you could not get with cropped sensor without using a much wider lens.

There are some cons to having a full frame sensor though as illustrated below:


One being light fall off in the corners of the picture. This is called vignetting . The less expensive the lens, the more apparent it can be. It is there on cropped cameras also, but due too the cropping of the frame, it is not part of the picture. In other words, a cropped sensor only uses the best part of a lens, the center. This does not bother me much though as it is only apparent in certain types of photos, and at 12 mega pixles can easily be cropped out if needed.

Here are some more sample pictures from the 5d:

Jun_21_2008 034

C_Jun_17_2008 099

C_Jun_17_2008 081

C_Jun_17_2008 017


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