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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 15 May 2006
As a keen amateur photographer and already having a range of Canon gear I was very interested when this camera came onto the market and bought it pretty much immediately.

Before then, I used an Canon 300D which in itself is an excellent camera but suffers by not having a full-size sensor, is lacking in a number of more advanced features and is generally quite slow.

The sensor size is the key feature (and being the most expensive part of the camera the key price component) so it is important to consider whether you want a full-size sensor or a smaller one (as may be found on the EOS 30D for example). There are two schools of thought re the sensor size. On one hand, you can multiply the focal length of your lens by 1.6 (in the case of the 30D) to get the new focal length and there is therefore no difference (an 8 megapixel image will print perfectly to A4 size and probably A3 size). The limitation here is on wide angle, where you cannot get as wide a landscape view as you would with a full-size sensor. At the high focal length (eg. wildlife / sporting events) you do not lose out, but you do not benefit either, since a larger sensor would in effect contain the image from the smaller one within its image.

If you are new to SLR photography then this may not too big an issue, as you can purchase a range of lenses to meet these needs. In such a case, the EOS 30D may well be a more suitable purchase, offering most the features of the 5D at a much lower price in part as a result of the smaller sensor. In that case you are limited on wide-angle lenses and there's no L-series (the highest quality lens made by Canon) available on the EF-S lenses made especially for the smaller sensor (the superzoom lenses work on EF and EF-S mounts)

Back to the 5D, the build of the camera is superb. It feels very robust, and has an interface similar to all other EOS cameras, in particular the digital models. In that regard, the LCD screen on the back is much bigger than previous models and the scrolling control is as found on the 10D and onwards. Battery and memory card slots are exactly as on previous cameras so your old batteries and memory cards will be compatible with this one, perhaps as backup.

One of the main differences I noticed in using the 5D is how much faster it is than the 10D or 300D. As soon as you switch it on (via an irritating 3 position switch for "On"/ "Off" / "On with the wheel disabled") the camera is ready to take photos and overall you do not feel limited by the number of photos it can take before needing a breather to write everything to memory (in RAW mode as well as JPEG). The viewfinder is huge (as a result of the full-size sensor) with clear indication of which focus points are in use (there are 9 focus points, with "assist points" near the centre).

In terms of features, spot metering is included (you have manual selection of this alongside normal, partial and balanced rather than automatic as on the 300D) and you can choose the focus mode re whether to follow the subject (eg. in motor sport) or to not adjust as you reframe (eg. landscapes). It is very easy to change the ISO rating for your photo, key when taking shots in poor light. The software provided to view the images is excellent, and a download is available to import the RAW files (which are a different format to the previous Canon RAW files but seemingly compatible for 3rd party backup devices) into Adobe Photoshop.

The picture modes have been removed from the main dial (I always use shutter priority or aperture priority) although you can choose the "Picture Style" (eg. indoor, landscape) via the control panel to configure contrast, saturation, brightness for each mode.

So the downsides... well, there's no flash (it is of course fully compatible with Canon Speedlite flash as well as all E-TTL flashes) although given the results of the built-in flash on the 300D you're not missing much. The on/off switch is irritating (I haven't yet needed the middle mode), the battery compartment is not that easy to open, and at times I did think the camera was too heavy.

However, as soon as I saw the results I got from the 5D, the ease with which I was able to take the photos and control pretty much everything in a easy-to-use manner, I knew this was a superb purchase and I'm delighted. My main reasons for purchasing this were improved performance and features (notably spot metering) compared to the 300D and the opportunity with a full-size sensor to move away from film photography completely. Mission accomplished - it's superb!

All in all an excellent purchase for anyone looking to turn their back on film camera once and for all, although perhaps not that worthy an upgrade from the 10D or as a first camera purchase.
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on 14 June 2006
I recently upgraded from the 20D, and had read some mixed reviews about how much better the 5D was, one saying there is not much difference up to A4......well I am hear to tell you this is far from true.

The 5D has astonished me from the start. Having the same layout as the 20D made it an easy transition. I think the sharpness and color rendition are more than significanly better than the 20D....having the 24-105mm L series obviously helps though.

You also appreciate the full frame sensor...especially with scenery shots....

You won't need to spend as much time on Photoshop either, perhaps just the odd tweak here and there.

This is a fantastic camera and worth every penny.
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on 2 September 2008
I have had a EOS-3 and a half decent bunch of EF lenses in a lowepro bag in a cupboard since the onset of the digital age and my purchase of my first good digital camera (a FinePix S602 zoom) in 2003. Now that my scepticism of digital photography has been dispelled, it was time to re-visit my EF lens collection with a DSLR. And then I was faced with the usual full frame versus small frame dilemma. And the worry that the 5D is fairly old and due for replacement imminently. And the 1DS in its various models is way too expensive a weighs a ton. But I went for one of these and don't regret it for a second. My friend bought a 30D around the same time, so I've had the chance to play with both and the full frame sensor is just the bomb. Firstly, all my lenses are exactly what it says on the barrel - so wide lenses stay wide. And the image quality that the bigger individual pixels provides is really noticeable. Colour reproduction and saturation is excellent - even on the bog standard unadjusted settings. And if it's not to your taste, then the 5D gives you the flexibility to vary the image in a staggering number of ways. Even a range of digital filters in the B/W setting! And like my 3, it has a custom setting that recalls your personal shooting preference settings with a turn of the control dial. Super handy. And it has a greater number of custom functions than the majority of the smaller sensor models - such as the order of bracketing (for both exposure and WB), noise reduction for long exposures, and of course, turning the irritating bleep off. And like the 3, you can vary the function of the control wheel on the back, and the function of various buttons. Its a great camera to use - everything is exactly at your fingertips. On the minus side, its undoubtedly significantly heavier and larger than its small sensor rivals - but then it is reassuringly chunky with its sturdy magnesium body. Not quite as bomb proof as a the 1DS, but more robust than the baby EOS's. And the LCD is a bit small compared to the newer small frame models - but then looking at an image on the LCD doesn't tell you a great deal - especially in bright sunlight. There's no live view either, but I'm not sure how valuable that actually is. I wouldn't dream of checking focus or depth of field preview on the LCD anyway - as long as you can see the histogram alright then that's good enough for me. On that subject, the 5D picture review can show the focussing points it selected as well as the other standard shooting information - which is very handy indeed. But then, manual selection of the focussing points using your thumb on the control wheel is really easy, and I'd recommend it almost every time for non-moving subjects. All in all, this camera has reinvigorated my enthusiasm for photography and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending it to anyone, especially if you already have some 35mm EF lenses tucked away somewhere. And with the price gradually coming down to the £1100-1200 mark, it's becoming increasingly excellent value. Don't worry about it being quite old either - its still a wonderfully specified camera with awesome image flexibility and user settings. Go on - you know you really want a full frame sensor and you won't be disappointed with one of these.
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on 21 December 2013
This camera met all my expectations, it's a pity good secondhand glass isn't as affordable. The difference between this and crop-frame DSLR is astonishing - all my images look superb. You need to know how to use a camera to get the most out of it as auto mode does not give the best results. I was worried about autofocus speed on an 8 year-old camera, but it's fine, as long as you're not expecting to shoot racing cars etc. For portraits it's real peachy creamy.
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on 23 August 2013
I bought this camera 3 months ago and after about a 2 and a half months the mirror on the inside of the camera fell off and to my shock, I found that it had a big splodge of super glue on the back of it.

This seller had clearly super glued the mirror back on (which you are not supposed to do) and then lied about the description of the camera, detailing as used but in full working condition. This was falsely advertised as it obviously wasn't in full working condition it was just going to work long enough for him to be able to fob it off on someone.

Amazon has been extremely unhelpful in me getting a refund or replacement, purely because I didn't tell the seller it was faulty within two weeks of receiving it. This is clearly a load of rubbish as super glue IS going to hold for longer than two weeks and also it clearly states in their refund and return policy that if the item did not match the description that the seller had described then the customer qualifies for a refund or a return.

I strongly urge on one to buy from this person/company!! And to not fully trust that Amazon are going to follow through on their part of helping you. Terrible customer service!
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on 5 January 2011
I broke my camera body a couple of days before the new year's eve. And was desperately looking for a new one on Amazon. There I found a perfect second-hand seller, music6233. At first, I thought of buying their spare 40D camera body, which is described as almost new. but then I found they are also selling a "well-used" 5D, which suits perfectly my dream to find a full-frame body for the wide-range lens I'm using.

The listed price for the 5D they were selling was 500. But then after careful test, the seller decided to give further discount of 50 for the slightly loosened hot shoe. And they also sent me pictures taken of the camera body. To be honest, it looks far from being "well-used". So I decided in no time to make that purchase.

And it arrived today right after the holiday break for the post service. I just checked by taking some pictures both indoor and outdoor. It works as perfectly as it is supposed to be and better than the seller's description :-)

I'll definitely recommend this seller and this camera to anyone!

Thanks again! and am off to shoot right now:-)
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on 30 January 2013
A truly classic. Very good iamge qualituy sensor. Good low light senstivity. Recommende to any demanding amateur photographer. Very good aproach to the Full Frame World
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on 6 October 2016
Bought to use my EF lenses from a Canon 1200d which is now going to be stored away with less than 200 shutter counts. This camera feels substantial and takes excellent photos.
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on 6 April 2016
Excellent camera, mint conditions, very good and fast delivery...a real pleasure
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on 30 October 2014
This camera is great. I still use it as my back-up body.
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