One of the best you can buy

Dec 21, 2009
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Amazing pictures, Full frame sensor, professional quality.

Cons:Battery life, 3 fps continuous shooting speed, 75 ms shutter lag.

The Bottom Line: If you have the money, this is the camera you want. Its good enough for The Sartorialist to use in his world famous blog! Very professional.


In the past, I've won photography contests and taken photography classes and have done so using fairly inexpensive cameras. I am not a technological guy. Usually, when I buy a product, I don't read the manuals. I just explore and use it and figure it out as I go. Having said that, it is probably not going to happen with this camera because this is not a point and shoot camera. This is a camera that professional photographers can use ... or ameteur photographers with hopes of oneday becoming a professional.

At $2,000, this camera costs about as much as some of the cars I've bought over the years. So naturally, instead of buying one, I rented it to test it out and see if I could notice a big difference in this camera as opposed to the $250 cameras I have tried. Saying that there isn't a noticeable difference would be like driving a Ferrarri and saying 'So what is the fuss all about?' This camera is a very different thing than a camera you'd buy at Best Buy for $250.

The thing that made me choose this camera is that it is the same one used by The Sartorialist who's fashion blog is probably one of the most famous blogs on the internet and certainly one of the biggest in fashion. Basically, that blog is made by a guy who goes all around the world taking pictures of people wearing the clothes they normally wear and then critiquing the outfits and styles on his blog. The pictures he takes are done on the street, in less than ideal lighting ... yet they look as though they were taken by a photographer during a modeling shoot.

The Canon EOS 5D is an updated version of another Canon camera that has been improved upon a little. This has a great body, that is easy to hold. It is the smallest and lightest weight camera that you will find like it. At the same time, the body is made of magnesium and stainless steel and feels very well made. The dimensions are 6 inches X 4.4 inches X 3 inches. It weighs 28.6 ounces, which is very easy to carry around your neck.

This is a 12.8 mp camera, so the pictures will really be clear ... however, they will take a lot of space on your hard drive. Also, social networking sites such as facebook may not be able to load the photos without you changing their format and size as the 12.8 mp size is fairly big. Be sure to bring many cards if you plan on taking a lot of pictures. The battery life on this is fair, at best. Overall, it is not the worst battery life I have had on a camera, but certainly not the best compared to others. The battery charger takes about 90 minutes to charge the battery.

This is a big frame viewfinder ... which a lot of people who know a thing or two about cameras will like. This has a 96% viewfinder. There is a 2.5 inch LCD, which is a pretty good size display. It is kind of hard to see the display in bright light ... but this is something you find with most cameras. The biggest selling point to this camera for professionals would be the full frame sensor. At this price level, it is a nice thing ... and would allow an ameteur to take some shots that a professional could.

There are several different modes and settings on this camera. Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful and Monochrome. While these are nice to have ... I would much rather use the Auto Exposure (Full Auto) setting, which works very well. This is where it gets tricky as a point and shoot ... you really have to know a lot about exposures and settings in order to get the most out of this camera. Normally, I don't like reading manuals and memorizing settings, etc. but with photography ... if you are going to spend $2,000 on a camera, you should at the very least know how to use it.

Shutter lag is surprisingly slow at 3 fps (frames per second) in continuous shooting mode. It has a 75 ms shutter lag, which you would expect more from because this is at the low side of comparable cameras. The shutter is very quiet and I don't think you will be able to find a camera in this group of comparably priced cameras that has a more quiet shutter.

This has a 35.8 X 23.9 mm sensor. This shoots in 12.8 mp which would be 4368 X 2912 pixels/mp. This is normally the technical stuff I avoid, but it is pretty important to know if you are going to compare this to another camera.

As much fun as I had playing with this camera, I probably won't buy one. This is far too expensive to purchase for me. If you have a big income and would like to buy a camera that will give you a chance to shoot like a professional ... this is the one you should get. I suppose if you figure how much you'd pay to have very good photographs of an amazing trip you took or your children growing up ... you wouldn't mind spending the money.

I love the photographs ... especially the close up portraits, which look as though they came right from a magazine. This will stop sports and action pictures crystal clear with no blurring. Nature photographs look amazing and this gives you that great 'subject in focus ... background blurred effect' that you normally see only in magazines and photo contests.

If I had the money, I would certainly pick this up based on some of the test pictures I've seen as well as the work of the Sartoralist on his blog. The colors are amazing ... the bright colors stand out and backgrounds look great as well. Instead, I will probably save some money and purchase a Canon Rebel XTi. At about $500, it is much less expensive, however ... there is really no comparing this camera to the Canon EOS 5D. Maybe after a few years of playing in the minors, I will find the money to step into the majors and buy a Canon EOS 5D. If I was taking pictures to pay the bills, I'd put down the investment in order to do so ... but as of right now, I will just be taking pictures for fun, so I don't need such an expensive camera.


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