factor and most features
were morphed from the EOS
20D. So nothing ground-breaking here. Think of the EOS 5D
as a 20D on
steroids with no cropping factor and popup flash.
If you grew up with
an EOS 35mm SLR in your sweaty mitts, you'll
feel at home with the 5D. It looks,
feels, operates and smells like an EOS.
Moving from a 10D, I found it easy to configure and operate. I
barely needed to crack the manual.
Canon EOS 5D
Looks, feels, operates and smells like an
Wide Area Auto Focus borrowed from the EOS
20D plus 6 "invisible" AF sensors that kick in
during AI servo tracking. It
retains the cool flashing AF rectangles but lacks eye-controlled
major failing for Canon and makes AF selection slower
and less convenient than the lowly $350 Elan 7NE.
Operation. It ain't no Elan 7 but mirror
slap is softer
than the 20D and 30D but louder than the 10D and Elan 7.
With a USM
lens, this is a quiet camera.
Burst Mode. Continuous
frame rate clocks at 3 FPS for a total of 60
large JPEGS or 17 RAW frames before the RAM buffer chokes.
Maybe not fast
sports pros but fast enough for doctors,
lawyers, professors and yuppie puppies.
1/8000 to 30 seconds in 1/3 or 1/2
stop increments. Bulb and self timer ability. 1/200 flash
sync. Studio flash works best at 1/125 or
Patters: 35-zone evaluative, center weighted,
8% partial and 3.5% spot. Unlike
the Elan 7 and other earlier EOS,
partial and spot metering can't be linked to the active AF
ISO 50 to
are available at the touch of a button and spin of a
dial. Digital noise, like film grain,
increases with ISO speed. However
5D noise control is so good I wouldn't hesitate to use any ISO
setting from 50-1600 if warranted. A big improvement over
the EOS 10D and it wasn't bad.
Exposure Modes: gone are
the programmed "PIC" modes (sports,
night, portrait, etc.). However full
auto, programmed AE, aperture priority, shutter priority and
manual remain. Oddly depth
of field mode (DEP) is MIA. Of
you can override P, Av and TV modes
with -2 to +2 of exposure compensation or auto
White Balance control including Auto, Preset,
Custom, Color Temperature, Correction and Bracketing.
at Aloha Tower • EOS 5D and EF 50 1.4 USM • Reflections
of a ship at sunset
Style settings for simple image color
and contrast control.
There are 6 preset
styles: Standard, Portrait, Landscape,
Neutral, Faithful and Monochrome plus 3 User Defined
settings. If you shoot RAW, you may change
styles during conversion in Digital Photo Professional.
E-TTL II Flash.
flash is MIA so you'll need
an EX series Speedlite.
An EX series flash such as the 430EX offers
features such as High-Speed Sync (FP), wireless
multiple Speedlites with ratio control,
Exposure Lock (FE), AE flash compensation and 2nd
curtain sync. If
you have a Speedlite without onboard controls, e.g., 420EX or
220EX, you can access most E-TTL features with camera controls.
(-3.0 to + 1.0) is built into the eyepiece. You
won't care about this if you have 20/20 vision, but a
sharp viewfinder for the rest of us makes for better
Functions let you customize controls and/or
features in 57 different combinations.
For example, you may move AF activation to the AE/FE Lock button
or disable auto fill-in flash reduction.
Depth of Field
Preview is available via a small button on the
front of the camera. This button also doubles as a
modeling light when used with the an EX
in wireless mode.
is enabled by setting a custom function. Locking up
the mirror helps avoid vibration during high
magnification photography or slow shutter speeds. It's
a royal pain in the arse to set a CF when you need this feature,
not to mention remembering to disable it
afterwards. Too bad it can't be linked
to the self timer like
it's film ancestor,
the EOS 5.
CMOS Sensor. The 5D produces 4368
x 2912 pixel images (smaller
sizes available). Raw, JPEG and simultaneous Raw with JPEG
file formats are available. Unlike
earlier Canon DSLRs, the
Raw with JPEG format
no longer embeds
the JPEG in the RAW file. So, extraction with special software
no longer needed. You can drag 'n drop
the RAW and JPEGs straight from the
CF card. This feature is welcome for RAW shooters wishing to
leave JPEGS on
a friend's computer lacking Canon software.
TFT color LCD with 230,000 pixels,
5 levels of brightness and 170 degree viewing angle.
A bit dim but otherwise great.
The metal body shell gives the EOS 5D
heft and a solid but comfy feel.
In the hand, it feels like an EOS 1V. The
contoured grip fits my hand nicely. The Battery Grip BG-ED4 is
also magnesium and adds to the tactile
elegance of the body.
Interface. The direct USB 2 connection
to a computer is painfully S-L -O -W. Feels like USB 1.1 on a
bad day. Too bad it doesn't have Firewire. Surely it wouldn't
have cost much
You'll want to use a Firewire or USB 2 compact flash card
reader to upload images to your computer.
Summer of '69 • Las Vegas • EOS 5D, EF 24-105 4L IS USM • A celebration of Hippie Culture on Fremont Street.