16 thoughts on “Canon EOS 5D Review

  1. Unfortunately, I don’t have any comments that would help you improve
    the article, since it’s pretty good.

    I am curious, though: where’s that giant gong in the picture, that the
    woman is about to whang with the mallet? That looks like fun.

  2. As a long time photography lover and pround owner of SLR Leica and Cannon Rebel digital XT camera, I would like to state the review can be summaried in one word or more percisely three words:Go BUY IT! But some important information are left out in your review. I, after reading the user’s manuel and spending countless hours on photoshop element (I am a self-educated computer dummie), could not figure out on my Cannon Rebel how to properly set the white balance. I generally perfer black and white FILM for 35 mm SLR, but due to the improvement in computer software I have experimented with proper white balace under “adverse lighting conditions”. I found the most difficult lighting condition for Cannon Rebel XT to white balnce is indoor mixed lighting i.e. by a church window with mixed sunlight and overhead flourence light. HOW DO YOU WHITE BALANCE in that situation? I tried with custom white balnce-unspeakable results(every one and thing turns to various shades of greenish/purplish unnatural color), using hot shoe flash light (undesirable for both photographic subjects and unbearable results-deer in the headlight look), post-production adujustment on Photoshop element (limited computer software savviness on my part), or the best of all options-give up photography in that sort of light conditions. How is the white balance function on the new Cannon toy? More importantly how easy is it for custom white balace? I am glad to learn that in low light conditions the 5 D works well judging from your wonderful photos posted. Additional friendly suggestion, I tried to take all my digital photography in RAW format and then covert to JPIG on the computer at later date. You did mention 5D and all sorts of softwares capable ot doing such function. Was it pain-in-the-rear to convert RAW to JPIF or/and TIF file format for easy posting on the internet or email to friends? Again, I would like to thank you for a superb and informative review of the soon-to-be extremely popular digital SLR.

    Thank you.

    Fu Li Chao (my real name)

  3. Fu: I don’t bother with adjusting white balance in the camera. I set the camera to capture RAW data and then clean it up later in Adobe Bridge (comes with Photoshop). http://philip.greenspun.com/photography/photoshop-scripts/ contains my RAW->JPEG conversion scripts (for PhotoShop CS2). They were rather painful to develop, but I got a lot of help from a kind soul at Adobe.

    As for mixed lighting… if it is truly mixed, you’re screwed. Professionals deal with the situation by putting gels over the lights when they’re on the scene.

  4. Thanks for the good review! I would like to see some more sample pictures, especially on the wide end (e.g., 14mm and fisheye).

  5. Just a note… this is not really a $3000 camera, it is a $3000 camera BODY, for which you must still buy lenses and apparently, Photoshop as well (at least $300 if you get Elements bundled and then upgrade). Then you need a decent speed computer to run it, plus disk space (RAW takes a lot of space), etc.

    Compare this to a used but perfect shape $500 top of the line pro Canon film body, which takes the same lenses, and you have to shoot more than $2500 worth of film (figure $10/roll for 36 shots including film and processing, so 250 rolls) to spend more than buying the 5D. Note that I am a cantankerous old geezer however.

    Personally I find all your 5D photos to be washed out and lacking in shadow detail, but then again, these are low-res JPEGs that I am viewing on a non-calibrated laptop LCD screen, so this might not be an accurate reflection of the photo quality.

  6. I thank you all for helpful hints and tips. Last time I went to my friend’s wedding with mixed lighting-overcast outdoor light with some light bulb inside the church and all digital photos with Cannon Rebel XT turned to various shades of greenish/blue unspeakable colors. I even tried to do custom white balace but not much improvement. How do you put gel over overhead light bulb inside a church? I did not even know which filter would help; I have 4-5 different kinds. For a computer dummie like me, I am WILLING, the key being willing, to try as Dr philip suggested “clean up in photoshop”. Only one dumb question, why people at Adobe make Photoshop so hard to learn at home? (People i mean photography lovers spend hundreds of dollars going to FORMAL classes to learn how to use the darn thing while I just want my photography to have a decent color?) Thanks for Dr Philip’s helpful link and please pray for me that I can learn how to use it properly .
    FU LI CHAO -your humble photography student

  7. How do they gel the lights? The get on ladders a day or two ahead of time! I had to cover a wedding reception once (for some graduate students at MIT; they had no money to hire someone competent). It was in a dark room with dark wooden panel walls. I went there two weeks ahead of time to test with the on-camera flash. The results were miserable. Washed-out faces and near-black blackgrounds as the walls swallowed up all the reflected light from the strobe. I went back a week later and installed a 1000 watt-second studio strobe pointing up at the ceiling with a slave trigger. Then I did some more tests with the on-camera flash triggering the studio strobe. I got the film developed and the result was much more natural looking. People and tables in the background were adequately lit. A week later, I covered the wedding and the couple was satisfied with the results. You can’t expect to get good photos indoors without reworking the lighting. Sometimes you can, of course, but not consistently.

  8. Dear Dr Greenspun:

    after re-reading your hyperlink to your writing on how to convert RAW to JPIG format for digital photography, I have not tried to follow your advice to use Adobe route for the following reasons:

    1.Photoshop CS are costly and not easy to learn (at least for me),

    2.unsure my 5 year old hp outdated computer can even support the above mentioned photoshop cs

    3.even it can “host” such a program how much time would take to do ONE such operation?(You can make a much better educated guess than I can: my last computer class was in high school more than 20 years ago and every thing I learn about computer software since are from photo.net)

    4. remembering all the steps (more than ten as I recall) in your writing to convert,

    5.making sure I do NOT make any mistake in any step.

    If I am eager and serious about learning how to covert RAW to JPIG using Photoshop, should I kiss my HP computer bye-bye and buy a faster and better computer (choices are overwhelming and confusing–if I went to school at MIT with a PHD in software engineering to spare, maybe I can make a better informed choice) in order to do a proper job?

    The pleasure and pain of a amature digital photography lover….and that is why some photographers still use film…

    Your thankful reader of photo.net (the best resource for all photographers) and humble yet learning photography dummy
    Fu LI CHAO

  9. The woman with the dancing eyes – how did you arrange such lovely catchlights? I would have stopped there, but the other commenters made me aware there is text below her. I trying to calculate my upgrade path from my Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ2 5MP point and shoot. It’s great for wearing on my belt all the time. Every now and then I’d like more resolution or be able to mount a wide angle lens. On the otherhand, I’m kind of curious about just one I can do with a $200 camers. Oh, and I’m poor. Prior to your review I was debating whether to push ahead and get a Rebel XT [and your lens :)] or wait until they come down in price. Any bets on what it will be in a year? Thanks for letting me feel that I don’t need to hold out for the 5 D.

    Ferrante-Dege has a Nikon 50mm/f1.4 for $75 and a Nikkormat FT2 for $200. A side trail in film has some appeal, but the cost of film worries me. With NiMH batteries and SD cards, my LZ2 has cost me $0.05/exposure and going down. FD has a plethora of used Nikon lenses but no Canon. The prospect of being able to invest in ONE set of lenses for film and digital appears remote for me.

    And now if you’ll excuse me – dancing eyes.

  10. Well, damn. Reading that article made me imitate one of Pavlov’s dogs. I had been wanting to buy that camera for a while, but put it off because of the cost. Suffice it to say, I ordered one from Amazon as soon as I got to that point in the article. And I didn’t even try to edit out the referral like I usually do 😉

  11. You pretty much lost me when you described a $3000 body as “consumer-priced”.

    I’m a consumer. I can’t image paying THREE GRAND for a camera body unless I needed it to make a living.

  12. $3000 is a lot of money. I think you can easily buy a good digital camera these days. Just in general the prices for Digital Cameras have dropped by 35% due to technology. Technology from SLR Professional Digital Cameras has really changed who can be a photographer. And now with camera phones, it seems like anyone who has a camera is taking pictures, with a regular camera or phone camera.

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