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You are hereHome > Best Digital Cameras > Canon EOS 5D Digital SLR

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Canon EOS 5D Digital SLR


Canon EOS 5D Digital

Category: Advanced Amateur - Prosumer

What do you get when you cram the professional EOS 1D into a camera body just slightly larger than the EOS 20D? You get the Canon EOS 5D digital SLR -- the first professional grade digital Single Lens Reflex (dSLR) in a relatively compact body. The Canon 5D is targeted to advanced amateur photographers and professionals desiring a superior digital camera with a full frame image sensor, and all the advantages the latter brings in image quality and the full use of 35mm lenses.

The Canon 5D has 12.8MP resolution, an ISO range from 100-1600, a shutter speed range of 30-1/8000 sec., and an extra large 2.5 in. LCD monitor with 230,000 pixels resolution and 170° wide viewing angle.

You can shoot in RAW at 3fps with a maximum of 17 shots per burst, or in jpeg with a maximum of 60 shots per burst. It accepts optional interchangeable focusing screens and lenses. It has a solid construction, though without the environmental seals of the EOS 1D.

The Canon EOS naming scheme runs backward when it comes to dSLRs: the best of the group is the 1D, followed by the 5D, 20D and 300D (Digital Rebel).

Interestingly, though the Canon 5D digital SLR is definitely a professional grade dSLR, Canon has introduced 6 new preset image style settings: unlike previous cameras that do not optimize their "Auto" mode, the Canon 5D's Standard mode image style setting defaults to vivid and sharp images for general shooting.

Canon EOS 5D
QuickFact™ Sheet
Canon EOS 5D Digital
Type Digital, single-lens reflex, AF/AE camera
Recording medium Type I or II CF card *Compatible with Microdrive and 2GB and larger CF cards
Image size 35.8 x 23.9mm
Compatible lenses Canon EF lenses (except EF-S lenses)
Lens mount Canon EF mount
Image Sensor  
Type High-sensitivity, high-resolution, large single-plate CMOS sensor
Pixels Effective pixels: Approx. 12.80 megapixels
Total pixels: Approx. 13.30 megapixels
Aspect ratio 3:2
Color filter system RGB primary color filter
Low-pass filter Located in front of the image sensor, non-removable
Recording System  
Recording format Design rule for Camera File System 2.0
Image type JPEG, RAW (12bit)
simultaneous recording
File size
(1) Large/Fine: Approx. 4.6MB (4368 x 2912 pixels)
(2) Large/Normal: Approx. 2.3MB (4368 x 2912 pixels)
(3) Medium/Fine: Approx. 2.7MB (3168 x 2112 pixels)
(4) Medium/Normal: Approx. 1.4MB (3168 x 2112 pixels)
(5) Small/Fine: Approx. 2.0MB (2496 x 1664 pixels)
(6) Small/Normal: Approx. 1.0MB (2496 x 1664 pixels)
(7) RAW: Approx. 12.9MB (4368 x 2912 pixels)
* Exact file sizes depend on the subject, ISO speed, Picture Style, etc.
Folder setting Folder creation/selection enabled
File numbering Consecutive numbering, auto reset, manual reset
Color space sRGB or Adobe RGB
Picture Style Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, User Defined 1, 2, 3
Interface USB 2.0 Hi-Speed (Print/PTP, PC connection selectable)
Video output (NTSC/PAL)
White Balance  
Settings Auto, daylight, shade, cloudy, tungsten light, white fluorescent light, flash, custom, color temperature setting
Auto white balance Auto white balance with the imaging sensor
Color temperature compensation White balance correction: ±9 stops in full-stop increments
White balance bracketing: ±3 stops in full-stop increments
* Blue/amber bias or magenta/green bias possible
Color temperature information transmission Provided
Type Eye-level pentaprism
Coverage Vertical/Horizontal approx. 96%
Magnification 0.71x (-1 diopter with 50mm lens at infinity)
Eyepoint 20 mm
Built-in dioptric adjustment -3.0 - +1.0 diopter
Focusing screen Interchangeable (two types optional), Ee-A (Precision Matte) focusing screen provided
Mirror Quick-return half mirror
(Transmission:reflection ratio of 40:60, no mirror cut-off with EF600mm f/4 or shorter lenses)
Viewfinder information AF information (AF points, focus confirmation light), exposure information (shutter speed, aperture value, AE lock, exposure level, spot metering circle, exposure warning), flash information (flash ready, high-speed sync, FE lock, flash exposure compensation), white balance correction, maximum burst, CF card information
Depth-of-field preview Enabled with depth-of-field preview button
Type TTL-CT-SIR with a CMOS sensor (TTL secondary image registration, phase detection)
AF points 9 plus 6 Assist AF points
Metering range EV -0.5 - 18 (at 20°C/68°F, ISO 100)
Focus modes One-Shot AF, AI Servo AF, AI Focus AF, Manual focusing (MF)
AF point selection Auto, manual
Selected AF point display Superimposed in viewfinder and indicated on LCD panel
AF-assist beam Emitted by the dedicated external Speedlite
Exposure Control  
Metering modes
35-zone TTL full aperture metering
• Evaluative metering (linkable to any AF point)
• Partial metering (approx. 8% of viewfinder at center)
• Spot metering (approx. 3.5% of viewfinder at center)
• Center-weighted Average Metering
Metering range EV 1-20 (at 20°C/68°F with EF50mm f/1.4 lens, ISO 100)
Exposure control Full auto, program AE (shiftable), shutter-priority AE, aperture-priority AE, manual exposure, E-TTL II autoflash
ISO speed range Equivalent to ISO 100-1600 (in 1/3-stop increments), ISO speed can be expanded to ISO 50 and 3200.Full auto: ISO 100-400 set automatically
Exposure compensation Manual: ±2 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments (can be combined with AEB)
AEB: ±2 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments
AE lock Auto: Applied in One-Shot AF mode with evaluative metering when focus is achieved
Manual: By AE lock button in all metering modes
Type Electronically-controlled, focal-plane shutter
Shutter speeds 1/8000 to 30 sec. (1/3- and 1/2-stop increments), bulb X-sync at 1/200 sec.
Shutter release Soft-touch electromagnetic release
Self-timer 10-sec. delay
Remote control Remote control with N3 type terminal
External Speedlite  
EOS-dedicated Speedlite E-TTL II autoflash with EX-series Speedlite
Flash exposure
±2 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments.
FE lock Provided
PC terminal Provided
Zooming to match
lens focal length
Drive System  
Drive modes Single, continuous, and Self-timer (10 sec.)
Continuous Max. 3 shots per sec.
Max. burst JPEG (Large/Fine): Approx. 60, RAW: Approx. 17
* With a Canon 512MB CF card.
* Varies depending on the subject, ISO speed, Picture Style, CF card, etc.
LCD Monitor  
Type TFT color liquid-crystal monitor
Monitor size 2.5 in
Pixels Approx. 230,000
Coverage 100% with respect to the effective pixels
Brightness adjustment Five levels provided
Interface languages 15
Image Playback  
Image display format Single image, shooting information, 9-image index, magnified view (Approx. 1.5x - 10x), autoplay, image rotation, and Jump (by 10 or 100 images, by date, by folder)
Highlight warning In the shooting information mode, any overexposed highlight areas with no image information will blink.
Histogram Brightness, RGB
AF point display Enabled
Image Protection and Erase  
Protect Single images can be erase-protected or not.
Erase One image or all images in the CF card can be erased (except protected images).
Direct Printing  
Compatible printers CP Direct, Bubble Jet Direct, and PictBridge-compatible printers
Printable images JPEG images (DPOF printing possible)
Easy Print feature Provided
DPOF: Digital Print Order Format  
DPOF Version 1.1 compatible
Camera setting registration Under Mode Dial’s < C > setting
Custom Functions 21 Custom Functions with 57 settings
Power Source  
Battery One Battery Pack BP-511A, BP-514, BP-511, or BP-512.
* AC power can also be supplied with the DC Coupler.
* With Battery Grip BG-E4, size-AA batteries can be used.
Battery life At 20°C / 68°F: Approx. 800 shots
At 0°C / 32°F: Approx. 400 shots
* The above figures apply when a fully-charged Battery Pack BP-511A is used.
Battery check Automatic
Power saving Provided. Power turns off after 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, or 30 min.
Date/Time battery One CR2016 lithium battery
Operation Environment  
Working temperature range 0°C - 40°C / 32°F - 104°F
Working humidity 85% or less
Dimensions and Weight  
Dimensions (W x H x D) 152 x 113 x 75 mm / 6.0 x 4.4 x 3.0 in.
Weight Approx. 810g / 28.6 oz. (body only)
MSRP US $3299 / CDN $5750
*All the specifications above are based on Canon’s testing standards.
*The camera’s specifications and physical appearance are subject to change without notice.

Product technical specifications (including MSRP and Included Accessories) are as represented by the manufacturer and subject to manufacturer's change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. Product color availability and included accessories may also differ by country or area. Please verify the latest specs from the appropriate manufacturer's site.

Before you buy, do your homework and verify a seller's reputation. One source you may want to check with is Resellerratings.com. And remember, if a price seems to good to be true, it probably is.


Though we make every effort to strive for accuracy in reproducing these specs, we do occasionally make mistakes, so verify with the manufacturer's site for the latest specs. Also, in the early stages of a product introduction, you can almost guarantee there will be some errors from the manufacturers themselves as they update their sites. If you see any mistakes, please contact us. We do appreciate your writing in with the corrections and thank you in advance!

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