Canon EOS 5D review

Image Quality

I had great expectations of this camera, from past experience of the 20D and 1D series. Was I disappointed? Well, it’s not perfect. The problem with full-frame cameras is that you’re more likely to use older lenses, and unless you’ve spent on quality optics in the first place, image quality will suffer in comparison to film, especially at the edges.

Luckily I used good lenses with this camera, and although there is minor purple fringing and some loss of definition, results tended to be first rate – especially RAW images. JPEGs will always show some image degradation, though the vast majority of people wouldn’t notice. In RAW however, I made some fantastic prints up to A3 with little trouble.

I can’t say I’m a massive fan of the Picture Style system, especially using the Canon defined profiles, but I can see the benefit of the custom profiles. Unfortunately a magazine review doesn’t allow the time to play with this in-depth, but I look forward to further investigation. Nevertheless, it does work, I just don’t like the colour parameters it uses. This is personal, and I’m sure others will find a huge benefit from it.

As far as the all-important noise issue goes, there is, alas, noise at ISO 800 to 1600, but it’s extremely well controlled. You certainly won’t notice it on a 10x8” print. Even better, I would say the noise that is there is less noticeable than the grain visible on a similarly rated film, which is the ultimate aim of digital anyway – better than film.

Next page: Canon EOS 5D specifications

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Compact System Camera Reviews

Price as reviewed



Design 17/20
Image Quality 19/20
Performance 18/20
Value 18/20
Features 19/20
Overall Score 91%