Canon EOS 5D review – long term test

Outdoor scene - Canon EOS 5D vs EOS 1Ds Mk II vs EOS 350D with 17-40mm f4.0L

Canon EOS 5D results continued…Outdoor / Resolution / Noise

Canon EOS 5D results continued…

Outdoor / Resolution / Noise

Canon EOS 5D with 17-40mm lens at 40mm

To compare real-life performance we shot the same scene with the Canon EOS 5D, EOS 1Ds Mark II and EOS 350D / Digital Rebel XT, all using the 17-40mm f4.0L lens within moments of each other; the focal length of the 350D shot was adjusted to match the coverage of the two full frame bodies.

The cameras were all set to their best quality JPEG settings (Large, Fine) and the aperture to f8 using Aperture Priority mode. All three cameras were also set to their default sharpening and tone image parameters.

The image above was taken with the Canon EOS 5D using the 17-40mm at 40mm; the original JPEG measured 4.5MB. The crops below are taken from left, center and right portions of the originals from each camera and presented here at 100% for comparison.

The crops unsurprisingly show steadily increasing levels of detail as you move from the 350D / Rebel XT to the 5D and finally to the 1Ds Mark II, although many will be surprised to see how subtle these differences can be considering the jumps from 8 to 12.8 to 16.7 Megapixels respectively.

One obvious difference which is clearly visible below though is the effect of each camera’s default image sharpening and tonal parameters. The 1Ds Mark II, in line with other high-end professional bodies, clearly applies much less in-camera processing by default, instead leaving it up to the photographer to either adjust the settings, or more likely, enhance as required using software later.

In contrast, the 5D’s default Standard Picture Style delivers similar in-camera processing levels to the 350D / Rebel XT or 20D / 30D models. These deliver punchier photos which are ‘ready to use’ straight out the camera. While it is of course possible to adjust the settings on each camera to deliver more or less processing as desired, it’s interesting that Canon’s defaults on the 5D align it more closely to its consumer / semi-pro range, rather than as a ‘baby’ 1Ds Mark II.

Canon EOS 5D
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II
Canon EOS 350D
Canon EOS 5D crop 1
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II crop 1
Canon EOS 350D crop 1

1/160, f8, 100 ISO

1/160, f8, 100 ISO

1/160, f8, 100 ISO

Canon EOS 5D crop 2
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II crop 2
Canon EOS 350D crop 2
1/160, f8, 100 ISO

1/160, f8, 100 ISO

1/160, f8, 100 ISO

Canon EOS 5D crop 3
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II crop 3
Canon EOS 350D crop 3
1/160, f8, 100 ISO

1/160, f8, 100 ISO

1/160, f8, 100 ISO

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