Canon 5D

Canon EOS 5D front

Canon 5D summary

Canon 5D is Canon's Advanced DSLR digital camera first introduced on November of 2005. The camera comes with a 13MP, CMOS Full frame size sensor with a max resolution of 4368 x 2912.

Canon brought out the fresher Canon 5D MII (Read Full Comparison) to update this model.

The 5D is rated #62 out of 92 in Advanced DSLR cameras & over all #452 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our database. You should check out our Advanced camera finder to get camera results based on your personal criteria.

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Below is a graph of various factors used in the rating system.

Canon 5D history

The Canon 5D is part of a family of products. You can see the full list below.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Canon-EOS-5D-Mark-IV front thumbnailCanon 5D MIV
5D vs 5D MIV
30MPFull frame7.0 fps2016
Canon-EOS-5DS front thumbnailCanon 5DS
5D vs 5DS
51MPFull frame5.0 fps2015
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Canon-EOS-5DS-R front thumbnailCanon 5DS R
5D vs 5DS R
51MPFull frame5.0 fps2015
Canon-EOS-5D-Mark-III front thumbnailCanon 5D MIII
5D vs 5D MIII
22MPFull frame6.0 fps2012
Canon-EOS-5D-Mark-II front thumbnailCanon 5D MII
5D vs 5D MII
21MPFull frame4.0 fps2009
Canon-EOS-5D front thumbnailCanon 5D13MPFull frame3.0 fps2005
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Canon 5D Pros and Cons

Here is a checklist of advantages and disadvantages of the Canon 5D based on things that are often considered essential in a digital camera.

change lenses (Canon EF mount)
comes with phase detect autofocus
environment sealing
good minimum ISO (100)
has Top LCD screen
high shutter speed (1/8,000 seconds)
manual focus
megapixel count decent (13MP)
sensor size is large (Full frame)
supports RAW formats
can't record video
does not feature selfie friendly screen
lack of external mic jack
lack of HDMI support
lack of headphone jack
lack of Time Lapse mode
low battery pack (800 shots)
max fps low (3.0 frames per second)
no image stabilization
no liveview feature
no moving screen
screen has low resolution (230 thousand dot)
screen is somewhat small (2.5 inch)
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Canon 5D Sensor information

The Canon 5D is powered by the Digic II processor chip. The sensor specification on the Canon 5D is 36mm x 24mm (Full frame). The 864 mm² sensor can capture 4368 x 2912 pixels with aspect ratios of 3:2.

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The CMOS sensor has 13MP and gives a standard ISO range of 100 to 3200. RAW format is supported which means that the user has more room to maneuver in post.

The graphic below illustrates the 5D's sensor size in comparison to other popular sizes. The 5D sensor has a crop factor of 1 and is presented in green.

Canon EOS 5D sensor size Apple Innovates by Creating Next-Level Optical Stabilization for iPhone

To get an understanding of different aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Canon 5D dimensions

Canon 5D has a weight of 1.97 lbs (895 grams / 31.57 ounces) & has outside proportions of 152mm x 113mm x 75mm (6.0" x 4.4" x 3.0"). The weight of typical Advanced DSLR camera is 776 grams and the Canon 5D is weightier compared to its competitors.

Photography Glossary

Below is a pic of the Canon 5D beside a softdrink to help you to get a sense of its size.

Canon EOS 5D dimensions scale

The top view directly below will illustrate the button arrangement on the 5D.

Canon EOS 5D topview buttons dials

Canon 5D Lens information

The 5D works with the Canon EF mount and has 306 lenses on the market today. Here is a small number of the lenses we have in our collection that will work with the 5D.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Sigma-50-200mm-F4-5.6-DC-OS-HSM-Canon-EF lensSigma 50-200mm F4-5.6 DC OS HSM50-200mmf/4.0-5.6 420g
Canon-EF-24-70mm-f2.8L-II-USM lensCanon EF 24-70mm f2.8L II USM24-70mmf/2.8 805g
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Tamron-16-300mm-F3.5-6.3-Di-II-VC-PZD-Macro-Canon-EF lensTamron 16-300mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro16-300mmf/3.5-6.3 540g
Tamron-SP-AF-70-200mm-F2.8-Di-LD-IF-MACRO-Canon-EF lensTamron SP AF 70-200mm F2.8 Di LD IF MACRO70-200mmf/2.8 1330g
Canon-EF-70-200-F4-IS-II-USM lensCanon EF 70-200 F4 IS II USM70-200mmf/4 780g
Schneider-PC-Super-Angulon-28mm-f2.8-Canon-EF lensSchneider PC-Super-Angulon 28mm f2.828mmf/2.8 565g
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Tokina-AT-X-Pro-11-16mm-f2.8-DX-Canon-EF lensTokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f2.8 DX11-16mmf/2.8 560g
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Canon 5D Connectivity

The 5D has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes

Digital cameras that come with NFC and / or Bluetooth connectivity are able to be controlled wirelessly via smartphones. You are able to copy images and usually alter camera settings without connecting physically with the camera.

A few apps also enable a Liveview and hit the shutter if you are not near the camera. If the camera contains a HDMI port, it can easily be attached to an external monitor. A lot of cameras will allow you to recharge the battery pack using the USB port.

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Canon 5D Video information

Canon 5D does not take video. If you are searching for a digital camera to shoot just photos, it might not be a concern.

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Canon 5D Weather Sealing

Canon 5D has environment proofing which makes it a good candidate for use in challenging climates. This can be especially useful in case you are uncertain about the conditions you may encounter in outdoor photography.

Canon 5D Screen and Viewfinder

The Canon 5D comes with a 2.5 inch fixed screen with a resolution of 230 thousand dots.

Please be aware that the screen has no touch support. The 5D also includes a Top LCD screen so you can instantly view camera settings.

Canon EOS 5D screen and viewfinder Snapchat Adds Watermarks to AI-Created Images

The ViewFinder specs for Canon 5D are the following:

  • ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism)
  • Coverage 96%
  • Magnification 0.71x

Viewfinders can be really beneficial in bright outdoor conditions which might make the camera screen washed out and very difficult to see.

Canon 5D Shutter information

Canon 5D continuous shooting speed is 3.0 frames per second. The highest shutter speed is 1/8000 sec.

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Canon 5D Flash and Hot shoe information

Canon 5D has external flash support but with missing integrated flash. The max flash sync speed is 1/200 sec.

Canon 5D Autofocusing information

Canon 5D has both Phase Detect Auto Focus plus Contrast Based Auto Focus. Phase Detection focusing is a lot quicker & accurate compared to Contrast Based focusing.

It comes with 9 focus points to pick from. Canon 5D can use manual focusing if needed in low light occasions or you need to have more accurate control on focusing.

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Canon 5D Battery life

The battery pack (BP-511A) for the Canon 5D is made to last for 800 shutters based on the CIPA requirements making it lower as compared to it's competition. The usual Advanced DSLR camera battery life is 909. Nikon D780 has the maximum (2260) battery life in this range of cameras.

Below is a collection of Advanced DSLR cameras that come with the best battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
Nikon-D780 front thumbnailNikon D780
5D vs D780
2260 yesnoyes
Nikon-D850 front thumbnailNikon D850
5D vs D850
1840 yesyesyes
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Nikon-Df front thumbnailNikon Df
5D vs Df
1400 yesnono
Canon-EOS-90D front thumbnailCanon 90D
5D vs 90D
1300 yesnoyes
Nikon-D500 front thumbnailNikon D500
5D vs D500
1240 yesyesyes

Canon 5D for various categories of photography

The following chart indicates a outline of the Canon 5D for various categories of photography. To find out more, go to the specific paragraph below.

Canon 5D Portrait photography advice

The Canon 5D gets a points total of 65 which is very good, and means the camera is a very decent choice for portrait photography. Photographing portraits favors greatly towards sensor dimensions, RAW support & capability to work with off-camera flash.

Photography Glossary
you can focus manually
sensor resolution is decent (13 megapixels)
sensor size is great (Full frame)
delivers RAW files
does not have liveview

Street photography with Canon 5D

Coming in at a average points total of 56, the Canon 5D is reasonably suited for street photography. A very good street photography camera gives a fine balance of image quality plus portability.

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sensor size is big (Full frame)
exports RAW files
environment sealing
screen does not articulate
no image stabilization

Canon 5D Sports photography factors

A reasonable sports photography points total of 55 means the Canon 5D is somewhat acceptable for taking photos of sports. A camera must have good autofocus plus fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

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great max shutter speed (1/8,000 seconds)
decent MP (13 megapixels)
large sensor size (Full frame)
weather sealing
comes with phase detect AF
does not have liveview
continuous shooting slow (3.0 fps)
no image stabilization
terrible battery pack (800 per charge)

Travel photography with Canon 5D

Weight is pretty crucial when choosing a camera for travel. All round, the Canon 5D gets a moderate 49 as a travelling camera which is somewhat acceptable for your travels.

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weather proofing
MP count decent (13 megapixels)
missing Timelapse function
bad battery life (800 CIPA)
does not contain selfie friendly screen

Landscape photography with Canon 5D

For anybody who is looking to pick a digital camera for landscape photos, the most vital factor will be image quality. The Canon 5D and it's decent rating of 54 for a landscape camera is fairly adequate within the current marketplace.

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you can focus manually
swap lenses (Canon EF mount)
MP count decent (13MP)
great sensor size (Full frame)
delivers RAW files
environment proofing
tiny screen (2.5 inch)
no liveview feature
no image stabilization
terrible battery life (800 CIPA)
missing Time Lapse mode

Canon 5D as a Vlogging camera

A vlogging camera should really posses a articulating screen, microphone input and ideally IBIS. Considering every thing, the Canon 5D is simply not appropriate for vlogging as it delivers a really bad score of 9.

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no video recording

Canon 5D Alternatives

If you are trying to find alternatives to the 5D, below is a list of the highest ranked cameras that fall within the category of Advanced DSLR.

The line chart just below offers you an overview of the 5D compared to it's top ranking rivals suggested above.

Following are additional cameras you may see as alternatives. To read through a comprehensive comparison, visit the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Canon EOS 5D
Advanced DSLR
Body design
Mid-size SLR
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Digic II
Sensor size
Full frame
Sensor dimensions
36 x 24mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
13 megapixel
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
Max resolution
4368 x 2912
RAW format
Max native ISO
Minimum native ISO
Focus manually
AF touch
Continuous AF
AF single
AF tracking
Selective AF
Center weighted AF
AF multi area
AF live view
Face detection focusing
Contract detection focusing
Phase detection focusing
Total focus points
Lens support
Canon EF
Amount of lenses
Focal length multiplier
Screen type
Fixed Type
Screen sizing
2.5 inch
Resolution of screen
230 thousand dot
Selfie friendly
Touch functionality
Screen technology
TFT liquid-crystal color LCD
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO Overall rating
DXO Color Depth rating
DXO Dynamic range rating
DXO Low light rating
Min shutter speed
30 secs
Max shutter speed
1/8000 secs
Continuous shutter speed
3.0 frames per second
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation
Set WB
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash distance
no built-in flash
Flash modes
Hot shoe
AE bracketing
White balance bracketing
Max flash sync
1/200 secs
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Max video resolution
Mic input
Headphone input
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental seal
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
895 gr (1.97 lb)
152 x 113 x 75mm (6.0" x 4.4" x 3.0")
Battery life
800 pictures
Style of battery
Battery Pack
Battery ID
Self timer
Yes (10 sec (2 sec with mirror lock-up))
Time lapse feature
Type of storage
Compact Flash (Type I or II)
Storage slots
Cost at release