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09-20-2009, 11:29 AM   #1
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Canon 5D Test Images/Initial Observations

You guys that are into measurebating and pixel peeping might not find this all that interesting. No groundbreaking news or earth-shattering discoveries here.

The way I test equipment is pretty simple.....I just take pictures. I do some focus tests here and there, but for the most part my testing consists of shooting photos and doing a few test prints to make sure that what I see on the screen looks like it should when printed. That's about it...

Since none of my lenses arrived, I borrowed a 50mm/2.5 macro locally and took it for a quick spin yesterday. I managed to pick up one of my favorite lenses (Sigma 24-60mm/2.8) in a Canon mount. It's much different on the FF body that it was on cop bodies, but the IQ and sharpness is still there.

Bottom line: A camera is just a tool. I see no real difference in IQ with one camera vs. the next. In fact, if the K20D was a FF body, I'd go as far as to say there's zero difference in IQ between them. The one thing the Canon does better is high-ISO noise. Even ISO3200 files look pretty good straight out of the camera. All of the images below were processed RAW files with no NR applied. I haven't tested it much in a low-light scenerio, but the focus is pretty snappy and I have every reason to believe it will perform well in that situation. Those were two of the main reasons I decided to switch.

My observations, good and bad:

Good:

- Full frame is a good thing! I grew up on 35mm film, so this is somewhat familiar to me. That being said, it's going to take some getting used to (again). It's been a while since I've shot consistently with a full frame camera. The difference FOV is significant, enought that I think about it when looking through the viewfinder.

- Ergonomics: It didn't take long to figure out the controls on this body. Changing ISO, EV comp, etc. on the fly is not as bad as I thought it would be. The thumbwheel, which I really like, has a lot to do with that.. The hardest thing may be getting used to the shutter position. It's slightly forward of where it is on the K20D and other Pentax bodies I've shot with. Other than that, the body w/grip feels comfortable in my hand.

- Battery grip: The grip is actually at the bootom of the body (duh!) and into the battery compartment. Why didn't Pentax think of this. Both batteries are accessible without having to remove the grip. The only negaive I see is having to remover the battery door on the body to mount the grip. One must take great care in making sure you don't lose that door.

Bad:

The WB presets suck! Either that or the 5D produces really cool images compared to Pentax. In outdoor sunlight, the AWB was much more life-like than the daylight setting, which was was pretty cold in comparison. Fortunately this can be adjusted in the custom settings, but I haven't gotten to that part of the manual yet.

Custom menu: While not as bad I had had heard, it definitely doesn't have the number of custom options the K20D does. The basics are covered, but that's about all.

No TAv mode: With a camera that handles high-ISOs as well as the 5D does, TAv mode would be a treat to shoot with. Unfortunately, Canon does not have this feature. Kinda sucks if you ask me. The fact that ISO3200 files are pretty good makes it even more of a disappointment for me.

Pics - All shot in RAW (CR2) and processes in LR and/or CS3. Some light smart sharpening applied. All EXIFs should be intact.

1 (some noise added here in post)


2


3


4


5


6


7 (w/Sigma 24-60/2.8)


09-20-2009, 12:09 PM   #2
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Shots look typically warmer than what I'm used to getting out of my Canon 40D, I'm assuming you changed something either in cam or post to get those.

The newer Canon cams have more of the custom options I think you are talking about, but it's been a while since I handled a Pentax DSLR and I really only use 4-5 controls ever on my 40D:

-AF On button (when shooting sports with AF lens)
-AWB or custom preset set to 2500K (for shooting B&W)
-ISO
-Aperture/Shutter speed
-Drive mode (flip between one-shot and 6fps)
09-20-2009, 01:19 PM   #3
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I think the 5D2 has a little more customizability, but its true that you get somewhat spoiled by Pentax. That said, I find that I don't use much of that capability anyway (and I suspect most users are in that boat). Two things that do annoy me are:

- no mass usb storage (I don't like to pull cards in/out)
- not able to customize upper and lower limit on auto-iso
09-20-2009, 02:46 PM   #4
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None of the colors in this post are SOOC. The processing did add some warmth to the images. They were a lot cooler, but I've since tweaked the WB to warm them up a bit...

09-20-2009, 02:49 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
I think the 5D2 has a little more customizability, but its true that you get somewhat spoiled by Pentax. That said, I find that I don't use much of that capability anyway (and I suspect most users are in that boat). Two things that do annoy me are:

- no mass usb storage (I don't like to pull cards in/out)
- not able to customize upper and lower limit on auto-iso
Agreed! TAv mode with Auto ISO would make this a dream to shoot with. It's an improvement in the ares I needed it to be, but I hate having to keep an eye on ISO and shutter speed. Aperture isn't a big deal because I tend to shoot at or near wide-open with just about every lens.
09-20-2009, 05:42 PM   #6
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A link to general overview & some custom functions for 5D

A link to general overview & some custom functions for 5D. There should be a better link to "5D Custom Functions"out there. Canon published their settings in a brochure called "Canon Eos for Professionals". It highlighted the settings/functions for several bodies. That said, I do not own 5D Mark II and there should good info via google on its "custom functions" too. I haven't picked up that brochure yet since I'll likely pass on 5D2, well until it gets cheap, maybe 2010 or 2011? I doubt 5DII will survive for 40 months of production like 5D did.




Canon EOS 5D Review
09-20-2009, 07:29 PM   #7
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Thanks for sharing. I'd go full frame just for the greater DOF options.
09-21-2009, 03:12 AM   #8
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DPR has a much more in-depth review here: Canon EOS 5D Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

09-21-2009, 04:22 AM   #9
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There is a spot to store your battery door in the grip. Well that is on my 50D. Around the part that goes into where the battery is on the camera. There's a spot for you to store it there. I'll see if I can find a picture for you
09-21-2009, 05:50 AM   #10
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Just wait until you get an 85/1.8 on there.
09-21-2009, 06:46 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Supa Lao Quote
There is a spot to store your battery door in the grip. Well that is on my 50D. Around the part that goes into where the battery is on the camera. There's a spot for you to store it there. I'll see if I can find a picture for you
Thanks for the info! I just took the grip off and found the space you referred to. I ended up putting the battery door in the box the grip came in. I'll put it inside the grip when I get home.
09-21-2009, 06:47 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
Just wait until you get an 85/1.8 on there.
It should be there when I get home today. What I'm really looking forward to is the 200/2.8L. Looks like that one is going to be a bokeh monster.
09-21-2009, 01:10 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
Just wait until you get an 85/1.8 on there.
I just ordered a 135/2L. I couldn't help myself...
09-21-2009, 03:25 PM   #14
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The 28mm/1.8 Sigma and Canon 50/1.4 arrived today.

The 50 is a decent lens. A little soft at 1.4, decent at 2.0, and pretty sharp at 2.8......a lot like the FA50/1.4. USM is a nice feature.

The Sigma 28/1.8 is a tootally different beast. I know Peter Zack raves about this lens in the Pentax mount. It is stellar in the Canon mount. I have a feeling I'm going to like this lens a lot!

Still waiting on the longer lenses to get here. 60mm is the longest thing I have right now and that isn't very long at all on a FF body.
09-21-2009, 04:29 PM   #15
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Looking at your first test shots clearly show me the "Canon look" they are cooler than Pentax for sure. I have a guy that sometimes is a second shooter with me on some bigger weddings and he shoots a 40D. The images are quite a bit different looking than from Pentax.

It will be interesting to see more ffrom the camera and more impressions as you get more time with it.
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