Canon 5d Classic

Canon 5D Classic Review – By Ray Goodwin

In this world of hundreds of auto focus points, phase detection, high ISO performance, burst rate nonsense; is less really more? Is it possible that the Canon 5D Classic, a decade old full frame DSLR, can hold up to the most modern of cameras? Can a camera that was first introduced when the XBOX 360 was about to be released really hold up today and be a competent shooter? I can probably answer those questions as I’ve been a Canon 5D Classic user for the past two years – I have racked up thousands of photographs and countless hours using one, so I thought I’d put together a bit of a review of this ageing DSLR.

Before I Start

First, some backstory. Although it wasn’t the first full frame DSLR (that honour goes to the Contax N which was released all the way back in 2002) the Canon 5D (or 5D Classic as it’s often called today) was still a fairly early model with it being released back in October of 2005. I was only 10 years old at the time, and totally oblivious to it’s existence.

Short of the fairly expensive Canon 1Ds MKii, most DSLRs of the era had APS-C sensors, which weren’t pushing blistering resolution or ISO performances. So to have a lower cost, full frame, DSLR was a huge leg up for Canon. The 5D ran all the way until 2008 when the MKii was announced and released with a vastly improved sensor, video capabilities and a review screen that actually looks ok with a photo on it.

The MKii also didn’t have the massive issue of the mirror coming off during use… The early 5D’s (serial numbers starting with 0 or 1 made in 2005/2006) had the not insignificant issue of the camera wanting to be a full frame mirrorless camera. Early models were offered a free fix from Canon, but it was fixed in the factory with the later versions (serial numbers starting with 2 or 3 made in 2007/2008).

As mentioned, I’ve had mine for around two years now and it hasn’t skipped a beat. The 5D Classic was made to take a tumble and to be used as a photographic tool. I’ve used it in the rain, dropped it, knocked it and even clipped the mirror with legacy lenses. Mine certainly isn’t the prettiest, and it is usually covered in Gorilla tape to cover logos and the corners of the camera. It’s rugged exterior of magnesium alloy really speaks to you that it was built to last, and built to be used and abused – the 5D Classic wasn’t made to look pretty or to sit on the mantle piece.

Canon 5d Classic well used
It’s well used.

The 5D Classic Specs

What’re the specs? The Canon 5D Classic uses a 12.8mp sensor, which by today’s standards isn’t exactly high, but I’d argue is more than usable. As mentioned, it is encased in a magnesium alloy body which feels sturdy and well built – I think of it as a reassuring heft when using it.


The ISO range is 100-1600 but can be expanded to 50-3200 in the custom functions. I’ve heard that the ISO 50 contains more noise than ISO 100 due to it being software based, but I haven’t noticed anything in my years of shooting with this camera. Speaking of ISO, it isn’t at all bad for a camera released in 2005. While it isn’t a low light beast, you can easily overcome this by using fast lenses or just reducing the noise in post.

The screen

When you have taken your images with your 5D Classic, you might want to check them out on the preview screen on the back…? I would advise not to, as it’s the main downfall of this camera for me. It’s a 2.5” 230,000 pixel LCD panel which is fairly useless for image viewing, but great for the minimal menu – I would recommend to leave the image preview off.


It features a 9 point AF system, which again in today’s world isn’t great, but if you’re like me and use a centre focus point it’s no issue. Just like every other EOS camera, auto focus is fast, though this does depend on the lens you use. All 9 focus points are chosen with the rear nipple nub protrusion, which acts as a form of multi-direction control. Autofocus is activated as normal by half pressing the shutter button with focus confirmation in the viewfinder and/or with the audible ‘beep’.

The controls and interface

The Canon 5D Classic button layout is highly intuitive and easy to use with each button and dial serving a purpose with nothing in the way or complicating matters. Having the rear command dial is a life saver for one handed use, as you can change aperture on the rear dial, shutter speed on the front dial. You can even change the ISO with the same hand by pressing the button on the top in front of the LCD and operating the rear dial.

Speaking of which, the top LCD tells you all of the info you need: Shutter speed, aperture, ISO, white balance, drive mode, metering, exposure, file type, battery info etc. This means the rear screen is mainly used for menus and looking at your images as a pixelated mess. The video mode offers an amazing resolution of… 0 x 0 pixels! That’s right, it doesn’t feature a video mode, or even live view! Like I said, it’s a photographers camera, it’s extremely minimal, and that’s why I love it so much!

Canon 5d Classic top screen
Top LCD panel.

The Viewfinder

The viewfinder – which is a massive, huge, Brobdingnagian – shows you your shutter speed, aperture and exposure value as well as focus confirmation and ISO when changing it. While it only covers 96% of the frame, the large size and bright pentaprism setup makes composition really easy. The focus screens are also changeable to suit ones needs, but I’ve used the regular screens for AF lenses and MF lenses with no issues.

Speed of use

The 5D Classic offers a 3fps continuous burst which is in no way fast. You aren’t going to be capturing fast paced sports in the same way you might be able to with some modern cameras. Although it will shoot up to 1/8000th, which is nice to have even if it’s rarely utilised.

In the hand 

The grip is comfortable and features lots of room for large handed people. I’m around 190cm or so, and the Canon 5D Classic fits perfectly in my hand, with everything within reach and without the need to become a digit contortionist. In real world use, it’s no different to the countless other Canons and Nikons out there – if anything the Canon 5D Classic set a precedent for the DSLRs to follow. If you’ve used a pro-body Canon in the last 10 years, you’ll feel right at home with the Canon 5D Classic.

Canon 5d Classic screen
Rear button layout & menu

Beware – Opinion Ahead

I feel that modern digital cameras as packed full of features which, in reality, are totally unnecessary. Just think of all the people using film cameras, and for how long they were used perfectly adequately before we had hundreds of focus points or ISOs above 3200-6400.

In my mind, packing more features into cameras doesn’t make for better photographers, in fact, for the most part I feel they just overcomplicate the process for the large majority of users. The Canon 5D Classic was a product of the emerging digital era and the declining film era. While it was packed with a state of the art full frame sensor, it handled and worked more similarly to a film camera than the cameras of today do.

Of course, any modern DSLR will trample over the Canon 5D Classic when it comes to high ISO performance and overall speed of function, but I wouldn’t say that they could trample it with image quality – and how many photographers actually really need all that performance. While you can pull more detail and potentially print bigger with today’s higher megapixel sensors, there is something about the 5D’s superb image quality that they can’t match up to in my opinion.

Many people have come to this conclusion, and I am inclined to agree – the Canon 5D Classic has a certain filmic feel to the images. The colours are so rich and vibrant and there’s a certain organic nature to the images of which the 5D creates.  I’ve always found that the images I get out of the 5D Classic rarely need drastic editing, and are usually perfect out of the camera.

Example Images

Canon 5D – Industar 50-2
Canon 5D – 50mm F1.8 STM – Hoya CPL
Canon 5D – 50mm F1.8 STM

Lens adapting

The Canon 5D Classic utilises the EF mount which has a vast array of lenses available for it. While the EOS lenses are great, some are often expensive or just out of reach. Thankfully, (unlike the Nikon F system) the EOS system is fairly friendly when it comes to using classic lenses.

Classic lenses can have a new lease of life when coupled to a full frame DSLR. I for one have been using M42 thread mount lenses since I’ve used the 5D Classic which I find really adds another level to the already filmic aesthetic of the 5D’s images.

A lot of the older lenses have a certain optical nuance that newer lenses don’t have, and I’m not just saying they can be softer than a pat of butter during mid summer. Some have that ‘3D pop’ that so many rave about and argue over in forums, some produce unique bokeh, and some even blow you away with the sheer optical performance.

Just a word of advice though, if one is interested in tying out classic lens, be careful of what M42 lenses you use as some can clip the mirror. The Helios 44-2 is a good example of a lens that will clip the mirror when you get close to infinity. To use it, you will have to shave the rear of the lens.

To be honest, the 50mm f/1.8 STM is the lens usually coupled to my camera, but I do like to dabble and use legacy lenses when I can. There are so many great lenses out there, that it’s a shame for them not to be experimented with and enjoyed once in a while!

Canon 5d Classic
Mounting the Industar 50-2 is rather comical on the 5D Classic

A Coda

So… is it worth buying the Canon 5D Classic in 2018? There seems to have been a lot of attention given to this ageing digital camera recently, with various Youtube channels explaining the ins and outs of the camera and comparing it to the latest and greatest offerings.

In my opinion, it’s all down to the user. You have to think about if you can live with the creative limitations that the 5D Classic brings to the table, as well as the thought of using a camera that’s ageing day by day. The price has dropped massively over the last few years and it’s now become an absolute steal – I’ve seen the Canon 5D Classic go for under £200 from time to time and I’m now even considered buying a second body in the knowledge that these cameras are ageing, and – despite the incredible build quality – mine won’t last forever.

Ultimately, it’s my view that if you’re looking for a cheap entrance into the world of full frame DSLRs, you can’t beat the Canon 5D Classic in terms of image quality, lens selection, and catching an outright bargain. The mixture of the beautiful sensor and the film-camera-feel makes it a compelling camera to use. It’s served me rather well over the last couple of years, and I intend to use it until it’s dying day; I really feel as it’s in a class of it’s own. Less really is more, the Canon 5D Classic is a perfect example of this!

I hope you enjoyed what I have created, you can find more of my work here –
You can also find my work on Instagram @raygoodwinphotos



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About The Author

40 thoughts on “Canon 5D Classic Review – By Ray Goodwin”

  1. The 5D is a film era photographer’s idea of the perfect camera. Expectations of camera’s have changed beyond all recognition since then, but that doesn’t mean those attributes are necessary, or in some cases desirable, especially if they clutter the user interface. If they made the 5D with a newer chip and a bigger screen and left everything else intact, I daresay it would fulfil most photographer’s needs even today.

    1. Thanks for reading! I totally agree. Like I said, I feel that there are so many features which are unnecessary in cameras. How can people love the simplicity of a film camera, yet want a vast array of useless gimmicks on a digital camera? It would be nice to see a barebones full frame DSLR like the 5D made in current times. But despite it’s “shortfalls”, I feel that the 5D is a perfectly good shooter.

  2. It served me well for many years.

    It retired as I wanted something less heavy-weight and something more high-ISO.

    I never complained about it’s image quality.

    When playing with legacy lenses the last years, I nearly ruined the mirror 😉

    So for the moment it rests in peace … but who knows … your post makes me thinking, that this camera would deserve some extended photographic life 😉

    1. Well I’m glad it has possibly inspired you to re-use the 5D and it’s photographic capabilities. I would say that it has many more years of life, despite it’s age. Thanks for reading as it’s well appreciated.

    2. Hi. Thank you for the review.
      I bought this gem ten days ago following a long search. Started looking for it about a year ago after watching YouTube videos on this DSLR.
      If I could get one new selling at $ 2,500/- today with the mirror falling off issue solved; I would buy it. Because this is a real photographer’s camera. I’ve been using 5DII for last three years and have no complaints against it at all. However, the Classic incorporates that special something – producing the film look. I’ve viewed your images following the link, most of those are outstanding. Just like you, I hope to continue using these two versions of 5D for as long as they last. I’ve seen results of 5DIV and 1DxII; both are great. But I don’t need the extra features those cameras offer even a bit.
      As an enthusiast; I shoot landscape, cityscape and street subjects. I used to love shooting these with my beloved 5DII however, now the Classic always takes the next front seat of my car whenever I go out. Limited ISO range is not an issue at all as I never shoot in the dark. The low-light scenes of early morning and late afternoon are easily compensated with slower shutter speeds on the tripod. I also shoot wildlife a lot using 7D, another Canon legend for this specific purpose. Interestingly enough, tried the 5DII in this case little bit; it paid off rich dividends. Might try the Classic also shortly for this genre.
      Thank you again fellow photographer of the same league.

  3. Great read. Thanks.

    Btw, the Nikon F-mount may be just as friendly (as EOS mount) to other legacy lenses via adapters. I use both Canon and Nikon, film and digital cameras. Most of my lenses are old-school manual focus Nikon AIS , but I do have an adapter for my Canon FD lenses to my Nikon DSLRs. I love the LOMO-like results. A quick search online shows you there are quite a few other mounts that will work with the Nikon F mount.

    1. In my experience they need an adapter with a glass element due to the Nikon’s flange distance, which hampers the optical quality of the lenses making them useless in terms of their original optical design. Personally, I steer clear of the “LOMO” crowd, hence why I don’t them and strive for sharp and detailed images. Nikon F mount has a wealth of good lenses through the mount history, negating the use of other legacy lenses anyway.

  4. I bought a 5D about three years ago in great condition and for a good price. It’s my favourite digital camera, My main concern is what happens if all my CF cards fail and the camera becomes unusable, because new small CF cards are no longer available. I’ve done a couple of events with it recently and, whilst it performed well, I really could have done with ISO 12,800 or more and face or even eye detection. It’s made me realise that all the tech in new cameras does actually have some uses.

    1. I believe that the 5D is cheap enough to warrant buying another body, if it so happens that one’s current 5D fails. I have used second hand 8gb CF cards for the entire duration of mt 5D’s use and it hasn’t skipped a beat. I do know that it’s an ageing camera, and one day it will one day pack up and not work. I don’t think the ‘modern’ features of DSLRs now are inherently useless, as I know that people out there will still use these features – but as this is a predominantly film based blog, it’s interesting to see how many people would like a newer and 5D like basic DSLR on the market and some enjoy the newer features on the cameras of the zeitgeist.

      1. I also use a CF adapter with an SD card. I’ve shot 2600 images in raw onto a 128GB card with a 5D and have filled up maybe a third of it. It’s crazy that those raw files are only 10-11MB each!

  5. Liked reading this thank you. I’ve owned this camera before and am now on my current version which cost me the princely sum of £215! If I look back at my photographs some of my favourites are with the 5D when I used the 85 1.8, 135 f2 L (wonderful) and the 17-40. Not a compact setup by any means. No other digital camera I’ve had has been quite as good as the 5D, the mk2 was technically I guess better but it lost something, I’m not sure why it wasn’t as good for me. I must be the sensor surely? A lot of people talk about the filmic look to the images it produces but rarely what that actually means, so I’d like to understand that in more detail. How much of this is the sensor and how much is the glass? I’d love to see the market changing where you could have a very simple digital camera and a choice of different sensors when you buy it, say one just for black and white, or an older type ccd sensor to give a certain look, and not as expensive as a new Leica.

    1. I’m glad that you enjoyed the article. I think it is something to do with the sensor, and or the processing unit for the camera. The difference is fairly nuanced compared to other EOS cameras but it certainly has a distinctive look that I certainly enjoy. It would be nice to see another barebones DSLR out there with the 5D as the sole ethos of the project. Unfortunately, I am doubtful that it would come to fruition.

      1. Me too. It’ll just be more feature creep. I mean people were complaining about the new Nikon mirrorless … “It’s got no eye-af” seriously? is that a thing??? I have no idea 😀

        1. People also whinged about the single card slot as well. It isn’t a pro setup, so don’t expect pro features! I had no idea that eye af was a thing, seeing as I’m rather ignorant to new features on cameras. There’s always something for people to moan about, and it’s usually rather minor and it creates such an echo chamber of noise…which I gladly avoid. Surely, if one doesn’t like something they should just turn the other way and not continue to moan.

  6. I love my 5D. It’s the camera that effectively stopped my GAS as far as digital is concerned. I went through so many digital cameras and systems, it’s embarassing, but once I tried the 5D classic with the cheap 50mm 1.8 STM I knew I finally had THE camera I was looking for, and all for a great price. The sensor is simply magic, and even ISO 1600 looks great (I use RAW only, never shot a frame in JPG, so couldn’t comment on that). I highyl recommend getting the EE-S screen. It’s fantastic for MF and I wouldn’t want to miss it even with AF lenses. The Display on the back is not godd for checking focus, but with the EE-S screen you can clearly see if focus is where you want it before you take the picture. Center AF is fast and absolutely reliable.

    If you want digital full frame, unless you shoot mostly in the dark, the 5D with the 50 STM is all you really need. No other digital camera has tempted me since I got my 5Dc a few years ago.

    1. I completely agree with you, Mathias. Despite it’s age, it can still perform fantastically well even today. Even ISO 3200 is usable within reason – I have used JPGs for shooting events and they’re fantastic straight out of the camera, with very little editing needed. I have a look for that screen, as I have been tempted to find one that is more friendly to the manual focus lenses. I always use a centre focus point, and it’s always reliable but only starts to hunt in dark or low contrast settings; in everyday use, it’s ever reliable.

      I’ll only buy another digital camera once my 5D eventually gives up the ghost, which I’m hoping will be in many years to come. Thanks for reading my article!

  7. Thank you for this article! I bought my 5d classic a couple of days ago with shutter count less than 1500 (yes, fifteen hundred) looks and feels like brand new, condition is fantastic! I had no chance to test it properly yet as I’m still waiting for a set of new batteries for it, old one last for less than 5 mins of work. I red lots of reviews about 5d, its bad and good points and I am a little bit concern about future mirror failure. It was not fixed yet and I am aware of fact canon stopped doing recalls on this issue on September 2015, my body has serial number starts from ”1” so it will happen at some stage, hopefully not to soon.. anyway your article helped me (once more) to understand that I made a right choice for my first FF body. I used so far 450d APSC but thankfully I have 50mm 1.8STM, Sigma 24mm and Helios 44-4 (thanks for an advise on this one!) so I have few lenses to start with. Best regards from Poland! 🙂

    1. Thanks Kamil. I am so touched that I have managed to aid your decision with the 5D. It’s nice to see that the article helped out someone out there in the world, it makes it all worth while in the end. Best regards from South West England.

  8. I still love my 5D, well, means, like it very much…love is a bit too much said, but i really enjoy shooting with my “Queen Mum”. It’s into todays very interesting times the opposite, not jam-packed with tons of features, nobody needs (well, at least not myself) and just the basics of photography.

    I only wished for sensor cleaning (introduced into the 2008 5D II), and a better LCD (also 5D II) but other-wise i never chimp on taken shots onto location – just at home, onto my PC. And i never made a wet cleaning since i ever bought it – the rocket blower is good enough, from time to time.

    Before, i’ve used the 28-70/2.8L USM, 24-105/F4L USM, or because of weight the 28-75/2.8 SP Tamron, but nowadays, the 40/2.8 STM with Tulip Shape Lens Hood & Protection Filter is being glued all time onto my 5D. It’s good enough.

    My 5D does have the Mirrorfix since 2015, it was done for free, preventive, before the Mirror would accidently drop out.

    Good Light!

  9. Rays 5D looks battle-worn…so sad….mine does have ca. ~11.000 actuations, and still being like mint. Sometimes, i am adapting some of my Contax Yashica Lenses, but the EF 40/2.8 STM is mostly being glued onto it these days.

    Just as a Note: *any* Mirror could came of, from the very early 05xxxxxxxx Series, up to 38xxxxxxx Bodies, that’s why i’ve let CPS being fixed this for my 5D. I wouldn’t buy any 5D without the Mirrorfix nowadays. Besides that, the 5D does amplify red tones, and it does also have some sort of “organic”, Film-like rendering – that’s why i’ve bought it, back into 2008, when the 5D II was being avialable, but therefore, cheaper.

    Nowadays, we do life into very interesting times – Fujifilm/Panasonic developes the 1st organic Sensor, curved Sensors also come within time, and Sigma would release 2019 their first Fullframe Foveon (this gives me Goose bumps) mirrorless Camera, but nothing would keep me from shooting my good, old, beloved 5D.

    Good Light!

    1. Not “any” mirror could come off. Earlier serial numbers cameras had that issue. But Canon fixed that problem with camera serial numbers starting with 2 and above. Have a good day.

  10. Wow Kamil, congrats. I’ve never seen a 5D that new, mine had some couple 1000 actuations, when i had bought it used into 2008.

    I do can recommand the EF 40mm F2.8 STM lens, it’s not as narrow as the Nifty Fifty 50/1.8 STM lens, it’s wider, and not that wide, as your usual, typical 35mm F2.8 Lens….it’s now basically glued onto my 5D Body. And because it’s a Pancake Lens, it’s really very small and light.

    Read the Optical Limits, DPReview Reviews, and others….that smallish Lens is really very good. I do prefer it much, over the 50/1.8 STM.

    Good Light

    1. Hello Marc, well, now 5D has about 2500 shots done and I’m really delighted with it. I got few lenses for it, 24-105L4, 70-300 Is USM aaaand yes, yesterday on ebay I found very clean 40mm pancake! I hope I will have it next week as I can’t wait to try it out! I have funny feeling she will settle on my camera for good.. I decided to buy it because I want fast lens shooting streets and so on in the evening, 24-105L4 is good for day shooting but when the light goes… After that couple of months I have to say I really really like this body and I do not have to looking for anything else so far. Old 450d went to another person so I shoot only with 5D. Feels good! 😉 best regards!

  11. Good review. If anyone wants a good M42 50mm that works on the 5D, suggest the Super Multi-Coated Takumar 1.8/55. Clears the mirror at infinity. I do use various lenses at less than infinity without problems too. IME the mirror hangup with some lenses is an exagerrated problem, just turn the lens focus away from infinity and the mirror returns as normal. No error codes or need to power off etc. Also my 5D is early series yet has never failed after many years of heavy use, so not all early ones had mirror glue problems.

  12. Thanks for the article. I bought my 5Dc new in 2006. I have been really happy with it ever since. There is something magic about it. I use it with Canon primes 35 f2 50 f1.4 and 85 f1.8. Always with hoods.

    If I want higher resolution I just merge a few images in Lightroom (It is so easy and professional now).

    I have looked at upgrading it at some point but I the only one which looks any good in the Canon range is the 5D mkiv. The 5D mk ii has colour issues, the 5D mkii has exposure and light leakage issues. The 6D’s are not professional/tough enough, and the 1Dx’s are too bulky and expensive for me. I will wait until the price on the mk iv comes down more.

    I never got my mirror recall done but so far it has been fine (fingers crossed).

    I don’t worry about the screen. I just bracket when I shoot. Then I just choose the best one in post (By doing this I maximise the use of the sensor). If you intelligently use shutter speed and aperture you can keep you iso much lower than a lazy high iso new camera shooter and therefore get better images as 5Dc lower iso is still way better than new camera high iso. I can see them in more detail in the field if I want by transferring into lightroom on my phone using a card reader plugged into my phone (Transfers in seconds with usb-c).

  13. I have used my 5D for about 5 years. The serial #starts with “1”. Pretty sure the mirror has been replaced. So far, so good with that.
    It can get scary using it in low light areas for weddings. Have been trying to learn more ETTR as this camera is a “noise collector” when used indoors under less than adequate lighting. Flash can make up for it when / if allowed, but for ceremonies it can bring on an anxiety attack. lol
    As a side note – I think the shutter sound is so distinct you can identify it blind folded. Loud, but oddly comforting.
    As much as I hate to admit it, buying faster lenses and / using adapted legacy lenses can add up to more than replacing the body such as a 6D which is on my radar screen right now and almost doubles the high ISO capability of the 5D. Have used a 7D as a back up but it is a mediocre low light performer as well. All of that said, I still grab the 5 first for weddings and events that are not sports related.

  14. Less is more, indeed!

    Two years ago I inherited a 5D from a relative who had gone Sony mirrorless. Whenever I use it with the f1.8 50, I am almost transported to the 1970’s when I went out with my Canon AE-1 and f1.8 50 FD lens (and ASA 25 Kodachrome).

    I used the half-press-then-recompose method then and I use it now. But with the 5D, half-press locks AE/AF but only if the metering mode is Evaluative. Evaluative Metering AND Spot Focusing do not go together! If I use Spot Metering, I had to first press the * Button before the half-press would work.

    You use Single Point Focus, can you throw some light on the matter? Thanks!

    1. I always use a centre point to AF, as I find it much easier for me. I know that the centre point will always be selected for focusing, so I can focus on the subject, and then recompose when needed. I am sure more modern AF systems can select AF points if and when, but I find it better to tell the camera what to do, rather it tell me what to do.

  15. Great review of this camera. I am a little late to the party with FF bodies (hired them for work but never personally owned), predominately been using cropped Canon bodies for personal and commercial work (7dmk2 I use and prime lenses these days, ditched my zooms for creative purposes).

    But, I have recently acquired a Canon 5d ‘classic’ and I am very very happy with this brick. Yes its is slow and feature’less, and the LCD is useless, in fact i just have the histogram screen set now to get exposure right, but really i was very impressed with what it can achieve still.

    Do photographers really need all these features of newer cameras? Maybe, depends on your style. I certainly don’t most of the time. What I have learnt to appreciate with this body is it teaches you to slow down and think about your work, not sure why it just does this. I took this out on a pro shoot as a back up body, and did a few shots alongside the rapid 7dmk2 and the pictures were great, they do have a film cinematic feel people try to emulate now with presets, but this thing punches them out naturally! Still life in the old dinosaur yet, just stick with fast primes and all is great!

    Even the shutter noise is addictive 🙂

  16. Pingback: Blurry Picture for Cameras – Dave Lawrence Photography

  17. When the 5 D came out, it was highly praised as a Top of the Line camera. It’s still does all the things it did back then too. It’s hard to get hurt for a few hundred dollars if you want a DSLR.

  18. Little Round Box

    Another classic Canon with that look is the 20D. Although it is APSC, the filmic look and colors of the images are very similar to a 5D’s and there is much less risk of hitting the mirror from M42 lenses. It is the camera I use most often for family events when I don’t want to edit a lot raw files. The colors are just fine and snapshot prints look great. I am still using the original batteries it came with in 2004. I suspect a 20D would be found for pennies these days… another reason why I never sold it.

  19. Thank you for the review. After a long search; I found one Canon 5D Classic in fairly good condition today (17Jul21) and bought it for 329/- dollars. I have been using 5DII for quite a while already with full satisfaction. However, bought the Classic for a different purpose – getting the film look in the images. Tested it little bit today and it appears that reputation is perhaps justified. Will be able to confirm after using it for about a year or so.

    In fact, 5D Classic sports a unique reputation in two areas – colors and film look. I hope my one does comply with those.

  20. Following a prolonged search; found this DSLR recently and bought it immediately. Shot few images. Those photos match exactly with what I expected – lovely colors and the desired film look.

    In the image quality department; no other camera can beat it hands down. Moreover, its bigger pixels produce rich and smooth photos that are joy for viewing. I’ve blown them out on 55” LED TV, they look outstanding.

    1. Hi Quazi! I am thrilled that you enjoyed my review of the 5D Classic. The camera is certainly a fantastic photographic tool when used well, and can produce some brilliant images especially with those crisp colour tones. I have recently upgraded to the 5D MKiii which is such a brilliant upgrade compared to the MKi, yet the earlier iteration will hopefully still be clicking around for many years to come.

  21. Sorry, this is not true what you write, this myth with serial 2 or 3. Canon had issued the service issue into marc 2009, that *all* EOS 5D Bodies are prone to failure, it could happen, anytime…or not. The reason is the kind of compound glue, which Canon used, to fit the Mirror into it’s Mirrorbox steady, with 4 contact glue points.

    For what it’s worth, my 2 EOS 5D Bodies (bought into 2008 new, and the other one into the 2010-12 years 2nd hand, are both into 2xxxxxxxxxx and 3xxxxxxxx serial numbers, and Canon fixed it pro-active for free with the Mirrorfix, which also uses 2 extra reinforcement struts on both sides of the mirror. Problem since End of Oct. 2019, no more spare parts to-do so, the 5D was fallen out of the CPS Program long, many years ago.

    Very few (if ever) repair sites still have the spare parts, to-do this Mirror fix. But common sense 2021 nowadays is, out of luck, if you don’t have it, you’ve to stick with it. End of Story, sad but true. But the Mirrorfix was basically being applied for free for >10 years, to be honest.

    Good Light.

  22. Great post. So true about the 5D image qualities… I got myself a Sony a7 some years ago as the camera to replace the 5D. It was great to have all the aids when using MF lenses, but out of the box images didn’t catch my eye, while from the 5D where most of them, and in the end I was taking out the 5D a lot more than the a7. I sold the Sony last month and kept the 5D. I will most surely get a second as a backup if I can find some good deal.

    I own a 20 years old 300D as well, still in working condition. It must be the the same sensor maker, because the same applies for its images. Even if the resolution is just 6Mb, the images have some kind of silkiness that makes the images really appealing.


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