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A review on the Canon 5D “Classic”

Last updated on November 21, 2020

Disclaimer: I am no professional photographer – this review displays only my personal experiences with the camera as a experienced hobby-photographer.

The Canon 5D – short description

Picture of a Canon 5D dslr camera.

The Canon 5D – our days often refered to as ‘Canon 5D Classic’ or ‘Canon 5D Mark I‘ (not official names) is a full-frame camera which came out as dslr camera for professional use in the year 2005. It is known for its great usability and handling and still delivers great pictures (came out 15 years ago!). Another good thing: it’s body is real solid.

Detailed information about the 5D:

What is unique about photos taken with the Canon 5D?

Photos shot with the 5D are often described by their special “Cinema” look when they came unedited and straight from the camera. Spoken for myself, i can confirm this – but have a look yourself:

Picture of red roses in a big garden with bokeh effect.
Picture of a cover for the Canon 50mm f1.4 ultrasonic lens.
Picture of a cat while coming out of a door.
Picture of a green plant in a big garden.

I just buyed a 5D Classic, what do i need to use it?

One thing about buying such an old camera like the 5D, is that you need CF-cards for it. Yep, you heard right – CF cards, not SD cards as we are used to at present times (2020). The alternative – that’s what i did – is to buy an adapter for SD cards to use on the CF slot of the 5D.

The other thing is that – if you didn’t already buy the camera in a complete set – you need the old Canon batteries – the type BP-511 or BP-511A.

Unfortunately i bought my 5D with two batteries which were in a bad and heavily used condition, which means i will soon buy new ones – you can also search and buy non-original ones, they are way more cheaper than the original ones.

Once you have a CF card (or more) or an adapter with some SD-cards and also some batteries in a good condition you are able to take awesome shots with your 5D!

Only 12.8 megapixels? Don’t i need much more?

No. As simple as it gets, but the answer for most users will certainly be no.


Because the megapixels the 5D has to offer, are quite enough to do also some prints and they are more than enough to show some good pics on instagram or other social media channels. If you do not crop your pictures like hell while editing, the pixels will be enough. So far, i never had a problem with an issue like not enough megapixels or bad quality. The 5D really is an awesome camera if you want to show your shots on Instagram. You just don’t need that much megapixels on a smartphone or tablet sceen.

The things the 5D can’t do

The Canon 5D has no Wifi, no NFC, no bluetooth nor any sort of Life-View.

Means, if you you absolutely need that or one of that characteristics… just don’t buy a 5D. Otherwise you probably won’t get happy with it. BUT if you think about not missing one of these features than it“’s worth to consider to buy one.

Canon 5D ‘Classic’ – Summary

The Canon 5D still is a high-performing, but now low-budget full-frame dslr camera. The 5D may be perfect for you especially if you are just a newbie who wants to try whats it’s like to use a full-frame camera. You should of course check if the disadvantages (CF card/adapter, old battery type, no video function etc.) don’t bother you.

Personally i am absolutely fascinated about the fact that a now (2020) 15 year old dslr camera stills performs on such a high level. For me it’s just pure fun to hold it, use it and to have a big smile editing the photos generated by this great piece of technique. It’s even more awesome how many great pictures you can let just raw and unedited. Often they already come with such a nice look straight from the camera.

How does the 5D look like?

Backside view of the Canon 5D with buttons and the main display.
Canon 5D buttons and display on backside
The left side of a Canon 5D with digital out, microphone and flash input.
The CF card slot of a Canon 5D
CF card slot
Canon 5D camera from above. Top display and mode wheel.
Display on top with mode wheel on the left side. In the middle

Thank’s for reading till the end! Check out my latest photos with the 5D on Instagram

Check out my photo gallery

Published in Blog


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