New Canon EOS 5D Digital SLR

The new compact Canon EOS 5D digital SLR offers a full-frame CMOS sensor with 12.8 megapixels of resolution and will be available in October for an estimated selling price of $3,299. As the world's smallest and lightest full frame digital SLR, the EOS 5D model features Canon's proprietary DIGIC II Image Processor and allows users to shoot up to 3 frames per second and record up to 60 full-resolution JPEGs and 17 RAW images in a single burst. The camera includes a new 9-point AF system with six supplemental AF points for fast and precise focusing and a new 2.5-inch LCD/TFT screen with 230,000 pixels that's viewable even at extreme angles.

The Canon EOS 5D digital SLR has magnesium alloy body weighing just 28.6 ounces (810 grams. Canon describes the heart of the Canon EOS 5D digital SLR as being its new, Canon-designed and manufactured CMOS image sensor. The sensor's 35.8 x 23.9mm size means that each pixel can be 8.2um, resulting in what Canon describes as exceptionally low shadow noise. The sensor's low power consumption is also said to extend battery life and lower noise. A finer CMOS production process and optimized photodiode construction increase the light-sensitive area of each pixel and improve dynamic range as well.

With the full-size sensor, EF lenses - even wide-angle lenses - have the same look and feel they have with conventional SLR cameras, preserving their optical signatures. Imaging quality in the EOS 5D is enhanced with the addition of the DIGIC II image processor, which provides detailed and natural color reproduction and fast image processing, including a burst performance of 60 Large/Fine JPEGs or 17 RAW images at 3 fps. DIGIC II also enhances start-up time on the EOS 5D DSLR, bringing it down to a lightning fast 0.2 seconds.

A new feature called Picture Styles combines processing parameters and color matrix settings into easy settings designed to obtain the desired effect, almost like choosing a type of film to obtain a specific result. For users who do not want to bother with post processing, there is the Picture Style called Standard which produces images that look crisp and vivid with the sharpness set to mid-scale and the color tone and saturation set to obtain vivid colors. In the Portrait setting, the color tone and saturation are set to obtain nice skin tones with the sharpness set one step weaker than the Standard setting so the skin and hair look softer. Under the Landscape setting, the color tone and saturation are set to obtain deep blues and greens, the sharpness is set one step stronger than Standard so the outline of mountains, trees and buildings look more crisp. The Neutral setting is the same as the default setting for EOS-1 series cameras where natural color reproduction is obtained and no sharpness is applied. This is the ideal setting for post-processing. The Faithful setting is the same as Digital Photo Professional's Faithful, so when the subject is photographed under a color temperature of 5200K, the color is adjusted colorimetrically to match the subject's color with no sharpness applied. Monochrome is the same as the EOS 20D camera's monochrome setting and with User Defined, the user can create and save their own preferred settings.

The Canon EOS 5D digital SLR has a new nine point AF system with six Supplemental AF points, a new AF algorithm and a new AF circuitry. The new AF system improves subject detection and focusing precision at the center, the most frequently used area, and is said to significantly enhance subject tracking performance.

On the EOS 5D model, the nine AF points are concentrated at the center, but the extreme left and right points are located in the same positions as the corresponding AF points on the EOS-1Ds Mark II. In addition, the six invisible Supplemental AF points, grouped around the center of the image provide highly accurate focusing and do a great job of tracking the subject in the AI SERVO AF mode. In addition, three AF points on the new EOS 5D model work with f/2.8 or faster lenses for enhanced precision.

The EOS 5D model has a 2.5-inch polysilicon TFT LCD monitor with approximately 230,000 pixels. At 170 degrees, it has an exceptionally wide viewing angle. Brightness on the monitor is also adjustable in five levels and the screen's backlight feature uses six LED modules, as opposed to three on previous models, to helps illuminate the 2.5-inch LCD evenly. Along with the larger monitor, the menu text is also larger and easier to red. The full-featured INFO screen includes files sizes, RGB histogram and AF frame displays. In addition, Quick Review images are now enlargeable.

Because noise is difficult to see on a camera's LCD monitor, even one as large and detailed as the EOS 5D camera, it is hard to know whether noise reduction should be turned on or not. Thanks to a new automatic noise reduction feature on the EOS 5D DSLR, getting rid of unwanted noise has been made even easier that with previous models. In the C.Fn-02-1 setting, automatic noise reduction occurs when noise is detected for exposures of 1 second or longer, regardless of ISO. In the C.Fn-02.2 setting, full-time noise reduction for exposures of 1 second of longer occurs regardless of whether noise is detected and regardless of ISO. With these two options, photographers using the Canon EOS 5D DSLR can adjust the camera's noise reduction capabilities to suit a particular situation.

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