The Most Important Camera of the past ten years…The Canon EOS 5D Classic. Please forgive me for the funky colors, this was originally posted on Instagram using one of their popular filters.
For my first post here, I’d like to pay tribute to perhaps the most important and influential camera of the past ten years. And in my opinion, that camera would be…
The Canon EOS 5D, otherwise known today as the “5D Classic.”
I’m sure there are many people who would disagree with me, we all have our opinions. I will try to explain my reasoning for choosing the 5D Classic as the most important camera of the past ten years.
Three things. First, it was a “full-frame” DSLR. In 2005, there weren’t many of them and the ones that were there were ridiculously expensive. The top EOS 1Ds ran about $8000.
“Birth” 2007. Canon EOS 5D Classic, EF 50mm f/1.8, ISO 500
The 5D was introduced at $3299. So with the 5D came an “enthusiast affordable” price. That’s the second reason. Before the 5D, it was like the “haves” and “have nots” as far as owning a full-frame DSLR.
If you could afford one, you were in the “elite” category. For everyone else, you had to use an APS-C, “DX” or other smaller sensors.
The 5D Classic changed this with its price point. Even though it certainly wasn’t cheap, $3299 is WAY better than $8000 if you want to have something left in the bank 🙂
“Lin’s Head” 2005. Canon EOS 5D, Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 XR, ISO 100
And last reason, for its time, the 5D had amazing high iso performance. Even though other cameras beat it on high iso today, in 2005 there was no competition.
Jazz legend Mike Stern at the 55 Bar in NYC, 2006. Canon EOS 5D, ISO 3200.
All these things that the 5D Classic brought to market are still being worked on today by nearly all camera manufacturers. Even though micro 4/3’s will never be full-frame, their manufacturers continually work on better high iso capabilities, stronger camera bodies, and “enthusiast affordable” price for their pro and enthusiast models. This could arguably be traced back to the performance bar set by the 5D Classic.
Full-frame…High ISO performance…Price.
“The Darkness Comes” 2010. Canon EOS 5D Classic, Zuiko 35-80mm f/2.8, ISO 200
The 5D led the way to other awesome cameras that came after it…The Nikon D3/D3X/D700/D600/D4/DF, the Sony A900/A850/A99, the Canon 5D Mark II/5D Mark III/6D.
“The Black Rain Killer” 2008. Canon EOS 5D, Zeiss 85mm f/2.8 Sonnar.
Even today’s mirrorless cameras such as the Sony A7/A7R/A7S all can be traced to the original 5D as their inspiration.
I’ve had mine since 2005. Thousands of shots. Never needed repair. Only once did the mirror fall out and I fixed it myself. Other than that, knock on wood, she still keeps ticking 🙂
“That Smile” 2008. Canon EOS 5D, Leica 90mm f/2 Summicron-R, ISO 800
Even today, I would say this camera could be used for almost any paying gig and still deliver the goods.
Is the 5D perfect? No. No camera is. No, it can’t do ISO 100,00+++, no it’s not a 10 frame-per-second monster, no it doesn’t have the fastest AF in the world. But YES, it delivers on image quality. At low iso’s, it still delivers files that look as good as almost anything out there today. At high iso’s, it can still get the shots albeit a little “gritty” by today’s standards, but I’m a fan of gritty 🙂
In hindsight, it’s easy to criticize the 5D for what it lacks. But to appreciate it, you have to “transport” yourself back to 2005. At that time, there was no full-frame DSLR cheaper, and no camera better for low light, high iso shots.
From 2007 “Happy Thanksgiving…Maybe Not?” 🙂 Canon EOS 5D, EF 50mm f/1.8, ISO 500
The Canon EOS 5D Classic is a digital pioneer and a true digital camera legend.