I purchased this camera a little over a month ago. I have since sold it, and switched to using Nikon. I can no longer support Canon, and this saddens me, for I grew up using Canon since I was 8 years old. Here is why I gave this camera 2 stars:
- Full frame censor: I thought this was a good thing? It is, and it isn't. Simply put, even Canon's "L" lenses won't provide even light illumination on the censor. Vignetting is a serious problem for the 5D. Like to shoot wide open, say at f/2.8? Think again, because you'll wind up with soft and dark corners every time. Canon's own media rep Chuck Westfall discussed this problem rather briefly in the June 06 issue of PCPhoto magazine. If you won't sharp results with a full frame, you need to stop down, a lot. Swing and a miss for portrait shooters looking to shoot wide open.
- Speed: 3 frames per second? Are you kidding me? This simply is not adequate for sports and action photographers. Many DSLR's offer 5 to 8 frames per second, so why 3?
- Build: This thing doesn't feel any different than the Digital Rebel. For this price, it should feel solid and beefy. The camera isn't even weather sealed like its big brother the Canon 1Ds Mark II. The build isn't terrible, but it certainly isn't impressive.
- Features: Where are they? The most needed features are buried deep in a menu. Don't worry though; Canon has included a "Direct Print" button on the camera. I couldn't believe this, what, is this thing a point and shoot suddenly? There are about 100 more important functions this button could have represented. If this is Canon's way of offering "a feature rich camera" as stated on their initial press release, then I am at a loss of what to say.
- Performance: Color rendition is terrible. There is a noticeable cyan cast to most images. Auto focus is quick, but inaccurate. Only 65% or so of my images showed critical focus, which Canon told me was, "acceptable." This was the same result from many a lens.
The list goes on, but I'm getting a little depressed listing all these faults. Is there anything good about this camera? Certainly.
- Resolution: The 12 MPs is amazing. Image quality, in terms of resolution is stunning. Micro contrast and sharpness is second only to the big Mark II. You will not be disappointed if you are buying this camera for every last pixel.
- Noise performance: There is none, almost. Shooting at ISO 1600 or 3200 is no problem with this camera. Noise levels at ISO 3200 look like that of a Nikon at ISO 400-800. This is a huge advantage of Canon's Full frame CMOS chip, as well as the resolution listed above.
- Wide angle: There is no crop factor with a full frame censor. This might appeal to film users who want to maintain their lenses true focal length, or to those who shoot at or below the 28mm range. It doesn't mean you'll be impressed with the performance of your wide angle lenses on this camera, but that 15mm fisheye will stay a 15mm.
This camera is a hit or miss depending on who you are, and what type of photography you do. I've noticed landscape and macro photographers seem to love this camera, and for good reason. They tend to shoot smaller apertures, focus accuracy isn't a problem, and neither is frame rate. Portrait photographers can go either way, but probably won't like it that much; poor color and light fall-off at large apertures are two very serious stumbling blocks. As for the wildlife and sports photographers, that's a big no (most likely). Slow frame rate, poor focus abilities, mediocre build, and the lack of the crop factor (your 500mm isn't an 800mm any more like it was on the 20D) will surely disappoint most of these shooters.
In my final thoughts, if you are thinking of an upgrade from a 20D or a rebel, the answer is probably no, unless you shoot exclusively landscapes, or macro, or you need the resolution for larger prints. If you are buying your first digital SLR, than definitely no. This camera is simply not user friendly. If you are considering it because it's a "full frame," think again. Canon has an excellent marketing campaign, but for every advantage of full frame, there is a disadvantage as well. Don't let my review stop you though, go and decide for yourself. The camera might suit your needs perfectly, but I feel for the overall market and majority of users, this camera missed the mark, and thus my low rating. Canon's got some homework to do, and they better do it fast.