• Tisha Luk

The DSLR Era: Canon 5D Classic

Updated: 2 days ago

The very first full frame DSLR that I ever owned was a Canon 5D Classic that I purchased used from a fellow photographer that I was friends with on Google+. It cost me $600 USD and came with a few not so great telephoto lenses (the seller admitted), so I donated or sold (I can't quite remember which) the old lenses and bought a nifty fifty to go with it, as I was on a budget. I maybe had that camera for a year, if that long, before circumstance caused me to have to sell off my camera gear. But while I owned it, I took it everywhere and shot everything, and it was fantastic! Shooting with just one lens, a prime at that, helped me to really grow in my skills as a photographer. It forced me to learn to create great images with what I had. I wasn't tempted to switch lenses for each change of scene, because I had none to switch to. It was simply perfect and I will never forget that experience.


Fast Forward at least 7 maybe 8 years, and I once again own and have been shooting with a Canon for a few years, and I love it! I went through quite a few years of trying different systems such as 2 Nikons, a Fuji, and 2 Olympus, but none of those cameras ever came close to giving me an experience like that of the Canon. So, in September 2018 I sold all my Nikon gear and bought my Canon 5D Mark IV with the 24-70mm f4/L lens, and I couldn't be happier to be back in the Canon family. I'll be shooting with my 5D Mark IV until it dies or until I do!


Anyway, there is a point to this story, I promise. My husband and I were talking about photography and how it's changed over the years; a discussion brought on by the whole AI photo processing topic. I was voicing my sadness at what appears to be the death of the DSLR at the hands of mirrorless systems, and reminiscing about my first Canon 5D. I told my husband I'd like to get my hands on one of each of the Canon 5D line, to both shoot with and just to collect. And what did he do? He went online, found a 5D Classic, and bought it for me! I love that man!



So, I have a Canon 5D Classic back in my hands and it's in even better shape than the one I owned before. I'm super impressed with how new it looks and how well it still functions. I look forward to shooting with it! I've tried it with both the nifty fifty and the above pictured 24-70mm f/4L and it's as sharp as I remember it.


For those curious, the specs (well some of them) for the Canon 5D Classic are as follows:


Year Introduced 2005

Megapixels 12.8

Total Pixels 13.3

Sensor Size 35.8 x 23.9mm

Pixel Dimensions 4368 x 2912

Pixel Size 8.20µm

Diffraction-Limited Aperture f/13.2

Aspect Ratio 3:2

Sensor Stabilization No

Sensor Cleaning Manual Cleaning Only

Lens Mount EF (excludes EF-S lenses)

FOVCF 1.0x

Image Processor DIGIC II

Autofocus Type TTL-CT-SIR with a CMOS sensor

Points 9-point AF (plus 6 Assist AF points)

Working Range EV -0.5 - 18 (at 20°C & ISO 100)

Modes One Shot

AI Servo

AI Focus

Point Selection Automatic selection, Manual selection

Predictive Yes, up to 8m

Assist Beam Emitted by an optional dedicated Speedlite

Microadjustment No


And just to summarize some of the rest, because there are so many... there was no live view (yep, you heard me right) and the ISO sensitivity was only 100 - 1600 but could be expanded to a low of 50 and high of 3200, though not recommended. And finally, there is no video. None at all. This was simply a stills camera.


With all that said, this was a wonderful full frame camera for its time, and I'm so happy to be in the possession of one again. If you know where I can pick up the Mark II and/or Mark III in good working condition, for a reasonable price, let me know!


Comment below and tell me what was the first camera you owned, that made a real impact on you and your photography? Until next time, make sure you are following me on Instagram and Twitter and that you subscribe to my blog. I promise never to send you spam, just notifications of new posts. Remember to be kind, be loving, & be better!

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© 2020 Tisha Luk.