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Canon's EOS 5D digital SLR. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. It's real: Canon's EOS 5D full frame DSLR
(Monday, August 22, 2005 - 06:00 EDT)

Canon USA has today unveiled its new EOS 5D digital SLR, confirming rumors that have been swirling for a couple of weeks now.

The Canon EOS 5D is bound to attract quite a bit of attention, thanks to its use of a newly developed 35mm-frame sized CMOS image sensor with a 12.8 effective megapixel resolution. The use of a full 35mm sensor means there's no focal length multiplier - something which will please photographers looking for a camera that offers good wide-angle possibilities. On the flip side however, it means that as with Canon's EOS-1 series cameras, the EOS 5D does not support Canon's EF-S lenses - instead accepting only the standard EF-mount lenses. The sensor design looks likely to be based on the same 8.2 micron pixel and microlens layout used in the EOS 1D Mark II and Mark II N digital SLRs, but continued on a larger total sensor area, although Canon has not actually confirmed this to us.

The camera body design lies somewhere in between the existing EOS 20D and current EOS-1 series cameras, with styling and ergonomic features reminiscent of all its siblings, although the control layout is closest to the 20D. The width and depth of the EOS 5D body are about halfway between the EOS 20D and EOS-1 bodies, but the height is a little under a centimeter taller than the 20D, and far shorter than the EOS-1 cameras since there's no built-in portrait grip. This will make for a much more portable camera than the EOS-1 series, with a volume 35% lower than the EOS-1 cameras, and body weight about 33% lower.

This is particularly impressive given that the EOS 5D will offer the largest LCD display of any Canon digital SLR - a 2.5" type with 230,000 pixels (the same resolution as the EOS-1 cameras). Canon tells us that the LCD used will offer a particularly wide viewing angle - 170 degrees both horizontally and vertically. The image display algorithms have been tweaked for the new display, to offer improved perception of sharpness. As with all Canon's DSLRs other than the Rebel series, the EOS 5D uses an eye-level pentaprism viewfinder, although coverage is a little tighter than the pro-oriented EOS-1 models, at about 96% coverage. Unlike the EOS Rebel and 20D models which feature fixed focusing screens, the 5D accepts a choice of three interchangeable focusing screens (a great feature, although the EOS-1 series models are the highest-spec, accepting nine different screens).

As with all of Canon's recent models, the EOS 5D is based around a DIGIC II processor. The feature-set is mostly somewhere between that of the EOS 20D and EOS-1 series cameras. Nine focusing points are on offer via a TTL-CT-SIR CMOS sensor based on that in the EOS 20D, althoughthe 5D also features what Canon refers to as six invisible Assist AF focusing points. These are essentially focusing points that are not indicated in the viewfinder, and cannot be manually selected - but which are used automatically when the camera is in AI Servo AF mode to follow a moving subject. The invisible focus points are also included in the groups of points which can be accessed via Custom Function 17. While it isn't possible to determine when the invisible AF points are being used when you take the photo, their use is indicated in the camera's RAW file data, so you can later see if an invisible AF point was used.

There's no built-in flash unit - as one would expect on a camera that's aimed more at professional usage, the EOS 5D instead offers only a choice of hot shoe or PC sync connectivity for external flash units. The EOS 5D doesn't offer the range of scene program modes of the consumer-oriented cameras. ISO sensitivity range is identical to the EOS-1 cameras, including the extended ISO 50 setting that isn't offered on the 20D.

Metering is catered for by a 35-zone SPC, but unlike the Rebels and the EOS 20D, there's a 3.5% spot metering option. Exposure compensation is limited to a +/-2EV range, rather than the +/-3EV range of the EOS-1 cameras. White balance adjustment is available over a range of seven 5-mired steps as with the EOS 20D, rather than the wider 19-step range of the EOS-1 cameras however. Burst speed is limited to "just" three frames per second, the same as the consumer-level Rebel XT, and a full two frames per second below the speed of the EOS 20D, although this is perhaps understandable given the much higher resolution of the EOS 5D, meaning there's more data to transfer. At 60 JPEG frames, the EOS 5D offers the deepest burst depth of any of the EOS digital SLRs before it begins to slow down in a burst, though. RAW burst depth is 17 frames. The EOS 5D's shutter mechanism is rated at a 100,000 cycle durability.

Images are stored on Type-I or Type-II CompactFlash cards or Microdrives; the EOS 5D doesn't offer a second slot to accept Secure Digital cards, something with the EOS-1 cameras can boast. Where those cameras offer USB 1.1 and IEEE 1394 connectivity, the EOS 5D instead adopts USB 2.0 High-Speed connectivity as was seen on the Rebel XT and EOS 20D.

Specifications for the Canon EOS 5D follow below. The camera is expected to go on sale in early October 2005, and pricing will be US$3299. One accessory will be available, the BG-E4 portrait grip, with a suggested list price of US$340. We've prepared a comparison with all other current cameras in Canon's digital SLR lineup based on these specifications, which can be found in a separate news item, to let readers see how the camera is positioned in Canon's overall lineup.

Canon EOS 5D
Canon's EOS 5D digital SLR. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera Type SLR
Manufacturer Canon
Model Number 5D
Dimensions 6.0 x 4.4 x 3.0"
152.0 x 113.0 x 75.0mm
Weight 810.0 g
28.3 oz
Image Capture
Sensor Type 1.69 Canon CMOS
13.30 megapixels (total)
12.80 megapixels (effective)
Filter Type RGBG
Focal Length Multiplier 1.00
Aspect Ratio 3:2
Image Dimensions 4368 x 2912 (12.7 megapixels)
3168 x 2112 (6.7 megapixels)
2496 x 1664 (4.2 megapixels)
Capture Speed Continuous: 3.0 frames per second for 60 frames
Image Quality 3 levels
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder Yes, Pentaprism
96% field of view
LCD 2.5", 230,000 pixels
100% field of view
Playback Zoom 10.0x max
Lens Type Interchangeable Lens
Lens Mount Canon EF (excluding EF-S)
Focusing System 9-point (plus 6 invisible assist points), TTL-CT-SIR CMOS with AF assist lamp
Manual Focus possible (0) steps
ISO Sensitivity 100 - 1600 in 1/3-stop increments, expandable to 50 / 3200
Shutter Speed 30 - 1/8000 second
Exposure Modes Aperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering Modes TTL full-aperture w/ 35-zone SPC: AF-linked Evaluative, 8% partial, 3.5% spot, center-weighted avg.
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Image Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, White Fluorescent light, Flash, Custom, Color Temperature, Manual
Flash Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
Self Timer Yes, 10 seconds
Time Lapse No
Recording Medium CompactFlash Type 1, CompactFlash Type 2, Microdrive
File System FAT16, FAT32, complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File Format CCD-RAW, RAW (.CR2), JPEG (EXIF 2.21)
Video Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
Computer USB 2.0 High Speed
Other DC In
Battery Type Lithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form Factor 1 x BP-511 / BP-511A / BP-512 / BP-514, 1 x CR2016
Product Bundle
Software Digital Photo Professional, ZoomBrowserEX / ImageBrowser, PhotoStitch, Remote Capture,TWAIN and WIA drivers
Battery / Charger 1 x BP-511A battery and charger
Flash Memory 0.0MB
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliant Yes
PictBridge Compliant Yes
Internal Microphone No
Tripod Mount Yes, Metal
Remote Control Yes, Remote w/ N3-type contact
Operating System Compatibility Windows, MacOS
More Photos
Canon's EOS 5D digital SLR. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Canon's EOS 5D digital SLR. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Canon's EOS 5D digital SLR. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Canon's EOS 5D digital SLR. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Canon's EOS 5D digital SLR. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Canon's EOS 5D digital SLR. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Canon's EOS 5D digital SLR. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Canon's EOS 5D digital SLR. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Canon's EOS 5D digital SLR. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Canon's EOS 5D digital SLR. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Canon's EOS 5D digital SLR. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Canon's EOS 5D digital SLR. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Canon's EOS 5D digital SLR. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Canon's EOS 5D digital SLR. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:


Combining the High-End Specs of the EOS-1 Line and the Ease of the EOS 20D Model, The New Canon EOS 5D Camera Is a Premium DSLR for Under $3,300

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., Aug. 22, 2005 – Photographers who have yearned for a full-frame digital SLR that won’t break the bank – or their backs – just got their wish with the new compact Canon EOS 5D digital SLR which offers a full-frame CMOS sensor with 12.8 megapixels of resolution, 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 allows users to shoot up to 3 frames per second; 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 is the camera that will make quality-minded 35mm and medium format film shooters switch to digital once and for all,” said Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the consumer imaging group at Canon U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. “Wedding and portrait photographers who need facial detail in their group shots require the large file sizes the EOS 5D model can provide. For landscape and nature photographers who want to enjoy the entire range of their wide angle lenses, the EOS 5D DSLR’s full-frame sensor is a dream come true. And for those photographers who hesitate at carrying around EOS-1 Series heft, they will love the EOS 5D digital SLR’s lightweight feel almost as much as their accountants – or spouses – will love the price.”

A Premium DSLR with Outstanding Image Quality
Combining the high-end specifications of the EOS-1 Line and the operational ease of the EOS 20D model, the new Canon EOS 5D digital SLR is a premium digital SLR designed for a wide range of photographers. While a 35mm full-size image sensor is already available on the groundbreaking Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II camera, many photographers have been asking for a DSLR with a full-frame sensor that is smaller, lighter and more affordable. Enter the Canon EOS 5D digital SLR. Boasting a 12.8 megapixel, 35mm full-size image sensor in a magnesium alloy body weighing just 28.6 ounces (810 grams), the EOS 5D digital SLR is a petite but powerful imaging machine. Perhaps best of all, the EOS 5D model is a great value at $3,299 for the complete Power Kit with a full software package including the new Digital Photo Professional v2.0.

The heart of the Canon EOS 5D digital SLR is its extraordinary new, Canon-designed and manufactured CMOS image sensor. At 12.8 megapixels, there is enough resolution for a double-page spread in a magazine, a large print of the bride and groom, facial detail in group shots or a landscape of impressive dimensions. The sensor’s 35.8 x 23.9mm size means that each pixel can be a generous 8.2µm, resulting in exceptionally low shadow noise. The sensor’s low power consumption extends battery life and lowers noise. A finer CMOS production process and optimized photodiode construction increase the light-sensitive area of each pixel and improve dynamic range as well.

The full-size sensor maximizes the performance of Canon EF lenses, the world’s largest selection of autofocus lenses. 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 an incredible 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.

Picture Styles for Better Pictures
In the analog era, photographers would select the brand of film that suited their own shooting style or the subject being photographed. In the digital era, they have to rely on the image quality features and settings provided by the camera manufacturer. Some users though have experienced confusion about what effects these settings would have on the image. To provide better clarification, 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.

Sophisticated New Autofocus System
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 significantly enhances 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.

Highly Durable New High-Speed Shutter
The EOS 5D digital SLR has a newly developed, high-speed and highly durable shutter unit that was designed to meet the demanding requirements of a full frame sensor in a relatively compact body. The shutter is a vertical travel, focal plane type with two parallelogram link curtains. Each curtain has four blades, three made from KN Mylar and one from Duralumin, to create a
professional-level shutter with a durability rated at 100,000 shots.

Premium Design and Construction
The EOS 5D digital SLR has a solid, substantial and organic feel that complements its compact dimensions and relatively light weight. With the top, front and rear covers and battery grip made from light and highly durable magnesium alloy, this new model is truly a premium camera. The EOS 5D model also has an improved grip and mode dial, a modified terminal cap share and clearer rear controls.

The pentaprism has an all-new shape necessitated by the full-frame sensor and all associated components such as the mirror, mirror box and shutter. Thanks to Canon design and manufacturing know-how along with having the low-pass filter integrated with the CMOS cover glass, the EOS 5D digital SLR is unusually streamlined for a camera with a full-frame sensor.

The camera body consists of a stainless steel chassis and a mirror box made of high-strength engineering plastic. Since the grip and front cover are one piece, body rigidity on the EOS 5D DSLR is excellent. The exterior surface is a high-density black satin finish with a leathery touch that feels smooth in the hands. The three grip surfaces are covered with rubber and the electroplated “EOS 5D” badge and recessed and painted Canon logo give a quality appearance to the camera.

High Performance LCD Monitor
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. In contrast, picture brightness on older LCD screens was often lost if viewed from even a slight angle, so oftentimes image review involved a lot of guesswork. The new LCD on the EOS 5D model, however, maintains the same brightness from almost any 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.

New Automatic and Intelligent Noise Reduction Function
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.

Other High-End Features
The EOS 5D DSLR has a bevy of other high-end features including the same ISO range as the 1Ds Mark II – ISO 100-1600 in 1/3-step increments and ISO speed extended at L:50, H:3200. Also included on the camera is ultra-precise white balance with nine types of white balance settings, white balance bracketing (blue-amber and magenta-green, even on RAW and RAW+JPEG shots) and white balance correction. Other features include enhanced 35-zone exposure metering; spot metering in approximately 3.5 percent of the viewfinder area; six selectable JPEG recording modes including RAW and simultaneous RAW+JPEG; a large bright viewfinder with three interchangeable focusing screens; new flexible and convenient folder creation and selection; and more advanced PictBridge functions.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc. delivers consumer, business-to-business, and industrial imaging solutions. The Company is listed as one of Fortune's Most Admired Companies in America and is rated #35 on the BusinessWeek list of "Top 100 Brands." Its parent company Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ) is a top patent holder of technology, ranking third overall in the U.S. in 2004, with global revenues of $33.3 billion. For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com.
# # #
Specifications subject to change without notice.
All referenced product names, and other marks, are trademarks of their respective owners.
* Pricing subject to change at any time. Actual prices are determined by individual dealers and may vary.
** As of August 2005.

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