Today's blog is dedicated to my Canon 5D 'classic' as it is now officially being retired from active service.....it seems a bit daft to be talking about a camera from 2005 as a 'classic' but given the rate that technology changes it's positively ancient, try and remember what mobile phone you were using in 2005 (a Nokia 3210 since you ask and i bloody loved that as well.... ah nostalgia)!
The original Canon 5D is often described as the 5D 'classic' or (rather unimaginatively) 5D 'original' in part to differentiate from the variants which have been released since but also in recognition that it is actually a bit of a 'classic' having earned it's place in photography history as the first full frame camera that didn't require a mortgage to purchase.
It has a 12 Mega Pixels sensor which just happens to be the same amount as my current iphone camera boasts.... i'll let you all into a little secret....Mega Pixels mean exactly chuff all in the grand scheme of things, it's just an over hyped marketing gimmick. The actual physical size of the sensor is what's important not how many MegaPixels the boffins have managed to squeeze in there and of course it's not what you've got it's how you use it that really counts ;)
So the Canon 5D original or 'classic' is getting on a bit now but that doesn't mean that in our throw away consumer based 'next big thing' society it can't totally kick ass and for the budget conscious photographer, under the right conditions it's the best bang for your buck out there... still don't believe me? OK I'll let the pictures do the talking....
As an event photographer it's kind of routine for me to gad about with two cameras - one for wide angle and one for zoomage - this gives me a lot more flexibility to cover the action without the farcical process of swapping lenses mid flow. The 5D classic has served me very well initially as my first and only camera and then eeking out a quiet 'half life' as a 2nd Camera which was used predominantly (and here's the rub) with a flash or in fairly decent available light where I can shoot below about 400 ISO..... above this and/or without flash it's kind of useless really as the images are riddled with digital 'noise' (not to be confused with film 'grain' which is a thing of beauty and a subject for another blog post me thinks) anyway I've really been finding it a bit of a limitation as an event camera and since a large proportion of my work is events - well you get the idea.....
HOWEVER! as a portrait camera, on a fashion or product shoot or basically in any situation where you have control of the light it is still WONDERFUL!! let's not forget that this camera was my FIRST AND ONLY camera for about 6 months and in that time it was more than up to the job as these images attest - in one sense it helped me develop as a photographer having to work with the limitations of the equipment but after a while that was getting to be a bit well, limiting..... but I soldiered on until the little old 5D had earned enough income for me to invest in my current main camera - the amazing/kick ass/low light assasin Canon 6D!!
In many ways shooting with the 5D classic is a lot like shooting a film camera - the controls are basically limited to shutter/aperture/ISO, the menu system is BASIC (like sony mega drive basic) and the screen on the back isn't the best (even by 2005 standards it wasn't brilliant) but the build quality is solid and it's lack of bells and whistles and digital shortcomings are kind of what makes it a 'classic' - no convaluted menu system to get in your way, no zooming in to a million percent and reviewing your images in camera, no over hyped gimmicks, no GPS, WiFi, horizon indicator, no Histograms or highlight clipping blah blah blah...... adjust aperture, shutter, ISO and that's it -pure and simple.... this is one of the great things about the 5D classic - under the right conditions (and in the right hands) the sensor renders BEAUTIFUL images that do have a film-ic quality.... the caveat being as long as your below ISO 400 above which they still retain a film like quality it's just that the film is not a very good one!
So in short I've bloomin well loved using this old Camera and I hope you'll agree that the imagery it has helped me create are pretty bloody good as well! however time marches on and I'm very pleased to have upgraded to the thouroughly modern (circa 2008 - wow) Canon 5D MK2!! a much more refined piece of kit which has now entered active duty as my number 2 camera! the 5D original lives on though and will be coming to an ebay auction near you very soon!