I have been shooting with the Canon 5D now for a few days and a few people have asked how I am finding it, so I will share some impressions.

The 5D is heavy and clumsy. The menus and buttons are not as quick to navigate as the Nikon and they never will be because the design is not as well thought out. Hardly any shooting information shown in the viewfinder and the top data screen also fails to give all the information I need. But most of all, and this has really frustrated me, moving between the focus points is not as easy as the Nikon – and this means I miss shots! There is no built in flash in the 5D so I miss that too.

But there are good points! The full frame sensor gives me the ability to reduce the depth of field (DOF) and blur the background to isolate a subject from a distracting background. The fine detail in the images is extraordinary, in the reduced size images you see here on the web the detail can’t be noticed, but if I zoom into the originals on my screen there are layers of detail that the Nikon and the cheaper Nikon lenses I use just cannot resolve. Another thing I am noticing is less blown out highlights with the Canon (this is where a part of the image is too bright and just white with no detail).

So what do I make of all this? Well I am keeping the canon for the image quality – I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the image quality of my consumer D80 and lenses and I wanted to upgrade to a professional system and the Canon 5D is that for sure. But at times I have been so frustrated with the Canon that I wanted to take it back and get a Nikon. I could get this image quality with a Nikon, but to do so I would need the Nikon D300 or more likely the Nikon D3. Plus I would have to switch all my consumer Nikon lenses to Professional Nikon lenses and that is a much more expensive proposition than the Canon system. Indeed, the Nikon D3 body alone cost more than this entire Canon system.

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