Canon 5D 1st version vs 6D 1st version

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by ray ., Oct 8, 2017.

  1. I bought a 5D new in 2007 I think about at the end of its run, and I've always liked the camera. Didn't use it for the past 2 or 3 years but now using it again regularly. Still a great camera, has never missed a beat. Seeing the price of the 1st version 6D now, I'm wondering if it would be worth a buy to replace the 5D.

    Here are the questions I have comparing the 2 cameras, for anyone who has used both.

    Is the 6D's screen any easier to see in daylight?
    Is the 6D lighter or smaller? Any better or worse as far as ergonomics? My 5D has always felt comfortable in hand.
    Does the 6D clearly handle a couple stops higher ISO from the 5D 1st version?
    I assume color is similar? Is dynamic range and black and white conversion the same, better, different, or worse with the 1st version 6D?
    Auto focus is fine for me on the 1st version 5D. Is the 6D's pretty much the same thing?

    Video is a plus on the 6D, but I probably wouldn't be using it much.

    Thanks in advance...
  2. I have 6D and like, you can find revues and comparison online.
  3. The 6D would be an upgrade from the 5D, even compared to the 5D MK II. In low light noise the 6D even has an edge over the 5D MK III, but it is really splitting hairs, but the 6D features are less than the 5D MK III and the 6D with only one SD memory card slot and requires using the menu system to change white balance, so not as easy with buttons to quickly access some features. I have a 6D and a 5D Mark IV, the 5D MK IV moves well above the 6D with features and focusing, but the 6D low light image quality is not that far below a 5D MK IV. I have read articles comparing the 6D to the 6D MK II, while the 6D MK II has improved focusing and more focal points and more resolution, the high ISO low noise of the 6D MK II does not surpass the original 6D and the original 6D is a bit better than the 6D MK II.

    Used 6Ds can be found for bargain prices, it might not be bad time to pick one up at a good price if you really want to upgrade.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
  4. I made this comparison between the 6D and 5D MK IV looking at higher ISO under candle light. The frames are cropped and reduced to display here, you will see the 6D does pretty good compared to the 5D Mark IV as long as you are not pixel peeping at 100%.
  5. The 6D is better in all practical aspects than the 5D ver 1, I wouldn't hesitate. It is smaller than the original 5D, has greater resolution, better dynamic range and low light ability and has a much superior (larger and higher resolution) LED screen. It has good low light capability up to 6400 and I regularly shot it at 12800 too (with a touch of noise reduction). Central spot AF focusing is excellent and superb in low light.
  6. I just started a similar thread on the merits of upgrading from 5D mk I to 6D mk I, didn't spot this one. Re: the question. It''s clear that the 6D is a better camera. But is the final image quality really better to justify dumping the old camera just because the new one got a bit cheaper? In mine, the shutter count is at about 30k. I tend to think it's better to invest in a good lens, which would work on other bodies as well instead of adding pixels. But maybe I'm wrong. That's why I posted my question. OK - higher workable iso is nice. Maybe the 6D doesn't catch dust so easily. But I'm not totally convinced.
  7. In the other thread you mentioned you like primes... I scooped up my first 3 DSLRs one after another, to get the basic kit together, to feel ready to cover events for the Internet; i.e. I kept my first generation (less than a 10D) 6MP body to go with maybe the 135 mm and a flash gun while the other two held 50 and 24 mm. Trying to shoot a portrait of somebody I'd probably bring 2 bodies and primes too. - For products I keep a 2nd one ready at work. If you thrive to capture quality images as a spectator, having the older body ready on you with a suitable second best bet of the right lens, might make your day more than once in a while. Staging a pre-planned shot is a different cup of tea, but it might be enough hassle for others, to have a 2nd camera ready, just in case, to be sure to bring something home. Maybe I lurked the wedding forum too excessively and turned a bit paranoid, but that is what I am believing in. So far I had one session where one lens arrived with broken AF and another where a coin operated printer took only SD and no CF cards or vice versa and the 2nd cameras made my day. Things changed a bit over the years, due to technical improvement. My oldest Pentax wrote 5 frames per minute; so running out of buffer happened all the time and I appreciated having alternative cameras to keep me occupied. But everything speaking against juggling lenses in the field seems still valid.

    IQ improvement: Why should it justify ditching a camera? - Yes, concert photography at ISO 3200 looks significantly better done with a modern FF body compared to early APS, where that ISO range maybe wasn't even officially supported or an extended setting. Comparing rather clean 18MP to extremely noisy 6MP leads to an almost perfect low ISO picture, if you choose the same output size. On the other hand: To handhold 18MP you might do right to shoot your 50mm at 1/500 instead of 1/250. Take the 85 mm to get a bold hint of that issue. - What was true for bearable 4x6" prints isn't true for pixel peeping high resolution images. I'm trying to say: Camera specs improvement doesn't necessarily lead to image quality improvement.

    How do you judge color depth or a lack of it? - A somewhat serious question. I fear you have to compare images side by side on either a decent monitor or high quality inkjet prints and look for small details. - I guess it would be technologically complicated to convey the differences between them via 4c offset printing. Even what we see online is reduced to 8bit + the human brain is specialized to judge colors in skin tones or food pictures; i.e. there is unlikely to be a memory of anything else in reality at hand to compare the image you are looking at to.

    I'm not sure why exactly, but it seems putting a much better camera behind an unspectacular lens leads to an increase in IQ. - If you look at the 55-200/4.5-5.6 at DxO's database they rate it 8PMP on 5D and 12PMP on 5DS R.
    I think there is a golden middle path? Good lenses should hold their value better than cameras, that is true. OTOH: There is a sane sweet spot for camera purchases. - Yes! Buy used. But do you really want to wait 10+x years till values hit bottom levels or is jumping on freshly outdated tech, when it floods a market during an upgrading wave the better approach? I don't know exact answers. Right now 5D seem going for 319 Euro anytime on eBay. How long will it take for them to hit 250 Euro? Will it ever happen? When are such cameras outdated enough to forget about repairs? - I'd let the 1st owner take an impressive loss for the joy of having something latest and greatest and figure out if there is enough value left in an item to make it look like a good deal for me.

    What is a good lens worth, when you pair it with an old camera barely able to honor it? According to a 70-200/2.8 needs maintenance after 50 rental weeks. That might equal 12 years of occasional use in private hands? Wouldn't it make sense to pair it with a reasonable quality sensor rather soon? I'll continue shooting mechanically simple primes with older cameras. - But something expensive and technically complicated with AF and IS should see some good use.
    If we are talking typical travel setups, like 1 body one zoom, I 'd expect the body to mechanically outlast the zoom and would sell them together, if I was into replacing such things. (I usually bring backup and wait for stuff to fall apart).
    Bottom line: Whatever you do can be wrong. - I made the mistake of not daring to travel with a too expensive camera too. - Things have to feel right for you and whatever that is changes over the years. at least my kit to be left unattended on the pool side or in a tent did.
  8. Two reasons to prefer a 5D: better ergonomics, it feels better in my hands than a 6/70/80D and it uses CF cards which I prefer because of their size. I guess in all other aspects a 6D beats a 5D. Of course YMMV.
  9. I like the handling of the 5D/5D2/5D3/5D4 better in almost all respects than the 6D. Aside from that the 6D is a substantially better camera than the 5D. Of course it is, it was released 7yrs (!!) later. vastly improved low light focusing (even if the AF 'style' is largely the same). ISO goes far beyond ISO3200 (the hard limit for the 5D). High ISO IQ output substantially improved (to be expected w/ a jump from 12.8 -> 20.1 MP + 7yrs ;) )... Faster... 4.5FPS vs 3FPS... The list goes on...
  10. It may not matter to some, but I would really hate to not have Live View...another advantage of the 6D.

  11. Josvan Eekelen is right, the 5D feels better in your hands. Feels like a more substantial camera that's very well built. Other than that, though, the 6D beats it hands down. If I had to choose, I'd take the 6D, but the 5D will still perform just as well as it did back in 2007. I have a 5D that I still use on occasion. Now the screen on the 6D is going to be much nicer and easier to see.
  12. Great thread, I just purchased a 5D and it's looking real nice!
  13. Mark, I'm not sure that I'm trusting the focus on these comparisons. The 5D4 looks considerably worse at ISO 3200, but it looks like focus, rather than noise to me. Did you use Live View and double check your focus?

    Per the 5D4 has substantially more dynamic range than either 6D. Their ISO sensitivity is close, across the board. In ISO ranges that we more commonly use, like ISO 800 and lower, the 5D4 is going to really shine.

    I expect all three bodies to be really close at ISO 3200 and above, but your samples make the 5D4 look particularly bad. For another reference, go to and use their comparator.
  14. I think they are equally sharp, looking at the paper behind the candles. ie:3200 ISO The 5D MK IV is better, less noise, it looks that way to me on my screen.
    My main point is when you are not pixel peeping and look at the entire photo on screen or in print, I don't think a 6D shooter will beat themselves up that their shot would be vastly inferior to the 5D MK IV. And this example is under candlelight, it is extreme. In real life, an experienced shooter would be shooting with better lighting and proper exposure. It would be doubtful someone will be going for 3 candle lighting over a speedlight.

    I suppose the point could be made if you were cropping a lot and I mean really tight, you may notice a little. But in my experience the more skilled you get with a camera, you will learn to get your composition right in camera and not waste pixel resolution.

    Another point could be made in the 5D MK IVs favor, dynamic range is better than the 6D and if pulling underexposed shots up 3 stops, you will see issues in the 6D shadows where you will not in the 5D MK IV. I think this is where Canon fixed an issue that all previous versions of Canon DSLRs suffered.

    It's late, sorry if I am rambling. ;-)
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
  15. Mark, I guess I'm looking at focus on the candle holders, while you're looking at the paper behind.

    About pixel-peeping, I think that we should all do it. When choosing between shots, I'll compare at 200%. I'm mostly shooting wildlife, so seeing the eye at 200% leads me to pick only those images that's stand up to close scrutiny.

    At the ISOs you're demonstrating, I'll also consider what'll happen after noise reduction, since I'm concerned about feather and fur detail in my wildlife shots. (NR can crush details). I wouldn't dream of presenting at shot taken at ISO 3200 and above without applying noise reduction.

    Please ignore the fact that the following shot was taken with a Sony rig (the 5D4 would have done as well, but for AF), I took it at ISO 8000, knowing that I'd have to apply NR. I used DxO's excellent PRIME noise reduction and moved the Luminescence slider down and the Micorcontrast slider up, to preserved details, as much as practical. It's still a compromise and some detail was lost, but, my point is, you can't get this right without pixel-peeping at 100% and even 200%.

    [​IMG]Young Buck Jumps Fence - 5 of 19 by David Stephens, on Flickr

    Here's an all-Canon (5D4) shot at ISO 25600. I applied 100% chrominance NR and 30% luminescence NR. You can still see the "grain" of luminescence, but I think that final images stayed presentable and would stand up to a sizeable print, with the only complaintants about the noise being other photographers. ;-)

    [​IMG]Big Buck After Sundown by David Stephens, on Flickr

    So the photographer does need to pixel-peep, but also needs to consider the final result, after applying NR. The 5D4's files clean up very nicely.
    Mark Keefer likes this.
  16. Gee, just seeing most of the posts now as I only received email notice on the first 2 replies. Thanks folks. Nice shots David, especially enjoy the top one.

    Was just reading an article from Sean Reid, where he talks about useable dynamic range (UDR) being more important than standard dynamic range specs. The idea being that we lean toward max exposure but with an eye to not blowing highlights, then lift the shadows in post process. The amount of adjustment to shadow that can be done without exposing noise is in direct correlation to high ISO capability of the sensor/camera. I think I have that about right, but I'm not sure if or how that affects the rendering of mid tones. It would seem to indicate the 6D version II is at least as good for dynamic range as version I, contrary to what I've read previously. Still, I'm not sure that it makes a significant enough of a difference to spring for an upgrade if the difference is less than 2 stops capability. The original 5D in low light seems solid to me up to ISO 1600. Not sure about 3200, perhaps if exposure and subject are ideal it's good, but I'd have to test it more- I'm just now getting focused on making photographs at nighttime.
  17. Brother, 2-stops is A LOT. 1-stop is f/8 instead of f/4, or 1/1000-sec. vs. 1/500-second. Take it from me, as some what that shoots in a lot of low light, it's very big.

    I do Expose To The Right and shoot in RAW, then bring down in RAW conversion, when I have the luxury of shooting +EV. The deer shot at ISO 25600 was actually under exposed and I raised EV in RAW conversion. With Canon, it's a must.

    Also, you need to consider the quality of the noise and how it responds to noise reduction. The original 7D would get pasty looking past ISO 1600 and no NR software of its time would clean it up nicely. OTOH, the RAW files of the 5D MkIV look horribly noisy at ISO 25600, but the clean up really nicely. At ISO 6400, NR, on a 5D4 file, is a piece of cake.
  18. Think you meant "f/8 instead of f/5.6"… :)

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