Counting down my five favorite Canon digital cameras ever. Coming in at #1…..

brad-man

Semi-Reactive Member
Jun 6, 2012
1,676
585
S Florida
Interestingly, Sony is still one of the best cameras to use with Canon lenses.

Three of my favorite lenses for Sony a7R cameras are
Canon 24-70L II
Canon 100L IS
Canon 100-400L II

And until Sony released the 135mm GM and Sigma, the 24-70 for Sony, those would have been my three favorite lenses for Sony (okay, I'm digging on the Sony 200-600 for birding too). I have been so blown away by the IQ that I obtain with those EF lenses on A7R bodies. Breathtaking and phenomenal!

Please don't shoot the messenger! :)
I'll share a little known secret with you. Those lenses work pretty well on Canon bodies as well. Don't tell anyone. It could make Canon the industry leader...
 

Billybob

800mm f/11 because a cellphone isn't long enough!
May 22, 2016
121
235
I'll share a little known secret with you. Those lenses work pretty well on Canon bodies as well. Don't tell anyone. It could make Canon the industry leader...
I'm sure they do, but Canon bodies have lagged their lenses for years. I love Canon lenses, but haven't been happy with a Canon body since the 5DIII. Canon hasn't ever made a high-resolution camera that shoots faster than 5fps. Canon has pretty much caught up in the DR race, but the 50MP 5DR hasn't been updated in years and lags in DR. To me, outside the studio the 5DR's efficacy is extremely limited. Thus, a responsive, all-around high-resolution camera with good DR is missing from Canon's lineup. That's why the 5DIII was my last Canon FF camera.

Because I love Canon lenses and respect their competence, I expected Canon to eventually produce a camera that addressed my needs. Accordingly, I never sold my best Canon lenses. I have high hopes that the R5 is the Canon camera I've been waiting for. Now, the question is whether I'll be able to afford it.:unsure:
 

Bob Howland

EOS RP
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2012
578
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My All-Time #1: PowerShot G12.

No, seriously. :)
About 10 years ago, a website called Luminous Landscape ran a test between a Canon G9 and a medium format camera with, I think, a state-of-the-art Phase One back. They took photos of the same scenes with both cameras, made prints from them and presented the prints to three experienced and passionate landscape photographers, with the question: which prints were taken with which camera? The only way the judges could tell was because of differences in depth of field. The images with the G9 were that good.

Their conclusion was that the bottom end of the photographic equipment spectrum had gotten extremely good. About a week later I bought a G9 and it was my pocket camera for the next five years of so. It took gorgeous pictures.

Correction: It was a G10, not a G9.
 
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RJ_4000

I'm New Here
Jul 16, 2014
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Hi
Thanks for sharing your favorites.
I owned successively, to date,
1. 10D
2. 1D Mark II
3. 1DX
4. 5DSR
5. M50
6. EOS R

And I'm still using the last 4.
The 1DX remains a favorite. What a camera !
The 5DSR is also fantastic, especially when combined with the 11-24. VERY versatile too... ;-)

Looking forward for a high-megapixels EOS R5s ...

This is digital only.
As for film camera, I started with FTb, New F1, T90,,... and EOS 3.
The New F1 remains special in my mind, just like the 1DII and 1DX.
 
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Billybob

800mm f/11 because a cellphone isn't long enough!
May 22, 2016
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Then you dont' know what you miss.
This is one of the most versatile camera I know of.

Now due for an upgrade, for sure. But still an excellent camera.
For my kind of shooting--not much. I shoot action, wildlife, and lowlight. I beat up my images and will underexpose--rather than raise the ISO--just to get a high enough shutter rate. For my style of shooting, the low max continuous rate by itself is a disqualifier. That along with the noise at high ISO and low DR makes the 5DR cameras a non-starter for me. The camera works for you--and many others. It just didn't work for me when there were/are alternatives that suit my shooting style better.

Now, I don't want to rekindle an argument over sensors. The 5DIV provides more than adequate DR, but I found the resolution lacking, and the AA filter a turnoff (again, YMMV). As mentioned above, I have high hopes that the R5 addresses my concerns/disappointments with Canon cameras AND recent Sony offerings (don't get me started on Sony's lack of lossless compression, noisy 60MP sensor, slow image processing, blackout-free continuous rate only with the A9,...).
 

stevelee

FT-QL
CR Pro
Jul 6, 2017
1,719
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Davidson, NC
About 10 years ago, a website called Luminous Landscape ran a test between a Canon G9 and a medium format camera with, I think, a state-of-the-art Phase One back. They took photos of the same scenes with both cameras, made prints from them and presented the prints to three experienced and passionate landscape photographers, with the question: which prints were taken with which camera? The only way the judges could tell was because of differences in depth of field. The images with the G9 were that good.

Their conclusion was that the bottom end of the photographic equipment spectrum had gotten extremely good. About a week later I bought a G9 and it was my pocket camera for the next five years of so. It took gorgeous pictures.

Correction: It was a G10, not a G9.
For my travel camera, I used a couple from the S line. Then when the G7X II came out, I started using it. Last fall, before I was leaving for two+ weeks in Italy and then a 14-night Mediterranean cruise, I got the G5X II. Both of my G cameras have given great results, certainly more than adequate for posting pictures on the web and making 13" x 19" prints. The S cameras were more limited, but still made good pictures. I enjoy my DSLR when closer to home, and I have been enjoying playing around with the 24mm TS-E lens I had rented and with my macro lens and extension tubes during these times around home. But I really appreciate having a good camera that will fit in my pocket, yet still gives me much more flexibility and control than I get with my iPhone camera, when I can travel.
 

dtaylor

Canon 5Ds
Jul 26, 2011
1,626
1,171
Within the Canon ecosystem, a list of my personal favorite cameras and a list of cameras I think had the most impact would be different. For example: I love my 5Ds, but I don't think it qualifies for "most impact" because it only advanced the state of the art in one respect (resolution on a 35mm sensor), and that only mattered to a subset of Canon photographers.

But one camera I know would be on both lists would be the original 7D.
 

dtaylor

Canon 5Ds
Jul 26, 2011
1,626
1,171
About 10 years ago, a website called Luminous Landscape ran a test between a Canon G9 and a medium format camera with, I think, a state-of-the-art Phase One back. They took photos of the same scenes with both cameras, made prints from them and presented the prints to three experienced and passionate landscape photographers, with the question: which prints were taken with which camera? The only way the judges could tell was because of differences in depth of field. The images with the G9 were that good.
In fairness I believe the prints were 13x19, and Michael Reichmann qualified the test by saying that at larger print sizes the MF would pull ahead. But he was famous for making people question their assumptions about the relative performance of camera systems and the impact of equipment on final prints. From the days of the 1Ds and D30 he was pointing out how good "low end" equipment could be. (Not that the 1Ds was low end, but he was comparing it to MF film where the assumption was that it could not compete.)

I never met him but I miss him. I learned a great deal from his articles and always enjoyed his work.
 

privatebydesign

Garfield is back...
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Jan 29, 2011
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Also the scene had a very modest dynamic range.


Reichmann owned and used a large variety of formats and knew the strengths and weaknesses of each of them, he was a great fan of P&S's, particularly higher end ones, and he loved using and teaching workshops with his medium format digital. He put out some great articles back when the site was 'free', one I have linked to here more than once illustrates the difference between hyperlocal distance shooting and using tilt and swing, though I think he conflated swing and tilt in at least part of the description. The relevant bit is under "Another Example".


I also owned, actually still do, a G10, which I bought in part because of Michael's outlook on equipment capabilities.
 

russ

I'm New Here
Sep 29, 2012
13
6
I miss my 1DX. Rugged, great auto-focus that seemed to read my mind and really good battery life. That said I would never travel with it, just way too large.
 

picperfect

EOS 90D
Mar 29, 2020
112
92
Ha. 1DX series. Not my league. Neither use case nor size nor price. :)

My personal ranking
#1 - EOS M (original) - honestly
got it in 2014 second hand, hardly used, mint condition for only € 190 and today it is still by far my most used camera. Got more images with it (close to 100k) than with all my other Canon bodies combined. Simply because the darn thing is so small and light and has good enough IQ for me. Yes, the old Canon 18 MP sensor. :p

Of course it is no suitable tool for any sort of "action" and lack of viewfinder is a huge sacrifice for me. But for my travel, city trips, countryside excursions, street, mountaineering, backcountry skiing it is always with me and it always delivers. Build quality is very good, it is one tough little beast. Amongst a few other mishaps I once lost it in kneedeep powder snow on a ski randonee tour. Trying to find it, i fumbled and slipped and scratched it with a ski edge, finally dug it out, wiped dry and it continued to work as if nothing had happened, except proudly wearing a minor battle mark. Mostly use it with a very good copy of EF-M 18-55 kit zoom, lately also 18-150 and/or 22, 11-22 - depending on situation and ideas.

Was on lookout for a "worthy upgrade" all along, but either no viewfinder (M6, M6 II) or not enough of an improvement (M3) or too big (M5). M50 was very close, but never pulled the trigger because with the viewfinder bump it will not fit into my miniature LowePro Dashpoint pouch. Now hoping for a successor with new sensor (32 MP) and further improved AF in smallest possible form factor - ideally with pop-up EVF "like a G5X II on steroids".

#2 - EOS 5D III
#3 - EOS 7D
#4 - EOS 40D [also used mainly with 17-55, as well as 10-22, 70-200/4 L, 60 Macro]
#5 - EOS 350D
 
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Fischer

EOS M6 Mark II
Mar 17, 2020
76
45
That along with the noise at high ISO and low DR makes the 5DR cameras a non-starter for me.
5DS/R has excellent noise at high iso. Better than the 5DIV due to the pixel advantage which would save more detail. Also DR was essentially the same between the two, as soon as you passed iso 400.
 

Billybob

800mm f/11 because a cellphone isn't long enough!
May 22, 2016
121
235
5DS/R has excellent noise at high iso. Better than the 5DIV due to the pixel advantage which would save more detail. Also DR was essentially the same between the two, as soon as you passed iso 400.
I take this to mean that you never shoot at ISO400 or below. By contrast, when I look at my LR Library, 60-70% of my shots are at ISO 400 and below, so ISO 100-400 matters to me. Moreover, I'm also not a fan of the 5D IV (read the rest of my post and my previous posts in this thread). I've been shooting the Sony A7RIII the last couple of years. DPR (DPR 5DS Review--use comparison tool) and Photonstophotos think that the Sony has better DR and low light performance than the 5DS/R. I agree. I think that 8MP less for better performance in these two areas is a worthwhile tradeoff. But that's just me.

Regardless, I didn't come here to debate the merits and demerits of old cameras. Instead, I'm excited about the forthcoming R5. If it performs up to its specs, there isn't a camera out there that touches it in video or stills photography. I don't know yet whether I can afford to switch or add it to my kit, but if it lives up to the pre-introduction hype, I may need to find a way.
 

Fischer

EOS M6 Mark II
Mar 17, 2020
76
45
No it was a just comment to your claim that 5DS/R suffered from high iso noise - it does not. And I specifically referenced my remark to this part of your post. As for noise and DR under iso 400 this is of course only relevant in marginal situations (for the majority of correctly exposed shots) - although it may be critical for some shooters.
 

dtaylor

Canon 5Ds
Jul 26, 2011
1,626
1,171
I take this to mean that you never shoot at ISO400 or below. By contrast, when I look at my LR Library, 60-70% of my shots are at ISO 400 and below, so ISO 100-400 matters to me.
Yes, but how many of those photos have a DR which exceeds 12.5ev? The thing with DR differences is that they do not exist unless A) you're shooting a high DR scene, and B) you expose/process for that scene. And when comparing two cameras if the lesser DR camera is shot ETTR and the higher DR camera is shot normally, you C) easily squander any sensor advantage you had on the higher DR camera.

That said, the gap between these two is a couple stops so you can certainly run into situations where you need two frames on a 5DsR to match one frame on an A7r3. If you tend to run into those situations then yeah, shoot an A7r3/4 or D850. (Or 5D4 if you won't miss the MP.) I'm sure I run into those landscape situations but I would likely bracket/blend even with another body in order to maximize shadow IQ. Now if I shot high end real estate all day every day...the amount of work would push me to a 5D4, A7r, or D850.

DPR (DPR 5DS Review--use comparison tool) and Photonstophotos think that the Sony has better DR and low light performance than the 5DS/R.
A7rIII is about 0.5ev better at ISO 12,800. Visible, but so small that you can't call the old 50mp twins bad at high ISO without also calling the A7rIII bad at high ISO. I think all three are quite good at high ISO. Personally I have no hesitation printing 30" from a well exposed ISO 3200 5Ds RAW.

Regardless, I didn't come here to debate the merits and demerits of old cameras. Instead, I'm excited about the forthcoming R5. If it performs up to its specs, there isn't a camera out there that touches it in video or stills photography.
There are already several cameras...including the 5Ds/sR...which can 'touch it' in terms of stills photography. But for stills it will be able to slug it out with the likes of the 5Ds/sR, A7r3/4, D850, even some MF backs. And it will do so while having far and away the best video of any hybrid camera on the market.

So yeah...it will be an amazing camera. Someone who is only interested in stills though could save their money and get another model.
 

Billybob

800mm f/11 because a cellphone isn't long enough!
May 22, 2016
121
235
There are already several cameras...including the 5Ds/sR...which can 'touch it' in terms of stills photography. But for stills it will be able to slug it out with the likes of the 5Ds/sR, A7r3/4, D850, even some MF backs. And it will do so while having far and away the best video of any hybrid camera on the market.

So yeah...it will be an amazing camera. Someone who is only interested in stills though could save their money and get another model.
I, respectifully, disagree. There are cameras that have high resolution, there are cameras that are stellar in low-light, and there are cameras that shoot 12fps mechanical (and 20fps electronic), but there is no camera that puts all of the above together in one package. Frankly, it's what disappointed me about the Sony A9II. The A9 has all the above except high resolution. I was hoping that Sony would bump the resolution up to 36MP, but clearly that is not the A9 range's focus.

If the R5's AF can keep up with those extremely fast continuous rates while delivering 45MP per frame--and, yes, I have my doubts, but I can hope--then it will be the wildlife photographer's dream camera. And no, there is no camera that can touch that. And I would be just as excited even if it didn't do video.

Thus, it depends on your photography. If you shoot studio, or studio and landscapes, or weddings, then yes the R5 may be overkill. However, wildlife photography often requires heavy cropping, shooting at daybreak/twilight and attempting to capture skittish, and erratically moving critters who may be some distance away. I'm sorry, but your 5Ds just doesn't cut it. Most use cameras like the 1DX line or D5 or A9 for their speed and low-light prowess, but those bodies just don't provide enough resoution. The R5 promises speed and resolution, I just hope that the AF can keep up.
 

dtaylor

Canon 5Ds
Jul 26, 2011
1,626
1,171
I, respectifully, disagree. There are cameras that have high resolution, there are cameras that are stellar in low-light, and there are cameras that shoot 12fps mechanical (and 20fps electronic), but there is no camera that puts all of the above together in one package.
You've got me on the fps but I'll argue the "high resolution vs high ISO" meme all day long. When viewed at the same size all shipping FF sensors are remarkably close to one another at high ISOs. If anything I think the higher resolution sensors win on detail.

But yeah...at release nothing is going to touch the R5's combination of IQ and fps assuming the AF is capable. So my earlier statement would have to be qualified that if you don't need the fps there are other bodies which can compete on stills.

Thus, it depends on your photography. If you shoot studio, or studio and landscapes, or weddings, then yes the R5 may be overkill. However, wildlife photography often requires heavy cropping, shooting at daybreak/twilight and attempting to capture skittish, and erratically moving critters who may be some distance away. I'm sorry, but your 5Ds just doesn't cut it.
Of course it does, if you can live with 5 fps. And yes there are wildlife photographers who can work with 5 fps including one rather accomplished frequent poster on this forum. Not saying higher fps isn't nice, but it's not an absolute necessity to get the job done. I don't do much wildlife photography but I do sports and the 5Ds retired my faster fps cameras, something that surprised me. I found I was still nailing peak moment shots without difficulty and the IQ gain was tremendous.

At any rate, I hope the R5's AF can keep up. 45mp @ 12/20 fps + 8k video is just jaw dropping at this time. If the AF can perform then this covers everyone's high end desires. Well...except perhaps the niche that also wants 80mp.
 
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Billybob

800mm f/11 because a cellphone isn't long enough!
May 22, 2016
121
235
You've got me on the fps but I'll argue the "high resolution vs high ISO" meme all day long. When viewed at the same size all shipping FF sensors are remarkably close to one another at high ISOs. If anything I think the higher resolution sensors win on detail.
We probably agree more than we disagree. I'm not going to argue with myself on this issue. When I shot Nikon D8XX cameras, they were considered noisy, but there was always much more detail remaining at high ISO than with the 20-24MP cameras. Yes, low MP-camera images were marginally cleaner , but the extra detail more than compensated for increased noise.

Of course it does, if you can live with 5 fps. And yes there are wildlife photographers who can work with 5 fps including one rather accomplished frequent poster on this forum. Not saying higher fps isn't nice, but it's not an absolute necessity to get the job done. I don't do much wildlife photography but I do sports and the 5Ds retired my faster fps cameras, something that surprised me. I found I was still nailing peak moment shots without difficulty and the IQ gain was tremendous.
I've never shot the 5Ds cameras--I had already moved on to Nikon before its release--so I have no idea how snappy it performs, so I'll take your word on it. It's absolutely true that people shoot sports/wildlife with 5fps or less. Bob Beamon's 1968 29ft world record long jump was shot with a manual focus camera. The photographer set focus for right above the pit and snapped at exactly the right time. However, just because it can be done, doesn't make something optimal. There are people who can perform complex mathematics on an abacus or using a slide rule (I still have mine but have long since forgotten how to use it). I'd rather use a computer. You can build a house using hand tools, but power tools work so much better. So, you're absolutely correct. You can do any type of photography with any camera available today. BIF shooting can be done with a 12MP 5D classic and a 70-300mm non-L lens. But there are far better tools for these specialized purposes. I'd much rather shoot sports with a 1DX range or D5 or A9 body with a 400mm f/4 outdoors or a 70-200 f/2.8 indoors. For most cases, however, it's more about the lens choice than the body, so I'm not surprised that you're able to use the 5Ds as an all-around camera.

At any rate, I hope the R5's AF can keep up. 45mp @ 12/20 fps + 8k video is just jaw dropping at this time. If the AF can perform then this covers everyone's high end desires. Well...except perhaps the niche that also wants 80mp.
On that we definitely agree. To me, the 40-50MP range is optimal. More than enough resolution for most purposes, but not so much data that the camera gets bogged down processing images.

We shall see.
 
Apr 30, 2020
6
6
My vote is the 1DC in the top 5 list. A 1DX with unlimited video recording and 4K DCI. Oh yeah, and it was the first DSLR in the world to offer 4K.