Digital Outback Photo
- Photography using Digital SLRs


Using both Canon EOS 5D and Nikon D2x in the field


An experience report by Uwe Steinmueller @Digital Outback Photo

Also photos by Bettina Steinmueller


We had a good time with both cameras during our photo trip. Here are some of the pros and cons for both cameras. The pros and cons are in most cases not really big issues as we are working here with cameras that define the state-of-the-art for DSLRs. For a more complete list of features please read here.

Canon EOS 5D

Canon EOS 5D at 75mm (1/500 sec, f/10, ISO 500, IS), FOV 75mm


  • Lowest cost FF camera and over 12MP at US$ 3,300
  • ISO noise behaviour some of the best of all current DSLRs
  • Very good autofocus system (even at low contrast)
  • Large viewfinder view (although you have to get close with your eyes to have the full image overview)
  • Low shutter noise
  • Weight of the body is about 900g with battery


  • LCD hard to read outdoors with some sunlight
  • Mirror Lockup no fun in the field (deap down in some menus)
  • Frame rate at 3fps not good enough in some situations
  • Histogram not at the same time RGB and Luminosity
  • No vertical shutter release without extra grip
  • Battery last for about 300 photos

Minor issues

  • The lenshood for the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS has a bad fit


Nikon D2x

Zebras near Hearst Castle (softness created by the fog)
Nikon D2x at 300mm (1/320 sec, f/7.1, ISO 320), FOV 450mm



  • Pro body design
  • Excellent battery life (about 1000 or pictures on one battery)
  • Good viewfinder (although not as large of a view than the 5D)
  • LCD better to read than 5D (includes RGB and RGB histograms at the same time)
  • We like the 1.5x multiplier (for longer tele range and also some advantages in terms of DOF)
  • Good 5fps at 12MP and excellent 8fps in High-Speed crop mode
  • Most universal high end DSLR (high frame rate and high resolution)


  • Price about US$ 4,999
  • ISO noise behaviour good but not at the same level as the EOS 5D
  • AF hunts on low contrast edges
  • No 300mm f/4 VR lens available
  • Quite loud shutter noise (probably as a result of being able to get up to 8fps)

Open Questions

  • What about dynamic range? Most likely the 5D has more dynamic range than the D2x. This can show in darker shadows or easier blown highlights with the D2x. In the end we like what we got from both cameras.
  • Does the D2x show higher inter-pixel contrast? Seems so but this also depends on the RAW converter used. Also the D2x seems to have a weaker AA filter which produces better contrast but may also show more easily moires.

You may ask whether we also plan a dual system setup in the future. Maybe :-).


More Pictures (mostly from this trip)



We used RSE for the D2x files and DPP 2.0.3 for the 5D photos.


Sections of this experience report



For Comments post in our News Group

2000-2007 Digital Outback Photo