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Canon 5D versus Canon 800D

The Canon EOS 5D and the Canon EOS 800D (labelled Canon T7i in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2005 and February 2017. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a full frame (5D) and an APS-C (800D) sensor. The 5D has a resolution of 12.7 megapixel, whereas the 800D provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon 5D vs Canon 800D

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 5D and the Canon 800D is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the 5D – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon 5D vs Canon 800D
Compare 5D versus 800D top
Compare 5D and 800D rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 800D is notably smaller (24 percent) than the Canon 5D. Moreover, the 800D is substantially lighter (41 percent) than the 5D. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 5D is splash and dust resistant, while the 800D does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor (as in the 5D) will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, while more compact options are available for the smaller-sensor camera (800D). You can find a comprehensive overview of suitable optics in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 5D gets 400 shots out of its BP-511A battery, while the 800D can take 600 images on a single charge of its LP-E17 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon 5D» 6.0 in 4.4 in 3.0 in 31.6 oz 400 Y Aug 2005 3,299- i
Canon 800D« 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 18.8 oz 600 n Feb 2017 749 i i
Canon 2000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i i
Canon 77D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 19.0 oz 600 n Feb 2017 899 i i
Canon M6« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 13.8 oz 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 n Feb 2016 699 i i
Canon 750D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i
Canon 5DS R« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i
Canon 6D« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i
Canon 5D Mark III« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 33.5 oz 950 Y Mar 2012 3,499- i
Canon 5D Mark II« » 6.0 in 4.5 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 850 Y Sep 2008 3,499- i
Canon 50D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299- i
Canon 1D Mark II N« » 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 55.2 oz 1200 Y Aug 2005 3,999- i
Canon 1Ds Mark II« » 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 42.9 oz 1200 Y Sep 2004 7,999- i
Canon 1D Mark II« » 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 54.1 oz 1200 Y Jan 2004 4,499- i
Canon 1Ds« » 6.1 in 6.2 in 3.1 in 44.6 oz 600 Y Sep 2002 8,999- i
Nikon D700« » 5.8 in 4.8 in 3.0 in 37.9 oz 1000 Y Jul 2008 2,999- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 800D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 77 percent) than the 5D, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 5D vs Canon 800D

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 5D features a full frame sensor and the Canon 800D an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the 800D is 62 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 5D and Canon 800D sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the 800D offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixel, compared with 12.7 MP of the 5D. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 8.25μm for the 5D). However, it should be noted that the 800D is much more recent (by 11 years and 6 months) than the 5D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

5D versus 800D MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon 5D» Full Frame 12.7 4368 2912-22.911.1136871
Canon 800D« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Canon 2000D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.611.9100971
Canon 77D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
Canon M6« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Canon 750D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971
Canon 5DS R« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.612.4230886
Canon 6D« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082
Canon 5D Mark III« » Full Frame 22.1 5760 38401080/30p24.011.7229381
Canon 5D Mark II« » Full Frame 21.0 5616 37441080/30p23.711.9181579
Canon 50D« » APS-C 15.1 4752 3168-21.811.469663
Canon 1D Mark II N« » APS-H 8.2 3504 2336-22.311.297566
Canon 1Ds Mark II« » Full Frame 16.6 4992 3328-23.311.3148074
Canon 1D Mark II« » APS-H 8.2 3504 2336-22.311.1100366
Canon 1Ds« » Full Frame 11.0 4064 2704-21.811.095463
Nikon D700« » Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832-23.512.2230380

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The 800D indeed provides for movie recording, while the 5D does not. The highest resolution format that the 800D can use is 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 5D vs Canon 800D

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 5D and the 800D are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 5D and Canon 800D in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon 5D»optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 3.0 n n
Canon 800D«optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Canon 2000D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon 77D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Canon M6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y
Canon 750D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon 5DS R« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n
Canon 6D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 4.5 n n
Canon 5D Mark III« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 6.0 n n
Canon 5D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 3.9 n n
Canon 50D« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 6.3 Y n
Canon 1D Mark II N« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 8.5 n n
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »optical Y 2.0 230 fixed n 8000 4.0 n n
Canon 1D Mark II« »optical Y 2.0 230 fixed n 8000 8.3 n n
Canon 1Ds« »optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 8000 3.0 n n
Nikon D700« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 8000 8.0 Y n

The 800D is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the 5D has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 5D was succeeded by the Canon 5D Mark II.

Review summary: Canon 5D vs Canon 800D

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 5D or the Canon 800D – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 5D:

  • Easier setting verification: Has an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2005).


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 800D:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 12.7MP), which boosts linear resolution by 37%.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60p video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (131x100mm vs 152x113mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 363g or 41 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (600 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (77 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 11 years and 6 months of technical progress since the 5D launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 800D is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 4 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

5D 04:13 800D

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 5D or the 800D. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon 5D»88/100HiRecrevrev- Aug 2005 3,299- i
Canon 800D«-80/1004.5/54/54/5 Feb 2017 749 i i
Canon 2000D« »rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i i
Canon 77D« »-82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i i
Canon M6« »-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i
Canon G7 X Mark II« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i
Canon 750D« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i
Canon 5DS R« »Rec83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i
Canon 6D« »HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i
Canon 5D Mark III« »HiRec82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2012 3,499- i
Canon 5D Mark II« »91/10079/1004/55/5- Sep 2008 3,499- i
Canon 50D« »HiRecHiRec4.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299- i
Canon 1D Mark II N« »----- Aug 2005 3,999- i
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »-HiRec--- Sep 2004 7,999- i
Canon 1D Mark II« »-HiRec-rev- Jan 2004 4,499- i
Canon 1Ds« »-HiRec--- Sep 2002 8,999- i
Nikon D700« »89/100HiRec4.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2008 2,999- i

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If the camera you are interested in is not available, kindly get in touch, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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