A look at the rear panel shows the old 5D as being a uniquely sparse, simple camera compared to what it's become today.
As you can see, the new model has sprouted a lot more control buttons, and has moved some of the old ones around to make room for the new. Camera reviewers certainly like lots of buttons, and tend to complain when camera functions are "buried within the menu". I agree - I do like a camera's controls to be on the outside so that the features can be easily accessed. But such is not the case with the 5D Classic. It doesn't have a lot of external control points, and neither does it have a lot of features that can be accessed via the Menu. In fact, it's missing so many features that we now take for granted on top-line DSLR's that many don't consider it to be a viable camera any more. But am I complaining? No, not at all. In fact, I think it would be a great idea for Canon to start building the 5D Classic once again, and actually call it that, and sell it as a truly affordable full-frame picture taking machine, for say around $1000 brand new. It's much the same idea as Boeing continuing to build the old 737 passenger jet.
If Canon were to do this, what would we lose? Here's a list of additional control points on the 5D Mk. III has, which the original 5D did not have:
- Separation of Power Switch from the Quick Control wheel lock
- Quick menu button
- Combined Movie / Live View control button
- "AF On" button (also found on all EOS lenses)
- "M-Fn" Button
- "Image Effects" button
- "Rate" button (so you can give "star ratings" to pictures right in the camera)
- "Magnify" button separated from the AF Point button
- Price - $3500 body only (just to note how much you're paying for all these extra buttons!)
- The combined focus lock (half press) / shutter button
- The exposure lock (*) button
- The AF multi-point call-up button (just to the right of the * button)
- The front control wheel
- The rear control wheel
- The depth of field preview button
Having a full frame sensor, the 5D Classic gives you lot's to work with in your Post Processing ("PP"). The above two samples used two different RAW converters on the same picture. My personal preference is Photivo, simply because it is more interactive, and has every conceivable processing feature - quite similar to Adobe Lightroom. I could have tweaked it using Photivo to give a similar result to what I got with the Canon software, but probably not vice-versa. I have a preferred formula of my own in Photivo for outdoor shots, which puts more emphasis on light capture than on high saturation and contrast. Either way, I see nothing wrong with the 5D Classic's image quality - it's certainly far better than what I was getting with the feature rich and excessively complex EOS 7D, which I simply could not stomach.