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Thread: EOS 5D Mark III vs. EOS 1D X - Differences?

  1. #1
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    EOS 5D Mark III vs. EOS 1D X - Differences?

    As I go through the decision process, the first step is a thorough evaluation of the differences between the two bodies. Here's what I've come up with so far:

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    Worth noting is that the AF sensor is the same for both bodies, meaning the same number and type of AF points, and importantly, the same -2 EV sensitivity. As previously mentioned, the metering is different, and the data fed to the AF by the 1D X metering sensor should result in superior AF tracking, including face tracking, not possible with the 5DIII.

    Some noteable features shared by both are the two AFMA settings for zoom lenses (and serial number awareness), the ability to set a minimum shutter speed when using Auto ISO, and the multi-exposure capability.

    For those using an Eg-S screen for manual focus with a 5DII, the fixed focus screen of the 5DIII is a disappointment - there will likely be third party screens available down the line, as there are for the 7D, but changing them out is not for the faint of heart, and is best done by sending the camera in to the screen vendor.

    Still not certain which way I'll go in the end. The 1D X comes out to $2800 more expensive (adding $500 for the BG-11 grip to the 5DIII cost) - enough to cover a 24-70mm f/2.8L II and the new 600EX flash (which I'd be getting for the 1D X anyway). But aside from the savings in getting the 5DIII, I do have the budget to cover the 1D X, so that's not really a limiting factor.

    Thoughts and advice from the forum?
    Last edited by neuroanatomist; 03-02-2012 at 02:25 PM.

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    John

    IMO some of the most important aspects of going for the 1D X over the 5D III can’t be described with the advertised features. You have to dig deeper. What will be important are the options you can get out of the 1D X that you will not be able to get out of the 5D III, and we will not know these until we see some more information. What I am referring to is AF expandability, on the 1D IV they would be the options provided in C.Fn III Autofocus/Drive. One of the big ones for me is #6 Lens AF stop button function, this is a function tailored to the supertele’s.

    The following should weigh in your decision, if you intend to buy the 500mm II or the 600mm II at some point, you will have paid more for your lens than your camera. At that point your camera is an accessory, and the lens is the main unit. To get the most out of these lenses you will most likely need the 1D X. With tripods, heads and all the accessories to go with the big lenses, you are looking at the difference between a $15,000 set up with a 5D III attached and an $18,000 set up with the 1D X. The expandability of the 1D X and the shutter speed are the big selling points with this set up. Burst rate should be taken in to account to.

    On the other hand, if I didn’t own the supertele’s, and all I wanted to do was landscape, architecture, macro and pictures of the grandkids I would go for the 5D III.

    A 1D IV coupled with a 5D III as a set would be a very nice option. One I may have very shortly. I am not convinced of the need for the 1D IV to be upgraded to a 1D X yet.

    Rick
    Last edited by HDNitehawk; 03-02-2012 at 02:54 PM.

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    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Get the 1DX....you know you want it And selfishly, I hope either Rick or you get one so you can tell us about it.....

    Ok, first, thanks for the comparison. Very interesting and, as usual, you have a great nack for highlighting the important details. Honestly, given the released specs and without independent reviews, I view the 1DX as something that will be bought by those that crave the absolute best or actually have a specific need one of the features (most likely fps, weather sealing, the difference in the spot metering feature, or, as Rick mentions, the "deeper" features). It seems to me that 5DIII will be the bigger seller and most commonly used by advanced amateurs and professionals alike.

    But I am not sure that helps you at all. If I were in your shoes it would get down to may plan for my next purchase AFTER the 5DIII/1DX. How quickly will you also be able to pick up the 24-70 f/2.8 II? If I could buy the 1DX now and pick up the 24-70 f/2.8 by the end of the year, that is probably what I would do for the simple reason that if you can afford the best, buy it, plus I would want to see the reviews of the 24-70 II before buying it. I can also see you going with the 1DX for the weather sealing (as you mentioned last night), the ergonomics of a full size body, and the chance to investigate 19 C.Fns. But, if everything checks out, it is hard to imagine being dissappointed with picking up the 5DIII + 24-70 f/2.8 II. I know you have also discussed the 500 mm f/4, so planning that purchase may come into play, but you seem to be more focused on family photos, so the 24-70 II makes sense.

    Of course, if it was me...given what I shoot, I'd probably pick up the 500 mm f/4 now .....

    EDIT: I also wondering about AF speed...how much faster will the dedicated Digic 4 processor make the AF?
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 03-02-2012 at 03:46 PM.

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    [QUOTE=Kayaker72;65623]Get the 1DX....you know you want it And selfishly, I hope either Rick or you get one so you can tell us about it.....

    [QUOTE]

    We’re going to have to count on John for that one. I am happy with my 1D IV and just don’t see the need of for a 1D X yet.

    I do want to upgrade my 5D II, I use it now almost exclusively for landscape and macro. I may make the Nikon 900D comparison to the 5D III. I could very easily switch those two bodies, and buy the Zeiss 21mm and 35mm to go with it.

    Personally if I owned John’s kit, and were shooting the style of pictures I normally see him posting, I would probably go with the 5D III. But I wouldn’t go for the 5D III if I were expanding my kit to include a new 500mm F4 II.

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    John,

    Thanks for the comparison. The 1D X has the edge in shutter durability at 400,000 cycles, versus the 5D III's 150,000 cycles. The 5D III has a silent shooting option for single and continuous shooting modes, I'm not sure if the 1D X has that. The same goes for the 5D III's HDR feature. Neither are big features for me but thought I'd mention them. Another comparison is with respect to portability, with the edge in my eyes going to the 5D III without the battery grip. Obviously this is subjective to personal preferences and use. But, then you could also compare ergonomics, with the edge most likely going to the 1D X.

    "...the metering is different, and the data fed to the AF by the 1D X metering sensor should result in superior AF tracking, including face tracking..."

    Hopefully we will start to see some real life hands on reviews of the 1D X coming soon evaluating the AF & Metering system and also what 12,800+ ISO images actually look like. With the 5D III's quick release to market, I'm sure we'll start to see some real examples from it soon enough, who knows what the hold up with the 1D X is.

    Please keep us posted on your analysis.

    Mike
    Last edited by bigblue1ca; 03-02-2012 at 03:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    John

    The following should weigh in your decision, if you intend to buy the 500mm II or the 600mm II at some point, you will have paid more for your lens than your camera. At that point your camera is an accessory, and the lens is the main unit. To get the most out of these lenses you will most likely need the 1D X. With tripods, heads and all the accessories to go with the big lenses, you are looking at the difference between a $15,000 set up with a 5D III attached and an $18,000 set up with the 1D X. The expandability of the 1D X and the shutter speed are the big selling points with this set up. Burst rate should be taken in to account to.

    On the other hand, if I didn’t own the supertele’s, and all I wanted to do was landscape, architecture, macro and pictures of the grandkids I would go for the 5D III.

    A 1D IV coupled with a 5D III as a set would be a very nice option. One I may have very shortly. I am not convinced of the need for the 1D IV to be upgraded to a 1D X yet.

    Rick


    Rick, my only comment here would be to ask why someone might have bought these super-tele's in the first place. The 5DIII is going to have ever-so-slightly smaller pixels and will therefore be able to resolve fine features a wee bit better (all other things being equal). Since super telephoto lenses tend to be tack sharp everywhere they'll have the resolving power to dig the extra detail out of the "grain." Therefore, if someone is hell-bent on shooting birds with a FF camera the 5DIII may be the better choice. That said, the 1D4 or even the 7D might make more sense for the same arguments. Just a matter of whether the FF sensor is important or not.

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    Thanks for the comparison, Neuro. I'm still waiting to see raw files, but if history is any guide, the 1DX will have about one additional stop of clean shadows (less pattern noise) -- i.e. more dynamic range. Even the rebel series has always had less pattern noise than the 5D, 7D, and 60D series.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChadS View Post
    Rick, my only comment here would be to ask why someone might have bought these super-tele's in the first place. The 5DIII is going to have ever-so-slightly smaller pixels and will therefore be able to resolve fine features a wee bit better (all other things being equal). Since super telephoto lenses tend to be tack sharp everywhere they'll have the resolving power to dig the extra detail out of the "grain." Therefore, if someone is hell-bent on shooting birds with a FF camera the 5DIII may be the better choice. That said, the 1D4 or even the 7D might make more sense for the same arguments. Just a matter of whether the FF sensor is important or not.
    I brought it up because; specific to John asking the question "thoughts and advice from the forum", he has mentioned that he would like to have a 500mm F4L.

    The 5D III will probably not be the better choice for shooting birds. The frame rate, spot metering, burst rate, and possibly the expanded AF options will make the 1D X a better birding camera than the 5D III. All of those items will trump any slight IQ and resolution power you may get out of the 5D III. The 1D X ability to handle the higher ISO’s will be a big benefit as well, with wildlife much of the time you are limited to available light. It is always a fight to keep enough speed for moving wildlife and still have a reasonable ISO to get a decent picture.
    Last edited by HDNitehawk; 03-02-2012 at 04:29 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    Get the 1DX....you know you want it
    In the end, that will probably be a bigger factor than the specs...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    How quickly will you also be able to pick up the 24-70 f/2.8 II? If I could buy the 1DX now and pick up the 24-70 f/2.8 by the end of the year...
    Probably much sooner than that, in fact, since I'd sell the 5DII after getting the new body (although I'll get less with the forthcoming 5DII price drop). A couple of months, if that, for the 24-70 II, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    EDIT: I also wondering about AF speed...how much faster will the dedicated Digic 4 processor make the AF?
    Probably not a huge difference. The 5DIII does have a dedicated AF processor, it's just not Digic4, and the Digic5+ will share the load with the dedicated AF chip.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigblue1ca View Post
    The 1D X has the edge in shutter durability at 400,000 cycles, versus the 5D III's 150,000 cycles. The 5D III has a silent shooting option for single and continuous shooting modes, I'm not sure if the 1D X has that. The same goes for the 5D III's HDR feature. Neither are big features for me but thought I'd mention them. Another comparison is with respect to portability, with the edge in my eyes going to the 5D III without the battery grip.
    Good points. The 1D X does have the silent shooting modes, but not the HDR feature, nor does the 1D X have the comparative review feature (side-by-side review of two images with histograms).

    For me, the portability isn't an issue. Both my 5DII and 7D are gripped, and the only time I have every taken off a grip was with the 7D for a weekend trip (before getting the 5DII), after getting a new bag, a Lowepro Primus AW that just wouldn't hold a gripped body. I've since replaced that bag with a Flipside 300.

    Seems minor, but the improved self-cleaning system is a really nice feature. My 5DII needs cleaning quite frequently, much more often than my 7D. The new carrier-wave cleaning system in the 1D X would hopefully reduce the frequency of that rather annoying chore...
    Last edited by neuroanatomist; 03-02-2012 at 04:46 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    In part, I suppose my perspective is that 'it's only money'. The gear head in me likes to have the latest and best. That would have made the 5DII vs. 1DsIII decision harder, in that the 5DII has some features which the 1DsIII lacks (notably, the higher ISO settings) and was a newer camera. OTOH, the 5DIII and 1D X are effectively concurrent releases, with equivalent technology, and thus the edge goes to the 1D X.

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