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Thread: From the 5DII experts - what are the real functional improvements in the 5dIII?

  1. #1
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    From the 5DII experts - what are the real functional improvements in the 5dIII?

    Interested in the perspective of the "super users" what the real functional differences appear to be.

    How would you use the two cameras differently?

    What would you be able to capture on the III that simply isn't available in the II?

    What are the moment to moment items when shooting that make the III worth the buy up from the II?

    Be kind, I am old guy and still have scars from handling film and am blown away by the power that all these cameras have.

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    Much improved AF including AF points, ISO low light performance, and weather sealing are the big reason I'm upgrading. I've had the 5D Mark II since it came out. So it's time for a nice upgrade.

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    I think the 5D3 would improve my chances on certain shots, but it would most definitely not be a gaurantee for taking shots that I couldn't have taken with the 5D2. Chances that you take that magic shot in a burst would be 6:1 on the 5D3 vs 4:1 on the 5D2. The AF system is faster and better which improves your chances on getting a correctly focused shot. And the improved weathersealing I think would give you a higher chance of camera-survival when you drop it into the water or endure heavy rain or dust.(Canon doesn't gaurantee on these kind of damages)
    The improved ISO however would let me take shots that I couldn't do with the 5D2. That's the only factor that is not luck or skill-related I think.

    So all in all, you could take a shot with pretty much any camera, but the chances of a great shot simply increase by buying better equipment such as camera's and lenses. Conclusion: even if I would have the 5D3, my chances will be better, but I won't be taking better shots than a skilled photographer with a lesser camera. In the end it's still you that makes or brakes the photo.

    Ps: If I had the money, I would have loved to upgrade. In some cases these higher chances really come in handy I'm not a skilled photographer so I could use those higher chances.

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    I am not a "super user" and really not sure what that is. I have had 2 5D II's the first I got shortly after its release.

    I think the biggest news as far, as an upgrade from the 5D goes, is the new AF system. If it is as good as the 1D series AF system it will be a big step up. Compared to my 1D IV the AF system of my 5D's were far less accurate.

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    I was hoping for a self portrait attractiveness feature
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    I am not an "expert", just a humble amateur and 5D2 owner since it came out. However, I took a few tens of thousands of photos at ballroom dance competitions so I can comment on sport usage of 5D2 vs 5D3.

    In my experience the improvements in 5D3 are exactly what I was missing in 5D2.
    1) A lot more AF-points for tracking off-center subjects. 5D2 has very nice center point AF, however the side AF points are too sparse. It's easy to lose your subject if it moves off center (or if you want to frame your shot with the subject off center while still tracking). 5D3 should solve these problems.
    2) one stop (or m/b a bit more) better high iso performance. I often needed iso 6400 with 70-200/2.8 lens (at f/2.8) in relatively well lit gyms to still keep shutter speed above 1/200-1/320. Iso6400 doesn't look that good on 5D2. Again 5D3 seems to be improved by exactly the necessary amount .
    3) 6fps vs 3.9fps. Not super important, but I think should be useful.

    I think this should apply relatively well to wedding photographers as well, who shoot moving subjects in in dimly lit venues (like banquet halls often are).

    Overall, if I were a professional, making living from my photos, I would certainly upgrade.
    Cheers!
    Last edited by dmojavensis; 03-03-2012 at 12:36 AM.

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    ok since you guys are on AF points of the 5D series......

    Can somebody please tell me how the AF points [60 something i think] on the 5dIII can help me??? I use a 5DII and the only AF point I ever use is the CENTER AF. I seldom if ever shoot sports basically parties and get togethers is what i use my 5dII for....

    I'm asking because I'm trying to figure out if the 5diii is worth the upgrade from my 5dii for my shooting needs......
    thanks...

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    Short answer, is that no matter what af point you use, it will focus in less light (-2EV) than the 5D2 (-0.5EV). Also, the centre point of the 1DX/5D3 is a f/2.8 cross (or is it a double-cross?) point, which will be a lot more accurate than the 5D2's centre point.

    Even if it's the only point you'll ever use, it's a lot better than the 5D2's centre point. And trust me, once you get used to more AF points, you'll wonder how you got anlong without them (I couldn't use less than 19 ever again, sigh...)
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    Here's a quick and dirty example of how you can use more than the centre AF point, even if you only use one AF point at once, being able to move it around helps a lot, especially in portrait situations.
    Here's a shot I took at my missus' latest book launch, not the best subject but it illustrates my point nicely. Putting the camera in portrait orientation, the centre AF point would have focussed on his chest, moving the single AF-point in use to the far end made his head in focus instead (which is what you want, a sharp chest and blurry head doesn't make for a good portrait).
    Screenshot from DPP using View->Show AF Point (Alt+L)

    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jks_photo View Post
    ok since you guys are on AF points of the 5D series......

    Can somebody please tell me how the AF points [60 something i think] on the 5dIII can help me??? I use a 5DII and the only AF point I ever use is the CENTER AF. I seldom if ever shoot sports basically parties and get togethers is what i use my 5dII for....

    I'm asking because I'm trying to figure out if the 5diii is worth the upgrade from my 5dii for my shooting needs......
    thanks...
    To me it is overkill. Sure you can use them to select areas to focus on, you can probably do single points or single areas to use to focus. I can do that all on my 1D IV, but 99% of the time it set on AI center point with the surrounding points used as assist. To me that is not the important factor of the AF system the 5D III is getting.

    Since I only have the 1D IV and not the 1D X, I can only base what I know off the 1D IV. But I think it should be safe to assume the 1D X AF will be superior and if this is the AF system the 5D III is getting I think I can make the 1D IV comparison and we should see comparable improvement in the 5D III.

    One of the big differences I see with the 1D IV compared to the 5D II is that if I am shooting the 5D II in AI mode the focus is not as accurate if you are shooting still life in single shot mode. With the 1D IV I can put it in AI mode, and it is just as accurate in AI mode as it is in one shot mode. The 5D II is just not consistently as accurate as the 1D.

    Then there are the lensalign tests that I did, when calibrating my lenses I did 1000's of shots to fine tune each lens to each body, what I found in side by side tests is that the 1D IV's AF system was nearly accurate 100% of the time. Both the 5D II and the 7D would loose 1 to 2 shots in every set. If I remember correctly their accuracy was closer to 90%. (Edit: I would also point out that the grouping and tightness of the 1D IV was much better than the other two bodies. The 7D and 5D II would back focus and front focus slightly more than the 1D IV in any given sample.)

    What I believe is this. If the 5D III does have the same AF system as the 1D X (not just additional points), then the accuracy of the 5D III should improve conciderably. With the faster frame rate, coupled with the improved AF system and throw in a few of the other improvements, you're keeper rate should increase a fair amount.

    What we have to hope for with the 5D III, and this really would be different from what Canon has done in the past, is that Canon will not dumb down the AF system of the new 5D III so much that it will not be comparable or close to the 1D X. We have to hope that Canon marketing didn't have a say in the design of the AF system.
    Last edited by HDNitehawk; 03-03-2012 at 01:09 AM.

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