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Thread: Canon EOS 5D Mark III | First Thoughts

  1. #1
    Senior Member Mark Elberson's Avatar
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    Canon EOS 5D Mark III | First Thoughts

    I have been the owner of a Canon EOS 5D Mark III for about 18 hours. Of those 18 hours 8 were spent sleeping but that doesn't mean that I can't have an opinion already :-)

    So far so great! Anyone who is used to the sound of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II's shutter firing will instantly fall in love with this one! It sounds, dare I say, Nikon-esque?

    Ok, enough silliness for now, let's get serious.

    Ergonomics:

    What a difference (in a good way). As soon as I took it out of the box I noticed how differently it felt in hand. I haven't handled a 7D very much but I think they took some cues from that body. A small thing for most I'm sure, but they moved the DoF preview button to what I feel is a much better location. I was constantly hitting it by accident (triggering my 430 EXIIs to go into "modeling" mode). I would always hit it by accident but to hit it on purpose almost seems impossible now. Now I can quickly hit it with my right ring finger with ease. Many other buttons and switches seem similar enough to me (also in a good way). The way you zoom in to view a picture on the back of (the new and gorgeous) screen is quite different. I can't stop hitting the AF point selection button for zooming to no avail. I am sure I will retrain my brain to adapt to the new way.

    Auto Focus:

    Wow! I will have to read the manual about 6 more times before all of this new technology sets in! There's a lot going on!!! For me, the most important thing is that I now have more than just ONE cross-type focus point, and for that matter, more than ONE "usable" focus point. OK, that's not completely fair but in low-light the outside focus points would hunt more than anything. I am actually a big proponent of "focus and recompose" but it's not always practical. Further more, we have moved from EV -.5 all the way down to EV -2. That's going to be huge in dimly lit churches and reception halls (not to mention my family room, er cave!). Testing both the one shot and servo varieties will take a while to fully vet out but I am liking what I am seeing so far. Which brings me to a question: For those of you that already have experience with it, do you favor "spot" over general manual selection? So far the jury is still out on the this one but again, it's going to take me a while.

    Menu:

    Different but similar. I found the old one a little quicker to navigate because I found it easier to skip over menus rather than scrolling through them sequentially but that may just be something I need to learn how to do.

    AE:

    Seems to be a little better. I always find that Canon's AE is about 2 stops under exposed for me in bad light. Shots I've taken so far are only 1 stop under exposed. I have had pretty good success in good light (light coming from behind you). I tend to shoot in "M" but it's good to be able to shift to AE when you need to and feel pretty good about it. I hope to test this one thoroughly. As long as it's consistent you can use EC. On older bodies I have not found that to be the case though.

    ISO:

    If I had to guess I'd give it a full stop over the Mark II. I did take some shots last night at 12,800 and out of the camera they looked pretty amazing! I was in a cavernous room only lit by a TV and both auto focus and high ISO performed greatly. I should add that the Mark II was able to lock focus rather quickly using the center point though :-)

    Speed:

    Love the 6FPS and more so the much reduced shutter lag. This camera is responsive!

    Feature Set:

    Love the dual card slots. I shoot redundant to the SD card to make me feel warm and fuzzy :-) The ability to set MIN/MAX values for ISO and shutter speed is a great add. Oh, I almost forgot! LOVE the lock feature. Between that and the locking mode dial I should have much greater success when shooting with two bodies on BR Straps and wondering why I am on "B" mode when shooting portraits!!

    The Truth:

    Out of the box you are not going to see much difference in an image taken with the Mark III vs. the Mark II. There is a lot to learn before you can harness all of the power of this new body. Once I know this body inside and out though my expectation is that my hit rate improves measurably.

    So, what I would like to do is to revisit this after I have had sufficient time to learn about the Mark III in practice. I would also like for other owners to add their thoughts, opinions, etc. What do you like vs don't like? What help can you offer? What have you found buried in the menu that someone else may be searching for?

    If you've stuck with me for this long you are a much better man that I am! I spaced out 4 paragraphed ago :-)

    ***SHAMELESS PLUG: PLEASE BUY MY Canon EOS 5D Mark II's :-)
    Last edited by Mark Elberson; 03-30-2012 at 04:24 PM.

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    Thanks fo, Mark. It's good to hear about the responsiveness, because I hadn't heard anything about that, and the shutter lag of the 5DII was an irritant from the start (the longish VF blackout is fine- once I've taken the shot I don't care so much).

    When you say one stop improvement, are you talking about raws? If so that is very impressive and more than I expected.

    Right now I'm sitting by the window keeping an eye out for the FedEx truck (which is supposed to deliver mine before 3pm today...)

    And sorry- not in the market for a 5DII, though if you'd like to *buy* one, I may be able to accommodate you...

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    Senior Member Mark Elberson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Ruyle View Post
    When you say one stop improvement, are you talking about raws? If so that is very impressive and more than I expected.
    Yep, RAWs, but that's just anecdotal of course. For similar resolution and the addition of gapless micro lenses I feel that one stop is certainly plausible.

    Good luck on your delivery! Vacation starting Sunday right?

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    Senior Member Jayson's Avatar
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    I'm jealous! Sounds like a great camera and I would be in the market for your Mark II if the air conditioner didn't just crap out. Can't wait to here some more hands on from you and the rest of the Mark III buyers! Gear lust is in full effect here.

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    Senior Member Mark Elberson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayson View Post
    ….if the air conditioner didn't just crap out.
    Ugh, that was me last year so my thoughts are with you! I went ahead and had a high efficiency furnace installed at the same time since I figure it would be dying soon too. It's amazing how you can take your HVAC system for granted! You just expect it work. Mine died when we had a week of 90+ degree weather. I appreciate it now!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Elberson View Post
    Yep, RAWs, but that's just anecdotal of course. For similar resolution and the addition of gapless micro lenses I feel that one stop is certainly plausible.
    Very cool! Gapless micro lenses are on a long list of little things I'm excited about (though of course, there must be a lot more than that contributing to the iso improvement). It's going to be like a full frame 7D, but better!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Elberson View Post
    Good luck on your delivery! Vacation starting Sunday right?
    Yep- we're heading up to Monterey and Berkeley, so I'll get a chance to put the 5DIII through its paces. Can't wait!

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    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayson View Post
    I'm jealous! Sounds like a great camera and I would be in the market for your Mark II if the air conditioner didn't just crap out. Can't wait to here some more hands on from you and the rest of the Mark III buyers! Gear lust is in full effect here.
    I would likely have been in the market for one if the Mark II hadn't hit my door yesterday direct from Canon's Refurbished Dept. You can blame Bryan for posting the coupon...

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    Senior Member Mark Elberson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Setters View Post
    I would likely have been in the market for one if the Mark II hadn't hit my door yesterday direct from Canon's Refurbished Dept. You can blame Bryan for posting the coupon...
    Grrrr!!!!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mark Elberson's Avatar
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    Update:


    The PocketWizard MiniTT1 FlexTT5 System will NOT work with the Mark III using ControlTL channels :-( It will however work using the standard channels (dumb trigger). I know this because I tested it, not because I read it somewhere.

    I called PocketWizard this morning and was told that there was no ETA on a firmware release. Despite their track record regarding missed release dates for these units I feel pretty confident that they'll at least have a BETA out by May.

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    Senior Member conropl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayson View Post
    I'm jealous! Sounds like a great camera and I would be in the market for your Mark II if the air conditioner didn't just crap out. Can't wait to here some more hands on from you and the rest of the Mark III buyers! Gear lust is in full effect here.
    +1 on that, but instead of A/C I have 3 kids in college for a couple more years. Bad Idea to have three kids born within 19 months (if you are trying to do the math.. we had twins in there).
    5DS R, 1D X, 7D, Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6, 24mm f/1.4L II, 16-35mm f/4L IS, 24-105mm f/4L, 50mm f/1.8, 100mm Macro f/2.8L, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L, 580EX-II
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