Small Hands-On Review of Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Posted: March 18, 2012 in Blog
Tags: , ,

This week I finally got my hands on the new 5D Mark III. To be honest I really don’t know how to start this review because there isn’t any extra super feature the camera has and will help it’s promotion. In comparison Nikon D800 has 36 MPx and so it brings medium size format resolution in a Nikon body with having a chance to switch lenses without buying a new gear from different brand like PhaseOne or Hasselblad.

In my opinion the best promotion “phrase” for 5D Mark III is “the successor to 5D Mark II”. Sounds weird but I really feel it like this. And that isn’t the best thing to be honest. Building it’s reputation based on previous model. Of course, it has 61 AF points with 41 cross-type, 6 FPS, weather sealing etc. But did you expect less? Manufacturers are pushing limits again and having these features is nice but for me they are standard and nothing extra.

In previous paragraph I started about autofocus so let’s finish this section. Total number of points is 61 and 41 are cross-type how I already wrote. There is just a small problem. 20 of those cross-type points aren’t f/5.6 how everybody would expect but “only” f/4. What does it mean? If you’re shooting with a lens and your minimal aperture number is bigger than f/4, you won’t have the advantage of cross-type AF point and it will be looking for contrast in vertical or horizontal line only! This means worse focusing in low light situations with lenses like 70-200 f/4 or f/2.8 with teleconvertors (1.4x for f/4 and 2x for f/2.8), 100-400 f/4-5.6, 300 f/4 + 1.4x teleconvertor etc. Canon didn’t think this through. Canon added a focusing similar to 7D and in general I was quite pleased with speed and focusing performance. Just for your information, AF system is one of three things I really like about the new camera.

For me another great feature is bracketing. Now you aren’t stuck with 3 exposures with max 2EV difference. You can go up to 7 exposures in 3EV increments. This is useful for shooting HDR in situations where you need those extra frames and don’t want to buy an extra accessory. A really nice feature to have. With it also comes an in-camera HDR. It will take several exposures and merge them together. You can see a final image in back LCD screen and get basic idea. The good thing is you don’t have to reshoot the scene again, if you like it because it will save not just final image but also all exposures on your CF or SD card. Second thing I like about.

Now let’s get to build construction. I wasn’t so excited about the new camera as I’m about a 600EX-RT Speedlight and when I got the 5D Mark III into my hands I knew why. It just didn’t feel right. I had a talk about the build construction with other photographers and everybody agreed with me, Mark II feels better in hands. Also buttons on top, where you can change ISO, Exposure metering mode, AF etc. are from 7D, so they are small and with new construction you don’t know if you pressed them or not. Especially in winter when everybody is shooting with gloves you might have some big issues. On previous model those buttons were big and you could feel them being pressed. Same with buttons on back of camera. Also grip was strange, had some issues with pinkie … just not happy about it. Only thing what I like about construction is card cover. It is rubberized and won’t open so easily. Also they added a spring which is a nice feature.

In previous paragraphs are written all the main features, at least for me. Why I’m not talking about image quality? Well we had just a sample model and weren’t able to image output. But image quality will be great. Even if they took just sensor from Mark II and adjust a bit ISO performance, which is awesome even with Mark II, I’d be happy as Larry. That is also the reason why I don’t care this time about it.

A lot of photographers don’t know if they should upgrade from Mark II or not. To be honest, it is up to them. If they thing they’ll have better images or performance with 61 AF points, faster FPS, weather sealing and 100% viewfinder, than go for it. For me it is not worth the upgrade. I just love everything on my Mark II and won’t switch. Today I’ll be shooting a bit with the Mark III so maybe I’ll be able to get my images out this time.

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Comments
  1. Matt says:

    I originally purchased the 5D when it hit the shelves. When the 5DII came out it was not much of an upgrade. Video recording time was stupid. So I purchased a Panasonic GH2 and teamed it up with 30 Canon FD len’s. Canon took notice on improving video etc and its like a 5D made sweet sweet love with a GH2. I’m happy I held off and you can keep your 5DII for shooting LOL CATS.

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