March 3, 2012

Canon 5D Mark III

Canon has a new full frame camera and it seems like a great cross between the 7D, 5D II and 1Dx.

I am excited for this camera and have one, with a grip on order...I can hardly wait for the end of March.

There seems to be a lot of disappointment out there with this camera though. I might be missing something, but what did we all want the 1Ds replacement to be? The 5DII was really just a 1DsIII light and when the 1Dx said it was the "New Flagship" that meant that the 1DsIII needed to be replaced.

My list for the 1DsIII replacement was:
  • Drop the weight...check
  • Get better AF...(assumably) check
  • Get more AF coverage...check
  • Get better/more high ISO shooting...check
  • Get to 6+ fps...check
  • Get to 6,000pix on the long end, but not much more...(close - 5760 x 3840)
  • Shoot 1080P with usable features to replace tradition cameras...check (real audio/exposure control and legitimate timecode/monitoring)
  • Get internal HDR and Timelapse...we got the HDR half of it
  • Get a real GPS option...check (I have experienced the poor reception and battery life of built in versions)
  • Get a better screen...check
  • Dual multi-selectors...check (if you add the grip)
  • Keep dual cards (After the D3x-1Dx I wanted it to stay CF and SD)...check
  • Keep a good/consistent Battery...check (same as my 5DII and 7Ds)
It took almost 5 years, but we went from the 1DsIII TO 5D III:
  • 5616 x 3744 TO 5760 x 3840 (I really did want to match the D3x at 6048 x 4032, but not much more)
  • 100 - 1600 in 1/3 stops, plus 50, 3200 TO Auto, 100 - 25600 in 1/3 stops, plus 50, 51200, 102400
  • Less than perfect 45p AF TO 61p AF (with spot AF :)
  • 230,000 screen dots TO 1,040,000
  • 5 fps TO 6 fps (the 1DsII was only 4fps and the 1Ds was only 3fps)
  • Exposure compensation of ±3 EV TO ±5 EV
I used the 1DsII then the 1DsIII, sold mine and have been waiting for the next sense the 5DII proved to be close for landscapes and the occasional portrait. I did want to hit 6,000 pix, but if 5,760 is going to give me better quality it is close enough. I would have happily taken 7-8fps, but I wanted at least 6fps and I would not give up resolution to have more speed. I did want internal time-lapse shooting, but that is a firmware thing that could be added easily. It looks like I got everything else that I wanted/needed.

I have a 5D III and grip on order, and will use it heavily. It is almost exactly what I have wanted for big mile days when I take only one camera and should be a slight improvement for my landscape photography (over the 1DsIII and 5DII, but they did not need much improvement).

I am sure Canon will eventually deliver a 30-50MP, slow, camera for those of you who want that, but I don't think that I would have bought the camera if it could only shoot 4fps in full quality 14-bit RAW, even at 50MP. When I need insane file size for landscapes I use my T/S lens' like a large format camera. I don't think I have ever had a client as for more resolution, ever. I also don't believe current lenses and diffraction limits of optics will make folks happy when they shoot a 45MP camera much past f/8.

For those that wanted "serious" video features, that is the C300 and whatever else they bring out below it in that line. I don't need to produce music videos, TV shows, feature films or even commercials. I am just looking for a high quality way to record footage while I am in the field to shoot stills.

I am happy with what Canon made for us who choose to purchase one, and I hope that those of you who are not happy will soon get a camera that will do what you need in the field.

Happy analyzing, but really you should get out and do some shooting ;)

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