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Archive 2012 · 5D III Review: Wedding: Lots of issues!!!
  
 
DmitriM
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p.1 #1 · 5D III Review: Wedding: Lots of issues!!!


I just finished photographing a wedding. Over 39 hours of fast paced shooting
I've been shooting RAW on CF cards+jpegs on SD card.
Temperature: 20C-37C of fast paced shooting in different conditions and lighting scenarios.Sun,fog,rain,humidity,etc
From still and fast moving objects. Most shots were taken with 1-shot mode,but I also tried AI Servo a few times with outer points and they worked great. Way better than 5dII could even dream.
Just general observation with a lot of CONs-that's why Canon would not let me test their cameras )
I am aint no ambassador or sponsored by them to bull shit with fairy tales about a perfect product. This camera is NOT perfect. Lots of issues so far(and questions from me)
Lenses used: 24L II 1.4 and 70-200L II IS

PROs:

1. AF is way better than 5DII as it was said before. Over 95% of the shots are in focus. It's beyond impressive and I think I can partially take the blame on the other 5%!!
With 5DII it was extremely hard to shoot a subject against a white wall or in front of a window using a wide angle lens. 24mm 1.4 shots would end up at least 6/10 out of focus @ anything faster than 2.8. In fact, half of the shots with 5DII at 1.4 would turn up to be somewhat backfocused or focused on infinity.
Now I had no issues with it. 5D III was nailing white dresses against white walls without back focusing. Most(9 out of 10) images at 1.4 are in focus. Outer focus points work really nice.
Basically, 5D III has the best AF I've used with Canon cameras.


2.RAW images are sharp(unlike jpegs) and ISO performance is pretty good. It's not 2-5 stops as it was claimed by certain individuals(well, they only used jpegs...). I'd say maybe 1 stop. HOWEVER, the noise has no binding and is very uniform. Neat Image or LR deals with it really good and it can actually give you an extra stop over 5D II files,which didn't have a nice grain,especially past ISO 2500. With 5DIII, I had no issues shooting at ISO4000 and if images had proper expsure, they looked fantastic.

3.Well,lots of other small improvements as well, like the locking mechanism for the dial and good placement of the OFF/ON button.A few more which were mentioned many times by others. I just bought these cameras for their ISO and AF performance.

CONS:

1. On the 2nd day my camera got locked up after a shot and a "card is writing" light was illuminated. None of the controls seemed to be working except the shutter button. I had to turn the camera off and on to get that fixed. Last 2 shots that I took while experiencing this issue were not on the cards.scary stuff....

2.Jpegs do seem a bit soft...softer than from 5DIIs.... Everything at every ISO speed seems a bit washed and has that plasticky look. My NR is set to "Standard",in case that matters. I've yet to find a WOW, this is soooo sharp image

3. I was getting about 1050-1100 shots per 32GB card on 5D IIs. Seems like an extra MP brought it down to 850-870, which is a huge for just 1mp increase(this is not an issue,but an observation...)

4. AF sometimes takes a 1.5 second to nail a focus even during day light for the first shot. Other times the camera would nail the focus, give me the beep and then there would be about 1.5 seconds delay until the shutter fires.
That's VERY long. Seems like it doesn't happen often,but it happens. Same issue is also present during evening scenarios with little light. The camera will focus properly once the focus is achieved,but it takes 1.5-2 seconds. For fast paced situation this is extremely long!!

5.AF has hard time focusing on bright white,low contrast subjects with little contrast. It needs some kind of contrast to nail the focus. So, while in wedding situation it may have no problem achieving focus on a wedding dress,since there are shadows and wrinkles that create contrast, camera does have a bit of an issue focusing on white wall the dress is hung on.D4 had no problems so I expected 5DIII to do the same. Not a big issue, I understand the limitations...

6 I am still not sure how CF and SD is handled. My cameras are set to record raws on CF and jpegs on SD cards.
Now what happens if I delete a photo. Which card is image is being deleted from?? I'd want that image to be deleted from both cards!!
I am not sure if that was an issue, but many times I'd delete a photo only to find it later on the card!!! So I am not sure WTF was going on.

7. HUGE issue!!! HUGE. I am not sure if I have something set wrong,but I can't freakin see the AF point most of the time. I thought VF display illumination set on ON would fix that,but it doesn't. During the day I can't see the AF points and when the focus is nailed. It does show is as a circle at the bottom of the viewfinder screen ,but I WANT and NEED the AF point(center point for example) to be illuminated!!!!
It also isn't illuminated during the night unless the focus is achieved. So can't really see which focus point you are using unless the camera focuses. Did I screw up in the setting or Canon REALLY REALLY REALLY fu$ked this on up Again, I find this issue really important for me. I am always shooting in really fast paced environments and I really need this feature. I hope there will be some kind of a firmware update in the future.

8. Magnify button (up size/dowsize) was stupidly moved to the main dial. It's extremely uncomfortable. It was SOO much easier with 5DII. That wheel is not that easy to scroll so it's a hassle -this is a big WTF were you thinking for me

9. Just now I copied 2 images from the card to my laptop and put the SD card back in the cameras. Now the "card is writing/working" light is ON and I don't know WTF is going on!! All the controls seem to be working yet the card was writing or doing something for over 1 minute before it went OFF. What was is doing?? I really want to know!!

10. Subjects who are being photographed see the lens "light up in red" every time the focus is achieved. While not a major issue, it's still is if you are using camera for journalism and just un -needed feature. I would guess that it won't be a camera of choice for journalists in war zones where you'd be the target. You can turn this "feature" off,but if you forget it- you are dead...



PPS. Extra thanks to BH photo for a good discount on these 5Ds and a really fast delivery that arrived 2 hours before my flight


Oh, that's what I was shooting

These are jpegs and not at 100% crop so they have no real value....













Edited on Mar 31, 2012 at 05:49 AM · View previous versions



Mar 29, 2012 at 04:37 AM
robsuh
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p.1 #2 · 5D III Review: Wedding: Lots of issues!!!


Thanks for the mini-review. Always good to hear from pros. Someone else mentioned the issue with the focus points being nearly invisible during the daylight (your issue 7.) So it isn't just you.


Mar 29, 2012 at 04:46 AM
stanj
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p.1 #3 · 5D III Review: Wedding: Lots of issues!!!


#2 - that's what picture styles are for. Just set it to sharper, and it will come out sharper. It makes a huge difference.

#7 - Yeah. I feel sorta the same. One can customize the crap out of the AF but nothing matches my 1Ds...1Ds3 and 5D2 cameras, even remotely. While my specific complaint would be differently worded than yours, all I can say is that I feel your pain.



Mar 29, 2012 at 04:47 AM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #4 · 5D III Review: Wedding: Lots of issues!!!


I'm confused. I have 7D and have never had issue with AF point illumination. I have it set to brighter and it's perfectly visible. Is 5D III inferior, as it seems to be exactly the same tech?


Mar 29, 2012 at 04:55 AM
DmitriM
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p.1 #5 · 5D III Review: Wedding: Lots of issues!!!


stanj wrote:
#2 - that's what picture styles are for. Just set it to sharper, and it will come out sharper. It makes a huge difference.


Correct me if I am wrong,but picture styles don't do anything for RAW files... I had my 5dIIs set to Standard and my Unedited and unsharpened RAWs were sharper than what I get with processed Jpegs.

If I had to set my 5DIII to a sharper setting than Standard then wouldn't it mean that the images are softer since the 5DII's Standard images are better lookin'?



Mar 29, 2012 at 05:01 AM
stanj
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p.1 #6 · 5D III Review: Wedding: Lots of issues!!!


stanj wrote:
#2 - that's what picture styles are for. Just set it to sharper, and it will come out sharper. It makes a huge difference.

DmitriM wrote:
Correct me if I am wrong,but picture styles don't do anything for RAW files... I had my 5dIIs set to Standard and my Unedited and unsharpened RAWs were sharper than what I get with processed Jpegs.

If I had to set my 5DIII to a sharper setting than Standard then wouldn't it mean that the images are softer since the 5DII's Standard images are better lookin'?


Well, somewhere in your (admittedly long) post I read that you were looking only at the JPGs and not at the raws - of course I could have misread that. So I don't know how the statement that pict styles don't apply to raws matters here, since this whole point is about JPGs.

First thing I always do with a camera is create a custom style based off Faithful - lowest contrast, bit lower saturation, and pretty aggressive sharpening. In my raw+S workflow, this immediately gives me a good idea if a picture is OOF or not - if you turn down sharpness then you don't always immediately know if softness is due to lack of sharpening or OOF. So this aids the review and since "actual work" is done on raws, it doesn't really destroy anything.

So yes, I stipulate that the default styles are too tame "to pop". I did never really compare JPGs between cameras because it's completely irrelevant to my workflow. For me, JPGs are there only to allow a super fast editorial process. But of course that may be completely different for other users - I'm just saying what I did about it - create a PS that gives me what I want



Mar 29, 2012 at 05:08 AM
stanj
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p.1 #7 · 5D III Review: Wedding: Lots of issues!!!


Pixel Perfect wrote:
I'm confused. I have 7D and have never had issue with AF point illumination. I have it set to brighter and it's perfectly visible. Is 5D III inferior, as it seems to be exactly the same tech?


I never owned a 7D, but they are sure as hell harder to see than on any of my 1D cameras so far.

I think it has to do with the whole "smart viewfinder" thing, where a bunch of stuff is superimposed on the image. I was handling a D4 today and I was just as confused / unsure about what I'm focusing on as I am with the 5D3. Never been an issue for me with any of my previous EOS (all the way back to the 1N). I certainly hope I can learn how to deal with this soon, but right now the whole AF point selection process is very error prone and painfully slow for me.



Mar 29, 2012 at 05:11 AM
Ziffl3
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p.1 #8 · 5D III Review: Wedding: Lots of issues!!!


if you have the camera in AI servo you will not get a conformation of AF lock.
Otherwise there is a setting you are missing.

And no they(AF points) are not harder to see than a 1D .... sorry stanj.

DmitriM:
On your focus locking issue ... when you are talking about the 5Dmk3 ... you need to specify if you where in a spot AF mode or not.
smaller spot AF will have less real-estate on the sensor to work with.

Overall sounds like you need to work with the camera a little before going to battle.



Mar 29, 2012 at 05:22 AM
kevindar
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p.1 #9 · 5D III Review: Wedding: Lots of issues!!!


Dmitri, love your photography.
dont bother with jpeg. even with noise reduction set to low, it turns to mush the image, and you loose a lot of detail. my raw files maintain a lot more detail, with less noise, processed through Lightroom.
As for white, no contrast focusing, I am not surprised.
No, there is no way of keeping the focus light on as red. the best you can do is keep it on as black, all the time, except when focus is achieved, it blinks red. its under autofucs menu, 5th page, second item, option 1. I have all the focus points showing. allows me to see the one selected better somehow. i also only have it shot the cross type sensor point.



Mar 29, 2012 at 05:27 AM
DmitriM
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p.1 #10 · 5D III Review: Wedding: Lots of issues!!!


Ziffl3 wrote:
if you have the camera in AI servo you will not get a conformation of AF lock.
Otherwise there is a setting you are missing.

And no they(AF points) are not harder to see than a 1D .... sorry stanj.

DmitriM:
On your focus locking issue ... when you are talking about the 5Dmk3 ... you need to specify if you where in a spot AF mode or not.
smaller spot AF will have less real-estate on the sensor to work with.

Overall sounds like you need to work with the camera a little before going to battle.


AF is in Evaluative mode. I am aware about Servo mode focusing....that wasn't that.



Mar 29, 2012 at 05:31 AM
 

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Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #11 · 5D III Review: Wedding: Lots of issues!!!


pg 103 of manual; VF Illumination -> On: Enable

On 7D this works very well, I can always see AF points in bright light



Mar 29, 2012 at 05:35 AM
DmitriM
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p.1 #12 · 5D III Review: Wedding: Lots of issues!!!


Pixel Perfect wrote:
pg 103 of manual; VF Illumination -> On: Enable

On 7D this works very well, I can always see AF points in bright light

It's ON already It only works when it's somewhat dark.



Mar 29, 2012 at 05:36 AM
DmitriM
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p.1 #13 · 5D III Review: Wedding: Lots of issues!!!


kevindar wrote:
Dmitri, love your photography.
dont bother with jpeg. even with noise reduction set to low, it turns to mush the image, and you loose a lot of detail. my raw files maintain a lot more detail, with less noise, processed through Lightroom.
As for white, no contrast focusing, I am not surprised.
No, there is no way of keeping the focus light on as red. the best you can do is keep it on as black, all the time, except when focus is achieved, it blinks red. its under autofucs menu, 5th page, second item, option 1. I have all the focus
...Show more
thanks!

I haven't tried RAWs yet as I don't have DPP installed to even see and compare raws against jpegs. Happy to hear I won't see the "plastic doll" effect on my images in Raw files!!



Mar 29, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Yohan Pamudji
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p.1 #14 · 5D III Review: Wedding: Lots of issues!!!


Dmitri,

Thanks for being a dissenting voice. Lots of superlatives have been thrown around, but those of us still on the fence want to hear the bad too before deciding.

A few points:

- The last column of AF points on the leftmost and rightmost edges are non-cross-type points, which is why they're not that good. Change your selectable AF points in the menu to either only cross-type points or 9 points to ensure that you never select a non-cross-type point. Pg. 98 in manual.

- JPGs at default settings will probably be softer than you're used to. If you care about JPG quality, test out different settings until you find one that works.

- Can any camera focus on white objects with low contrast?

- There's a lot of discussion about the visibility of the red illuminated AF point indicator boxes in daylight. There doesn't seem to be a consensus yet about whether there's a setting or combination of settings that will totally fix that.

- You can change magnify behavior to where pressing the magnify button gets you to 100% magnification at the active AF point. That way you don't have to use the dial to zoom in/out. Pg. 252 in manual.

The stuff about AF delays and card writing weirdness is scary. I hope you get a chance to test before your next wedding and find reasons/solutions to those problems.



Mar 29, 2012 at 05:42 AM
UCSB
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p.1 #15 · 5D III Review: Wedding: Lots of issues!!!


DmitriM wrote:
PROs:

1. AF is way better than 5DII as it was said before. Over 90% of the shots are in focus. With 5DII it was extremely hard to shoot a subject against a white wall or in front of a window using a wide angle lens. 24mm 1.4 shots would end up at least 6/10 out of focus @ anything faster than 2.8. Now I had no issues with it. 5D III was nailing white dresses against white walls without back focusing. most images at 1.4 are in focus. Outer focus points work really nice. though I have the last row
...Show more

Lots of issues in post ... but, I might be able to help you with the one you discuss here:

"... though I have the last row of points to the left and right blinking and not available for my 24L and 70-200L 2.8. A bit sad about that...Sometimes when you go fast, your selection goes there and then you have to go back. Waste of time and a bit frustrating."

I have set my AF to only display and use the cross type AF sensors. If you do the same, at least this one small irritation will go away if I understand the what is happening to you.






Mar 29, 2012 at 05:54 AM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #16 · 5D III Review: Wedding: Lots of issues!!!


DmitriM wrote:
It's ON already It only works when it's somewhat dark.


Then IMO something is wrong with the VF overlay or for some bizarre reason 5D III is inferior to 7D, which I find hard to believe.



Mar 29, 2012 at 06:04 AM
skibum5
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p.1 #17 · 5D III Review: Wedding: Lots of issues!!!


They went way overboard with NR on in cam stuff, video and jpgs are supposed to be pure mush, all so they can claim a totally fake 2 stops better (and a beyond, beyond absurd 5 stops better for the 1DX now!). Instead of making that mess they should work on getting a natural 'grained' noise and high quality sharpening instead of sharpening at large radius that leaves big white halos, etc. It's too prone to NR away, even at ISO 100, even on video with NR low or even off, apparently, fine details unless they are high contrast, from waht I've read and from looking at samples.

For stills you can have RAW at least and that should solve all that I imagine.



Mar 29, 2012 at 06:48 AM
stanj
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p.1 #18 · 5D III Review: Wedding: Lots of issues!!!


Ziffl3 wrote:
And no they(AF points) are not harder to see than a 1D .... sorry stanj.


Well then I guess I wasn't using my five or six 1D-class bodies correctly over the last decade.

Fact: The 1D can illuminate a single AF point. Or two. And keep it illuminated constantly for me to more easily see. Can not be done on the 5D3. On the 5D3, everything lights up. The friggin' grid flashes red at me. On the 1D....1D4, not so much.

On the 5D3 (and D4 and I can only assume the 1DX) the outline of the AF point is way fatter (relative to the size of the viewfinder image) than on the 1D...1D4. When on the 5D3 I turn on the display of all 61 points, it's more black than transparent. If you turn it off (or use any of the other options), it's much harder and slower to switch from say the upper left to the lower right AF point with the dinky joystick than it was with the back dial on the 1D....1D4, at least via the "ring of fire" mode which was present on the 1N/A2E .... D30 ... 1D4, including the 5-series. On the 5D3, I either need to do it "blind", relying on me remembering exactly how far I can go with the joystick in each direction (because I don't see the available points), or I do have the AF points constantly superimposed and then I am back on square one with a hopelessly overloaded viewfinder with a ton of black crap in it. On the 1Ds3 it took me exactly 4 clicks with the back dial. I didn't even have to look. A fraction of a second, done while I was turning the camera from landscape to portrait.

But maybe I just remember all of this wrong, and the half dozen 1-series cameras with hundreds of thousands of clicks don't matter.



Mar 29, 2012 at 06:53 AM
stanj
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p.1 #19 · 5D III Review: Wedding: Lots of issues!!!


Pixel Perfect wrote:
pg 103 of manual; VF Illumination -> On: Enable

On 7D this works very well, I can always see AF points in bright light

DmitriM wrote:
It's ON already It only works when it's somewhat dark.


I completely agree with you. I was shooting with my 24L2 today in a sunny environment (gasp!) and for the life of me could not see the AF lighting up. It works great in the dungeon, though, with the small drawback that the grid and all the other AF points flash, too.



Mar 29, 2012 at 06:58 AM
Dawei Ye
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p.1 #20 · 5D III Review: Wedding: Lots of issues!!!


2nd shot is stunning!

Sorry to hear about the issues, they are fairly significant problems! will follow with interest



Mar 29, 2012 at 07:14 AM
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