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Archive 2012 · 5D III - Viewfinder Red Light Issue or Non-Issue
  
 
Steven Everitt
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 5D III - Viewfinder Red Light Issue or Non-Issue


I have read extensively the posts on here regarding the “perceived” issue of not being able to see the focus points very well on the 5D III i.e. they don't go red?? Have I got this right?? So confused now!!

I am about to pull the trigger on purchasing one in the next 24/48 hours and the thing is I have read so much, I am not sure now what I am reading and if this is a problem that I should be worrying about? I guess I am starting to have second thoughts!

I know this has been discussed a lot but what I would really appreciate is a quick comment from togs who have and are using the 5D III, to give me some comfort that it will be OK?

I will be using the camera in varied situations from landscapes to wildlife to people in good light and low light.

If anyone could lift my spirits on this point it would be much appreciated.









Aug 15, 2012 at 12:23 PM
thedigitalbean
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 5D III - Viewfinder Red Light Issue or Non-Issue


Non-Issue as far as I'm concerned. Others will disagree.


Aug 15, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Fred Meebley
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 5D III - Viewfinder Red Light Issue or Non-Issue


I'm only a hobbyist, but it has been a non-issue for me on my 7d. Going on three years now and still love the viewfinder.


Aug 15, 2012 at 12:39 PM
chez
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 5D III - Viewfinder Red Light Issue or Non-Issue


I suggest you go to a shop and try it out yourself under different lighting conditions. There are people that have no issues with the type of photography they do and others that are truly frustrated. I think it all depends on what type of lighting you shoot in.


Aug 15, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Todd Klassy
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 5D III - Viewfinder Red Light Issue or Non-Issue


Hobbyists would consider this a non-issue for a variety of reasons. I'm not surprised. For me, however, as someone who earns a living with his camera, I consider it a very serious issue.

And Steven, the AF points are black in daylight or well-lit rooms. When focusing against something dark they are hard to see/find. Also, the AF point does not stay illuminated in AI Servo mode. And lastly, on all previous 1D, 1Ds, and 5D series cameras, the AF point would illuminate red on command to help remind the photographer which point(s) he or she selected. This camera, and the 1Dx and 7D do not.



Aug 15, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Todd Klassy
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 5D III - Viewfinder Red Light Issue or Non-Issue


It has much more to do with 'what' you shoot and 'how' you shoot than the lighting you shoot in. If all you shoot is landscapes and still life it is probably not an issue. If you shoot motion, action, or if you shoot a variety of different poses and settings all at once (i.e. weddings, photojournalism, etc.), it will be an issue, especially if you are moving from a legacy 1D, 1Ds, 5D, or xxD camera and you are accustomed to the previous AF illumination method.


Aug 15, 2012 at 12:58 PM
AmIgone
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 5D III - Viewfinder Red Light Issue or Non-Issue


Well I’ve used my 1DX (same thing) for a month with no issues. That is until I did a night shoot at a local fair. It was a little frustrating. So I now see what some of the people were talking about. I think if I shot only night club seen or some other venues that was really poorly light it would be a big issue. For me the camera is so much better then my other bodies, I think it’s something I can live with for my style of shooting. YMMV


Aug 15, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Jeff
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 5D III - Viewfinder Red Light Issue or Non-Issue


I didn't notice the issue much with the 7D, but then again I pretty much gave up shooting sports with it and relied on the 1DIII. With the 5DIII it can be an issue in AI servo with darker subjects, especially when really trying to track a small subject. Or at night, using one shot.

Being that it is a departure from what has been 'standard' for years, I can see why many are up in arms, especially in regard to the 1Dx. But, I'm not holding my breath for a fix, and I do appreciate the other virtues of the transmissive LCD. Being that the 5DIII offers few gains in image quality over the 5DII, alt lens/MF users can sit this one out and stick with what they've got.

The 5DIII is without question the best camera I've ever used, and I don't say such things lightly.

In other words: it will be OK.

-Jeff



Aug 15, 2012 at 01:09 PM
goosemang
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · 5D III - Viewfinder Red Light Issue or Non-Issue


it doesn't bother me much, but the issue isn't just some baloney made up by a few whiners. it depends on how and what you shoot, and i can understand how it could drive some folks nuts.

basically, buy the camera knowing you probably have 30 days to return it, take it around the track a few times and see what you think. that's the only way to really know if it'll be an issue for you



Aug 15, 2012 at 01:15 PM
jerrykur
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · 5D III - Viewfinder Red Light Issue or Non-Issue


The AF is fine for me. I have shot a wedding with the camera and did not have an issue seeing the selected rectangle with dark tuxes in a dim church or dancers at the reception. When the light was low at the reception the illumination came on. I think once at the church I pushed the toggle to force the illumination on.

With that said I could see that it could be an issue in mixed light when it was too bright to trip the illumination and focusing against a dark subject.

Edited on Aug 15, 2012 at 01:20 PM · View previous versions



Aug 15, 2012 at 01:18 PM
 

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Binh Ly
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · 5D III - Viewfinder Red Light Issue or Non-Issue


Rent one and shoot it in the conditions you would use it for.

As for me, non-issue. I use the camera to shoot weddings under variable and unpredictable lighting conditions.



Aug 15, 2012 at 01:18 PM
PhilDrinkwater
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · 5D III - Viewfinder Red Light Issue or Non-Issue


Todd Klassy wrote:
It has much more to do with 'what' you shoot and 'how' you shoot than the lighting you shoot in. If all you shoot is landscapes and still life it is probably not an issue. If you shoot motion, action, or if you shoot a variety of different poses and settings all at once (i.e. weddings, photojournalism, etc.), it will be an issue, especially if you are moving from a legacy 1D, 1Ds, 5D, or xxD camera and you are accustomed to the previous AF illumination method.


Exactly.

The two problems are:
* Red flash can't be seen in good light
* Black spots can't be seen in poor light

At a wedding I need to know my focus is locked and the 5d3 doesn't give me this information when I need it. I shoot very low DOF so it's important.

It was a massive screw up in my opinion since the 5d3, otherwise, is the best wedding camera overall - at least for my style of work.

I still can't believe they let it out like that. Did no one notice? *incredulous* In my official feedback to Canon I actually said they should consider carefully who they are asking for feedback (or listening to) if this wasn't on the list of "stuff we have to fix before release".

I live with it... but I'm not happy about it. Fortunately the cameras focussing is spot so I've learned to trust it.

Otherwise... it's amazing http://www.phildweddingphotography.co.uk/index.php/2012/05/canon-5diii-for-weddings/


Edited on Aug 15, 2012 at 01:22 PM · View previous versions



Aug 15, 2012 at 01:19 PM
molson
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · 5D III - Viewfinder Red Light Issue or Non-Issue


Totally a non-issue for me.

I rely on the viewfinder image to see if the subject is in focus or not, and I'm glad I don't have those silly flashing red lights (that the video gamers seem to love so much) to distract me from the image.



Aug 15, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Steven Everitt
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · 5D III - Viewfinder Red Light Issue or Non-Issue


Thank you all for your responses

Todd - especially for explaining a bit clearer what the problems are!

I am coming from 50D so this will be my first FF camera. Subject matter is likely to be mainly landscapes and macro, with some family portraiture as well, I am only a hobbyist.

In the past I have rarely used AI Servo but that is not to say I would not use it in the future, I am always taking pictures and believe if I spend near on 3k on a camera I want to learn and use all the functionality of it. Interesting to read the same issue with 7D as I don't remember reading much about it then but it may just be it did not register as I was not in the market for one at the time.

Anyway, I think the trigger will be pulled, Jeff, you give me the confidence but I think I will take Chez's advice and go and try one out first.

Thank you all again



Aug 15, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Todd Klassy
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · 5D III - Viewfinder Red Light Issue or Non-Issue


All I can add is this:

1.) I miss many more shots than I ever did with my 20D, 5D, or 5D Mark II, and this makes me angry.

2.) This is the only issue I have with an otherwise impressive camera. And this is much more of a criticism than a compliment to Canon. They almost got it right, but didn't.

When the 20D came out (at the time) it was at the top of its game. An exceptional camera for the money and very good in so many ways. Same can be said for the 5D. The 5D II was a step backwards IMHO, and the 5D Mark III could have been a step forward, but then they screwed up the AF point illumination. It is hard for me to forgive them, but could if they made an honest effort to solve some of this with a firmware fix.

Customers have been complaining about this problem since early March. Check the other, more active boards. There is a ton of complaints there. We're almost 7 months into this problem and the silence from Canon is deafening. And every month that goes by the more I get frustrated.



Aug 15, 2012 at 02:55 PM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · 5D III - Viewfinder Red Light Issue or Non-Issue


I have been shooting with it under various lighting conditions since March and I have yet to encounter any major issues. Could that be better? Sure, like anything else, it can be better but I am pleased how it behaves and performs. A minor tweak in the form a firmware update would be nice and totally feasible.


Aug 15, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Tim Adams
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · 5D III - Viewfinder Red Light Issue or Non-Issue


They did not screw it up. They put the same sytem that the 7D uses for the focus points. It has worked fine for thousands of 7D users and I read no complaints when the 7D came out. Deal with it people. I shot in pitch black conditions at a night airshow and had no issues. If you can't remember where it's at flick the joystick as one of the above posters pointed out.


Aug 15, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Jeff
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · 5D III - Viewfinder Red Light Issue or Non-Issue


PhilDrinkwater wrote:
I still can't believe they let it out like that. Did no one notice? *incredulous* In my official feedback to Canon I actually said they should consider carefully who they are asking for feedback (or listening to) if this wasn't on the list of "stuff we have to fix before release".


The 7D was clearly the test bed for this system, and I, too, find it interesting that no one in the 7D camp complained about it. Perhaps it's the group of users being a bit different for each body, I don't know...


Todd Klassy wrote:
All I can add is this:

1.) I miss many more shots than I ever did with my 20D, 5D, or 5D Mark II, and this makes me angry...

...The 5D II was a step backwards IMHO, and the 5D Mark III could have been a step forward, but then they screwed up the AF point illumination. It is hard for me to forgive them, but could if they made an honest effort to solve some of this with a firmware fix.

Customers have been complaining about this problem since early March. Check the other, more active boards. There is a ton
...Show more

Wow, regarding number 1) above, that's hard to imagine. And I can't honestly say I've heard the 5DII being referred to as a 'step backwards' (in anything but the AF department, which was in actuality no step at all), but I admit that everyone's mileage varies (widely!).

Although I can understand your frustration, it seems a bit out of proportion with what is otherwise an excellent body, as you admitted. Having lived through the 1D MkIII fiasco I can empathize, though I'd suggest not getting increasingly frustrated as time goes on, since it's unlikely that the AF point illumination issue will be resolved to everyone's liking. There are pros and cons to every single piece of equipment out there, and some cons we just need to learn to live with and adapt to, unfortunately. I think this issue is possibly more significant for the 1Dx, being that it is primarily a sports and low-light journalism type of camera.

As far as the large numbers of complaints on 'more active boards', I'm quite happy right here, thank you.

-Jeff




Aug 15, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Todd Klassy
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · 5D III - Viewfinder Red Light Issue or Non-Issue


Tim, your opinion proves how much of a neophyte you are.

For starters, there WERE 7D users who complained about it also. Check the boards. Secondly, the 7D is a consumer grade camera. The 5D is a prosumer grade camera, which is used by many professionals, and the 1D is most certainly a professional grade camera. Hobbyists who shoot landscapes and take snapshots are less likely to experience a problem. Professionals who shoot mostly landscapes or simple compositions without a lot action might not notice either. However, if you use complex and constantly changing compositions, or if you are shooting in an environment with many different lighting conditions, or if you shoot action and motion, or if your settings or subjects frequently change in the same shoot, you are likely to be affected ESPECIALLY if you are accustomed to the old and improved method of AF illumination.

Please don't use your "I know better than you" tone with anyone who considers this an annoyance. This a screw up. Just because you shoot a certain way and most 7D users shoot the same way doesn't necessarily mean ALL photographers shoot that same way. Canon fixed something that wasn't broken. If I (and others on this board) are missing shots because of this "feature" and if it makes it harder to track subjects in AI Servo mode it is a problem. I know you don't get this last point because you probably assume the way you shoot and what you shoot is probably the only right way to shoot, but you would be wrong.

Edited on Aug 15, 2012 at 04:24 PM · View previous versions



Aug 15, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Todd Klassy
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · 5D III - Viewfinder Red Light Issue or Non-Issue


The 5D II was a disappointment. I owned it. Image quality was not as good as my experience with the 5D1 and its AF was a failure. But at least I could see the AF point I wanted to use. Oh, and it was not the top of its class.

The 5D3 at the moment with its AF illumination problem is a "push." It is easily on par with its competitors (and better in oh so many ways), but this AF point illumination problem (for me, not necessarily everyone else) leaves a sour taste in my mouth and it hinders the way I shoot photos. The # of keepers I have is increased as a result of its improved AF system, but then I think I lose almost as many as a result of losing my AF point in my VF.

Edited on Aug 15, 2012 at 04:25 PM · View previous versions



Aug 15, 2012 at 04:19 PM
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