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Archive 2012 · 5D3 did I waste my money?
  
 
echelonphoto
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p.1 #1 · 5D3 did I waste my money?


I am an event and portrait pro and have been shooting Canon digital for the past 9 years. I was
a big fan of the orig. 5d...then upgraded to the Mark2, I have been using the two mk2 bodies for the
last 4 years. With everyone raving about the new mk 3 and unbelievable af...I finally bit and bought
a new one on Friday. Took it out to my Sat wedding and shot with it as my main camera. First thing
I noticed was that it was much slower to acquire focus in one shot mode in lower light areas with the
flash assist. I'm not talking about really dark areas but normally lit indoor scenes at a reception. I would
have to wait one to two seconds for the focus confirmation beep....this is using the center af spot or group (I tried both) in one shot mode. Today I took out my current mk2 and my new mk3 and played with
both in my living room using the 24-105 lens. The light is on the lower side...maybe shooting at iso
2000 at 60th at F4. I first compared one shot mode....the Mk2 is def. faster to acquire...whether you use
flash or not. This is testing both the center point and outer point. In ai servo mode....they both appeared
to be equal....so what's up Canon? Is this a big sham...or am I doing something wrong?

The positive things I can say are the AWB seems to be more accurate and the photos do appear somewhat sharper. Also the adjustment with my two 600rt's...one master and one slave seems to be
more responsive and more accurate...the ettl works better. One the negative side...the shutter sounds
like s--t and the viewfinder seems to be darker.



Nov 19, 2012 at 04:27 PM
jasonpatrick
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p.1 #2 · 5D3 did I waste my money?


Hundreds of people have commented on this site about the greatness of the 5dIII...the only complaints I've heard is that it doesn't have enough MP's. I haven't heard one person say that the AF on the 5dII even holds a candle to the 5dIII. Maybe you got a dud, but I think that it's fairly easy to say that the 5dIII > 5dII in terms of AF.

If you only used center point one shot AF, why would would you upgrade to the 5dIII anyway?



Nov 19, 2012 at 04:38 PM
dadgummit
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p.1 #3 · 5D3 did I waste my money?


I upgraded from the 7d to the 5d3 and am happy with the AF upgrade. Every time I used the 5d2 the af was much slower than the 7d so I would think there would be a bigger difference for you than I saw. Maybe go to your local camera shop and try out one if their tester 5d3's and see if that is different?


Nov 19, 2012 at 04:41 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #4 · 5D3 did I waste my money?


I can't analyze your issue specifically, but your report may be a reminder to all who read too much about gear in camera forums and other similar places and get swept up in the early reports.

In general, even when newer gear offers improvements over older gear, the real value of the improvements is far smaller than the hyperbolic reports suggest. We read things like "camera X blows camera Y out of the water," "the difference is stunning," "X is miles better than Y," and so forth. In fact, X may be better than Y, but quite often by a smaller increment than we are led to expect and often in ways that don't really affect our work at all.

(To hear the initial reports we might sometimes imagine that new things are twice as good as old things. But with new things being introduced every couple of years, by now DSLRs would have to be - what? - about 30 times as good if that were true. They are better, but the increment is much smaller than that.)

In my view, the 5D3 is a great case in point. It is "better" than the 5D2 and is clearly a very fine camera. Canon did, more or less, what a lot of people often request - namely, take a good thing and improve it in areas where there is room for improvement. The 5D2, as those who actually shoot one know, is an excellent photographic tool that can produce truly wonderful image quality and which can work well in a wide range of shooting circumstance. It isn't perfect - nothing is - but it is very good.

In real world terms, the 5D3 is very similar in many ways and a bit better in others. However, if someone picks up a 5D2 and a 5D3 in twenty years from now and compares them, they will have to look very closely to identify the ways in which one is functionally different than the other, and they will regard image quality from the two cameras as being essentially indistinguishable. They are far more the same than they are different.

Dan



Nov 19, 2012 at 04:43 PM
M Lucca
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p.1 #5 · 5D3 did I waste my money?


The pre-5d3 models have decent AF at centre-point. The outer points are slow and unreliable only if used in AI Servo on moving subjects. If your subjects are static, the pre-5d3 cameras are pretty good.


Nov 19, 2012 at 04:45 PM
snapsy
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p.1 #6 · 5D3 did I waste my money?


There have been some reports of slow AF on the 5DM3 when using flash assist. Here's a google search:

http://www.google.com/search?q=5d+mark+iii+AF+flash+assist



Nov 19, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Tom K.
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p.1 #7 · 5D3 did I waste my money?


gdanmitchell wrote:
I can't analyze your issue specifically, but your report may be a reminder to all who read too much about gear in camera forums and other similar places and get swept up in the early reports.

In general, even when newer gear offers improvements over older gear, the real value of the improvements is far smaller than the hyperbolic reports suggest. We read things like "camera X blows camera Y out of the water," "the difference is stunning," "X is miles better than Y," and so forth. In fact, X may be better than Y, but quite often by a smaller
...Show more

Man oh man you are soooooo right. Best post of the year.



Nov 19, 2012 at 05:06 PM
sritri
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p.1 #8 · 5D3 did I waste my money?


With the 85/1.8 and the 24-105L my 5D Mark III seems a touch sluggish compared to my old 5D Mark II and my current 7D. My 5D Mark II which i sold here was extremely quick with the 85/1.8 as is the 7D.

But mount the 300 or the 500 on the 5D Mark III, the AF definitely blows my 7D and my earlier 5D Mark II away



Nov 19, 2012 at 05:13 PM
snapsy
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p.1 #9 · 5D3 did I waste my money?


Tom K. wrote:
Man oh man you are soooooo right. Best post of the year.


It might be if Dan had actually used a 5DM3 and compared it, which based on previous posts I've read from him he hasn't. I've never understood the phenomena of people giving evaluations of camera equipment that they've never actually used. The fact is the 5DM3's AF is significantly better than its predecessor and is apparent to anyone who has shot with both bodies.



Nov 19, 2012 at 05:20 PM
cineski
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p.1 #10 · 5D3 did I waste my money?


Yes, I can attest first hand the 5D3 focuses much slower in low light even compared to my 5D (although I'll be one to say the 5D2 also focused slower in low light than even the 5D). I believe the 5D3 is designed this way to achieve more accuracy with the focus shooting wide open with primes, but it did initially cause me to lose a lot of moments and I was becoming very frustrated while shooting my 5D3 at weddings. I will say, I've shot friend's 1D mark 2's at dark receptions and that thing is crazy slow to focus, too (the king of fast, accurate auto focus).

There are several ways to combat this. First, if you're in single shot AF mode, put your focus button on the back button and half focus. Yes, half focus, meaning push the button and when it starts to slow down you can take the shot and it'll be in focus at f/2.8. The 5D3 is pretty quick to get things relatively close right away and then slows down to fine tune....although while it's fine tuning you miss the moment. You won't be able to shoot below f/2.8 doing this but if you want to nail moments this is the only way to shoot the 5D3 in single shot mode in dark settings. The other way is what I've been doing almost exclusively now and that is to shoot AI Servo during receptions (again with back button focus). It is wicked quick and accuracy is mostly spot on, even when using the outer focus points. It's also freed me up quite a bit to just shoot. Although it can be hard to do with Canon's wicked stupid way to show the AF point. But since I've switched to this method I'm finding I like it quite a bit. I should note, I'm not hold the focus down while I take a shot. It's more press until the person is in focus, release the focus button, frame, take picture. I'm even using this outdoors in bright light and I love it.



Nov 19, 2012 at 05:27 PM
 

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BluesWest
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p.1 #11 · 5D3 did I waste my money?


Man oh man you are soooooo right. Best post of the year.

+1. We need more posts like Dan's as an antidote to the gear obsession so prevalent on this forum.

John



Nov 19, 2012 at 05:31 PM
retrofocus
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p.1 #12 · 5D3 did I waste my money?


gdanmitchell wrote:
I can't analyze your issue specifically, but your report may be a reminder to all who read too much about gear in camera forums and other similar places and get swept up in the early reports.

In general, even when newer gear offers improvements over older gear, the real value of the improvements is far smaller than the hyperbolic reports suggest. We read things like "camera X blows camera Y out of the water," "the difference is stunning," "X is miles better than Y," and so forth. In fact, X may be better than Y, but quite often by a smaller
...Show more


...or summarizing it simply: the 5D III is what the 5D II should have been in the first place - a good 21MP FF camera with now a good AF.



Nov 19, 2012 at 05:44 PM
abqnmusa
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p.1 #13 · 5D3 did I waste my money?


For birds in flight & sports shooting the 5D III has been worth the upgrade
focusing at F8 is very nice with non-reporting TC's
even better when firmware updated and I can use Canon TC's at F8



Nov 19, 2012 at 05:48 PM
dhphoto
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p.1 #14 · 5D3 did I waste my money?


retrofocus wrote:
...or summarizing it simply: the 5D III is what the 5D II should have been in the first place - a good 21MP FF camera with now a good AF.


And dual cards and faster FPS and a level and a fractionally better screen and yes, that's about it.

I used my new 5DIII a couple of times for pro assignments last week and wasn't as thrilled as I'd hoped, certainly not with the IQ which is more or less identical to the 5D2 (at least with proper exposure at the lower ISO's). A few more meg really would have been nice.

The dual cards are nice and the focusing is miles better (as long as you pick the right settings) but it didn't blow the 5D2 away.

I don't like the new way it zooms in on reviews and live view one bit, most annoying and I haven't found the battery life quite as good.



Nov 19, 2012 at 05:51 PM
echelonphoto
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p.1 #15 · 5D3 did I waste my money?


Well I am glad some of you have confirmed my frustrations....I thought I had a lemon.


Nov 19, 2012 at 06:00 PM
alexdi
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p.1 #16 · 5D3 did I waste my money?


If you're using the camera in such a way to push the limits of a particular system, the difference can be 'stunning' if that system is improved even modestly.

The 5D III is not a modest improvement. The AF may well be the second-best system in the history of cameras. The 5D II AF dates back to the Elan 7. Maybe that doesn't matter for you, but it sure can for others. The actual in-focus hit-rate of the 5D III can be more than double the 5D II in some circumstances.

I also disagree with the assumption that time equalizes. Yes, when we're all recording through our eye implants, differences between bodies will be equally irrelevant. But as long as we're using a DSLR paradigm, we can make lasting judgments in the present. Bodies that were capable of capturing fast action still are (e.g., 1D), and those that couldn't then (e.g., 10D) still won't.



Nov 19, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Edward Castro
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p.1 #17 · 5D3 did I waste my money?


I'm sorry, but you never bothered to test the camera before using it on a wedding? I always test equipment, even new, or rather especially new, before an assignment to make sure everything works. I am the final QC before being used.


Nov 19, 2012 at 06:03 PM
echelonphoto
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p.1 #18 · 5D3 did I waste my money?


Just one more comment....used clean mk2's are selling now for around 1200....I bought a
low mileage mint one for 1300 recently....for those thinking of upgrading....you can buy
two of these excellent bodies for the same price as one Mk3...a real bargain!



Nov 19, 2012 at 06:03 PM
retrofocus
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p.1 #19 · 5D3 did I waste my money?


dhphoto wrote:
And dual cards and faster FPS and a level and a fractionally better screen and yes, that's about it.

I used my new 5DIII a couple of times for pro assignments last week and wasn't as thrilled as I'd hoped, certainly not with the IQ which is more or less identical to the 5D2 (at least with proper exposure at the lower ISO's). A few more meg really would have been nice.

The dual cards are nice and the focusing is miles better (as long as you pick the right settings) but it didn't blow the 5D2 away.

I don't like the new
...Show more

Yep - the 5D III is an incremental update, but not a game changer in the FF camera market. I had asked this question in a post here a few weeks ago, but never got a response: was the issue solved on the 5D III that the Pocket Wizards do not work with this camera? I never heard it was solved with the firmware update, but I might have missed it.



Nov 19, 2012 at 06:04 PM
echelonphoto
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p.1 #20 · 5D3 did I waste my money?


Edward....I played with the camera at home for a whole day before using it on the job...but as you know...you can't always duplicate conditions exactly in each case. Plus I
had my backup mk2 ready to go around my neck. Its not like I haven't used Canon bodies
before....anyone who says this isn't a problem hasn't really pushed this camera.



Nov 19, 2012 at 06:06 PM
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