My brief tale of a Canon 5D Mark III

ziggy53ziggy53 Super Moderators Posts: 23,705 moderator
edited October 6, 2016 in Cameras
For years I have wanted a Canon 5D Mark III, but I am not an early adopter, nor did I have the discretionary funds to splurge on something I wanted, but didn't absolutely need. After all, I had, and still have, a 5D Mark II.

While the 5D Mark II still works great for my basic needs, vista landscape and formal people stuff, the lack of a more competent autofocus and single storage card slot kept me from using it more for event photography, where I was getting a fairly high number of OOF (Out-Of-Focus) images plus the threat of a single memory card issues always gave me pause.

Well, the money issue resolved itself and I finally had the funds. The Canon USA store also finally had refurbished units at a very reasonable cost, and with a full-year warranty too. It was time to order ... :barb

I had also recently moved into a different house.

Unfortunately, I found out that when you move and you try to make a large purchace, protections for both my bank account and for the merchant come into play. Plus any other account errors raise flags as well.

The entire transaction took more than a month, several phone calls and many e-mails (Canon Sales, my bank and Fedex protections all came into play.)

Finally, a little over a week ago, the stars aligned and I finally had a Canon 5D Mark III in my hands and ready to start testing and preparing for a looming event; my granddaughter's fourth birthday.

Thanks soooo much to Canon for staying the course with me and all the trouble they went through on my behalf. While the whole process balked and stalled, the people at Canon were just a joy to work with and they kept their word, each and every one of them. They cared about the customer!

In this day and age it is truly a joy to work with such people, and a very strong reason why I have so much Canon equipment, ... and why I will stay with Canon!

Thanks again Canon. The birthday went as planned, and the images look great!! :clap:thumb:thumb

(Pictures will follow in another post in this thread.)
ziggy53
Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
«13

Comments

  • cmasoncmason Registered Users Posts: 2,506 Major grins
    edited November 3, 2015
    So, what do you think of the camera? I am still thinking of getting one...at this point I might as well wait for the Mk4 Laughing.gif
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Super Moderators Posts: 23,705 moderator
    edited November 3, 2015
    cmason wrote: »
    So, what do you think of the camera? I am still thinking of getting one...at this point I might as well wait for the Mk4 Laughing.gif

    5D Mark III is wonderful for event work. Keeper rate probably double that of the 5D Mark II for life action and using a rather ancient Canon 28-80mm, f2.8-f4L USM. Still some user AF error and some of that will probably decrease with more use (which also happened with the 5D Mark II.) A few slightly OOF that are probably recoverable using deconvolution software, or not worth worrying about for 4" x 6" usage or Internet display.

    ISO 400 worked well in the basement environment, and I used a flash with a focus-assist patterned light for best AF results (the same technique as I would have used with the 5D Mark II.)

    With Phase One, Capture One, RAW processing and my standard workflow, which includes chroma-only-NR, the noise is very well controlled and looks similar to "very" fine grained film. Adding Neat Image additionally might be desirable for large-ish prints or posting full-res images.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • kdogkdog Administrators Posts: 11,680 moderator
    edited November 3, 2015
    Congrats, Ziggy! clap.gif

    Aside from the dual-card thing, probably my favorite feature for event photography is the silent shutter mode. Turn off beep, turn on silent shutter, and you're a shooting ninja. deal.gif
  • ThelensspotThelensspot Registered Users Posts: 2,041 Major grins
    edited November 3, 2015
    Congrats Ziggy! You deserve it. Will be looking forward to the pictures, Grandad! clap.gif
    "Photography is partly art and partly science. Really good photography adds discipline, sacrifice and a never ending pursuit of photographic excellence"...ziggy53

  • David_S85David_S85 Administrators Posts: 13,158 moderator
    edited November 4, 2015
    Welcome aboard, Ziggy. Its a great working body and very comfortable in the hand. :ivar
    My Smugmug
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - Wayne Gretzky
  • NikonsandVstromsNikonsandVstroms Registered Users Posts: 990 Major grins
    edited November 4, 2015
    Congrats Ziggy clap.gif

    And that's great to hear about Canon caring so much about their service.
  • GSPePGSPeP Registered Users Posts: 3,709 Major grins
    edited November 5, 2015
    Congrats. You will love it. In my opinion the Mk III is so much better than the Mk II.
  • ZanottiZanotti Registered Users Posts: 1,411 Major grins
    edited November 6, 2015
    Nicely done. A clear look at reality of pricing and performance.

    I vote a big win!

    Z
    It is the purpose of life that each of us strives to become actually what he is potentially. We should be obsessed with stretching towards that goal through the world we inhabit.
  • pathfinderpathfinder Super Moderators Posts: 14,693 moderator
    edited November 7, 2015
    I think the 5DMk III is one of the best all around cameras out there considering capability, cost, size, AF and image quality.

    I always envy my spouse when traveling and shooting with her, as that is her camera body too.

    Have fun with your new tool, Ziggy.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • SamSam Registered Users Posts: 7,419 Major grins
    edited November 7, 2015
    I was not any rush to get a 5D II since I had / have the very similar 5D II.

    After getting a 5D III I found the camera to be a much larger improvement that I thought it would be.

    The AF is substantially better. The 61 focus points allow me to compose and then put the focus on my subject without worrying about focus recompose issues and I am confident in using this method to shoot wide open and get consistent sharp images.

    The AI Servo is also way better.

    The silent shutter option is fantastic for weddings and other types of events.

    The dual cards are excellent insurance.

    I also think the image quality is just a little bit better, but that could be pure conjecture on my part.

    I think this one of the best all around work horse cameras currently available. While there are cameras that will beat the 5D III in one area or another the 5D III can handle almost any shooting scenario and come away with good high quality images.

    Now Ziggy it's time to shot and post some images!

    Sam
  • jmphotocraftjmphotocraft Registered Users Posts: 2,987 Major grins
    edited November 7, 2015
    Indeed, it is so choice. I sold a 5D2 and a 7D to get my 5D3 back in March of 2012. I literally laughed out loud and pumped my fist the first time I used it for sports, the AF and IQ was so much better.

    Do try setting up automatic orientation-linked AF point switching. I love that. You can also make the 20 line-type AF points not selectable if you don't trust them as much. I like single point + 8 point expansion for sports/action.

    I agree about silent shutter mode - great for intimate settings or any time you need to be discreet.

    In-cam HDR is handy for basic Real Estate shots.

    I feel like the there is a good amount of highlight headroom, so shooting to the right works well.

    Congrats and enjoy!
    -Jack

    An "accurate" reproduction of a scene and a good photograph are often two different things.
  • ZanottiZanotti Registered Users Posts: 1,411 Major grins
    edited November 8, 2015
    I am currently shooting with an original 7D. It was a nice jump up from the 50D and I always wanted the 5D, but the first two models were slow for sports.

    Would going 7D to 5D3 be a positive transition?

    Some good deals now online!
    It is the purpose of life that each of us strives to become actually what he is potentially. We should be obsessed with stretching towards that goal through the world we inhabit.
  • paddler4paddler4 Registered Users Posts: 976 Major grins
    edited November 8, 2015
    Zanotti wrote: »
    I am currently shooting with an original 7D. It was a nice jump up from the 50D and I always wanted the 5D, but the first two models were slow for sports.

    Would going 7D to 5D3 be a positive transition?

    Some good deals now online!

    I own both, and they are very different beasts.

    Yes, the 5D3 is in many respects a far better camera. Years of development separate the releases of the two bodies. However, the big issue for me is crop factor. If you want reach, or if you do 1:1 macro, the crop sensor, with its higher pixel density, offers some advantages. For example, you need longer, heavier, more expensive lenses to get the same number of pixels on a distant subject when you use FF. That's actually why I have both. My main camera is a 5D3. I bought a refurb 7D (first generation) a year later, primarily for bugs (which I do a lot) and wildlife (which I occasionally do).

    So, if you want to buy all the nifty things Canon developed after the 7D was released, I would start by asking: which format is really best for whatever YOU shoot? If the answer is a crop, then consider the 7DII, which has many of the same features as the 5D3 and a better sensor than the 7D. The 7DII and 5D3 will give you fairly close to an apples-to-apples comparison other than the sensor size.
  • jmphotocraftjmphotocraft Registered Users Posts: 2,987 Major grins
    edited November 8, 2015
    Zanotti wrote: »
    I am currently shooting with an original 7D. It was a nice jump up from the 50D and I always wanted the 5D, but the first two models were slow for sports.

    Would going 7D to 5D3 be a positive transition?

    Some good deals now online!

    Like paddler said, you should decide on a format and go from there. If sports is your main thing I would say 7D2. I have a 7D2 and a 5D3. Both are vastly superior to the 7D for AF and IQ, but if you go the FF route for sports, in short order you will find yourself contemplating big white expensive primes. Or, you get a 100-400L and settle for the slow aperture. A 7D2 + 70-200/2.8 is a great combo for sports. You get 112-320mm effective, and the faster shutter speeds that f/2.8 brings, and 10fps. deal.gif
    -Jack

    An "accurate" reproduction of a scene and a good photograph are often two different things.
  • ZanottiZanotti Registered Users Posts: 1,411 Major grins
    edited November 8, 2015
    Yes, this is always the challenge. I remember when a FF DSLR was the holy grail and so I always wanted one.

    In most of my shooting, the advantages of the crop sensor were always evident, so i bought better and better crop cameras.

    But again, for family photos and "normal" stuff a FF was always better......

    Sure I have some nice white glass, and did ok on sports and macro. But the grail of FF always eluded me.

    Maybe for the refurb price, its time......
    It is the purpose of life that each of us strives to become actually what he is potentially. We should be obsessed with stretching towards that goal through the world we inhabit.
  • jmphotocraftjmphotocraft Registered Users Posts: 2,987 Major grins
    edited November 9, 2015
    I held the grail for two years - 5D3 + 300/2.8LIS. Ok so it's not a 1DX, but the AF and IQ are basically the same. The IQ of that combo is ridiculously good. However after two years I concluded not having zoom is a liability for field sports. Ideally you'd have another 5D3 with a 70-200 on it for when the action gets close. That's all a huge investment. Another issue is that after I gave up the job of official little league photog for my town, I really didn't like having this $4000 piece of glass either sitting idle or only being used to shoot my kids teams, even though it was paid for. So I sold it and got a 7D2 and put the difference back in the family finances. I think this has been the only time in my life where the "opportunity cost" of not selling something outweighed the benefit of keeping it. The 7D2 + 70-200/2.8II combo gives me zoom and relative portability, and the IQ is nearly as stunning. I'm loving it.

    I'm glad I had the experience of owning a BWL, but now that the 7D2 exists I'm not sure I'd do it again unless I was a full time pro. However the lens had so much swagger, people literally got the hell out of my way when they saw it. That was fun.
    -Jack

    An "accurate" reproduction of a scene and a good photograph are often two different things.
  • divamumdivamum Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited November 9, 2015
    Ziggy, this is so funny - I finally bit the bullet, took advantage of a 0% interest offer, and bought one on Sunday (without having seen this thread first). I didn't have the long-haul with it that you obviously had, but am glad to hear Canon came through! They were great when I had some problems with the NN repair center a couple of years ago, and while it was their goof, they were great about fixing it.

    As to the camera: I am SPEECHLESS at what a huge upgrade it is from the II. I knew it would be an improvement, but wasn't expecting THAT much of a difference. You may recall my march up the model ladder has been XT>XSi>50d>7d>5dII and none of those have been this kind of a quantum leap (50d>7d is the only one that came close). I am nearly weeping with joy and relief over the improved autofocus, and anticipate being able to shoot far fewer "safety" shots at shallow depth of field; this will save hours and hours of culling time! The only thing I"m not crazy about is the extra 140g of weight - as somebody who handholds, that extra 5ozs makes its presence known when the 70-200 2.8IS is attached......... (!!!).

    In any case, enjoy. I know I will be!!!!*** :D

    (***Once I've figured out the settings and customization,and clocked the various settings differences I need with the different exposure meter!!!. There needs to be a LOT of reading the manual in my future.....!!!)
  • paddler4paddler4 Registered Users Posts: 976 Major grins
    edited November 12, 2015
    In any case, enjoy. I know I will be!!!!*** :D

    (***Once I've figured out the settings and customization,and clocked the various settings differences I need with the different exposure meter!!!. There needs to be a LOT of reading the manual in my future.....!!!)

    Yes, it takes (or at least took me) a lot of time. I left mine out with the manual for a few weeks, and when I had time, I would sit down and work through a bit of the manual, practicing with the camera. However, it is worth every minute. This camera is remarkably customizable, and you won't fully realize how wonderful this camera is until you have it set up to match your preferences.
  • David_S85David_S85 Administrators Posts: 13,158 moderator
    edited November 12, 2015
    Ziggy, it has been a week now. How's everything going?
    My Smugmug
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - Wayne Gretzky
  • divamumdivamum Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited November 12, 2015
    paddler4 wrote: »
    In any case, enjoy. I know I will be!!!!*** :D

    (***Once I've figured out the settings and customization,and clocked the various settings differences I need with the different exposure meter!!!. There needs to be a LOT of reading the manual in my future.....!!!)

    Yes, it takes (or at least took me) a lot of time. I left mine out with the manual for a few weeks, and when I had time, I would sit down and work through a bit of the manual, practicing with the camera. However, it is worth every minute. This camera is remarkably customizable, and you won't fully realize how wonderful this camera is until you have it set up to match your preferences.

    Thankfully a lot of the choices are similar to the 7d (as far as customizability), so I've been at least partly through this migration before. I've got my orientation-linked focus points set up, which I have missed SO MUCH (and they work! and are accurate!), and know where the Auto ISO settings are. The rest will come with time :D

    Used it for my first client shoot today. ECSTATIC - probably had 5x as many keepers as I normally would (no joke), because it nails focus. Even my client noticed how much faster the shutter clicked and focus locked on (this was part II for him - in fact, frustrations with the Mk2 during his session last week were one of the reasons I decided to go for it!).

    And yeah, Ziggy - check in with these granddaughter shots!! thumb.gif
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Super Moderators Posts: 23,705 moderator
    edited November 13, 2015
    David_S85 wrote: »
    Ziggy, it has been a week now. How's everything going?

    Hey everyone, thanks for the kinds words and support. Obviously, the Canon 5D Mark III has a strong contingency here at DGrin and it's easy to see why; it's simply a great instrument for so many types of photography!!!

    I'm struggling to finish a VIP wedding I shot with the Canon 7D and 5D Mark II, before I got the Mark III. When I get this done I have 2 more projects to process and then I'll post some stuff from the 5D Mark III (finally).
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • naknak Registered Users Posts: 79 Big grins
    edited November 17, 2015
    I found that the improved auto focus on the 5D3 magnifies the greatness of the 135mm f/2.0. Maybe it does that for all fast lenses, but the mark 3 removes the "wait for it" pause for auto focus you get with the mark 2 in low light. I found that my keeper rate went up, especially in the hardest to shoot shots (low light candids). When trying to capture an on-the-fly a smile or a glance, I found I could point the camera and keep going with the shutter button instead of pausing for the auto focus at half press and then firing. The mark 3 often got the auto focus done before the shutter button bottomed out. So press-wait-press becomes one smooth press of the shutter button.

    The hardest thing to deal with on the mark 3 is sending it back to the place I rent it from.
  • divamumdivamum Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited November 18, 2015
    That is so right, Nak! I have become so used to the delay that it felt like the 5d3 was running without me. I used it to shoot a play yesterday, and it was only once I got home that I realized I had taken probably three times as many shots as I normally would - not because I intended to take more shots, but because it's so stinkin fast that my finger got a little trigger happy I guess! And I think I only lost maybe a dozen or so to missed focus that were camera- rather than user-error - with the mark 2 I'd be lucky if I was getting 3 in 10 focused as accurately as I would like in the kind of darkness I was dealing with. My wallet is still hurting, but oh my goodness the rest of me is happy!

    Sent from my HTC One M9 using Tapatalk
  • divamumdivamum Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited November 23, 2015
    And it gets better. :)

    Our local Best Buy is one of their regional "imaging centers" which is as close to a decent camera store as you get out in the burbs, including knowledgeable photographers working there, and vendor support for the department. When they offered me 0% interest (which solved my cash flow problem until I sold my 5dii), it was a no-brainer to buy there even once I factored in local tax.

    They alao have a legit price-matching policy. I sadly missed the 4hr window on Thursday when B&H had a mistake on their website which, after rebate, would have given me the camera AND Pixma Pro100 printer for $300 less than I paid for the body alone, but even with the corrected BH price on offer this weekend I will still save $50 on the camera and get the printer effectively free (after rebate). They ordered the printer and issued a new receipt for the body to satisfy rebate requirements, and the printer arrives some time this week :) Very happy camper, here, and I urge those with one of these specialist Best Buy departments in their local area to consider them as a local alternative when needed. Staff helpful, and knew their stuff; definitely NOT the typical BB experience!!

    Sent from my HTC One M9 using Tapatalk
  • jmphotocraftjmphotocraft Registered Users Posts: 2,987 Major grins
    edited November 23, 2015
    I got that free Pro100 when I got my 7D2. I love it! Great printer. Printing 13x19" is fun.
    -Jack

    An "accurate" reproduction of a scene and a good photograph are often two different things.
  • divamumdivamum Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited November 23, 2015
    I'm pleased! I wasn't in the market as such, but my epson is a pita (great scanner, copier, and paper printer, but soooo fussy for photos that I've stopped using it) and it will be nice to have a quality photo printer when needed. They gave me free 13X19 paper, too. Now I have to figure out somewhere to put it - my office is small and that thing is huge!

    Sent from my HTC One M9 using Tapatalk
  • kdogkdog Administrators Posts: 11,680 moderator
    edited November 25, 2015
    divamum wrote: »
    Now I have to figure out somewhere to put it - my office is small and that thing is huge!
    I got this little rolling chest of drawers from Ikea to use as a stand for mine. The drawers hold paper in different sizes up to 13x19, plus ink, mats, framing supplies, tools, etc. Love this thing and cheap. deal.gif

    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40196241/

    alex-drawer-unit-on-casters-white__63414_PE170984_S4.JPG
  • divamumdivamum Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited November 25, 2015
    kdog wrote: »
    I got this little rolling chest of drawers from Ikea to use as a stand for mine. The drawers hold paper in different sizes up to 13x19, plus ink, mats, framing supplies, tools, etc. Love this thing and cheap. deal.gif

    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40196241/

    alex-drawer-unit-on-casters-white__63414_PE170984_S4.JPG
    Alas, even that's too big for my office/music room! I'm HOPING it will fit undee my desk and ull pull it out when in use - if I can find something with wheels/sliders to put it on, even better.

    Sent from my HTC One M9 using Tapatalk
  • Brett1000Brett1000 Registered Users Posts: 819 Major grins
    edited November 27, 2015
    some really good refurb deals on the 5D3 and 6D which leads me to believe there will be an announcement of a new 6D2 and 5D4 soon
  • divamumdivamum Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited November 28, 2015
    Or just holiday deals. The III has been hanging around $2500 for a while now, with the holiday deals bringing it down to $2150-2300 depending on the bundle/rebate. Canon Rumors says the IV likely won't be announced until after the next 1.

    Sent from my HTC One M9 using Tapatalk
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