Tested a few cameras I went into the office today and did some tests on all the Canon DSLRs I had in stock and discovered a few things.
The biggest discovery I found with most of the cameras and the sunlight test is that just placing your thumb over the viewfinder isn’t enough. Bright light passes through the thumb without much issue. I discovered this when I used a folded piece of black fabric and stuffed that over the viewfinder. Most of the Canon cameras no longer had a “light leak” issue.
I tested with both the lens mounted with a cap on and with just the body cap on.
These tests were done in direct bright sunlight.
The cameras I used for testing. I even mounted the same model lens on all the bodies, the 24 f/1.4L II.
Canon EOS 60D I tested 2 bodies and found no issue once I placed the folded black fabric over the viewfinder. No change with backlight on.
Canon EOS 7D I tested 2 bodies and found no issue once I placed the folded black fabric over the viewfinder. No change with backlight on.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II I tested the one body I have in stock. This camera exhibited the same issue as the 5D Mark III in direct sunlight, however the backlight didn’t affect exposure. I also did the flashlight test that is mentioned below and nothing changed in exposure.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV – Body #1 There was an ever so slight shift in exposure with the viewfinder cover down. 10 seconds out of the sun, 8 seconds in the sun. I stuffed the viewfinder with the black fabric and there was no change. The variance in exposure went away if I wrapped the LCD with the black fabric and only left enough space to see the exposure number. No change with backlight on.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV – Body #2 This body exhibited no movement in exposure. No change with backlight on.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III I only have one body to test for the moment, however it exhibits the shift in exposure with the backlight turned on.
Once I placed the black fabric over the viewfinder instead of my thumb, the variance in exposure decreased in direct sunlight. However it was still present. Out of direct sunlight, the camera metered 10 seconds, in the direct sunlight the camera metered 1 second.
The final test I did with the 5D Mark III was take the lens cap off and meter off a relatively neutral wall. I turned on the backlight and nothing changed. I then pressed a 130 lumen flashlight up against the top LCD and the exposure didn’t change. I also ran the flashlight around the camera body and absolutely nothing changed.
So why do things change with the caps on? I have no idea, none, ziltch!
So is this an issue? On the body I tested, it doesn’t appear to be. If the camera acts properly with the lens cap off, who cares how it acts with the caps on? So please don’t return your 5D Mark IIIs, or cancel preorders or overreact. This “issue” may have a simple explanation.
However, if Canon says something is wrong, I apologize…… it just doesn’t appear there is an issue to me.
A light leak? Really? A light leak issue in the 5D Mark III has been reported over the last couple of days. It seems the top side LCD may be to blame. I can confirm this is happening on at least one of the 5D Mark III’s I own (the rest are out for rent), I will look into the issue with more bodies in the coming days.
Simple Test Procedure
Put your body cap on the camera body.
Put the viewfinder cover that came with the camera over the viewfinder.
Set the camera ISO to 800 and put the camera in “P” mode.
Turn on the backlight for the LCD panel and watch the exposure change
Below is a video showing the issue.
Other light sources cause the issue? Yes, shining a flashlight on the top LCD causes the exposure to change, as does sunlight and bright overhead lights. All of which happen with the body cap on.
Does this matter in the real world? For the moment, I’m not sure. I haven’t noticed any issues with metering on the 2000 or so shots I’ve put through the 5D Mark III. I’m sure we’ll know more in the coming days.
EOS 5D Mark III – Quality Issue Announcement This issue relates to customers who are using the Digital Photo Professional (DPP ver.3.11.10) RAW image processing software with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III digital camera.
We have identified an issue that prevents users of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III from processing their RAW format images when using Digital Photo Professional Version 3.11.10, the RAW image development software that is bundled with the EOS 5D Mark III.
Answer : We will shortly release an update for the Digital Photo Professional Version 3.11.10 for users to download which will address this issue. The update will be released on the website in mid-April.
From Adorama Adorama Photography TV presents the Canon 5D Mark III. This week Mark shares his first impressions of the long-awaited successor to the Canon 5D Mark II. Watch as Mark walks you through a selection of photos showcasing the 5D Mark III’s impressive capabilities.
Mark also touches upon the features of the full frame, 22 megapixel HDSLR that make it a worthy successor to the 5DMII- including new autofocusing, metering and sensor technology.
Another ISO comparison The 5D Mark III and Nikon D800 has brought about a ton of discussion in regards to the philosophies of both Canon and Nikon. I’m not sure the cameras can be compared head to head fairly. I have shot with the 5D Mark III and I’m working on my impressions of it, I have yet to get my hands on a Nikon D800 for any length of time. Though I do plan to spend the weekend with a Nikon D4 that was recently acquired and I will compare it to the 5D Mark III, since they’re in the same megapixel range. What’s a guy to do while he waits for a 1D X?
Camera Labs Test
Gordon Laing from CameraLabs has continued his extensive testing of the 5D Mark III, and has provided a good ISO comparison between it and the Nikon D800. As far as ISO goes, it’s not even close, the Nikon D800 starts to fall apart at about ISO 800. A lot has been said about the 5D Mark III and how much of an improvement it is over the 5D Mark II in the ISO department, and I think it’s clear the 5D Mark III starts to separate around ISO 1600.
I’m waiting to see some good visual tests in dynamic range between the 5D Mark III and D800.
5D Mark III Stock From what I have seen, Amazon & B&H seem to have had the most stock of the 5D Mark III. B&H and Adorama will be observing Passover between April 6 – April 15, so nothing will be shipping. Amazon is expecting new stock on April 7, 2012.
A Nikonian loves the 5D Mark III Nikon wedding photographer Ryan Brenizer took the 5D Mark III to a wedding to discover it’s a pretty good camera. It’s a good review, as he does point out a few weaknesses.
Right now, Canon is primarily competing with the Nikon D800. At $500 cheaper and with a high-resolution, high dynamic range sensor, the D800 will be a tempting option for most users. For someone like me who takes more than a quarter million photos a year, the idea of a sensor that only shoots 36MP is a non-starter.
More importantly, Canon has built a near-perfect wedding camera. Great at high ISOs, accurate and customizable autofocus, speedy and quiet operation and with versatile RAW resolution, this camera is finally a worthy companion to Canon’s huge array of lenses. On either the Nikon or Canon side, you can’t use the camera as an excuse anymore.
I received the following report about PocketWizards and the 5D Mark III. I have not confirmed this myself.
Been using PW products for 8 years now. I currently have a Canon 1D Mark IV, which works great up to 1/800 at the studio with hyper sync, and preordered a 1D X. I just bought a Canon 5D III and won’t sync at shutter speeds higher than 1/160 using Mini TT1 and Paul C. Buff Einstein Flashes fitted with Poceket Wizard Power MC2′s. Any speeds higher than that, it will give u the dark band on the bottom of the frame.
I called Tech Support and they say it’s not compatible yet and although the 5D III should sync at at least 1/200, the actual speed of the shutter is lower (approx 1/160). They don’t even have a test camera yet and they expect the soon-to-be-released 1D X not to be compatible either. They will be working on a firmware update as soon as they have a 5DIII to work with.
*UPDATE* Canon’s Official Response Canon USA has issued an official response to the 5D III IS noise issue:
“We have acknowledged that when using the camera with specific lenses, there is an abnormal noise during IS operation when the shutter button is pressed halfway (or remains pressed halfway), and we are now considering the countermeasures. We will let you know about the countermeasures as soon as they are finalized”
The two affected lenses are the Canon EF 200mm f/2.0 L IS USM Lens and the Canon EF 800mm f/5.6 L IS USM Lens.
Note that image quality is not affected by the abnormality. Also note that this noise does not occur during Live View including during video capture.
The Bugs No camera these days is going to launch issue free, and a very noticeable one has shown up with the 5D Mark III is used in combination with the EF 200 f/2L IS. The issue being an odd and rather loud noise from the what seems to be the image stabilizer. I have noticed this first hand while using the combination in AI Servo mode.
I have tested multiple 5D Mark III bodies with the following lenses. I also tested multiple 1D Mark IVs with them as well.
300 f/2.8L IS
300 f/2.8L IS II
400 f/2.8L IS
400 f/2.8L IS II
400 f/4 DO IS
500 f/4L IS
600 f/4L IS
800 f/5.6L IS (this came out the same time as the 200 f/2L IS)
I could only obviously reproduce the issue with the EF 200 f/2L IS on the 5D Mark III bodies, there was zero issue with the 1D Mark IV. I have two EF 800 f/5.6L IS lenses, and initially I didn’t notice the noise, but it is slightly there once I took the lenses out of the office. It sounds a bit louder on the 5D Mark III than on the 1D Mark IV although the 200mm is definitely louder. I could be hearing things on the 800.
I have noticed images aren’t quite as sharp with the EF 200 f/2L IS on the 5D Mark III, I imagine it has something to do with the IS issues in AI Servo mode.
Odds & Ends A know source has mentioned a couple of things in regards to products coming in late 2012.
Mirrorless Announcement I’m told that Canon’s foray into the mirrorless world will begin in August with an announcement. Photokina is in September, so it makes a lot of sense to announce at the end of summer.
New Full Frame A suggestion that Canon will announce an “entry level” full frame camera in the fall of 2012. A true replacement to the 5D Mark II?
That would bring about 4 new full frame cameras in the span of about a year if we include the coming 4K DSLR. Most assume that will be a full frame camera.
5D Mark III review links We are going to post review links to the 5D Mark III as they become available. We’ll only post indepth reviews, not previews. Be sure to send in a link to a review if you find one.