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Gear Talk => EOS Bodies - For Stills => Topic started by: kaihp on August 11, 2012, 05:58:30 AM

Title: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: kaihp on August 11, 2012, 05:58:30 AM
I'm looking for experience with shooting sports/action using a 5D Mk III, especially compared to the 7D.

I've had a 50D for almost 4 years now and I've been generally underwhelmed by the AF system, so I'm considering my options.

Right now I see four options: 7D (possibly used), 5D3, 1DX, or wait for a "7D2". I'm an amateur, the cost/value ratio of an 1DX would rather low regardless that I could find the money to buy it. 5D3 is kinda borderline. As for 7D, I'm hesitant since it is 3 years old and the sensor seems just as noisy as my 50D. I believe that a 7D2 will not show up until next year (at least).

I want a body at least at the level of the 50D (AFMA, size/metal body, UI), so the 60D or lower is not an option. Nor is defection to Nikon an option.

Knowing discussion boards, I anticipate that some will jump down my throat saying that I don't know how to use the camera. Thank you, I do believe I know how to operate the camera :)
So for information, I generally shoot in Manual, with either Spot AF or AI Servo, with only the center point selected. My lenses (17-40, 24-70, 70-200/2.8 IS I) are micro-adjusted to the body. I often have problems if the area that I'm focusing on is relatively small, but still larger than the AF box. Before the warranty expired, I had the camera checked at the Canon service center and they did not find any AF problems.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: Bob Howland on August 11, 2012, 06:28:59 AM
I own a 5D3 and (newly purchased refurbished) 7D and have shot sports with both, so I'll give it a try. In low light situations, I prefer the 5D3 for its better image quality. Otherwise, I prefer the 7D for its reach and slightly higher frame rate. In both cases, I shoot manual with Auto ISO and AI Servo with the focusing area set to center zone. The zone focusing solved a lot of problems associated with center point only focusing, like a rapidly-moving main subject moving off the center point or two main subjects separated by a space in the center, resulting in a perfectly focused background and a fuzzy main subject.

I paid about 1/3 the 5D3 price for the refurb'd 7D.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: Menace on August 11, 2012, 07:28:10 AM
I've shot action with both these bodies, BMX bikes / football (soccer if you are in the US) wit very good results. 7d's 2 extra FPS and the extra reach are a big advantage however if I need to increase the ISO to get stop action the noise becomes an issue.

My last football game, I took about a 1000 images with the 5d and was amazed by the number of keepers.

Unfortunately, I do not have experience shooting with the 1DX but can only imagine what 12FPS will do as well as other 1series advantages  ;)

Good luck
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: candyman on August 11, 2012, 08:27:24 AM
I shoot with the 7D and Canon 70-300mm L mainly soccer. I have a very high hitrate for "keepers".
Though the photos are slightly soft and need post-processing. And, of course the 7D is showing more noise - starting at 1600 (but managable with PP and when printing not larger than A4)

I am very happy with my 7D
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: Jamesy on August 11, 2012, 08:35:54 AM
I shoot manual with Auto ISO and AI Servo with the focusing area set to center zone. The zone focusing solved a lot of problems associated with center point only focusing, like a rapidly-moving main subject moving off the center point or two main subjects separated by a space in the center, resulting in a perfectly focused background and a fuzzy main subject.

When you refer to zone focusing - which mode exactly are you referring to? There is one called Zone AF and then there are Expand AF Area or Expand AF Area: Surround.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: bdunbar79 on August 11, 2012, 10:41:17 AM
I shoot manual with Auto ISO and AI Servo with the focusing area set to center zone. The zone focusing solved a lot of problems associated with center point only focusing, like a rapidly-moving main subject moving off the center point or two main subjects separated by a space in the center, resulting in a perfectly focused background and a fuzzy main subject.

When you refer to zone focusing - which mode exactly are you referring to? There is one called Zone AF and then there are Expand AF Area or Expand AF Area: Surround.

I sometimes will shoot with zone focusing, not the expanded feature.  If basketball players are charging towards me for the basket, and I'm along the wall behind the basket, zone helps because as the player goes up for the layup and defenders are there, I cannot determine which part of that scene is going to be closest to me.  If zone is selected, the camera will automagically pick the correct point on the scene to focus and if aperture is narrow enough, everybody is in focus.  I rarely us expanded point, but that would be useful if you were tracking the basketball and it got slightly away from you.  Zone covers more ground. 

As far as using the 5D Mark III for sports, I have to be able to.  I doubt at tennis and golf matches anyone is going to want to hear the shutter firing on my 1D X :)
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: Heavyweight67 on August 11, 2012, 10:43:21 AM
I have both 5D3 and 7D... I love the extra reach of the 7D but don't like the noise, the high ISO ability of the 5D3 is great...
I think this is where you need to consider what sports you are shooting, ie daylight/good light or indoor/ambient/halogen/fluro...

About a week ago I was shooting a Muay Thai event, it was in an outdoor/covered arena with mixed lighting, some halogen some fluro... I was using 70-200 II, I had the camera set to manual with Auto ISO as the lighting across the venue varied considerably.

Some were at 3200 others varied but only upwards, this is where the 7D, would have fallen apart... the extra reach and speed of the 7D would have been great...

I think this is the point where there really isn't  a perfect camera, you can run many variables, 1Dx speed but not the reach, 5D3 & 1Dx great ISO again lacking the reach, add an EXT 1.4 or 2x which will require raising the ISO.

So many variables, even PP high ISO 5D3 images 12500, there useable, but the then you risk losing detail...

What good is a great shot of a punch to the face if you lose the sweat and blood flying from the opponents face..
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: jaayres20 on August 11, 2012, 11:15:25 AM
I owened a7D for over a year and I currently own a 5D3 an I always hated the image quality of the 7D. The colors are not accurate and you spent so much time trying to adjust the white balance.  The details are often lost in too much  noise. The 5D3 has a better, faster AF and the image quality will blow the doors off the 7D. Auto WB on the 5D3 is really good even in bad, mixed light.  You can crop in an image from the 5D3 and still have more clariy and less noise than the 7D so the extra reach it provides is almost a non factor.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on August 12, 2012, 12:40:42 AM
I'm looking for experience with shooting sports/action using a 5D Mk III, especially compared to the 7D.

I've had a 50D for almost 4 years now and I've been generally underwhelmed by the AF system, so I'm considering my options.

Right now I see four options: 7D (possibly used), 5D3, 1DX, or wait for a "7D2". I'm an amateur, the cost/value ratio of an 1DX would rather low regardless that I could find the money to buy it. 5D3 is kinda borderline. As for 7D, I'm hesitant since it is 3 years old and the sensor seems just as noisy as my 50D. I believe that a 7D2 will not show up until next year (at least).

I want a body at least at the level of the 50D (AFMA, size/metal body, UI), so the 60D or lower is not an option. Nor is defection to Nikon an option.

Knowing discussion boards, I anticipate that some will jump down my throat saying that I don't know how to use the camera. Thank you, I do believe I know how to operate the camera :)
So for information, I generally shoot in Manual, with either Spot AF or AI Servo, with only the center point selected. My lenses (17-40, 24-70, 70-200/2.8 IS I) are micro-adjusted to the body. I often have problems if the area that I'm focusing on is relatively small, but still larger than the AF box. Before the warranty expired, I had the camera checked at the Canon service center and they did not find any AF problems.

5D3

7D AF is too prone to not delivering well all the time, especially for soccer, sometimes it does very well other times it's just fails and even my old 5D2 handily out shot for soccer under certain conditions, 5D3 is always at least equal to 7D and sometimes vastly better, although the loss of 2fps is certainly a real shame

1D2n focused way better than 20D or 40D for sports action

5D3 AF feels like 1 series AF while 7D AF feels like a souped xxD AF but not a real 1 series it's the same old consumer level stuff just with more cross points and faster processing but not the full real deal IMO (for whatever reason I did have more success with 7D being consistent when shooting surfing with it compared to soccer, the latter I wasn't impressed since it was all over the place, sometimes better than 5D2, sometimes the same, sometimes much worse; 5D3 can have some odd fails but it's always at least as good as any xxD,7D,5D2 and often enough, quite noticeably better IMO (although I should say I haven't shot 5D3 enough to really know for sure, in a few more weeks I may have a more definitive opinion, for now, it's just a very early impression)


Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: kaihp on August 12, 2012, 02:30:43 AM
Thanks for all the replies.

I have mainly been shooting motorcycle racing/trackdays, so I get subjects with a fairly small target (you usually aim for the helmet) which moves around quite a bit including acceleration (the fun shots are in the turns). So this is outdoor stuff, but with varying weather from rain through overcast to bright sunshine.

Looks like we are focusing on the same concerns/differences between the 7D and the 5D3 besides my question of AF - reach, fps, and IQ.

I borrowed a friends 7D last year and was surprised by how much quicker on the trigger the 7D felt than my 50D, despite the relatively small change in fps (+33% / +2fps).
The 7D has a deeper buffer (~25 RAWs), vs 18 RAWs using a UDMA-7 card on the 5D3. Here the 5D3 and 50D are similar (16 RAWs).

For reach, I will probably have to reach more (pun unintended) for my 1.4x extender on the 70-200mm. But I will probably find the 400mm/2.8 more useful on the 5D3 than on the 7D/50D.

As for better IQ on the 5D3, I'm sure that I'll be crying all the way to the bank over that :D

Please keep the comments coming, thanks.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: Wilmark on August 12, 2012, 03:44:33 AM
I have owned both and after i purchased the 5D3 i sold the 7d because i wasnt going to use it anymore. I never liked the 7D. Its IQ is just not up to standard unless the light is very good. The 5D3 AF more than makes up for the slower frame rate. The amount of keepers you get is just phenomenal. People who owned both the 5dM2 and 3 know that this is a really big improvement. When coupled with a good long canon lens like the 70-200II the 400F2.8 the results are phenomenal with the 5D3. When used AF Servo with fast moving objects you can easily get a sequence of 4-5 shots all in focus. There are many examples in the links below

Here are some Sporting galleries, soccer, car rallying and a large military styled marathon.

http://www.wilmark.johnatty.com/p929851709 (http://www.wilmark.johnatty.com/p929851709)

http://www.wilmark.johnatty.com/p317449417 (http://www.wilmark.johnatty.com/p317449417)

http://www.wilmark.johnatty.com/p148934445 (http://www.wilmark.johnatty.com/p148934445)

http://www.wilmark.johnatty.com/hardcore1 (http://www.wilmark.johnatty.com/hardcore1)
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: M.ST on August 12, 2012, 04:30:27 AM
The 7D is very quick with the new firmware. But the AF and the picture quality are bad.

Go for the 5D Mark III or better for the 1D X if you have the right lenses.

Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: LostArk on August 12, 2012, 04:32:55 AM
I have no complaints with my 7D'd AF. Fast an accurate AF even in low light. I've never gotten an oof shot with it that wasn't my fault in one way or another. Anyone having difficulties getting sharp photos with the 7D ought to check out the "A Look at the Canon Autofocus System" series on the B&H youtube channel.

I don't deny the 5D3 and 1D series have markedly superior AF, but the 7D is a seriously capable tool and I doubt most people ever find themselves in a situation where it would be incapable of getting the shot.

1/320 f/1.8 ISO 3200, 24 1.4L II:
(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8432/7757238358_0e37b15c0e_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/noahfence/7757238358/)
Clutch (http://www.flickr.com/photos/noahfence/7757238358/#) by Nοah Fence (http://www.flickr.com/people/noahfence/), on Flickr
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: Kernuak on August 12, 2012, 04:51:15 AM
The 7D is fine up to ISO 1600, then it starts getting too noisy. There is some noise at ISO 1600, but it is manageable. I never owned the 50D, because when it came out and I looked at some results, I didnt feel it was a big step up from the 40D I had at the time and shooting in the same conditions one time, some 50D shots I saw from someone else were much noiser than the 40D. Granted I couldn't say whether he nailed the exposure to make a direct comparison, but I wasn't impressed. The 7D is a good stop better than the 40D however, so it should be better than the 50D.
In terms of AF, it is far superior to the 40D (which was the same as the 50D). While I'm not overally impressed by the performance in low contrast scenes, it is still more responsive and accurate (although it can sometimes be a little twitchy). However, now I have the 5D MkIII, I'm reconsidering my original plan of keeping the 7D and selling the 5D MkII, because the AF and overall image quality is so much better. The 2 fps difference is a bit of a loss, as is the reach, but the number of times I need 8 fps is actually quite small, although it is sometimes vital.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: pwp on August 12, 2012, 05:40:07 AM
For action shooting look to a pre-owned 1 Series. I have a 5D3 and when I first got it, out of curiosity I ran it as a second body at a track & field athletics job. It's IQ and AF were 100% up to the job but the slow frame rate and small buffer reveal the 5D3's strengths & weaknesses. In short, it's not an action shooting camera.

I shoot action with 1D4, 1D3 & until relatively recently the legendary 1D Mk2n. With plenty of power (higher voltage) to push the AF along quickly, the fast frame rate and the deep buffer make these cameras the natural first choice for sports/action photography.

The 7D is used by a lot of sports/action shooters as well as a large number of BIF shooters. It's true that while the high iso results can be troubling to some people, it's extremely good when working with good light and lower iso speeds. The frame rate is pretty good, I can't comment on the all important buffer depth.

For similar $$ to the 5D3 why not pick up a pre-owned 1D4? With the exception of the newly released 1DX, it's far and away the finest sports/action camera Canon has ever released.

-PW
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: Mick on August 12, 2012, 05:57:26 AM
Totally agree with the previous post. I shoot motorcycles and wildlife.The 7D is amazing, it's autofocus is excellent and it's extra reach is invaluable. A full frame needs a much bigger lens or a massive crop to match it so blowing away the reason for buying it. If close up its a different story. Problem is noise over 1600 but in good light it's excellent. But...

The 1d4 totally blows it away in all but reach. I've tried sports with a 1DS3 similar to a 5D3 in many respects, and it's like shooting with a snails pace camera. I needed a hugh lens because of no crop, miss shots because the shots per sec was to slow. Got a 1D4, amazing! Image quality a 7d could only dream of, Hugh shutter rate, never misses a shot and I can take it out in a monsoon when the none pro cameras have gone to bed. Got mine for less than half the price of an x. It's definatly way more than half the camera. Funnily enough, I never use the 7d unless it's for a distance shot, the 1ds3 is kept for portraits and landscapes, for everything ease the 1d4 is my camera of choice. The crop comes in handy to.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: Bosman on August 12, 2012, 02:14:52 PM
For action shooting look to a pre-owned 1 Series. I have a 5D3 and when I first got it, out of curiosity I ran it as a second body at a track & field athletics job. It's IQ and AF were 100% up to the job but the slow frame rate and small buffer reveal the 5D3's strengths & weaknesses. In short, it's not an action shooting camera.

-PW
I own a sports photography company and have used the 1dm3 since it came out in 2007. It performs excellently and for sure the 1dm4 is top of the line. However, given that i got the 5dm3 for my wedding photography company I decided to test it out. I shoot marathons and triathlons and a triathlon has 3 dif types of sports. The most challenging by far being the bike portion since they move very quickly and you need to focus and recompose at an absurd rate of speed. When i tested the 5dm3 early this year I found it was almost every other oof. While i was pleased with the in-focus ones it wasn't enough so given the multiple AF modes i decided to test them out, which is risky when you are doing it with your business...I recently shot a triathlon and with the bike portion instead of shooting single point like i have found is the best for most scenarios and being sports it is your main focus point position, i shot 8 focus point cluster first and found the cluster was the right size but it didn't work well enough so i shot 4pt. I found 4pt expansion to work very well for the bike portion! Using case 3 in the af menu I also set the accel/decel to zero so it wasn't hyper sensitive because the af could become to twitchy changing from the subject i am trying to track. Other than that the Case 1 works for run and swim exit portion fine however i may try a whole Tri with the Case 3 settings. Yes i know it makes sense that the bike case would work best for it since it has the bike icon but i figured Case 1 would be enough. Turns out case 3 jacks up the focus speed quite a bit not making it the slower cousin to the 1dx so much anymore.
I havent even shot an event with my 1dm3 other than for other companies sports events i love the 5d3 that much! Post processing on the 5dm3 is nill. It renders color so well and accurate compared to my 1dm3 which is pretty good too but no where close to the 5dm3. I continue to experiment and if i am not satisfied with the results i am more and more convinced it is because i havent learned how to use the system to its potential.
I so want another 5dm3! Considering selling my 5d, 1dm3 and 24-70L...
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: kaihp on August 13, 2012, 11:53:42 AM
@pwp: Thanks for the pre-owned 1D4 idea. I hadn't considered it seriously before you mentioned it.

After thinking it over since yesterday, I'm coming to the conclusion that the 5D3 will probably be my best choice at the moment. During the last 3 years, about half of my shots have been of motorcycle riding at trackdays.
But for the next two years, I'm in mainland China for the company so I will have few opportunities to do this. More likely the majority of my shots will be of the landscape, buildings, fauna, etc. For the situations where I will shoot sports, the 5D3 AF system will most likely do very fine.
Surely Bosman, Wilmark and others' comments attest that the 5D3 AF is no turd when it comes to sports - it will be legions better than my 50D.

A second reason not pursuing a pre-owned 1D4, is that I would have a much harder time finding one here in CN than a new 5D3.

In two years time, I might be able to pick up a used 1DX for action if I still have the need want and the 5D3 cannot deliver. We'll see :)

Thanks for all the comments, I really appreciate it.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: bdunbar79 on August 13, 2012, 11:59:29 AM
The 1DX and 1D4 are great for sports.  Those are my main sports cams.  But you can't use them at tennis or golf, gotta use a 5D3 because of the extraordinarily loud shutter.  Unless of course you have a super tele and are far away, which I'm considering :)
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: fugu82 on August 13, 2012, 03:28:18 PM
The appeal, for me, of my 5D3 is it's versatility. I mostly do events, but also shoot landscapes, wildlife and a little sports. So here is the 5D3 with a 100-400, at night, handheld, from the top of the bleachers: http://www.flickr.com/photos/23989944@N03/7729835058/# (http://www.flickr.com/photos/23989944@N03/7729835058/#)
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: Act444 on August 13, 2012, 05:05:16 PM
Interesting comments, all.

I'm not a sports photographer but I have tried to shoot a few action events with my 60D. I get relatively mixed results. I wouldn't recommend it if your job depends on it, or you MUST get *THE* shot, but for casual everyday shooting it is OK. Coupled with a 70-200 2.8 lens the hit rate is OK- many non-keepers were my bad, but there were others where the camera did miss focus. Other times I find myself having to wait for the camera to clear buffer, missing a shot or two in the process (I shoot RAW). I feel that it just might be the limits of an aging 9-pt AF system though.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: pedro on August 13, 2012, 06:46:27 PM
For action shooting look to a pre-owned 1 Series. I have a 5D3 and when I first got it, out of curiosity I ran it as a second body at a track & field athletics job. It's IQ and AF were 100% up to the job but the slow frame rate and small buffer reveal the 5D3's strengths & weaknesses. In short, it's not an action shooting camera.

-PW
I own a sports photography company and have used the 1dm3 since it came out in 2007. It performs excellently and for sure the 1dm4 is top of the line. However, given that i got the 5dm3 for my wedding photography company I decided to test it out. I shoot marathons and triathlons and a triathlon has 3 dif types of sports. The most challenging by far being the bike portion since they move very quickly and you need to focus and recompose at an absurd rate of speed. When i tested the 5dm3 early this year I found it was almost every other oof. While i was pleased with the in-focus ones it wasn't enough so given the multiple AF modes i decided to test them out, which is risky when you are doing it with your business...I recently shot a triathlon and with the bike portion instead of shooting single point like i have found is the best for most scenarios and being sports it is your main focus point position, i shot 8 focus point cluster first and found the cluster was the right size but it didn't work well enough so i shot 4pt. I found 4pt expansion to work very well for the bike portion! Using case 3 in the af menu I also set the accel/decel to zero so it wasn't hyper sensitive because the af could become to twitchy changing from the subject i am trying to track. Other than that the Case 1 works for run and swim exit portion fine however i may try a whole Tri with the Case 3 settings. Yes i know it makes sense that the bike case would work best for it since it has the bike icon but i figured Case 1 would be enough. Turns out case 3 jacks up the focus speed quite a bit not making it the slower cousin to the 1dx so much anymore.
I havent even shot an event with my 1dm3 other than for other companies sports events i love the 5d3 that much! Post processing on the 5dm3 is nill. It renders color so well and accurate compared to my 1dm3 which is pretty good too but no where close to the 5dm3. I continue to experiment and if i am not satisfied with the results i am more and more convinced it is because i havent learned how to use the system to its potential.
I so want another 5dm3! Considering selling my 5d, 1dm3 and 24-70L...
Hi, this is great news to me. I was at a local camera shop today and held a 5D3 for the first time...Later this year the shop will provide me a body to rent for a weekend to test it out at my low light event type photography...I am an amateur hardly commercializing my material...But I like the real low light situations for b/w. So I will test it to get accquainted with it and then a few days after I will purchase the body. The renting fee will be discounted from the price. While shooting the 30D center point only at quite low light and ISO 1600 and 3200 I am really looking forward now to shoot the same events even at the same ISOs or higher if necessary! It is backstage scenes I mostly do. A Brass Band getting ready for their performance or other scenes. So thanks a lot for your input on AF and your excitement about my new camera I soon will purchase. I have 70-200 2.8 L, a 85 1.8, a 50 1.4 and a cheapo 28 2.8. As someone once guessed, that 5D3s ISO 3200 is about 30Ds ISO 800 it's gonna be a significant change leading to new low light opportunities. Cheers, Pedro
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: swampler on August 13, 2012, 08:07:45 PM
While shooting the 30D center point only at quite low light and ISO 1600 and 3200 I am really looking forward now to shoot the same events even at the same ISOs or higher if necessary! It is backstage scenes I mostly do. A Brass Band getting ready for their performance or other scenes.
Pedro,
Is this the type of shot you're talking about?

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-ukJyS1mX11M/T6MxNpMolrI/AAAAAAAA8_k/al-dog_auMA/s800/OB5C2203.jpg)
ISO 6400
f/2.8
1/500
200mm
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: bdunbar79 on August 13, 2012, 08:22:35 PM
I'm not sure why some feel that it CANNOT be used for sports.  It doesn't shoot as fast as the 1D Mark IV.  It focuses just as fast, it just doesn't SHOOT as fast.  There should be no problems with AF'ing quickly, at least I haven't had any.  It AF's slightly slower than the 1D X.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: pedro on August 14, 2012, 04:25:16 AM
While shooting the 30D center point only at quite low light and ISO 1600 and 3200 I am really looking forward now to shoot the same events even at the same ISOs or higher if necessary! It is backstage scenes I mostly do. A Brass Band getting ready for their performance or other scenes.
Pedro,
Is this the type of shot you're talking about?

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-ukJyS1mX11M/T6MxNpMolrI/AAAAAAAA8_k/al-dog_auMA/s800/OB5C2203.jpg)
ISO 6400
f/2.8
1/500
200mm
@swampler: yes, that's quite like that. Encouraging! Thx for sharing. Cheers.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: bdunbar79 on August 14, 2012, 10:10:48 AM
Totally agree with the previous post. I shoot motorcycles and wildlife.The 7D is amazing, it's autofocus is excellent and it's extra reach is invaluable. A full frame needs a much bigger lens or a massive crop to match it so blowing away the reason for buying it. If close up its a different story. Problem is noise over 1600 but in good light it's excellent. But...

The 1d4 totally blows it away in all but reach. I've tried sports with a 1DS3 similar to a 5D3 in many respects, and it's like shooting with a snails pace camera. I needed a hugh lens because of no crop, miss shots because the shots per sec was to slow. Got a 1D4, amazing! Image quality a 7d could only dream of, Hugh shutter rate, never misses a shot and I can take it out in a monsoon when the none pro cameras have gone to bed. Got mine for less than half the price of an x. It's definatly way more than half the camera. Funnily enough, I never use the 7d unless it's for a distance shot, the 1ds3 is kept for portraits and landscapes, for everything ease the 1d4 is my camera of choice. The crop comes in handy to.

I would argue that the 1D4 blows the 7D away in reach.  If you crop, you can crop much farther with the 1D4 vs. 7D due to IQ.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: thepancakeman on August 14, 2012, 12:20:22 PM
I can only tell you what I know from owning a 7D and being in the market for a 5D3:

When I shoot outdoor sports, I love my 7D.

When I shoot indoor sports, I hate my 7D (hence the saving for a 5D3).

The 7D handles well and feels solid, but I have never been completely happy with the IQ, and that unhappiness grows exponentially as the ISO goes up.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on August 14, 2012, 04:14:35 PM

The 7D has a deeper buffer (~25 RAWs), vs 18 RAWs using a UDMA-7 card on the 5D3. Here the 5D3 and 50D are similar (16 RAWs).


The 7D vs 5D3 buffer depth in real life was not as in the Canon manuals per my experience (although the 7D metering slowing fps makes it hard to compare the exact same way), I got:

Lexar 1000x, it honestly didn't really do any better than a Sandisk Extreme Pro 90MB/s card with a 5D2 or 7D (or surely xxD) cam but with the 5D3.... WOW. And it lets the 5D3 deliver best in class buffer and longer contrinuous shooting times than either the 5D2 or 7D. (UPDATE: 2.0 for 7D boosts 7D performance with 1000x card)

A few numbers (all tests at 1/800th shutter, no IS, no AF, no NR or any other in cam jpg special processing options, max continuous drive mode selected (7D pointed at a bright light so as to maintain max frame rate)) with the raw number being number of shots before you hear it slow down shooting and timed number is the continuous time you could shoot non-stop at the camera's max frame rate (derived by a simple frames/max fps of camera):

Test 1 (lens cap on or super underexposed near black frames (i.e. with requiring minimum for storage) at ISO100 on 5D3):

14 shots with a slow Lexar 16GB 200x card
17 shots with a 30MB/s SanDisk Extreme III 8GB card
20 shots (3.3s) with a 32GB SanDisk Extreme Pro 90GB/s card
35 shots (5.8s) with a 32GB Lexar 1000x card (whoa! 35! vs 20! 5.8s of continuous shooting vs only 3.3s!)

(so the Lexar 1000x makes a surprisingly large difference on the 5D3 and is well worth the $ if you seriously shoot action with the 5D3, do note that the 16GB 1000x card is said to be slower than the 32GB and larger 1000x cards so the advantage may be less if you go for the 16GB size; with this speed card the 5D3 continuous shooting time easily beats the 5D2 and 7D)

Test 2 (as above but on a 5D2):
16 shots (4.1s) with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 90MB/s card
17 shots (4.3s) with a Lexar 32GB 1000x card

(so the extra $ for the Lexar 1000x makes no difference on a 5D2; with this speed card the 5D3 actually lets you shoot continuously for less long than the 5D2 or 7D)

Test 3 (as above but on a 7D):
23-29 shots (up to 3.7s) with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 90MB/s card
23-28 shots (up to 3.5s) with a Lexar 32GB 1000x card
(not sure one time I got the large 28-29 shots and now I get more like only 23, must be related to how little detail I got on the image, 7D shoots slow fps in the dark so I couldn't do it with lens cap on, on a similar test condition when 7D got 23 frames the 5D3 got 27 frames)

(so the extra $ for the Lexar 1000x makes no difference on a 7D, same result)

Test 4 (as 7D above with now with 2.0 firmware):
getting about 27-30 instead of closer to 23 for the current bright scene being shot (5D3 gets about 27) so the 7D now does about the same to a bit more frames than the 5D3 although at 8fps the total continuous shooting time is LESS than for the 5D3

and then trying it with a Sandisk 90MB/s extremepro instead 7D 2.0 gets:
about 23

(so with 2.0 firmware the Lexar 1000x now DOES make a HUGE difference for the 7D even if not quite as insanely huge as with the 5D3; also appears to show that you'd need one of the best of the best, the Lexar 1000x cards to take any advantage of the 2.0 buffer)


Test 4 (these have an actual image being shot and the ISOs are higher so each RAW file is larger, the performance drops considerably, especially above ISO800 and NOTE that the numbers will vary depending upon the scene shot as different scenes and exposures will produce different file sizes and any given scenario may bump all the numbers noticeably up or down; all are on the Lexar 32GB 1000x card):

ISO3200 5D3 - 20 shots (3.3s) - a big drop from the 35 for ISO100 black frame
ISO1600 5D3 - 24 shots (4s)
ISO800 5D3 - 30 shots (5s)

Test 5 (as above only this time a SanDisk Extreme Pro 90MB/s card was used in all cases):

ISO3200 5D3 - 14 shots (2.3s)
ISO1600 5D3 - 20 shots (3.3s)
ISO800 5D3 - 22 shots (3.7s)

Test 6 (as above only this time a SanDisk Extreme III 30MB/s card was used):
ISO800 5D3 - 15 shots (2.5s)

So yeah for most Canon cameras the Lexar 1000x will not be worth the money at all (unless you are want to pay that much for faster transfer speed to your computer and your computer supports USB3 and you have a USB3 card read that also takes full UDMA 7 advantage) but for the 5D3 wow if you are serious about shooting action and dont want to be saddled with a shorter shooting time buffer than the old 5D2 or 7D then get the Lexar 1000x, suddenly you actually can shoot for longer times non-stop than with the 5D2 or 7D and often by a large margin. So for the 5D3 and action it is well worth it. (UPDATE: and with the 7D the Lexar 1000x is well worth it too now)
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on August 14, 2012, 04:17:33 PM
I have no complaints with my 7D'd AF. Fast an accurate AF even in low light. I've never gotten an oof shot with it that wasn't my fault in one way or another.

Just a tad hyperbole there no?


Quote
I don't deny the 5D3 and 1D series have markedly superior AF, but the 7D is a seriously capable tool and I doubt most people ever find themselves in a situation where it would be incapable of getting the shot.

Shoot various sports under various conditions and you'll see.
Or shoot a 24 1.4 indoors with super low, not stage, lighting and believe me you'll see the 5D3 hit better (and even the 5D2 for that matter).

Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on August 14, 2012, 04:20:47 PM
For action shooting look to a pre-owned 1 Series. I have a 5D3 and when I first got it, out of curiosity I ran it as a second body at a track & field athletics job. It's IQ and AF were 100% up to the job but the slow frame rate and small buffer reveal the 5D3's strengths & weaknesses. In short, it's not an action shooting camera.

The fps are a bit weak for really serious level action shooting but it is just enough you can get by with it now.
The buffer isn't bad at all if you feed it the proper card. Give it a Lexar 1000x 32GB card and you opinion of the buffer may change considerably (the Lexar 1000x 32GB gives it a MUCH larger buffer than even say a Sandisk 32GB 90MB/S ExtremePro card does, much larger).




Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on August 14, 2012, 04:24:36 PM
@pwp: Thanks for the pre-owned 1D4 idea. I hadn't considered it seriously before you mentioned it.

After thinking it over since yesterday, I'm coming to the conclusion that the 5D3 will probably be my best choice at the moment. During the last 3 years, about half of my shots have been of motorcycle riding at trackdays.
But for the next two years, I'm in mainland China for the company so I will have few opportunities to do this. More likely the majority of my shots will be of the landscape, buildings, fauna, etc. For the situations where I will shoot sports, the 5D3 AF system will most likely do very fine.
Surely Bosman, Wilmark and others' comments attest that the 5D3 AF is no turd when it comes to sports - it will be legions better than my 50D.

A second reason not pursuing a pre-owned 1D4, is that I would have a much harder time finding one here in CN than a new 5D3.

In two years time, I might be able to pick up a used 1DX for action if I still have the need want and the 5D3 cannot deliver. We'll see :)

Thanks for all the comments, I really appreciate it.

Yeah if you are also going to be doing tons of other stuff an dnot just 100% sports with it then the 5D3 all the way, APS-H is a bit awkward match to many landscape lenses (although you can certainly get around that) and it's a bulky pain of a brick to lug around to everything, the 5D3 has better movies and UI and such.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: Jamesy on August 14, 2012, 05:05:02 PM

14 shots with a slow Lexar 16GB 200x card
17 shots with a 30MB/s SanDisk Extreme III 8GB card
20 shots (3.3s) with a 32GB SanDisk Extreme Pro 90GB/s card
35 shots (5.8s) with a 32GB Lexar 1000x card (whoa! 35! vs 20! 5.8s of continuous shooting vs only 3.3s!)

This is consistent with my findings, I get 21 @ 6fps before it starts to slow down on my 32GB Sandisk 90MB/s card.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: kaihp on August 14, 2012, 07:03:44 PM
The 7D has a deeper buffer (~25 RAWs), vs 18 RAWs using a UDMA-7 card on the 5D3. Here the 5D3 and 50D are similar (16 RAWs).

The 7D vs 5D3 buffer depth in real life was not as in the Canon manuals per my experience

You're right I should have said that this were numbers from the manuals. The 50D seems to fairly spot-on WRT buffer depth.

14 shots with a slow Lexar 16GB 200x card
17 shots with a 30MB/s SanDisk Extreme III 8GB card
20 shots (3.3s) with a 32GB SanDisk Extreme Pro 90GB/s card
35 shots (5.8s) with a 32GB Lexar 1000x card (whoa! 35! vs 20! 5.8s of continuous shooting vs only 3.3s!)

(so the Lexar 1000x makes a surprisingly large difference on the 5D3 and is well worth the $ if you seriously shoot action with the 5D3, do note that the 16GB 1000x card is said to be slower than the 32GB and larger 1000x cards so the advantage may be less if you go for the 16GB size; with this speed card the 5D3 continuous shooting time easily beats the 5D2 and 7D)

Your test data just supports my excuse to invest in a couple of 32GB Lexar 1000x cards :-)
Clearly the CF controller in the 5D3 can take full advantage of the UDMA7 cards, and the v2.0.0 FW update shows that while the CF controller was UDMA7 capable when the 7D was designed, Canon lacked the 1000x-type card to do the FW development to do the finetuning needed to make it peak, and instead chose the conservative route to ensure correct functionality over speed.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: Bosman on August 16, 2012, 09:49:25 AM
I never said the 5dm3 was a turd for sports, i said you need to understand the custom af functions to fit the type of photography and when you find what settings work best then the only compromise it he FPS. Personally I have shot the 1dm3 in 10fps since 2007 when i got it, but the 5dm3 with 6fps doesn't leave me wanting. The 5dm3 renders color so very well! I get excited when see my work later. When shooting in a church last week i was in auto white balance on the 5dm3 but had to go to 2600k on the 1dm3 when not using flash. The triathlon i also shot last saturday had very few misses in focus usually a fluke miss or due to rapidly having to change focus but like i said few misses none the less. Sure its not a 1dm3 but hey changing how i use focal lengths being FF on sports and the settings means things feel a little diff but it isn't a bad diff.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: kaihp on August 16, 2012, 12:17:41 PM
I never said the 5dm3 was a turd for sports

Sir, we are in violent agreement.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: bdunbar79 on August 16, 2012, 01:02:02 PM
The 5D3 will do just fine.  Especially if you put a 300 f/2.8L I IS lens on it.  It'll lock and track at center point just as well as a 1D4 or 1DX in that situation.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: kaihp on August 26, 2012, 08:14:25 PM
I received my 5D3 yesterday evening (hand carry by a friend). The battery was flat so I left it the night over to charge.

Plopped the battery in this morning, played around with the menus and took a couple of shots of the rising sun.
Now I just have to re-adapt to not having a crop camera again. Guess the 70-200 will get more use now.

Damn, this looks like the beginning of a long and good relationship with this camera 8)

Thanks for all your comments, either way.

Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: Bosman on August 26, 2012, 09:56:00 PM
I received my 5D3 yesterday evening (hand carry by a friend). The battery was flat so I left it the night over to charge.

Plopped the battery in this morning, played around with the menus and took a couple of shots of the rising sun.
Now I just have to re-adapt to not having a crop camera again. Guess the 70-200 will get more use now.

Damn, this looks like the beginning of a long and good relationship with this camera 8)

Thanks for all your comments, either way.
Congrats!
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: bdunbar79 on August 26, 2012, 09:58:23 PM
I received my 5D3 yesterday evening (hand carry by a friend). The battery was flat so I left it the night over to charge.

Plopped the battery in this morning, played around with the menus and took a couple of shots of the rising sun.
Now I just have to re-adapt to not having a crop camera again. Guess the 70-200 will get more use now.

Damn, this looks like the beginning of a long and good relationship with this camera 8)

Thanks for all your comments, either way.

Awesome!  Have fun with it!  If you get bored go out and play with the multi-exposure and HDR features.  It can be really fun at night!  The color smoothness is really nice with this camera, at ISO's above 6400.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: kaihp on August 27, 2012, 12:27:33 AM
Awesome!  Have fun with it!  If you get bored go out and play with the multi-exposure and HDR features.  It can be really fun at night!  The color smoothness is really nice with this camera, at ISO's above 6400.
Actually, already thought about using HDR for the sunrise this morning but didn't spend time on it. There was quite a bit of haze in the air, so the pictures aren't the greatest. I'll look at the tonight though.

Edit: Oh, and I need to update the firmware. Got delivered with v1.1.2, and the light leak fix applied.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: Bosman on August 27, 2012, 12:35:38 PM
Awesome!  Have fun with it!  If you get bored go out and play with the multi-exposure and HDR features.  It can be really fun at night!  The color smoothness is really nice with this camera, at ISO's above 6400.
Actually, already thought about using HDR for the sunrise this morning but didn't spend time on it. There was quite a bit of haze in the air, so the pictures aren't the greatest. I'll look at the tonight though.

Edit: Oh, and I need to update the firmware. Got delivered with v1.1.2, and the light leak fix applied.
That new firmware doesn't really do much, other than maybe screw up focussing. I think my random not being able to auto focus could be tied to the update. Just sayin...I'd wait for the next update where more issues are addressed.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: Jamesy on August 27, 2012, 02:01:33 PM
That new firmware doesn't really do much, other than maybe screw up focussing. I think my random not being able to auto focus could be tied to the update. Just sayin...I'd wait for the next update where more issues are addressed.
I never got around to updating mine since day1 (March 23rd) and I have not really had any issues sO I think I will wait until the next one comes out.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: Bosman on September 04, 2012, 11:28:32 PM
That new firmware doesn't really do much, other than maybe screw up focussing. I think my random not being able to auto focus could be tied to the update. Just sayin...I'd wait for the next update where more issues are addressed.
I never got around to updating mine since day1 (March 23rd) and I have not really had any issues sO I think I will wait until the next one comes out.
Good call!
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: bdunbar79 on September 04, 2012, 11:44:51 PM
I'll be testing out the 5D Mark III to its fullest this Friday.  I have a tennis match to shoot at 3pm and will likely be shooting mainly with the 5D3 due to silent shutter and how close I'll be. 
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: swampler on September 05, 2012, 06:23:17 PM
That new firmware doesn't really do much, other than maybe screw up focussing. I think my random not being able to auto focus could be tied to the update. Just sayin...I'd wait for the next update where more issues are addressed.
I never got around to updating mine since day1 (March 23rd) and I have not really had any issues sO I think I will wait until the next one comes out.
Good call!
Didn't mess up my focusing and this is the only place I've seen it mentioned of being a potential issue.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: Bosman on September 08, 2012, 12:12:29 AM
I'll be testing out the 5D Mark III to its fullest this Friday.  I have a tennis match to shoot at 3pm and will likely be shooting mainly with the 5D3 due to silent shutter and how close I'll be.
Use the right AF case and 4 point surround. Too many surround points often will mean the focus will end up behind them. I found that to be true with bikes so i went back to 4 from 8. I usually only shoot one focus point but i am exploring the benefits of branching out from what i usually do.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: bdunbar79 on September 08, 2012, 12:16:41 AM
Well, it definitely was inferior to the 1D X I have.  The silent shutter was nice, but I'm probably going to take my 300 f/2.8 next time and shoot with the 1D X. 
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: Michael_pfh on September 08, 2012, 02:16:54 AM
I'm looking for experience with shooting sports/action using a 5D Mk III, especially compared to the 7D.

I've had a 50D for almost 4 years now and I've been generally underwhelmed by the AF system, so I'm considering my options.

Right now I see four options: 7D (possibly used), 5D3, 1DX, or wait for a "7D2". I'm an amateur, the cost/value ratio of an 1DX would rather low regardless that I could find the money to buy it. 5D3 is kinda borderline. As for 7D, I'm hesitant since it is 3 years old and the sensor seems just as noisy as my 50D. I believe that a 7D2 will not show up until next year (at least).

I want a body at least at the level of the 50D (AFMA, size/metal body, UI), so the 60D or lower is not an option. Nor is defection to Nikon an option.

Knowing discussion boards, I anticipate that some will jump down my throat saying that I don't know how to use the camera. Thank you, I do believe I know how to operate the camera :)
So for information, I generally shoot in Manual, with either Spot AF or AI Servo, with only the center point selected. My lenses (17-40, 24-70, 70-200/2.8 IS I) are micro-adjusted to the body. I often have problems if the area that I'm focusing on is relatively small, but still larger than the AF box. Before the warranty expired, I had the camera checked at the Canon service center and they did not find any AF problems.

I love my 1D4 for sports. You can probably get a used one on eBay or CL.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: swampler on September 08, 2012, 10:04:12 AM
Well, it definitely was inferior to the 1D X I have.  The silent shutter was nice, but I'm probably going to take my 300 f/2.8 next time and shoot with the 1D X.
In what way is it inferior? AF? High ISO noise? Etc.? I can see the difference in build, grip, etc. Interested in functional differences.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: bdunbar79 on September 08, 2012, 10:19:56 AM
Well, it definitely was inferior to the 1D X I have.  The silent shutter was nice, but I'm probably going to take my 300 f/2.8 next time and shoot with the 1D X.
In what way is it inferior? AF? High ISO noise? Etc.? I can see the difference in build, grip, etc. Interested in functional differences.

It missed more often and wasn't as fast.  I probably just got spoiled though.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on September 08, 2012, 12:40:24 PM
Well, it definitely was inferior to the 1D X I have.  The silent shutter was nice, but I'm probably going to take my 300 f/2.8 next time and shoot with the 1D X.

i tried some tennis with it yesterday 5D3, seems like a LOT of misses at tennis (which seemed like it should be remarkably easier for the AF system, than soccer or football)

some might have been heat haze though, brutal heat and shooting from in stands (very close though) so that meant a different surface between me and the court, and some was definitely just me, but something seemed a little weird, kept wanting to jump back 2-4' behind a player at times (and focus on nothing, stuff behind player was more than 2-4' back) and even when they were just walking towards stands, at times it didn't seem to keep f/2.8 DOF dead on player, need to look into it more to see what the story it, i'm sure i probbaly didn't have the ideal settings and in other cases it was def stuff I didn wrong, but

I've had amazing one shot mode success with 5D3 so far (easily most accurate and precise of the bodies I've ever used for that) and it's done better than 7D under same conditions (I actually find 7D does worse than 5D2 for AI Servo more often than it does better for soccer). Oddly, not sure it's done better for AI Servo than my 5D2 yet. But I haven't really figured the system all out yet or shot more than a very little so it's hard to say. And some of the errors were my own.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: bdunbar79 on September 08, 2012, 03:39:15 PM
Yeah it was very odd.  I was using a 70-200L II IS lens so that could have been part of the problem, considering the 300 f/2.8L I IS focuses much faster than that.  I'd like to give it another try on Sunday morning.  I didn't like my shots from Friday afternoon, so I'm going to shoot again Sunday at another home match with the 300 and 1DX and maybe for a few games put the 5D3 on it, and see how it goes.  If well, I'll post my photos.  Anyways, I have another night football game tonight at 7, and won't be shooting with anything but 1D X.
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: Bosman on September 09, 2012, 11:47:38 AM
Well, it definitely was inferior to the 1D X I have.  The silent shutter was nice, but I'm probably going to take my 300 f/2.8 next time and shoot with the 1D X.
In what way is it inferior? AF? High ISO noise? Etc.? I can see the difference in build, grip, etc. Interested in functional differences.

It missed more often and wasn't as fast.  I probably just got spoiled though.
Brett, I didn't mean to sound like i knew more than you about the camera, its just i have been shooting with it all summer and found the bike case with 4pt to be very good. The silent shutter would def affect performance too. With the 5dm3 Af cases and settings make all the diff to success. It will never be a 1dx but for those who don't have that option it does quite well with a monopod and steady panning. :D
Title: Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
Post by: Bosman on September 09, 2012, 11:50:23 AM
Well, it definitely was inferior to the 1D X I have.  The silent shutter was nice, but I'm probably going to take my 300 f/2.8 next time and shoot with the 1D X.

i tried some tennis with it yesterday 5D3, seems like a LOT of misses at tennis (which seemed like it should be remarkably easier for the AF system, than soccer or football)

some might have been heat haze though, brutal heat and shooting from in stands (very close though) so that meant a different surface between me and the court, and some was definitely just me, but something seemed a little weird, kept wanting to jump back 2-4' behind a player at times (and focus on nothing, stuff behind player was more than 2-4' back) and even when they were just walking towards stands, at times it didn't seem to keep f/2.8 DOF dead on player, need to look into it more to see what the story it, i'm sure i probbaly didn't have the ideal settings and in other cases it was def stuff I didn wrong, but

I've had amazing one shot mode success with 5D3 so far (easily most accurate and precise of the bodies I've ever used for that) and it's done better than 7D under same conditions (I actually find 7D does worse than 5D2 for AI Servo more often than it does better for soccer). Oddly, not sure it's done better for AI Servo than my 5D2 yet. But I haven't really figured the system all out yet or shot more than a very little so it's hard to say. And some of the errors were my own.
What af case did you use and also what shot priority? I found when i had shot priority focus for 1st shot and for second set to be infocus before taking the shot meant more failure too.