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Respinder

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Canon 5D Mark III: Some perspectives/concerns
« on: March 04, 2012, 12:40:58 PM »
Hi everyone. Let me just start by saying that this is my first official post on the CR Forums, but I've been a regular visitor to this website for the past 2.5 years.

Let me start by saying that I'm not a fan of Nikon. I had a bad experience with one of their point-and-shoot products, and I'm currently not interested in investing in a Nikon DSLR.

During that time, I've been waiting patiently on any announcements with regards to the Canon 5D Mark III. My "love affair" (as I will call it) of the 5D started when a close friend of mine bought his first DSLR, a Canon 7D. I tried it out for sometime, and of course, fell in love with the simplicity of the system, the quality of the lenses, and the excellent features that were being offered at the right price point. But I did have one gripe with the 7D; it wasn't full frame. There was the 5D Mark II of course, but as that was released some time before the 7D, I really wanted to invest in the newest product with the best-in-class video and picture capabilities.

That is when the waiting game for the 5D Mark III first began. Now it's finally been announced, and like many of you, I am very excited. However, I do have some concerns before I go ahead with a pre-order. Concerns that I'm hoping some of you in this forum may be able to answer or re-assure for me.

1. It is clear that Nikon and Canon have done some role-reversal. Nikon, typically strong with AF systems and keeping MP low, have now created an MP monster; the D800, that will certainly turn heads, complete with a "reasonable" AF system and "good" ISO. They've also added some good video functionality that will be equal to Canon or perhaps even better, as I have read around that the D800 has auto-focus capability for video, while 5D Mark III does not (could anyone confirm this?)

It is clear that when you look at the specs of the D700 versus the D800, Nikon has included enough features that most D700 owners will upgrade.

2. Canon, typically strong with MP and video, have decided to outfit the Mark III with similar MP but extremely high ISO, improved AF and frame rate, BUT at a higher cost point. While these will ultimately contribute to improved video, there are no video features of note that seem to make this camera better versus the D800 (and as previously mentioned in #1, I am still unsure about autofocus with video).

Many of the websites I've read (this site, Planet 5D, etc) suggest to Mark II owners that the new features offered by the Mark III are not worth the increase in price, and that Mark II owners can continue to get by with their current camera with the right filters and general experience.

Ultimately, it appears that Canon has either not included enough features, or has spec-ed too high of a price point, such that most Mark II owners may NOT upgrade to the Mark III.

3. Due to the price difference, lack of increased MP and lack of general differences in video or other features, it may be very likely that most Nikon owners will not jump ship to the Canon camp. However, it is very possible from reading this forum and other websites that many Canon owners are unhappy and will jump ship to the Nikon camp.

4. Based upon points #1, #2 and #3, my primary concern and the reason why I have not yet put in a pre-order on the Canon 5D Mark III, is that it may potentially:
(a) Suffer from poor sales due to Canon owners jumping ship and lack of Mark II owners upgrading
(b) Lose the race against the D800 in terms of the best-in-class semi-pro FF camera
(c) Ultimately become a major dud for Canon, which may force Canon to release a 5D Mark IV or other successor camera earlier than expected.
(d) Ultimately result in the resale value of the Mark III to plummet.
(e) Ultimately result in the lack of support from third-party vendors for the Mark III product as opposed to the D800 product.

Now, before everyone starts flaming me and this post, let me remind you that I'm not a Nikon fan, and I actually have no intention of purchasing a D800 regardless. My only options are to take the risk and pre-order a Mark III outright, or to wait some more and see what happens and if Canon either releases another camera, changes up the specs or reduces their price point.

Being a big fan of Ken Rockwell and his website of "many things", I do agree with his perspective that camera bodies in general become obsolete the day they are released, much akin to driving a new car off the lot. Therefore, it is critical that enough people buy this new camera such that the support is maintained and resale value and demand stays high.

I also agree with his recommendation of pre-ordering ASAP, as there tends to be huge waiting lists, and potential fluctuations in prices down the road (boy.. I feel almost like I'm playing the stock market now!). I should note that the Amazon pre-orders for D800 dried up in pretty much a day.. not sure on the Mark III but most of the brick-and-mortar stores in Toronto have pre-orders available as of today and on their websites.

All things considered, I really really really want this camera at the end of the day. But I don't want to risk being out $5000+ (camera, lenses, accessories included) on what could potentially be a dud with limited support and limited re-sale value (almost akin to purchasing a failed video game console - think back to 3DO, Dreamcast, 32X, Atari 5200, etc)

My question to all of you, is if you can please give me any more reasons or perspectives which I may have missed before I make my decision to pre-order this camera.

(Also, can anyone please confirm the autofocus thing with 5D Mark III video? Is autofocus even necessary with video, or is manual-focus always the way to go?

And one more thing while I'm at it.. what flash would all you recommend? I really like the new 600EX-RT Speedlight, but $630US seems insane for a flash)

Thanks everyone, your comments are greatly appreciated.

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Canon 5D Mark III: Some perspectives/concerns
« on: March 04, 2012, 12:40:58 PM »

Drama79

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Re: Canon 5D Mark III: Some perspectives/concerns
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2012, 01:31:34 PM »
it sounds like you're anxious about spending a lot of money. The bottom line is, if you think it's worth it, and you have it, spend it. If you don't (in either case) then don't. If you fret about re-sale, how "popular" it will be, etc etc, then leave it alone for a few months. No-one (aside from the hype on the forums) is making you buy it.

For what it's worth, I'm a 7D owner, and I leaped at the chance. But I'm going to use both video and photo on it, and while it's a stretch, I can afford it, so to me, it's worth it. No one but you can decide if you should part with the cash. The D3 will be around for a while, so you have time to make up your mind.

bchernicoff

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Re: Canon 5D Mark III: Some perspectives/concerns
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2012, 01:35:51 PM »
1. Even if the D800 has autofocus for video, will it work well? Reviews of the D7000 made it sound like it was useless. Sony with their translucent mirror technology seems to have the only useable DSLR video AF. I suspect power manual focus using the lens AF motor would be more useful.

2. The 5D Mk II used line skipping to capture 1920x 1080 video across the full-frame sensor. This led to all kinda of problems from a quality of video perspective. Tests done by shooting video of a resolution chart show it was only capturing around 720 lines of resolution, not 1080. Other problems were moire and rolling shutter artifacts while panning (though this has nothing to do with line skipping). The 5D Mk III rather than line skipping has the computing power to use the whole frame and resize down to 1080 on the fly as it compresses the video. This is supposed to resolved the first two issues. 8 channel read out from the sensor (faster capture of each frame) should fix the rolling shutter problem.
3. I was surprised at the price jump, however today on the Washington DC craigslist there is one D700 owner offering to trade for a 5D Mk II. I have listed my 5D Mk II and there are at least 4 others that have suddenly popped up since the 5D Mk III.
4. This camera is going to be a huge hit. Any Mk II owner who has used the 7D was jealous of the AF and overall speed of the camera. I owned a 7D first and then bought a used 5D Mk II. I was very frustrated with what I would call the usability of the 5D in situations where speed was necessary. Cycling through the AF points sucks as does switching from still sto video in a hurry when you have Live View set for stills mode. Also, more time is needed to ensure you achieve good AF lock on the 5D especially with some lenses. HOWEVER, the 5D Mk II destroys the 7D in image quality. This is what led me to sell the 7D as it just wasn't being used.

I think there have been a lot of people wanting a full-frame 7D and this is almost exactly what Canon has given us. It is not quite as fast at 6fps vs. 8fps, but the people that need that much speed can buy a 1D X.

The 5D Mk III at the same price would be an absolute no-brainer for every Canon owner. At $3500 and with the Mk II being continued, it's probably a tougher choice for a lot of people. If it will only be used in a studio, I see no reason for an upgrade. I occasionally shoot high-speed sports, but mostly walk around doing street photography. I want fast, but don't want the size/weight/cost of a 1DX. This seems like the perfect camera. I preordered immediately. It's a lot of money, but this seems like it could be the last camera I ever own.

I should add that I am looking forward to seeing the supposed improved image quality even though it's nearly the same resolution. The Mk II captures so much detail it's astonishing. The only reason I would ever want more is have more wiggle room when cropping post. I don't otherwise care for a D800 level of resolution. The sample images that have been release show a lot of noise when not at ISO 100. Reminds me of my 7D images. Also, that camera has a diffraction limit of f/8. That means images taken at f/8, f/11, etc. will have reduced sharpness compared to images taken at f/5.6 or wider.
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Tijn

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Re: Canon 5D Mark III: Some perspectives/concerns
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2012, 01:41:15 PM »
Your topic in a nutshell, as I see it:

"I've been waiting 3 years for the 5D mk3. Now that it's finally here, I want it real bad, and I'm almost certainly going to get it. Despite that, I'm scared that it'll go bad in some unforeseeable way, and that my buy will turn out to be a bad one. To get rid of this fear I want to foresee what could go wrong. Please help me foresee that it will not go wrong in such a way that I believe it, so that I can buy this camera that I want so badly."
Doing this, you miss the most important question: does this camera do what I need it to do? I imagine you need it to perform certain photography functions. "Winning vs Nikon" is hardly a feature that will eat into your pictures, if this camera has all the functionality you need.

To say something about your considerations:
Concerning "jumping ship", if these semi-pro cameras are all they're sticking with (leaving Nikon the high-MP camera for now), then Canon has the edge for low-light and sports photography and Nikon for high MP in that range. Jumping ship will have more to do with what you need from a pro DSLR than one being clearly superior than the other. Canon studio 'togs may prefer the Nikon and Nikon sports 'togs may prefer the Canon.

It's true that studio photographers with a 5D II are unlikely to upgrade to the III if improved AF and noise performance are its key features. At the same time, the upgrade to fullframe from a crop camera becomes much more interesting for crop photographers, particularly sports ones. The higher body price also comes with the possibility to use cheaper (slower) lenses in the same light, which can add to people being able to afford/getting this Canon body.

I think a "major dud" is unlikely. This camera is relatively close to the 1D X in noise performance, it has decent AF and is better built. It's right where it should be. It sports big improvements on significant grounds, but those grounds may not appeal to all types of photographers equally much.

If they release a mark IV "too early" like you said, it would be because the 5D mk3 is not a worthwhile upgrade for all 5D Mk2 owners - but that's a very specific group, it would primarily be studio photographers that don't value the upgrades in the mk3 as much. If that's the case, any new camera they release "prematurely" will be focused on that type of photographer. It would probably not have the same noise performance/AF/burst as the mk3 and it would be more tailored for studio photography. As such, it wouldn't bite into the 5D III sales.

Concerning the position you're in, here are some questions you should ask yourself:
- How badly would the resale value have to plummit to make you definately not go for this camera? How realistic is that much of a plummit in price?
- Are you prepared to wait out your uncertainty without any camera upgrade?
- How long would you wait for a price drop to be sure enough to buy it, and would you be in a better position then than you are now? (Consider the price staying solid for a year, and you buying it then. Is the chance of an imminent price drop bigger then, than it is now?)

Buying it in a pre-order, you're paying some premium anyways. Prices will go down, they always do. The question is whether this "lost" money is worth it for you. As long as you've been waiting on the upgrade, and considering the value of this upgrade (crop to almost-top-of-the-line full-frame), it might very well be worth it. The upgrade in noise performance from the 7D to the 5D mk3 is just plainly ridiculous.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 01:45:50 PM by Tijn »

bchernicoff

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Re: Canon 5D Mark III: Some perspectives/concerns
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2012, 01:46:29 PM »
For anyone reading this that hasn't used a 5D Mk II. I want to share an example that demonstrates its resolving power. Here is a 2000 pixel wide crop of a picture I took dorking around in my living room. Next is the resize of the original image. I am blown away that from that original shot, I can pull this kind of 2000 pixel crop out of it.
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dmj

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Re: Canon 5D Mark III: Some perspectives/concerns
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2012, 02:11:08 PM »
Hi Respinder,

This is my first post in here as well, I've been shooting for a good deal of years now and have seen a bunch of bodies come and go.

I currently use a 5D mkII as my primary body (I had a 7D as a backup, but sold it  shortly before 1Dx was announced because I wanted a FF backup body as well).

Back when 5D mkII was announced it took a lot of heat, a lot more than the 5D mkIII has taken. Everyone was talking about jumping ship, and people said that it was over for Canon. That pretty much didn't happen, I think everyone agrees about that. The 5D mk II took quite some heat because of it's resolution, crippled AF, bad weather seal and banding etc in the images. What has happened in the meantime is that loads of happy 5D mk II users are aound (myself included, I'm simply amazed at that body paired with my 35L), I don't think Nikon won users over from canon releasing the 5D mk II.
Now people have been happily shooting with their 5D mk II for a couple of years and Canon has released it's successor and the bells are ringing again. This time people are complaining about all the things added to the camera which they complained wasn't in it when the mk II was announced... that's a tough crowd to please.
People are funny, I'm no Canon fanboy, but I do see the advantages of the mk III. I shoot weddings and events as an extra job, the mk II has really given me some stellar pics (and the crippled AF.... really is spot on if you don't utilize a shitload of focus points and does a lot of tracking). I do believe the mk III to be an amazing tool, the resolution is enough for what it's designed for. And untill a month ago everyone was pretty okay with 21 MP being enough for landscapes and studio as well, more is always welcome, but so far all dslr shooting pro's and amateurs have been coping fine with 21 MP. The added MP for the 800D comes at a price, to me I prefer to settle for 22MP and have the upgraded ISO and DR performance of the mk III.

So to say it short, don't be afraid to buy a 5D mk III. It will sell and it will have just as much focus from Canon as the mk II did.

Regarding the video, I've only used the mk II video for experimenting. I will say that as a video amateur, AF during video recording would be nice for some scenes, however if you want to seriously make videos you will probably shoot mostly with manual focus. What I miss the AF for is when trying to catch the kids running around etc. when shooting spontaneously, but in that situation you're phone is probably as good since it's not about quality but just catching a funny situation.

I'd say go for the 5D mk III, i don't think you'll regret it. I'll grab one just as soon as the big wave has settled, I don't need to be first and my mk II still produces excellent photos, but i will get one (over the 1Dx, which i fell in love with, but to me the mk III is the better cam).

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: Canon 5D Mark III: Some perspectives/concerns
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2012, 03:41:28 PM »

I should add that I am looking forward to seeing the supposed improved image quality even though it's nearly the same resolution.

This is where I have some fears as to whether they have really done anything much in terms of image quality at all for us. Word has it that they were offered technology to get 2 stops better dynamic range half a decade ago but they just wanted to milk their current tech instead. Sony/Nikon spent money making new fabs and new sensor-types such as the Exmor and were able to radically improve dynamic range for the ISO100-200 shooter.

There is no mention at all from Canon that they have improved ISO100-200 dynamic range or the ugly shadow banding.

For all the talk about it's so awesome that they didn't raise the MP and just focused on image quality, there is a solid chance that the 5D3 sensor might have as much as 2 stops WORSE dynamic range at ISO100 and even for high ISO, if the 1DX really is one stop better, it might barely do any better than the D800 for high ISO SNR either. So you might 50% less MP and yet WORSE dynamic range and maybe only modestly, barely to a degree that matters at all, better SNR.

I hope that is not the case though.

I hope they have matched or come close to Sony Exmor ISO 100 dynamic range, but nothing at all point to this.

I hope they went wild with High ISO SNR improvements and the stuff about the 1DX being much better are just words to make those who spent $6800 feel better and that it might somehow be able to give a 2/3 to 1 stop better mid and high ISO performance than the D800. That certainly is possible, I hope so, it might not be though.

I hope it is not just 95% marketing talk based upon the new in camera processing smearing away more details (and noise).

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Re: Canon 5D Mark III: Some perspectives/concerns
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2012, 03:41:28 PM »

Tijn

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Re: Canon 5D Mark III: Some perspectives/concerns
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2012, 04:03:36 PM »
People are funny, I'm no Canon fanboy, but I do see the advantages of the mk III.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQjqxayxwt4#t=3m28s
*giggles inside*

Edit: note that it was not supposed to embed, as it then starts from the beginning rather than the point I wanted to start it from (and only taking 8 seconds). Start watching from 3min 28seconds to understand why I posted.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 04:10:18 PM by Tijn »

yunusoglu

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Re: Canon 5D Mark III: Some perspectives/concerns
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2012, 04:25:11 PM »
1. I agree on the role-reversal. It seems like D800 is an upgrade to 5D2 and 5D3 is an upgrade to D700...
And yes, the D800 does have AF in video and the 5D3 does not. This is probably because Canon is saving the AF in video capability for the 4k camera which was announced briefly along with the 1DX. This can be questioned in a marketing point of view but I personally doubt that anyone will buy the 5D3 solely for video purposes...

2. As I've stated above, the newly introduced models look like upgrades to not their predecessors but to competitor's previous models but I do not agree that 5D3 is no better than the D800. 5D3 is a pretty capable camera having some obvious strengths over the D800, such as high-ISO performance and speed. 5D2 is used by photographers in a wide spectrum from landscape to studio, wedding to video and etc... Some 5D2 owners (basically studio & landscape folk) will surely not upgrade to 5D3 (including me, since I have no need/desire for high ISO performance and speed as a studio photographer creating his own lighting conditions and considering a lot of different things between to shots). On the other hand, some others who work in the field with various & unpredictable lighting conditions, shooting medicore sports, and etc. have already pre-ordered theirs.

3. Those who are ready to "jump ship" on every new release, will jump ship. It's no big deal for any brand I believe. On the other hand, who have real reasons to jump ship can be found on either side. Some might switch to Canon for the high-ISO performance and speed and some others might be lured by the high resolution of the D800. I, personally will wait for another Canon release to better suite my needs while I stick to my 5D2s which I'm perfectly happy with and have invested too much in Canon gear.

4. When it comes to your reasons in hesitating; I'm sorry to say that I find none of them solid.
(a) How are the sales numbers your concern?
(b) Why does your camera need a "title"?
(c) I highly doubt it.
(d) I don't think it's a good idea to start thinking of selling the gear even before buying it.
(e) Support such as?

I'm not a big fan of Ken Rockwell, actually I never agree with him but this time I'll make an exception; yes pretty much everything is outdated as soon as released. But I have no doubt that 5D3 will sell big time.

At the end of the day; if you don't already own a 5D3 and can afford the 5D3; I see no reason not to have it.

Another option is; you can buy a new or used 5D2 without making a big investment, and see what happens next...

bchernicoff

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Re: Canon 5D Mark III: Some perspectives/concerns
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2012, 04:48:11 PM »
As an update from my earlier post, I've had two responses to the ad for my 5D Mk II in which they say they are switching from Nikon and ask if I can bring a lens so they can try it out.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 05:12:30 PM by bchernicoff »
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Astro

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Re: Canon 5D Mark III: Some perspectives/concerns
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2012, 04:49:30 PM »
Being a big fan of Ken Rockwell and his website of "many things

where is the vomit smiley...?

bchernicoff

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Re: Canon 5D Mark III: Some perspectives/concerns
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2012, 04:52:33 PM »
Being a big fan of Ken Rockwell and his website of "many things

where is the vomit smiley...?

I was thinking the same thing. I've seen too many things on his site that were flat out incorrect for me to trust anything he says.
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nesarajah

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Re: Canon 5D Mark III: Some perspectives/concerns
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2012, 04:55:48 PM »
Being a big fan of Ken Rockwell and his website of "many things

where is the vomit smiley...?

hahahaha . LOLZ.

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Re: Canon 5D Mark III: Some perspectives/concerns
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2012, 04:55:48 PM »

XanuFoto

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Re: Canon 5D Mark III: Some perspectives/concerns
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2012, 05:07:14 PM »
If all you shot was sports, news or action, the Canon 1DX is a much faster, tougher professional camera with faster FPS, and if all you did was shoot in a studio all day then Canon 5D MKII is all you need, if you shot events and sports and are on a budget get the 7D. But if you  want to take one camera to do the work of all these at the same time, the Canon 5D Mark III is unbeaten.

P.S. Adapted and improved from Ken Rockwells un co-ordinated rant.  :)

Canon-F1

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Re: Canon 5D Mark III: Some perspectives/concerns
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2012, 05:17:05 PM »

Being a big fan of Ken Rockwell and his website of "many things", I do agree with his perspective that camera bodies in general become obsolete the day they are released, much akin to driving a new car off the lot. Therefore, it is critical that enough people buy this new camera such that the support is maintained and resale value and demand stays high.

I also agree with his recommendation of pre-ordering ASAP, as there tends to be huge waiting lists, and potential fluctuations in prices down the road (boy.. I feel almost like I'm playing the stock market now!). I should note that the Amazon pre-orders for D800 dried up in pretty much a day.. not sure on the Mark III but most of the brick-and-mortar stores in Toronto have pre-orders available as of today and on their websites


there is one reason ken "beggar" rockwell is saying that... so that he makes money from the noobs who visit his website and go to amazon etc. from his links.

i would never preorder a 3000$ camera without reading some proper reviews about it or look at it first hand in a store.

i don´t need to be the first to have it.. i need to make a informed decision.

and i really would not mention ken rockwell when people shall take you serious!!
i don´t know a photographer with a worse reputation on the net.....
« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 05:20:23 PM by Canon-F1 »

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Re: Canon 5D Mark III: Some perspectives/concerns
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2012, 05:17:05 PM »