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.