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Author Topic: 5D3 at one week: a few surprises  (Read 6857 times)

t.linn

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5D3 at one week: a few surprises
« on: April 03, 2012, 04:19:16 PM »
I've had my 5D3 for a week now.  Given the depth and breadth of the discussion surrounding this DSLR there were no major surprises.  I expected to be impressed—and I have been.  There have also been a few little things here and there that I didn't expect.  I thought I would mention a few of them.

1.  I don't get 6fps with my Sandisk Extreme III 30MB/s cards.  They aren't fast enough.  The Sandisk 60MB/s are.

2.  The AF system is great—no, make that GREAT!  However, not all lenses of a particular maximum aperture work the same.  In other words, some f/4 lenses will be able to use more of the focus points than others.  Put another way, some focus points may be "cross-type"  with some f/4 lenses but not with others.  What lenses work with particular focusing points is spelled out in the manual but there's no explanation as to why.  I'd love to know.  It doesn't seem related to the release date of the lens.

3.  The metering system seems noticeably improved.  With each new generation, Canon touts some improvement to their metering system.  Honestly, I've never noticed much difference from the EOS 3 to the 10D, 5D, and 5D2.  That's not the case this time.

4.  Auto exposure bracketing can be up to 16 stops apart.  (To be clear, that's a 16 stop difference between the darkest exposure and the brightest one.  The actual DR captured can be greater than 16 stops.)  I'm hard pressed to imagine a scene that couldn't be fully captured with this range of adjustment.  And, unlike Nikon (as it has been explained to me at least), the interval between brackets remains fully adjustable in 1/3 stop increments.

5.  LOVE the +/- five stop exposure compensation.  I would love it more if one could actually see what the EC setting was when it exceeds 3 stops in either direction.  You can tell if you look at the quick control display on the rear LCD; but not on the top LCD panel or, more importantly, through the viewfinder.  Disappointing.

6.  Many first impressions described the 5D3 as feeling more "professional" or more "robust" and "rugged" than the 5D2.  I always wondered what exactly this meant.  The word I would use is "heavier".  The 5D3 is only 10% heavier than the 5D2 (IIRC), but I was struck by how heavy it felt.  My arm is just used to picking up the 5D2, I guess.  I'll get used to it.

7.  Like everyone else, I read about the "silent" shooting mode.  Then I listened to audio clips of the regular mode versus silent mode and I thought to myself, "It's definitely quieter but not orders-of-magnitude quieter."  Then I started reading all these glowing posts about the silent mode and how amazing it was.  I decided that the audio comparisons I heard must not have done it justice.  Turns out that the audio clips I heard were representative.  There's a difference for sure but it's not like you're going to go unnoticed if you're shooting during a worship service.  You'll just be less noticed.

8.  Love the "grip" on the CF door.  This is emblematic of all the little things that add up to making the 5D3 a nice upgrade.

I've been (and remain) critical of Canon for their apparent lack of effort in improving the base image quality coming off the sensor—particularly in regard to dynamic range.  However, I think it would be a mistake to conclude that 5D3 doesn't improve on image quality when compared to the 5D2.  Better focused images improve image quality and better exposed images improve image quality.  To the extent that I rely on AF for focus and AE for exposure, the quality of my images has definitely improved regardless of what has or hasn't happened with the sensor.  I'm really going to enjoy using this camera body for the next three or four years.

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5D3 at one week: a few surprises
« on: April 03, 2012, 04:19:16 PM »

PhilDrinkwater

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Re: 5D3 at one week: a few surprises
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2012, 07:21:04 PM »
Good to hear you're fundamentally happy with it :)

I don't think anyone would say it's a positive thing that they've not increased DR. It is a real shame. I still wonder why. It will be interesting to see if the 1dx provides anything new or interesting in that regard. It's just possible - being as this is Canon - that they left something new for the 1 series. We'll know sooner. Or later.

I'm massively pleased with the focussing reports though! I'm looking forward to seeing some pro reviews of it, but the key point for me (when I get my 1dx) is will it focus accurately and reliably in very low light and the answer seems to be a very clear "yes" :)

AnselA

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Re: 5D3 at one week: a few surprises
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2012, 09:19:49 PM »
I've had my 5D3 for a week now.  Given the depth and breadth of the discussion surrounding this DSLR there were no major surprises.  I expected to be impressed—and I have been.  There have also been a few little things here and there that I didn't expect.  I thought I would mention a few of them.

1.  I don't get 6fps with my Sandisk Extreme III 30MB/s cards.  They aren't fast enough.  The Sandisk 60MB/s are.

2.  The AF system is great—no, make that GREAT!  However, not all lenses of a particular maximum aperture work the same.  In other words, some f/4 lenses will be able to use more of the focus points than others.  Put another way, some focus points may be "cross-type"  with some f/4 lenses but not with others.  What lenses work with particular focusing points is spelled out in the manual but there's no explanation as to why.  I'd love to know.  It doesn't seem related to the release date of the lens.

3.  The metering system seems noticeably improved.  With each new generation, Canon touts some improvement to their metering system.  Honestly, I've never noticed much difference from the EOS 3 to the 10D, 5D, and 5D2.  That's not the case this time.

4.  Auto exposure bracketing can be up to 16 stops apart.  (To be clear, that's a 16 stop difference between the darkest exposure and the brightest one.  The actual DR captured can be greater than 16 stops.)  I'm hard pressed to imagine a scene that couldn't be fully captured with this range of adjustment.  And, unlike Nikon (as it has been explained to me at least), the interval between brackets remains fully adjustable in 1/3 stop increments.

5.  LOVE the +/- five stop exposure compensation.  I would love it more if one could actually see what the EC setting was when it exceeds 3 stops in either direction.  You can tell if you look at the quick control display on the rear LCD; but not on the top LCD panel or, more importantly, through the viewfinder.  Disappointing.

6.  Many first impressions described the 5D3 as feeling more "professional" or more "robust" and "rugged" than the 5D2.  I always wondered what exactly this meant.  The word I would use is "heavier".  The 5D3 is only 10% heavier than the 5D2 (IIRC), but I was struck by how heavy it felt.  My arm is just used to picking up the 5D2, I guess.  I'll get used to it.

7.  Like everyone else, I read about the "silent" shooting mode.  Then I listened to audio clips of the regular mode versus silent mode and I thought to myself, "It's definitely quieter but not orders-of-magnitude quieter."  Then I started reading all these glowing posts about the silent mode and how amazing it was.  I decided that the audio comparisons I heard must not have done it justice.  Turns out that the audio clips I heard were representative.  There's a difference for sure but it's not like you're going to go unnoticed if you're shooting during a worship service.  You'll just be less noticed.

8.  Love the "grip" on the CF door.  This is emblematic of all the little things that add up to making the 5D3 a nice upgrade.

I've been (and remain) critical of Canon for their apparent lack of effort in improving the base image quality coming off the sensor—particularly in regard to dynamic range.  However, I think it would be a mistake to conclude that 5D3 doesn't improve on image quality when compared to the 5D2.  Better focused images improve image quality and better exposed images improve image quality.  To the extent that I rely on AF for focus and AE for exposure, the quality of my images has definitely improved regardless of what has or hasn't happened with the sensor.  I'm really going to enjoy using this camera body for the next three or four years.

thorough and thoughtful - thanks

mrmarks

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Re: 5D3 at one week: a few surprises
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2012, 09:57:56 PM »
Thanks for the useful comments!

Tim Larsen

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Re: 5D3 at one week: a few surprises
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2012, 09:58:16 PM »
Well said and I agree completely!

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Re: 5D3 at one week: a few surprises
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2012, 09:59:03 PM »

Thanks for taking the time to write and post this. Very useful.

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Re: 5D3 at one week: a few surprises
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2012, 10:04:06 PM »
Canon DLC has now posted an auto focus guide for 1DX / 5DM3: http://learn.usa.canon.com/resources/articles/2012/1dx_guidebook.shtml?categoryId=12
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Re: 5D3 at one week: a few surprises
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2012, 10:04:06 PM »

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Re: 5D3 at one week: a few surprises
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2012, 10:34:47 PM »
Good review.  Very practical points.  And refreshing - I was starting to think the laws of the internet had somehow made the only possible conclusion to 5dmkIII reviews "inferior to nikon in every way, i'm selling all my gear and jumping ship'

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Re: 5D3 at one week: a few surprises
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2012, 11:08:35 PM »
The sensor quality seems light years ahead of the 5D MK II.  I did a dark frame and pulled the exposure up 4 or 5 stops.  The image was smooth and had no red or hot pixels.  With a sensor like that 5 stops below the level of your exposure, increasing the exposure by a couple of stops will not expose banding and other sensor related issues.  I've had almost every Canon DSLR from the D30 to the 1D MK III, and I've never seen a sensor you could do this with.

t.linn

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Re: 5D3 at one week: a few surprises
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2012, 11:10:32 PM »
Canon DLC has now posted an auto focus guide for 1DX / 5DM3: http://learn.usa.canon.com/resources/articles/2012/1dx_guidebook.shtml?categoryId=12

That looks like a helpful link, bchernicoff.  I have to laugh at an AF system that takes a 47 page brochure to explain—not that I'm complaining.  As far as I'm concerned, the 5D Mark II's AF system could be explained with the sentence, "Use the center focus point and pretend the others aren't even there."  This is a nice change for the better.

prestonpalmer

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Re: 5D3 at one week: a few surprises
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2012, 11:22:10 PM »
Nice post! I agree with you on every point. I am curious to see how the 5d3 performs over my next 6months of wedding photography. Only then will I have a real truthful representation of how it stands up to the 5D2

jabbott

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Re: 5D3 at one week: a few surprises
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2012, 12:11:36 AM »
Thanks for the thorough write-up t.linn!  I too have wondered how silent the silent shooting mode is.

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Re: 5D3 at one week: a few surprises
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2012, 12:28:47 AM »
2.  The AF system is great—no, make that GREAT!  However, not all lenses of a particular maximum aperture work the same.  In other words, some f/4 lenses will be able to use more of the focus points than others.  Put another way, some focus points may be "cross-type"  with some f/4 lenses but not with others.  What lenses work with particular focusing points is spelled out in the manual but there's no explanation as to why.  I'd love to know.  It doesn't seem related to the release date of the lens.

3.  The metering system seems noticeably improved.  With each new generation, Canon touts some improvement to their metering system.  Honestly, I've never noticed much difference from the EOS 3 to the 10D, 5D, and 5D2.  That's not the case this time.

4.  Auto exposure bracketing can be up to 16 stops apart.  (To be clear, that's a 16 stop difference between the darkest exposure and the brightest one.  The actual DR captured can be greater than 16 stops.)  I'm hard pressed to imagine a scene that couldn't be fully captured with this range of adjustment.  And, unlike Nikon (as it has been explained to me at least), the interval between brackets remains fully adjustable in 1/3 stop increments.

5.  LOVE the +/- five stop exposure compensation.  I would love it more if one could actually see what the EC setting was when it exceeds 3 stops in either direction.  You can tell if you look at the quick control display on the rear LCD; but not on the top LCD panel or, more importantly, through the viewfinder.  Disappointing.

2: It's got something to do with the "real" aperture of the lens, not just the normalised one that the camera tells us. eg, at 100mm f/4.0, the aperture should be 25mm. But is it? 100/3.5=28.5mm, 100/4.5=22.2mm. Taking halfway in between all we can say is that the aperture is somewhere between 23.6mm and 26.8mm (at which point the aperture would bump to the next number up or down). Roughly. So some lenses that have "f/4.0" printed on the barrel that are closer to 26mm might work, but those that also have "f/4.0" but are in reality closer to 24mm might not work.
In short, just live with it, but next time you buy a lens you might want to take into account whether it will give you more focus points.

3: I used a friend's 5D2 for the first time (about 3 days before the 5D3 was officially announced), and the metering was all over the place. So was the white balance (and my bad for only remembering to put it in RAW after i'd finished shooting). My 7D metered so much better, and they were both just set to full-view evaluative. If the 5D3 improves on the 7D (or is even only equal), then it's a stepup from 5D2 imho.

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Re: 5D3 at one week: a few surprises
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2012, 12:28:47 AM »

Autocall

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Re: 5D3 at one week: a few surprises
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2012, 04:53:20 AM »
7.  Like everyone else, I read about the "silent" shooting mode.  Then I listened to audio clips of the regular mode versus silent mode and I thought to myself, "It's definitely quieter but not orders-of-magnitude quieter."  Then I started reading all these glowing posts about the silent mode and how amazing it was.  I decided that the audio comparisons I heard must not have done it justice.  Turns out that the audio clips I heard were representative.  There's a difference for sure but it's not like you're going to go unnoticed if you're shooting during a worship service.  You'll just be less noticed.

On the first day, I was deceived by the little difference in the noise between the two modes. Then I felt litterally on my knees when I discover the real silent mode
The mode1, mode 2 silent mode of the main meny may be misleading: the only way to switch to the real silent mode is through the AF drive button or the Q button +

be sure to check on the lcd display,

that the shooting mode is followed by an 'S'


I find the resulting sound not only silent, but also incredibly sexier due to the small increase in its duration
Made me forget the increase in price. :)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 04:57:32 AM by Autocall »

infared

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Re: 5D3 at one week: a few surprises
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2012, 07:38:02 AM »
t.linn  NICE REPORT!...   I have a question???? When using  AEB...can you have exposures that are longer than 30sec. ...or do you have to put the camera on Bulb for any shutter speeds longer than 30 sec?, (like the 5D Mark II).
 
I do a LOT of HDR shooting and I have a Promote Unit (which is like hauling around a colostomy bag with my camera with 2 tubes, manual set-up. etc.. ....NOT a fluid way to work to say the least....but the only way I can shoot over 3 AEB shots without touching the camera... even with the Promote Unit I HAVE to touch the camera to get any exposures over 30secs.).  The expanded AEB feature alone on the MkIII may get me to sell my II and purchase the upgrade...but being able to go longer than 30sec. in a bracket will be icing on the cake.
I don't understand why this is such a "slow-to-come-about" feature.  There is a computer under the hood here...it should be pretty straight-forward to satisfy what I would call a basic photographic need. Timed long shutter releases.  Right?
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 09:42:49 AM by infared »
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Re: 5D3 at one week: a few surprises
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2012, 07:38:02 AM »