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Author Topic: 5D Mark III doesn't live up to expectations in real world shooting...  (Read 33929 times)

DarkKnightNine

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Just my 2 cents...
I honestly believe the Canon 5D Mark III was rushed out the door in attempt to steal some thunder from Nikon's mighty 36MP D800. Yes it may have been already in the production pipeline but I believe it wasn't quite ready for public release.

I use the fact that 1DX being delayed by several months as a prime example. The 1DX was announced way before the 5D Mark III and yet Canon's engineers have determined it isn't quite ready yet. There are obviously problems that still plague their flagship release. The same can be assumed of the 5D Mark III which was rushed out the door just after being announced, I assume in attempt to stop a lot of photographers from jumping ship to Nikon.

After using the 5D Mark III in different real world shooting scenarios (tests and charts can be misleading), I can say that this camera does NOT perform up to expectations.

Yes it has great resolution and should provide an excellent advantage to landscape and still life photographers, but it's advertised performance over previous models is questionable. After shooting
Steph Pockets (who by the way gave an excellent performance last night), I was very disappointed with the results. The camera was not able to lock focus most of the time. Granted it was a very dark night club with next to nil for lighting, but I shot many times before in similar conditions with my trusty 1D Mark IV and came back with a much higher percentage of usable shots.

The 5D Mark III seems to work well in a studio environment where the subject and lighting can be controlled (even then, I would question the focusing system as it seems to be a little soft). I would not recommend this camera in it's present state for event photography and I'm seriously considering returning mine. I think Canon needs to work on perfecting the AF with firmware updates.

I will say that the ISO performance was very good and the noise levels were unexpectedly low. My biggest gripe with this camera is the soft focusing AF. I want and expect my images to be tack sharp for a camera at this price point and marketed to professionals.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2012, 09:06:17 AM by DarkKnightNine »
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KevinB

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Re: 5D Mark III doesn't live up to expectations in real world shooting...
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2012, 09:16:39 AM »
One thing I notice you did not mention is which lens you were using, I did a concert last night in a very dark environment and found it to preform very well, very impressive, tack sharp is not just the sensor !!
I shot with what I think is a sub par Tamron 28-70 2.8 (which is being replaced today).

5d3 12800 iso, 125, 2.8


Canon 5d mark III by Kev-S-B, on Flickr

pdirestajr

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Re: 5D Mark III doesn't live up to expectations in real world shooting...
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2012, 09:22:21 AM »
With all respect, I don't think cameras or focusing systems, or even lenses make "soft" pictures- the photographer does. Every camera has limitations that need to be learned & mastered. It's just a tool at the end of the day.
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dswatson83

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Re: 5D Mark III doesn't live up to expectations in real world shooting...
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2012, 09:24:39 AM »
The digic V has been around for almost a year I think and the 61 point auto focus system used in the M3 was introduced 6 months ago on the 1Dx. I doubt this has been a rushed camera. The build quality is tremendous and everything has been improved from the M2. There is not 1 feature that has not been improved upon on the M3. Unlike the D800 which while offering awesome resolution and DR is much slower and did not heavily improve high ISO performance (though the performance is stunning for a 36MP camera). If you want to compare something with the mark IV, compare the 1DX which has a separate processor JUST to run the AF system. I'm sure the AF on that camera will be unquestionably instant. The 5D mark 3 is using the 1 Digic 5 to power 22mp @6fps plus the AF & metering. That is A LOT and still it manages to perform well with a monstrous AF system, tons of pixels, and lightning quick 6fps shooting. For anyone coming from the lame 9pt Mark II focus system with 1 cross type sensor, the Mark III is out of this world. The Mark II was praised for its image quality more than any other comparable camera and I think that is why Canon focused on other areas more than resolution and dynamic range. But seriously, what would Canon have changed if they had an extra 6 months? The Digiv V was already developed and the AF is already top of the line. Most people (especially Nikon shooters) criticized the 5D mII for its high MP count.

DarkKnightNine

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Re: 5D Mark III doesn't live up to expectations in real world shooting...
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2012, 09:25:23 AM »
In the studio, it's not spot on perfect sharpness but good enough that with some tweaking in Post the images will work. I took this self portrait by setting a deep DOF with f/13. It was able to maintain reasonable sharpness at that f-stop, but if I need to be at f/4.0 or shallower, I don't trust the Mark III to get the focus sharp enough.
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DarkKnightNine

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Re: 5D Mark III doesn't live up to expectations in real world shooting...
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2012, 09:35:13 AM »
The digic V has been around for almost a year I think and the 61 point auto focus system used in the M3 was introduced 6 months ago on the 1Dx. I doubt this has been a rushed camera. The build quality is tremendous and everything has been improved from the M2. There is not 1 feature that has not been improved upon on the M3. Unlike the D800 which while offering awesome resolution and DR is much slower and did not heavily improve high ISO performance (though the performance is stunning for a 36MP camera). If you want to compare something with the mark IV, compare the 1DX which has a separate processor JUST to run the AF system. I'm sure the AF on that camera will be unquestionably instant. The 5D mark 3 is using the 1 Digic 5 to power 22mp @6fps plus the AF & metering. That is A LOT and still it manages to perform well with a monstrous AF system, tons of pixels, and lightning quick 6fps shooting. For anyone coming from the lame 9pt Mark II focus system with 1 cross type sensor, the Mark III is out of this world. The Mark II was praised for its image quality more than any other comparable camera and I think that is why Canon focused on other areas more than resolution and dynamic range. But seriously, what would Canon have changed if they had an extra 6 months? The Digiv V was already developed and the AF is already top of the line. Most people (especially Nikon shooters) criticized the 5D mII for its high MP count.

Yeah but that's just it, I'm NOT coming from a "lame" (your words not mine) Mark II, I'm coming from a very fast and very capable 1D Mark IV. I thought I was trading up, now I'm not so sure. As far as it being rushed, you are absolutely WRONG on that! I spoke directly with Canon execs and played with it (here in Japan) days before it's official release. Even they told me that the engineers were still tinkering around with the firmware and not sure if it could be released on time. The problems I speak of could be something in the firmware that doesn't allow the camera to fully maximize it AF potential.
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Re: 5D Mark III doesn't live up to expectations in real world shooting...
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2012, 09:39:43 AM »
maybe this is an issue of configuring the micro-focus for the lenses in question.

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Re: 5D Mark III doesn't live up to expectations in real world shooting...
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2012, 09:39:43 AM »

DarkKnightNine

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Re: 5D Mark III doesn't live up to expectations in real world shooting...
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2012, 09:43:12 AM »
maybe this is an issue of configuring the micro-focus for the lenses in question.

Yes I thought of that, and will try it before my next concert shoot tomorrow night.
I'm using the 16-35mm f/2.8L II and the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM for shooting concerts and events.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2012, 09:44:55 AM by DarkKnightNine »
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neuroanatomist

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Re: 5D Mark III doesn't live up to expectations in real world shooting...
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2012, 09:44:07 AM »
...if I need to be at f/4.0 or shallower, I don't trust the Mark III to get the focus sharp enough.

Out of curiouslty, what procedure/method did you use to do an autofocus microadjustment?

EDIT:
Yes I though of that, and will try it before my next concert shoot tomorrow night.

Ahhh, so you've concluded that the AF is not that good without doing an AFMA.  That's rather like concluding the camera's low-light performance sucks after shooting a few shots outdoors at high noon on a sunny day. 
« Last Edit: April 27, 2012, 09:46:23 AM by neuroanatomist »
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DarkKnightNine

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Re: 5D Mark III doesn't live up to expectations in real world shooting...
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2012, 10:05:28 AM »
...if I need to be at f/4.0 or shallower, I don't trust the Mark III to get the focus sharp enough.

Out of curiouslty, what procedure/method did you use to do an autofocus microadjustment?

EDIT:
Yes I though of that, and will try it before my next concert shoot tomorrow night.

Ahhh, so you've concluded that the AF is not that good without doing an AFMA.  That's rather like concluding the camera's low-light performance sucks after shooting a few shots outdoors at high noon on a sunny day.

Adjusting the camera to your particular lens and doing autofocus microadjustments are two different things. No I haven't adjusted for what may or may not be a lens to camera problem but I did set the up the autofocus system to "Case 5: For Erratic Subjects Moving Quickly in Any Direction" in the new AF Menu which I though was appropriate for a hip-hop artist (who happens to be very animated in her performance) moving around on stage.

Just out of curiosity, do you actually own a Mark III because your analogy is nonsense. Lens microadjustments only need to be performed in rare cases. Usually the camera and lens fit within a tolerance of each other and those microadjustments aren't necessary. The fact that there does seem to be a case for those adjustments to be made suggests that there may be something wrong with the Mark III that it didn't fit within those tolerances. And by the way, I'm not the first person to report the soft focusing issues the the Mark III. Instead of being a Canon cheerleader and attacking people who discover a potential problem, perhaps you should consider the reality that large corporations sometimes do cut corners in the name of profit.
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altenae

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Re: 5D Mark III doesn't live up to expectations in real world shooting...
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2012, 10:07:25 AM »
If there is one thing this camera is good at it's his AMAZING AUTOFOCUS.

Your post is the first post about AF is not good in real life.
And yes I have the 5D mark III and all pictures are tack sharp.

Just my 2 cents !!
« Last Edit: April 27, 2012, 10:11:39 AM by altenae »

DarkKnightNine

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Re: 5D Mark III doesn't live up to expectations in real world shooting...
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2012, 10:13:47 AM »
One thing I notice you did not mention is which lens you were using, I did a concert last night in a very dark environment and found it to preform very well, very impressive, tack sharp is not just the sensor !!
I shot with what I think is a sub par Tamron 28-70 2.8 (which is being replaced today).

5d3 12800 iso, 125, 2.8


Canon 5d mark III by Kev-S-B, on Flickr

Honestly meaning absolutely no offense at all Kev, but this picture looks even more out of focus than mine. For a camera that cost me more that ¥300,000 I guess I expect more.
Canon 1DX, Canon 5D Mark III, EF 85mm F1.2L II USM, EF 100mm F2.8L IS USM Macro, EF 16-35mm F2.8L II USM, EF 24-70mm F2.8L II USM, EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM, 600EX-RT Speedlites, Profoto Studio Strobes, and a whole lot of boat load of light modifiers.

DavidRiesenberg

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Re: 5D Mark III doesn't live up to expectations in real world shooting...
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2012, 10:15:54 AM »
Just out of curiosity, do you actually own a Mark III because your analogy is nonsense. Lens microadjustments only need to be performed in rare cases. Usually the camera and lens fit within a tolerance of each other and those microadjustments aren't necessary. The fact that there does seem to be a case for those adjustments to be made suggests that there may be something wrong with the Mark III that it didn't fit within those tolerances. And by the way, I'm not the first person to report the soft focusing issues the the Mark III. Instead of being a Canon cheerleader and attacking people who discover a potential problem, perhaps you should consider the reality that large corporations sometimes do cut corners in the name of profit.

On both my 7D and 5D3 as well as on rented 5D2 in the past three years I had to do AMFA on almost every lens. Some needed only ±2 while others as much as 15. So criticizing the sharpness without performing it is like accepting a speeding ticket from an uncalibrated speed gun. You wouldn't do that, right?

Another thing, in regards to low light shooting, is that the 5D3 is rated to operate at 1-20EV while the 1D4 and 1DX are rated to 0-20EV. That could also have had a negative impact on your findings at the club. Nothing wrong with the camera.

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Re: 5D Mark III doesn't live up to expectations in real world shooting...
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2012, 10:15:54 AM »

DarkKnightNine

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Re: 5D Mark III doesn't live up to expectations in real world shooting...
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2012, 10:23:58 AM »
With all respect, I don't think cameras or focusing systems, or even lenses make "soft" pictures- the photographer does. Every camera has limitations that need to be learned & mastered. It's just a tool at the end of the day.

Yes indeed, that's why I've determined that the 5D Mark III belongs in a controlled environment like a studio whereas I'm waiting for the two 1DXes I ordered on announcement day for my event and concert shooting. That seems to be the 5D Mark III's limitations.

I only tried out the 5D Mark III last night because...
1. I thought it might be able to handle it given it has basically the same AF as the 1DX and...
2. My 1DXes have been delayed so I have to shoot with what I have.
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altenae

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Re: 5D Mark III doesn't live up to expectations in real world shooting...
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2012, 10:24:28 AM »
Just out of curiosity, do you actually own a Mark III because your analogy is nonsense. Lens microadjustments only need to be performed in rare cases. Usually the camera and lens fit within a tolerance of each other and those microadjustments aren't necessary. The fact that there does seem to be a case for those adjustments to be made suggests that there may be something wrong with the Mark III that it didn't fit within those tolerances. And by the way, I'm not the first person to report the soft focusing issues the the Mark III. Instead of being a Canon cheerleader and attacking people who discover a potential problem, perhaps you should consider the reality that large corporations sometimes do cut corners in the name of profit.

On both my 7D and 5D3 as well as on rented 5D2 in the past three years I had to do AMFA on almost every lens. Some needed only ±2 while others as much as 15. So criticizing the sharpness without performing it is like accepting a speeding ticket from an uncalibrated speed gun. You wouldn't do that, right?

Another thing, in regards to low light shooting, is that the 5D3 is rated to operate at 1-20EV while the 1D4 and 1DX are rated to 0-20EV. That could also have had a negative impact on your findings at the club. Nothing wrong with the camera.

Wrong !
The 61-point AF sensor of the 5D mark iii has twice the low light sensitivity as the 1D Mark IV’s 45-point AF sensor (EV -2 vs. EV -1).

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Re: 5D Mark III doesn't live up to expectations in real world shooting...
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2012, 10:24:28 AM »