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Author Topic: 5DMKIII - User mistake results in photo brilliance!  (Read 4542 times)

MMAshooter

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5DMKIII - User mistake results in photo brilliance!
« on: April 29, 2012, 08:32:39 AM »
I am a Pro MMMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fight photographer and Just used my new 5DMKIII to shoot a fight event. I was a bit worried that all would be perfect given the number of negative 5DMKIII posts here and on other boards and me mastering the new AF system - but then concluded that most negative forum posts were more attributed to user issues versus anything else.
MMA photography prohibits flash during fights, hence unlike the UFC with perfect lighting for PPV/TV coverage, local fight venues have a few rented light banks on a pole - so lighting is always a huge low light challenge requiring max ISO limits / fastest possible shutter speeds for action / and wide apertures that still protect enough DOF for 2 fighters.
My mistake - I left my 5DMKIII ISO selectable range set at 100-12,000 by accident from some earlier night tests. Fight night I rub my regular pre-fight tests and zero in at my desired settings (this night I choose to shoot TV as lighting is very uneven) - 320/4.0/3200 - and love the 5DMKIII's setting's lock switch. Start shooting and notice on my LDC that my images are looking brilliant, yet all other photogs are complaining that the low lighting is  killing them - I just want to assume that the 5DMKIII is really performing well as I am now too busy to think of anything else - never noticing that my ISO was auto changing on each image shot. A couple of times I checked my INFO menu and always saw my locked down 3,200 setting. My only camera attention is on mastering the best settings for the AF as Canon did not provide a pre-set for MMA :-)   
I get home and start to review my nights work and can not believe what I am seeing - my ISO settings are all over the board with a vast majority between 8,000 and 12,000 ???? I then realize that the metering system depending on my focal point was determining that more light was needed and the only variable available to the camera to adjust was ISO. I went ahead and just did my regular PP via LR4 set my noise reduction up a bit higher (40 ish) - and let everything run.
WOW! - I would have never had the nerve to test 12,000 ISO at a live pro sporting event - and the 5DMKIII delivered incredibly well - as this could have been a real nightmare situation with any other camera. I now plan on using this same auto ISO setting again and just tightening up the range a bit.
My photos are posted here - Please share your comments: http://www.tomhillphotos.com/5535402

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5DMKIII - User mistake results in photo brilliance!
« on: April 29, 2012, 08:32:39 AM »

mb66energy

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Re: 5DMKIII - User mistake results in photo brilliance!
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2012, 09:41:42 AM »
Your photos are really well exposed - the lighting is movie like! I think, the reality is mixed light and not enough light to get short exposure times for action in these event halls.

My experience from macro photography is that I tend to underexposure photographs to acquire enough sharpness by selecting short exposure times. Since I rise the ISO (manually, I use the 40D) to let the right amount of light in - these macros are much more what I kept in mind during photographing. More "grain" for more - as you described - "brilliance" is the better trade off than the opposite.

Your entry gives me hope that the 5d iii might be an option for me ... because the 40D is not too great at ISO above 400  :) !

Best - Michael
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PhilDrinkwater

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Re: 5DMKIII - User mistake results in photo brilliance!
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2012, 10:27:57 AM »
I do really like auto ISO. I wish they had made it work properly with manual mode though :( no EC sucks :(

Anyway great shots and glad you tried something new that worked for you :)

bluegreenturtle

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Re: 5DMKIII - User mistake results in photo brilliance!
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2012, 12:18:02 PM »
I use Auto ISO in Av mode all the time.  I think a lot of photographers and videographers are snotty and think that auto anything is somehow a mistake, and that it marginalizes their skills.  The fact is the camera gets it right more often than a lot of photographers do.  I do take a note of where the ISO is before I take the photo or start the video - if the auto is making it higher than I know will work noise wise I try to find a better lighting situation.  But auto iso works very well and is a very helpful tool.  With the 5DIII it is probably even more useful since the noise issues are less than other cameras.

spinworkxroy

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Re: 5DMKIII - User mistake results in photo brilliance!
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2012, 01:46:04 PM »
Your photos looks great and noise free.
Quick question, did you take them in RAW and did Noise Reduction in LR?
Or did you shoot in Jpg and did Noise reduction over it?
Because if you shot at 12800 RAW and did Noise reduction and got those results…then the 5D3 is truely amazing…
I've never actually tried shooting RAW at that high ISO since i don't have LR to do noise reduction on….looks like the NR in LR is better than the in-camera JPG NR

MMAshooter

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Re: 5DMKIII - User mistake results in photo brilliance!
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2012, 02:25:38 PM »
I only shoot raw large - and always use LR as my main PP solution and for noise reduction. For sporting events like this, I end up shooting thousands of frames and the lighting variances within a 30 ft. area can be as much as 2+ stops, and same for the white balance because of mixed lighting sources - the 5DMKIII is clearly delivering results in raw that from my own 1st hand experience is clearly 2 stops better than my 5DMKII (which I was shooting with both cameras that night) so in post I could match them up very easily - the 5DMKIII has simply blown me away at high ISO ranges. 

DarkKnightNine

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Re: 5DMKIII - User mistake results in photo brilliance!
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2012, 02:35:49 PM »
I use Auto ISO in Av mode all the time.  I think a lot of photographers and videographers are snotty and think that auto anything is somehow a mistake, and that it marginalizes their skills.  The fact is the camera gets it right more often than a lot of photographers do.  I do take a note of where the ISO is before I take the photo or start the video - if the auto is making it higher than I know will work noise wise I try to find a better lighting situation.  But auto iso works very well and is a very helpful tool.  With the 5DIII it is probably even more useful since the noise issues are less than other cameras.

One of my favorite photographers (even though he's a Nikon guy) Joe Mcnally advocates "auto", he even calls "P Mode", "Professional Mode". Just goes to show what all those snobbish photogs can do with that thinking. Doubt any of them can outshoot Joe. At any rate, these pictures looked awesome for 12,800! I can't believe what I'm seeing. I tried a preproduction model both of the 1DX at CP+ earlier this year and of the 5D Mark III days before it's release and determined that I wouldn't push past 8,000. Your pictures have made me rethink that and may be a missing piece of the puzzle as to why I was getting soft images in really dim light even though I thought the focus was tracking properly.

To the OP, thanks for this post, you've encouraged a lot of people here and your images look great!
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.

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Re: 5DMKIII - User mistake results in photo brilliance!
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2012, 02:35:49 PM »

DarkKnightNine

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Re: 5DMKIII - User mistake results in photo brilliance!
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2012, 02:41:34 PM »
Your photos looks great and noise free.
Quick question, did you take them in RAW and did Noise Reduction in LR?
Or did you shoot in Jpg and did Noise reduction over it?
Because if you shot at 12800 RAW and did Noise reduction and got those results…then the 5D3 is truely amazing…
I've never actually tried shooting RAW at that high ISO since i don't have LR to do noise reduction on….looks like the NR in LR is better than the in-camera JPG NR

Postproduction NR reduction will always provide better results than in camera. LR has good NR built in but there are also some really good plugins that take it a step further like Dfine 2.0 or Noise Ninja. You might want to give those a shot.
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V8Beast

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Re: 5DMKIII - User mistake results in photo brilliance!
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2012, 03:13:48 PM »
Awesome shots! Are you shooting through the fence at events like this? It looks like you're at ground level in many of these images, but I'm assuming you're not allowed in the ring for safety issues :)

Also, what AF point selection method was used (zone, single point, expansion, or auto select)? This isn't the type of thing I shoot, so I'm just curious what technique is required for MMA events. 

MMAshooter

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Re: 5DMKIII - User mistake results in photo brilliance!
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2012, 03:37:48 PM »
Great questions - for this MMA event I was the official photographer hired by the fight promoter and shooting at the top of the cage for most shots with cropping to enhance the perspective, and others thru the cage where I can usually just make the cage disappear via selective focusing and avoiding light glare/reflections from the cage fence. 
As for AF - the MKIII is in another world versus the MKII - in both cases I use selective AF single point (MKII) and zone (MKIII)   

Wrathwilde

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Re: 5DMKIII - User mistake results in photo brilliance!
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2012, 03:58:03 PM »
shooting at the top of the cage for most shots

How does one go about shooting over the top of the cage? Is there a ledge on the outside of the cage, do you have to use a ladder? I have a friend who trains 5 MMA fighters and wants me to photograph the fights. I've never been to a fight, so I'm not sure what to expect.

Also, what lens are you using?

V8Beast

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Re: 5DMKIII - User mistake results in photo brilliance!
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2012, 04:05:24 PM »
Great questions - for this MMA event I was the official photographer hired by the fight promoter and shooting at the top of the cage for most shots with cropping to enhance the perspective, and others thru the cage where I can usually just make the cage disappear via selective focusing and avoiding light glare/reflections from the cage fence. 

Very interesting. I always wondered how sports photos that have to shoot through fencing or a cage can somehow make the fencing disappear in their final images. 

At baseball games, there are usually photogs sitting behind home plate, sometimes pretty far away from the netting. I imagine that shooting through the net can be a pain in that type of situation.

MMAshooter

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Re: 5DMKIII - User mistake results in photo brilliance!
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2012, 04:15:06 PM »
Over the years I have shot thru and over the cage - and while over the top has a unique perspective for fighter stand up action - thru the cage is much better for floor level ground action. As for top of the cage is usually done via a stand alone tower (or ladder?) - with 12 inches of space from the cage - when 2 big fighters crash into your spot on the cage - everything including the cage fencing slam into you. Safety 1st - especially for the photog who is not paid to be part of the physical action at a fight!
as for lenses - I use two cameras - with the 24-105 getting most of the action, and a 70-200 for the far side of the cage and walk-in photos.
My advice - get ready for a ton of action - pre test for the low lights finding the best combination of ISO/Shutter/Aperture as there is never enough light to make things perfect so you must balance the trade offs.
I hope you shoot the event and end up with some unique portfolio shots!           

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Re: 5DMKIII - User mistake results in photo brilliance!
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2012, 04:15:06 PM »

MMAshooter

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Re: 5DMKIII - User mistake results in photo brilliance!
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2012, 04:21:25 PM »
Shooting thru the cage or fence is not that big of an issue if you do things right - try to pick a spot where the flood lights are not directly opposite you pointing right into your lens - as the biggest issue is not flare - but the reflection or glare that comes off the cage/fence - then use a a lens hood and when possible get as close to the fence as possible and try to avoid angling your camera up onto the lights when possible. Then position your lens in the center of a fence link opening - this way you pick up some artistic vignetting or none at all. With my 70-200 lens I can set it not to focus under 1.5 meters which also helps. All in all with some serious practice the fence will become all but completely invisible.   

V8Beast

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Re: 5DMKIII - User mistake results in photo brilliance!
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2012, 04:34:40 PM »
Shooting thru the cage or fence is not that big of an issue if you do things right - try to pick a spot where the flood lights are not directly opposite you pointing right into your lens - as the biggest issue is not flare - but the reflection or glare that comes off the cage/fence - then use a a lens hood and when possible get as close to the fence as possible and try to avoid angling your camera up onto the lights when possible. Then position your lens in the center of a fence link opening - this way you pick up some artistic vignetting or none at all. With my 70-200 lens I can set it not to focus under 1.5 meters which also helps. All in all with some serious practice the fence will become all but completely invisible.   

Thanks for the tips. I enjoy trading notes with photogs that shoot under circumstance that I don't usually encounter in my line of work.

I also noticed that you shoot with a 24-105 despite having to deal with low-light environments. I've shot with the 24-70 before, and although it is optically superior to my 24-105, its zoom range isn't nearly as versatile for my needs as the 24-105. Plus, the 24-105's IS allows capturing images that are much more difficult to achieve with the 24-70.

It's simple things like this that determine which tool is better for the job, but this point often gets lost on the internet, where the f/2.8 glass is always better regardless of the circumstances :)

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Re: 5DMKIII - User mistake results in photo brilliance!
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2012, 04:34:40 PM »