It's funny, I never saw myself going to Canon after shooting Nikon for the last (and my first) five years. I got noticed enough to be published in several magazines and newspapers around the world and be asked to partake in a few gallery shows focused on burlesque. I love my D300, but this year came the time to upgrade with the idea of continuing the performance photography that I do, the head shots and portraits I take, and also getting into weddings (wish me luck on that one).
Oh, and I got married last year and hired a photographer who shoots Canon. As I vacillated back and forth between the D800 and 5DIII, one thing stuck out in my head: the way Canon renders color and skin tones versus my Nikon. I was capital A-amazed. All of his photos looked incredibly rich (he gave me the raw files so I knew what I was looking at) without editing.
I've been shooting with the 5DIII for just over 24 hours now including a christening today and I have some initial thoughts.
1) Holy cow this thing is amazing! It is at least as clean at ISO 12800 as my d300 at 1600 or maybe even 800!
2) Gorgeous color rendition. Out of camera, the raw files from my d300 were life like, but nowhere near as rich as these seem to be so far. The screen on the camera has damn near perfect color reproduction so that I can pretty much hold it up to a tree or a dress and see very little difference. The files on my computer have a vibrance my nikon is missing.
3) Detail is excellent and I must give props to the 24-105L and 85 1.8 on that one as part of it. It is definitely nice having f/4 have the DOF of f/4 and not f/5.6 like APS-C, but the detail in the files is astounding. I neither want nor need 50-75MB files. The detail and dynamic range I see at is an impressive step forward from both 12mp to 22mp and for 5 years development.
4) Wickedly fast autofocus. My D300 is no slouch, but my 5dIII is making it look that way. The zone autofocus is nice and I find myself enjoying the way zone AF is implemented. With that, the choice of single point and single point spot is nice. Getting used to using the wheels to choose my autofocus point more quickly is a pain, but again, it's part of learning a new system.
5) I REALLY MISS SPOT METERING LINKED TO MY AUTOFOCUS POINT. It's going to take me a while to figure out how best to meter even when just shooting basic portraits. Also the fuller coverage of a system this size on an APS-C sensor, but then I knew what I was getting myself into regardless of the company I ended up going with.
6) It feels like my D300- perfect in my hand. A solid weight, a good size, similar button placement
7) Quiet mode and live view are excellent, need to experiment more with LV because it is so much crisper than on the D300
Additionally, I have to say the 85 1.8 is an AMAZING LENS. It really has the feel of the Nikon 1.4d, and that is a hell of a compliment. I must say it is lovely having that field of view of an 85 with the actual magnification of an 85 and not a 50 (and yes I know on nikon's crop it is technically the fov of a 75mm lens). The 24-105L is great at f/4 and gets better from there, but I still feel the need to pick up a 35mm down the line.
Overall, this is a great camera! So far I am incredibly satisfied and can't wait to master the system and regain the ability to easily make the shots I see in my head without thinking about what my hands are doing.
Thank you for indulging my initial thoughts.