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Author Topic: A few hours with a 5D3  (Read 6322 times)

LetTheRightLensIn

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A few hours with a 5D3
« on: May 12, 2012, 02:29:33 AM »
The dynamic range on this unit measures even a little bit worse still. a Full 1/3 stop WORSE than my 5D2. Nikon got 2.4 stops better since the 5D2 and Canon got 0.36 worse.  :o  :'( Nikon has about 5 or 6 recent releases, DX and FF, that just destroy the 5D3 for dynamic range. 5D3 even measured a full 0.4 stops worse dynamic range AND with worse banding than a 1Ds3 someone lent me some files from. The 5D3 actually has just about the worst read noise per photosite of all the Canon models. Worse than 40D,50D,60D,7D,1D4,5D2,1Ds3,etc. I had to go back to a 30D to find worse per photosite read noise. Not sure what they did with it in that regard. If they had it with 1D4 per photosite read noise it might have gained almost a half stop of DR compared to the 5D2 instead of losing 1/3 stop.

At ISO 100: Vertical banding seems to me to be at least as present as in the 5D2 although horizontal banding is 100% gone. 7D has the worst vertical banding by a long shot. 1Ds3 has none, the only Canon camera I've tested that has no vertical banding, it does have some horizontal banding but less overall banding than 5D3. The only Canon to really pass the banding test is the 1Ds3 and the 40D isn't bad at all from what I recall, otherwise they all suffer from banding, the 5D3 may be the best of the rest, although that doesn't really say a ton.

Anyway that stuff was all, to one degree or another, already known.

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A few hours with a 5D3
« on: May 12, 2012, 02:29:33 AM »

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: A few hours with a 5D3
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2012, 02:30:27 AM »
But on to other news. Lots of nice little UI improvements so it's all much nicer to use than the 5D2. So many AF points, so nice.  ;D And you feel like maybe can trust the AF to focus and the nicer speed, better handling, it really does feel so much better to use than the 5D2.

And thanks to J&R deal and CC bonus points and so on, total price should be closer to $3100 than $3500.

If the rumored new firmware adds 1920x1080 1.6x super-sharp crop mode video (and zebras and peaking so no need to bother with ML all the time) and fixes auto-iso limitation then it will be set other than the left in the dust dynamic range. Hopefully 5D4 will fix the DR so I don't get forced into D900 next round. I figured I'd given them one more round to fix DR since they fixed the AF and speed.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2012, 02:41:10 AM by LetTheRightLensIn »

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: A few hours with a 5D3
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2012, 02:33:12 AM »
Brief one shot mode AF tests:

it seems to do better than the 5D2 and 7D center point

it can still miss, especially with certain subjects that for some reason drive Canon AF crazy, one or two gave it quite a few misses, but even then it missed less than the 5D2 and especially 7D, so it's definitely appears to be improved

so far it seems to always do at least a tiny bit better than the 5D2 and 7D center point for every scenario and sometimes perhaps noticeably so


LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: A few hours with a 5D3
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2012, 02:37:27 AM »
OK now this was interesting. Indoors, night, compact fluorescent lighting, took 34 snaps with a 24 1.4L II, all shot wide open at 1.4, aimed at subjects all over the room and 33 were 100% in focus! And the one that was off was not off by much! I've never had a hit rate that high under that scenario before. A wide lens wide open is a tricky test for AF. My 5D2 had been the best Canon I'd tried at that sort of thing before and I think it probably missed 1 in 5 shots.

PhilDrinkwater

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Re: A few hours with a 5D3
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2012, 03:21:27 AM »
Hopefully 5D4 will fix the DR so I don't get forced into D900 next round. I figured I'd given them one more round to fix DR since they fixed the AF and speed.
If you need more DR for your work, why are you waiting to switch? Genuinely curious :)

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: A few hours with a 5D3
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2012, 10:45:17 PM »
So I re-did my 24 1.4 II at 1.4 indoor AF test, a tricky test, with the 5D2 (couldn't exactly recall the hit rate when I tested it a year ago) and, well as I said, the 5D3 missed only 1 in 34 shots (2 if you get picky) but the 5D2 tonight missed 9 (10 if you get picky) of the 34! So 5D3 definitely did better hah.

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: A few hours with a 5D3
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2012, 10:46:27 PM »
Hopefully 5D4 will fix the DR so I don't get forced into D900 next round. I figured I'd given them one more round to fix DR since they fixed the AF and speed.
If you need more DR for your work, why are you waiting to switch? Genuinely curious :)

I will, D900 round, if need be, hope not. Sent you a PM with the gorey details of why not yet.

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Re: A few hours with a 5D3
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2012, 10:46:27 PM »

briansquibb

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Re: A few hours with a 5D3
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2012, 11:05:10 PM »
If they had it with 1D4 per photosite read noise it might have gained almost a half stop of DR compared to the 5D2 instead of losing 1/3 stop.

At ISO 100: Vertical banding seems to me to be at least as present as in the 5D2 although horizontal banding is 100% gone. 7D has the worst vertical banding by a long shot. 1Ds3 has none, the only Canon camera I've tested that has no vertical banding, it does have some horizontal banding but less overall banding than 5D3. The only Canon to really pass the banding test is the 1Ds3

I shoot both the 1D4 and the 1DS3.

I have noticed that the 1DS3 gets better results with the top glass than the 1D4. With the 70-200 f/2.8 II there is little to choose IQ wise, however with the 200 f/2 in particular, the IQ from the 1DS3 is visually better than from the 1D4. The improvement seems to be in the colour and the contrast - and if the DPP histogram is correct - the DR is about 1 stop better
 


V8Beast

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Re: A few hours with a 5D3
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2012, 12:43:35 AM »
5D3 even measured a full 0.4 stops worse dynamic range AND with worse banding than a 1Ds3 someone lent me some files from. The 5D3 actually has just about the worst read noise per photosite of all the Canon models. Worse than 40D,50D,60D,7D,1D4,5D2,1Ds3,etc.

If DR were as important to me as it is to you, I'd switch systems in a heartbeat, $$$$ lost on lenses be damned. I take it you're not switching to Nikon, so why not get a 1Ds3 instead of a 5D3? You'd still get a very capable AF system, similar burst rate, and that precious 0.4 extra stop of DR :)

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: A few hours with a 5D3
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2012, 04:06:16 PM »
5D3 even measured a full 0.4 stops worse dynamic range AND with worse banding than a 1Ds3 someone lent me some files from. The 5D3 actually has just about the worst read noise per photosite of all the Canon models. Worse than 40D,50D,60D,7D,1D4,5D2,1Ds3,etc.

If DR were as important to me as it is to you, I'd switch systems in a heartbeat, $$$$ lost on lenses be damned. I take it you're not switching to Nikon, so why not get a 1Ds3 instead of a 5D3? You'd still get a very capable AF system, similar burst rate, and that precious 0.4 extra stop of DR :)

1Ds3 has no video, crummy live view, it's a brick, 1 fps less (doesn't sound like much but I find that it's just enough to noticeably reduce the number of times you get two key action frames for sports, with 5 it only happens now and then at 6 it happens somewhat regularly at 8 it happens almost every time), at least a full stop worse SNR, no 100% image review in cam, worse user interface, the extra 0.4 DR ain't worth having to deal with all that  ;D

Anyway I'll give them until the 5D4 for the DR. What if I switch now and then have to deal with Nikon UI which I don't really like, $1700 down the drain swapping my super-tele alone never mind the rest (which I hadn't budgeted for this time, next time I'll be ready, just in case), the lack of a few lenses and then the 5D4 comes out in 2 years with good DR?

I do care about DR so eventually if I have to switch I will. But in the end I decided it makes the most sense to give them one round to catch up.

If I shot purely landscape and such then I would've have just switch now, but I don't.

V8Beast

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Re: A few hours with a 5D3
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2012, 05:15:49 PM »
OK, so there are features other than DR that are actually important to you. Just checking :)

briansquibb

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Re: A few hours with a 5D3
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2012, 06:25:51 PM »

1Ds3 has no video, crummy live view, it's a brick, 1 fps less (doesn't sound like much but I find that it's just enough to noticeably reduce the number of times you get two key action frames for sports, with 5 it only happens now and then at 6 it happens somewhat regularly at 8 it happens almost every time), at least a full stop worse SNR, no 100% image review in cam, worse user interface, the extra 0.4 DR ain't worth having to deal with all that  ;D


+ no noise at low iso
+ no banding
+ 1fps over the D800
+ 0.4 dr
+ af point metering
+ f/8 af

Cons low iso

crummy liveview?
worse user interface? same as all 1 series
brick? like the same as gripped 5D3  which you need for serious portrait work

pro - 6
con - 1

[sarcasm] I see the 5D3 has made a lot of progress in 4 years [/sarcasm]


Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: A few hours with a 5D3
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2012, 07:49:54 PM »
I suppose that by even writing this, I'm negating my own statement. That said, how on earth do people have so much time to spend dissecting every last pixel of every image?  Why do so many people with a "love" for photography spend all their time waiting breathlessly for each new release only to completely bitch about it the moment it comes out?  I know, I know, that's what one should expect in what is essentially a chat room for Canon fans, but it seems to get redundant, petty, and preposterous.
I wholly acknowledge that I'm as guilty as anyone else for simply reading and responding, but I also feel that someone should step in and say, "hey, why not go enjoy taking pictures with your camera"?
I also know that many of us are "professionals" and our cameras are our tools, but I have made a very good living shooting for a variety of outlets, and have found that when you really get down to it, a pro gets the shot, whether it's with his 1d mark whatever or his iPhone. That's his job, and why he's a pro. Picking every new camera apart and testing it in scenarios that 99.9% of shooters will never encounter then deeming it a failure, well, it's just silly.
Internet experts usually aren't.
I have no idea what my point is here anymore, so I'll shut up and let everyone make personal attacks in my direction now.
Thanks for reading.

While I generally agree with what you've said, there are some who wish to know the limitations of their equipment, and thats a valuable thing to know.
 
Where it gets boring is when amateur grade testing is done that is flawed and not repeatable. (I'm not referring to the OP).
 
I see lots of evaluations that rely on some super sense of the shooter to detect minute flaws that no one else can see, they will not post a photo, but then proclaim there is a issue!

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Re: A few hours with a 5D3
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2012, 07:49:54 PM »

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: A few hours with a 5D3
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2012, 09:14:28 PM »
OK, so there are features other than DR that are actually important to you. Just checking :)

hah yes:
AF
fps
shutter response
video
high iso performance
user interface
metering

all of these are improved compared to the 5D2 and they are mostly the same to slightly better than the D800 (I think shutter response and metering are worse than D800 though as is lack of built-in flash (if this messes with T&S lenses on FF then perhaps it is just as well though) or intervalometer)

good:
1. Anyway so far the one shot AF seems to be very good. Some have said for center point one shot it's no better than 5D2/7D since those were already great and some said it's definitely improved. I'm in the it's definitely improved camp. And the outer points are obviously world's better than the 5D2 outer points. Didn't try sports AI Servo yet. I read encouraging reports though. The AF spread coverage is better than on the 5D2 and it obviously gives you tons more options of every sort. It is nice to be able to pick a point exactly on the detail to focus on and not need worry about outer points not grabbing or having to slightly shift composition to bring a point in line or whether the outer points will actually ever grab focus or not, etc. And micro-focus adjustment now offers both wide and tele settings for zooms. They certainly gave it their all and finally held nothing back from AF. Great to get 1 series AF in a small body at last!

2. Top notch SNR at all ISOs, nothing else does better although a few, D4/D800/1DX(likely) do as well (the D3s also does as well but the resolution is so much lower so the 'grain' size is large and the detail low so I don't think it holds up anymore to the new best D4,D800,5D3). DxO says something like 2/3rds of a stop better than 5D2.

3. It offers the only video that is truly aliasing and moire free (if a bit rather soft....), D800 video has lots of color moire and a touch of aliasing and it has at least 1.5 stops worse SNR although it is a touch sharper, hacked GH2 is sharper and has zoom modes that are great although it has a touch of a digital look to it, everything else doesn't come close to 5D3.

4. General user interface is good, I know some people like Nikon UI but it always seemed non-intuitive to me, you can pick up a Canon never having used one before and be good to go in a minute, not with a Nikon.

5. General UI better than on the 5D2. You have the 7D's dedicated video switch, the histogram is outlined so it shows up even under the sun, the LCD looks better, the instant and exact zoom to 1:1 and back makes reviewing so much more efficient, dual review doesn't hurt, the rate button will surely save time under some scenarios, the liveview zoomed mode is much crisper than the weird line-skipped mangle in the D800 (not sure why they did that since the D800 should be able to do it better as their D7000 does), might be forgetting some things or not had time to come across them yet.

6. The grip is grippier.

7. The build is better, no creaking doors and such.

8. No ugly banding in darker parts of very high ISO shots, it's all gone even up to at least 25,600 (as high as I've looked so far). 5D2 could get ugly banding in the darker parts of very high ISO images and make them look unnatural and objectionable at times, 5D3 is free of that.

9. 50% faster frame rate than 5D2 (or D800 in FF mode) and shorter mirror blackout and shutter response times make it feel snappier so it's certainly better for action, some critical improvements there! D800 is even a bit snappier still for response but its 6fps are only with grip and DX mode (5fps without grip at 25MP), when you can get close enough to frame as desired the D800 will suffer for noise compared to the 5D3 at high speed by quite a bit, otherwise, when fully distance limited, it would arguably do better since you don't waste storage space on empty outer area of frame and it has more reach due to higher photosite density and if you leave the grip behind and suddenly wish you ahd the speed it's 4fps all the way.

10. Very high ISO DR is improved a bit from the 5D2 although the D4 has it beat in that regard, nothing else really does though, D800 is similar although a bit worse at the really high ISOs.

11. Has no low ISO horizontal banding (although still having all the vertical you still notice banding anyway, for the shots where that stuff could appear).

the bad:
1. The low ISO dynamic range considering what else is out there and they actually went backwards(!) (if only trace) from the 5D2 after three years, has some of worst read noise per photosite at ISO 100 of any camera they've made since 30D era, shocking. This is one part where the dropped the more than I or just anyone ever remotely imagined. Kinda sad really.

2. It's perhaps a minor thing but that just makes it all the more ridiculous but they still have crippled autoiso (although not nearly as crippled as on the 5D2 which is utterly useless, other brands get it right at all price levels though and don't play such games) since still no EC in M mode and for Av they made the maximum minumum shutter speed limited to an absurd 1/250th (BTW there is zero technical reason for this, it could be whatever number the want). Could be fixed in firmware with maybe one line of code altered.

3. No crop mode for video (and the 2x2 sampling might mean they need to do less blurring and make it sharper) (no worse than 5D2) and no focus peaking and zebra stripes, supposedly still a cheap hissy audio amp but I didn't listen myself yet not sure (some other brands get it right at times), all rather a shock. For 3 years and with all the acclaim the 5D2 brought it's really pretty ridiculous. Thankfully it seems ML will work so 2 of 3 should be fixed by that. We just have to hope Canon will add the sharp 2x2 C300-like sampled 1920x1080 1.6x crop mode.

4. Can't change focusing screen (it always seems weird to me when you are shoot f/1.4 and the entire scene looks in focus through VF when only a small fraction is, at least the AF is better so it's not quite such a risk to trust it is doing what it should be and the point spread is wider and the outer points work much better though) (most other options get it right).

5. Reach is slightly weak for wildlife (no worse than 5D2 though) (only the D800 is appreciably better for FF) and max detail can't match D800 for landscapes. I could live with it for now if they truly couldn't go beyond 22MP and keep 6fps, it seems they could've bumped up a bit more though and it's a bit troublesome that they didn't at least improve the DR then, if they did that then low ISO would've been improved even without more MP.

6. No f/8 AF (although if it improves it otherwise the trade off is worth it IMO, although if the D4/D800 actually is as good, and I see reports going both ways, then you do wonder a bit) (no worse than 5D2 though) (only older 1 series and newest higher-level Nikons can do it).

7. Still has as much vertical banding at low ISO as the 5D2 (only the 1Ds3 from Canon, I think, is free of vertical banding at low ISO).

8. A bit higher in chroma noise and can distinguish a bit fewer colors than the top Nikons since they had to cheat the color filter a little to get to the record tying SNR.

9. SD slot is crippled to be very slow, a bit odd for a $3500 camera which will be used by wedding photographers a lot. I don't think it will be a huge deal for what I do but it seems a bit of a nasty cripple for wedding shooters and it's pretty bizarre, they get stuck with a very small buffer and slow clearing, very odd, seems like a penny pinching cheap decision. For me, at the moment at least, I don't think it matters much though.




Certainly it's much nicer than the 5D2, much better usability, a better and more fun to use camera that can handle, with aplomb, a wider array of shooting circumstances and it has somewhat better low light image quality that takes it to top of class for that and video without moire/aliasing disasters plus what looks like 2 stops better noise than the 5D2.

The low ISO DR is a huge shame though as are the mysterious absence of a few video features and it's slightly surprisingly that this long after digic 4 that 22MP is the max for 6fps.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 10:01:07 PM by LetTheRightLensIn »

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: A few hours with a 5D3
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2012, 09:16:27 PM »

1Ds3 has no video, crummy live view, it's a brick, 1 fps less (doesn't sound like much but I find that it's just enough to noticeably reduce the number of times you get two key action frames for sports, with 5 it only happens now and then at 6 it happens somewhat regularly at 8 it happens almost every time), at least a full stop worse SNR, no 100% image review in cam, worse user interface, the extra 0.4 DR ain't worth having to deal with all that  ;D


+ no noise at low iso
+ no banding
+ 1fps over the D800
+ 0.4 dr
+ af point metering
+ f/8 af

Cons low iso

crummy liveview?
worse user interface? same as all 1 series
brick? like the same as gripped 5D3  which you need for serious portrait work

pro - 6
con - 1

[sarcasm] I see the 5D3 has made a lot of progress in 4 years [/sarcasm]

hmm you are mixing your pros and cons between 1Ds3 vs D800 and 5D3 :)

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Re: A few hours with a 5D3
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2012, 09:16:27 PM »