July 23, 2014, 04:51:29 PM

Poll

What should I do?

Send it back for replacement
Send it back for a refund
Soldier on with it
Something else

Author Topic: 5DIII - advice needed please - keep it or send it back?  (Read 2346 times)

ereka

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 150
    • View Profile
5DIII - advice needed please - keep it or send it back?
« on: May 24, 2012, 02:32:47 AM »
Oh no - not yet another 'whinge about the 5DIII thread' I hear you say :o

Well, not so much a whinge but a 'cry for help'.

I'll try to explain my dilemma. Coming from a 1DMkII, I really wanted to upgrade to a 1Dx but felt I needed a full frame camera for a 'trip of a lifetime' that I went on from 13th April to 18th May. The 1Dx wasn't available prior to 13th April, the 5DMkIII was available - just! So I went ahead and bought one of the very first 5DMkIII kits available in the UK (had to go for the kit because there was no 'body only' available at the time of purchase).

The good:

On my trip, I took over 2000 pictures in all sorts of lighting conditions and have to say that I've been blown away with the low light/high ISO capabilities. It soon became obvious that some of the shots would have been impossible with the 1DMkII in the circumstances I found myself and with the kit available at the time (I had a 580EXII speedlite with me, but no batteries yet). Yes, the out of camera jpegs are mushy to say the least, even on the lowest noise reduction setting, but the images are MUCH better when developed from the RAW files via DNG converter and Lightroom 4.

Also, the AF appears to be amazingly accurate in the most challenging of circumstances.

The bad:

My body is one of those (serial numbers ...1... and ...2...) that allegedly has the problem with the backlight affecting exposure. I understand that Canon has issued an advisory offering to 'repair' affected cameras under warranty (allegedly using a small piece of sticky tape).

Although image quality is much better when developing the RAW files, the jpegs out of camera are very disappointing - even at low ISO in good light. Not only mushy, but I've noticed the odd 'black spot' at 1:1 magnification (didn't the MkII have the same issue when it was first released?) - this is actually a pure white pixel surround on all sides by dark pixels. Easy to clone out, but why should I have to!

I've been seeing some weird distortions with the bundled 24-105 lens that go beyond the known barrel distortion at the wide end, even after applying lens corrections in post.

The bottom line (my concerns):

The 5DMkIII has some great features but the out of camera jpeg IQ is extremely disappointing. OK, so shoot RAW and develop myself - but shouldn't the out of camera jpegs, particularly from a camera at this level, be usable for those situations when spending time developing RAW files is just not practical or feasible?

I have one of the early production models with a design flaw i.e. backlight potentially affecting exposure. Canon has offered to 'repair' it under warranty but something inside me bucks against accepting that solution i.e. I'd feel much happier with a replacement than a bodged up substandard version. Logically, the two would probably be the same i.e. have similar pieces of sticky tape in the appropriate places, but for some reason I just feel I'd be happier with a 'new' body.

To resolve the lens issue, it would need to be taken or sent to my nearest Canon authorised repair centre for testing and possible repair or replacement under warranty, which is over 200 miles round trip from me. I don't really feel comfortable sending it via post or courier.

I've exhausted my budget for new equipment so whatever decision I make now, I'll be stuck with.

What should I do?

1) Return the whole kit for replacement?

2) Return the whole kit for a refund and reconsider my buying options?

3) Soldier on with the kit - do some more lens testing myself to pin down the distortion issue and deal with that separately under warranty and just accept that for decent image quality I'll have to spend time developing the RAW files; forget the backlight affecting exposure (non-) issue?

4) Any other constructive comments/suggestions?



« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 02:41:23 AM by ereka »

canon rumors FORUM

5DIII - advice needed please - keep it or send it back?
« on: May 24, 2012, 02:32:47 AM »

PhilDrinkwater

  • Guest
Re: 5DIII - advice needed please - keep it or send it back?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2012, 04:19:05 AM »
1) Have you tried turning the NR off? Have you done RAW vs. JPEG tests.

2) How has the LCD light affected your photography? Why are you unkeen to accept the fix? How do you know this wasn't the fix they introduced for all of the others? I actually think lensrentals did the community a disservice by showing this because, even though it's a perfectly acceptable fix and everyone who "knows" agrees, people suddenly don't like it.

3) Can we see some photos with the lens? Wide lenses will always have distortion but we can't really make a judgement without seeing that. I doubt there's a serious problem with the lens though but without seeing, it's hard to make a judgement.

4) If there are black / white dots, send the images to Canon through your retailer for analysis. I'm sure they can sort it out.

Realistically this is what you get for being an early adopter. If you didn't want these kinds of problems, don't early adopt... it seems a touch harsh to buy something early days, find a few tiny minor issues and then send it back because of them. Every camera has problems early on - in fact, it sounds like the d800 has some fairly major issues.

The only one to reject the camera on IMO is the JPEG quality - if you can't find a setting that works for you, you'll likely have to switch brands... or at least send a very strong signal to Canon that it's unacceptable to you.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 05:29:46 AM by PhilDrinkwater »

ereka

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 150
    • View Profile
Re: 5DIII - advice needed please - keep it or send it back?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2012, 08:12:10 AM »
Thanks for your comments Phil, although I can't quite make up my mind whether I've just had a telling off or not  :)

I think if I do try for a replacement or refund it will, as you say, be the on the basis of the jpeg quality (white/black dots as well as the general mushiness).

1) Have you tried turning the NR off? Have you done RAW vs. JPEG tests.

At an early stage, I turned the NR to low. I didn't turn it off completely because I needed to share the jpegs more or less straight away, was shooting a lot of the time in low light at f/4 without flash and in any event didn't have the appropriate software with me to develop the RAW files. I did however shoot both RAW and JPEG (RAW to a 32Gb CF card and JPEG to an 8 Gb SD card). Therefore, when I returned home to the UK I downloaded the ACR 6.7 update. I also downloaded the DNG converter and tried processing a couple of DNG files via Lightroom 4. There is no doubt that developing from RAW (either using the CR2 files or first converting to DNG) gives better results than out of camera jpegs.

2) How has the LCD light affected your photography? Why are you unkeen to accept the fix? How do you know this wasn't the fix they introduced for all of the others? I actually think lensrentals did the community a disservice by showing this because, even though it's a perfectly acceptable fix and everyone who "knows" agrees, people suddenly don't like it.

It hasn't, but as someone else mentioned if I try to sell the body at some stage it's on the record that there was a 'problem' with serial numbers ...1... and ...2... and therefore would this affect the resale value?

3) Can we see some photos with the lens? Wide lenses will always have distortion but we can't really make a judgement without seeing that. I doubt there's a serious problem with the lens though but without seeing, it's hard to make a judgement.

Fair comment. I'll try to post an example later - I'll have to log on to a different computer.

4) If there are black / white dots, send the images to Canon through your retailer for analysis. I'm sure they can sort it out.

How would they sort it out? Has anyone else noticed this and if so is it likely to be fixed via a firmware update, or is it likely that my particular sensor has a physical fault and therefore needs replacing? I bought mine from Jacobs in the UK, so maybe I'll just give them a ring and see what they say.

Realistically this is what you get for being an early adopter. If you didn't want these kinds of problems, don't early adopt... it seems a touch harsh to buy something early days, find a few tiny minor issues and then send it back because of them. Every camera has problems early on - in fact, it sounds like the d800 has some fairly major issues.

I felt I had little choice.  The 1Dx wasn't available, I wasn't keen on the idea of going for a 1DMkII with the MkIII just released and if I'd taken my 1DMkII, I wouldn't have been able to capture a good number of the images I did.

The only one to reject the camera on IMO is the JPEG quality - if you can't find a setting that works for you, you'll likely have to switch brands... or at least send a very strong signal to Canon that it's unacceptable to you.

awinphoto

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1968
    • View Profile
    • AW Photography
Re: 5DIII - advice needed please - keep it or send it back?
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2012, 10:23:36 AM »
Regarding your situation...  your point about the lenses distortion that appears out of the ordinary for a widish lens (on the wide extreme), we would have to see samples to see what you mean.  Of course there is the chance of getting a bad lens from time to time, but we would need to see what you are seeing in order to know if it's normal or not.  Serial numbers... send it in for the "free fix" as it will be the same as serials 3,4,5,6,7,8,9, etc...  The only difference is those come with the tape already installed.  As far as resale value, in 2-3 years if and when you plan on selling, i doubt you will see any difference in resale price in yours or any camera.  White dots/black dots, have you checked for dust on your sensor?  It may sound quirky, but from what i've read on other threads, although it hasn't affected me too much, but the oils in the camera lubricating the shutter and such could possibly splatter on the sensor, especially in transit or mail...  It happens... If and when you send your camera in for the free fix, have them do a cleaning under warranty and express your concerns about the dots so they actually do the cleaning and not overlook it.  As far as jpegs...  some people have expressed concerns about jpegs... wikidwombat has been pretty vocal about his jpeg issues, as well as others, while some have gotten great results.  I've heard others say the "neutral" setting is the best for this cameras jpeg processing.  I would run a series of tests, playing with sharpness, NR, also play with your ALO and HTP settings... Those can be culprits as well.  I usually have NR low or off, and I usually turn off ALO and HTP just so I know i'm getting exactly what I expect to be getting, but play with those settings and play with your shooting styles settings.  There are just so many factors that could be affecting things.  If all else fails, have your camera store to look at it or better yet when you send in your camera for the free fix and cleanings, ask them to check the jpeg quality and maybe even include an OOC raw and jpeg print to show them the difference in quality. 
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

helpful

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 194
  • Ecclesiastes 3:11
    • View Profile
Re: 5DIII - advice needed please - keep it or send it back?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2012, 10:33:39 AM »
Your concerns are understandable. However, the back light issue you refer to is not due to the light coming in through the LCD. It is a problem that happens with all exposure meters, and photographers have been dealing with since the advent of auto exposure. Only recently subject detection technologies have been able to deal with this problem, sometimes, in a few cases, and even then it is iffy. A human can instantly identify the target object that should be exposed correctly, and a camera's computer exposure system is far from human, so back light is always a problem. Your camera's serial number is not the reason for this problem, and it does not have to do with the lack of black tape blocking the LCD. That issue does not manifest itself in back lit conditions, anyway, but rather when taking photos pointed inside of a cave that is 100 or more times darker than the where the camera is, which is fully bathed in bright sunlight. In cases like that, a tiny bit of light can trickle into the camera body from the sunlight, and throw off the exposure for the black hole that you are trying to take a photograph of.

As far as JPEG quality, why don't you try all the sharpening options available in the picture style you are using. There are also saturation options, contrast, underexposure, overexposure, etc. I experimented with virtually every setting with my camera using a 24mm f/1.4 L II lens at f/5.6 and large quality using a tripod and taking photos of natural and man-made subjects. I determined the best settings for me, and I am no longer getting the plastic look that some people are accusing the 5D3 of having. And I am using one of the same serial numbers that you have, from the end of March. It took about 100 photos of experimentation and considerable time, but that was worth it to make the next 150,000 photos be excellent right out of the camera.

As far as the lens distortions go, if you can send us (I mean post) an in focus image showing the distortions, I'm sure we can instantly determine whether it's a problem or a standard effect of that lens and the focal length of the picture.
5DIII, 5DII, 7D x5, 6D, T2i, T3, 1D X, 10-22mm, 16-35mm II, 18-55mm II, 18-135mm IS x2, 70-200mm f/2.8L II, 24mm f/1.4L II, 50mm f/1.4, 50mm 1/1.8 II x2, 85mm f/1.8 x2, 100mm f/2 x2, 135mm f/2L x2, 200mm f/2.8L II x2, 1.4X III, 2.0X II, 60mm f/2.8 Macro, etc. only had room to list a few Canon items

zhap03

  • Guest
Re: 5DIII - advice needed please - keep it or send it back?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2012, 10:49:03 AM »
I sent my 5D3 body into Canon Canada for the black tape fix.  I dropped off the body at the courier service Thursday afternoon and received the camera back on Monday afternoon.  Canon paid for the courier service both ways.  As well, the Canon service agent that helped me on the phone was very professional and courteous.  My 5D3 travelled more than 7000kms and came back to me in perfect condition.  The Canon Canada tech even cleaned and lubricated my 5D3 body for me.  Awesome! 

The whole procedure didn't cost me any money, just 4 days without my camera.  I'm glad I did it though, because like you, I like to know that I have a camera that isn't affected by a defect, no matter how insignificant that defect may be.

V8Beast

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 916
    • View Profile
    • Stephen Kim Automotive Photography
Re: 5DIII - advice needed please - keep it or send it back?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2012, 11:21:07 AM »
The 5DMkIII has some great features but the out of camera jpeg IQ is extremely disappointing. OK, so shoot RAW and develop myself - but shouldn't the out of camera jpegs, particularly from a camera at this level, be usable for those situations when spending time developing RAW files is just not practical or feasible?

Surely, jpegs will not match processed raws for ultimate IQ, but to imply that they're unusable is a bit of a stretch. I understand that different people have different standards, but I'm curious what your basis is for judging IQ. If that entails blowing up an image to 100% for the sole purpose of finding flaws, even though you'd never print them at that size, just about every camera on earth will be disappointing.

Quote
I have one of the early production models with a design flaw i.e. backlight potentially affecting exposure. Canon has offered to 'repair' it under warranty but something inside me bucks against accepting that solution i.e. I'd feel much happier with a replacement than a bodged up substandard version. Logically, the two would probably be the same i.e. have similar pieces of sticky tape in the appropriate places, but for some reason I just feel I'd be happier with a 'new' body.

IMHO, this is such an irrational line of thinking that I'd suggest returning the camera. It's a classic case of cognitive dissonance. Either accept that your camera potentially has an issue that might affect your exposures under a very specific set of circumstances - even though you've never actually experience the "problem" firsthand - or send the camera back. I really see no other solution. It does seem like an extreme measure to take just to make yourself feel better, but if it bothers you that much, send it back.

I, too, have a early production 5D3, but I've never encountered a situation in the last 10 years where the light leak would actually affect my exposures. If it does, I'll just hit the exposure compensation dial and fire off another frame. Wait a second, I never use the top LCD panel anyway. Problem solved, because for me, the problem never existed except in the world of message board hysteria. Needless to say, my 5D3 will not be going back for a fix that doesn't affect how it performs for me in the field.

As far as your distortion concerns regarding the 24-105, please post some samples. I don't think it's reasonable to expect zero distortion from a zoom that covers a wide-angle-to-telephoto range. That's just the nature of the beast.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: 5DIII - advice needed please - keep it or send it back?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2012, 11:21:07 AM »

chabotc

  • Power Shot G16
  • **
  • Posts: 24
    • View Profile
    • Google+
Re: 5DIII - advice needed please - keep it or send it back?
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2012, 05:21:51 PM »
As others have mentioned, the backlight issue only happens in very rare cases - I have an early serial # body as well and I'm not worried about it at all, if I do ever find my self outside of a dark cave, I'll just hit the exposure comp button after reviewing the result - pretty the same as you would do with every other shot with tricky light conditions.

I've personally never used the JPG mode on the camera, I don't trust build in jpg processing and I know it'll never tell the story I want to tell so even in time constrained situations I'll do quick 10 second processing step in lightroom, so I don't have any personal experience with how I like or dislike the jpg processing - as suggested you can tweak a lot of the build in jpg processing in the image style menu though so chances are perhaps that will improve the outcome for you? (ie in your case you might want to boost the sharpness a fair bit?)

For the 24-105 kit lens, it's a known trade off - it's a very light lens with a very usable range and pretty decent image stabilization, however what you gain in that versatility, affordability and portability you do pay for in absolute sharpness, contrast, saturation and some distortion. The distortion you can easily fix in Lightroom (or camera raw, etc) with the build in tools, for the rest - if you want the sharpest photo possible the (heavier and more expensive) 24-70 or primes will give a better result, it's all about the trade offs and what you want to use it for.

I personally see no need to return my body at all - the raws are spectacular, the light leak issue is barely an issue at all and easy to work around in the remote case where it does show up, and while I do have the 24-105 lens as well I know what situation it's good for (light walk around lens for casual shots) and what situations it isn't enough (shots I would consider publishing).



Canon 5D Mark III and a big bag of primes

bdunbar79

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2553
    • View Profile
Re: 5DIII - advice needed please - keep it or send it back?
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2012, 06:25:52 PM »
I'm still trying to figure out why everyone is so worried about this backlighting issue.  You realize that if you're shooting in real life, it isn't a problem right?  Unless like someone mentioned, you do cave photography.  I think some photographers are super obsessive about their equipment and anything at all that is published as being "something wrong with" then then camera is unusable.  The 7D overexposes.  Would you consider that material to send back to Canon for a full refund or would you just set your exposure to -1/3, -2/3, etc. 
2 x 1DX
Big Ten, GLIAC, NCAC

V8Beast

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 916
    • View Profile
    • Stephen Kim Automotive Photography
Re: 5DIII - advice needed please - keep it or send it back?
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2012, 07:20:53 PM »

Because modern day photographers are turning into crybabies...

That's ridiculous. I was already a cry baby LONG before the modern era of photography ;D

awinphoto

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1968
    • View Profile
    • AW Photography
Re: 5DIII - advice needed please - keep it or send it back?
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2012, 09:26:43 PM »

Because modern day photographers are turning into crybabies...

That's ridiculous. I was already a cry baby LONG before the modern era of photography ;D

Haha. I swear, we have gotten so spoiled with digital. Instant gratification, instant histogram, 61 point AF, 6-10 frames a second... Now people gripe cause of AF illumination, top LCD light leaks, not 36MP OR 14 stops of DR....  Ansel Adams is probably rolling in his grave. I'm all about progression but reading people's gripes, especially from a vocal select few on CR, it really makes my head start to hurt haha
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

UngerPhotography

  • Guest
Re: 5DIII - advice needed please - keep it or send it back?
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2012, 03:40:47 PM »
I'm still trying to figure out why everyone is so worried about this backlighting issue.  You realize that if you're shooting in real life, it isn't a problem right?   

Because modern day photographers are turning into crybabies...

It's also the vocal minority. People who are perfectly happy tend to not spend their time telling others about it online. People with problems will. Also, taking into consideration the amount of people who purchased the 5D III, it could seem that there are more problems with it despite the fact that the problems could fall perfectly normal under the standard failure rate.

As with all electronics, and particularly early models, there is a failure rate. The technology and mechanics that go into today's cameras are complex and fragile. You can't expect every unit to be perfect.

Canon and Nikon both know what they are doing and they give out pre-production models for professionals to test. If they didn't experience any serious problems, it might because they knew what they were doing or the "defects" weren't a concern.

Mt Spokane Photography

  • Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
  • ********
  • Posts: 8231
    • View Profile
Re: 5DIII - advice needed please - keep it or send it back?
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2012, 04:00:21 PM »
Its entirely up to you, and depends a lot on how you shoot.  I found a almost new 1D MK IV locally for the same price, and sent mine back because the issue with lighting the focus point was a big issue for me.  I also am trying a D800.  Its better so far in many areas, but the large file sizes make it slow to process them.  AF is good, but not as good as the 5D MK III, at least not with the 1000 images I've taken so far.  AF on the D800 is absolutely unforgiving if you want pixel sharp images.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: 5DIII - advice needed please - keep it or send it back?
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2012, 04:00:21 PM »