Oh no - not yet another 'whinge about the 5DIII thread' I hear you say
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?