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Author Topic: 5D3 for sports/action?  (Read 13715 times)

kaihp

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5D3 for sports/action?
« on: August 11, 2012, 05:58:30 AM »
I'm looking for experience with shooting sports/action using a 5D Mk III, especially compared to the 7D.

I've had a 50D for almost 4 years now and I've been generally underwhelmed by the AF system, so I'm considering my options.

Right now I see four options: 7D (possibly used), 5D3, 1DX, or wait for a "7D2". I'm an amateur, the cost/value ratio of an 1DX would rather low regardless that I could find the money to buy it. 5D3 is kinda borderline. As for 7D, I'm hesitant since it is 3 years old and the sensor seems just as noisy as my 50D. I believe that a 7D2 will not show up until next year (at least).

I want a body at least at the level of the 50D (AFMA, size/metal body, UI), so the 60D or lower is not an option. Nor is defection to Nikon an option.

Knowing discussion boards, I anticipate that some will jump down my throat saying that I don't know how to use the camera. Thank you, I do believe I know how to operate the camera :)
So for information, I generally shoot in Manual, with either Spot AF or AI Servo, with only the center point selected. My lenses (17-40, 24-70, 70-200/2.8 IS I) are micro-adjusted to the body. I often have problems if the area that I'm focusing on is relatively small, but still larger than the AF box. Before the warranty expired, I had the camera checked at the Canon service center and they did not find any AF problems.

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5D3 for sports/action?
« on: August 11, 2012, 05:58:30 AM »

Bob Howland

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Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2012, 06:28:59 AM »
I own a 5D3 and (newly purchased refurbished) 7D and have shot sports with both, so I'll give it a try. In low light situations, I prefer the 5D3 for its better image quality. Otherwise, I prefer the 7D for its reach and slightly higher frame rate. In both cases, I shoot manual with Auto ISO and AI Servo with the focusing area set to center zone. The zone focusing solved a lot of problems associated with center point only focusing, like a rapidly-moving main subject moving off the center point or two main subjects separated by a space in the center, resulting in a perfectly focused background and a fuzzy main subject.

I paid about 1/3 the 5D3 price for the refurb'd 7D.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2012, 06:32:34 AM by Bob Howland »

Menace

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Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2012, 07:28:10 AM »
I've shot action with both these bodies, BMX bikes / football (soccer if you are in the US) wit very good results. 7d's 2 extra FPS and the extra reach are a big advantage however if I need to increase the ISO to get stop action the noise becomes an issue.

My last football game, I took about a 1000 images with the 5d and was amazed by the number of keepers.

Unfortunately, I do not have experience shooting with the 1DX but can only imagine what 12FPS will do as well as other 1series advantages  ;)

Good luck
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candyman

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Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2012, 08:27:24 AM »
I shoot with the 7D and Canon 70-300mm L mainly soccer. I have a very high hitrate for "keepers".
Though the photos are slightly soft and need post-processing. And, of course the 7D is showing more noise - starting at 1600 (but managable with PP and when printing not larger than A4)

I am very happy with my 7D
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Jamesy

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Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2012, 08:35:54 AM »
I shoot manual with Auto ISO and AI Servo with the focusing area set to center zone. The zone focusing solved a lot of problems associated with center point only focusing, like a rapidly-moving main subject moving off the center point or two main subjects separated by a space in the center, resulting in a perfectly focused background and a fuzzy main subject.

When you refer to zone focusing - which mode exactly are you referring to? There is one called Zone AF and then there are Expand AF Area or Expand AF Area: Surround.

bdunbar79

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Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2012, 10:41:17 AM »
I shoot manual with Auto ISO and AI Servo with the focusing area set to center zone. The zone focusing solved a lot of problems associated with center point only focusing, like a rapidly-moving main subject moving off the center point or two main subjects separated by a space in the center, resulting in a perfectly focused background and a fuzzy main subject.

When you refer to zone focusing - which mode exactly are you referring to? There is one called Zone AF and then there are Expand AF Area or Expand AF Area: Surround.

I sometimes will shoot with zone focusing, not the expanded feature.  If basketball players are charging towards me for the basket, and I'm along the wall behind the basket, zone helps because as the player goes up for the layup and defenders are there, I cannot determine which part of that scene is going to be closest to me.  If zone is selected, the camera will automagically pick the correct point on the scene to focus and if aperture is narrow enough, everybody is in focus.  I rarely us expanded point, but that would be useful if you were tracking the basketball and it got slightly away from you.  Zone covers more ground. 

As far as using the 5D Mark III for sports, I have to be able to.  I doubt at tennis and golf matches anyone is going to want to hear the shutter firing on my 1D X :)
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Heavyweight67

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Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2012, 10:43:21 AM »
I have both 5D3 and 7D... I love the extra reach of the 7D but don't like the noise, the high ISO ability of the 5D3 is great...
I think this is where you need to consider what sports you are shooting, ie daylight/good light or indoor/ambient/halogen/fluro...

About a week ago I was shooting a Muay Thai event, it was in an outdoor/covered arena with mixed lighting, some halogen some fluro... I was using 70-200 II, I had the camera set to manual with Auto ISO as the lighting across the venue varied considerably.

Some were at 3200 others varied but only upwards, this is where the 7D, would have fallen apart... the extra reach and speed of the 7D would have been great...

I think this is the point where there really isn't  a perfect camera, you can run many variables, 1Dx speed but not the reach, 5D3 & 1Dx great ISO again lacking the reach, add an EXT 1.4 or 2x which will require raising the ISO.

So many variables, even PP high ISO 5D3 images 12500, there useable, but the then you risk losing detail...

What good is a great shot of a punch to the face if you lose the sweat and blood flying from the opponents face..

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Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2012, 10:43:21 AM »

jaayres20

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Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2012, 11:15:25 AM »
I owened a7D for over a year and I currently own a 5D3 an I always hated the image quality of the 7D. The colors are not accurate and you spent so much time trying to adjust the white balance.  The details are often lost in too much  noise. The 5D3 has a better, faster AF and the image quality will blow the doors off the 7D. Auto WB on the 5D3 is really good even in bad, mixed light.  You can crop in an image from the 5D3 and still have more clariy and less noise than the 7D so the extra reach it provides is almost a non factor.

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2012, 12:40:42 AM »
I'm looking for experience with shooting sports/action using a 5D Mk III, especially compared to the 7D.

I've had a 50D for almost 4 years now and I've been generally underwhelmed by the AF system, so I'm considering my options.

Right now I see four options: 7D (possibly used), 5D3, 1DX, or wait for a "7D2". I'm an amateur, the cost/value ratio of an 1DX would rather low regardless that I could find the money to buy it. 5D3 is kinda borderline. As for 7D, I'm hesitant since it is 3 years old and the sensor seems just as noisy as my 50D. I believe that a 7D2 will not show up until next year (at least).

I want a body at least at the level of the 50D (AFMA, size/metal body, UI), so the 60D or lower is not an option. Nor is defection to Nikon an option.

Knowing discussion boards, I anticipate that some will jump down my throat saying that I don't know how to use the camera. Thank you, I do believe I know how to operate the camera :)
So for information, I generally shoot in Manual, with either Spot AF or AI Servo, with only the center point selected. My lenses (17-40, 24-70, 70-200/2.8 IS I) are micro-adjusted to the body. I often have problems if the area that I'm focusing on is relatively small, but still larger than the AF box. Before the warranty expired, I had the camera checked at the Canon service center and they did not find any AF problems.

5D3

7D AF is too prone to not delivering well all the time, especially for soccer, sometimes it does very well other times it's just fails and even my old 5D2 handily out shot for soccer under certain conditions, 5D3 is always at least equal to 7D and sometimes vastly better, although the loss of 2fps is certainly a real shame

1D2n focused way better than 20D or 40D for sports action

5D3 AF feels like 1 series AF while 7D AF feels like a souped xxD AF but not a real 1 series it's the same old consumer level stuff just with more cross points and faster processing but not the full real deal IMO (for whatever reason I did have more success with 7D being consistent when shooting surfing with it compared to soccer, the latter I wasn't impressed since it was all over the place, sometimes better than 5D2, sometimes the same, sometimes much worse; 5D3 can have some odd fails but it's always at least as good as any xxD,7D,5D2 and often enough, quite noticeably better IMO (although I should say I haven't shot 5D3 enough to really know for sure, in a few more weeks I may have a more definitive opinion, for now, it's just a very early impression)


« Last Edit: August 12, 2012, 12:46:33 AM by LetTheRightLensIn »

kaihp

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Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2012, 02:30:43 AM »
Thanks for all the replies.

I have mainly been shooting motorcycle racing/trackdays, so I get subjects with a fairly small target (you usually aim for the helmet) which moves around quite a bit including acceleration (the fun shots are in the turns). So this is outdoor stuff, but with varying weather from rain through overcast to bright sunshine.

Looks like we are focusing on the same concerns/differences between the 7D and the 5D3 besides my question of AF - reach, fps, and IQ.

I borrowed a friends 7D last year and was surprised by how much quicker on the trigger the 7D felt than my 50D, despite the relatively small change in fps (+33% / +2fps).
The 7D has a deeper buffer (~25 RAWs), vs 18 RAWs using a UDMA-7 card on the 5D3. Here the 5D3 and 50D are similar (16 RAWs).

For reach, I will probably have to reach more (pun unintended) for my 1.4x extender on the 70-200mm. But I will probably find the 400mm/2.8 more useful on the 5D3 than on the 7D/50D.

As for better IQ on the 5D3, I'm sure that I'll be crying all the way to the bank over that :D

Please keep the comments coming, thanks.

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Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2012, 03:44:33 AM »
I have owned both and after i purchased the 5D3 i sold the 7d because i wasnt going to use it anymore. I never liked the 7D. Its IQ is just not up to standard unless the light is very good. The 5D3 AF more than makes up for the slower frame rate. The amount of keepers you get is just phenomenal. People who owned both the 5dM2 and 3 know that this is a really big improvement. When coupled with a good long canon lens like the 70-200II the 400F2.8 the results are phenomenal with the 5D3. When used AF Servo with fast moving objects you can easily get a sequence of 4-5 shots all in focus. There are many examples in the links below

Here are some Sporting galleries, soccer, car rallying and a large military styled marathon.

http://www.wilmark.johnatty.com/p929851709

http://www.wilmark.johnatty.com/p317449417

http://www.wilmark.johnatty.com/p148934445

http://www.wilmark.johnatty.com/hardcore1

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Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2012, 04:30:27 AM »
The 7D is very quick with the new firmware. But the AF and the picture quality are bad.

Go for the 5D Mark III or better for the 1D X if you have the right lenses.


LostArk

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Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2012, 04:32:55 AM »
I have no complaints with my 7D'd AF. Fast an accurate AF even in low light. I've never gotten an oof shot with it that wasn't my fault in one way or another. Anyone having difficulties getting sharp photos with the 7D ought to check out the "A Look at the Canon Autofocus System" series on the B&H youtube channel.

I don't deny the 5D3 and 1D series have markedly superior AF, but the 7D is a seriously capable tool and I doubt most people ever find themselves in a situation where it would be incapable of getting the shot.

1/320 f/1.8 ISO 3200, 24 1.4L II:

Clutch by Nοah Fence, on Flickr
« Last Edit: August 12, 2012, 04:36:05 AM by LostArk »

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Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2012, 04:32:55 AM »

Kernuak

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Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2012, 04:51:15 AM »
The 7D is fine up to ISO 1600, then it starts getting too noisy. There is some noise at ISO 1600, but it is manageable. I never owned the 50D, because when it came out and I looked at some results, I didnt feel it was a big step up from the 40D I had at the time and shooting in the same conditions one time, some 50D shots I saw from someone else were much noiser than the 40D. Granted I couldn't say whether he nailed the exposure to make a direct comparison, but I wasn't impressed. The 7D is a good stop better than the 40D however, so it should be better than the 50D.
In terms of AF, it is far superior to the 40D (which was the same as the 50D). While I'm not overally impressed by the performance in low contrast scenes, it is still more responsive and accurate (although it can sometimes be a little twitchy). However, now I have the 5D MkIII, I'm reconsidering my original plan of keeping the 7D and selling the 5D MkII, because the AF and overall image quality is so much better. The 2 fps difference is a bit of a loss, as is the reach, but the number of times I need 8 fps is actually quite small, although it is sometimes vital.
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pwp

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Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2012, 05:40:07 AM »
For action shooting look to a pre-owned 1 Series. I have a 5D3 and when I first got it, out of curiosity I ran it as a second body at a track & field athletics job. It's IQ and AF were 100% up to the job but the slow frame rate and small buffer reveal the 5D3's strengths & weaknesses. In short, it's not an action shooting camera.

I shoot action with 1D4, 1D3 & until relatively recently the legendary 1D Mk2n. With plenty of power (higher voltage) to push the AF along quickly, the fast frame rate and the deep buffer make these cameras the natural first choice for sports/action photography.

The 7D is used by a lot of sports/action shooters as well as a large number of BIF shooters. It's true that while the high iso results can be troubling to some people, it's extremely good when working with good light and lower iso speeds. The frame rate is pretty good, I can't comment on the all important buffer depth.

For similar $$ to the 5D3 why not pick up a pre-owned 1D4? With the exception of the newly released 1DX, it's far and away the finest sports/action camera Canon has ever released.

-PW

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Re: 5D3 for sports/action?
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2012, 05:40:07 AM »