Warning: to those who don’t like technical stuff, stay away from this post ;)
Canon 5D Mark III
After a lot of back and forth , I ended up switching to Canon. The intention was to buy two Canon 5D Mark II, and I have been looking in the used gear ads and saw plenty selling. I knew that Canon 5D Mark III was soon launching since Nikon D700 got upgraded with Nikon D800. I did consider the 800, but the 36 MP wasn’t something I wanted for what I was doing. I was hoping that Canon wouldn’t match the 36 Mp with this upgrade, and they didn’t.
Yesterday I was at fotomessen 2012, which is the annual photography fair in Norway. I was an earlybird and first in line. I had to secure to get the Canon 5D mark II for NOK 12.000 (originally 15.000). I also made sure to see the launch of a world news and I knew it was the Canon 5D Mark III.
Early morning and a little bit the day before, I already read a lot of specs and nice stuff about the Mark III in twitter and blogs, and while I was buying the Mark II, I also pre-ordered the Mark II. Being the first or one of the first, I am ensured to get in the first batch of delivery. There was mixed feedback on delivery date among the employees. Some said one month, some said one to one and a half months and some was less optimistic and said worst case is summer.
I was really pumped up during the presentation, and my geek mouth drooled. I couldn’t wait to try it for myself. They really listened to photographer’s feedback on this. The video below has poor quality, but just listening to the music gets me excited.
I didn’t see the same presentation in Canon’s website, but just a video clip of “cycle ball” using Mark III. Check out this link for sample images and to see the video they played during the launch.
[vimeo width=”800″ height=”500″]http://vimeo.com/37848277[/vimeo]
Check also wedding photographer Jeff Ascough’s review on his blog who got to test the beauty. Here are some of the things he says on his review:
- …it is in my opinion just about as perfect a camera as you will ever handle
- Here are my thoughts so far on the camera, how it handled, what has been improved etc from the perspective of someone that will use this camera to earn his living
- I’m not sure of the specs but the shutter release is fast, so fast in fact that I had to look at the camera settings to see if I’d set something differently (as I mentioned I got startled trying it out. It’s like you pressed on something you shouldn’t have, like abnormal fast)
- In conclusion I have to say that Canon have addressed every issue that we had with the 5D Mark II and built a stunningly good camera
- So are there any negatives to owning this camera? Maybe just one. You will lose the ability to blame the camera for any shortcomings in your own photographic ability
There have been a lot of stuff that has kind of hindered me in making a switch, although I also had a strong argument for switching (see my last blogpost). With the Mark III, I find Canon eliminate a lot of these stuff that made me reluctant. Like the autofocus feedbacks that I have heard among users, as well as the button placements and functionality which I loved about Nikon.
These are the stuff that won me over from my notes:
- 61 point autofocus with same technologuy used in the 1 DX (the big brother), including up to 41 cross-type AF points. It really locked fast and effortlessly when I tried it.
- 100% coverage viewfinder
- 3.2 ” LCD, 1.04 million dots (920.000 for Mark II and D800), matches ratio of sensor
- Calibrated ISO range of 100-25.600 (100-6.400 on Mark II and D800), boosted 50, 102.400 (but I don’t feel the need to use too high of values to compromise quality).
- Dual card slot CF and SD (for extra security and possiblity to have compressed images for an instant slideshow)
- Technology that addresses moiree/chromatic aberration and more. (even in camera automatic adjustment)
- Just a slight MP boost (21 to 22). Canon explained their decision not to boost up the MP significantly. Mainly it was about the fact that you get more quality for each pixel making the images sharper and less sensitive to movement.
- The buttons and dials has been improved with lock on mode dial, more intuitive as well as other improvement
- cool accessories: battery grip has joystick and other buttons and dials for ease of operation during vertical shots
- Full HD video (I don’t want to get so much into video now. I used to enjoy editing video before, but there is so much to learn already)
- Image processor Digic 5+ even 3 times better than Digic 5
- New built with enhanced dust and weather resistance (water sealing)
- 6 frames per second which will be useful especially to sports photographer. I personally don’t like to have too many images to cull. I even wish to go to film photography to be more disciplined and careful in pressing the shutter. When I tried it out, I must admit the speed startled me a bit. It was that fast and responsive.
- Ability for ftp transfer.
- Silent shutter mode (not completely silent, but quiet enough I hear). That would be great if shooting sleeping newborns.
These are the stuff that got me. The other plus like in camera editing tools like styles and video editing (yes you can cut video frames in camera) is not so attractive for me. I like to have control and be able to do this in external editing software. They also had support for HDR, something that I am not personally into.
This image below wasn’t the angle I was going for, but someone else was photographing this at this time. You bet there were plenty wanting to try this out.
For me the highlights of the fair was:
- The launch of the Canon 5D Mark III
- Elinchrom booth
- Canon booth. Got to try the 35 1.4 and 24 1.4 on and I loved them both
- Nikon booth, especially the model with the nice lips ;) She was so fluid in her movement. And trying out the sick humongous telephoto lenses was fun.
- The photo exhibition (loved especially the Leica and Pål Laukli’s images)
- The book cafe. I am a tactile person and love touching and looking through the pages, but of course I prefer the Amazon price ;)
The talks was ok and I took some notes there like the archaeological method of creating b &w (or even color adjustment for that matter) in CS5. Exaggerate, hide and then brush some to the surface. I have already been familiar with using masks, but I didn’t approach it with the exaggeration step. I learned about the mask tab and feathering that gives you a margin to be somewhat sloppy if you are having time restraints.
Disappointing that the Sony booth didn’t have much information on the Sony videolight HVL DW2 which Jose Villa recommends.
I also snagged the Elinchrom Ranger Quadra RX with two heads (A&S), transmitter, extra battery and two light stands, package sale. I have been wanting it since Zach and Jody’s Creative live show. Originally, I wasn’t thinking two heads, but this can be a good thing so that I can also use two for home studio. Now I need to get a softbox.
Sekonic L-358 and Expodisk
Earlier before the fair I also got the Sekonic L-358 and expodisk which both were recommended by Zach and Jody. With these three things, I can get more precise results. That little invention expodisk is genius and gives you smack on white balance. While the Sekonic is so easy to use and gives you percentage ratio of strobe lights.
In our living room, our lights have such a yellow tint, and with auto balance it corrects it just a tad. The image below is auto balance on top and expodisk in the bottom. Never got that precise color in our living room before! White is now white.
And yes my husband had fun with an Apple sticker on a Dell laptop!
More on the switch
Another reason for going over to Canon is the prime lenses, especially the 1.2. I rented the 85 1.2 one weekend and couldn’t get over the “creaminess” and the sharpness. The shallow depth of field rendition. My Nikon 1.4 has been doing a good job all the years I had it, but I feel this went a little bit longer.
I also want to reiterate that Nikon is and will always be a superior choice alongside Canon and that for me a good photographer can really excel with any given tool. The switch and upgrade was mostly of these two reasons:
- A more precise rendition of the vision in my head (see my last blog post)
- Going full format (shallower depth of field, better ISO and wider angles)
- Speed up my workflow and lessen technical barriers that gives room for more creativity
- Added security (dual card slot)
Pink and cupcakes at the end of the day
So when we got home from the fair, it was nice to see that something pink an cupcake related came as a package. I brushed of my gear loving testosterone and got back to some of the reasons I love being a woman.