Editor's view: Should I upgrade?
As most of you know by now, the Canon Eos 5D mkIII camera has been announced. I didn't want to write anything before I had a good look at the specs of this camera and what it offers to us landscape photographers. I haven't had the chance to hold one yet, however, according to my findings and the camera's specs, I am placing my thoughts as a landscape photographer and owner of the Canon 5D mkII. Will I replace my 5D mkII with the mkIII? The answer is no, please keep reading.
DIGIC 5+ Image Sensor: If you care about the extra things it offers in comparison to DIGIC 4, then this camera is for you.
ISO 100-25600 (expandable to L:50, H1:51200, H2:102400: I am sure it will be more than welcomed by wedding photographers or people who constantly use the camera indoors. My camera is always on a tripod and the ISO always at 100.
Full HD Movie (ISO 100-12800, as high as 25600): This will probably excite many who love shooting movies with their digital slr.
61 point high density reticular auto focus: At last, decent auto focus that was missing from the mkII. Sadly, I only use manual focus for my landscape photography.
6 fps for high continues shooting: I can't say I am excited, I make 2-3 images per hour but I'm sure many will love this upgrade.
Approx. 100% viewfinder: I wonder where exactly the word 'approx' fits, why not full 100%?
3.2" clear view LCD II: I am more than happy with the screen quality of mkII but these kind of improvements are always welcomed.
63 zone dual-layer metering sensor: I must admit that when it comes to words, big companies definitely impress, however, completely useless for my style of photography.
Silent shooting mode: I am sure wedding photographers will love this mode and I don't blame them, it will be extremely helpful to them, a great addition.
CF & SD card slots: Why not 2 CF cards?
Many enhanced video features: I can't comment, I do not shoot video. I am sure many will be delighted though.
High Dynamic Range: And here is all the money, now we can talk about upgrades. If the HDR file that comes out of the camera is a RAW file, then this is enough for me to upgrade (when they decide to bring the price down). However, I'm afraid that Canon will disappoint us with this highly anticipated feature and the file will be jpg or in the best case scenario, tiff. Until we have details about this feature, I will have to say nothing more about the new camera.
To the original question now. As a landscape photographer, does the mkIII offer enough to justify the upgrade from the mkII? The answer is NO. Would I upgrade from a APS-C sensor camera to the new 5D mkIII? The answer is YES.
I was expecting a real upgrade of this camera for landscape photographers and I must say, I am disappointed.
However, this is still a superb camera with many features and improvements and I am sure many people will buy it and love it.
Update: According to this post here, the HDR file the camera delivers is a jpg and not a raw. I fail to see the benefit from this, I can have better results with more control by using LR Enfuse, a donation based little program that delivers a tiff file. The best part is that I can work on the raw files in Lightroom first and then blend them with LR Enfuse. I have been doing this for some time now (when I need extended Dynamic Range) and it works great, no reason to upgrade for this. For all those unfamiliar with LR Enfuse, you can download it here.