Canon 5D mkIII

Canon 5D mkIII

Editor’s view: Should I upgrade?

Hello everyone

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.

Specs:

22.3 Megapixel Full Frame CMOS sensor: Almost the same as the previous model. It might impress some people with its refinements but not me.

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.


 

8 Comments added to Canon 5D mkIII

  1. Hogarth

    There is nothing in the review referenced that states that the HDR image output is a JPG. If you are going to make a statement like this, it would be helpful if it was backed up with some factual evidence.
    As a 7D user, I have been waiting for the Mark III before making the jump to a full-frame sensor, and this camera looks like a winner.

    • Editor (Author)

      Follow the link I added in my update and read carefully. The final HDR image is processed in camera, RAW files are not (ever) processed. This means that the final HDR image is NOT a RAW file.

  2. Editor (Author)

    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.

  3. UK price is £2,999.99 pre-order.

    There is also the viewfinder level system inherited from the 7D. 5D Mark III allows 2, 3, 5, 7 AEB, and the HDR mode works as far as I’m aware 3 RAW and 1 processed JPG.

    More about the HDR mode here

  4. jerry

    I can certainly understand the dissapointment on so many of the photographers who have been waiting waiting waiting for years now for Canon to pull out another ground breaking camera. However, it does seem that with the MarkIII, they have at least corrected the Major Major Major problem that all 5D (I and II) lovers were missing, and that of course is AUTO FOCUS !!! They also have apparently improved the sturdiness of the body to withstand weather conditions and wear and tear. And i think the processor is now more sophisticated so that it can get better results from the same amount of Megapixels as the first and second generation 5D's. Another apparent tweak is the ability to shoot at higher ISO's and still retain a semblence of natural smoothness and detail. I'm not a high ISO fan but in the right hands and under the right circumstances this gives a creative artist a huge potential to experiment when the lighting conditions are just plain poor. All in all this camera may not be breaking NEW ground but in a very real sense, this camera may be the perfect answer or should i say "tool" to all those out there who are in need of a really RELIABLE and PRACTICAL camera that we know will PRODUCE on a very HIGH LEVEL. How do i know that ? Because i have been lucky enough to have had great success with the 5D I and II. And although the 5DIII will be similar, It will also have many of the wish list items that the first two cameras should have had.
    It may also be good to remember that when the first 5 D came out it actually had a better IQ than the 8,000 dollar IDS. It did not have the robustness but it was less than half the price and it allowed a whole new generation of semi pros and pros alike to make world class images with a reasonably priced new system. Relatively speaking, the 3500 dollar price tag for the new MarkIII camera would seem to me to be in line with what the first two cameras cost when they came out, only perhaps just a bit more, which can be chalked up to the times (this is after all 5 years later). And also the new autofocus and reinforced body quality make that little extra seem reasonable. j

    • Editor (Author)

      It might cost $3,500 in the US but it costs $4,800 in the UK.

      Now, this is a lot of money to justify for a camera that does not catch up with my expectations. I can buy 2 brand new Canon 5D mkII with the same money today, one as a main body and one as a backup.

  5. Great insight! I Totally agree with you. I shoot video sequences too, in the landscape photography field, and I'm not going to upgrade to Mark III. I'm still happy with my Mark II. I'm a bit disappointed too with the new Canon, so I'll save my € for later.
    Cheers.

  6. I agree with you. The only major benefits for a landscape photographer are weather sealing and a slightly bigger LCD screen. Having said that I will probably get one later this year for its advantages in other fields. I want to read reviews of the IQ and the new AF first though.

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