The 5D difference
Be warned, this is a long post. The 5D is just so awesome! I’ll add lots of pictures though so, if your not going to read, you at least have something pretty to look at :).
When I got my 50D, I remember everything I felt and unfortunately the biggest emotion I had was regret. I had wanted a 7D, but settled on a 50D close out (in retrospect, I am glad I got the 50D). I remembered taking test shots, comparing my XSI to the 50D. I remember not being impressed. I remember taking it to the wild animal park and being disappointed in the quality. I didn’t understand. I just spend $1000 on a camera, a semi-pro body, and my pictures were no better than the ones I took with my XSI. Although I learned to use and love my 50D, I will never forget the feeling of regret I had.
When I got my 5D none of those feelings came to my mind. I didn’t regret my choice one bit. I didn’t regret the amount of money the camera cost. I didn’t regret the fact that I will be paying my parents back for the camera for the next few months. Once I looked through that full frame, I knew I made the right choice. I took the camera to the wild animal park this weekend. I had a much different experience than my first time out with my 50D. I was completely in love with the camera. For the first time I felt that I was reaching my full potential. The colors that I saw were the colors that appeared on the screen. The lighting was breath taking. Granted I do have quite a few quality L lenses as well now. The difference between what I can capture on my 5D compared to my 50D blows me away.
I’ll give you a little breakdown on just how much I love my new camera:
Stepping up to the 5D mk iii was a big jump from my 50D, so I can’t give a review as comprehensive as if I was stepping up from the mk ii, but I can give a good review for those wondering if you should step up from your current consumer-level or semi-pro DSLR.
The screen, man-oh-man, is that a screen! It is large and the colors are just wonderful. Very true to what appears on the computer. The one downside is the zoom in method. I am not thrilled with the placement, nor with the way have you to zoom in on camera. It isn’t a deal breaker by any means, but it is awkward enough for me to complain about.
One thing I love most about the 5D MK III is the low light performance. While I had never given much thought to this before, I never really realized just how much I was limited. I remember upgrading from an XSI to a 50D and loving that I had a larger ISO range. Calling the ISO range from the 5D to the 50D larger, would be an insult, it’s more like a colossal upgrade. But we all know, it is one thing to have a higher ISO range, but that means nothing if the quality of picture is lacking. The 5D MK III does not fall short when it comes to quality in low light. Rather than tell you I’ll show you. Here is this picture from a recent shoot of mine. We arrived at this location a bit late; the sun was all but gone. Knowing they wanted this shot, I did what I had to, to get the shot. In the back of my mind I was thinking how I was going to have to edit this image a lot afterwards to. I cranked the ISO up to 1600, and the image came out fine, when I uploaded the raw file, I found almost no grain, certainly not enough to hinder the image. I was in awe! A little photoshop warming and the image is complete.
Here is a sample image at 12800 ISO. Yeah, 12800 ISO. The low light performance speaks for itself.
Here is an image at max ISO. It is more grainy, and dark. But there has been no processing to this image. It would be easy to make this a useable picture. The image was also resized which effected the grain a tad.
Overall, low light performance = amazing. Way to go Canon.
If you’re curious, I also did some test shots at 256000, here is the result:
Another great feature on the 5D is the 61 point focal system. First let me say, OH MY GOSH! Now that, that is out of the way… With the 61-point focal system I didn’t know quite what I was getting, I mean for the most part I was able to focus with my 50D quite well. Then I tested this puppy out and wow! The ability to pin point exact focal is such a nice feature. For me this comes in really handy for portraits, when AF wants to focus on something other than the face, it can be a struggle to get exactly what you want, but with the new 61-point focal system I can pin-point the face and get the exact shot I want, without the struggle. This also comes in handy for macro shots. One thing I have always had a problem with when shooting macro is focus. Really auto-focus with the 100mmL macro can be challenging sometimes, but with 61 focal points and the ability to pin-point what I want; soft images are no longer an issue.
Here is another SOC image. The top image was take after sunset. It was darkish, but we really wanted this image. So i bumped it up to 1600 and tada. It is amazing to see just how useable this image is.
The 5D MK III also makes me feel like a professional photographer. I am finally getting the shots that I have always pictured. The colors are exactly as I see them; the sharpness is exactly how I see it. I love it. I feel like I have complete control over my photography. I am no longer limited or do I have to rely on editing to polish off shots. I get exactly what I want the first time. This alone was enough for me to fall in love with the 5D.
The in camera HDR mode… I know there have been some complaints about this, for one people think it is a gimmick and does not belong on a probody. Before I tested it out, I felt the same. I didn’t think I would ever use it, and really didn’t care that it was on the camera. Then I tried it out and the census is, it is a fun little toy button. I don’t know how often I will actually use it, but I do know that it is a pretty cool feature (especially for someone like me, who doesn’t have HDR software). I think it will really add a different dynamic to landscapes and I am very excited to test it out when I go to Colorado next month.
Here is another image from a recent session. The 5D captures light amazingly.
Overall the 5D MK III is a mind blowing camera; it is the best camera I have ever set my hands on. Now, that being said, I wouldn’t rush out and buy it just because it is a good camera. A camera is only as good as you are. If you have a XXD, but no ‘L’ lenses, then I would never recommend buying a new camera before new lenses; however, if you have a wide arsenal of ‘L’ lenses and are looking for a step up then maybe you should look further into a body upgrade.