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The Canon 5D Mark III, Is It For You?

The Canon 5D Mark III, Is It For You?

First off, lets get one thing straight! In no way shape or form am I qualified to give you a full detailed professional review. If you are looking for that start here Canon Review. I am only qaulified to give you my thoughts, opinions and hands on experience. Over the coming weeks I will give you little bits and bites in a series reflecting my experiences with this beast.

First I have to ask myself, do I really need a new camera? Will it make me a better photographer, and is it possible that I would ever fully take advantage of all the capabilities this camera has to offer, especially one as technically charged as the MarkIII. Heck no, but I have a sickness!  It’s a chemical reaction that occurs in my brain forcing me to want and have new stuff. Could be a trait only found in males, I’m just assuming!

Have you ever been to the Apple website when a new product is set to be released? The marketing teams that come up with this stuff are either genius, or I am just a sucker in the waiting!  Troll a new iphone out in front of me with a hook and I’ll bite all day long . Same is true for anything electronic. That’s all fine and dandy except for one caveat, casholla! With that been said, the new 5D MarkIII is not cheap, but I managed to scrounge, sell and save just enough to get my hands on one.

It’s my opinion that a camera does not make the photographer, but rather the combination of experience, knowledge and creativity coupled with the latest available technologies, together aid in achieving ones vision! I don’t know what I just said there but it sounds about right!!! ;) I bought this camera for a couple reasons. After extensive online research I came to the conclusion that there were some new and updated features that this camera had over my previous 5D MarkII. New and advanced technical features that may help overcome some of the frustrations I was encountering with my earlier gear.

When I am out in the field shooting, I do things the way I know how. Most of what I know technically, I have learned myself from the obvious resources around me, web, books etc. Right or wrong, it is what it is and it’s the way I work until one of a couple things happen. One, I have been corrected by someone with more experience, usually from me asking questions or two, through trial and error, which in my case is the biggest contributing factor or three, new technology along with new techniques that have been adopted and made available to facilitate in the process of achieving ones goal. To me it’s all about capturing and translating my experiences to the viewer and if this new technology can make my my life and my photography a little easier, why wouldn’t that be appealing…

Noise and low light focus have been a big issue with me as of recent, especially hand holding while photographing critters. Before I lost all of my previous blog entries on my old blog site, I did a little blurb about my displeasure with my Canon 7D and the high levels of noise it produced at almost all levels but the lowest of iso’s. I never ventured higher than the 3-400 iso range because above that the quality was not acceptable to me. Let me explain. Even though I don’t show publically, use or sell most of the images that I have accumulated to date, I am still out there working to increase my portfolio size so that one day when the time does present itself, or I’m called upon to make use of, or my continued growth allows me to recognize potential in a image that I had previously overlooked…. that they will be the highest quality files ready and waiting. Does that make sense? I guess what I am trying to say is that if I’m out in the field making images now anyway, why waste the time and effort that I am putting forth, why not give myself the best opportunity now, to get it right in the event that they turn out to be…really right! (or maybe I am just trying to justify my crazy spending)

Ok lets have a look at this tight crop of the hummingbird (well over 100%, click to view large). This is the raw untouched, unsharpened file shot at iso 1600, something I would never, ever have considered before. Not only that but I was shooting this little guy through a tunnel of tree branches in very low light. I don’t have much experience with other brands of cameras but in my mind this is exceptionally good compared to my previous cameras (heads and shoulders above the 7D in these conditions), and a great starting point for an image file. On another note, the 5D MarkIII frame rate per second is around 6 shoots and that is well up on the previous 5d offerings. I normally shoot burst of shots in hopes of getting one, and if I’m lucky more than one tac sharp. All five or six that I cranked out on this composition were just that!

I was and still am in awe every time I put a little pressure on this camera to perform in otherwise non optimal conditions that previously had me flustered. Nothing drives me more crazy than missing the shot from one, my lack of experience and also the camera not doing what I think it should be capable of doing. I’ve got more out of focus kick ass shots than I care to discuss.

I normally reserve the 7D for all my wildlife shooting mainly because of the high 8 fps it produces and the smaller sensor size (that’s another topic for next time). As my experimenting and usage increase on the 5D MarkIII, I have been leaning more and more in it’s direction each time critters abound and to my great surprise and happiness, have achieved tremendous results. Though I am capturing less images, my keeper rate has gone way up, and that’s a good thing!

Please don’t misunderstand me, my 7D isn’t going anywhere. Under the optimal conditions it’s totally capable and more than I could ever master but, it’s those tough conditions that I encounter so often in the early mornings and evenings when the wildlife is most active and light levels make it tougher on hand holding, I may be reaching for the MarkIII a little more often.

Here is another shot from the same outing using the Canon EF70-300 f/4-5.6 mounted to the Mark III. ISO was set to 1600 and again, I was ecstatic about the cameras ability to get the job done in the conditions I was faced with….

Just a little insight from the mind of me and like I said, I will give more thoughts and comments in the next coming weeks.

Please leave any questions or comments in the section below and again…thanks for stopping in!

Happy Shooting!