Tag Archives: Canon 5D Mark III

Canon 5D Mark III Informal Review

Ok folks I know that some of you have been waiting for this. Here are my first impressions about the 5D Mark III.

I had the opportunity to shoot with it during normal assignements and I have been using it in quite a few actual case scenario. And so far I am loving it!

Don’t expect me to provide a detailled technical review of this camera. There are better sources around the internet where you will find more comprehensive / technical / detailed information.

First you have to understand what I expected from the camera. I have been shooting with the original 5D and the 5D Mark II so I am pretty precise about what I was looking for in the successor of these two work horses.

I have always loved the 5D line: what I really liked was that the image quality was always over the top. I still think that for the price you pay, nothing beats it.

However, like a lot of people I have always been disapointed by some of the poor features of the body:

  •  Crappy AF: I have always used the central point to capture all my photos. So I have always been focusing and recomposing for as long as I have been shooting 5Ds. And it has been a pain. Moreover the AF has always been very poor in low light conditions. And when you are a wedding photographer and shooting in caves like I do you can understand how limiting this can be.
  •  Poor materials used for the body construction : simply enough the body itself doesn’t scream professional camera. It could always feel more sturdy.
  •  Very poor viewfinder : I wear glasses and the viewfinder on the previous 5D iterations has always been very hard to work with. It was far from being comfortable. It doesn’t let a lot of light in, I don’t have a 100% coverage and let’s face it I have never been able to manually focus a lens reliably 100% of the time.

So here we are, these were my main gripes about the 5Ds.

After a few days and lot more photoshoots all I can tell is that Canon has finally done it! They have managed to release the camera I was waiting for.

  • The image quality is still incredible. Moreover I can say that the colors of the 5D Mark III are in my opinion better that the Mark II out of camera. The Mark II colors used to feel a bit funky to me (yes funky is a very technical term). For example the reds were always a bit too much… red (as I said this is not a technical review).
  • The AF is finally reliable and usable. It is incredible, I had a hard time at the beginning to not focus and recompose, but now I am getting there. The AF is just awesome. I can finally totally rely on it and I have had consirably less missed shots than I used to. It’s fast (depending on your lens), it can focus waaaaay better in the low lights conditions (still not perfect but there is a net improvement) and it just works!
  • The camera itself feels good in the hand. You can sense that the construction is way better. It also fits better in my hand, though if I had to say I think the grip is a bit shorter so shooters with bigger hands than mine may find it uncomfortable.
  • The viewfinder is simply great. I have a better time with it so no worries
  • The ISO performance is also awesome. I had one photoshoot in an old chapel and to try things out (yeah I do experiments during my clients shoots) I decided to bump the ISO to 16 000 and I was bluffed by the result. Hardly any grain. It looks like when I shoot with the MarkII at ISO 4000. I even tried to push to 25600 and all I have to say is that the photos I got are very usable. so wow jus wow.

All of these more than justify the investment for me! With the AF alone I would have been sold so the whole package is a killer. And all I have to say is that the support for Eye-Fi card is just the cherry on top for me.

Here are a few shots to illustrate all of this.

First a few snapshots to show you the ISO performance.

Test in high ISO straight out of camera, Paris night time – ISO 10000 – f/3.5 – 1/160sec

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Test in high ISO straight out of camera, Interior fair light conditions – ISO 10000 – f/2.0 – 1/320sec

Zoom 100%

Real shooting conditions, straight out of camera image, Only light source: candles – ISO 16000 – f/2.2 – 1/30sec

Zoom 100%

To follow up here are a few shots to illustrate the AF performances. All of these were captured as a unique shot (no shooting of multiple frames), and I never used the central focus point.

Vanity, focus on the eye with one of the right focus point, straight out of camera – ISO500, f/2.2, 1/160 sec

Smiling Girl in a bar, focus on the left eye, very poor lightning conditions, straight out of camera – ISO 12800, f/2.2, 1/100 sec

Real shoot conditions, focus on the right eye, remote flash trigger – ISO 100, f/2.2, 1/40 sec

Couple dancing, real shoot conditions, focus on man right eye, poor light conditions, remote flash trigger – ISO 500, f/2.8, 1/160 sec

So here it is, my informal review. To conclude, I won’t say that this is the best camera. But for me it was the camera I was waiting for!

Pascal Tran Binh Aoshi Studio Photographe Mariage Portrait Lifestyle Paris France International

 Pascal Tran Binh Aoshi Studio Wedding Portrait Lifestyle Photographer Paris France International