Canon EOS 5D Mark III Review (more or less)

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*Landscape, *Photography

In my opinion you’ll never really know the truth about a camera even when you read and read recommendations or reviews until you get your hands on it and take it out into the field… and once you start printing your images there’s nowhere to hide. I really had no very high expectations for the Canon 5D Mark III. Don’t get me wrong. My current 5D Mark I has been amazing I mean is still amazing… I love my lenses especially the Zeiss, but I am aware that I’ve abused my use of the 5D mark I and that the time has come to renew.

So, this weekend I couldn’t wait to see what this new body was capable of. Although I have to admit that I was indecisive between the Nikon D800 and the Mark III. Sure I started with a analog Canon and then with the 5D Mark I and I was always satisfied… before the studio was closed where I used to work as an assistant photographer I had the privilege that many different camera models passed through my hands (Hasselblads, Mamiyas, Leicas, Olympus, Nikon whatever…) but personally within my budget it was always Canon…

But this Nikon promised a 36MP sensor, which was like the song of the sirens (or a bulb attracting moths). I literally lost sleep thinking about the possibilities for my photography if I started shooting with Nikon instead. I’ve even thought that it would make me a better photographer (nonsense of course). After years of investing in Canon, how would this new Nikon sensor change the tonal range, colors, and small details in my photography? Should I? Would it be worth?

Then a thought crossed my mind I bought my 5D Mark I in 2006 which meant almost eight years of nearly flawless service… so I obviously bought the Mark III… And the only way to baptize my new acquisition was to take it with me on a jogging trip.

The weather was perfect so I packed the 5D Mark III and the Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Manual Focus Lens with me and armed with the camera I was determined to test it out there.

My first impression, was that the camera seemed similar in build. Pictures just don’t do it justice. Once I picked up the camera, I noticed the new 5D Mark III had greatly improved the grip and the screen. It’s definitely more solid than the old version and it’s been bulked up just enough to feel like it was molded for my hands. 

The body comes with a reputation for being built to last. The Mark III does not disappoint. Even though I did not own a Mark II only borrowed it sometime ago (to compare it better). I felt like this was a nice, solid piece of equipment that I could depend on when out in the elements.

The camera has the feature of dual card capability, which is nice, because you can use two cards at once and back-up your images as you go. I ran a few tests to check out Canon’s continuous shooting buffer. Very nice…

When I finally make a stop… 30 km later I went straight to one of my favorite spots. It was very early in the morning and of course it was raining a lot and foggy. I pulled out the Canon and got to work. First of all, I really liked the fact that I was able to frame my shot through the viewfinder. This gave me 100% coverage, something that was not possible with the first version. A welcomed improvement since I do not usually crop my photos. I took the camera and activated live view. My fingers automatically looked for the Magnify/Reduce button on the upper right side. I was able to focus on the subject with ease (this may sound strange but I usually focus manually).

The point is, if you don’t use a manual lens you don´t need to rely on live view for critical focusing. With the Canon you get a preview depth of field by simply pressing a button. Therefore, the changes appear faster and the nuances necessary for focusing are much easier to see.

The new auto-focusing system on the Mark III is fantastic for 5D shooters, and probably a good reason to upgrade. However, it was not so funny to hear that interchangeable focus screens are not longer supported with the new viewfinder and this is unfortunate for anyone using a manual focus lens…

Well this is only a personal review and there are a lot of features that I had no time to test… so there will be more for sure.

 

 

Escrito por

Founder of Lichtbild & Head of his own strange world / Vintage Enthusiast / Photographer / Graphic Designer /Typography "lover" / Book Collector / Spanish+German Mix / Lives in Coruña / Sometimes heads back home & Sleeps. /*

14 thoughts on “Canon EOS 5D Mark III Review (more or less)”

    • Well I have also thought about buying the Mark II although it is a little bit older model the price and specifications were very interesting.

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  1. I was looking forward to your review about the Mark III :) was away for while to read it when you posted it… now ima catching up…
    your pictures are fantastic as usual…
    Mark III was the first and only full-frame camera I have ever tested… so maybe this is why I am head over heels with that camera :) I can see you are more moderate in your impressions, since you have much bigger experience with cameras… but as compared to my EOS 7D, the Mark III is mind-blowing…
    great post once again, your blog is very inspirational for me :)

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  2. Hallo Alberto,
    freu mich, daß dir die Kamera so viel Freude bereitet. Es sind durchweg tolle Aufnahmen und mir gefällt auch das Bokeh. 2 Speicherkartenfächer sind auch was feines, stimmt’s ;-)
    Ich stimme dir zu, daß es schon ein klein wenig enttäuschend ist, daß man die Mattscheibe nicht tauschen kann. Solange man neue manuelle Linsen verwendet, die einen AF-Confirmchip besitzen, ist es eigentlich nicht schlimm. Da funktioniert der AF wirklich sehr zuverlässig. Ich bekomme nächste Woche ein altes Zenith Jupiter-9, da bin ich mal gespannt, ob ich es dann immer noch so gut mit dem Fokussieren hinbekomme, wie mit dem Zeiss….
    LG kiki

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    • Hallo Kiki
      muss mich erstmals an die ganzen features gewöhnen ;P aber als ich herausgefunden habe das man sich ein beliebiges Bild aus der Speicherkarte aussuchen kann und dan Doppelbelichten kann und das auch noch als Raw-format erhält… toll. Das Zenith, ein robustes russischen Juwel ein 85 mm f/2 oder f/1.5 erinnere mich nicht so genau aber wenn es ein M42 anschluss hat de gibt es adapter mit Fokus Bestätigung bei einen M39 Anschluss müsste ich nachschauen XD ich versuche zurzeit ein Carl Zeiss Biotar f/2 58 mm zu bekommen… Schöne Grüsse

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      • Das Feature bei den Doppelbelichtungen ist doch echt klasse, ich nutze das oft und gern :-D
        Für’s Jupiter ist ein M42/EF Adapter bestellt, nächste Woche weiß ich mehr, ob es mit der Fokusbestätigung klappt. Ich hab gerade heute ein 58mm Biotar in der Hand gehabt, war im Gebrauchtshop auf der Suche nach einem M42/FD Adapter, da ich das Jupiter auch gerne an die alte A1 anschließen möchte, da fing ich leider das Stöbern an. ;-) Bin bei einem 100mm Leica APO Makro Elmarit gelandet, die Elpro Linse ist auch dabei. Hab mir aber Bedenkzeit über’s Wochenende verordnet….
        LG kiki

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      • Bin schon gespannt :) das 100mm Leica APO Makro Elmarit ich kenn es zwar hatte aber nie das vergnügen XD mit nahlinse? verlockend, verlockend… Bedenkzeit ;P

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