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My 5DMK3 experience..big images inside.

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  • My 5DMK3 experience..big images inside.

    G'day guys..
    Thought i'd post this for anyone who is on the verge of thinking about pullling the trigger on a 5DMK3 at some point.
    I grabbed one a few weeks ago for my wife to replace her 7D so figured i'd put it through the ringer over a trip to Melbourne and Sydney over the last week.
    In short i shot just over 8000 shots in every condition you can imagine in that time. From pitch black night stuff to bright sun. I was really interested in the files and how they reacted to Hi ISO as many would know i like to push the limits of ISO with night motion blurr stuff.
    Stuff like this.
    Apart from the files the Auto focus was my other major interest.
    As i'm waiting for a 1Dx i was totally interested in seeing how the Mk3 handled poor light AF lock and tracking etc.
    Anyway onward..
    ANyone whi has used a 5Dmk2 or a 1Dsmk3 will know the stellar IQ you get from the old Canon 21MP sensor.Well nothing has changed the new sensor delivers beautifull images with great shadow detail etc. I guess these days anything other than gorgeous is not acceptable the good news is the Mk3 more than holds up in low ISO detail and shadows etc.
    The first two at ISO100 the second at ISO200.

    ISO 200 at insanely long range..

    The big questions where its performance in hi ISO and low light AF performance. These files have been run through basic processing only.Simple light adjustments in PS5 and noise reduction is only to around 25-30 on the 100 scale.
    The files stand up well to all PP work and deliver nice colors. If you can shoot non cropping shots close to full frame it WILL give you better results but these shots are ALL crops so you could expect better results if not focal length limited. These where all done with the 400/2.8II and in the non night stuff used the 2x Canon converter.

    First off ISO 2000..the images are clean and process really well and with little effort

    For reasons i havnt figured out yet smug mug is adding some grain in the sky with its jpg file size reduction software. The original file has quite a clean sky..

    ISO 3200

    This image was heavily cropped with the image area only about 1900 pixels across i think you can see it holds together well under heavy cropping.

    ISO4000 relatively big crop around 60% of frame.


    This is in pure dark with little ambient light. Again no special work just a quick pass of noise reduction. The file is about 80% full frame so a little crop.


    This image is heavily cropped around 60% of full frame and even with basic processing holds up ok. If shot closer in IE full frame and with a little selective processing it would come up really well.Ive found when you get into the bigger ISO's time spent processing selectively really pays off in final IQ. For example some selective cleaning of the sky will give you are far better looking image. Also the hosting site again reduces the JPG size creating extra artifacting in the sky.

    This image to give you some idea is a very lightly edited file at ISO8000 just for fun.

    In all my night shooting ive never needed to go this hi even with F4 lenses but it gives you some idea of the noise in a raw file at ISO8000.

    The biggest single factor in Hi ISO is exposure. If you under expose to far the file will get lost in noise as you correct it in post. The 5Dmk3 is no exception to this.
    Im really impressed by its detail in its hi ISO files compared to even the mk4 which at full frame is very close in quality and in some instances better but it really can come down to an individual exposure.

    As for autofocus i am still being surprised by the AF on the 5Dmk3. Apart from accuracy its consistent correct focusing beats anything i have ever used. Having used 1 series bodies now for a while at around 7 years the new 5Dmk3 is THE BEST AF camera Canon have ever produced for low light work.
    Its solid and stable and very accurate. Compared to my MK4's which are the best camera's ive ever seen for low contrast targets like fighter aircraft im really surprised just how good the MK3 has been so far.

    One more image..

    In short if you are thinking about upgrading i would do it in a hearbeat.
    The files are better than the old Mk2 with a slight but definite advantage at hi ISO's but also better detail retention.
    They clean up beautifully with any noise reduction software and with work truly brilliant images will unfold opening up even more doors for night photography than in the past.
    I cant wait for the 1Dx which should have a slight AF and file noise advantage over the Mk3 but i dont think it will be by that far but its lower rez and bigger pixels will help make superb files.
    The big thing is the really makes this sort of photography easier than its ever been and everyone should be out in the dark pushing the boundaries..

    I should add its a killer upgrade for a 7D or 5D/5Dmk2 owner..if you have a mk4 its a killer second body and the 1.3 crop with FF second body is to me the ultimate combo which helps cutting cropping in hi ISO stuff.
    One other feature which is so handy as to be brilliant is being able to store settings.
    So for instance at an airshow where you say have a setting for prop aircraft say ISO50 1/50th of a second and a second set for say jets at ISO400 and F5.6. You can store those and simply rotate the selector dial one position to automatically change between the two.
    Very handy for changing every setting in the camera with the rotation of one dial. Jet settings one minute props 2 seconds later..

    Great package..
    Last edited by Darren Howie; 2012-04-17, 06:40.

  • #2
    Another few more hi ISO shots at ISO's 4000 and 5000.

    And a low ISO..beautiful colors as you would was nice having the hi and low shutter speeds selectable rapidly in lower lights. Easy to change from ISO400 at 1/250th to ISO50 at 1/30th in one action its a very useful addition to the toolset on the 5D.

    Finally if you have used the 7D you will love the croppability of the files to get images like this which is heavily cropped yet still retains good quality.

    One last thing i should add is all these images have been processed quickly without a huge amount of attention.
    With a little TLC quite good improvements could be obtained from them.
    I guess it shows even with only minor edits being done really acceptable images in conditions that only a few short years ago where nigh on impossible to shoot in can be obtained easily. Even shooting with an F4 lens great stuff in nil ambient light can be obtained.
    In short if you really want to push your photography into areas that are really being treaded on by a few people the 5Dmk3 is the ideal camera to take you there.
    Last edited by Darren Howie; 2012-04-17, 09:31.


    • #3
      You're making me jealous.

      The countdown till June 2nd begins.
      Sam Rudge
      A 5D3, some Canon lenses, the Sigma L and a flash


      • #4
        You bast.... !!! I ordered one 3 weeks ago and won't get it before june!!!!
        My photos on Flickr


        • #5
          That sucks for you guys in the EU..they are still available hear would you like me to post you one Gerado??? hehe


          • #6
            Originally posted by LX-A343 View Post
            You bast.... !!! I ordered one 3 weeks ago and won't get it before june!!!!

            You can have my 5D MkIII if you like - hang on .... wait .... sorry, like Darren, I'm having too much fun with it!


            • #7
              You both, from the land of convicts and rabbits, thanks very much for your .... well, in fact ... for nothing!!!

              Browsing the queue for well known names

              PS - before somebody asks: yes, I have a memory like an elephant
              My photos on Flickr


              • #8
                Rabbits!!! Lol...bad luck on the delay mate it will be worth the wait!


                • #9
                  OK, back on topic ... how is vignetting on this camera? Right now I'm using the Canons 24-105, 70-200 I IS L f/2.8 and the 100-400. Anything below f/8 is still causing some tensions since my analog days with crappy lenses
                  My photos on Flickr


                  • #10
                    Hey vignetting..
                    It will be lens dependent with the 100-400 when shooting wide open probably the orst. Luckily you have to shoot it stopped down anyway for best performance!! Lol.
                    The camera peripheral image correction which when matched to internal lens data applies an auto correction which is helpful at basically removing the problem.



                    • #11
                      Thanks a lot, Dazz! Looks indeed very promising .... after June for me of course

                      Just to make sure, for example the EK A380 above: no noise reduction (High-Iso in camera, noise reducer in Lightroom or Canon DPP, Photoshop, Noise Ninja) applied?

                      My photos on Flickr


                      • #12
                        Just out of interest I gave the EK380 a whack with NoiseNinja. Settings were...
                        Strength 10,
                        Smoothness 3,
                        Contrast 10,
                        USM amount 0,
                        Radius 0.4 (which doesn't matter with USM amount at 0)
                        Colours all at 10.

                        Hmmm......Impressive !!

                        If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


                        • #13
                          I'm still waiting for mine! It's been ordered for an age now! Grrrr, your not making my wait any easier Daz!
                          Chris Sharps
                          5D3 | 5D2 | 7D | 1D2 | 10D | 400D | 1V | 3
                          17-40F4L | 24-105F4LIS | 70-200F2.8LIS | 100-400LIS
                          24F1.4L II | 50F1.2L | 85F1.2L II | 15F2.8 Fisheye | 50F1.4 | 100F2.8 Macro
                          1.4x | 550EX x2

                          Fuji X100


                          • #14
                            Nice work Brian!
                            Guess it a good example of what you can get with a little work!
                            Yea Gerado basically 30 points of Luminance reduction to the Raw plus color noise reduction in camera raw to suite.
                            You end up with lovely grain very reminiscent of film that as Brian has shown can be leaned out easily if you want.
                            Last edited by Darren Howie; 2012-04-21, 07:10.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by brianw999 View Post
                              Just out of interest I gave the EK380 a whack with NoiseNinja. Settings were...
                              Strength 10,
                              Smoothness 3,
                              Contrast 10,
                              USM amount 0,
                              Radius 0.4 (which doesn't matter with USM amount at 0)
                              Colours all at 10.

                              Hmmm......Impressive !!
                              So Brian, you find it impressive, you will soon be an Canon user I presume?
                              I'm sure your wife will give you one as a present!
                              She did that before I remember?