Tag Archives: Canon 5D Mark III

Time Of Day And Weather Differences

Denali LandscapeMorning Reflections At Nugget PondMisty Morning At Nugget PondA Stormy Denali Sunrise

Morning Views of Nugget Pond, The Alaska Range, and Denali Mountain

I write a monthly “Photography In The National Parks” column for the National Parks Traveler. I try to gear the column for any type of photography, from smartphone to point-and-shoot to SLR. I will own up that quite a few of my tips involve things for SLRs, like Neutral Density and Polarizing filters, but for the most part, the tips and techniques I include are for any sort of photographer. One of the tips I emphasize in many of my articles for this column is to visit (re-visit) a favorite spot during different seasons, weather conditions, and times of the day. The images above, taken during an August stay at Camp Denali in Denali National Park & Preserve, were captured during the morning hours, but on different days and under different weather conditions. As you can see, they all look a little different, don’t they?

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

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Filed under Alaska, Canon, Canon Lens, Denali National Park, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Photography In The National Parks, Seasons, summer, Travel, weather

Full-Frame Goodness; A Comparison of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Canon EOS 1DX

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I love full-frame cameras.  I own a Canon 5D Mk II, and before that, I had the Canon 5D.   Almost all of the prints I make are enlargements up to and beyond 16×24.  At times I also do a fair amount of cropping.  I like the extra clarity a full-framer can provide for such purposes.

In addition to landscapes and portraits, though, I photograph stuff that moves (dancers, birds, stage performers out at the Texas Renaissance Festival and other wildlife of the 2-legged and 4-legged kind).  My 5D Mk II is a wonderful camera, but it’s quite slow.  Also – in addition to this whole speed thing – I realized I needed something tough and reliable under unpredictable circumstances.  You see, if things work according to plan (fingers crossed, knock on wood) I will be traveling to Alaska’s Katmai Peninsula in July 2013.  I really wanted something that could withstand the elements.   Oh, ok, plus I really really wanted the 1DX – sort of like a guy wanting a Tesla Roadster.

For these reasons, I bit the bullet and purchased the 5D Mk III and the 1DXto get the latest digital improvements as well as satisfy that need for speed and solid construction. Yeah baby, It’s gonna be Ramen noodles every night for dinner for quite awhile….

Since I have both of these awesome cameras, I thought I would do a little comparison of the two, hence this post. Bear in mind, please, that while I consider myself a fine photographer, I am not an expert nor am I a technical person.  I don’t really pixel-peep too much either – I just want my images to look great, no matter what the pixel count. I write this post simply as a photographer using both cameras.  Everything you read here is my own personal opinion.  Adorama or B&H Photo has the in-depth, technical descriptive stuff, so I won’t go into that kind of detail here.  Instead, I will tell you about my practical experience with each camera.

Out of the box:

Canon 5D Mk III:

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5263_5D Mk III Back

The 5D Mark III with L-bracket and 50mm f1.2L  lens

  • It’s a little heavier than the Mk II; feels more “substantial”.
  • I like the feel of the plastic covering – its more “grippy”, which is a good thing since I have small, arthritic hands.
  • The On/Off switch is now on the top left of the camera, just below the Mode Dial.
  • The buttons and menu layout are somewhat different and I got a little lost trying to find my favorite settings; this because there are quite a few more “bells and whistles” on the menu (like the in-camera HDR which I haven’t tried yet but plan on experimenting with when I travel to Arches NP in February 2013).
  • The battery for this camera is the same as the battery for the 5D Mk II, which is nice, since I have a number of extra batteries and now, an extra charger, too.
  • This camera can accommodate two memory cards at the same time: a CF card and a SD card. Why Canon decided on using the SD card option rather than another CF slot is anybody’s guess. I had to go out and buy a number of SDs because of this. Of course, you really don’t need to use both card slots if you don’t want – I like it, though, because that means a little less time taken to switch out a full card with an empty card during moments when time is of the essence. With two cards, I can just keep right on shooting during key moments.
  • It’s much faster than the 5D Mark II (Yeah!)

Canon 1DX:

5275_1DX Front

5266_1DX Back

The 1DX with L-bracket and 85mm f1.2 lens

  • It’s Big!  Much larger and heavier than the 5D Mk III.  Surprisingly, neither the size nor weight bother my small hands; of course, I wanted the 1DX so badly that nothing about this camera would have caused me discomfort.
  • When I pulled the 1DX out of the box, I definitely had the instruction manual open beside me since I was in relatively new territory here.   Buttons are in different places, the menu is different, etc.
  • The On/Off switch is essentially in the same area as the switch on the 5D Mk II.
  • The memory card compartment opens in a totally different way from the Mk II or Mk III.   You have to turn that little latch you see below the On/Off switch, in order to flip open the CF card compartment door.

5286_1DX Card Slot

  • The vertical grip has its own set of buttons and dials (awesome!)
  • The spare battery is large and expensive.   Below is a comparison shot of the 1DX battery next to the 5D Mk III battery, both of which are next to a 77mm filter I threw in for scale.

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  • A spare charger is the price of a non-L lens (and no, I did not purchase a spare charger…..yet).
  • This camera accepts 2 CF cards.  Again, you only have to use one of the two slots, if you wish.
  • It’s WAAAAAYYYYYY faster than the 5D Mk II and the 5D Mk III (Double Yeah!!)

Neither cameras have on-camera flash (not professional, you know) – I personally think it would be helpful for fill-flash use, but whatever.

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I used these cameras for a family photo shoot, and the family graciously consented (and signed model releases) for me to use their photos in this post.  For this family photo session, I made sure the same settings were selected for both cameras, and I used three lenses:

I switched lenses between the two cameras (when I remembered to do so), in order to have comparison shots.  Naturally, there was still some change of position or movement, but not as much as there would have been with, say, photos of the Gypsy Dance Theatre performers at the Texas Renaissance Festival. Winking smile

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Ok, as everybody should know by now, it’s not always all about the pixels. Manufacturers have come a long way since my first 2MP point-and-shoot back in 1999.  Nowadays, a high-end camera is going to have great resolution, regardless of the pixel count, and fewer pixels mean they are larger  and thus allow more light to enter onto the image.  You will notice that the 1DX images tend to look a little lighter than the 5D Mk III images, even with the same settings on both cameras; I suspect the larger pixel size on the 1DX is the reason for this.

The 1DX has 18 MP (3MP less than the 5D Mk II) and the 5D Mk III has 22 MP (1MP more than the 5D Mk II). I was really, really pleased (read: ecstatic) with the resolution, clarity, light and depth from the resulting images taken by both cameras (no, I did not take any photos with the 5D Mk II at this session so I don’t have any comparison images between the three…..but….all of the photos you see here of the cameras were taken with my 5D Mk II and 40mm pancakelens, and I didn’t use any sharpening whatsoever for those images, so you can see just how good the 5D Mk II is).

Here are unedited, straight-from-the-camera images and their 100% crops for the 5D Mk III

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Lens used:  24-70mm f2.8L II

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Lens used:  85mm f1.2L II

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Lens used:  24-70mm f2.8L II

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Lens used:  24-70mm f2.8L II

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Lens used: 24-70mm f2.8L II

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Lens used:  24-70mm f2.8L II

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Lens used:  24-70mm f2.8L II

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Lens used:  50mm f1.2L

Here are unedited, straight-from-the-camera images and their 100% crops for the 1DX

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Lens used: 24-70mm f2.8L II

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Lens used:  24-70mm f2.8L II

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Lens used:  85mm f1.2L II

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Lens used:  85mm f1.2L II

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Lens used:  85mm f1.2L II

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Lens used: 85mm f1.2L II

_H5T3482

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Lens used: 85mm f1.2L II

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Lens used: 85mm f1.2L II  I used the tripod for this image

As I look at the 100% crops of the images, I notice some of them look a little soft.  So when editing them, I did use a very little bit of Unsharp Mask ( but that’s because I am of the opinion that every image benefits from just a little bit of sharpening, anyway).   Based upon what I have seen from other raw images I have taken with these camewras (ex. images from the TX Renfaire), I attribute this bit of softness to camera shake (i.e. me)  –  I only used the tripods for one set of photos (the last photos listed for each camera, where the model is standing beside that gray & black painting – which she painted herself) and hand-held the cameras for rest of the time. Why, when I had the tripods there?  Dunno,  I just did.

H5T3329_Mommy-Baby-Camera

So there’s the probable camera shake, plus none of the lenses I used had IS.

Here are some of the final, edited images from the 5D Mk III

U9A1983_Valerie and Emmeline

U9A2067-3_Val & Crochet Umbrella VIGNETTE

H5T3475_Walking Away VIGNETTE

U9A2107-3_Family Photo CROP

U9A2113_Mommy-baby-HeartUmbrella

Here are some of the final, edited images from the 1DX

H5T3370_Mommy and Daughter

H5T3431-4_Val & Crochet Parasol VIGNETTE

H5T3439_Lovely Ladies VERTICAL VIGNETTE

H5T3511_Hands

H5T3516_Val & Painting VIGNETTE

I made liberal use of the Vignette sliders in the Photoshop Lens Correction filter because it just really worked well (IMO) with many of these images.

My Conclusions:

I LOVE bothof these cameras.

I love the 5D Mk III’s increase in resolution, clarity, sturdy feel, and amazing output.  I love the 1DX for basically everything.  Period.  But I especially love the 1DX for its speed.  I’ve managed to capture pics I could never have gotten with the 5D Mk II.

That being said, I still also love my 5D Mk II.  It takes awesome full-frame images.   It’s just not as fast as I truly need.  If you own a 5D Mk II and are contemplating the purchase of the Mk III or 1DX, I urge you to hold onto your Mk II a little longer – at least as a backup to your newer camera model.  If you are thinking of purchasing a full-frame camera (especially if you’ve never owned one before), the price has come down alotfor this model since it first came out about 3-4 years ago.

Also, before plunking down the equivalent of all the gold in Fort Knox (well, it was for me, anyway), think things through:  Are you like me and need a faster camera?  Can you affordeither one of these cameras?  Cameras are like smartphones, you know:  a newer, better, more upgraded one is always just around the corner.  You might be better served investing in an L-lens, instead, which retains its value no matter how many camera iterations come onto the market.

Because I haven’t possessed either camera for very long, I’m still just scratching the surface of all the photographic goodness these two models have to offer. I still have my 5D Mk II, btw, with a Canon 40mm pancake lens affixed to it that I carry around in a messenger-style camera bag (which doubles as my purse) for those just-in-case moments.

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I hope this little post was informative and helpful.  I’ll be publishing more comparison posts using these cameras with various lenses, so stay tuned!

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Filed under Camera Comparisons, Equipment, Photography