Canon today officially launched a new firmware update (version 1.2.1) for the 5D Mark III that brings two notable improvements to the camera: uncompressed HDMI output and the ability to use cross-type autofocus at f/8.
Cameras today have many extra functions that are often buried in menus and forgotten. Last year, I bought the Canon 5D Mark III and, after a few months, realized that there were some interesting features I had never played with. After figuring out that there was a way to do in-camera double exposures, I immediately started experimenting. At first it was very hit and miss. (I still hadn’t read the manual.)
If you’re a frugal photographer who’s constantly searching for ways to save some dough when buying gear, you might want to look into the new Los Angeles-based startup company Greentoe. It’s a shopping site that’s trying to turn the e-commerce world on its head by taking pricing power from merchants and putting it into the hands of consumers.
Basically, it’s a site that lets you buy camera gear at prices you want to pay.
This isn’t a biggie as far as camera issues go, but there are a few photographers reporting some strange discoloration on sections of their Canon 5D Mark III that makes the camera look like it’s a lot older and more beat up than it actually is.
If you’ve been wondering how the Canon 6D compares to the 5D lineup in terms of size, control layout, and ergonomics, here’s a side-by-side comparison photo in which the 6D (center) is placed next to the new Canon 5D Mark III (left) and the older Canon 5D Mark II (right). The cameras are each ever-so-slightly different in their shapes, but the 6D is noticeably smaller than its higher-tier siblings. It’s more than 10% smaller in its dimensions, and is ~10% lighter than the 5D Mark II and ~20% lighter than the 5D Mark III. Here’s a larger version of the image.
Image credit: Photograph by Roger Cicala/LensRentals
This past October, Canon addressed a big complaint photographers had about the 1D X by releasing a firmware update that introduced AF illumination (kinda) for shooting in dark environments. However, it wasn’t only 1D X users that were complaining about the AF point visibility… 5D Mark III users were — and are — as well. If you own a 5DMk3 and have been waiting patiently for your own AF update, there’s some good and bad news for you: Canon is reportedly working hard on the issue, but it might not be possible to implement the same feature given the way your camera is designed.
Don’t worry Canon 5D Mark III shooters: Canon didn’t forget about you after all. Less than a week after announcing a highly-requested firmware update to the Canon 1D X to address AF complaints, Canon has revealed that a similar — but even better — update is also coming to the Canon 5D Mark III.
The upcoming firmware update will not only add support for cross-type AF using lens/extender combos with a max aperture of f/8, it’ll also allow for clean uncompressed HDMI out!
Photographer Jeff Cable purchased a couple Canon 5D Mark IIIs recently and discovered that although the camera offers both SD and CF card slots, you should avoid the SD slot if you want maximum shooting speed. He writes,
[...] for some reason unbeknownst to me, Canon decided to build the 5D Mark III with one very fast CF slot which supports the newer UDMA7 protocol and a standard SD card slot which does NOT support the high speed standard [...] Without UHS [Ultra High Speed] support, the top speed that can be achieved by the SD card is 133x. This is true even if you purchase a 600x SD card and insert it in the camera. The best you will get is 133x
It turns out that the camera will default to the slowest card inserted. So, if you have a 1000x CF card in slot one and any SD card in the second slot, the very best buffer clear that will achieve is 133x.
It might not be a big deal for most photographers, but if your line of work requires clearing the camera’s buffer as quickly as possible, it something you might want to be aware of.
Image credit: Photograph by Jeff Cable
Can’t decide between the Canon 5D Mark III and Nikon D800? Dave Dugdale of Learning DSLR Video created this helpful video that offers a pretty comprehensive comparison of the cameras. It’s a bit heavy on the videography applications of the camera, but should be quite informative nevertheless if you’re at all interested in these cameras.
Canon 5D Mark III vs Nikon D800 Comparison [Learning DSLR Video]
Canon has received some pretty bad publicity over the past month due to the 5D Mark III’s “light leak” issue — a relatively minor flaw in which light from (or through) the LCD panel can affect the camera’s exposure readings in extremely dark environments. Last week Canon finished investigating the issue, and reported that it only affects a certain range of serial numbers, suggesting that the company has implemented a fix for newer bodies. It also announced that service centers would be providing free “inspections” for owners concerned about this issue.
If you were wondering what kind of fancy fix the company came up with, here it is: tape. The folks over at LensRentals received a batch of newer 5D Mark III cameras, and took one apart to compare with the old version. They found that the innards under the LCD screen are now covered with a large strip of black tape. And yes, the problem is gone.