We live in strange and exciting times in which phone camera photos can be compared side-by-side with top-of-the-line DSLR photos without anyone laughing (too hard). Having just gotten his hands on a shiny new iPhone 5, photographer Dustin Curtis decided to test out its camera’s quality by pitting it against his Canon 5D Mark III (with a 50mm lens fixed at f/2.8). Read more…
Ever since people started getting their hands on the 5D Mark III and the 1D X’s 61-point AF system, they have been complaining about the black AF points for one reason or another (mostly regarding visibility). Whatever the complaints, however, the resounding request has been the same: bring back the red-when-active AF-points from the last 1D. And even though we’re not sure if that’s how Canon intends to fix the problem, Canon Rumors is reporting that the the Japanese camera giant has heard the complaints, and is currently working on solution.
Admittedly, the fact that CR was told the solution “may not be ideal for everyone” is anything but heartening, but at least Canon knows there is a problem, and is very likely going to fix it in an upcoming firmware update.
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.
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 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.
The folks over at NoFilmSchool recently did a low light comparison of the Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 5D Mark III, and Nikon D800. The cameras were used to film the same dark candlelit scene with the same settings, and the ISO was slowly pushed up to the cameras’ respective limits. It’s pretty striking how big of a difference in low light/high ISO quality there is in the cameras, especially in light of DxO Lab’s test results for the cameras’ sensors…
Camera rating business DxOMark has published its in-depth sensor review for the Canon 5D Mark III. For Canon fans, there’s both good and bad news: while the camera boasts the best sensor seen in a Canon DSLR so far — besting the sensor found in the 1Ds Mark III — its score of 81 is far below the Nikon D800′s 95. DxOMark does, however, point out that the two cameras focus on different strengths:
The duel between the Nikon D800 and the EOS 5D Mark III would most certainly take place except that the different sensors each one has adopted makes it difficult to do a head-to-head comparison. Both sensors offer different advantages —in principle, sensitivity for the Canon and definition for the Nikon. With its 36 megapixels, the Nikon D800 clearly has concentrated its efforts on fine detail reproduction.
For its part, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III chose to make a grand compromise: with its 22 megapixels, it offers both higher definition and in theory, higher sensitivity.
Canon has begun informing retailers in the UK and Canada (and probably other regions as well) that shipments of the Canon 5D Mark III have been put on hold as the company investigates the “light leak” issue that has come to light over the past month. Widely discussed in the blogosphere and on forums, the issue — which some have dubbed “leakgate” — is now known to cause a 1/3 stop error in exposure in very specific situations (i.e. scenarios that will not affect the vast majority of photographers).
A quick update on the “light leak phenomenon” on the 5D Mark III that Canon confirmed last week: after emailing Canon about the issue recently, photographer birdbrain received the following response:
Further to your enquiry we would like to inform you that we very recently (in April) have become aware of this and is now a known issue with the EOS 5D Mark III model. The AE sensor in the camera detects the light from the LCD panel when it is turned on and the exposure value will be altered. The change is not significant as it will be altered by approximately 1/3rd of a stop but can be noticeable. You can continue to use your 5D Mark III and the LCD screen can be turned off to receive the correct exposure.
The video above shows examples of what this 1/3 stop difference does for nighttime photographs. The issue definitely isn’t a huge one (don’t cancel your orders), but the 5D Mark III is a $3,500 camera and it’ll be interesting to see how Canon decides to deal with this flaw.