5D Mark III first impresions
Quiet, High ISO, Autofocus system, full frame sensor, image quality, & the build quality.
High price, no intervalometer , no auto focus while shooting video.
The Bottom Line:
I would recommend this camera to any Canon shooter that is a professional photographer or a hobbiest that knows the basics of photography. It is well built and fine tuned.
Review of my new Canon 5D Mark III:
From my background in film camera to my experience with the Canon XTi and T3i here are my thoughts and observations of the 5D Mark III:
What I noticed first about the 5d Mark III was its body size. It was a little larger than the T3i. Mostly in the width side to side when you hold it, but it was comfortable to hold. It also was noticeable tougher build then the T3i. The next thing I noticed was when I took the first picture. The shutter was very quiet compared to my other cameras. I had read about the Mark III having a silent mode, so I looked to see if the camera was set to that mode and it was not. When I switched it to the silent mode I was even more impressed. Ok, Canon calls it silent, but you do still hear it a little bit.
Latter I wanted to play around with the high ISO settings that I had been reading about. The camera can be set up to a native top ISO of 25600. This would have been unbelievable in my film shooting days. When I started shooting at different ISOs and looking close at them I decided to limit the top ISO to 10000. For me it looked like 10000 ISO did not have much grain were 25600 started showing more grain than what I wanted to shoot at. I would compare the 10000 ISO to about 1600 ISO on my T3i and 800 ISO on film.
Shooting landscape shoots in Island Park is where I really started to appreciate the full format sensor. My 24-70mm 2.8 lens was finally able to capture a wider angle of view. I shoot some low light night shots and many daylight shoots and was very happy with the performance of the camera. The long exposure night shoots showed no graininess to them. I wished this camera would have been out when I took our Alaska trip. The Aurora Borealis pictures I took with the T3i were great, but given these long night shoots I took with the Mark III, I am sure it would have been much more clear and less grain.
Although the full frame sensor was great to give me a wider angle it did give a drawback with the telephoto lenses. I was shooting pictures of some swans with my Sigma 150-500 and compared the T3i to the 5D Mark III. You could tell the Mark III had a lower effective power then the T3i with the same lens. The Mark III has 22 Megapixels compared to the 18 Megapixels of the T3I, so I would think if I crop the Mark III’s images to give the same framing, the picture would be better from the Mark III with the lower noise sensor.
The display on the Mark III seems more clear and sharper than the T3i or XTi, well when I have my reading glasses on. The T3i has a display that can be turned around and protected or turned at different angles. The Mark III display can not be moved, but has a good viewing angle. The Mark III display is also large. The Mark III also has a B&W top display. I really like this display for night shots. It has a backlight and is a quick way to see what your settings are.
When I was shooting some water scenes I notice that the Mark III was focusing every time without any issues, even when I put some neutral density filters on it. I had issues with focusing on the T3i and XTi when I used ND filters. The camera also focused on solid surfaces almost every time. One night shoot on a dark surface did not focus right away the first try, but that was the only time it did not focus for me.
In conclusion, I am very happy with the Canon 5D Mark III. I was especially impressed by the High ISO low noise images and the very quiet shutter. I enjoy having a full frame sensor that gives me the wider angle view and the autofocus has greatly improved over my previous models of SLRs. I am very impressed by the quality of images from the camera. I wish it had a built in intervalometer and a built in flash. I have not used the video modes many times yet, but wished it would focus while shooting video. I look forward to trying it with my other lenses and look forward to using this camera for a long time.