yes, i am passionate about photography and i have been a Canon fan boy for as long as i can remember, so u can imagine my excitement when i had made a decision back in October 2011 that i was going to purchase the yet-to-be-released 1DX model.
fortunately 5 years back i had invested in postal savings and the timing would be right for me to pick up the 1DX. but Canon made another announcement sometime in Feb end early March about the release of the Mark III, the successor to the awesome Mark II and now i was again confused on which to buy.
weighing the pros and cons i finally decided to go for the Mark III after discussing with several eminent photographers like Dr. Krishna Mohan and my good friend Krishna Prasad. and its probably the best decision i have made in a long time.
61 AF POINTS : is truly remarkable. its the same as the 1DX and makes the previous Mark II with just 9 AF points seem primitive.
If u can see the pic below, i selected manually the tip of my friends finger to be focused shooting under low light and all i can say is WOW.
LOW LIGHT PERFORMANCE: now this was the main reason which got my attention, the ISO sensitivity.
for the following test shots, sample shots, i have used the following lens on the 5D Mark III body
- EF 70 to 200 mm f 2.8 L IS II USM
- EF 50 mm f 1.2 L USM
- EF 24 to 105 mm f 4 L IS USM
This was taken in a shop which had pretty diffused lighting throughout. ISO was set to auto and i let the camera decide the best ISO.
This pic was taken indoors and the only light source illuminating his face came from the computer monitor.
a completely out door shoot, shot under a gazebo.
unbelievable pic coz i have taken this shot at max focal length of 200 mm and the sharpness and detail is simply stunning. the lens off course is stunning ....70 to 200 mm f 2.8 L IS II USM is probably the best lens ever made!! (again, my opinion)
the photo in between of the girl looking out the window was taken in the absence of light. in fact the light source here, was a street lamp across the building. this was an evening shot and pretty good detail.
The third pic is of Nicole in red playing scrabble on her IPAD. again , no light in the room, and the only source of light was from the IPAD which was reflecting off her face.
I deliberately converted this pic to Black and white coz color would have been too distracting. manageable noise at 25600 ISO.
The second pic at ISO 25600 shot with the 70 to 200 mm f 2.8 L IS II lens is again by far the best compared to the 50 mm or even the standard 24 to 105 mm kit lens.
OK, so the lens also plays a very important role in light sensitivity. i have used the 50 mm and the 70 to 200 both have wide apertures at 1.2 and 2.8 respectively.
but if u check the very last pic above, its shot with the kit lens that came with the 5D Mark III , the under rated 24 to 105 mm f 4 L IS USM lens. (well, under rated to me, coz i hardly use this lens)
everyone who owns the 24 to 105 mm lens knows that its a great out door lens with a decent aperture of f 4 and its also a great fashion photographers lens to work with provided u have an external speed light like 580 EX II.
so for this one, i deliberately cranked the ISO to 25600 and took this pic in a very dimly lit room. the bulb on the back ground seems to be glowing more than it should. and the pic is a bit grainy, but then again,. its shot on a lens thats not really great for low light pics, and here the results are superb and crispy if not excellent.
i could have easily corrected all these pics here using Lightroom 4.1 by decreasing the NOISE, but then that would defeat the very purpose of this review.
some key features this camera has to offer ( in other words better than the Mark II)
- Low light sensitivity enhanced to 25600 ISO
- 61 AF points making it possible now to track and focus objects better than before
- fast 6 fps shooting (the fastest on a full frame DSLR over 22 mp)
- in camera RAW processing and HDR modes
- dual card slots (CF + SD)
The fast fps and 61 AF points makes this a good camera for action and sports photography. the previous Mark II was only good for taking pics of weddings, landscapes, still life and very old people. (in general for people who dont move much)
The only con i see here ,apart from it being a bit heavier than the Mark II, is maybe the price, which costs around $ 3500, roughly over 1.75 lakh in India for the body alone. adding the tax and duty and all the other garbage the camera wont cost less that Rs 2 lakh in the Indian market unless off course u buy it in the grey markets or without a bill.
having said that, its still a much better option than the 1DX, a monster of a camera that costs twice as much as the 5D Mark III for features that many wont notice.
CONCLUSION: the 5D Mark II kinda set the standards for image quality, low light performance and it was easily the best full frame DSLR canon had ever released. If u are happy with the Mark II then i wouldnt really suggest u go in for an upgrade unless u have ur mothers money to back u up or have a secret postal savings account to indulge in expensive toys. I for one am the happiest coz i have both, the Mark II and the Mark III
But is is a great new camera worth every penny spent on? the answer is a loud YES!!!