1st wedding with 1DMkIII - initial impressions

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1st wedding with 1DMkIII - initial impressions

Postby JoePhoto » Jul Sat 14, 2007 12:44 am

Well after about 350 test frames I brought the MkIII to it's first wedding as a long lens (or #2) camera. My #2 camera usually has the 85L or 70-200 on it for most of the day and is often a natural light camera. But I slapped the 24-70 on it at the reception to get a handle on the flash shots.

Natural light - this thing rocks. No worries there, but with the flash I was getting concerned, especially at the reception because the images I was seeing on the LCD lacked the punch and richness I was seeing on the 5D LCD. Well - it turns out that most of it can be attributed to the LCD itself. It's actually not very good, and doesn't have the best viewing angle. You need to tilt the top of the camera away from you to get the optimum representation which still is a bit contrasty. After realizing this, I give the LCD poor marks because it's also soft making it near impossible to judge image sharpness even when zooming in to the max. They made it big, but not better! It pales in comparrison to the 5D's LCD which I can use to accurately check focus and gives decent color/tone accuracy.

The other part of it was actually the one of the 580EX's custom functions! C.Fn-11 on the 580EX (C.Fn-7 or 9 *I can't remember which* on the 580EXII) is Auto setting of flash coverage to match sensor size. By default it is set to ON, when I switched it OFF the results were very simlar if not identical to the 5D's flash. My 2nd shooter (20D & 30D) also set his 580 and 580II to this and it improved his flash use as well Tip: For those with a cropped sensor Canon and 580EX or 580EXII - try disabling that C.Fn and see how you like your flash performance now baby!

The camera is fast, actually too fast for many situations. I found that I was taking too many similar frames because the camera reacted so fast. I set the camera on single frame or burst low (which I set for 4fps.) This helped quell the speed shooting when I started using my blazing fast D2h. So I need to tame myself once again. I did purposfully rattle off a handful of frames at 10fps during the portrait session outside and the girls went crazy, whooting and hollering - so I guess it has it's place! :D I also got a chance to use silent mode in the (big, echoey) church and it's simply amazing how much difference it made. What a great feature!

Battery life - I feel that I wasted money buying a spare battery. I made 867 frames on the MkIII and have 72% battery life remaining! :dance
I'm truely amazed. I didnt think anything could top Nikon's D2 battery system, but this is a bit better *finally*!

I have a HUGE nit pick with the placement of the flash compensation button. It's accessable on the left side of the camera, which means I can't reach it while shooting. I have to take my hand out from under the lens and pull the camera away from my face to use it. I'll have to do a few tests to see if the regular EV comp button effects the flash when shooting manual exposure (like on Nikon). If it does, I'll be happy again, but this is a feature I use a lot as I shoot 99.8% manual exposure at a wedding and need to have quick control over my flash at receptions.

The Af system is a puch button, 2-dial system to change points, and while I'm slowly getting the hang of it, I didn't stray from the center point AF very much because of time and my comfort level making a quick change. But this is something that I'm wrapping my brain around and feel that I'll be able to get a hang of pretty quickly.

I did not shoot in AI servo even once. I have yet to do the dredded AI Servo test. I don't normally use it, but I have a feeling I'm going to be disappointed when I give it a shot. Call it a hunch.

Anyway, this is just my first report. I chimped the files, but didn't give them a true work in yet, but from my initial browse, I'll be very happy. If you made it this far, thanks for hanging in there. In fact if you click *right here* you will be treated to a surprize picture. I must warn you, it has tits showing, so be careful at work.

More to come...
Joe H.
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Postby TonyK » Jul Sat 14, 2007 6:49 am

Joe,

Thanks for the detailed field report. To say I'm drooling to see some photos taken with it, by you, is an understatement.

Makes me wish I could afford the 5D or the Mk III.

Thanks,
TonyK
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Postby mattchase » Jul Sat 14, 2007 8:23 am

Nice tits Joe. :)
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Postby Vance » Jul Sat 14, 2007 12:03 pm

Thanks for the write up Joe... and the tits shot. Amazing model by the way. :D

Makes me kind of appreciate my 30D more. ;o)
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Postby JoePhoto » Jul Sun 15, 2007 12:05 am

Ok Tony, your wait is over. I pulled about a dozen frames from the wedding and put them through my standard workflow. I even rescued one that I mis exposed and was going to toss away. I'll post them in PhotoX with shot explanations for your review. Comments & crits very welcome. I'll make some 100% crops of the files for your review in a day or so.

Well, ok maybe one here...

Image
MkIII & 85L 1/400 sec. f/3.2 ISO 400
This is my personal favorite - you can see the shot details and the other images Here in PhotoX
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Postby JoePhoto » Jul Sun 15, 2007 12:29 am

A few people have asked me what the 5D's roll will be with a MkIII in the picture. I think it's still a unique image in that the FF sensor and the way it makes the images react to certain lenses. I personally find the 5D's tendency to vignette with longer lenses and soften the edges with almost every lens yields a priceless creamy look for portraits that really cannot be duplicated with any cropped sensor. Going back to a cropped sensor (albeit only 1.3x) after using FF cameras for 10 months deffinitely takes some work. I've become so accustomed to working with certain lenses like the 70-200 and 85mm on a FF camera that they really do turn into something else when used on a cropped camera. there are both advantages and disadantages so IMO the 5D will remain a staple for my work while the MkIII takes it's place next to it for different purposes.
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Postby Ballen Photo » Jul Sun 15, 2007 8:15 am

Informative review Joe. Thanks. :D
-Bruce
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Postby Watchin » Jul Mon 16, 2007 8:13 pm

Joe you just proved the axiom yet again.
"Give a good camera to a good photographer and you'll get good shots. Give
a great camera to that photographer and you might get better shots. But
give ANY camera to a great photographer and you'll get great shots."

The new and better will just make your work easier.. you don't need any help!!!
Greg aka Watchin..."just watchin the world go bye, trying to understand the picture."
"Life is a grand adventure! Not a guided tour." oWo
Nikon D-700, Nikon lenses, Alien B flashes and lots of junk...
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Postby JoePhoto » Jul Thu 19, 2007 12:39 pm

Thanks guys.

It seemed that Canon was listening to gripes. firmware 1.0.9 (available now at servic centers) will be released via the web by the end of the month. What's known so far is that it corrects AF servo issues, LCD issues, and at leat one foreign language issue.
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