So its been a bit of a rough ride in the last 3 months dealing with Camera Limitations for me. While it was great to really tear into creative avenues I have never gone with a camera before. My 10 year old Canon first gen DSLR had a lot of speed limitations that where making things very difficult for me. Slow Writes, Lack of long burst support coupled with 3-4 minute write times. So pictures of birds in flight where out of the question. Moved to the 70D, ran into massive noise problems. A combination of a bad body, and a series of software limitations has left me rather unhappy with it. It tries to compensate to much for the user even under custom shooting modes. It tends to over expose the lights, and under expose and lack sensitivity to shadows. I like to shoot on the dark side to preserve detail than increase the exposure after the fact if its need.
So I was given a chance to get a 5D mk3 by Canon, at a greatly reduced price. When it showed up mid week I didn't have much time to play with it at first. Mostly I took it out of the box Shoved a charged battery into it. Put a big Lens on it, and Took a few quick shots of things I know that the last body had problems with. (high speed focusing on small objects in motion at a distance greater than a football field, pictures with a big range of color variance from light to dark with heavy shadows, Complex patterns, Shooting into the sun instead of back to the sun). I was pleasantly Surprised to find that it not only performed to the levels I was expecting it should. But it gave me a much greater ability to match the actual light conditions of where I was shooting. The previous two bodies both had a tendency at times to attempt to enhance the light quite a bit, which would work if I was taking pictures of kids. But I am not, I do very little if any portraiture.
On thursday I managed to actually get the normal activities finished and nothing extra ended up adding to the stack of things. So I got home with time to actually catch the sun and get some Nature shots. While I was mostly just fooling around, taking pictures of my very confused Rhododendron bush that decided to bloom a second time in the last few weeks. I was amazed at how quick and accurate it was focusing (it seems a good number of the canon bodies have focus troubles with the 100-400 Telephoto), aswell as the color dynamics and representation. As I often shoot in AV mode, its common place to have to stop the bodies down 1-2 stops in most situations to preserve and not wash out the detail. In this situation the shots where pretty much perfect, No need for additional sharpening or saturation adjustment, and there was no under exposure noise in the show sections of the image apart from the bokeh of lens out of DOF effect. All that I needed to do was set a white balance and crop it some.
So I also Figured I would share with you one of those shots.
So it really seems that a full frame body is the place for me right now.
Yeah, I recently took pics of a capoeria class, and I was not happy with the noise I got from those pics. I'm thinking that my next lens is going to be the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 so I won't have to have as high an ISO. I'm decently happy with the outdoor pics of gotten and I can still learn a lot using this camera body, but I think a new lens is in order.
With Sony recently releasing the Alpha 7R, I'm wondering if maybe I should push back my idea of also picking up a mirrorless camera even further so I can get a mirrorless full-frame camera and knock out two birds with one stone.
Glad you're happy with the Mark III though!
I had picked up a tamron 18-50mm f/2.8 a few weeks ago on a whim, as i needed a low light lens, and didn't quite have the money to purchase the canon 24-70L F2.8 I was looking at. It was pleasently pleased with it for Crop sensor stuff. I also realized that If I had picked up a canon Prime 50mm F1.2, It really wouldn't of complemented my shooting style as the DOF would of been so shallow for shooting stage action. That I would of Still been forced to go up to 2.8. Which still would of pushed me into a higher ISO.
On a Aperture front, Just cause a lens says its X.X, you need to take into account element glass quality and front element size. While most of the internal elements it lenses seem to be on the smaller size. A large front element does make a huge differance. I found that the 68mm front element on the tamron f2.8 Roughly put it on par with my f4.5-5.6 100-400mm W/77mm for light levels in certain shooting conditions.
Its also worth pointing out the 70D still doesn't parse correctly in Lightroom for higher ISO's. I am generally forced to do the image processing for those shots in photoshop, and then save them back into the Lightroom catalog (which it will do automatically for you) So that I can then do all my meta data modifications, water marking, re-sizing. So if a image has a large amount of monocromatic noise in lightroom or a cubic distortion on display. It probably won't look the same way in photoshop, Despite that they use the same version of Camera RAW for initial decoding.
On a side note: I am going birding again tomorrow in the early morning. Had tons of problems with the 70D at this time of day. My intial tests seemed to show that it can handle early morning shooting into direct light with a extreme dynamic range of lighting. But 2-3 hours of shooting will be the real testament. Not to mention I am very eager to try out the in camera HDR in a different enviroment. As it will do correct location reiszing to limit ghosting in camera and facilitate a good handheld HDR shot. As well as leave the original frames split for assembly and tweaking after the fact (the 70D will only do split bracket frames without a HDR assembly in camera, or a full HDR assembly without saving the original frames)
Sadly When I got to the marsh today not as much birds where out there. Guess It finally got to cold for the large group.
However It was a great day for Egret pictures.
Got some great small bird shots aswell like this one, which is cropped down to 1:1 pixel ratio but still looks great.
This guy Decided He wanted to Hi at one point, you don't really need the big lens when they are 10 feet away :D
Though i think the winning shot of the day is this, Which only need a slight crop down to 4780x2062 @ 1/3200 shutter speed, @ ISO 200.