Review : Canon 5D MIII


This post has been a long time coming. The main reason I waited in reviewing the Canon 5DMIII was because I wanted to use it…like, really, really use it. I wanted to use it in low-light situations, gauge the LCD screen in full sun, travel with it, and shoot a handful of engagements and weddings before I gave my opinions. However, if you’d like the abbreviated version, here ya go: I wanna make out with this camera and wear his varsity jacket.

85mm f/1.2 1/1000 200 ISO

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know I started my photography business photographing my first wedding with the Canon 20D in 2006. I upgraded to the Canon 5D in 2008 and later upgraded to the Canon 5DMII in 2010. Part of the reason I jumped at the 5DMII was because of the higher ISO capabilities, the video capabilities, the larger LCD screen, and what I hoped would be a better focusing system. Because I frequently shoot wide open (me and f/1.2 are long-lost camp buddies who sewed our initials onto each others’ pillow cases in the summer of ’94), I craved a focusing system that allowed me to maximize what I could do with great glass. The MII’s focusing system wasn’t an upgrade from the 5D and I actually preferred the color profiles from the 5D as opposed to the MII.

Either way, I used the 5DMII and enjoyed the video capabilities as an addition to the brand with the installments of Shooting Star.

85mm f/1.8 1/160 250 ISO

When the 5DMIII was announced, I immediately placed my order at Adorama and it arrived on my doorstep a couple days later. To be honest, I was a little intimidated by the new Menu layout and the focussing system. Yes, the FOCUSSING SYSTEM. I had to use cap locks because if you were sitting in my office, I’d be shouting in your face with a Puerto Rican accent that sometimes appears when I’m excited. The focussing system is beautiful, glorious, and makes me think Paula Dean is sitting on my sensor because when it locks in, it’s like BUTTER.

Both the 5D and the 5DMII have a nine-point focus system, but the 5DMIII has a 61-point focus system. What this basically means is the focus points are magical now. No, really…have a looksie…

In all seriousness, because I was limited to the nine focus points on the MII, I was constantly focusing and recomposing my shot. Now that I have 61 options, it has radically changed my approach and yielded many more tact sharp photos. It took me a bit to learn how to quickly change my focal point while shooting on the fly, but it’s slowly becoming second nature and totally worth the results.

The color profile for the MIII is vastly improved from the MII and most of the time I love the color straight out of camera (using the Standard Picture Style) when properly exposed, so these two things alone made my investment worthwhile. The added bonus was the gnarly 16000 ISO (although I have yet to have used it over 2000 ISO because when shooting wide open, even minimal light is just enough to capture the mood and moment) and though I hope I don’t have to use it, it’s nice to know I have it in a tough situation. At a recent wedding in Cancun, I shot without flash just past sunset using the just videographer’s light to illuminate my subjects…

50mm f/1.2 1/100 1000 ISO

Even in strongly backlit situations, the focus is vastly superior to the 5D and 5DMII and I don’t have to work as hard to get the shot I want. This was the only photo I took in this position because it locked in immediately and was completely in focus…

35mm f/1.4 1/2000 160 ISO

I’ll end this review here because if I go on, I’ll start talking about how I might tan my camera and enter it into a pageant because it’s so worth of a Ultimate Grand Supreme crown and sash. Of course, it’s always important to remember the camera doesn’t make the photographer…the photographer makes the photographer. You don’t need fancy gear to start a business or pursue your dreams and don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise. This post was written merely to express my opinions, albeit silly and light-hearted. If you’re looking for a legit techy review, simply Google what you’re looking for and it’ll pop up. For those who appreciate butter, unicorns, and tanning, this one’s for you.

Stay Fabulous,