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SS Canon 5D III reviews
Garrett Hubbard, Photographer
Washington | D.C. | USA | Posted: 10:55 AM on 04.23.12
->> This is a call for anyone who owns one to chime in. I've seen reviews on those pixel-peeping sites. But I find the comments from the pro's in this community infinitely more valuable and usable. I've learned a lot in the D800 reviews thread and I wanted to see the Canon counterpart. There were a few reviews of the 5DIII in this SS thread and I'm sure there is something else we could learn from those who own the 5DIII.

To anyone who shares their thoughts with us, I thank you in advance.
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Brian Tietz, Photographer
Fort Myers | FL | USA | Posted: 11:52 AM on 04.23.12
->> Just got mine Friday, shot 1 assignment with it and if performed flawlessly. High ISO 2000 looks fantastic, iso 6400 looks great too. I never liked anything over 1600 on the 5d Mark II.

Biggest difference over the 5d Mark II is the AF. Every bit as fast and accurate and 1D series cameras.

Physically it feels beefier than the 5D mark II.

Silent mode is actually really quiet, I was surprised.

Overall I'm really happy with the initial results.

Got mine From Jeff Snyder at Adorama, they only had the kit with the 24-105 in stock but not a big deal I should be able to sell that lens easily to make up the $800 difference between the kit and the body alone.

I'll be ordering another soon.
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Angus Mordant, Student/Intern
Sydney | NSW Australia | Australia | Posted: 11:54 AM on 04.23.12
->> I used a CPS loan 5D MkIII over the weekend, It was absolutely fantastic, killer Auto Focus, great high ISO and the silent shutter is very nice for some of the work I do. I will be doing a blog post about the mkIII over the weekend and I will link it here.
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Peter Read Miller, Photographer
Manhattan Beach | CA | USA | Posted: 12:56 PM on 04.23.12
->> I've had mine for a couple of weeks and I am very happy with it.
High ISO and AF are both excellent, although the descriptions on the menu of the six different AF modes are utterly useless except for making you laugh.
I do think it probably has the best AF of any Canon DSLR-and I've used them all. LCD screen is beautiful too.
Moreover the camera has a great feel to it. Build quality is much more solid than the preceding 5D's.
I am still awaiting my grip, but I was able to play with a camera with one on and it felt even better.
All in all I think this camera is a big win for Canon and I hope it bodes well for the 1D X (I think they share the sensor and some of the AF system).
If, of course, the X is ever released.
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Kent Nishimura, Student/Intern, Photographer
Honolulu | HI | USA | Posted: 12:56 PM on 04.23.12
->> I had a 5D Mark III for three days right after it's release. Great camera! It's what the 5D Mark II should've been...
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Kent Nishimura, Student/Intern, Photographer
Honolulu | HI | USA | Posted: 12:57 PM on 04.23.12
->> Peter, they do share the same AF system, except the 1DX has a dedicated processor for autofocus.
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Jack Kurtz, Photographer
Phoenix | AZ | United States | Posted: 1:02 PM on 04.23.12
->> I just got back from a couple of weeks in Vietnam with my 5D Mk3. Very, very happy with it. I've never had a 1D series body and I've been using 5D bodies since the original came out in 2006.

The Mark III is an improvement in every way. The autofocus alone is worth the upgrade. It's blazing fast and (so far) very reliable. I haven't shot sports yet, for street shooting and low light the AF is stunning. All of the focus points work (on my Mark II's using the outer points was very hit and miss). I also like the shooting to two cards. I have mine set up to shoot raw files to the CF card and JPEG to the SD card. I know these features have been available to 1D users for years but it's nice that they're now out there for the rest of us.

And oh yeah, image quality is improved too. At low ISO it's not a huge deal (I never complained about image quality with the Mark II). I ran a couple of tests at 6400 and high ISO was much better, but truthfully I seldom go above 1600.

For me it's a no brainer. If you're using the 5D Mark II and frustrated by that cameras limitations the Mark III is a great upgrade. Is it worth $3500? I can't answer that. It was for me. It would have been better at $2500 for sure (at that price I might have bought two of them) but ultimately the camera delivered everything I wanted.

Pros: autofocus, fps, general handling, image quality, 22mp is more than enough for me.
Cons: that it took so long to roll these improvements into the 5D line.
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Myung Chun, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 1:06 PM on 04.23.12
->> I used one for a couple of weeks looking primarily at the video function so that's what my write-up will be about.

The camera's a little smaller than the 5Dmk2 so your viewfinder loupes might not fit properly. Adjustable ones like the Zacuto will be fine.

The camera has time code now.

The 5Dmk3 will record up to 30 mins at a time. After 4GB, it'll create another file but you don't have to manually stop/start the camera after 12 mins.

It now has a headphone jack. You can record audio into the camera without having to use a Beachtek or other audio adapter. I did an audio test using a Sennheiser ME66 plugged into the camera and the clarity was really surprising. It was lacking in the bass so I raised the 100-300hz range in FCP and that gave it a fullness.

The high ISO capability is wonderful. It's a little noisy in the mids and shadows (almost film grain-like) at ISO 12,800 but still usable. At 25,600, it's too noisy for my taste.

The camera will record All-I frames or IPB frames in H.264.
The video start/stop button and on/off switch are more like the 7D. There are new buttons and some have been moved around. The magnifying button can be remapped to the "Set" button on the thumbwheel, not at the top like the 7D and 5Dmk2. There is now a locking mode dial and better weather seals.

There is still rolling shutter effects and jelloing, but it doesn't seem as severe as the 5Dmk2.

You can monitor audio levels but cannot adjust it while recording which doesn't make a lot of sense.

Also, I couldn't use the log and transfer function using FCP7. There was no problem with FCPX.

Those were the major points for me.
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 2:51 PM on 04.23.12
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Garrett Hubbard, Photographer
Washington | D.C. | USA | Posted: 2:53 PM on 04.23.12
->> Myung, Does it seem like the pre-amp is any cleaner than the II?
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Jim Urquhart, Photographer
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 4:27 PM on 04.23.12
->> I have been using it for a couple weeks now and it has become my primary camera, including primary sports camera.
I have covered three NBA basketball games, a week of alpine ski championships, rock climbing with it and several news assignments with it.
The focus is spot on, construction is solid and simply the best news camera I have ever used.
The only glaring exception I found is the lack of support from photo mechanic to support the in camera tagging. To me, this is key when shooting and editing on deadline. Photomechanic supports the in camera rating system which I use as a work around.
The bad part is that when you are covering an NBA game and are working with three or more cameras I have to make a separate folder for the just the mark III files to work from.
No comments from support from photomechanic or canon to emails I have sent.
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Myung Chun, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 5:44 PM on 04.23.12
->> ->> Myung, Does it seem like the pre-amp is any cleaner than the II?

Garrett, I've never recorded directly to the 5Dmk2 so I can't tell you if it is or not. I've recorded through a Beachtek DXA-SLR to the 5D2 and the test is much cleaner than that. Other times, I've recorded to an Edirol.

But from my test recording, I certainly wouldn't hesitate to record to the camera.
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Jim Urquhart, Photographer
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 9:56 PM on 04.23.12
->> A special thanks to member Kevin Cox directing me to newly announced just now released Beta 2 of the upcoming 4.6.9.
I downloaded and it works great and supports the tagging.
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Derek Regensburger, Photographer
Thornton | CO | United States | Posted: 10:39 PM on 04.23.12
->> I have used mine for three weeks or so. I have shot hockey, track and field, and a lot of flying birds with it. My impressions are that the autofocus is usually quite good. The autofocus with my 400 f4 and 1.4x converter is so much faster than on my 1DMKII where it was virtually unusable to track things. That being said, I have noticed the 5dMKIII does still back focus when tracking a subject. If the focus point is moved off the subject even slightly it will hit the background (like hockey boards or the runner the behind the one I'm focused on). So I'm still figuring that issue out with the all the customizable settings. The other focus issue is in dimly lit rooms. I have found it can hunt for focus in these conditions.

The jpeg images have been great. The meter is fooled very infrequently. The contrast and color of the images is terrific. I can say that the only subject that would benefit from more resolution is wide angle landscapes or other detail shots. Everything else has looked fantastic from portraits to sports to macros. I can't wait to see what RAW files look like. I have not been able to figure out how to get Lightroom 4.1 to read them as of yet.

I like the handling of the camera but have a couple of quibbles. Why the AF-on button is the smaller of the buttons on the back of the camera is a mystery. Sometimes I hit the AE lock by mistake. I am also not a fan of the multicontroller/joystick. It is too small and finicky for my taste.
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Eric Isaacs, Photographer, Assistant
Santa Barbara | CA | USA | Posted: 12:08 AM on 04.24.12
->> I've been using one for about two weeks now, some of my favorite improvements are the better autofocus, the locking function knob on the top (no more gaffers tape!) and flash metering when using the A+ mode.

Yes, thats right, the A+ mode... I've always had poor results from Canon E-TTL metering on previous bodies from the 20D to the 1D MKII/5DMKII. Even with my old 550 the metering is well done in auto mode. I'm hoping it will work well in aperture priority when the 600 is released but for now the few times I need to use on camera flash are covered.

I've toyed around with the HDR and multi exposure features. I haven't found any real use for them yet but they are fun to play with.

Silent shooting mode is noticeably quieter, might come in handy from time to time.
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Tim Gangloff, Photographer
Knoxville | Tn | USA | Posted: 9:37 AM on 04.24.12
->> I've found the 5d3 to be a really really good camera. As reference, I've had the 1d, 1d2, 1d2N 1d3, 5d and 5d2. I still have a 1d4. It's the best focusing camera I've ever used. It's quick and accurate. The new AF is really good. It's not perfect - I've yet to use one that is - but it's darn close. I like the AF preset sports settings. I think they work. I've shot track and field and soccer with it using the custom presets and think they do make a difference and are tuned correctly. I shot some volleyball in a dark middle school gym (ISO 10,000, 2.8 and 1/800) and the focus still seemed quick and accurate.

I am still trying to dial in my LR4 settings for it. There is a balancing act between sharpness settings and noise reduction settings and I am still tweaking.

The only negative thing I can think of is for sports shooters is the 6fps. Yeah, I know that I try to time most of my shots, but there are times when a burst is nice too, and the 1d4 is just so much faster in those situations. I can only imagine those lucky shooters who will get the 1dx...I'll be saving for it. Putting the new AF system in a body that can rock 10+ fps is going to be pretty awesome.

Oh, and I struggle already with trying to keep my images lined up with the horizon and not tilted all to hell and with a big lens and no grip on the 5d3, I find it even more difficult. I need a grip for it. I miss the built-in grip of the 1 series. I had a grip for the 5d2 and forgot how much I used/needed it.

I shot a bit of flash with it the other night in a dark auditorium at my son's middle school and the 580exII performed flawlessly with it.

I also shot about a 30 minute video of my daughters school concert the other day and it seems to be on par with the 5d2. I do appreciate the built in headphone jack, even though I forgot to bring my headphones and use it. I gotta remember to pack those along in my camera bag now with the mic.

Oh, I should mention that I've used the 5d3 with
- 70-200 2.8IS II on it it. Perfect. Stunning.
- 70-200 w/ 1.4x III very fast, very good. almost stunning
- 70-200 w/ 2.ox II pretty darn good, definitely usable
- 300 2.8 IS - perfect again
- 300 2.8 IS w/ 1.4x III nearly perfect
- 300 2.8 IS w 2.0x II very usable - some hunting for AF
- 300 2.8 IS w/ 1.4 and 2.0 - lots of hunting, but when it locks, very usable images. not good for moving targets, but stationary wildlife images can still be very sharp.
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Jason Zindroski, Photographer, Assistant
Laguna Niguel | CA | USA | Posted: 2:54 PM on 04.26.12
->> I got one from CPS as a loaner and plan on using it this weekend in Houston at the NHRA race so I'll report back here how the AF was able to handle it.
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Baron Sekiya, Photographer, Photo Editor
Hilo | HI | USA | Posted: 3:10 AM on 04.27.12
->> Canon 5DMkIII firmware is now posted with version 1.1.2.
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Jim Urquhart, Photographer
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 3:53 AM on 04.27.12
->> In this gallery only images 3 and 6 are not with 5D Mark III.
Image 3 is with a 5d Mark II
Image 6 is a remote with a 7d
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Garrett Cortese, Photographer, Photo Editor
Orlando | FL | USA | Posted: 10:10 AM on 04.27.12
->> I posted this to my blog after using the 5D Mark III for a week or two. There are a variety of sample images, including a sequence to show speed and AF capabilities.

Overall I am extremely impressed with the camera. I still won't be able to replace my 1D series bodies with it because in my line of work I need to shoot sequences of riders performing tricks and 6 FPS isn't quite enough to do that, but it is very, very close.

I've shot both wakeboarding and a dimly lit wedding with the 5D Mark III and it performs flawlessly. The chapel for the wedding was a very dimly lit, log cabin style setting. Most of the time I was shooting ISO 4000, f/2.8, 1/200. The files are amazing for that high of an ISO. I shot a wakeboarding photo at dusk at ISO 2000, f4.5, 1/4000 just to test out the high ISO. I would run the photo as a spread in my magazine without any hesitation.

One of the coolest features for me now that I have started shooting more weddings is the silent shutter. The minister of the wedding I shot recently was very particular about cameras and photography during ceremonies in his very small church (the bride and groom weren't too happy when he tried to limit where and when I could should). I used the silent shutter mode and it was amazing, it allowed me to shoot wherever and whenever I wanted. The minister even commented after that fact that he had no idea I was shooting photos.

This camera is a very big upgrade from the 5D Mark II. I can't think of one thing from the Mark II that I wish this camera had. One of my buddies who shoots video shot with it for a bit and immediately remarked how much better it felt to shoot with and how much better it performed. My only negative mark against the camera is that I am it is $500 more than the Nikon D800.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 4:52 PM on 04.27.12
->> Is anyone having trouble opening the Mark3's RAW files in Photoshop CS5?
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 4:54 PM on 04.27.12
->> Actually, looking at the Adobe site my question should have been, "Is it possible to open the Mark 3's RAW files in CS5?"

It doesn't look like it.
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Jack Kurtz, Photographer
Phoenix | AZ | United States | Posted: 7:01 PM on 04.27.12
->> Jim,

CS5 does open 5D Mk3 raw files. The Release Candidate of the latest version of ACR, available at Adobe Lab's site, is the one you want. (I don't remember the version number)

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Jack Kurtz, Photographer
Phoenix | AZ | United States | Posted: 7:18 PM on 04.27.12
->> link to download ACR 6.7
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Todd Spoth, Photographer, Student/Intern
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 8:50 PM on 04.27.12
->> Just posted a quick blog about my experiences with the cameras.

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Gray Quetti, Photographer
Jacksonville | Fl | USA | Posted: 9:04 AM on 04.29.12
->> Nice blog on the 5D MkIII Todd. I have one on order and that is some great information. Thanks.
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Bradley Leeb, Photographer
Champaign | IL | USA | Posted: 10:23 AM on 04.30.12
->> I shot with the 5DIII at a wedding over the weekend. Personally, I normally shoot Nikon, but when I second shoot weddings with this particular friend, I use his Canon gear to make things more consistent on the post-processing end. In the past, I've used his 5DII as well as 5Dclassic cameras and never really cared for them that much, but using the Mark III Saturday was almost enough to make me a convert.

The grip had a nice solid feel, although not having the vertical grip was a bit awkward at times for me as it has probably been a couple of years since I've shot any camera without one.

The AF was considerably faster than the previous 5D versions, although it did hesitate a bit in low light.

I felt like the skin tones were much improved over previous versions. One of the things I never liked previously is that on the 5D, and 5D II, the skin tones seemed a little reddish for my taste, but the Mark III looked way more natural.

The high ISO was terrific. I took a couple of shots just for fun at 12,800 and while I haven't seen them on a big monitor yet, they still looked relatively clean on the camera's LCD.

Also, for whatever reason, changing settings seemed much more intuitive for me than in the past. Since I normally shoot Nikon and only use Canon on occassion, it usually takes me a little while to get back in the groove of things, but the Mark III seemed to come more natural to me.
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Jack Kurtz, Photographer
Phoenix | AZ | United States | Posted: 10:36 AM on 05.02.12
->> The final version of Adobe Camera Raw 6.7 (for CS5), with 5D Mark III compatibility, is just around the corner. Although it's not listed on Adobe's updates page yet, my Adobe updater downloaded it this morning. If you're running CS5, you might want to see if you can download it through the updater.
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Garrett Hubbard, Photographer
Washington | D.C. | USA | Posted: 2:25 PM on 05.02.12
->> I really appreciate all the user feedback you all provided. I just got my 5d3 and I'm really impressed thus far. The AF is confidence inspiring and it's the first 5D body that feels like a pro body.
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Alan Look, Photographer
Bloomington/Normal | IL | United States | Posted: 9:12 PM on 05.02.12
->> 5 or 6 years ago shutter lag was a huge concern. I used to even track it when a new model would arrive. I've seen it eluded to, but not commented on directly. Is it no longer a factor with new bodies? How does the lag on the 5DIII compare to the 1D series?

I took a look about 3 or 4 different places and I can't seem to find it listed in any of the specs, so I guess unless someone has the number this one will be subjective.

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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 10:27 PM on 05.02.12
->> Alan - per Canon 59ms I believe the 1DIV is listed at 55ms
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 2:44 PM on 05.04.12
->> The more I use this camera the happier I am with it. I had to use it for track and field and got what I needed both in terms of af and in terms of action I grew up before motordrives were common and was happy when we got 6 fps in the 90s. I would be happy for 90 percent fo my work with two of these bodies.
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Jason Zindroski, Photographer, Assistant
Laguna Niguel | CA | USA | Posted: 5:42 PM on 05.09.12
->> I was able to use a 5d3 as a loaner from CPS at an NHRA drag race and a desert offroad race the past two weeks. I was impressed with how the 5d3 handled the high speed motorsports, though I have never used a 5d mark 2 as a comparison. I'm coming from a 1ds mark 2 and 1d mark 2.

I thought that overall the RAW files out of my 1ds seem sharper and overall a bit better. I shot up to 5000 and 6400 ISO at a night session at the NHRA race and was quite happy with the results, very useable. Coming from the 1ds Mark 2 it almost felt like cheating :). A friend who shoots with Nikon d3s's thought at 5000 ISO his camera had a bit less noise. I've shot once with a D700 at the high ISO and feel they were very similar.

One feature I really liked was not having to hold down the different menu buttons while scrolling, such as to change ISO, AF Drive, etc. It was nice to just press the button once, scroll to change, then press it again all with one hand.

AF was good and very comparable to the 1 series, though it did feel like it was a small step behind. I think with the more advanced AF features in the menu it would just need some tweaking and finding what works best so I don't want to say yet which is better.

FPS was find at 6 frames, I never use the 8 fps on my Mark 2 unless I specifically setup a shot for it.

Using a 300mm f2.8L IS with a 1.4x tele was much more reliable.

If I get one I'll have to get the grip to go along with it, feels very awkward shooting vertical without it.

If anyone wants any full size RAW files to look at just let me know.
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Mike Morelock, Photographer
Greenwood | AR | USA | Posted: 12:18 PM on 05.10.12
->> Have just used it sportswise for a couple of little league games, but have played around with it on a ton of other stuff. I'm coming from a 5d2, 7d and 1ds2. When I started using a 40D and 50D after the 1ds2 it always seemed like when you pushed the back button focus there was a tiny pause before the autofocus started working. The 7D seemed to largely do away with this. Now with the 5D3 when I first started using it, it felt like that micro hesitation was back. My theory is Canon programs this in to make the 1DX autofocus seems a little snappier. This isn't much, and I'm already used to it, just a nit to pick.
Once the focus starts doing stuff it works the best of any Canon I've had. When it locks, it tracks really well. For the most part if the focus is off, it's because you got off the subject, not the camera failing. This is just in the basic all around autofocus mode, haven't played with the other modes yet.
Oh and I should say this is centerpoint with adjacent point expansion setting. I'm not sure I'll ever trust a cameras autofocus to just turn it loose and let it pick everything.

It's the first Canon camera I've had where I felt really confident in using the non center focus points, at least on stationary objects. Even with extremely tiny DoF it autofocuses really well on all the points. Well all the main ones, I don't have all 6 zillion points selectable. In twilight it hunts some of course, and when it hunts it seems slower to go through it's range, but it will lock focus at light levels other Canon cameras give up in.

I need a grip. I won't pay $500 or whatever for it. It's a friggen hunk of plastic, with a few springloaded buttons and some holes to drop batteries in. So aftermarket grip, here I come.

It's stupid that this thing won't control external flashes the way the 7D does. There's times I really don't want to have the extra weight of a flash on top of the camera or even in my bag just to control other flashes, and no I won't pay however much Canon is charging nowdays for their flash controller. This should be built in to a camera of this caliber. Canon, Nikon is kicking your ass at image quality so you have to start throwing in some goodies. Flash control just catches you up to Nikon, so throw that in and then some more, KTHXBYE.

I don't like the lack of focus illumination. Try using this camera in low light conditions, you can't see the selected focus point until it locks focus. Irritating. Does anyone at Canon actually use the cameras?

I look at the back screen just to check the exposure. Especially with this camera I usually know when it's in focus or not. Not is when I have screwed up, the cameras just nails it. So I don't even want to see a picture, just a histogram. In bright light it's almost impossible to see whether a channel is blown on the RGB histogram. I almost have to shoot it a little under to see the edge, then figure ok now I can go up a couple of clicks.

When reviewing a photo, I hate the zoom. Why change this? It was so nice on the 5d2 and 7D, one button in, the one next to it out. At least offer this as an option because it's not like those buttons do anything when you're in review mode.

I like the shutter sound. It's much louder than a 5D2 but it sounds more like a friggen camera not a toy.

The lack of noise, while not as good as Nikon is still best ever for Canon. There's just more and more scenarios where you can crank the ISO up and not even have to think oh noes that's going to be too noisy.
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Thread Title: SS Canon 5D III reviews
Thread Started By: Garrett Hubbard
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