Concerning the Speedlite AF assist beam issue occurring with Speedlites used with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III or Canon EOS-1D X, there will soon be a firmware fix. In the EOS forum at Canon USA, a forum moderator wrote:
Canon has confirmed that, depending upon the shooting conditions, it may take slightly longer for the EOS 5D Mark III and EOS-1D X digital SLR cameras to acquire focus when using the Speedlite’s AF Assist Beam, compared with that of the EOS 5D Mark II and EOS-1D Mark IV digital SLR cameras using the Speedlite’s AF Assist Beam. We are developing a firmware update to enhance the focusing feature for the EOS 5D Mark III and the EOS-1D X. The schedule for release of this firmware update will be announced shortly.
“Announced shortly” could mean in April, when Canon is set to release a firmware update for the EOS 5D Mark III. Don’t think they will release another one before.
Exposure Magazine made a visit at the Canon factory in Oita Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan. They had a chance to observe the highly automatized production process of the Canon EOS 6D (price & specs). The process deploys along 15 production stages, and it takes 40 minutes to make a Canon EOS 6D, packaged and ready to ship.
The sensor is mounted at the first stage, stages 2-6 is where all the other components are installed. Screws are automatically inserted and tightened at stage 7. The following stages are dedicated to various quality controls. The camera is tested for the electronics, the mechanical parts, and for the overall photographic performance. Finally, at stage 15 the camera is packaged and ready for shipment.
B&H still has a cool EOS 6D deal going on: the 6D body with a Lowepro – Adventura 170 Shoulder Bag and a Lexar – 16GB SDHC Memory Card Professional Class 10 UHS-I memory card for $1899 (click here). Or take the EOS 6D plus the EF 24-105mm f/4.0L and the memory card for $2499 (click here). This deals are part of the rebate programs that expire today, Saturday, 2/2/2013.
Hot Canon Deals on Ebay. Top rated eBay seller getitdigital (99.6% positive ratings) has three deals ready for you. One is really hot: the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens for $839.99 (click here). UV filter and lens cap keeper come for free. Free shipping and USA warranty. That’s concretely less than the usual price of around $1060. The EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM core specs:
24 – 105 mm
Camera Mount Type
35mm Film / Full-Frame Digital Sensor
Angle of View
84° – 23°
Minimum Focus Distance
1.48′ (45 cm)
Maximum Reproduction Ratio
They also have the Canon EOS 7D at $1099.99 (click here). That’s roughly $100 bucks less than official price. Free shipping and USA warranty. But then: the refurbished EOS 7D is sold by B&H for $979 (click here). Canon EOS 7D core specs:
HD Video Recording
Selectable Video Exposure + Frame Rates
Dust & Weather Resistant
Self Cleaning Sensor
High Sensitivity (ISO 12800)
8fps Burst Mode
Last but not least, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III body is sold for $2,903.51 (click here). Although there is an official Canon rebate program going on (see here, expires tomorrow 2/2), this deal still around $100 less. Free shipping and USA warranty. Canon EOS 5D Mark III core specs:
[...] there was a great increase in the amount of moire on the 6D vs other cameras like the 5D mark III. It is almost as if Canon had a filter on the 5D and removed it for the 6D resulting in greater sharpness but also in moire. In my video tests, it was not visable in most shots but certain scenes bring it out more clearly. It also really does not seem like Canon designed this camera to be a great video DSLR.
It is not as harsh as in Gizmodo's review, but the issue is real. On the other hand, the EOS 6D stands out for the sharpness of the video footage, and for the high image quality, which slightly outperforms even the Canon EOS 5D Mark III (price & specs):
Quality was similar or better than the excellent 5D mark iii in virtually every test, not enough to be significant, but enough to be noticeable at 100% viewing. During the low light tests, results were similar to the 5D mark III up to ISO 3200 and were very usable. At 6400 ISO, the results began to get a slight bit better than the 5D mark III and produced results about ⅓ of a stop better. This lead continued up to the max ISO however results after 12,800 ISO are probably going to be unusable. This is also significantly better than the Nikon D600 which began to fall apart in my use at anything above 6,400 ISO.
Next, a real world test of the EOS 6D (and short comparison to the EOS 5D Mark III and Fuji XE-1) by photographer Michael Stringer. He was positively impressed by the AF of the 6D, which is by far less sophisticated than the AF of the 5D Mark III:
Much has been said about the 6D’s focus deficiencies in comparison with the 5D III. Of course 61 vs 11 AF points is a substantial difference – as is the fact that the 6D only has 1 cross sensor in the centre while the 5D III has 41 of them. Before using the 6D at a recent wedding I read that the 6D’s centre AF point was particularly sensitive and I can confirm that it definitely is. Whether it is better than the 5D III is debatable but I can say that I had little problem achieving focus in near darkness (12800 iso) with my Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L lens.
I would say that the I’m very comfortable with 6D images at 12800 iso and 5D III images at 6400-10000 iso. Of course metering must be pretty accurate for well controlled noise at these iso settings.
The review comes with images (wedding shots) so be sure to check it out.
Another EOS 6D review comes from Ron Martinsen. He writes:I’ll admit it, until I tested the new Canon 6D, the Nikon D600 was my camera of the year for 2012. About the image quality: This camera creates some delicious images that seem to even out perform the 5D Mark III at the highest ISO’s. You can check out Ron's images shot with an EOS 6D clicking here.
Finally, though the video dates back to November 2012, watch Canon's Chuck Westfall showing how you can remotely control the EOS 6D via a WiFi connected smartphone.
Update: Reader AI pointed out that the post was incomplete. Thanks AI. You can read it in the comment section. I post his comment here:
Jeff Cable said…
As many of you have pointed out, the degradation in speed will occur when you are attempting to use both the CF and the SD to write files. If you have an SD card in the camera and are not writing to it, you will be fine. I am not sure why you would want that (except for overflow), but this is the case.
Someone also brought up the speed difference in writing RAW+JPEG vs RAW+RAW. This is also true on the 1Dx. I believe that this is due to the fact that the camera has to process the file twice (once for RAW and once for JPEG) which takes longer than clearing two RAW files from the buffer. I was hoping to shoot RAW+JPEG at the Olympics with the 1Dx but will now shoot RAW+RAW only.
June 25, 2012 6:12 PM
So, the slow down issue only affects someone if your writing images to both cards, at the same time. You will get normal, native speeds on either card if your only writing to one or the other….
Photographer Jeff Cable found out that using an SD card slows down buffer and write speed of the EOS 5D Mark III. While the 5D Mark III supports the UDMA7 CompactFlash protocol (speed up to 90MB/sec) it seems it does not support the UHS-1 (ultra high speed) standard for SD cards. What does that mean? It means that whatever SD card you will use, the 5D Mark III will always write 20MB/sec instead of 45MB/sec (which conforms to the UHS-1 specs). And that’s not all of the bad news: if you pull both a CF and an SD card in your 5D Mark III, the cam will switch to the slowest speed for both cards. In other words: your pricey UDMA7 CF card will perform at lame 20MB/sec.
The solution: use only the CF card. The solution #2: Canon please fix this with a firmware update!
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