EOS 5D Mark III DxO-Marks – How are they done?

I will not enter the discussion about the recently published DxO-Marks of the EOS 5D Mark III. It’s a technical measure made from a purely engineering point of view, and while being a valid benchmark it doesn’t tell the whole story. Period. It’s not that I am no happy that Canon obtained the best DxO Mark of its history, I am more surprised about the difference with other cameras (ok: with the Nikon D800 :-)). However, for all of us who are interested to know how DxO Labs performs their measure, which lab-setting they are using etc, there is a “behind the scenes” article by cnet that’s worth to be read. It’s long and detailed, and gives valuable insights. I liked the following excerpt:

Most people aren’t surprised to hear that high-end digital cameras offer higher resolution, lower noise, and better low-light performance than film. But there’s a common belief that film still surpasses digital when it comes to another important attribute, dynamic range, which measures the spread from where a scene is too bright for a camera to capture detail to where it’s so dark that details are lost in the image noise.

Indeed, most people are surprised when they are told that digital cameras have higher resolution, lower noise and better low-light performance!

EOS 5D Mark III price-check: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon Canada, Canon Canada, Canon USA [via imaging-resource]

EOS 5D Mark III: Free light-leak investigation & firmware update

Canon issued a new product advisory regarding the EOS 5D Mark III and the infamous light-leaking issue. It looks as if Canon has identified the 5D Mark III batches that are affected by the issue: Products whose sixth digit in the serial number is 1 or 2 (e.g. xxxxx1xxxxxx or  xxxxx2xxxxxx, where x represents any optional number). Canon will provide a free inspection of you camera if you are worried about the light-leaking issue. Moreover, a firmware update for the 5D Mark III has been released (rel. 1.1.2, click on “software and drivers”, then select your operating system, then click on “firmware” to download). The firmware update fixes the following issues: 1. Supports a new accessory, GPS receiver GP-E2. 2. Fixes a phenomenon where a pink cast may develop over the image when the shutter is completely pressed with the camera’s power turned off (by the auto power off setting). 3. Fixes a phenomenon where the camera operation stops after one shot when shooting in High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode. 4. Fixes a phenomenon where the Shooting Date/Time in the EXIF data of the image shows a later time than the actual shooting time. 5. Fixes the time zone for the Samoa Islands. 6. Corrects errors in the Finnish menu screen. (Products for the Japanese market do not display the Finnish menu.)

The full text of the light-leak product advisory:

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Don’t take your DSLR to parties – 100 Tips about Photography

This is a list of 100 tips and observations about photography by Los Angeles based street photographer Eric Kim. Some are obvious, some may sound weird, and some tips are of the kind I never thought about (take #16 for instance, :-)).

1. Just because someone has an expensive camera doesn’t mean that they’re a good photographer.
2. Always shoot in RAW. Always.
3. Prime lenses help you learn to be a better photographer.
4. Photo editing is an art in itself
5. The rule of thirds works 99% of the time.
6. Macro photography isn’t for everybody.
7. UV filters work just as well as lens caps.
8. Go outside & shoot photos rather than spending hours a day on photography forums.
9. Capture the beauty in the mundane and you have a winning photograph.
10. Film isn’t better than digital.

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The EOS 5D Mark III light-leaking problem – An analysis

These are not rumors, but a logical analysis of the possible scenarios related to the light-leaking issue that some customer experience on their EOS 5D Mark III bodies. I reported about this issue, in short: metering gets altered by light leaking trough the top LCD panel of the camera. Canon’s official statementIn extremely dark environments, if the LCD panel illuminates, the displayed exposure value may change as a result of the AE sensor’s detection of light from the LCD panel. Unfortunately, this seems to happen with both the backlight of the LCD panel and strong direct sunlight hitting the panel. Next, we heard that some new batches of the 5D Mark III had a different top LCD panel cover than previous ones. And then there are rumors that the EOS 5D Mark III could be recalled by Canon. So, what is going on? How will Canon fix the problem? I try to outline different scenarios. Again, not new rumors I heard but my very own analysis of the issue.

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New DPP (3.11.26) ready for download – UPDATE

A new release of Canon’s DPP (ver. 3.11.26) is available for download. Hopefully this release will solve the problems with EOS 5D RAW files. You have first to select your operating system. Click here to get the software. The download page is getting a lot of visitors, download may be slow.

Update 2: It seems that this release still does not solve the Powershot G1 X softness problem.

Update 1: the new release fixes the following problems:

  • Support for the following new lenses: EF 24mm F/2.8 IS USM, EF 28mm F/2.8 IS USM, EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM, EF 500mm F/4L IS II USM, EF 600mm F/4L IS II USM
  • Supports images taken with EOS 5D Mark III and EOS-1D X.
  • Digital lens optimizer function added.
  • Multiple image composition and HDR tools added.
  • Fixed a phenomenon that occurred when processing RAW images (original image properties could not be obtained)
  • Fixes a malfunction that occurs when using the quick check tool to check a large volume of images.