I highly recommend this 19 minutes video-review of the EOS 5D Mark III by filmmaker and director Philip Bloom. There is also an accompanying written review on his site. Well, he is not entirely satisfied by the EOS 5D Mark III (spoiler: resolution!). While it seems assessed that the EOS 5D Mark III improved sensibly regarding to moire, aliasing, and that sound recording (and workflow, for film-makers) is now much better than before, the big question everyone is raising is resolution. The EOS 5D Mark III with is conservative approach has “only” 22MP. P. Bloom writes:
Canon’s EOS 5D Mark III has such an amazing high ISO performance that I want to report more about this. It is, together with the advanced AF system and the fast burst rate, one of the features that make the 5D Mark III so much superior to its competitors (say…Nikon D800?). Ok ok, this is my opinion. :-)
Canon did the right thing when it did not put a high-res sensor in its new, year 2012, full-frame camera. Sailing upwind against the waves, Canon decided to keep a conservative resolution (22MP), to re-engineer the sensor and to update each and any system component. The result was a rock-solid performing camera, with (among other feats and tweaks) extended dynamic range, fast burst shooting, an advanced AF system, and an above-the-average ISO performance. I don’t think the 5D Mark III can be seen as a mere upgrade of the Mark II. It’s a new camera. Starting by the sensor, which got the gapless microlens technology of the EOS 1D X and has bigger photodiodes (more light) than its predecessor. Moreover, each photodiode has its own immediate noise processing of the transmitted signal. It’s the edge of imaging sensor technology, and Canon has always been one of the biggest innovators in this domain. Even Nikon knows this simple fact, that’s why they used a 5D Mark II to shot the D800 promo (click here). ;-)
Sony’s NEX 7 is not really in the same league as the EOS 5D Mark III, nevertheless I think a comparison of ISO performance is interesting. The NEX 7 is a great cam and we are curious to see how it performs compared to other new cameras, even if they have different sensor sizes (the NEX7 has an APS-C sized sensor). Mike Kobal did a extreme low-light (using candles!), high ISO test: 200-25600 on the 5D Mark III and up to 3200 on the NEX 7. How does the NEX 7 compare to Canon’s new EOS? See for yourself…
- 14MP 1.5″ CMOS sensor (18.7 x 14mm)
- 28-112mm F2.8-5.8 lens
- Optical viewfinder
- ISO 100-12,800
- 3.0″, 920,000 dot swivelling LCD
- Extensive manual control
- 14-bit Raw shooting
- 4.5fps continuous shooting (up to 6 frames)
- 6.8Wh NB-10L battery rated at 250 shots (CIPA standard)
…Canon’s EOS 5D Mark III!!
- Light sensitivity: 25,600 vs 6,400 (2 f-stops more)
- Auto Focus: more advanced (most advanced in this price category, and more cross-type focus points (41 vs 15, grabs focus in difficult situation where the D800 can’t)
- Overall Auto Focus points: 61 vs 51 (more accuracy)
- LCD screen: bigger, higher resolution (1,040k dots vs 921k dots, that’s 10% more)
- ISO boost: 2 f-stops better (50-102,400 vs 100-25,600)
- Shooting speed: 6 fps vs 4 fps (50% faster than the D800)
- Video: more modes
- Canon: 1920×1080 at 30/ 25/ 24 fps, 1280×720 at 60/ 50 fps and 640×480 at 30/ 25 fps
- Nikon: 1920×1080 at 30/ 24 fps and 1280×720 at 60/ 30/ 24 fps
- Video #2: NTSC or PAL
- Video formats: MPEG-4 and H.264 vs H.264 only
- Supported cards:
- Canon: CompactFlash (CF Type I), CompactFlash (CF Type II), SD, SDHC, SDXC
- Nikon: CompactFlash (CF Type I), SD, SDHC, SDXC
- Canon: Proprietary, Accessory shoe, USB, HDMI, 3.5mm stereo audio, Flash Sync
- Nikon: USB, HDMI mini, 3.5mm stereo audio
- Size: 5D Mark III thinner (3″ vs 3.2″, 10%) and smaller (152x116x76mm vs 146x123x82mm, 10%)
- EOS system family: more lenses
Now let’s see where Nikon’s D800 shines out:
I totally agree with gizmodo, and I add: the EOS 5D Mark III is kicking the Nikon’s D800 in the back. :-)
It may be that Nikon’s D800 is selling better than Canon’s EOS 5D Mark III (as lots of blogs report), but no camera is getting that much attention by film-makers as the 5D Mark III. And that’s not wondering: Canon’s new FF flagship is an outstanding cam, not only for stills, but also for video. It was the former model, the EOS 5D Mark II, that started to be a valid alternative for indie film-makers. Cheap(er) alternative to the much more expensive gear you had to chose from (read Sony, Panavision, RED). While being thought (and touted) as a camera for still photography, the 5D Mark II rapidly became a film-makers darling. Not only for indie movie-makers: the 5D Mark II was used to shot shows like House and Saturday Night Special, and to shot the action scenes in Captain America. This happened not just because of the surprising video-capabilities of the 5D Mark II, but also because you had access to Canon’s rich and extensive offer of lens for the EOS system. Now we have the 5D Mark III, and the story gets into a new chapter. Read on after the break.
Canon’s new full-frame camera vs. RED’s resolution champion – that’s something for movie makers. A comparison concerning image details between the EOS 5D Mark III, the EOS 7D and the Scarlet-X done at cinema5d DSLR film forum by user Sebastian, which has also some interesting thoughts about the EOS 5D Mark III (from a film-maker’s point of view).
That means a full-frame sensor (5D3) vs an APS-C sensor (7D) vs a smaller than APS-C sensor (Scarlet-X), using a Canon zoom 24-105mm f/4.0 L (5D3), a Tokina 16-50mm f2.8 (7D) and a Contax Zeiss 28mm (Scarlet-X) – this was done to match the shots (but filmed sections are not 100% identical, not a real problem in my opinion).
The footage of the Scarlet-X was recorded @2k and scaled down to HD. Not only the 5D Mark III matches the Scarlet-X concerning image details, but there is also less noise.
Read the cinema5d forum post clicking here. The original files used for the comparison can be downloaded:
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