Since I have both Norwegians and foreign friends I will try and write more on English. Though, Norwegian skydive specific info will be kept in Norwegian to prevent misunderstanding and ease for the reader.
So, this weekend I got my hands on a 5D MkIII and the new Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8 L USM II. This is not a full scale test as you will find at other sites, but my 2 cents. First off, the body is very similar to the 5D MkII and 7D, though the layout is almost identical as on the 7D. The biggest improvement is the lock button on the program wheel. In order to switch program, you have to press own a small button. It is very nice to have to avoid switching between the different programs while carrying the camera. It just sucks when you bring up the camera for a snap shot and all of a sudden you hear the shutter hang open a bit too long.
The biggest “whoo-ha” for the MkIII for my use as a photographer, is the ISO. It’s just ridiculous to find yourself complaining about the noise levels on 25600 when you may use 12800 without any issues. Considering the same performance on the 7D, and almost the MkII, where ISO3200 yields the same as 12800 on the MkIII, the improvement is a whopping 4 times. The 25600 is ok to use as long as the pictures is a bit overexposed, since that usually reduces the nose a bit. Post editing could fix the last noise issues to make the image doable.
The MkIII also have dual slots(finally Canon!) so you may accommodate one SD card and one CF. Combined with a Wi-Fi SD card you have a easy and cheap Wi-Fi transfer for your files to a network. One good way is to connect it to you Smartphone to you Wi-Fi card in the camera and have the download file on your phone synced with a cloud service, like Dropbox. Depending on the file size and network speed you have at the time, you could have your pictures on to your computer shortly after taking them and therefore secure your files fast and easy. Though it might get expensive depending on your operators data rates 😉 If you do not want to have the Wi-Fi option you may simply use the SD card for backup or place JPEG on the SD card and RAW files on the CF. However, I didn’t try it so I know nothing about it, but I know Nikon has operated with this for some time now and I’m glad Canon finally went dual on something else then the 1D. 🙂
The layout of the menus is a bit confusing in the beginning, but I guess after a while you get used to it. I was struggling for some time to find out how to activate different autofocus modes. I figured it out when I handed it in..typic.. I ended up using the “Single AF point” mode all the time though I’m more comfortable with the Single point expansion or Zone AF. I therefore didn’t get to put the AF through some tests with its improved tracking abilities when photographing birds in flight. Maybe Canon should redesign the menu for a more intuitively lay out? But as said, with the user manual at hand and some time you will learn it and then it will be easy to use.
The color and dynamic range is new to me so to sum it up in one word: AWESOME!
The new and improved video feature is possibly pretty kick ass, but I wouldn’t know since I didn’t try it out. I was too busy drooling over the dynamic range and sharpness of the lens and camera to have time to test out its feature. But they have improved the output during filming with their latest firmware update. Now you may experience full HDMI output during shooting. For the professional DSLR film people I guess this will be a huge improvement on larger display compared to the H.264 format which came standard to begin with.
It was however helped out by the new lens, the EF 24-70mm f2.8 L USM II. The previous one was launched in 2002, 10 years ago and was in my opinion due for an overhaul. The new lens is in many ways that and I find it very good. Not too familiar with the older one it seems as it is improved off course, but not nessecearly worth the expensive upgrade. The most critical issue I had with the old one was a slow AF for today’s standards. The new one is very fast. But I fall short on commenting the ISO chart sharpness and so on. But it’s nice and if you can afford it, go for it. If you however don’t need the f2.8, the 24-105 is a superb lens. And considering that you have an MkIII, you can easily handle f4.0 since you have insane good ISO performance. 🙂
As a conclusion, the 5D MkIII is niiice (said with a Borat voice). I don’t find it as a super hyped new revolution thing, but more of a new solid benchmark. And I love it! Canon, could you sponsor me pleeeeasee? 😀
I’ve published the photos from Saturday evening/Sunday night and Sunday daytime on my Flickr page. You may see them here: