Saturday, October 20, 2012

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

The world of cameras and photography can be a vortex that can suck a victim in deep. Their wallet, too. My addiction has been a steady progression, but with this latest acquisition, my disease will hopefully be arrested. For some time, anyway.

I suppose my experience isn't that atypical for someone who really gets into photography. It all started with point and shoots - many of which are amazingly competent these days. I've still got two really nice ones. But there's only so far a P & S can take one. So then come the DSLR cameras and their multitude of interchangeable lens and considerably greater processing power and adjustment capabilities. I began with a couple of really nice DSLR's, but towards the lower to middle end of the range. And all was good for a while.

Then I ran into someone with something better. A Canon EOS 5D Mark III, to be exact.

After handling their 5D Mark III and seeing its capabilities firsthand, I was totally impressed. So much so that I immediately began plotting to get one. And I did, just a few days ago. This is an amazing camera with a 22 MP full frame sensor and all manner of other high tech goodies. One of the things that wowed me was the laser beam focusing. No hunting and pecking with this thing - aim the focal point through a bunch of leaves and it'll lock right in on a partially obscured warbler or other target. Another capability that pushed me to get the new 5D is its incredible ISO functioning. It'll shoot up to a level of 25,600 standard ISO and still produce photos with amazingly minimal noise. This means that the photographer can manage very fast shutter speeds, and/or smaller apertures even in poor light. Such functionality is especially good for shooting bird images.

I've barely had a chance to try the new Canon out; just a short 30 minutes or so wandering the grounds outside my office. When I got the camera, I also picked up Canon's L-series 17-40 wide angle lens, which is a topnotch piece of glass that can produce professional grade landscapes and all manner of other images. I turned it on this giant specimen of a Shale-barren Aster, Symphyotrichum oblongifolium, but can't wait to get this lens into a largescale landscape setting full of interesting features.

After a few snaps with the 17-40 lens, I unclipped it and snapped on the Canon 100 mm macro lens, which I already had in the arsenal. I'd used this lens a lot, with my Canon Rebel T3i, and was already thoroughly impressed with it. I figured it would function even better when bolted to the 5D and it looks like it will. The individual pollen grains that dust this hardworking Honeybee can be easily discerned, in spite of a bit of operator error - I forgot to turn on the lens' image stabilizer. That little switch makes a big difference when shooting little things while hand-holding the camera.

Same deal with this Chinese Mantid - forgot to activate the image stabilizer, but it still came out pretty well.

A trip to Shawnee State Forest is in store later today, and I'll finally get the chance to really work with the 5D. Hopefully I'll return with some decent captures, and hopefully this camera will lead to a steady improvement in the quality of images posted to this blog.


Ian Adams said...


Congratulations on your new Canon 5DIII camera - a great choice. The 17-40mm will be ideal for scenic photography. Take a look at the Sigma 50-500mm lens for wildlife
work - very compact and excellent
image quality. Have fun at Shawnee - I'll be at Flora-Quest next year. Hope to trade photo ideas with you

Ian Adams

zippiknits said...

You have got my dream camera!

Buckeyeherper said...

Great camera. I'm just not ready to give up the extra reach DX provides for nature photography. Now we really need to see some more landscapes out of you.

Jim McCormac said...

Thanks for your feedback, all, and Ian, I already have the Sigma 150-500 lens. Haven't used it much but the little that I have, it's produced some really nice images. Seems like it'll work very nicely on the 5D.

Jared said...

Helluva camera, Jim! You're already amazing blog shots will only become more amazing.

Jack and Brenda said...

Congratulations on the new camera. In the Nikon world your problem would be referred to as NAS (Nikon Acquisition Syndrome)

Sharkbytes said...

Hmmm. you are making me drool.

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