Wow, it’s been a month since the last post. Time really flies, not that I’m lazy, it just moves alot faster than me. I’ll try harder to catch up with you, time.

Random snippets over the last 30 odd days

1) New camera, change of plans

Previously, I said I would love to have the Canon 1DX to replace my aging 5dmk2s. But the 1DX got hit by production delays and I happen to have the opportunity to try out my friend’s 5Dmk3 and decided maybe it’s worth giving it a go instead of the somewhat overkill 1DX (even though I still very much would like to have it). Buying it was a simple affair, nothing as exciting as getting my first DSLR. The feeling was more like paying alot of money to replace something old rather than “OMG! it’s a NEW toy!”

My thoughts about the 5Dmk3?

I’ll only touch on the topics that affects me most.

Focus speed and accuracy: This must be on top of the list of improvements to watch out for for most Canon 5Dmk2 users. Let’s be honest, the autofocus of the 5D was crap by today’s standards. When 5Dmk2 was released, most of us felt there was a some unmeasurable improvement. But it was still crap. Psychologically, a “mk2″ makes people feel better, but wasn’t good enough (in fact, not even close to good). When Nikon came up with D700, Canon users were left sucking their thumbs for almost 2 years. Some switched, some like me, decide to stay faithful (or in local terms, some say “lan lan”).

The 5Dmk3 boasts the same focusing mechanism and focus points as the 1DX. I wasn’t convinced till I tried it. It was indeed accurate. The speed was good, but I won’t say it’s ALOT faster in real world use. My friend did a controlled test and it was faster, but in real world situations, I didn’t find it massively faster. But speed is nothing without accuracy. That’s where the 5Dmk3 shines over it’s predecessor. It hits exactly where you want it and the best part is, it is consistent, unlike the 5Dmk2, which is kinda fickle.

A little annoyance is the focusing light. With most Canon DSLRs, we are familiar with that bright red square that appears when the subject is in focus. On the 5Dmk3 however, the red square can be rather faint in daylight. It’s a non issue if you are used to the beeping tone (which I choose to turn off).

ISO performance: ISO performance for the 5D lines have always been quite up there with the best. The mk3 didn’t disappoint. It’s at least 1-2 stops better than the mk2s. The advantage is you can probably use slower apertures in low light. Whether you can shoot at even lower lighting, that really depends if the camera can still focus accurately in that sort of lighting (assuming you work without any focus aid).

Ergonomics: The most obvious change is the repositioning of the on/off switch. It’s now integrated with the mode dial, which is way better than it’s original position beside the LCD. With the mk2, the on/off switch often gets switched off when it rests against my body and it can be very annoying at times. The camera is also heavier than the mk2. For me, the weight increase is quite noticeable when holding with one hand with a 50mm 1.2.

Others: I won’t go into the HDR or multi exposure stuff because I haven’t had the chance to try them. I’ll just mention some of the functions/features that I found useful. The mk3 now allows the user to use custom functions on some of it’s buttons. I switched the DOF button to AI servo toggle. It’s now easier for me to switch to AI servo on demand instead of changing them on the main menu. While the mk3 boasts a 6 fps shoot rate, I rarely use that sort of speed while shooting. Thus, I trade that with “silent mode”, which brings down the frame rate to about 3 fps. In real world situations, the silent mode really helps, especially if you are trying to shoot in stealth mode:D It helps alot during church weddings too. I’m sure the videographers/cinematographers appreciate this feature (when the photographers use them).

Overall, it is a pretty good upgrade from the 5Dmk2 imo. Canon must have been listening to their client’s feedback and have made some important changes to this iteration of the 5D. There are still a bunch of features/improvements that I did not cover here, since they don’t really matter to me. There isn’t any pictures here, but if you want to see more, go to dpreview:)


2) X-Pro 1

Another camera that caught my eye is the Fuji X-pro 1. I tried it and although there were some minor quirks, I felt really good shooting with it. I’m really looking forward to having a smaller camera as the sidekick to the already very capable 5Dmk3. Currently I’m not thinking of getting another mk3 because based on my experience on shooting with 2 5Dmk2s, I felt the weight and the size of the 2 cameras tend to restrict my movements and increase fatigue. That said, I’m keeping one of the 5Dmk2. First, my underwater housing is still a 5Dmk2 housing and I don’t intend to change it as the 5Dmk2 is more than capable shooting underwater. Second reason is because the 5Dmk2 with the EG-S focusing screen works alot better when I switch to manual focus. The 5Dmk3 just doesn’t have the option to change it’s focusing screen. Maybe not yet, I don’t know.

I just hope Lightroom 4 supports the X-pro 1 soon. I’ll get one when that happens.


3) A family affair

All about buy buy buy so far:s

“This is a very serious and important affair for the family.” – the grandfather of the groom when I asked him how he was feeling. He looked stern, yet a little emotional. His words left a deep impression in me, deep enough for me to remember and still blog about it. “For the family”. As much as it is the couple’s day, I firmly believe, it is for the family too. So please don’t say, who cares about what the old folks think, THIS IS MY WEDDING. Family discuss. ok?


Ok folks, images by end of the week:)