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Living with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III–Part 3

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Learning to use a new camera is a bit like learning to drive a bike, the more professional the camera gets the more likely the accident… And I have just stepped in the super bike arena.

First I want to talk about what is missing on the camera and it bugs me, I am missing an infrared trigger for my flash!!! The 600D, 60D, 7D all have why not the 5D Mk III? Just the wireless IR part would do, thanks.

Here is what has changed and really get’s to me:

  • The focus option button has moved to the <Fn> Key and been removed from the Q screen, why???
  • The zoom buttons are history and replaced by a single button on the left of the screen, all previous cameras where the same including the MKII!
  • Moved the Q button to a new location, this one actually makes sense but I keep looking for it in the wrong place

The good news is that the rest of it is very 7D like on the ergonomics side of things, even the weight. There are some positive changes too.

  • The mode dial lock, on the 7D I kept on finding it changed, weird I know but no more.
  • The rate button, I use it to protect photographs to send via the Eye-fi.
  • The Multi-Controller on the grip, this is really useful to select focus points.
  • The ISO button now has a dot on it, just feel your way around and you will find it, which in turns allows you to find the others in relation to it.

But by far my favourite new feature is the dual card slot with the ability to take an SD card and better yet an Eye-Fi card.

Living with the CANON EOS 5D MkIII – Part 2

In our day and age, we are all permanently interconnected via social media. One of the questions that I asked CANON South Africa about the CANON EOS 5D MkIII was why was there no Wi-Fi or GPS built in? The answer was rather simple and unexpected,  over the air licensing. Every device that uses any over the air transmission must be licence for use in a specific country, well in most cases. Here in South Africa, it is ICASA and their wheels turn rather slowly. I find this all odd, that all Wi-Fi devices must be registered that is, since it is a world wide standard but I digress.

So imagine my surprise when I popped in my Eye-Fi card and I got an icon at the bottom on my camera LCD! And a menu to enable and disable my Eye-Fi card!

The CANON EOS 5D MkIII recognises and is able to control the card in the limited way on on and off but that allows me to save on battery life and that is great. Furthermore, in the EYE-Fi menu is the status of the card, this allows you to check on which network you are currently on  and a whole lot of other information.

Now why is this of importance to anyone? An though this is relevant to the CANON EOS 5D MkIII  and I will be digressing from here…

I was asked a rather simple question the other day: How is it that you are nowhere near your PC, shooting with your DSLR and posting the photos to Facebook  so quick? The answer is: MAGIC!

The magic of technology and here is my mobile workflow:

  • The EYE-Fi card allows me to transfer the photographs I take with my DSLR to my iPad (or any Android device) in near real time when it is switched on.
  • It adds the photograph to my iPad’s Photo library which in turns allows me to do a rudimentary edit using iPhoto for the iPad, I tried Photoshop Touch (available on both iPad and Android) and I find it too complex for my use.
  • And then upload it to Facebook and/or Flickr from iPhoto using 3G.

Total time spent between photograph being captured, processing and sharing? Under 10 minutes.

Are there hidden disadvantages? The short answer is yes but here are some tips :

  • Use a CompactFlash card to record all your RAW images.
  • Set your Eye-Fi card to Small JPEG, the CANON EOS 5D MkIII allow you to record 2 different formats on 2 different cards, this will help you with the transfer speeds to your iPad and at 5.5MP well it’s to big to share over 3G anyhow.
  • Set up your Eye-Fi card to only send the images you have set to protect, there are 2 reasons for this, you could fill up your mobile device rather quick if you do not do this and you will be reducing the transfer time dramatically.
  • Switch off the Eye-Fi card when not in use.
  • Take out the Eye-Fi card, or any other SD cards for that matter, to increase burst limit. With the Eye-Fi card in my burst limit is 5 RAW (30MB/s CF) and S1 (Eye-Fi Class 6 SD), with it out 8 RAW reported by the camera.
  • For fastest transfer have the iPad as close as possible to your camera.

This photograph has been through my mobile workflow.

Johannesburg Sunset

Click to see larger version on Flickr

Living with the CANON EOS 5D MkIII – Part 1

After a long wait, that seemed to last forever, and a trip to KwaZulu-Natal with a CANON EOS 5D MkII, an experience I will blog about in weeks to come, I finally received the infamous CANON EOS 5D MkIII.

You can read about my first impressions based on the BETA version here. This production version is a different beast though, it is just better. It continuously continues to surprise and baffle me with it’s prowess to perform in any conditions I through at it.

The most surprising of the lot are it’s ability to level out night and day for a handheld shot…
It ability to give a good result at ISO12800 with reasonably controlled noise allowing you to shoot scenes, like the one bellow, handheld is just near unbelievable.

Table Mountain By The Fountain

Click to see a larger version on Flickr

Truthfully, I would not do this every day but having the ability to do it should the need arise is most probably the most surprising plus of the CANON EOS 5D MkIII.