Changing of the Guard pt.2::Week One as a Canon Shooter…

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If you are just seeing this post, please read over the previous post Here…Ok now that we are all on the same page, Ze Going…

I have had the Canon 5dMkIII in my hands for about a week, and so far it is a very serious upgrade from my previous rig. That isn’t to say I don’t have some grievances with it, but let’s start with what is good before moving onto what I don’t like/understand. To save room on my home page, please hit the following link to read the rest of the story (sorry for somewhat poor image quality in this post, all were shot on an old D200 (a basically piece of shit camera)…

The abbreviated version of this somewhat windy post is this. I love the Canon 5dMkIII. I take issue with a few things, but it is amazing and I love it (please Jake Bacon((my editor)), don’t take it away)

What I like, first week in…

The camera feels surprisingly good in my hands (very important). While it is a fair bit bigger and quite a bit heavier than the D300s, generally the ergonomics are good. I didn’t like the feel of the vertical grip until I added my tripod bracket, for some reason it isn’t designed exactly the same as the primary grip, but the additional metal bracket filled the palm of my hand nicely and moved the buttons into usable reach.

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The grip feels a lot better after the addition of a tripod bracket

Image quality is much better, especially in low light (a larger sensor and more pixels will tend to do that), maybe not a big deal for some, but most of my job is done at high ISO and wide apertures (Sports, feature etc), the D300 couldn’t keep up sometimes. This has really opened up some new ways of thinking/seeing that I couldn’t have gotten away with before.

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nice sensor, too bad the d200 couldn’t focus on it…

Another like (and this is a huge one) is the ‘Lock’ switch that locks the exposure dials and prevents accidentally changing the settings. I can’t tell you how many times I have been shooting a game or event where my exposure should be set and fairly constant, only to realize that I have been shooting for a long time at the wrong exposure because I bumped a dial with my hip or something. Great addition Canon, shame Nikon…

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Thank the 12 lords of Kobol for the lock switch

Battery life is great, shutter is super-smooth, nice big viewfinder and video quality is second to none (not that I use it a ton).

Things I don’t like, first week in…

Mostly, I don’t like feeling lost when using a camera, I find the Canon to be too menu and button/dial combo intensive. I have been forced to *sigh* read the instruction manual…I keep this wholly un-manly piece of technical jargon in my bag at all times these days…This WILL get better with time, but I knew my Nikon inside and out, in the dark and without looking…

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Worse even than a road map, is an instruction book

I hate that the Canon won’t let you see the exposure meter while changing the ISO. Film Sensitivity is 1/3 of the exposure pyramid (along with aperture and shutter speed) and since you can change it between individual frames with digital, I need to be able to see how ISO changes are affecting my exposure. Instead, it forces you to look at a menu displaying ISO and an exposure compensation function that I never use, where the meter should be. Shame on you Canon…

CANON viewfinder with ISO button pressed. The scale is the 'exposure compensation' function, not a light meter, Canon forces you to be blind while changing settings.

CANON viewfinder with ISO button pressed. The scale is the ‘exposure compensation’ function, not a light meter, Canon forces you to be blind while changing settings.

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NIKON viewfinder with the ISO button pressed. Notice that the display is unchanged from regular shooting, exposure data is displayed where it should be.

 

While on the topic of useless buttons, I want to bring up Canon’s choice of button function/locations…Why, Canon, in your infinite wisdom, did you decide to cram all the most useful buttons into tiny multi-function cluster-fuck buttons and give incredibly useless functions their own large button with prime real-estate on a somewhat crowded camera? i.e. the Rate’ and ‘some kind of useless paintbrush icon’ button? To my mind, by having the most used functions on multi-use buttons leaves room for error. I have bumped the wrong dial a little while changing ISO and accidentally added 1 or 2/3 a stop exposure compensation. Nikon has conveniently placed the most useful functions on their own large buttons, in smart places. Also, why has Canon excluded an image Quality button? I mean really? Come on Canon, I hate having to go into menus for very common changes. These problems will get better with time, but I am not used to the layout yet…

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Canon forces important functions onto tiny multi-use buttons that leave room for error…

 

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The same functions on Nikon are given their own large buttons and a dial, little to no room for error…

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Dear Canon, ‘Rate’ and ‘Useless Paintbrush’ buttons are for housewives and little girls. Thanks, Every serious shooter out there…

The fact that everything Canon does is backwards from Nikon isn’t that big of a deal (lens mounting, dial turning, meter reading, menu styling etc etc) I can re train my brain for that. I didn’t like the shutter speed being the front dial and aperture on the back of the camera. Luckily, the camera has the ability to switch the dial functions, I have done this…I have also taken to using a hand held meter, I still can’t wrap my mind around a backwards in-camera meter (I’m always over-exposed).

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My Sekonic light meter is like the U.N. of camera wars

In Summary…

Don’t take the above rant to be anything negative about Canon. Let me make this very clear…I LOVE MY CANON 5DMKIII. One more time for the hard of hearing, I LOVE MY CANON 5DMKIII. It has changed the way I can see, it’s shutter is butter smooth, auto-focus works great, even for sports and the body feels good in the hand. I know that many of these are just the rantings of a frustrated photographer not being one with his camera, this will pass. Some of my gripes are legit though, I mean really, the ISO/Meter thing is inexcusable in my book. Let’s wait and see what the next week brings and meet again to discuss the progress of my transformation into a beautiful butterfly, or Canon shooter, or whatever…BTW any Canon shooters out there with advice or who can prove me wrong somehow, please do so in the comments…

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