Canon's rebuttal to the D800. A different approach to resolution.

The camera many Canon fans have been waiting for.

I started getting the phone calls from my professional photographer friends (the ones who shoot Canon...) as soon as I walked through the door from swim practice this morning.  Everyone had the same two questions:  "Had I seen the Canon 5Dmk3 announcement?" And, "Had I put my name of the waiting list to be able to get the camera when it comes out at the end of March?"  I didn't check the web before swim practice and I haven't put myself on the list, yet.

Do I want the camera?  Sure.  Who (besides a Nikon shooter) would not?  It checks nearly every box the faithful have been demanding:  Improved high ISO (the files on DPReview look great at nearly every speed).  Increased body integrity and weatherproofing.  The same focusing module used in the upcoming 1DX camera.  Six frames per second.  Two card slots.  60fps 1080i video.  Much improved audio level control for video and......my favorite......a headphone jack for monitoring video.  There's other stuff.  It's all in Canon's press release below.  

Is it the most miraculous thing since flushable toilets?  Who knows?  I guess we'll have to shoot it to find out.  If you use lights and shoot in controlled conditions I'm going to bet that the quality differences outside the nose bleed ISOs aren't going to be that different from the mk2.  And it's instructive to look at how well the original 5D held/holds its value after being superseded for over three years.  We seem to be at a point of incremental improvements in overall image quality (after discounting the high ISO differences).  We may have hit the point where we actually have the luxury of waiting for at least every other product cycle for upgrades.  But your calculation of must-have-asciousness will vary from mine.

Starting a wedding photography business?  You could do a hell of a lot worse that snapping up two of these.

Here's a link to pre-order: PRE-ORDER  You better get on someone's list if you want to get one in late March....

Here's the official press release:

Canon U.S.A. Announces the Highly Anticipated EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera

Featuring Improved Image Quality, a 61-Point High Density Reticular AF, Six fps High-Speed Continuous Shooting and Enhanced HD Video Recording Features 

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., March 2, 2012 – On the 25th anniversary of its world-renowned EOS System, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to announce its latest model, the new EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera. Positioned between the extremely popular EOS 5D Mark II and Canon's top-of-the-line professional EOS-1D X model, the EOS 5D Mark III delivers superb image quality, thanks to a new 22.3-megapixel full-frame Canon CMOS sensor, a high-performance DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor, a 61-point High Density Reticular Autofocus (AF) System and six frames-per-second (fps) continuous shooting speed. Building upon the trailblazing success of the EOS 5D Mark II, the EOS 5D Mark III also incorporates enhanced video features for professionals in the fields of cinematography, television production and documentary filmmaking, including better noise reduction, longer recording times and a built-in headphone jack for audio monitoring. The EOS 5D Mark III is Canon's answer to hundreds of thousands of advanced amateurs and emerging professionals looking for a compact, high-quality camera system to help them achieve their artistic vision, whether it be through still or video imagery. The EOS 5D Mark III introduction coincides with Canon's 25th anniversary celebration of the EOS camera system. Canon's award-winning EOS system first debuted in March of 1987 with the introduction of the EOS 650 SLR camera and three EF lenses.

"We are extremely excited to announce the highly anticipated follow-up to our EOS 5D Mark II, a camera which has been called a 'game-changer' in most professional photography and videography circles. The EOS 5D Mark III will carry on that tradition, delivering better and more advanced features, helping our customers achieve excellent image quality for stills and video," stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies and Communications Group, Canon U.S.A.

The EOS 5D Mark III inherits many features from Canon's recently announced flagship DSLR, the EOS-1D X, including a DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor and a high-performance 61-point High Density Reticular AF array with up to 41 cross-type points and five dual cross-type points available, depending on the lens in use. The enhanced processing power enables fast continuous shooting of up to six fps, exceeding the speed of the EOS 5D Mark II model by more than 50 percent, and with improved weather resistance the EOS 5D Mark III is a serious option for sports and wildlife photographers.

EOS 5D Mark III Video: The Legacy Continues

The EOS 5D Mark II blazed the trail for EOS cameras and Canon to enter the professional video and cinema markets, paving the way for Canon's recent introduction of the Cinema EOS system of cameras and lenses. Now, the EOS 5D Mark III continues Canon's commitment to these new markets with new and requested features from cinematographers, television production professionals and independent filmmakers. This new model captures 1080p Full HD video at 24p (23.976), 25p, and 30p (29.97) fps; 720p HD recording at 60 (59.94) and 50 fps; and SD recording at 30 (29.97) and 25 fps, giving cinematographers and videographers more flexibility and options for video capture.

The EOS 5D Mark III includes new H.264 video compression formats to simplify and speed up post-production work: intraframe (ALL-I) compression for an editing-friendly format and interframe (IPB) compression for superior data storage efficiency, giving professionals options to help achieve their ideal workflow. Like the EOS-1D X, the 5D Mark III also includes two methods of SMPTE-compliant timecode embedding, Rec Run and Free Run, allowing video footage from multiple cameras and separate audio recordings to be synced together in post production.

The new full-frame CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5+ processor have enhanced the camera's image processing performance over the 5D Mark II, significantly reducing moir‚ and color artifacts in scenes with horizontal lines. The video footage produced will exhibit less moir‚ than seen in previous DSLR models, resulting in a significant improvement in HD video quality. Accommodating documentary filmmakers, and event videographers using EOS DSLR cameras, the 5D Mark III includes the ability to record video continuously up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds across multiple 4GB files. Long-form filmmakers will enjoy the camera's automatic file splitting in combination with the extended memory capacity offered by dual card slots.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III also includes manual audio level control with 64 levels, adjustable both before and during movie recording. There is also an automatic audio level setting, or sound recording can be turned off entirely. A wind filter is also included. Sound can be recorded either through the internal monaural microphone or via an optional external microphone through the stereo mic input. Notably, the EOS 5D Mark III is the first EOS Digital SLR to feature a built-in headphone jack for real-time audio monitoring during video capture.

Newly Developed Canon CMOS Sensor

With its completely new 22.3-megapixel full-frame Canon CMOS image sensor, the EOS 5D Mark III becomes the highest resolution Canon Digital SLR released to date. It is eminently suitable for a wide variety of assignments including weddings and portraits, nature and wildlife, travel and landscapes as well as commercial and industrial photography. With a gapless microlens design, a new photodiode structure and improved on-chip noise reduction, the new sensor achieves higher sensitivity and lower noise levels for both RAW image data as well as in-camera JPEGs and EOS Movies compared to the 5D Mark II. The result is outstanding image quality in all shooting conditions, even low light. An eight-channel readout doubles the speed of image data throughput from the sensor to the DIGIC 5+ processor, resulting in better video image quality as well as six fps for still photos.

The low-light capability of the EOS 5D Mark III is evident in its incredible ISO range and image quality in poor lighting conditions. Adjustable from ISO 100 to 25,600 within its standard range, the new model also offers a low ISO 50 setting for studio and landscape photography and two extended ISO settings of 51,200 and 102,400, well suited for law enforcement, government or forensic field applications.

The new 5D Mark III is also equipped with Canon's EOS Integrated Cleaning System, featuring a Self Cleaning Sensor Unit with a fluorine coating that repels dust and dirt particles.

Canon-Exclusive DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor

The EOS 5D Mark III's new DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor is 17 times faster than the DIGIC 4.The EOS 5D Mark III uses that extra speed not only for improved image quality, but also to add no less than nine new features that do not exist on the 5D Mark II. These new features include six fps continuous shooting, HDR and Multiple Exposure modes, in-camera RAW processing, a comparative playback function, Scene Intelligent Auto mode, two forms of movie compression, and support for high-speed UDMA 7 Compact Flash memory cards.

Another extremely valuable feature enhanced by the DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor is the EOS 5D Mark III's choice of reduced resolution M-RAW (10.5 megapixel) and S-RAW (5.5 megapixel) recording modes. These settings are particularly useful to wedding photographers for candid photos that do not require the EOS 5D Mark III's 22 megapixel full resolution, because they take up less space on the memory cards and speed up post-processing without losing the critical benefits of RAW image data, such as highlight and shadow control as well as white balance adjustment. M-RAW and S-RAW also preserve the full field of view rather than cropping the image or resorting to JPEG mode to reduce resolution.

High-Performance 61-Point High Density Reticular AF

For still photographers, Canon has included its new 61-point High Density Reticular AF System, originally introduced with the top-of-the-line EOS-1D X professional camera. A significant advancement over previous 5D-series AF systems, the new 61-Point High Density Reticular AF included in the EOS 5D Mark III is the most sophisticated SLR AF system Canon has ever released. All 61 points are manually selectable and sensitive to horizontal contrast with maximum apertures larger than or equal to f/5.6. The camera's twenty one focusing points in the central area are also standard precision cross-type and effective with maximum apertures larger than or equal to f/5.6. The center five points are ultra-high-precision diagonal cross-type points for maximum apertures larger than or equal to f/2.8. The 20 outer focusing points function as high-precision cross-type points with maximum apertures larger than or equal to f/4.0. Other innovations of the new 61-point High Density Reticular AF include expanded AF coverage area, superior focusing precision and low-light sensitivity to EV -2, and greater low-contrast subject detection capability compared to earlier EOS AF systems. (See image below for AF point configuration)

High-Performance 61-Point High Density Reticular AF

All AF functions now have their own menu tab for quick and easy access (formerly AF custom functions in previous EOS models). A new AF Configuration Tool allows for customized setting of tracking sensitivity, the acceleration and deceleration of tracking subjects, and AF point auto switching, all of which are easily accessed and adjusted via the new AF menu tab. A built-in Feature Guide advises photographers on which settings to use according to subject matter.

The EOS 5D Mark III uses the same high-performance AI Servo III AF tracking algorithm as the flagship EOS-1D X professional DSLR. This new feature works together with the 61-point High Density Reticular AF system to provide superb tracking performance that blends very well with the new camera's 6 frames-per-second high-speed continuous shooting capabilities.

Similar to the AF point selection options offered in the EOS 7D and EOS-1D X camera models, the EOS 5D Mark III offers six AF point selection modes: Spot, Single Point, Single Point with surrounding four points, Single Point with surrounding eight points, Zone selection and Automatic AF point selection.

iFCL Metering

Complementing the EOS 5D Mark III camera's 61-point AF system is Canon's 63-zone iFCL dual layer metering system. The 'FCL' stands for 'Focus, Color and Luminance,' and references the fact that the metering system not only measures color and luminance data, but also analyzes the data provided by each point of the AF system. Canon's iFCL metering keeps exposure levels stable from shot to shot, even as the light source changes. The camera's autofocus information is also used to help determine which area of the scene is of greatest importance in determining exposure.

HDR Mode

The EOS 5D Mark III camera features a built-in HDR mode, merging three images at various exposure levels into a single image, in-camera, for stunning photographs of landscapes and architecture with enhanced tonal gradation beyond the range of the naked eye. The exposure levels in the camera's HDR mode can be set to cover a range of up to ñ3 stops, in a choice of five settings: Natural, Art Standard, Art Vivid, Art Bold and Art Embossed providing unique visual effects. Individual source images can be saved as separate files, and the HDR mode has an optional automatic alignment function that can be useful for hand-held shooting. The EOS 5D Mark III's standard Auto Exposure Bracketing function has been upgraded to allow for up to seven exposures per sequence, and exposure compensation can now be set for up to +/- 5EV.

Multiple Exposure Mode

The EOS 5D Mark III is the second EOS Digital SLR after the EOS-1D X to feature Multiple Exposure capabilities with the ability to combine up to nine individual images into a single composite image, with no need for post-processing in a computer. Four different compositing methods are provided for maximum creative control, including Additive, Average, Bright and Dark. Compositing results can be viewed in real time on the camera's LCD monitor, and there is a one-step Undo command that allows photographers to delete an image and try again if desired. The EOS 5D Mark III camera's Multiple Exposure mode even allows photographers to specify a previously captured RAW image as the starting point for a new Multiple Exposure composite image, or shoot continuously when photographing moving subjects.

Comparative Playback

A new feature seen for the first time in the EOS System on the 5D Mark III is Comparative Playback allowing photographers to display two images side by side on the camera's 3.2-inch LCD screen. The images can be displayed with a histogram to check exposure levels, or magnified to check for focus or facial expressions.

Durability, Reliability and Other Features

The EOS 5D Mark III features a rugged camera body with magnesium alloy body covers and a stainless steel lens mount. The new camera also has dust- and moisture-resistant design with improved gaskets and seals. Although not quite as weatherproof as an EOS-1D-series camera, the EOS 5D Mark III does feature improved weather resistance over the EOS 5D Mark II model. The EOS 5D Mark III's newly developed shutter unit has a durability rating of 150,000 exposures, and shutter release lag time has been reduced to 59 milliseconds, making the shutter button very responsive. Canon's locking mode dial is standard on the new model and a new custom function allows photographers to shut off other dials to prevent inadvertent operation.

The EOS 5D Mark III uses the same LP-E6 lithium-ion battery pack as other popular EOS cameras like the 5D Mark II, 7D and 60D. Battery life is estimated at 950 exposures at normal temperatures, an improvement of 100 exposures more than the EOS 5D Mark II. The EOS 5D Mark III body weighs approximately 33.5 oz. with a battery installed, and the dimensions are approximately 6.0 x 4.6 x 3.0 inches.

The EOS 5D Mark III incorporates Silent shooting modes, available for low-speed continuous shooting as well as single exposures. This feature is ideal when photographing in quiet environments. For better file management especially when working with multiple cameras, the new model also supports custom file names. There is also a new image rating feature that lets photographers rank their photos from 1 to 5 stars for quick editing.

The EOS 5D Mark III features a 3.2-inch Clear View II LCD screen with 1,040,000 dot resolution. This is the same screen that's used in the top-of-the-line EOS-1D X. The camera's optical viewfinder has been upgraded to approximately 100 percent coverage, and it features an Intelligent Viewfinder display with an optional grid on demand. The EOS 5D Mark III also has a built-in Dual Axis Electronic Level that can be displayed on both the LCD screen and the optical viewfinder.

The EOS 5D Mark III accepts both Compact Flash Type 1 and SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards in a dual card slot configuration. Three recording methods are supported: Record the same data to both cards, record different file sizes or types to each card, or automatically switch to the second card when the first card is full.


The EOS 5D Mark III DSLR also has a number of new optional accessories, including the new Canon Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7A featuring wireless LAN support for 802.11 a/b/g/n signal protocols for various network environments. The WFT-E7A connects to the camera through its USB port and includes a built-in gigabit Ethernet connection, time syncing for multiple cameras on the same network, FTP mode, EOS Utility mode, WFT Server mode and Media Server mode. With this new WFT model, professionals can synchronize clocks on multiple cameras and use the unit to support linked shooting when utilizing multiple cameras. In addition, Bluetooth-compatible equipment can be easily linked to the device as well.

The EOS 5D Mark III also has an optional Canon GPS Receiver GP-E2, which can be connected to the camera via the accessory shoe or a USB cable. With a GPS logging function built-in, the GP-E2 will log latitude, longitude, elevation, and the Universal Time Code - and allow viewing of camera movement on a PC after shooting. With its built-in compass, the GP-E2 receiver will also record camera direction when shooting, even when shooting vertically. The Canon GPS Receiver GP-E2 is compatible with the EOS-1D X and EOS 7Di as well as the EOS 5D Mark III.ii

Battery Grip BG-E11 is an optional accessory for the EOS 5D Mark III that accepts one or two LP-E6 lithium-ion battery packs or a set of six AA-size batteries. This new grip has a multicontroller and a multifunction (M.Fn) button together a with a full set of grip controls for easy operation when shooting portraits or other vertical format photos. The BG-E11 is made from sturdy magnesium alloy and has the same degree of weather resistance as the EOS 5D Mark III.

Speedlite 600EX-RT

In addition to the EOS 5D Mark III, Canon is also announcing the first professional Speedlite on the market with a built-in wireless radio transmitter, the new Speedlite 600EX-RT. The new Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT is the flagship model in the Speedlite line, ideal for wedding portrait and photojournalism. Compatible with all EOS Digital SLRs, this new model eliminates the need for accessory radio slave units and their inherent limitations. Speedlite 600EX-RT features Master-Slave two-way transmission, letting the photographer control the Speedlite settings directly from the "Master" camera.

Radio-based Wireless E-TTL can be performed with up to 15 Speedlite 600EX-RT "slave units", used off-camera up to 98.4 feet (30m) away, and triggered by either a "Master" 600EX-RT on-camera, or the optional new Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT. Used with the EOS 5D Mark III or EOS-1D X, up to five groups of flashes can be completely controlled, independently, off-camera. And, it remains fully compatible with Canon's legacy optical-based Wireless E-TTL technology, for users already committed to existing EOS Speedlites. The Speedlite features enhanced weather-resistant construction - matching that of the EOS-1D X camera body - and a more reliable electrical contact. The flash head zoom range now reaches from 20mm to 200mm.The Speedlite also allows remote shutter release of a single EOS camera, or Linked Shooting (simultaneous firing of up to 15 cameras, when one "Master" camera is fired), and includes gelatin filters and a dedicated filter holder to help photographers match ambient light.

Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT

Canon is also introducing the new Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT. Providing full support of Canon's new radio-based wireless flash technology, the new ST-E3-RT can control up to five groups of flashes, up to 98.4 feet (30m) from the camera. The remote shutter release capability enables photographers to either fire a single camera remotely (by pressing a button on the ST-E3-RT), or to fire up to 15 EOS cameras with Canon's Linked Shooting feature. Making it easy to control and adjust, all of the Speedlite Transmitter features are accessible through the Flash control menu of the EOS-1D X and EOS 5D Mark III cameras.

Pricing and Availability

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR camera is expected to be available at the end of March 2012 and will be sold in a body-only configuration at an estimated retail price of $3,499.00. The EOS 5D Mark III will also be available with the EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens in a kit for an estimated retail price of $4,299.00. The Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7A is scheduled to be available by the end of April 2012 at an estimated retail price of $849.99. Availability for GPS Receiver GP-E2 is expected by the end of April 2012, with an estimated retail price of $390.00.Battery Grip BG-E11 is scheduled to be available at the end of April 2012 for an estimated retail price of $490.00. The Speedlite 600EX-RT and Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT are also scheduled for end of March 2012 availability at estimated retail prices of $629.99 and $470.00 respectively.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.

Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. With $45.6 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks third overall in patent holdings in the U.S. in 2011†, and is one of Fortune Magazine's World's Most Admired Companies in 2011. Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company's RSS news feed by visiting www.usa.canon.com/rss.


† Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.

All referenced product names, and other marks, are trademarks of their respective owners.

Availability, prices, and specifications of all products are subject to change without notice. Actual prices are set by individual dealers and may vary.

i When the EOS 7D is used with the GP-E2, the following restrictions will apply: a) geotagging function will not work for movies while recording; b) geotagging features will not work for movies when using the Map Utility; c) electronic compass information and automatic time setting is not available; d) transmission via the hot shoe is not possible.

ii In certain countries and regions, the use of GPS may be restricted. Therefore, be sure to use GPS in accordance with the laws and regulations of your country or region. Be particularly careful when traveling outside your home country. As a signal is received from GPS satellites, take sufficient measures when using in locations where the use of electronics is regulated.

The EOS 5D Mark III requires a firmware upgrade to be compatible with the GPS Receiver GP-E2, which will be available soon.


Rob Grey said...

too bad i've sold all my canon lenses.

oh well, i guess i'll stick with the little cameras.

kirk tuck said...

Yeah. I'm partial to the little cameras but a lot of our readers are "two system" holdouts. I thought they'd like to know...

Gregg Mack said...

This is very interesting to me. I doubt that I will rush out to buy one, but I can easily see that sometime in 6 months or so I could want it. My 5D Mark II still does just fine for what I currently need, but in time in may become my "backup" camera.

Now this is getting confusing to me, as I was going to keep the 5DMk2 as my main camera and sometime late this spring get a new smaller camera like the Olympus OM-D EM-5, or the Fuji X-Pro-1, depending on how the reviews look a few months after they come out. The only reason that I hesitate to follow through with this plan is that I would have to invest in new lenses, and more importantly, my Speedlite 580EX II won't work with Olympus or Fuji.... not a problem most of the time, but definitely a problem some of the time.

I wonder what "in-camera RAW processing" is. ?? This 5DMk3 also incorporates silent shooting modes which could be very useful at times. Although I don't have any focusing problems with the 5DMk2, I know that some photographers do, so the new focusing system should "modernize" the 5D.

What I find most interesting today is the announcement of the new wireless Speedlite, and transmitter. That could easily fit into my way of doing things, but since Canon flash manuals have historically been so "bare bones information", I might need to wait for Syl Arena to come out with a book explaining how to actually use the dang things. (Kirk, now there's a book idea!) From the reading that I have done this morning, the 5DMk3 doesn't have the radio transmitter built in, but needs either a Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT or the Speedlite 600EX-RT to control the slave units.

RiverdogsCrossing said...

Looks like the 60fps is only available at 720p - Nikon D800 has the same specification.

Bold Photography said...

The biggest shortcoming of the 5DII is clearly the AF system. I have tens of thousands of missed shots to prove it. ... or was it me?

C'mon - it's supposed to focus in pure darkness!!


Still - it's a serious upgrade in every measurable metric and thus quite appealing. That said, for 'daddy' photography, it's a steep bill to pay.

Rob Grey said...

Fair enough. It wasn't too long ago I would've been tripping over myself to get down to the shop to put one on pre-order. I've recently come to the realization that most of my images don't make it to print anymore anyway, so I don't need gigapixels (the 1D MkIIN's 8MP were ample, even for spreads). The other features are quite compelling, but nothing that gets me any more excited than what the new Olympus offers, which seems like a good upgrade for my current Olympus. And it's less than a third the price.

Dave Jenkins said...

Still using the original 5D since 2006. The file quality is plenty good for the work I do, even for my architectural clients, and I don't need super-fast AF for manual-focus shift lenses. I may look into getting a 5DII when the prices come down a bit more, or I may just put the money into an OM-D or two and some good prime lenses.

BTW, what happened to the posts from yesterday?

kirk tuck said...

Dave, I didn't like the last three posts. Too.......weenie. So I took them down. You won't miss em, they weren't worth reading. Trying to up the game a bit... We'll see.

Frank Grygier said...

Would anybody like to venture a guess at about how many dollars worth of camera equipment is on preorder at this very minute?

Alan said...

Yes, but the deleted posts had some nice photos!

"must-have-asciousness " love those kirkisms!

The 5D Mk II still produces very nice files for me, I can tolerate it's shortcomings (for a little while).

almostinfamous said...

re: dollars - i did some quick searching and realized that for a little more than the price of the new D800 body, i can get 2x panasonic G3(where G = Goldmine, or so i hear from a blog which shall not be named; and of course 2x16MP = 32MP so i'm in the same ballpark as the nikon :-D ), a 14-42mm, 1 each of the 20mm f/1.7, 45mm f/1.8 and 100-300mm and for a little more than the price of the 5DMk3 i can add a 7-14mm f/4 or 12mm f/2 lens to the above kit(BH rates, very approximate calculations). one can interchange the G3 for the olympus equivalent too. if i was starting out, i'd have my whole range of lenses and 2 excellent bodies right there.

as a nikon shooter primarily(and for pay), i am still in a bit of sticker shock regarding the latest body prices which, some of my friends assure me, are 'reasonably priced' - maybe i took up the wrong career?

Aaron said...

Kirk, just for the record, I really appreciated the "Do Over" post. I'm in the middle of my own do over, wondering what in the world I'm doing, and your post gave me some good food for thought. I'm glad it's still available in my reader. ;-)

Gregg Mack said...

Well I was fairly neutral in my previous reply above about Canon's announcements today - until I visited Syl Arena's blog. I read his description about the new flash system, and then watched his video of him using it in action. I'm now pretty darn excited about this stuff!


The cost is VERY high (think 3 Speedlites @ $649 each, and a transmitter @ $?? and you are easily out $2000), but it is great to see what the future brings today. Nikon will have to answer, and probably Olympus and all of the others.
Yes PocketWizard can do this too, but that's $250 per unit on top of the cost of each flash (I already have the 580EX IIs, but.....).

Kitchen Riffs said...

I don't know, I enjoyed them. But maybe I'm a weenie.

Dave Jenkins said...

Kirk Tuck wrote: "I didn't like the last three posts. Too.......weenie. So I took them down. You won't miss em, they weren't worth reading."

Weenie +1, I guess.

obakesan said...

Hi Kirk

I guess that the makers have hit the same plateau we hit back in about 2000 with film cameras. There just wasn't enough reason to upgrade bodies with all the great models already around.

John Krumm said...

Gregg, most likely "in camera raw processing" means that you can take a raw shot, set some jpeg parameters, then make a jpeg of it in camera. Then make another with different settings. It gives you something to do while waiting in the car at the mall...

kirk tuck said...

The flash stuff looks neat but I'm more of a push-a-light-through-a-giant-silk kind of guy these days. I'm not sure I want to spend several thousand dollars to re-tool on stuff I don't use much.

Christopher Lane said...

Hi Kirk,

Came to you via TOP. Love your stuff. No really! Always makes me think and great insight into this game of photography. My father was a "pro" so I get it. Very different world from 1950. Sorry you took down those posts, I really got a lot out of them. I guess I'm just a wimp.

On topic. I love my D700 and have been looking at mirrorless since the G1 came out in 2008, so I will not be adding to cart. Maybe, just maybe, the OM-D.


P.S. Screw those G3 critics. Sour apples if you ask me. A good camera is a good camera. Period.

Robert Howie said...

The camera looks great! My favourite features are the silent shutter mode and the improved low light performance, but with no user replaceable focusing screens it's not going to be as easy to manually focus with lenses faster than f/2.8. I guess that's ok as long as you have lenses with good AF though.

Skip Hunt said...

Has anyone else noticed that everyone buys into the "new gear hype" every single time.... and like shuttermoths to the flame, flutter off to max out their credit cards buying the new miraculous gear... but you never really see the general quality of images go up at all after said miraculous new gear is in actual use?

Let me get this straight... the camera manufacturers did an excellent job convincing the general population that no talent is required and all you have to do is buy their latest and greatest gear to make fine images. So successful in fact, that few truly talented shooters can even find much work any more because everyone wants to shoot it themselves with their iPhone. At the same time, these camera manufacturers want me to pay $10k+ to get outfitted with the latest and greatest pile of kit that won't even pay for itself anymore?

No thanks. Will stick to my compact and try to wing it as best I can armed with just my own vision instead.

Dave Jenkins said...

You touched a nerve, Skip.

It all began with Kodak's advertising slogan for their first roll-film camera in the late 1800s -- "You press the button. We do the rest."

As the late, great photographer Ernst Haas once said to the late, great Bob Schwallberg, long-time European editor of Popular Photography magazine, when Schwallberg was waxing rhapsodic about some new camera:

"Ach, Schwapsellberg, why is it that cameras get better and better but pictures don't get any better?"

This took place in the late 1960s or early '70s. Nothing much has changed. Most of us are still looking outside ourselves for that mystical Holy Grail.

Skip Hunt said...


I find myself falling for it sometimes too... then, I look at the work of some of these cats lugging $20k worth of gear and don't see where the money went.

Then I look at what I've done with only a sub-$500 compact, and granted... it's not for pixelpeepin' "Pros" but it satisfies my own personal creative itch and others seem to dig'm as well:

(All of the images in the galleries below were made with a lil' Olympus XZ-1)


kirk tuck said...

Well said, Skip.

Skip Hunt said...

Thanks Kirk. Posted the same on dpreview... fun touching nerves. ;)

Brian Fancher said...

With every advance of the technical ball, a couple of people come along and perform some cool new circus tricks with the new system. And it might even make a really great image. But then a thousand copycats fall all over themselves, making essentially the same image , usually by aping the gear and scene choices of the original. That game gets boring, and then those of us falling for the gear head game start grousing about perceived shortcomings in every system, and bating ourselves into believing equipment will solve our lack of creativity. I've fallen for that more times than I care to RECOUNT.

I think in my case it usually falls to not having a clear vision of what it is that I want to do. So I fall prey to the full frame dilemma. And now, after purchasing and reading your LED book, I can find myself frozen over lighting choices. I have big lights, small lights, and a couple of smaller LED units. And I suffer inability to focus on the image at hand due to the tyranny of choice.

I missed a couple of shots at my latest wedding shoot because I didn't feel comfortable shooting at ISO 6400 on my 7D (no flash allowed at a night wedding!). So my engineer brain instantly sees the 5DIII as a savior. In those moments, the manufacturers have me. How can I possibly compete with others who have the latest and greatest equipment and can get the shots I can't?

And then I put images before a client that I took and saw in my head before I pushed the shutter button. And they love those ones the most. More than the ones at depended on technical superiority in the arms race. And my quieter creative brain knows the real truth. The work I want to do is in my head, and doesn't depend on technical fireworks from the latest iteration in the camera arms race.