For Your Amusement

To say that I’ve been excited to get my new Canon 5D Mark III is an understatement.  This is my single most anticipated camera for about the past year and one that I pre-ordered the night it was announced. Despite this mountain of expectation, finally getting to shoot with it has been a complete treat and I’m both happy and relieved to say that this camera is everything I wanted it to be and more.

There has been a lot of talk about its apparent lack of resolution especially compared against the $600 dollar GH2 with various bitrate hacks. I do have a GH2 and it has been hacked. However, I don’t see what the fuss is about. Yes, shooting at a deep depth of field on the Mark III does produce pictures that are a little bit soft, but not nearly to the detriment that is emphasized and what it does well, it does so well that there is very little else that can match its strengths. It is still a completely unique camera in this marketplace.

The build quality is superb which is to say like the 7D, only better. The new 3.2” LCD is bigger and more pleasant. The colors are classic Canon which are well saturated with lovely skin tones. The moiré and aliasing are both gone and this is a huge deal. Even shooting the metal mesh ceiling of the bumper car stall in the film above, I saw no signs of moiré. Shooting the strings and bottle game, there was no sign of aliasing on the strings. This is a huge deal! The inexpensive SDHC cards are now usable thanks to the Mark III’s dual CF and SDHC slots. Class 10 cards seem to be all I need, even in the more bitrate hungry i-frame encoding mode.

And that gorgeous full frame aesthetic. It’s not just about the shallow depth of field; it’s about being able to get shallow depth of field up close and at wide angles. This is something that only the big sensor cameras can do. What a treat!

So here I am two years later having started with the hacked GH1, the 60D, a pair of 7Ds, the hacked GH2, the Mark II and now finally the Mark III. Being able to use all the lovely Canon EF and EF-L lenses the way they were meant is another big upside to both the full frame Canon cams. I think my set up will now be Mark III as my main camera with the Mark II as backup or B camera for my second shooter. This will maintain the aesthetic across both angles and should cut seamlessly across all my footage. The Mark II is still very useful and I’m not ready to give that up yet.

Finally, the film above was shot entirely on the Mark III with the new i-frame encoding and using the faithful picture profile (sharpness at 1, everything else at defaults). There has been absolutely no grading or color correction in post and this is footage straight off the camera. Audio was captured with the on board mic. Stabilization provided by my always present Manfrotto 561 BHDV-1. Len was only one: the Canon 24-70 2.8L, shot mostly wide open at 24mm, 50mm and 70mm. It was a very quick edit.

A big thank you to my walking model Faye for being so patient!

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