The Mark III Review

And why I may have a new favorite lens!
canon-mark-3-review

It was like

a had received a massive box from Jcrew or something! I was estatic! When my MarkIII arrived I could have hugged the UPS man but I refrained! I was excited but also somewhat nervous. Ya know when you take friends to a movie that you LOVED and you’re just HOPING they think it lives up to the rave review you given it? That’s what I felt like with this camera. I have talked it up, I’ve shared my excited with the internet AND my whole family… so now was the moment of truth…. was it amazing and was it a worthwhile investment?  Well, the overall answer to this questions issss… dun, dun, dun…… YES! And I’ll explain why in this post!

Now, is it PERFECT? …. No… but is it a step up from the Mark II, you betcha.  So in NO way am I 100% efficient at this camera yet…. I’m still learning. I’m not doing a review like the Canon gods do where I analyze EVERY teeny tiny function because to be honest, I only know what I need to use.  I’ve only shot about 6 sessions and one wedding with this new baby and so I’m still getting used it. So this is my disclaimer…. I don’t claim to know it all, I don’t claim to have mastered the in’s and out’s of this new camera body, I’m just simply sharing what I have learned so far! So here we go!

 

1. The GREATEST improvement from the Mark II are the AF points.  My previous shooting style consisted of shooting wide open, focusing with the center focal point and re-composing every shot.  What happens when you do this while shooting at 1.6 or 1.4…. SOFT IMAGES.  So I shoot A LOT. I don’t just take one shot of a couple in a certain pose, I take a TON!  Why? Because when I get home, I want to have NAILED that focus. I don’t deal well with soft images… if I paid good money for a camera and L series prime lenses, my images should be crystal clear.  Some photographers are ok with realllly soft images and I have to wonder, what happens when that couple chooses a slightly out of focus portrait for a 20×30 canvas? Yikes!

 

So, all that to say, my days of re-composing EVERY SINGLE shot are over. HALLELUJAH!!! The Mark III is changing the way I shoot for the BETTER.  Now, the trick is to figure out how each lens reacts with these new AF points.  While the 85 1.2 was such a pain with the Mark II, I have found it to be quite AMAZING with the MarkIII.  Like, so amazing that it MAY have become my new fav lense. (Don’t tell my 50 1.2, he’ll be so jealous).  The 50 1.2 works well but when shooting wide open, I have found that it’s more consistent to use a center focal point and recompose. Maybe this won’t be the case after I continue to learn more about this camera but I have noticed that the 50 1.2 isn’t as accurate when using the peripheral focal points.  Right now, my AF selection is set to ONLY use cross-type AF points…. this is just because I’m still testing the waters and I want to be sure I’m nailing these exposures with a camera I’m still getting used to.   I LOVE what I’m able to compose with this camera and I feel more CREATIVE now that I have AF options and I’m constantly worrying about soft images! I have NEVER been able to auto focus during ring shots with my 100mm macro… until now! It’s amazing!

 

Now, like I said, this baby isn’t perfect. I have still had some images where I zoom in and think “Gosh, what happened here?!”.  It’s still sensitive and I have to make sure I’m not shooting too fast.  However, the good is out weighing the bad. When you’re shooting wide open, you always have to be careful that you’re reallly locking in the focus and so this is teaching my to really think about a composition, adjust for it and shoot exactly what I want the FIRST time! Some reviewers are saying that the AF system is WAY too complex and confusing….. but I really think that is personal preference and has a lot to do with the type of photography you’re shooting. For me, I’m mastering it one step at a time and it’s going well so far!

 

2. The ISO on the Mark III is RIDICULOUS!!!! Like I said, I’ve only shot one wedding with this guy but from the low light shots I took, I’m really impressed with the minimal grain! With a range up to 25600, I don’t think I’ll ever be afraid of the dark:)

 

3. The “Mode” wheel (NOT the technical term, that’s a “Katelyn” term) is locked. So often I would bump my camera and shift it from “M” to “Bulb” and I would be in for a real shock when I went to take my next shot!! The Mark III locks the wheel and it also has a better location for the power switch as well!

 

4.  Playback: Still getting used to this new playback setup.  It’s different… and while the LCD screen is INSANE… I’m still learning how to quickly review and zoom in. It’s just a minor adjustment, neither good or bad in my opinion.

 

5. Cosmetically, it’s just seems TOUGHER! The shutter sound is so different from the MarkII and at first I hated it… but now I’m getting used to it. The exterior is heftier and the body as a whole feels HEAVIER! Why don’t have I have HUGE arm muscles on my right arm?! Why?!

 

6. Low light capabilities:  It seems to handle low light well… but I didn’t notice anything spectacular at my first reception. Surprisingly my OCF was more consistent than it’s ever been (which is a shock considering that I’ve heard that the MARK III doesn’t work well with Pocket Wizards). I’m still learning about it’s low light ability but I’ll be sure to comment more about that when I do a reception lighting post. (That IS coming one day, I promise!)

 

So these are just some initial reviews that I have noticed after using the Mark III for a good 3 weeks or so. I’m sure I’m going to be learning more and forming more opinions as time goes on and I’ll be sure to share them! Overall, this camera is a big upgrade for me. The AF points are a fun, much needed improvement for my shooting style and I’m so ready for the 2012 wedding season to kick into high gear next weekend!!  But for now…. let me show you a little sneaky peeky from yesterday’s engagement session.

 

Shot with Canon MarkIII 85 1.2  f/2.2  Shutter 1/640  ISO 320

 

Comments (12)

Comments

  1. Erin Leppo: ( )

    Great post, Katelyn! I agree that the AF points are what makes the mark three compared to the two! I love that there will be a lot less worrying now…did I get the shot or not?! Now, its like BAM! Got it! Looking forward to your reception lighting post! xo,Erin

  2. Kimberly Walker: ( )

    Awesome post!I had no idea that other people had the same problem of soft images when shooting wide open. I thought there was something wrong with me! That said, I mostly shoot families so unfortunately there is never much time to take several shots of one “pose” so I’m often stuck with soft images. This really makes me want the Mark III :-)

  3. Amelia: ( )

    it sounds FABULOUS! Saving my pennies…maybe someday I’ll be able to afford it! :)

  4. Aly Carroll: ( )

    Great review! I just got the mark III as well & love it! I upgraded from a 50D so it is a world of difference. Have you shot in the silent mode-its amazing & SO quiet! Always love your images and follow you everyday…:-)

  5. Tyler Herrinton: ( )

    Great post Katelyn! I agree with everything you said here. Especially that the ISO/lowlight abilities are out of this world! I also found zooming in to review pictures hard to get used to. What I did was change the settings in camera that the “set” button would zoom in on photos. At least that way you can use your right thumb to access it. Hopefully that is helpful to you as well!

    -Tyler

  6. molly: ( )

    this is such a great post, katelyn! now, the chance that i’ll ever buy a mark III is slim to never (cause, you know, i’m not a wedding photographer) – but the important features on the camera are good to know for someone who just loves to take pictures for fun like i do :)

  7. Abby Grace: ( )

    Ahhh! I’m so excited to hear that you love it! I’ve been waiting for the reviews to come out before buying my own and will still probabl wait until the end of wedding season, but this is really encouraging. So glad you like it!

  8. Dani: ( )

    Wow! What a great review. Good to know if I ever get the money to upgrade. Beautiful picture. Where was this shot!?

  9. Laura Abell: ( )

    Not sure about the Mark III but that sure is a darling couple.

  10. Ali Peterson: ( )

    I’m renting the Mark III this weekend and can’t wait! Sounds like it could work very well for me. Low light & AF points are a HUGE consideration to my shooting style.

  11. Kristin: ( )

    Glad I am not the only one that accidently switches to “bulb” on the MII…lol

  12. Nancy Mitchell: ( )

    you are making me so jealous! i need to book a few more weddings and hopefully i can do an upgrade soon! love the shot!

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