99% 5DIII vs. 1% D800

Started May 19, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Sharon999
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99% 5DIII vs. 1% D800
May 19, 2012

99% of my gear is Canon. I'm used to it and it's kept the hubby and I well fed for many years. Nikon could release 200 mp Xray DSLR's and I would keep my Canon gear. But we've tried other gear because a closed mind earns nothing and a lot of clients are educated about gear these days, and so we decided to try the D800. If it had nothing to offer we could shamefully make a profit by selling it on craigslist. So before I make my main point I'll tell you people what I won't do. I won't post samples. Because no matter what samples are shown it leads to nothing. Everyone fights over how they were shot, with which lens and on what day. I've already witnessed the results 1st hand and you need to do the same and stop acting silly. I also won't go down a crazy list of feature comparos. Both cameras handle great and focus instantly. Neither of our cameras has focus issues, light leaks or lockups. If you know how to shoot either camera will get the job done easily.

But yes, there is a "winner" here though probably not in a way that is meaningful for most amateurs. Most of the time we've seen clear advantages from the Nikon files over the 5DIII, especially after mild cropping and making 13X19 prints. Cropping is a large part of the process these days, especially for event shooting of all kinds. We shoot RAW and the 5DIII sensor is not on the same level as the D800 in all of the ways you've read about. Does it amount to a important difference? For me personally? Not really. For a business? Maybe and probably. But our business does not require that last ounce of quality the D800 provides. If we had more demanding requirements it might be a different story. For example: less than 10% of what we shoot is in the studio where the D800 has a more consistant advantage. We don't shoot landscapes and streets much either. Trying the D800 in daylight and flash for a children's party the extra dynamic range was a visible advantage. But we didn't gain any extra sold shots and I doubt those parents cared. Maybe your clients would.

I tend to look at any camera as a tool overall. I don't look at features. I look at the complete package and how it all gels. Some of my friends like to characterize the 5DIII as a more friendly camera. I agree with that. My 14 year old loves it while she stares blankly at the extra buttons on the D800. I'm not 14 years old. I've learned how to use the D800 and I'll say with fangirl reluctance that this is a terrific DSLR. It does more than my 5DIII. A lot more? No. Enough to make me sell my hard-earned Canon collection? Not! But the advantages are there all the same. It does what the 5DIII does and edges ahead in other areas. It's more versatile. It gets the shot in focus and hands me a file that has more room to work. That's the job of a camera; to get my shot focused correctly and give me a file to work with! Like the 5DIII it has it's weak points, but fewer than any DSLR I've ever used. Nonsense about tripods and great technique are just that; nonsense. The same is required for the 5DIII if you want the best from it. I make no extra efforts with the D800. So are we keeping it? I don't think so. A Nikon shooting friend is desperate for one and we really don't need it for our work. I don't think anyone should even be allowed to post a review based on what they've seen online. You MUST use both cameras on a job or two and really handle them. You MUST see the results from a good printer and with and without cropping. Only then can you make a judgement as to which would be best for you. If it's not practical to make that comparison then sleep easy in knowing that both cameras are absolutely wonderful tools and you cannot go wrong with either. For most people the cameras are pretty much the same with no major difference. The advantages of the D800 are in the realm of a pro shooter looking for that extra bit. If that's you or you plan to grow into that go right ahead and get a D800. No, I'm not backpedaling on the D800. It IS better, but just not for everyone. I'm going to be 100% canon by next week and that works for me.

PS: We're NOT making a profit on selling the D800, unless a nice dinner counts.

S.

 Sharon999's gear list:Sharon999's gear list
Canon PowerShot S95 Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS 60D Nikon D800 Canon EOS 5D Mark III
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