Went 1DsMkIII from DsMkII - some early expressions

Started Aug 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Earthlight
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Went 1DsMkIII from DsMkII - some early expressions
Aug 4, 2012

I did write about some of my immediate expressions here:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1032&message=42113778

So, I got the camera ten days ago and since then I have shot a lot more and I'm getting more and more familiar with the camera. In fact it already feels like I would have used it for years as the UI is so intuitive. I would say that it is much better in this regard even though I never really had any issues with the MkII. The MkIII is just faster and very pleasing to use. I like the button layout much better.

Along my scattered expressions I am sharing some photos from the last 10 days.

I am still impressed with the tonality and the malleability of the files.

The dark gradations are solid and smooth. There is little pattern noise to speak about in most conditions so far - at least this body is better in this regard than the 10D, 20D, 5D, 1DsMkII that I have used extensively. It also seems significantly better than the 5DMkII in my experience.

I did encounter a funny issue though. The DsMkIII has more hot pixels than my DsMkII. Way WAY less than my long ago sold 20D though. I use ACR for conversion and as usual it deals well with the obvious red dots. That said, it seems to miss some of these really small light green dots that I get in low light shots (I am typically around 30s shutter speed). It is not a biggie, just a curiosity.

The dust seems livelier on the sensor which is a good thing in the sense that there are probably less "welded" particles that need wet cleaning. Maybe the automatic cleaning system contributes to this.

The viewfinder is something everybody should look through. Especially the EVF advocates, hehe. It is insanely big and bright. The info in it is MUCH improved over the DsMkII. I love the ISO display, the number of shots left, the image quality info (the reassuring RAW symbol).

The ISO button has a great big lump to it which makes adjustments a doddle while looking through the viewfinder. The 3-7 frame bracketing is lovely. I absolutely adore the joystick push change of AF points between the center point and a point that I have registered. The top LCD even has a symbol about the MLU being activated... I love it. I love the My Menu feature. It is really handy. The faster buffer flush is great. The new battery charger is cool (space age compared to the earlier model).

The shutter sound is significantly less aggressive than on the DsMkII. It is not so high frequency, not so electrocution like. Fuller and quite satisfying I would say.

The AF in the dark is as good if not slightly better than the DsMkII. At least that is my impression so far. The AF speed seems similar to me. But then again I am no spots shooter.

I shot an assignment with an ST-E2 clone and two strobes and it was a doddle. Too bad I cannot share the pics until the magazine goes to publication in september. The pics turned out really cool. The bright viewfinder actually makes framing easier in the dark.

I think I am buying the claims about increased dynamic range over the MkII. I have but my gut feeling about it. There is a reassuring latitude in the highlights in RAW conversion and the cleaner shadows also help.

Overall it is a well rounded camera, a clear improvement over the MkII. Makes for a really satisfying shooting experience. I would not trade mine for a 5DMkIII, I guess I enjoy the build so much. I also did not get the illumination of the 5D AF points.

One thing I have noticed is that I worry much less about noise reduction and more importantly I seem to be doing way less curves as well. There is something much more to my liking in the default contrast curve or something. When there is noise the ACR seems to do a much better job with these files than with the MkII. Weird but I see it with my own eyes.

I think I am set with this camera for a few years at least. Maybe even longer. It seems an incredible picture taking machine.

Earthlight

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