Is the 5D III the best camera for novices?

Started Apr 16, 2012 | Discussions
DFPanno
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Is the 5D III the best camera for novices?
Apr 16, 2012

So after years of shooting crops (350D, 20D, T2i) I spent a weekend with my first FF camera; the 5D III.

My conclusion is that it is the best novice camera made by Canon.

Why would I say that?

Composition-

FF is much easier. Big, bright viewfinder augmented by a grid.

In comparison composing with the T2i is looking through a straw. That bright viewfinder makes it much easier to determine DOF too.

Exposure-

With the T2i you really have to "work" the exposure triangle in less than ideal lighting conditions.

Should I raise the ISO and risk noise?
Should I change aperture and risk not getting the DOF I am looking for?
Should I change the shutter speed and risk blur?

I can't have it all so where do I approach the edge?

With the 5D III you can slip it into auto-iso and just work shutter and aperture as the camera is ISO-irelevent. All pictures; from base to 12,800. look great; at least for non-professional purposes.

It is a little like going from a manual (gas, brake, clutch, stick) to an automatic (gas & brake).

Focus - The 5D IIIs is faster and more predictable and yields more winners.

Features-

The 5D III has features that make good outcomes more predictable.

Yes, I can change the autofocus point on the Rebel but it is kind of a fiddle-y affair.

With the 5D IIIs joystick I can do it in less than a second.

The joystick also makes accessing on the main menu much easier too.

Files- The files from the FF are cleaner and more amenable to PP.

My guess is that if I were to give the 5D III/L (set to auto) to my mother she would come away with better pictures than if I gave her my T2i.

The 5DIII doesn't make you a better photographer but it carries you and covers for you in situations where the Rebel will just turn its back. Better photographer? Maybe not. Better photographs? Yes.

Maybe novices should buy these fancy FF cameras and pros should seek the challenges inherent in Rebels!

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alien3333
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Re: Is the 5D III the best camera for novices?
In reply to DFPanno, Apr 16, 2012

Yes, it does take away a lot of guesses, a good first FF camera for everyone

DFPanno wrote:

So after years of shooting crops (350D, 20D, T2i) I spent a weekend with my first FF camera; the 5D III.

My conclusion is that it is the best novice camera made by Canon.

Why would I say that?

Composition-

FF is much easier. Big, bright viewfinder augmented by a grid.

In comparison composing with the T2i is looking through a straw. That bright viewfinder makes it much easier to determine DOF too.

Exposure-

With the T2i you really have to "work" the exposure triangle in less than ideal lighting conditions.

Should I raise the ISO and risk noise?
Should I change aperture and risk not getting the DOF I am looking for?
Should I change the shutter speed and risk blur?

I can't have it all so where do I approach the edge?

With the 5D III you can slip it into auto-iso and just work shutter and aperture as the camera is ISO-irelevent. All pictures; from base to 12,800. look great; at least for non-professional purposes.

It is a little like going from a manual (gas, brake, clutch, stick) to an automatic (gas & brake).

Focus - The 5D IIIs is faster and more predictable and yields more winners.

Features-

The 5D III has features that make good outcomes more predictable.

Yes, I can change the autofocus point on the Rebel but it is kind of a fiddle-y affair.

With the 5D IIIs joystick I can do it in less than a second.

The joystick also makes accessing on the main menu much easier too.

Files- The files from the FF are cleaner and more amenable to PP.

My guess is that if I were to give the 5D III/L (set to auto) to my mother she would come away with better pictures than if I gave her my T2i.

The 5DIII doesn't make you a better photographer but it carries you and covers for you in situations where the Rebel will just turn its back. Better photographer? Maybe not. Better photographs? Yes.

Maybe novices should buy these fancy FF cameras and pros should seek the challenges inherent in Rebels!

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cs hauser
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Re: Is the 5D III the best camera for novices?
In reply to DFPanno, Apr 16, 2012

DFPanno wrote:

So after years of shooting crops (350D, 20D, T2i) I spent a weekend with my first FF camera; the 5D III.

If you've spent years shooting with three SLRs, then you're not really a novice anymore.

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epsilon sigma taph
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Re: Is the 5D III the best camera for novices?
In reply to DFPanno, Apr 16, 2012

Oh come on friend, why would you spend thousands of dollars just to get an image that is in focus and exposed correctly? There are plenty of point and shoots out there that will exceed your requirements. It seems there are plenty of people out there with more money than sense.

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DFPanno
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You're right; I've moved up.............
In reply to cs hauser, Apr 16, 2012

.........to being a card-carrying amateur!

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Midwest
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Re: Is the 5D III the best camera for novices?
In reply to epsilon sigma taph, Apr 16, 2012

epsilon sigma taph wrote:

Oh come on friend, why would you spend thousands of dollars just to get an image that is in focus and exposed correctly? There are plenty of point and shoots out there that will exceed your requirements. It seems there are plenty of people out there with more money than sense.

The full frame sensor and the flexability to shoot at up to 12,800 ISO give amazing flexibility to anyone. I love my Rebel but if I had the money, would I move up to a 5D? Yes, yes, yes.

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aftab
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Re: Is the 5D III the best camera for novices?
In reply to DFPanno, Apr 16, 2012

You are not a novice anymore. Call yourself an enthusiast and get a 5D3 if you can.
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joger
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Re: Is the 5D III the best camera for novices?
In reply to DFPanno, Apr 16, 2012

DFPanno wrote:

So after years of shooting crops (350D, 20D, T2i) I spent a weekend with my first FF camera; the 5D III.

My conclusion is that it is the best novice camera made by Canon.

you are probably right in a sense you might not have thought about

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Taikonaut
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Re: Is the 5D III the best camera for novices?
In reply to aftab, Apr 16, 2012

Unlike the 5DMk2 Canon no longer class 5DIII as an "enthusiast" camera and it is reflected in the price change, feature upgrade and build.

aftab wrote:

You are not a novice anymore. Call yourself an enthusiast and get a 5D3 if you can.
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Marcos Villaroman
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$3.5K body isn't for novice
In reply to DFPanno, Apr 16, 2012

Having progressed from 300D, 350D, 40D, 5D2, 7D, 5D3, I can't see a $3.5K body with another $1k for a standard zoom lens to be a novice camera. It's too expensive. It's also not for every photography, given its size/weight and lack of pop-up flash and easy to access creative modes.

At best, the 5D2/5D3 are really good intermediate to advanced DSLR bodies.

Hopefully Canon does put out a cheap full frame DSLR at the $1k to $1.3k range.

I think someone classified as a novice has a lot to learn before he/she should be spending $$$ on good glass. They might find out another system, such as micro 4/3rds might better suite their needs.

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FranklinSq
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Re: Is the 5D III the best camera for novices?
In reply to DFPanno, Apr 16, 2012

I enjoyed your post, Panno!

Reading the responses, I think people are missing the point of the OP and taking things too literally. I do not think he is being serious about the 5D3 being a camera for novices... He's merely pointing out that the much cheaper Rebel may require much more skill and experience to get the best pictures out of, and I totally agree. I just went from a Rebel T2i (550D) to the 5D3 myself, and the OP rings very true.

DFPanno wrote:

So after years of shooting crops (350D, 20D, T2i) I spent a weekend with my first FF camera; the 5D III.

My conclusion is that it is the best novice camera made by Canon.

Why would I say that?

Composition-

FF is much easier. Big, bright viewfinder augmented by a grid.

In comparison composing with the T2i is looking through a straw. That bright viewfinder makes it much easier to determine DOF too.

Exposure-

With the T2i you really have to "work" the exposure triangle in less than ideal lighting conditions.

Should I raise the ISO and risk noise?
Should I change aperture and risk not getting the DOF I am looking for?
Should I change the shutter speed and risk blur?

I can't have it all so where do I approach the edge?

With the 5D III you can slip it into auto-iso and just work shutter and aperture as the camera is ISO-irelevent. All pictures; from base to 12,800. look great; at least for non-professional purposes.

It is a little like going from a manual (gas, brake, clutch, stick) to an automatic (gas & brake).

Focus - The 5D IIIs is faster and more predictable and yields more winners.

Features-

The 5D III has features that make good outcomes more predictable.

Yes, I can change the autofocus point on the Rebel but it is kind of a fiddle-y affair.

With the 5D IIIs joystick I can do it in less than a second.

The joystick also makes accessing on the main menu much easier too.

Files- The files from the FF are cleaner and more amenable to PP.

My guess is that if I were to give the 5D III/L (set to auto) to my mother she would come away with better pictures than if I gave her my T2i.

The 5DIII doesn't make you a better photographer but it carries you and covers for you in situations where the Rebel will just turn its back. Better photographer? Maybe not. Better photographs? Yes.

Maybe novices should buy these fancy FF cameras and pros should seek the challenges inherent in Rebels!

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facedodge
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Re: $3.5K body isn't for novice
In reply to Marcos Villaroman, Apr 16, 2012

Why do so may photographers act so disgusted by amateurs spending their money on expensive gear? They would probably see no issue with them buying a fancy sports car, a house with 2 empty bedrooms, or furniture from Restoration Hardware.

I doubt pro golfers get as offended when the local shank buys a set of Titleist golf balls and Ping wedges.

Life is short. Have fun with your new toy. I hope it challenges you to get the best shots you can. I'm sure you'll love it.

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KAllen
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Re: Is the 5D III the best camera for novices?
In reply to DFPanno, Apr 16, 2012

I would actually had over a film camera with a fixed lens and all manual controls to a novice if they really wanted to learn what is important in photography.

Even if they never shot with one again a dozen rolls of film would concentrate the mind more than remembering where things are in the menu. And why most of the options on cameras are a waste of time.

Kevin.

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Fog Maker
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Re: Is the 5D III the best camera for novices?
In reply to Taikonaut, Apr 16, 2012

Taikonaut wrote:

Unlike the 5DMk2 Canon no longer class 5DIII as an "enthusiast" camera and it is reflected in the price change, feature upgrade and build.

My guess m is you have never shot professionally.

But just to put the record straight:

http://www.canon.com.au/Professional/EOS-Digital-SLR-Cameras

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Fog Maker
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Re: Is the 5D III the best camera for novices?
In reply to Fog Maker, Apr 16, 2012

Or alternatively they are both 'enthusiast' cameras as reflected here:

http://www.canon.com.au/For-You/EOS-Digital-SLR-Cameras

Meaning only the 1D series are professional cameras... But who in his or her right mind can really be bothered?

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oysso
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Re: Is the 5D III the best camera for novices?
In reply to DFPanno, Apr 16, 2012

DFPanno wrote:

So after years of shooting crops (350D, 20D, T2i) I spent a weekend with my first FF camera; the 5D III.

My conclusion is that it is the best novice camera made by Canon.

Why would I say that?

Composition-

FF is much easier. Big, bright viewfinder augmented by a grid.

You can even compose nicely with a Point and shoot.

In comparison composing with the T2i is looking through a straw. That bright viewfinder makes it much easier to determine DOF too.

Determine DOF? Brighter and larger yes. But you are exaggerating a bit there.

Exposure-

With the T2i you really have to "work" the exposure triangle in less than ideal lighting conditions.

You can buy a 60D or 7D to do that....

or a GX1

Should I raise the ISO and risk noise?
Should I change aperture and risk not getting the DOF I am looking for?
Should I change the shutter speed and risk blur?

I can't have it all so where do I approach the edge?

Good lenses is the first way of getting good shots in dark situations.

With the 5D III you can slip it into auto-iso and just work shutter and aperture as the camera is ISO-irelevent. All pictures; from base to 12,800. look great; at least for non-professional purposes.

It is a little like going from a manual (gas, brake, clutch, stick) to an automatic (gas & brake).

Focus - The 5D IIIs is faster and more predictable and yields more winners.

No camera will do the thinking for you.

Features-

The 5D III has features that make good outcomes more predictable.

Do you know that? Have you tested it?

Yes, I can change the autofocus point on the Rebel but it is kind of a fiddle-y affair.

With the 5D IIIs joystick I can do it in less than a second.

Changing focus points is not the most important feature for a camera most of the time.

The joystick also makes accessing on the main menu much easier too.

Files- The files from the FF are cleaner and more amenable to PP.

My guess is that if I were to give the 5D III/L (set to auto) to my mother she would come away with better pictures than if I gave her my T2i.

That does not need to be true. You don't have the scene modes for the 5D III.

The 5DIII doesn't make you a better photographer but it carries you and covers for you in situations where the Rebel will just turn its back. Better photographer? Maybe not. Better photographs? Yes.

Don't need to be better.

Better spend on better lenses first.

Maybe novices should buy these fancy FF cameras and pros should seek the challenges inherent in Rebels!

I would NEVER advice any novice to buy a 5D III. That would be far overkill.
a 60D or 7D is as far as I would go in my recommendation.

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Pedro Moreira
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Re: Is the 5D III the best camera for novices?
In reply to DFPanno, Apr 16, 2012

Good post DFPanno! I couldnt agree more!

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Press Correspondent
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Correction: the best camera for very rich novices
In reply to DFPanno, Apr 16, 2012

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Teila Day
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I strongly agree. The 5d3 is great for novices!
In reply to Marcos Villaroman, Apr 16, 2012

Marcos Villaroman wrote:

Having progressed from 300D, 350D, 40D, 5D2, 7D, 5D3, I can't see a $3.5K body with another $1k for a standard zoom lens to be a novice camera. It's too expensive. It's also not for every photography, given its size/weight and lack of pop-up flash and easy to access creative modes.

I think stair-stepping cameras is just a ridiculous as someone wanting to be a professional pilot who has the money to buy their own aircraft for hauling freight to purchase a Cessna 150, 172, 206, and ultimately the Jet fueled Caravan. It's senseless. Using a camera isn't a complicated task. It's a camera, not a sophisticated piece of space equipment.

At best, the 5D2/5D3 are really good intermediate to advanced DSLR bodies.

I went from a Coolpix 900s to a pro body and lenses (even though we had a D100 in-house) and I not only saved money by doing so, but I made money by doing so, by capturing shots that I wouldn't have been able to get with a slower camera body with a pitiful buffer. I was able to sell shots from the Iron Man competitions... I could shoot a 2-3 shot burst as a cyclist went buy and could easily focus on, and photograph the next person in rapid succession without having to worry about the buffer choking and missing subsequent shots. That was 2005... and that same 4mp Pro body Nikon made more money last year (2011) than I could sell it for today, even though it isn't often used like it once was. Occasionally I'll use it for shots that my 5d2 can't manage...

Time is money, and if a person wants to make money with a camera, buying a "Starter" camera is one of the worse things they can do.

Furthermore, when I later used other pro bodies, I already knew what to expect, and I basically knew my way around them. Would you recommend a budding photographer to buy a "starter" computer too on which to process their raw files with?

I recommend people wanting to engage in commerce with a camera, to get the best camera and lenses they can buy for what they intend to shoot, because that alone can be the difference between getting paid or not.

Weight, pop-up flash, creative modes.... let's face it, not of that junk really applies to most people engaging in paid work. Creative modes aren't needed whether you're a novice or not, and if you're really into photography you'll almost have to get a speed light or studio strobe anyway, so the pop up flash (other than fill during daylight hours) isn't something that's a big deal... especially those who've experienced radio triggers compared to using the pop up flash as a flash "commander" device. (why Nikon is still screwing around with CLS instead of radio triggering I don't know)..

Hopefully Canon does put out a cheap full frame DSLR at the $1k to $1.3k range.

Hopefully all manufacturers will do that, because right now those that want a camera with the same basic performance of their film camera (composition, depth of field, bokeh (ease of blurring the background), etc.. at a relatively low price are out of luck.

I think someone classified as a novice has a lot to learn before he/she should be spending $$$ on good glass. They might find out another system, such as micro 4/3rds might better suite their needs.

I'm glad I listened to my common sense when I was mulling over camera and lens purchases... otherwise I'd have wasted time shooting with crummy lenses and slow cameras, and would've missed out on income while playing the step-up-to-better cameras game. Phooey!

Most of you out there are better photographers than I, and even I was able to have my old D2hs, 70-200 f/2.8 VR and 17-35 f/2.8 lenses pay for themselves in short order.

Purchase smart! Purchase for the future, not for now. A camera should EASILY last most working pros 5 years or more, let alone a novice photographer if you purchase out of what you'll likely need instead of purchasing simply what you lust after.

For static work (still portraits), my 5d2 will easily be viable for several years to come, and for anyone who purchased the 5d2 as their camera to learn on, they will have a professional capable camera that can be used for professional work for years to come, as opposed to having to move up to what they should've purchased in the first place.

My recommendation for those who plan on being photographers for years to come (partial list):

1. Only buy a camera that you can reasonably use professionally for what you want to shoot. (you can use a Rebel to shoot sports, fashion or real estate, but let's use our common sense here).

2. Generally, Never buy lenses that you cannot fully use on a Nikon/Canon film body! You should be able to take any lens you own and natively attach it to a film or pro digital body without compromise in the operation of the camera or lens!

3. Buy high grade lenses from the start. In this day, "kit lenses" aren't bad, and great to use until you can get the good stuff that produces excellent image and color quality, robust build, and a wide aperture that allows better focusing in less than optimum light, as well as more depth-of-field possibilities.

4. Don't buy into old sayings no matter how cute they are... e.g. "It's all about the photographer, not the equipment..." , "Good lenses are far more important than the camera body..." , "Good lenses last forever..."

Ridiculous- although sometimes competent well-meaning photographers use such over generalized phrases to make excellent points regarding a particular situation.

Get the good stuff from the beginning (including a good hand held light meter). It will often save you a lot of headache later in the game.

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Bernard Carns
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In reply to facedodge, Apr 16, 2012

If its enjoyable and useable by a novice then a 5d3 is good for a novice!

And if a novice can afford it them enjoy!

BC

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