5D Mark III's "rate" button and USB 2.0: seemingly benign but revealing
These two seemingly benign features have left me wondering if the 5D mk III is really greater than the sum of its parts, like the D800 seems to be and the 5D mk II was.
Sure, one could argue that the two latter cameras were an evolution in the line, too. But I don't think anyone could seriously argue that the mk III is revolutionary.
Does it have to be? No, of course not. But, for $1000 more than its predecessor cost when it was released, it should demonstrate more than just refinements.
By dedicating a button to "rating" images that are too hard to accurately put on a subjective scale when chimping, instead of including a more useful button (like one that would have activated an integrated wi-fi chip, for example), Canon may think that it's being bright but it's actually selling a lack of innovation.
USB 2.0 tells me that Canon did not see fit to stay current with connected media, either. The addition of dual card slots was long overdue.
Add to that some needed upgrades to the autofocus system, dynamic range and video, but also $1500 (I bought my mk II for $2000 new) and I wonder if there were too many cooks in the kitchen when Canon finally decided on it's recipe to replace the mk II.
What Canon lacks in creativity it makes up for in market savvy, depriving users of what could have been easily added in-camera in favor of selling them accessories that significantly drives up the cost of versatile shooting and adds bulk to a photographer's kit. Nikon is also guilty of this.
Arguably, the D800 isn't overly innovative either, but it was a big step up from the D700 and there was enough new in that package (like the unexpected leap in megapixels, and not groundbreaking but appreciated in-camera time lapse, for example) to make it appear that it will have a longer shelf life than the mk III (not even taking into account the 200,000 vs 150,000 actuations lifespan).
The only unexpected feature in the mk III was the silent shooting mode - a nice touch for sure, but not one that will give me greater flexibility in shooting. By comparison, the D800 offers high resolution breathing room when cropping, which is huge, and the convenience of time lapse photography without additional gear - a minor bonus but thoughtful. And even if it is only via HDMI, uncompressed video gives videographers more options.
I may stick with Canon given how much money I will lose if I do switch and how much I love my lenses, but the feature-set of the mk III's closest competitor makes me wonder if I should.
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|Mar 3, 2012|
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