The 5D mark 3 for a nikon user?

Started Apr 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
Mike Ca Regular Member • Posts: 318
Re: The 5D mark 3 for a nikon user?

Bigfoot25 wrote:

I plan to use it on portraits and low light, no landscape or macro. I do plan to use radio
Off camera flashes, either canon's new system or nikon and PW.
I knew about the canon light leak and the nikon downsides
(4FPS, the better AF of the mark 3), and simply cant figure
Out - For What i need - off camera flashes,
Low light and portraits,
Which is better?

The D800 has the advantage in terms of resolution and DR at low ISO.

The 5D III is better in low light and has better AF in low light.

You would not be making a mistake with either one. If your interest is mainly studio type portraits with OCF lighting and low light, I think the 5D III fits your needs a little better.

Some people claim that the D800 is a better studio camera, because it has higher resolution. I question this logic. Here is a studio portrait taken with the 5D III and the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II lens. This has been cropped a little from the full image. You can see it at the original resolution by clicking on the name (img-Brynn-006-643) to take you to my gallery, then click 'original' for the available sizes below the picture.

Here is a 1 to 1 crop from this image:

This is a gorgeous model with great complexion, but who wants to see their face in that much detail? Even at 22 MP, I think the 5D III has too much resolution for this kind of picture. If you were to make a wall size pint of this, you would probably need to soften it to get rid of some of the detail.

I did make a 16x20 enlargement of another picture from this shoot, and you can see some of that detail if you look at the print very closely, but you don't notice it when you view it at a normal distance.

I understand where landscape photographers want all the detail they can get, if they are making very large prints. For portraits, I just do not see the need.

If you down sample to web resolution (1k pixels on long side), you can get really nice images with the 5D III without noticeable noise even at ISO 25,600. At full resolution, of course, you see lots of noise at ISO 25,600. I'm sure the D800 can get close, but according to DxO tests, the D800 has less DR at ISO 12,800-25,600 than the 5D III. The 5D III AF system also works well in low light conditions.

I am not really sure about the new Canon 600ex-rt flash. I have 4 580ex II flashes, with PW+II triggers, so I don't expect to be buying any of the 600ex-rt flashes in the near future. The down side I see is that the radio triggers will only work with new Canon flashes. You will not be able to get radio triggers for any kind of studio flashes to work with it.

On the other hand, if you use the 600ex-rt in manual mode, you should be able to trigger studio strobes by their optical triggers. You cannot trigger studio strobes with optical triggers if you use the Canon optical/IR wireless system. Even in manual mode, the optical wireless system uses pre-flashes to communicate to the slaves, which confuses the optical triggers and causes the studio strobes to fire too early.

By the way, the portrait above was lite with four 580ex II flashes, 2 in an Apollo Orb, 1 in a shoot through umbrella, and one in a small luniquest softbox as a hair light.

I don't think you can go wrong with either the D800 or 5D III. If you have good Nikon lenses, I really can't see any reason to change systems. If you just have cheap kit lenses you want to replace anyway, then it is a close decision. Just remember that the quality of the images you get depend almost entirely on the photographers skill and creativity. You can get great images with either camera.

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