Canon 5D mark III in street photography

Started Apr 27, 2013 | Questions thread
Brad Evans Contributing Member • Posts: 616
Re: I don't think so...

chironNYC wrote:

aftab wrote:

chironNYC wrote:

Learnphotography wrote:

I highly suggest you go back to basics and learn how to focus properly. My old 550D can focus spot on 99% of the time in the street.

Why so rude? Read the OP's post. He is shooting in his own way, and there is little question that the 5d3 will be MUCH better for what he wants to do. Can he do it with a 5d2? Sure. He could do it with an all manual Leica, like Cartier-Bresson. He could do it with a 4X5 Speed Graphic, like Weegee. But the 5d3 will help him get more in-focus keepers by a very significant percentage given his style of shooting. That's what he was asking about. He doesn't need to shoot the way someone else likes to.

Sounds like the OP stepped on some 5d2 owners' toes.

I don't think 5D3 will give OP any extra advantage in street photography (I own both, so didn't step on my toes). As you said it can be done with almost any camera.

It seems that shooting from hip is his style. And if he is focusing more often on the background than the subject then how is he going to avoid that with 5D3? More AF is not likely to help, it probably will make it worse.

A friend of mine shoots with a rebel and 70-200/f4. I saw him shooting. He holds his camera at the waist level, and when he spots his subject it takes him literally 2 seconds to bring the camera against his eye, focus, shoot and bring it down to waist level again. So, I would suggest that OP becomes more confident and shoot normally instead of from hip.

And of course, practice, practice, practice.

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I think the question the OP is asking is whether he will gain advantages in his style of shooting with the 5d3. He is not asking how he should shoot differently or modify his style of shooting.

The 5d3 has a large number of autofocus modes and capabilities and settings that are not available on the 5d2. Many of these would enhance his keeper rate.

For instance, in the example he gave of the 5d2's single focus point missing the subject and getting the background, the 5d3's AF Focus Point Expansion mode would likely be very helpful. So would the 5d3's better implementation of AI and servo focus give him a much better keeper rate in different situations.

The 5d3's AF system is much more flexible and powerful than the 5d2's and that is the area in which he is having difficulties.

In addition, the 5d3 has the silent shutter mode, which would also be an advantage in many street situations.

I think the choice is obvious for the situations and problems he describes.

>>> I think the question the OP is asking is whether he will gain advantages in his style of shooting with the 5d3.

From many years of shooting on the street, respectfully, the answer is no.

Success (or "keeper rate," a term I don't care for) in street photography is not about having superb AF. The 5DII AF is more than excellent for sp. Having AF that's "even better" will not translate to making better street photos.

Good street photography photos come from seeing what other take for granted and are oblivious to. Then, it's one's imagination with respect to composing a frame with context that amplifies those moments an situations, using nice light, ambiguity, shadows, humor, sadness, juxtaposition, etc.

All of my sp photos that have failed (with my 5DII, iPhone, or sony point-n-shoot) have not been about focusing. Having a 5DIII, 1DX, D800, or any other cam with "even better" focusing will not improve my sp. A lot of other things will; technique, seeing, practice, being out there a lot, etc. Relying on hip-shooting, IMO, is a sure way to not get great results.

Here's a small set of pix from my sony point-n-shoot:

I also have a large set of iPhone photos that I think are just as strong.

The point is that sp is not about of AF pedigree or great gear.


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