Planning to switch from D800 to 5DIII Locked

Started Aug 2, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Picturenaut
Picturenaut Regular Member • Posts: 330
Re: Planning to switch from D800 to 5DIII

iseeu wrote:

I am planning to make a switch from the D800 to 5DIII for some reason:

1. D800 lock me up few times and I have to take out the battery and insert it to make it work again, this really annoying.

I wouldn't change systems just based on frustration with one single camera, did you send it to Nikon service? That said, I'd recommend you to rent a 5D3 with the kit lens you want and play with it. If you like it, change. I personally love the way how the 5D3 feels and how it performs just in real world photog, but I am biased as a 5D3 owner. Others prefer Nikon's ergonomics.

2. The grip (not the battery grip) made 1 of my finger so painful after 10 hours of work, this is never happened with my D700.

That falls into the category "feel", which isn't important IMO...

3. The outer left AF point back focus severely.

4. Can't lock focus in low light so I missed few important shots.

(3) + (4): If the best possible AF performance is really what matters for you, in particular when you shoot action, go for the 5D3. We have both an extended Canon and Nikon system in our household, and do a lot of wildlife supertele shooting which drives every AF system to its limits (birds in flight are the hardest real life test - soft contours, often soft contrasts, vivid background). Canon's new AF system simply smokes Nikon's 51 pt AF system. This one here fits exactly into our own side-by-side experience:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdqpqOoeBQM

I only have the Nikon 24-70mm for now, so I am not heavily invested in Nikon glass. Do you guys think 5D III will not give me those problems? I will buy the 5DIII with 24-105mm f/4 kit lens. Does 5D III will give me better high ISO performance? Can you please help me to decide.

If you reduce the D800's images to the size of the 5D3's during PP high ISO noise levels are about the same. That said, the 5D3 delivers really great images at high ISOs. You will love it.

Based on my personal (!!) experience I'd make this list:

Con 5D3:

- less dynamic range, about 2 EV less is huge! Depends on how much you like to shoot extremely contrast rich scenes. With the D800 you can pull shadow details better during PP, with the 5D3 you may see noise creeping in (with you turn off NR). That can be a huge advantage of the D800, but it really depends much on your preferences (HDR can fix it partly, as long as you don't shoot action or video). So, ask yourself how important shooting of extremely contrast rich scenes is for you. If yes, stick with Nikon, if not (like me, I do sunsets with Cokin filters anyway), you'd surely be happy with the 5D3's performance.

- less resolution, but only with some very sharp lenses! Personally I find the D800's potential gain of resolution in real life does often not really catch up with the huge files it produces. Check this interesting DxO lab review:

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/en/Publications/DxOMark-Reviews/Which-lenses-should-you-choose-for-your-Canon-EOS-5D-Mark-III/Canon-EOS-5D-Mark-III-vs.-Nikon-D800-Competition-is-closer-than-expected

Pro 5D3:

+ better AF system together with faster burst rate (if you need that sometimes) gives you more keepers in critical situations.

+ more natural and stable color rendition out of the camera. The D800's sensor is able to provide a tad more color depth according to lab reviews (see DxO) but IMHO real life performance is what counts. The D800 tends like a typical Nikon e.g. to shift greens to blue and to turn blues that contain strong reds (mauve) into cold blue etc. with auto settings. If you want to get realistic colors out of the D800 you much more often need to make tests shots with a color checker card and post process (or tweak more often your in-camera settings). The D800's LCD screen with its greenish cast doesn't help either. This video shows how the 5D3 manages complex mixed light situations better:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4W9EeDCaVFM

(starts at 12:30).

+ better LCD screen. Digital photography is about chimping, isn't it ;-)? The nice thing about the 5D3 is that its really great LCD screen shows the colors exactly how the camera got it. Another nice feature I love with Canon's DSLRs since years is that you get fully resolved details when you zoom in on this screen. This really helps when you want to control sharpness in critical situations (e.g. macro shooting).

+ bigger pixels allow f = 10-15 without visible losses in sharpness due to light diffraction. The pixel pitch of the D800 is about the same as of Canon's 7D which I also have and know extremely well. Shooting the 7D with a really sharp and brilliant prime, e.g. a Zeiss 18mm/3.5 for landscape/ cityscape, I can see how pictures get visibly softer when I close aperture to f >= 8. The reason is that the light diffraction turns sharp points into growing Airy discs with small apertures. Airy discs don't contain any contrasts/texture information (I know what I am talking about, I studied physics). As soon as such a disc exceeds about the size of the pixels the sensor loses its full resolution visibly. The 7D has its optimum aperture already at f = 7.1, whereas with the 5D3 you can go for f = 14 without severe losses of texture information. So, if you do landscape shooting in a classic f-stop range to get a best possible depth of field, then a D800 with small pixels produces big files that don't contain more texture information than the smaller files of a 5D3. It is simply limited by the physics of light waves. Btw that's reason why I'd personally would change to mid format if I'd mainly shoot landscape (I do not) and not stick with 35 mm sensors.

+ silent shutter mode: simply great, in particular in the street! The 5D3 is my first (D)SLR I'd even not hesitate to use during a silent moment of a preaching in a church.

Overall I'd say that a D800 (in particular E) is like a Ferrari, capable of producing fascinating images. The 5D3 reminds me more of a top Audi model: no breathtaking specs but just a reliable and well designed tool for everyday use.

Thanks in advance.

It's a hard decision (I once changed from Nikon to Canon when I went digital...). I wish you good luck! Don't forget: there is no camera without any flaw on the market...

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Picturenaut

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