Upgraded: 70D to 5D Mark III - Initial Thoughts

Started May 10, 2014 | Discussions thread
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GulfcoastPhotography New Member • Posts: 19
Upgraded: 70D to 5D Mark III - Initial Thoughts


I own the 70D and, a few weeks back, I bought a 5D Mark III. I agonized over spending the money, and obviously, eventually did. It was a leap of faith to some extent; In all my due diligence, I never found a review or post that specifically addressed some of my wants/needs/concerns. A main concern was that I'd be giving up reach by moving to a full-frame. Another was: Is the IQ really that much better?

I thought I'd post this in case someone finds it and it helps them.

I primarily shoot wildlife. Birds mostly. I live on the beach in Florida where we have a lot of opportunities. I had bought the 70D for it's crop sensor (long reach with my 400mm 5.6) and it's high speed drive. I went with the 70D over the 7D because the 7D is long in the tooth, the 70D has basically the same AF system, there's no telling if or when the 7D will be replaced with the mythical Mark II, and the 70D just seems to be an all-around better buy for general photography. Plus, the WiFi control which would be nice at my hummingbird feeders.

I was very happy with my 70D, but itched for something more. Not sure what more actually was, but knew I wanted it.

My initial impressions after receiving and shooting the 5:

1. It's heavier and larger.

2. Compared with the 70D, the menu system sucks. Lack of touchscreen is immediately painful. It's a chore to review photos and quickly navigate the menu.

3. The AF system is overwhelming. I feel like I need to hire a tutor to teach me how to use it.

4. High-speed drive blows, even with a high-end SD card. The 70D runs circles around the 5.

5. Image quality and noise are nothing short of mind-blowing. It puts the 70D to shame, and the 70D is pretty damn nice.

#5 trumps all the negatives. I can't see ever being satisfied with the 70D again.

I had thought that I'd keep 70D as a backup, or that the crop-sensor would be preferable when shooting birds at long range. It won't be. I would rather shoot distant subjects with the 5Dm3 and crop them in post, than have that extra reach of the 70D. Even cropped images look better with the 5. Significantly better.

Right out of the box, with no clue as to what I'm doing, my photography got exponentially better.

I'm still on the fence, but there are only three reasons why I'll consider keeping the 70D:

1. Superior video (which I've never done and have no interest in).

2. Wifi remote control

3. Backup camera when traveling (big consideration when taking those hard earned, once in a lifetime trips)

With the 70D still being a very hot commodity, I'm tempted to sell. Again, not trying to demean either camera in any way. Just thought someone in a similar predicament might find this helpful.


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The word "photography" was created from the Greek roots (photos), "spend" and (graphé) "shitloads of money".

 GulfcoastPhotography's gear list:GulfcoastPhotography's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS Rebel T4i Canon EOS 70D Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM +6 more
Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS 70D Canon EOS 7D
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