Late last year, I wrote a glowing review about the Canon 5D Classic, my first full-frame DSLR. I love that camera so much that I sold my 7D earlier this year and bought another one. The original 5D came out in 2006, making it nearly 6 years old now. A lot has changed in the digital photography world since then and once I started shooting more weddings in Charleston this year, I quickly realized that I needed to upgrade my camera body. It was holding me back.
So, in May I went ahead and purchased the 5D Mark III because I knew once I launched my own wedding photography business, I had to have a full-frame camera that didn’t hold me back. A camera that allowed me to relax and not worry about the limitations that my older 5D Classics had. I was consistently disappointed by my ability to capture shots in low light during weddings when shooting with my 5D Classics and I knew if I wanted to start a wedding photography business, I had to have a camera body that was capable of producing consistently strong images. I owe it to myself + especially my fabulous clients to deliver consistency and quality in their images. The 5D Mark III helps me do that.
One of the things that I love most about this camera is the 61-point auto-focus system, which includes 41 cross-type sensors. For a photographer who loves to compose in-camera, that is a huge deal and having that many focal points to choose from is a welcome change from the mere 9 focal points on my 5D Classic. My keeper rate has gone up dramatically since I don’t have to focus-recompose as much with this new camera and I am able to consistently nail focus shot after shot, even when I’m shooting wide open.
I also love the high ISO capabilities of the 5D Mark III for low light situations. I try my best not to use flash until it is absolutely necessary, so low light functionality is critical for my style of photography. With a top ISO of 102,400 (which by the way is insane), it greatly outperforms the 5D whose top ISO was a mere 3200. I can easily shoot in a dark church or reception hall without flash well into the evening now without hesitation.
Those two features alone sold me on the new 5D Mark III. There are other functions that are nice to have like the larger LCD screen, video capability, and dual memory card slots. I’m still struggling with the light metering system since it functions differently than the 5D Classic. I have compromised by switching over to partial metering mode and relying on my LCD screen to adjust my exposure. Honestly, the images I get straight out of the camera continuously amaze me and I love being able to clearly see my images on the LCD screen and zoom in to check sharpness. Such a life saver!
I still have both of my 5D Classics and intend to keep them as backups. Although I intended to keep using my 5D Classics for pet sessions, I’ve been using my Mark III lately and can’t give it up. I just love it. I never knew how much my camera was holding me back until I got my hands on this camera. Wow is really all I can say. I can nail focus easily + consistently, even when I’m shooting wide open, and the percentage of in-focus shots compared to what I was able to capture with my older camera is incredible. Hardly ever a miss. This camera is making me a more efficient photographer because I don’t have to take as many shots AND the files are so pretty straight out of the camera that I barely need to touch them in Lightroom. No joke! It’s amazing and probably one of the best investments I’ve made in my business this year.
So there you have it. My review on the Canon 5D Mark III. I just love it and I think it is a great addition to my gear lineup. It is helping me grow as a wedding photographer and paired with my L lenses, this thing is a beast!