Bruce's Photo Blog
Bruce Foreman | March 2012

Industry News

 Canon 5D MkIII announced

The long awaited (and speculated on) successor to the Canon 5D MkII has finally been announced.  Resolution has only increased a tiny bit from 21.1MP to 22.3MP, but the way images are recorded and processed has changed a lot. The  new DIGIC 5+ Image Processor offers increased speed and power as well as higher ISO sensitivity and better noise reduction. Also aiding the increased sensitivity is 14-bit A/D conversion, which improves gradation between tones and overall image quality.

There is a much increased 61-point High-Density Reticular AF system and iFCL 63-zone Dual Layer Metering sensor which improves the efficiency and accuracy of the camera by essentially blanketing and analyzing scenes and extracting as much exposure and focus information from images as possible. There is a  newly designed Intelligent Viewfinder with a superimposed LCD overlay (which can be turned off for clear unobstructed viewing for straightforward composition) providing focus and image data.  The larger 3.2-inch Clear View II LCD features a reflection-resistant coating for image display in bright conditions, and its 1,040,000-dot resolution provides highly detailed, sharp imagery for critical review.

Some major complaints pertaining to the video implementation in the 5D MkII that have been addressed in the MkIII: 

A modified anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor, the one in the MkII resulted in severe “moire” interference patterns from many surfaces with texture including tile roofs, brick surfaces, and some textured fabrics.
And the ability to make changes in exposure and audio levels while recording.

The 5D MkII made a great impact on TV productions and some film making, one whole episode of  House was shot with the 5D MkII, quite of bit of “Red Tails” and all of the action sequences in “Act Of Valor” (just released in theatres) were also done with the 5D MkII.  So I look for the MkIII to make even further inroads into professional motion picture work.

But at $3499 body only, it’s a bit out of my budget range.

Will we see “trickle down” technology from this in successors to the 7D, 60D, and rebel series?  I don’t know, Canon may feel they have to start “protecting” their C300 motion picture camera, the C series DSLR form factor motion picture camera that is under development, and the just announced 5D MkIII by not including the new features in the lower priced gear. 

We’ll see.

Mirrorless Camera Systems Hitting The Market

Some of the other major camera makers have obviously been watching the successful marketing of “mirroless” models by Olympus and Panasonic, so they are promoting their own designs.  But rather than work with the Micro Four Thirds standard, Nikon, Pentax, Samsung, and others are coming up with their own proprietary designs (and lens format). 

I think they may be making a bit of a mistake here.  The Micro Four Thirds forums show that an increasing number of working photographers are going with the Micro Four Thirds gear for much more convenient portability but not abandoning their Canon or Nikon systems.  One travel photographer who makes his living from the images he makes from around the world described his ideal travel kit as an Olympus Pen e-P3 with 14mm f2.5, 20mm f1.7, the new Olympus 45mm f1.8, and one longer zoom (still quite portable).

All this plus a spare Pen body packs into a ridiculously small bag, and this gear “interfaces” with a growing array of lenses.  Plus the Micro Four Thirds flange to sensor depth is so little that most older lenses from all major systems can fit with proper adapters.

Yet I think Nikon, Sony, Pentax, and Samsung will still make inroads on this market even with their proprietary designs.  There are some very interesting designs coming forth and these are all very high quality camera makers.  Now my opinion (based on reading users comments and comparisons) is that currently Olympus has the edge in image quality with their latest Pen models, Panasonic may have the edge over Canon in detail rendition in their GH2 model (one image I’ll show in the program shows absolute stunning detail from a GH2 still shot).  Most into motion picture who have used both Canon APS-C cameras and Micro Four Thirds Panasonic GH2 say the Canon footage is softer but they prefer the way the Canon renders people and color while they prefer the crisper resolution of the Panasonic GH2.

There’s a lot of change on the near horizon, some of it will appear in April with the release of the Olympus OMD E-M5.  I’ve seen some absolutely stunning detail in high ISO images shot with it, and high ISO performance is going to be a “hot” feature with many of the new models coming out soon.

Mirrorless camera design will be a “game changer” in the near future.  Anytime you can eliminate a moving mechanism in a camera, a potential source of several problems is taken “out of the picture”.   It’s already making a change for me.  A few days ago I was asked to get some more pictures of landscaping progress at our gun club range.

I took the “little” Pen e-PL1.

For Sale Section

I have a very lightly used Canon 7D body for sale.  As of right now after 2 years and a few months I have only 920 shutter “actuations” on it.  I guess I’ve been “protecting” it by reaching for a Rebel or the 60D first.

This body is weather sealed with the right L series lenses that have a good fitting filter attached.  Good bright prism finder, amazing auto focus performance and much more.  It is cosmetically perfect with no scuffs, abrasions or marks of any kind, and has no problems of any kind.  The LCD has had a multicoated glass protector on it from the first week I had the camera.

I have the original box with all accessories the manufacturer packed in it, I’ll include 2 SanDisk Extreme IV 45MB/s CF media cards, and David Busch’s excellent book on the 7D (473 pages of what the manual should have been).

Price:  $1049 

B&H still lists it at $1699 with a temporary sale price of $1599.

Call me at 650 8979 or email me at biforeman@gmail.com