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Canon Sensors 5dII vs. 5dIII vs. 6d

Mark S. , Oct 26, 2012; 10:55 a.m.

I want to replace my old 5d (I) and I`m not sure what camera i should buy.I shoot exclusively from tripod at iso 100. Since I use the most time tilt shift lenses without autofocus i also don`t care about autofocus speed. The only things that really matters to me is: Resolution, Dynamic Range, Colors. Is there any difference between those three cameras?


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Alan Bryant , Oct 26, 2012; 11:08 a.m.

The 6D isn't available for testing, so nobody can say for sure.

I've used the 5D1 and 5D3. Based on testing I've seen, the 5D3 and 5D2 have very similar image quality. They both have Live View which should help a lot with focusing tilt-shift lenses. I'd suggest you go with a 5D2, which is really a bargain right now; or wait for the 6D to be available.

Marcus Ian , Oct 26, 2012; 11:16 a.m.

We'll see.... There is no real difference between the 5D2 and 5D3 (except for a single megapixel, and a smidge better ultra high ISO noise) sensors, but it's worth hoping that the 6D will see some tangible improvement in DR... afterall, Nikon (or Sony anyway) did it ;-)... last I checked though, all three use the same 3 colors...

Seriously though, if your ultimate goal revolves around DR, and absolute resolution, the D800 is the best game in town. I guess a decision like that should wait until somebody (other than Canon) can get the grubby hands on a 6D to see if there is any significant improvement in DR, but realistically, I wouldn't be expecting huge leaps, like would be necessary to bring it into the realm of the D800's DR (not to mention the resolution ;-) ).

Obviously, mixing up the glass so you can jump ship isn't an easy decision (if you were to do so), and many would decry such a decision, but reality sometimes sucks, and Canon is likely to be far behind for at least the near future. After the 6D comes out, I doubt we'll see anything new for awhile (at least FF), this has already been a gangbuster year for new releases.

Mark S. , Oct 26, 2012; 11:25 a.m.

yes, the d800 would be the perfect camera for me, unfortunately the awesome canon 17mm & 24mm tilt shift lenses doesn`t work on nikon...

Keith Reeder , Oct 26, 2012; 12:05 p.m.

"There is no real difference between the 5D2 and 5D3 (except for a single megapixel, and a smidge better ultra high ISO noise) sensor"

Don't agree: the Mk III sensor is much, much less likely to band at high ISOs, and - despite what certain equipment testing websites and "expert" reviewers have to say about it - in my testing of Mk III files I found it really easy to recover tons of clean detail from the shadows at low ISO, which - as we all know - is the only thing that matters, all of a sudden...

Puppy Face , Oct 26, 2012; 12:31 p.m.

Tripod shooter using TS lenses at low ISO. Hmm, I'd say buy a 5D2 and save a mitt full of benjamins over the other two cameras. There won't be any significant difference in IQ. However, if you start liking LV the newer LCD will be a notch better. The 5D2 LCD is head and shoulders above the 5D but even my 60D and 7D LCD are better than the 5D2.

Denis Bergeron , Oct 26, 2012; 12:45 p.m.

You can use special focusing screen with 5dII, not with 5dIII, don't know for 6D.
But, I do a lot of manual focus and having a focusing screen with split focusing and grid line is a real nice, and you can use Magic Lantern (http://www.magiclantern.fm/) with 5dII, you don't for now with 5dIII and I suppose it'll take some time to use it with 6d.
So, for me, I don't see anything worth 2 cents more on the 5dIII over 5dII.

Marcus Ian , Oct 26, 2012; 01:53 p.m.

Yes, they don't offer anything that includes that level of awesome.

Some of it is pretty good, but probably not worth the switch. The best news about the D800's capabilities is that it likely will lead to better Canon sensors w/n a few years...

Philip Wilson , Oct 26, 2012; 08:41 p.m.

Mark I use my 5DII in a similar way to you a lot of the time (although I don't always shoot from tripods and sometime go up to 3200 ISO). I tested the 5DIII and it is a good camera - the AF and fps make it viable for sports, it is also perhaps 1EV better at high ISO. That said I have two other bodies for sports so I decided to wait in the hope that Canon matches the D800E ( as I Leica shooter I think the filter makes a difference!). If you need a body now I suggest either a 5DII or perhaps the 6D. There is a big jump in IQ between the mkI and MkII versions of the 5D. The mark III to me is a small IQ increase but a big jump in AF and fps (and slightly better build). I am hoping / assuming that Canon will bring out something to match the D800 in the next year or so.

Peter J , Oct 26, 2012; 10:08 p.m.

I went from a 5D to a 1Ds II to a 5D3. Big improvement with the 5D3.

If you are not going to print poster size images, and you will be shooting on a tripod at low ISO's, then just keep your 5D. What are you really going to get for it on the used market? $500 maximum?

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