We had a weekend to play with the 5DmarkIII a bit.[break]
First, let’s do some rumor debunking:
- some say, the ALL-I codec is worse than the IPB codec. I think this is not the case. The ALL-I codec is still h264, but has a higher bitrate (approx 90Mbit/s). This means where the IPB codec smoothens out details – by creating larger blocks – the ALL-I tries to create smaller blocks. But it’s still a h264 compression, so these blocks are jumping around, and this is what you might see. Anyway, if you don’t believe me, download the ALL-I vs IPB video in prores422, and test yourself (download link is under the video). Here’s a screengrab from both codecs, with only green, or only blue channel enabled:
I tried grading both codecs, I haven’t found the IPB codec better. I’m interested in your findings, so post your results in a comment.
[break]- the other myth is that the 5DmkIII is somewhat not as sharp (that test uses a 24-105mm lens…). Check these comparisons.
Same lens, same f-stop, screen grabs from video mode:
[break]- it is more expensive than the 5DmkII was. One interesting thing, that the price of the 5DmkIII in Japan is lower, than what the 5DmkII price was. It is more expensive in the USA, or in Europe because the japanese yen is much stronger against the US dollar, and the Euro now, than it was three years before. I know that if you aren’t Marty Mcfly, this won’t help you, but it is important to know why the price is higher.
My personal opinion is that the first two rumors are not true.
Haven’t seen those really proven (for example testing the sharpness with the same lens, or with the same depth of field at least), so if you’re holding back your order because of these, you might rethink, or better: check yourself.
Back to the test, to sum up what I saw:
- noise is much better, check the high ISO tests. While the 5D mark II tends to shift color – turning green if you set the ISO higher than 3200, – this is not the case with the 5DmarkIII. You won’t see major color shifts from ISO100 to ISO12800. This is huge for video. You need to watch out for absolutely dark gradients – like the sky at night – but only because of the compression, noise is very much under control.
- moiré is gone. I mean _gone_. Check the markII-markIII comparison with the fabrics, and the tunnel’s wall.
- aliasing is gone. In the Citroen DS movie, at the end you will see some wires, check how the 5DmkIII resolves them. (be sure to view it in 1080p on a 1080p monitor to avoid aliasing in playback.
- HDMI out stays at 1080i during recording, and no black-out when you push the record button. yay!
- 50fps, and 60fps added at 720p, check the slowmo tests. One small strange thing: I couldn’t set the shutter to 1/50 in 50fps mode…hope that this will be fixed.
- silent control has been added. With this function turned on, you can change shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and audio level, without pushing any buttons. Read more here
- headphone output has been added.
- timecode is embedded in the the movie.
- metadata (EXIF) is embedded in the movie, no more .THM files. This means in playback (in-camera or on your computer) you can check which lens was used, what was the shutter, the ISO speed, or the white balance and so on. This helped me a lot subtitling the test movies with the details of each clip. If you don’t or can’t install Imagebrowser EX, use the command line tool, exiftool to read out metadata from the 5DmarkIII video files.
- sadly: no “movie crop” mode.
- recording can be started by pushing the shutter release button too.
- same battery as the 5DmarkII uses.
- these videos are re-compressed with vimeo’s compression
- you can download the file I upladed to vimeo on the vimeo page, that file will still not represent the original quality, but it is a better option (mp4, 40Mbit/s)
- if there’s a need, I will upload these videos on a server in prores422 format to avoid the nasty h264 compression
- everything is shot with the ALL-I codec (except the codec test of course)
- watch them in HD!
Only 50fps footage, mostly shot between ISO160-ISO1600
ISO test from ISO 800 to ISO 6400.
Tests were done with a motion control slider, which is still under development
All footage was shot with 50fps, or 60fps, slowed down to 25fps. Low, and high ISO shots too
Canon 5D mark III vs markII – high ISO test
ISO 100 to 12800
I can only speak for myself, but as long as you do video work with your 5DmkII and you can pay the price difference, you will have a much better camera if you jump on the mark III train. Most of the shortcomings of the 5DmarkII (shortcomings only in video mode: moiré, aliasing, no audio output, no 1080i output during recording, no slow-motion, etc) is solved in the markIII.
If you have a higher budget, and you’d like to have a better codec, better sensor (for video only), and a lot of other little extras, you might be interested in the C300
Thanks for reading.
Lató Péter | Canon Hungária Kft.
Szeljak György | OMG Visuals
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