So tomorrow I must send back the 5DmkIII camera body and the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II lens that Canon were nice enough to lend me, sniff.
My initial feelings have really not changed-
The lens is a work of art, it's pin sharp, fast, and the IS (image stabilization) is top-notch. But it's HEAVY. I took it out with me to the woods walking the dog today, and by the end I was really wishing I had a more padded strap on it. And on Sunday, taking pictures of the fams doing Christmas, I took less pictures than I usually would have coz my arms got tired! Don't get me wrong- it's a fantastic lens, but my 70-200 f/4 non-IS is less than half the weight and a quarter of the price, and it's almost as sharp and a lot easier to tote around, and the lack of IS is slightly made up for because your arms aren't shaking under the weight of it ;) At some point I would love to try the two Canon 70-200s that fall between these- the f/4 IS and the f/2.8 non-IS.
The 5D body though is another matter- that I must have! Everyone says the 6D is as good in low light as it has the same full-frame sensor, and that is probably true- but the focusing system in the 5D is much closer to the one in the 7DmkII (11 focus points in the 6D vs 61 in the 5DmkIII and 65 in the 7DmkII) and in action the 5DmkIII blows the 6D out of the water! It is also bigger and heavier (by about 1/3 of a pound), but it actually feels much better in my large-ish hands. I am going to spend a little time deciding which camera body to keep (7DmkII or 6D) and which to sell, along with which lenses I could also sell so I can get one.
Anyhow- here are a few last pics from late this afternoon on an overcast day in the woods with the 5D and it's monster lens friend...
Just been fooling around with the loaned camera- boy it takes nice pictures! The 5DmIII body is a joy to use- it is pretty much a combination of my 6D and my 7DmII, but it's more than that too, the feel in your hand and the button placement is very natural (it's a slightly bigger body than the other two, and I have big-ish hands), the menus are very intuitive, and the action of the shutter is gorgeous!
The lens is fantastic- but boy is it heavy! the fact that this is an f/2.8 all the way through from 70-200mm, combined with about 4 stops of IS is a winning combination with a sharp lens like this, but it's surprisingly not that much better than my f/4 70-200 non-IS. Once Christmas is out of the way it'll be fun to try both lenses on my 6D and the 5DmIII and see what I like best :)
But though I love both my camera bodies, and it's a huge advantage to have both as I get the best of both worlds and have a second camera both to make shooting in a hurry easier and as a backup, I have a horrible suspicion that trying this 5DmIII may have been a huge mistake as I'm already feeling terrible angst about having to give it back in a weeks time ;)
Through my Canon CPS membership I asked Canon if they would lend me a special camera body and lens combination to use to shoot some pictures of the Christmas celebrations at the church- and they said yes :)
So on Tuesday they shipped me a 5D mkIII along with a 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II lens that I get to keep and play with for a week before I have to send them back. This is the camera body of my dreams (well, either that or a mkIV) and this lens should be awesome in our less-than-very-brightly-lit church (I'm really looking forward to seeing how the combo will handle the candlelight portion of the late service).
It was supposed to arrive this morning by 10:30 am, however the best FedEx can currently tell me is that it was scanned leaving their Newark, NJ hub at 11:12 pm last night, and nothing since then- grrr :(
I was really hoping to have the day tomorrow to play with it and get used to it before the craziness of Christmas Eve- let's hope it makes it at all!
During this afternoon's staff meeting my laptop decided to die- and it has all the Christmas bulletins on it!
Thank the Lord I run a sensible operating system (Kubuntu Linux) which meant I was fairly quickly able to narrow down the problem to a bad hard drive. A quick trip to Staples to pick up a new SSD drive and a quick download of the latest version of Kubuntu and I'm back up and running :) but now comes the fun bit- getting it to work on my dual monitor dock, making it talk to our big production printer, and adding all the little tweaks that make it run the way I like.
Oh, and of course resurrecting the bulletins... they're all backed up to the cloud, but if I can lift them off the old, failed drive I can save a ton of time rather than having to download them all- wish me luck!
Update- 11:15pm- I think we're there :) I can print (after a few false starts), it works on my monitors and dock (though it loses the configuration on a reboot), and I think I've got all the important info off the old drive! Just going to leave it to finish copying everything across overnight, and hopefully I'll be able to fix the few little niggly things when I come to it fresh in the morning.