Upgrading gear: from Mark II to the 5D Mark III

Canon is taking preorders for the new EOS camera, the long awaited Mark III…
and I am in line.

I’ve been waiting for the Mark III for nearly a year and will say the specs and price leave me a bit disappointed. So why upgrade when I love my Mark II?

Being a videographer and photographer there are a few cameras that have come out in the past 6 months. The 5D Mark III, 1Dx and the Scarlet were all on my radar. Convinced I was going to either purchase the Scarlet or the Mark III put me in a mental position for a large gear purchase.

The Scarlet would have been a massive upgrade over the EX1, but did not make the cut due to price point and no hot-swapping of cards. **I’ve worked with a Scarlet and it is every bit amazing as dreamed!

There are great specs on the Mark III but fell short on a few things I really wanted to see. No RAW video (the main attraction on the Scarlet). It has the same slow motion capability. No GPS built in.

The things I like are the larger LCD, anyone that has upgraded cameras that were not the same size knows how valuable a quarter of an inch is. Dual card slots are very attractive to me. 61-points of focus is great (note that is an increase of 52!!). Multiple exposures improved but I can’t find how many shots… I’m assuming it’s more than 3, hoping for 7! Silent shutter mode will be nice for weddings! Increased video run time from 12 minutes to 30 minutes, this is actually a pretty big deal to me.  And thank you for keeping the same batteries!

I approach upgrades VERY business minded. From the measurable specs (i.e. dual card slots, 3.2” screen,…) they are worth maybe $500 to me. Having a new camera body, for ME, is another $500ish. The cost is $3,500, minus the $1,000 in upgrades leaves me with a delta of $2,500 to justify. I will sell my 5D Mark II but there will still be a significant price gap to justify for my ‘business mind’!

Without experience with the DIGIC5+, new CMOS, and iFCL Metering I am making this decision… hopefully those three things blow me away!

So, why upgrade? Because I “want” to. Occasionally I need to check my ‘business’ mind at the door and open the “creative” hobbyist and that guy, passed on the 1Dx, passed on the Scarlet, and loves new gear and photography.

Now booking wedding dates! *smile*

The key to becoming a great photographer

Photography has been evolving at blinding speed since digital started winning the ‘digital vs film’ battle. DSLRs are in everyone’s hands these days and the inexpensive chips replacing film lets amateurs (and pros) fire hundreds of shots without giving it a second thought. In those hundreds, or even thousands of shots, the photographer might find a few gems and realize it’s time to take this craft from the hobby/amateur stage to the weekend warrior/semi-pro level.

These terms hobbyist/amateur/weekend warrior/semi-pro… are not degrading. Heck, the word “amateur” in French means “lover of” so in that sense I am a huge amateur of photography. Being a ‘professional’ can be anything from someone paying a dollar for a portrait, to knowing how to appropriately react when a lens falls and shatters during an expensive wedding shoot.

What all photographers need to realize is that you will never, ever, ever, ever know everything there is to know about photography. On the same note, it is my hope that everyone who takes photography seriously, WANTS to know everything there is to know about photography.

What is the key to becoming a great photographer? It is the love and desire to develop your skills at every stage of your photography life. At that moment, when you take off the lens cap for the very first time, I promise the desire will certainly be there… but keep that passion to learn intact and you will be doing photography for a long time.