6D or 5D Mk III? Which one would you recommend and why?

seethroughlife

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I'm don't quite have the budget for the 5D MkIII, so I am considering the 6D. I would like to know why you would recommend either of these cameras and why? I shoot primarily portraiture, and indoor cultural events (music, dance, theatre). It may be best for me to hold off buying a new body until I can nail down a few more contracts in order to justify spending the extra on the Mk III. Your thoughts and advice would be much appreciated.
 

TCampbell

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I'm don't quite have the budget for the 5D MkIII, so I am considering the 6D. I would like to know why you would recommend either of these cameras and why? I shoot primarily portraiture, and indoor cultural events (music, dance, theatre). It may be best for me to hold off buying a new body until I can nail down a few more contracts in order to justify spending the extra on the Mk III. Your thoughts and advice would be much appreciated.

You may have answered your own question. Are you pushing yourself into a financial hardship if you get the 5D III? What else would you spend the money on?

The image quality from the two cameras will be about the same. I think the 5D III is a bit more hardened. The 5D III also has a very impressive focus system which isn't available on the 6D. For portraiture, frankly the 5D II would be fantastic (you're not trying to focus and shoot with high speed -- nor are you operating at the edges of the camera's capabilities.) For cultural events -- most specifically "dance" -- the 5D III will have an advantage (but you'd have to learn about the focus system.) Both cameras have the silent-shutter mode (so you're not disruptive when shooting during an event -- such as theater).
 

goodguy

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6D is a fantastic camera and in many ways very close to the 5DIII.
The Auto Focus system on the 5DIII is much better but if you dont do a lot of action photogrqphy I think the 6D will be more then what will need.
No doubt the 5D is the better camera but it comes with a hefty price and as I said the 6D is amawsome camera and frankly since money is an issue I would go with the 6D
 

grafxman

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I really like my 6D a lot however I had get some lenses suitable for a full frame camera. I then had to buy a flash because it doesn't have one. It's greatest advantage over my much loved 7D is it's low noise in dark photos. I can't comment on the 5D III.
 

stevensondrive

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I faced the same decision. I recently upgraded from my T3i and looked at both the 6D and 5D's and even looked at the N's. I settled on the 6D. For what I wanted it offered more. I am still learning to use the Manual modes and really like the option of using the Scene modes. Plus if the wife uses the camera the scene modes will help her too. I also like the GPS/wifi features. I don't need 2 cards.

I was a little concerned about it not having a flash. but WOW this camera takes low light pictures I didn't think were possible! I have been VERY happy with my 6D and wouldn't trade it for anything.

Best of luck to you. Either camera would serve you well.
 

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I also spent a LONG time making the decision between the 6D and 5DIII, deciding on one and then changing my mind twice a day. In the end, as a hobby photographer, I just couldn't justify the price of the 5D. I bought the 6D with the 24-105L lens and am very happy with both. After using a T4i I find the 6D plenty heavy and think I made the right decision for me - the 5D would have been a bit too much weight, especially with the 70-300L lens I bought with "the money I saved" :lol:.

I really don't think I will get much use from the wi-fi or GPS and they certainly were not on my want list. I already had a 17-40L lens which is very nice on the T4i, amazing on the 6d. I am keeping the T4i - my husband is also interested in photography so he can use it and I'll have a 2nd body when I need it. Also I think I like my 100mm Macro nonL better on the T4i.
 
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mgChickenfoot

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I have the 6D and shoot a lot of portraits and the occasional event. Phenomenal images compared to my 60D. Functionally speaking, however, there are a few things that I definitely miss. They're not necessarily game-changers, you'll have to decide for yourself. First, the flash sync speed doesn't go above 1/160. This is fine if you're only using on-camera flash with high speed sync, but if you want to use something off-camera, you can run into trouble. Second, only one SD card slot. If you're paranoid about back-ups, it can give you a little stress to only have one card slot. Third, multiple cross type focus points. Only using center point focusing is fine for portraits, but if you're trying to photograph dance or theater and want to use servo focus, you'll find the 6D pretty lacking.

This camera performs amazingly at high ISOs. Also, with fewer megapixels than the 5D iii, file sizes are smaller (which is a huge plus to me, honestly). Ultimately, I'm glad I went with the 6D over the 5D. I'd rather take the extra money saved and put it towards a new lens or new lighting equipment. If you don't need the capabilities of the 5D, then I suggest the 6D hands down.
 

Gavjenks

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I am frankly baffled by why people would ever want 400 million focus points on their camera in the first place. Sure, 5 right in the middle area might be useful compared to 1, so that you can wobble around a bit as you track a fast moving subject.

But if you allow the camera to choose from amongst any of 60+ focus points covering the entire frame, then it's going to get confused by all kinds of things. A telephone pole in between you and the bird you are tracking could get picked up for almost the entire time it's in the frame, whereas if you're using only center or a few in the center, you have time to react and release your backbutton focus to avoid it.

Same goes for referees running in between you and an athlete, or two or three soccer players or racecars jockeying for position. The camera is going to switch back and forth constantly between two cars as one get slightly closer, then the other. And you have almost no control over this or time to react to it, because by the time you can see any of this happening in the viewfinder, the AF system is already responding to it...

When is 11 honestly not enough? Everybody makes this out to be a huge flaw of the 6D, but I just don't get it.

The only situation I can think of where it would be really "needed" would be a singular fast moving object with no clutter at all anywhere near it or closer to you than it. But usually this means "a flying bird or plane" and they tend to move in straightish lines that aren't all that hard to track.
 

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Gavjenks said:
ANIP> A telephone pole in between you and the bird you are tracking could get picked up for almost the entire time it's in the frame, whereas if you're using only center or a few in the center, you have time to react and release your backbutton focus to avoid it.

Do the two Canons in question offer Closest Subject Priority On/Off, and do the two cameras also offer a Lock-On delay setting, which really ought to be called "Delay Period Before Seeking New AF Distance Range"? Something as simple, and as off-color, as a telephone pole ought to never interfere with a multi-point AF tracking system if it's been set up even with relatively primitive AF knowledge.

Nikon has long used those two very simple parameter adjustments to either emphasize the need to focus on the closest subject, so as to avoid back-focusing, as is common in portraiture, or to to totally ignore close subjects, such as when shooting through chain link fencing, or marsh grasses, foreground brush, etc. Lock-On, which is a horrible naming convention for the time interval between seeking a NEW AF point when new subject matter appears, determines how rapidly the camera will leave an acquired lock.

Do the two cameras in question have distance-aware, and 4-color-aware focus tracking? These are the three core technologies that make multi-point AF in Nikons so amazing. Face detection, for example, can look for human skin tones and then those "two eyeballs", and can lock onto faces with amazing accuracy and repeatability.

I demo'd the 5D III and was impressed with its AF system's ability to focus and to set AF points with amazing speed, but did not have a test environment where I could shoot through foreground brush or chain link fencing or anything like that. I really am not all that familiar with what the 5D-III and 6D AF system capabilities/specifications are, but even a modicum of knowledge on how to use a modern multi-point AF system avoids strawman issues like suddenly-appearing telephone pole--every single time.

 

TCampbell

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I am frankly baffled by why people would ever want 400 million focus points on their camera in the first place. Sure, 5 right in the middle area might be useful compared to 1, so that you can wobble around a bit as you track a fast moving subject.

But if you allow the camera to choose from amongst any of 60+ focus points covering the entire frame, then it's going to get confused by all kinds of things. A telephone pole in between you and the bird you are tracking could get picked up for almost the entire time it's in the frame, whereas if you're using only center or a few in the center, you have time to react and release your backbutton focus to avoid it.

Same goes for referees running in between you and an athlete, or two or three soccer players or racecars jockeying for position. The camera is going to switch back and forth constantly between two cars as one get slightly closer, then the other. And you have almost no control over this or time to react to it, because by the time you can see any of this happening in the viewfinder, the AF system is already responding to it...

When is 11 honestly not enough? Everybody makes this out to be a huge flaw of the 6D, but I just don't get it.

The only situation I can think of where it would be really "needed" would be a singular fast moving object with no clutter at all anywhere near it or closer to you than it. But usually this means "a flying bird or plane" and they tend to move in straightish lines that aren't all that hard to track.

The 5D III's focus system (which is essentially the 1D X's focus system) is extremely advanced and wont have those problems. It has quite a number of modes that you can set based on the type of action you're shooting.

It has a number of focus modes designed to handle most situations, but it's also customizable/tunable and it has the features Derrel mentions below (although Canon calls them different things.)

You can tune it, for example, to stick with a subject so that a momentary distraction in the frame will be ignored. You can tune the delay before it'll move on to the next target. You can even tune the expected behavior of your target (e.g. rapid changes in direction or rapid changes in speed).

There's a 47-page book (available as a PDF) *just* to explain the auto-focus system. It's a pretty comprehensive system. See: Canon DLC: Article: Master the EOS-1D X's AF System (note the book is a link in the lower-left corner of that page.)
 
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seethroughlife

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Thanks all for your help with this new camera dilemma that i'm having. I guess from what I have learned here, it seems that the 5D MkIII would be great but i'm wondering how many months I will need to spend figuring out that 47-page focusing system. That's a little freaky to read, but also indicative of it's extensive focusing capabilities i'm sure. Also, i'm not happy to hear that the sync speed is only 1/160th. I have been shooting primarily ambient light, but thought that with my next camera that I was going to move into strobes and flash lighting so i'm wondering how the 1/160th flash sync speed might affect that.
 

Juga

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I picked the 6D and the reason was because I couldn't justify the price for what is mainly my hobby and the little bit of side work that I do for families, occasional birthday or wedding. The 5D MKIII has a remarkable AF system as many have already stated. Before I made my decision though I played thoroughly with each at a store on several different trips to that store and they were kind enough to let me play around extensively with each one. While the 5D MK III feels fantastic in my hands, the button layout, and the AF system being all great I still couldn't justify the extra $1500 and this isn't my profession. If I had money to blow then no question it would be the 5D MK III but I don't and I "settled" for the 6D. I hate using that term because the 6D is a really great camera considering. I can't wait to finally get mine in about a week or so.
 
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seethroughlife

seethroughlife

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Thanks all for your help with this new camera dilemma that i'm having. I guess from what I have learned here, it seems that the 5D MkIII would be great but i'm wondering how many months I will need to spend figuring out that 47-page focusing system. That's a little freaky to read, but also indicative of it's extensive focusing capabilities i'm sure. Also, i'm not happy to hear that the sync speed is only 1/160th. I have been shooting primarily ambient light, but thought that with my next camera that I was going to move into strobes and flash lighting so i'm wondering how the 1/160th flash sync speed might affect that.

@Juga (I don't know if I have to add "@Juga" if I hit Reply with Quote? . . . ) Anyway, I appreciate hearing that others are in a similar conundrum as I am. Good for you for going into the camera store and playing around with both. I did a bit, but I was so transfixed on the 5D MkIII that I hardly played around with the 6D. Afterwards though, I talked some sense into myself and realized that I can't afford that price jump at this point but in a year from now if I am where I would like to be with photography and have enough work to justify a 5D MkIII then, I could always upgrade at that point or keep the 6D as my back up. Did you happen to get a good explanation of the crazy focusing system on the 5D? Apparently there's a 47 page booklet on the focusing system alone! Yikes!
 

Juga

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Thanks all for your help with this new camera dilemma that i'm having. I guess from what I have learned here, it seems that the 5D MkIII would be great but i'm wondering how many months I will need to spend figuring out that 47-page focusing system. That's a little freaky to read, but also indicative of it's extensive focusing capabilities i'm sure. Also, i'm not happy to hear that the sync speed is only 1/160th. I have been shooting primarily ambient light, but thought that with my next camera that I was going to move into strobes and flash lighting so i'm wondering how the 1/160th flash sync speed might affect that.


@Juga (I don't know if I have to add "@Juga" if I hit Reply with Quote? . . . ) Anyway, I appreciate hearing that others are in a similar conundrum as I am. Good for you for going into the camera store and playing around with both. I did a bit, but I was so transfixed on the 5D MkIII that I hardly played around with the 6D. Afterwards though, I talked some sense into myself and realized that I can't afford that price jump at this point but in a year from now if I am where I would like to be with photography and have enough work to justify a 5D MkIII then, I could always upgrade at that point or keep the 6D as my back up. Did you happen to get a good explanation of the crazy focusing system on the 5D? Apparently there's a 47 page booklet on the focusing system alone! Yikes!

I did a fair bit of reading on the AF system and it is complex more so than the 6D. It is incredible when it comes to focusing but just like you I can't justify the price of the 5D MK III right now. I don't think you will be disappointed either way because despite what the specs say it is a really nice camera.
 

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