Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Dynamic range of 5D3 (5D Mk III) compared to 550D

  1. #1

    Dynamic range of 5D3 (5D Mk III) compared to 550D

    Hi I currently have a 550D and have been happily been snapping away with it for 2 years, but am quite disappointed with the dynamic range. That is, often when shooting landscapes (particularly in bright but overcast condtions) it looks great through the viewfinder but the recorded image is very flat with a dark foreground and blown out sky. I'm keen to upgrade to the 5D3, but am wondering how much of an improvement this will provide for dynamic range. The Dxo tests say only very little difference, but I would have expected the full frame 5D3 to have far better DR. Can anyone please tell me their own experience with this? Doesn't matter if you dont have a 5D3 - I'm keen to see the difference with any 5 or 1 model.

    Side note - If I just looked at the Dxo tests I'd be looking to trade my Canon lenses for Nikon for low ISO. Is the D800 really that much better and is there really no real difference between the 550D and 5D3? I'd be a very happy man if someone told me the dxo tests are a load of crap.

    Thanks a lot!
    Leave only footprints, take only photos.
    Canon 550D, Canon 10-22mm F/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105mm F/4L, Canon 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6L, Canon 50mm F/1.8, Canon 220Ex Flash, Hoya HD CPL
    Photoshop Elements 9, Photomatix Pro 4

  2. #2
    Ausphotography Regular
    Join Date
    03 Oct 2010
    Location
    Perth Hills Mundaring
    Posts
    1,014
    perhaps exposure Bracket your images and blend them into a weak HDR using Ps..perhaps 3 images with up to 1.5 stops between them ...might be cheaper than a 5dIII... that's if improved dynamic range in landscape pictures are your only issues
    Last edited by Tommo1965; 13-05-2012 at 9:24pm.
    Cheers and my name is Steve


    Nikon D800 a few Nikon lenses ,some studio gear..and a couple of bags to put it all in

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/steve_tompsett/
    http://tommo.smugmug.com/

  3. #3
    Member
    Threadstarter
    AdventureLife's Avatar
    Join Date
    21 May 2011
    Location
    Wollongong
    Posts
    7
    Actually I use Photomatix for almost all photos I shoot but would rather to be able to shoot straight off the camera - the less post-work you do the better I think. I'm really just wondering if there is a camera out there that can see what human eyes can see.

    I was all keen for the 5D3 but if the dxo tests are anything to go by, I'm not so sure now. I keep hearing bad things too about the 17-40mm lens too (corner softness), so I'm wondering for landscape shots if I should just stick with a crop sensor and the 10-22mm. Obviously the 5D3 has much better ISO, but if shooting at ISO 100, will I really get much better image quality using a 5D3 and 17-40mm as opposed to using a 550D and 10-22mm?

  4. #4
    Hi AdventureLife,

    First, do not expect to learn anything from DXO. It is a hopelessly inaccurate package which has produced many laughably incorrect results over the years. Their raw converter is said to be quite good, but their "comparisons" are really only good for comedy. I mean, what do you make of a product which actually "proved" that the (notoriously noisy) D200 had better high-ISO performance than a 5D Mark 1? Enough - let's talk about sensible things now.


    You should get some improvement, but very little, with the 5D II or 5D III. I haven't particularly noticed any difference between my 5D II and my 50D. I'm not saying there isn't any, there probably is, I'm just saying that DR isn't what you particularly notice when you upgrade. (You notice extra detail and lower noise.) Don't expect any other brand to be noticeably different either. DR tends to be quite similar between different cameras.

    I'm afraid that the main part of your answer is to:

    (a) find better light (perhaps a different day), or
    (b) use flash (very hard with landscape!), or
    (c) use HDR techniques, or
    (d) learn to compose using the light you have - there is a bit of an art to working with an overcast but it can be very rewarding. Essentially, you have to make sure that most of your shot is land, with little or no sky. Doing this can open up a whole new world of better composition to you (you can't just set a wide angle and point it at something, you have to think!, and often you wind up focusing much more closely on the actual subject instead of leaving a whole lot of distracting other stuff in the frame) and also awaken you to a lot of subtle colour interplay under leaden skies that we usually miss.

    PS: When you find a camera with amazing DR ability, please send one to me too! I can pay whatever price you ask. (So long as you take kidneys.)
    Tony

    Edit and critique at will. Tokina 10-17 fish, Canon 10-22, 24-105, 100-400, TS-E 24, 35/1.4, 60 macro, 100L macro, 500/4, Wimberley, MT-24EX, 580EX-II, 1D IV, 7D, 5D II, 50D.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    02 May 2012
    Location
    Glebe (inner Sydney)
    Posts
    117
    Our eyes have a much much higher dynamic range than any current camera. Film tends to do a bit better than digital in that part.
    To add suggestions to what others have said (HDR ...), differents sorts of ND filters can give good results.

    The "other way to compose" suggestion makes a lot of sense. Forcing yourself to be creative with what you have can open some new doors and ideas.

  6. #6
    Member
    Threadstarter
    AdventureLife's Avatar
    Join Date
    21 May 2011
    Location
    Wollongong
    Posts
    7
    Thanks for the reply Tannin. That was the main reason for my post - I'd much rather hear about people's experience and own eyes than a computer analysis.
    That's very good advice about using photographic skill to work with what you have. For myself, starting photography in the digital era I find myself too often relying on technology, not skill to take a good photo. i.e. take 100 photos, keep one. I do need to put a lot more time into the composition. I noticed some of my best photos I took was when I first got my camera and didn't have a tripod. Balancing your camera on stairs or rocks made for some great photos as the heights and angles were typically quite unusual.

    Its good to know (though disappointing) that DR wont noticably improve on a better camera. Therefore, this subject is now more or less closed for me, so now my question has evolved to general image quality. Of course, at high ISO the 5D series will be the clear winner, but at low ISO will there be a noticable increase in image quality? I know this is certainly no simple question as the crop factor brings in other issues such as reach, vignetting and DOF, but as whole will it be much better?
    Any review I read on the net seems to say the 10-22mm is a great lens and the 17-40mm is corner soft. Therefore I'm wondering if there's a point to going full frame? Benefits I see for myself is that with better ISO and shallower DOF (due to needing to be closer to the subject), I could shoot faster and with shallower DOF, which pretty much equates to upgrading all my EF lenses. I know there's a ton of other considerations such as bigger, brighter viewfinder, more robust, frame rate, weather sealing, autofocus, etc., but for the moment I'd just like to know about purely the image quality.

    What is peoples experience in upgrading from a XXXD to an XD?

  7. #7
    AL, my experience is that I mostly go to the 5D II over the 50D where there is a choice, and I do that because of the better, more detailed image the 5D II produces.

    And then, for some reason, I use the 50D for a shot or seven ...... and I look at the results and wonder what on earth I was trying to achieve with the 5D II. "What is wrong with this picture?", I ask myself, and the answer seems to generally be "nothing at all!"

    As you will have gathered by now, I use both bodies side-by-side: usually with a 24-105 on the 5D and a 10-22 on the 50D. Because the 24-105 is so wide on an FX body (15mm equivalent), the 10-22 gets much less use than it used to when my other body was APS-C with an 18-55 or a 24-105. At 15mm or more (= 24mm on FX), if you have both, why wouldn't you use the FX body?

    I sometimes think about upgrading to an FX lens for ultra-wide, but it's a much smaller need than it used to be (because the 24 is so wide already) and none of the UWA FX lenses for Canon seem ideal to me - the Sigma is soft, the 16-35 is very expensive and I don't need f/2.8, the Tokina is very heavy, and the 17-40 seems ... well, not so ultra-wide and a bit lack-lustre. Besides, nothing in FX lenses can replace the delightful Tokina 10-17 Fish, which I use a lot.

    I know this isn't answering your questions, not directly, but perhaps my ramblings will give you some useful insight. If I was to make one suggestion it would be this: if you buy an FX body, keep your xxD or xxxD as well. Running two bodies is way, way nicer than mucking about with only one. Also, many of your lenses get a second life in a different apparent focal length. My 35L, for example, is three completely different lenses on 5D II, 1D IV, or 7D. how can I not like three for the price of one? The 100-400 is another one that really benefits from having different bodies to use it with. You might also consider, depending on your favourite subjects and your budget, a 5D II instead of a 5D III. If you mostly do landscapes, it would be almost as good and lots cheaper.

  8. #8
    Drifter, Racer and Picture Taker Bennymiata's Avatar
    Join Date
    08 Oct 2010
    Location
    Greenwich
    Posts
    1,606
    From what you say Adventure Life, I realy think you should get yourself a graduated ND filter and have a play with it.

    This is what will balance your exposure of sky and land with little effort and great results.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom, is knowing not to serve it in a fruit salad.

  9. #9
    Account Closed
    Join Date
    09 Nov 2009
    Location
    One Mile Beach NSW
    Posts
    181
    I think the dynamic range of the 5DIII is ever so slightly better than the 5DII and other camera's I own(ed). But it will never reach the full range of a brightly lit or even an overcast it landscape. May be in ten or twenty years they'll be able to make bodies with a HDR...
    Bennymiata gave you a very good suggestion: when shooting landscapes with bright skies use a GND filter - or shoot RAW and, with the risk of introducing some noise in the darker areas, under expose one stop and use the GND filter in Photoshop Raw Converter -. I think a "real" filter is to prefer but for the occasional shot the Photoshop alternative is not bad at all.

  10. #10
    Note that the 5D3 does have an internal HDR system where it will take three shots and blend them in camera and create a jpg for you. It might be a bit of a gimmick, and probably not a replacement for a good grad filter or post HDR techniques but might be an option.
    Mic

    Photography is the art of telling stories with light.

    www.michaelgoulding.com

  11. #11
    IMO, and i'm a Canon user. If you really want DR and it's the most impt bit for you. Go Nikon. Nikon definitely has better DR.

    I would love the DR of Nikon but prefer the AF and WB and other niggles and jiggles of 5D3 over the D800.


    But from what you're saying, GND filter and/or shoot raw and bracket it. Then merge it in PP.

  12. #12
    Ausphotography Regular wideangle's Avatar
    Join Date
    28 Sep 2007
    Location
    Hobart
    Posts
    1,414
    I would be looking at filters and bracket exposing in order to achieve what it sounds like you are looking for in your photographs. What you see compared to what the camera sees are two very different things. You may just gain a slight bit more dynamic range with a 5DM3, but I reckon you would still run into the same kind of problems if you are shooting scenes that have two very different exposures (land and sky). Have you tried some graduated ND filters, or tried bracketing photos and merging them in post for the correct highlight and shadow details?
    please ask before PP my images

    "Life is what happens to you while your busy making other plans"

  13. #13
    Ausphotography Regular wideangle's Avatar
    Join Date
    28 Sep 2007
    Location
    Hobart
    Posts
    1,414
    I would be looking at filters and bracket exposing in order to achieve what it sounds like you are looking for in your photographs. What you see compared to what the camera sees are two very different things. You may just gain a slight bit more dynamic range with a 5DM3, but I reckon you would still run into the same kind of problems if you are shooting scenes that have two very different exposures (land and sky). Have you tried some graduated ND filters, or tried bracketing photos and merging them in post for the correct highlight and shadow details? By the way, do you shoot RAW files? These will give you far more latitude to play and experiment with exposure etc.

  14. #14
    Ausphotography Veteran
    Join Date
    23 Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    3,086
    I prefer using filters I cannot see how the 5d mark 3 can have noticeably more dynamic range even of you are trying to replace the 550d with the 5 d mark 3 this would not be the reason. I find the best results using gnd filters and have invested in good quality ones from singhray. The cokin p series can be use to get the hang of the filters and practicing but they are not of a very good quality but are cheap to buy.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Dwarak Calayampundi

    Canon 5D Mark II, 7 D Lens Canon 24-105mm L Canon 16-35mm II L Canon 100mm Sigma 10-20mm Canon 50mm 1.8
    http://www.wix.com/dwarak/landscapes

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •