Monday, March 05, 2012
Canon 5D Mark III
For starters, I love the Mark II. It's a great camera. What I love about it though is kind of intangible. It's got a great feel in my hands and I love the ease and fluidity with which I can shoot. As far as cameras go, it just feels right.
Having said that, I'm certain, on paper anyway, the Mark III is all of that and more. I'm absolutely sure it's a stunning new camera with lots of features, plenty of bells and whistles, and, frankly speaking, it's probably more camera than most people need. On paper anyway, if you make the comparison, the Mark III has a better/bigger sensor, it has better autofocus, it has a better native resolution to handle noise reduction better in low light. It has a larger viewfinder. It really sounds like a great camera and one that I would seriously consider if I were into getting the latest and greatest of cameras.
The big problem, as far as I see it, is that the Mark III is $3500. As of today, as I write this, you can purchase a Mark II for $2100 or so. That's a $1400 dollar difference. Sure, I've no doubt that Mark III is all that camera and more but, it really just begs the question here, is what you're doing really worth that extra $1400 in camera body?
Frankly speaking, $1400 can buy me a lot of frames. I could get a new lens for that. It could buy me postcards, a website, and some great prints. There's a whole lot that $1400 can purchase.
Now, many photographers, I'm sure will argue with me about this. And, yes, I'm sure they will need (read: justify) a better camera body. No doubt, the Mark III is a better camera body. But, I just have to ask the question, I mean, this jump in price just *begs* the question: is what we're doing with this gear really going to justify a $1400 bump in price?
Many people fall in love with photography because they are in love with the camera gear. There are many beginners and even advanced amateurs who run out and have to have the latest cameras. No doubt, the Mark III will wow them. I'm sure it's no slump in the "wow" factor for these kind of people. If though, if on the other hand, you are one of these people who views photography as a business, it really does make you wonder if you are getting all that much more of a camera for that extra $1400. Frankly, many people today sport more camera than they need or, to put it more bluntly, I see a lot of folks running around with high-end cameras, many of these folks don't really take high-end images so that just begs these sorts of questions. Wouldn't you be better off taking a class, investing in some good quality prints, getting a spiffier website, or even getting a better lens to go with your cheaper camera?
At the end of the day, these are choices photographers have to make. At some point, if you are like me anyway, your gear will become so "craptastic" that you'll be forced to upgrade and, at that point, you might just want to get a Mark III. It really is, and I do have no doubt about this, a great camera. But, frankly, for my hard-earned money, I know what I would purchase. To put it another way, there's nothing wrong with a Mark II and buying a really great $1400 lens. This isn't just sour grapes talking, it's really just how I feel. It's a big bump up in price for something that's well, something that's better, yes, but *$1400* better? Frankly, I'm not so sure.
A lot of photography comes down to making choices. Many of those choices are not even "fun." Sure, we get to decide if we are going to travel to Spain or France this year, and that's "fun" by any stretch, but some of other other choices? Meh, not so much fun. Spending an extra $1400? Is it worth it? That's not really a fun choice, at least it's not for me (and, yes, I do know where I would put my money if I had the options.)
So, that's my take on Canon's big new announcement. I'm sure the Mark III is all that it's cracked up to be. It's just that, well $1400 is a lot of (if you'll excuse the expression) crack if you ask me.
If you want to be an ok photographer, sure spending money on a spiffy new high-end camera is a good idea. If, however, you want to run a success photography business, spending that same money a bit more wisely might get you better results. Check out the Mark II and a nice lens if you think I'm wrong here.
As usual, I welcome your comments on the gear-related items, although I have to warn you, I'm not really all about gear so much as I am great shots.
In other (unrelated) news, I'm doing a bit of writing so I have not been posting all that much here recently. I'm sorry for that but I've been pegged to write a piece and I want to get this done. I have limits on how much I can write in one day and, when another gig comes along that I just cannot pass up, well, it drags me away from my post here. I hope you'll understand. I do except more "normal" blog posts to resume sometime soon. In the meantime, this is some of my recent New Orleans at night work. I hope you like it.
Until next time...