5DS - Out of camera JPEGs, videos, and ongoing review.
This past weekend, we were out in Stevenson, Washington at the Skamania Lodge for a corporate retreat. Every year, the firm that I work for hosts an educational summer regional meeting. I was asked to photograph the event over the 2 1/2 days we were there, and then have a multimedia presentation at the end of the last day to be shown in the background while people ate their dinner. I only had a few hours between my last photograph and the final presentation. No problem! Oh, one last thing, since I couldn't be everywhere at once, I had people email their photos and video clips to add to the final presentation as well (culling the incoming photo submissions too). This was actually very helpful, and didn't add too much work.
I shot hundreds of photos. There was no way I was going to have time to edit any of them prior to the final presentation. So, I shot RAW+JPEG just in case I needed to work on any of them, but I ended up using the JPEGs 99.X% of the time. For all of the shots, I used the new Fine Detail picture profile, once in a while I edited a photo in camera - there's a B&W photo that I did that to. On another few I increased the exposure using the camera's built in raw editor, and even cropped a few others using the built in editor as well. On a side note, anyone who pooh poohs the idea of shooting JPEGs from a high end camera doesn't understand the usefulness of JPEGs in certain situations. Also, quite often they don't understand how to best utilize all of the settings within the camera. Yes, RAW gives ultimate image quality, but JPEG serves it's purpose as well.
When I shot outdoors during broad daylight, I used a circular polarizer and quite often a flash. Lenses used - Canon 50mm f/1.2L, Canon 24-70 f/2.8L Mark II, and Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L Mark II.
The flash was the 600EX and I usually had it bounce off of a large flash bender attachment.
Camera settings used were mainly aperture and manual mode, criss cross AF point expansion - manual control, continuous AF mode, auto lighting optimizer set to standard, and I used the built in lens corrections. My ISO was all over the place depending on the situation. Sometimes manual, sometimes auto, and I used everything from ISO 100 to 6400. I also utilized the different crop / aspect ratio modes as well to get extra reach in a few situations. I used auto WB, custom WB, and selected various presets depending on the situation.
Video's were shot using the same settings as the camera, but I used manual focus as the autofocus was all over the place.
Let's look at some of the images...
If you'd like to see more of the images and the video footage I shot - complete with EXIF information, then you can view those here. Quick disclaimer though, at the end of the gallery are some photos of the final award night. I was unprepared for shooting this since it wasn't part of the video, but I ran back to the room to get my camera after the awards ceremony had started. The lighting was awful, with only one or two chances at each shot. I had to improvise as best as I could. I'm very unhappy with the photos, but that's a function of the circumstances at the time. A few of those had to be corrected for exposure and cropped in Lightroom to throw on the web quickly. I included those on the above gallery to share my pain.
The video was created using Animoto - a HUGE time saver, and well worth the $40 to use it for the month. It's quirky, but I cannot think of another tool that I could have thrown all this multimedia at and had a useable presentation in a relatively short amount of time. The shots that aren't in my above gallery were the ones submitted by other attendees.
Overall, I'm very pleased with how the camera handled, the image quality, and the final results. It's my favorite DSLR to date. It matches or exceeds the Nikon D800 in terms of image quality (I used Nikon and D800 prior to switching to Canon almost 3 years ago) and it does so with all of the speed of autofocus and accuracy of the 5D Mark III.
What are a few things that bother me about the camera? They should have included a microphone port, I wish it had the AF capability of their 7D Mark II when shooting video, even with a top of the line Lexar CF card, it takes a second to have the image display after the shot, startup time seems to take a second longer than I like, but most importantly it frustrates me to no end that the AF points are concentrated towards the center of the frame! My Fuji X-T1 has more AF coverage that the latest and greatest Canon DSLR. Why can't there by AF points over the entire frame? Other complaints, large lenses like the 70-200mm jiggle back and forth in the lens mount slightly, but noticeably. I figured something was terribly wrong with the camera's lens mount, but after Googling this, it's common to many Canon's and while annoying, everything works fine, so I'm not too worried about it.
The bottom line? It's a great camera that I highly recommend for when you want the best quality in a DSLR. It's no slouch when it comes to speediness either - autofocus wise it's great. The FPS are decent, of course I'd like more, but I'm willing to sacrifice FPS for this quality.
One last tip. I purchased a domain name from Google Domains and had it point at one of my Google Photos galleries to share the photos with all of the attendees. Rather than having everyone emailing me and asking me for their photos and where they can get them, it was worth the $13 to register a domain and give everyone the URL. I think I'll do this for all events from now on.