New things on the 5D MkIII

For everyone who is much too busy to put in the time that’s going to save time later by reading the manual, I thought I would highlight a few things that might be less obvious to someone coming from the older 5D models as I did, and picking up the 5D3 for the first time.

These comments assume that the 5D3 you’re looking at has not had all the buttons customised to different functions.

First off there are lots of submenus under each main heading when you press menu.  On the MkII one would rotate the main dial by the shutter release of move between the top level menus.  On the 5D3 the main dial will get you there, but by way of all the second level headings.  The Quick control Button, between the rear dial and the screen jumps quickly through the top level headings.

Wow! those are a lot of AF points, and a lot of different ways of using them, but the menu doesn’t seem to let you choose which to use, only which modes can be selected.  The choice of how much of the sensor array to engage is left to shooting time, and the tiny M-Fn button in front of the shutter release (7D users will already be familliar with this) toggles through the different modes you have enabled (all modes are on by default)

Having 2 card slots is a big win, and explicitly supporting the Eye-Fi card in the SD slot is also really good, but there is initial confusion to get round…  If one starts with just one card at the left of the menus, one can set, for instance, that one wants to save both raw and large jpeg.  A little further on one might add another card and come to the menu item where one choses what to do in terms of using it…. The choice seems to be::

  1. Use just one card
  2. Fill one then the other card
  3. Write everything to both cards
  4. Split what is written between both cards

Possibly in a different order… Well since one has chosen to collect both jpeg and raw the split write is the obvious choice, but one then seems to have both cards with the L jpegs and the raw not being saved…  Back to the image quality menu, and with split set, and 2 cards installed one can now choose what to store on each card.

That’s the obvious ones from working through the menus.  I now have 400 pages on manual to read

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