5DMKIII vs 6D
I had the chance to test out these two cameras back to back in the field - and by that I pretty much mean shooting full day weddings. Given, I was doing this as a second shooter. I wouldn’t want to go into a gig not knowing the ins and outs of my gear, which is pretty much what I did with the 6D. I’ve had some experience with the 5DMKIII, but I wanted my field work with both bodies to be fresh in my mind.
I do not know everything about either of these cameras, I’m just sharing what I’ve learned by using both for my needs. If I am wrong about any information, please feel free to correct me. While I do shoot a wide range of subject matter, I was shooting weddings while using these two units.
Quick, simple specs of the two:
61-point AF 11-point AF
6 fps 4.5 fps
3.2” LCD ClearView II 3.0” LCD
CF and SD card slot SD single card slot
Both units have a DiG!C 5+ image processor with a full frame sensor, both have an ISO range of 100-25600, BUT the 5DMKIII has a low setting, which allows you to go down to 50, which I find AWESOME.
The 5DMKIII has an in-body HDR feature, which I don’t care about, as well as a Multiple Exposure feature, which I really want to start playing around with again, so that’s exciting.
So here’s some stuff that stood out to me between the two, both negative and positive…
The 5DMKIII has a better, overall feel than the 6D. The size, grip, and button layout are just so much better to me on the 5DMKIII. IT had more buttons than the 6D, and their arrangement was just way better. Sure, it’s nice having the play button right where my thumb is, but sacrificing that space by completely getting rid of the joystick? No thanks. Functionality while shooting is far more important than convenience in features that don’t affect the actual shooting process.
Why do I like the joystick so much? It works. My thumb is there, ready to go, ready to move that joystick any time I need to move an AF point around without moving my thumb awkwardly down to the turn dial. People shooting on the 60D will be used to this layout, but it really does not compare to having that joystick.
Speaking of AF points and AF in general… One of the biggest arguments I get from people about 11 points vs 61, or 9 points vs 11, or whatever, is “I only use a single point anyways.” Well, so do I. But I still move the point around, all the way to the farthest corner if I need to. Focusing and then composing has it’s benefits, but sometimes it leads to less than positive results. Without getting into the very technical reasons of this because I’m trying to keep this as short as possible, I feel having more points offers a more accurate focusing system over all.
That being said, both models focus really well in really low light conditions, if you’re holding still and your subject is holding still. It gets a bit more difficult once your subject starts moving around, especially with the 6D. Focus tracking on the 6D was pretty awful to be honest. Both in low light and sunlight. The 5DMKIII handled this beautifully. In general the 6D focus system was a bit slower, too, I noticed.
LCD screen on the 5DMKIII is so much better. It’s crisp, clear and bigger. You see more. Easily. I didn’t think it would be a big difference but then I looked at the 6D and was stunned. While we’re talking about screens, the top LCD on the 6D has a really stupid layout compared to the 5DMKIII in terms of the different functions. It just felt… dumb.
Speed. 5DMKIII has a max shutter speed of 1/8000 while the 6D maxed out at 1/4000. “I don’t shoot fast,” or “I don’t shoot sports.” So what? What if you’re trying to knock out the brightness of the sun, but you want to use f1.2, 1.4, 2.8? What if your ISO is already at 100? What if 1/4000 isn’t numbing down that light enough for you? Tough shit. I’ve shot at 1/8000 a lot for this very reason. Definitely don’t want to sacrifice that. You might, I don’t.
Flash sync speed. This was a weird discovery. Try this out: turn on your camera, set your shutter speed to 1/180. Wait, what? Thought so. 1/160, 1/200, right? No 1/180? Same here, until I put a flash on the 6D and saw it max out at 1/180 instead of 1/200. I don’t get it. And unfortunately, 1/180 isn’t quite enough to knock out some ambient light depending on the look I’m going for. Luckily High Speed Sync these days kind of makes that an irrelevant issue. I’m just more confused about the whole 1/180.
ISO grain. I haven’t found a technical difference between the two bodies as far as grain handling is concerned, but I’ve had some shots with the same ISO settings, same general light situations, exposure, etc, and found the grain on the 5DMKIII a bit better than the 6D.
Now that I’m getting more into the professional field of things with my career as a photographer, having a dual card slot is pretty important. I also prefer CF cards over SD cards, but that’s more so a stupid quirk of mine.
Now, I could buy two 6D bodies for about the cost of one 5DMKIII. And as much as I want to do that, the 6D falls short on a few ends for my needs so unfortunately I’ve gotta shell out for the big boy. The 6D would definitely be a good back up body if I don’t wanna pay for two 5DMKIIIs, but I would honestly want to have the same body so that there are NO differences, especially since I shoot primes.
For an amateur, hobbyist, etc, that wants a full frame sensor, I would definitely recommend the 6D unless you’re trying to shoot sports, wildlife, or live performance. You may not be completely happy with it in those fields.
What I tell anyone who is in the market for a camera body, forget about price for a moment and take the time to actually handle units you are comparing. Really get a feel for them, see what feels good, what doesn’t. Bring them into the field and use them. There are plenty of rental companies out there that make trying a camera for a day, a weekend, a week, relatively easy for decent prices.
These are my opinions and mine alone. That being said, I hope this info helps someone. If not, whatever. It was either write this or read another comic. More to come… [let’s see how long it takes me to blog again, considering my recent lack of activity.]
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