by Jon Ashton Published 01/12/2012
This brief review started with an attempt to see if the extra chip area of the 5D and the newer design, could provide a tangible benefit under very difficult shooting conditions and trump the doubling of cost overthe older 7D. The two cameras are aimed at slightly different marketswith the 7D targeting the sports and wildlife sector while the 5D Mk III aims slightly higher at the pricier professional studio and social photographer. These demarcations, though, are a bit arbitrary and we were curious to look at the benefits of the larger chip of the 5D in terms of image quality. The two cameras may be summarised as follows:
We had a specific trial in mind in order to torture the 5D. The Dee Estuary is home to a transient population of short-eared owls who patrol the reedy marshes, hunting for voles. They are beautiful, majestic birds who are reasonably accommodating in terms of human presence but can be very illusive. Infuriatingly this turned out to be the case, Jon Ashton had wonderful images with his 7D but then, during the 20-day testing window available, not a one was seen - that's wildlife photography for you! Shorties present the photographer with a great challenge; they fly mainly at dusk and dawn although they do need enough light to hunt well. However, attractive though the autumn light is in terms of quality, it is never strong and a severe challenge to optics, focusing, camera noise and hand/eye coordination! Additionally the marshes provide a vast area for hunting and the birds are as likely to be way out of reach as patrolling right in front of you. A 500mm lens is considered the shortest you can get away with and converters are frequently employed as well.
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