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Old March 9th, 2013, 01:58 PM   #1
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5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

I've never owned a DSLR, let alone a 5D. Since I have video cameras, I do have tripod, SmallHD 9" monitor, separate audio equipment, video and film style lighting (no strobes or flash).What do I need for a typical tripod setup to shoot video as well as take stills. I will do run and gun as well as cinematic work. I mean with the stock lens as well as a large zoom like the 70-200? Any special mounting for the weight of the lenses?

My wishlist so far:
24-105 lens (kit) or 24-70 later (with IS)
70-200 zoom with IS
Maybe some kind of shoulder or handheld rig
Atomos Ninja
HDMI cable
Zacuto Z Finder or Loupe (not sure what these are)
Electronic EVF
Speedlight or other flash
CF Cards - what type for video/stills?
Tripod handle lens camera/controller (if one exists)
Handgrip battery
Spare battery or D-tap setup

Help me with some specific models, as I am not familiar with most of this stuff. I will have to prioritize these things due to limited budget. I'm sure I'm overlooking some things. Don't know what comes in the box.
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Old March 9th, 2013, 05:58 PM   #2
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

I can speak from long experience from some of your list:

24-105mm f4L Not bad but not right up there. There seem to be good and not so good examples out there, and I never really liked mine.

24-70mm f2.8L Mine is the Mk1 non IS version, and is my very favourite lens. VERY sharp, and a lens that always does the job for you. I has that best of the L lens property of finding contrast and colour in poor light. Way better than the 24-105mm

70-200mm f2.8L IS Every pro photographer's mid rang workhorse, and every bit as good as the 27-70mm f2.8 when it comes to pulling great shots out of not so good conditions. Just a shade less sharp than the 24-70mm but only relevant to pixel-peepers.

The speedlite is not going to help you with video of course, but if all my kit was stolen today, a speedlite would third on my list after a decent body and lens. I never work without a speedlite when doing event type gigs. They give you so much control over conditions.

Video definitely eats battery power. I don't know what the battery is like with the 5D3, but my 1Ds3 and 1D4 have big batteries that last for thousands of shots taking stills, but won't do a day shooting video.

I believe there are some decent pan-bat remote controls for Canon DSLRs out nowadays. I use a Manfrotto LANC controller for my XF300, and couldn't do the job half as well without it. I'd love the same facility for my 1D4. This sort of thing:
Mini USB Remote Canon DSLR Video Controller CheesyCam

For CF cards you need good quality items like Sandisk and Lexar and I would try to go with 300X or faster.
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Old March 10th, 2013, 12:35 AM   #3
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

Thank you, sir. Great info
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Old March 10th, 2013, 07:30 AM   #4
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

you will need ND filters. variable ND= convenience, fixed ND= better image quality with less vignetting and other problems.
I find the 24-105 great and the IS is a huge bonus IMHO. the f4 would be much less a problem with the 5Dmiii than with my mii. a few fast primes would also be a big bonus.
to go light for RnG, i find a shoulder rig too much, personally, and prefer sticking the camera on a velbon fluid tripod head with a post and sticking the post in a belt pocket for versatile stability with great tilt and pan options. plus you can grip the post and hold it high, or use the ground for low support, and its easy to put back into the legs when necessary. i just ordered a Kamarar Tank cage to help support a FF, smallhd monitor, mic, zoom H4n, and plan to custom make a bag to hold it all more or less set up and ready to pull out and shoot.
a T3i as a backup/second camera is pretty handy, especially when the 3x crop can make a one lens setup have a massive range (ie: a 17-55 2.8 IS has a video range of 27-264, all at 2.8 with IS!!!) and no changing lenses between the 2 cameras, just grab and shoot.
all that said, while the DSLRs can make some really beautiful shots, the image completely falls apart in many situations, and i am particularly disappointed in the resolution compared to my XA10 in shots that have a lot of detail, like trees, grass, clothing with intricate patterns, power lines, bricks, etc. so for me, a small traditional video camera with a wonderful image can really save your butt, and on a Merlin stabilizer can create some great shots that actually stay in focus!
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Old March 10th, 2013, 08:45 AM   #5
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

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Originally Posted by Brian David Melnyk View Post
I find the 24-105 great and the IS is a huge bonus IMHO. the f4 would be much less a problem with the 5Dmiii than with my mii. a few fast primes would also be a big bonus.
to go light for RnG, i find a shoulder rig too much, personally, and prefer sticking the camera on a velbon fluid tripod head with a post and sticking the post in a belt pocket for versatile stability with great tilt and pan options. plus you can grip the post and hold it high, or use the ground for low support, and its easy to put back into the legs when necessary. i just ordered a Kamarar Tank cage to help support a FF, smallhd monitor, mic, zoom H4n, and plan to custom make a bag to hold it all more or less set up and ready to pull out and shoot.
a T3i as a backup/second camera is pretty handy, especially when the 3x crop can make a one lens setup have a massive range (ie: a 17-55 2.8 IS has a video range of 27-264, all at 2.8 with IS!!!) and no changing lenses between the 2 cameras, just grab and shoot.
all that said, while the DSLRs can make some really beautiful shots, the image completely falls apart in many situations, and i am particularly disappointed in the resolution compared to my XA10 in shots that have a lot of detail, like trees, grass, clothing with intricate patterns, power lines, bricks, etc. so for me, a small traditional video camera with a wonderful image can really save your butt, and on a Merlin stabilizer can create some great shots that actually stay in focus!
I like that a 24-105 would cover most situations, and I would imagine the IS is a great help for anything off of a tripod. But I'm thinking the f/2.8 would make a big difference in low light, where most of my work is. Especially with a f/2.8 70-200 if I have to change lenses during a shoot would make the continuity easier. I need to overcome budget difficulties, though, so I'm looking at the previous versions of these lenses. Tough choices.

What do you mean DSLR image completely falls apart? The video? You mean DSLRs other than the mk iii, right?

I do have a couple of XHA1s HDV cameras for now

And I wanted to know, does the 70-200 or any large zoom lens need support if not handheld? Seems awful heavy. Is it mounted onto rods somehow?

Last edited by Alex DeJesus; March 10th, 2013 at 09:20 AM.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 04:00 AM   #6
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

i mean a wide shot with a lot of small details suffers moire and aliasing (less on the miii i have read), but also the image resolution is worse than a traditional video camera like the XA10. i was just filming green screen with a mii, very well lit, and switched to the XA10 which held better edge detail and pulled a much better key, for example. sometimes the mii reminds me of the XHA1, which in situations with lots of fine patterned clothing and trees and textures also fell apart, amplified even more when transcoded for dvd. somebody much smarter than me could probably explain the technical reasons...not sure about miii's 'actual' resolution, but i have read that DSLR's in general resolve less than 1920x1080.
i have read that the mii sensitivity makes an f4 like a 2.8, with clean images at high ISO. holding focus at 2.8 on a FF camera is a real challenge. if i could shoot clean f4 at high ISO in low light, i would personally prefer it. even 5.6!!! that said, if the 24-70 2.8 was IS, i would buy it in a second. very strange omission from Canon...
having bought the 35 2.0 and the 50 1.8, i don't think i will buy another lens without IS for video. they have pretty nice image quality, but are just less versatile for video. the last thing i want to do is change a lens because i want to take the camera off the tripod...
i have the 70-200 2.8 IS version 1, and it is a beautiful lens. i also bought it to save $ over the new version, and i cannot ever see regretting that decision. it comes with a support ring that actually supportsboth the camera and lens on a tripod. and it is a very heavy lens.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 04:05 PM   #7
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

For run-n-gun, the first accessory I would get is a monopod. I extend it for standing interviews, hold it at its balance point when walking (poor man's steadicam), and shorten it and tuck it in my belt to become a human tripod. No, it's not as steady as a tripod. It gives the feeling that there is a person behind the camera, which works in a tradeshow and at many "you are there" events.

I use the Slik Pro Pod 600, which is short enough to fit in carry on luggage, is sturdier than most carbon fiber monopods, and is just as light as most CF pods.

Add a Manfrotto adapter and a small rig (like Red Rock's The Event), and you can quickly remove the monopod and use the rig as a low tripod for locked down shots. Of course, you'll want a good loupe to complete the setup. The Hoodman x3 works well, but the Zacuto is certainly nicer. Choose either, based on budget.

For these situations, I love a 35mm prime. Is it dark? Open it up. Need magnification? A 35 lets you get up close for a near macro view. I'm comfortable shooting a 35mm prime all day long. (And I also own or have access to a 16-35L, ZE 21/2.8, EF 50/1.4, ZE 85/1.4, 100L and 70-200L IS.)

Finally, for run-n-gun, a Rode Video Mic Pro works nicely for on-camera audio for solo purposes. I use a juicedLink or external recorder as needed, but the VMP is a nice accessory when you want to keep things simple.

What's next? ND filters. A nice tripod. Lenses that fit the needs of the shoot. Recorder/mic/boom - and an operator to use them.

A monitor? Only when I need to put the camera on a jib or in some other odd location. Then again, I don't generally need to feed a video village. I find that a monitor (for the 5D2 anyway) takes extra time and battery management, adds size and weight, and provides only a small advantage. With the 5D3 and a larger crew, I might feel otherwise.

But yeah, out of the box, a nice 35mm prime, monopod, and VMP, batteries, and cards, (and an anti-aliasing filter in the case of the 5D2) gets me off the ground for solo run-n-gun for tradeshow-like events.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 04:32 AM   #8
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

The 70-200mm F/2.8L IS USM II is an amazing lens that I would use all the time if I could stand back far enough however it weighs a ton. There is no Canon 24-70mm with IS. The one stop difference between the 24-70 F/2.8L & the 24-105mm F/4L is insignificant with the low light capability of the 5D3 which is a couple of stops better than the 5D2 for noise free high ISO.

A monopod is the single best accessory for shooting DSLR video. A loupe can help with stability as a 3rd point of contact but the cheap one that I used on my 5D2 does not fit the 5D3 so I have been using it without now for just on a year (I bought my 5D3 on 17th March 2012 so was one of the very first purchasers world-wide). The LCD on the 5D3 is far better than the 5D2 but as you are in Nevada a loupe may be advisable so that you can see the screen in bright sunlight. As recommended a variable ND filter will help you in this situation too. I used to live & work in the south of France & used an ND all the time but now that I am back in the UK I never use one because even when we have sun it's rarely so bright.

Personally I would forget about external recorders, shoulder rigs & all the other junk. Aside from the stunning video quality for the price the great advantage of DSLRs for video is that they are very small, manoeuvrable & simple to operate. As soon as you start bolting on an EVF & all the other crap you are losing those advantages. The only other piece of accessory equipment that I use regularly is a GlideCam 2000 which may or may not be useful for your style of filming.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 10:05 AM   #9
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

Very good advice Nigel.

Canon has come out with a 24-70mm IS lens recently. It is an f4 lens, but if you need the IS, its not really a problem for video. If you are going for IS run and gun lens I would recommend the 24-105mm which has a longer reach.

I just picked up a new Genus Eclipse Variable ND filter that is very nice for the price. Very neutral color.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 12:43 PM   #10
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

Waaaaaa?????????
ok, is Canon trying to mess with us??????
seriously! a 24-70 IS..... but f4???????
'yeah, here you go, a NEW 24-70 2.8... but no IS, ha ha ha! Not good enough? well, here you go, a new 24-70 IS... but f4, ha ha ha!'

thanks, Canon.
maybe next you can make a 24-70 2.8 IS... but E-FS, ha ha ha?
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Old March 12th, 2013, 01:23 PM   #11
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

What would you choose between IS and f/2.8?

And why would you choose a 24-70 f/4 when a 24-105 L series is available? NEither one will be IS
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Old March 12th, 2013, 06:11 PM   #12
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

Regards the 24-70mm vs 24-105mm, there is a whole lot more between those two lenses than that one stop. The 24-105mm f4 is a decent lens. The 24-70mm f2.8 is an outstanding lens, and probably my favourite. When working stills at events I use the 24-70mm on a full frame 1Ds3, and a 70-200mm f2.8L IS on a 1DMK4 and almost never take other lenses out of my bag.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 07:04 PM   #13
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

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Originally Posted by Trevor Dennis View Post
Regards the 24-70mm vs 24-105mm, there is a whole lot more between those two lenses than that one stop. The 24-105mm f4 is a decent lens. The 24-70mm f2.8 is an outstanding lens, and probably my favourite. When working stills at events I use the 24-70mm on a full frame 1Ds3, and a 70-200mm f2.8L IS on a 1DMK4 and almost never take other lenses out of my bag.
Trevor, that's what I was getting at with my question. I figured that was the case. The 24-70 must be a lot better if you are willing to forego the IS the 24-105 has. What about the previous version of the 24-70 f/2.8L series? Would you also choose that over the 24-105 version II?
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Old March 18th, 2013, 12:54 PM   #14
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

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Originally Posted by Brian David Melnyk View Post
you will need ND filters. variable ND= convenience, fixed ND= better image quality with less vignetting and other problems.
I find the 24-105 great and the IS is a huge bonus IMHO. the f4 would be much less a problem with the 5Dmiii than with my mii. a few fast primes would also be a big bonus.
to go light for RnG, i find a shoulder rig too much, personally, and prefer sticking the camera on a velbon fluid tripod head with a post and sticking the post in a belt pocket for versatile stability with great tilt and pan options. plus you can grip the post and hold it high, or use the ground for low support, and its easy to put back into the legs when necessary. i just ordered a Kamarar Tank cage to help support a FF, smallhd monitor, mic, zoom H4n, and plan to custom make a bag to hold it all more or less set up and ready to pull out and shoot.
a T3i as a backup/second camera is pretty handy, especially when the 3x crop can make a one lens setup have a massive range (ie: a 17-55 2.8 IS has a video range of 27-264, all at 2.8 with IS!!!) and no changing lenses between the 2 cameras, just grab and shoot.
all that said, while the DSLRs can make some really beautiful shots, the image completely falls apart in many situations, and i am particularly disappointed in the resolution compared to my XA10 in shots that have a lot of detail, like trees, grass, clothing with intricate patterns, power lines, bricks, etc. so for me, a small traditional video camera with a wonderful image can really save your butt, and on a Merlin stabilizer can create some great shots that actually stay in focus!
If you ever plan to shoot anything handheld, the 24-105's IS is invaluable. F/4 is plenty shallow on full frame - the lens is light and has better reach than the non-IS 24-70. In fact, all Canon 24-70 2.8's do not have IS - only the Tamron does.

I wouldn't recommend a 17-55 IS lens for your backup camera as it's an EF-S mount lens and simply will not work for the EF mount. Cropped bodies = EF-S (can use both EF-S and EF mount) or full frame (EF mount only).
Good luck.
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Old April 12th, 2013, 11:13 AM   #15
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Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?

I have some 32GB Transcend SDHC cards class 10- will they be fine? Is there an advantage using CF?
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