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Alex DeJesus March 9th, 2013 01:58 PM

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.

Trevor Dennis March 9th, 2013 05:58 PM

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.

Alex DeJesus March 10th, 2013 12:35 AM

Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?
 
Thank you, sir. Great info

Brian David Melnyk March 10th, 2013 06:30 AM

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!

Alex DeJesus March 10th, 2013 07:45 AM

Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian David Melnyk (Post 1783559)
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?

Brian David Melnyk March 11th, 2013 03:00 AM

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.

Jon Fairhurst March 11th, 2013 03:05 PM

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.

Nigel Barker March 12th, 2013 03:32 AM

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.

Bob Willis March 12th, 2013 09:05 AM

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.

Brian David Melnyk March 12th, 2013 11:43 AM

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?

Alex DeJesus March 12th, 2013 12:23 PM

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

Trevor Dennis March 12th, 2013 05:11 PM

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.

Alex DeJesus March 12th, 2013 06:04 PM

Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Trevor Dennis (Post 1783999)
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?

Shawn Clary March 18th, 2013 11:54 AM

Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian David Melnyk (Post 1783559)
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.
Shawn

Jeroen Wolf April 12th, 2013 10:13 AM

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?

Al Bergstein April 13th, 2013 12:17 AM

Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?
 
24-105 IS and a zacuto along with the extremepro cf cards is sll i need for a basic kit. Go right intothe sound input with a short shotgun or lav.for the mkiii.p. bloom recommends a zacuto Stiker. I use a monopod, or tripod.

John Wiley April 18th, 2013 10:09 PM

Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?
 
I agree with Jon and Nigel that the #1 accessory is a good monopod. It is more stable than a shoulder rig, takes the weight off your arms, and is far more convenient when you need to quickly change to handheld or tripod or change lenses. Rigs need things tightened, adjusted and balanced for things like lens changes or swapping out batteries. They are cumbersome, and when shoulder mounted or handheld they require you to let go of the handles to push any buttons on the camera which then throws your rig off balance entirely. Plus you end up with all sorts of combinations of baseplates on your rig, tripod, camera body, lens, etc. With a monopod, you can slide the camera off and slot it straight onto the tripod in seconds (assuming they are the same brand and use the same baseplate).

I wouldn't bother with an external recorder. Do any of the Canon DSLR's even offer a clean HDMI feed yet? I know the mkIII has a firmware update on the way to allow it, but we don't even know for sure yet how beneficial it will be.

If you don't know what a Zacuto Z-Finder is, you probably don't need one. You might be better off with one of the $30 LCD loupes that are available.

External monitors and EVF's have some advantages like focus peaking, and more mounting options, but are certainly not essential. You might want to try shooting with just the camera LCD and a loupe for a while to see whether or not your style really needs either a monitor or EVF.

To summerise, my advice is to shoot light and simple. I rarely have anything more than just the body, lens, LCD loupe and a mic or light in the hotshoe. I have Manfrotto tripod and monopod, and multiple base plates so that every lens or body is ready to be mounted on either within seconds. If, down the track you find you really need to add something, then you will understand exactly what and why you need it. But if you just go out and buy a bunch of fancy toys to build a cool rig, you'll gradually end up leaving more and more of it in your camera bag.

Jeroen Wolf April 26th, 2013 02:09 AM

Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?
 
I cannot imagine following someone around with a monopod hanging from my camera, adjusting the height constantly... but I realize we all have different styles, desires and ways of shooting...
I have an old Varizoom LSP shouldersupport, a 'one-armed-bandit' meaning that one arm sits on my abdomen, taking the weight off my arm and letting me adjust whatever needs adjusting without throwing the balance off... I have the Small HD DP4 sitting on the camera's hotshoe, with the viewfinder. I use the Manfrotto quickrelease plate-system and attached one to the Varizoom LSP. The Manfrotto baseplate has a few threaded holes that I never used before -actually never even took notice of- and in one of them I screwed in a small magic arm that holds a Zoom H1 for general sound and serves double duty as an extra grip arm.
I have a pouch on my waistbelt holding a Zoom H4n with a Sennheiser receiver and some extra assorted batteries. This is a pretty tight, quick-to-setup and well balanced system, more versatile and I imagine smoother than working with a monopod. I have shot some very steady stuff zoomed in, albeit with the 24-105, which has image stabilization. I think the key thing here is that support arm resting on your abdomen and that shooting from the shoulder is still the fastest and most natural way to shoot.

Robert Benda April 26th, 2013 05:46 AM

Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?
 
Even if the monopod/tripod isn't hitting the ground, they provide some much needed weight. For us, the shakiness is such a problem with the light DSLRs that the extra weight is a huge benefit.

Jon Fairhurst April 26th, 2013 11:10 AM

Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?
 
I've got three ways that I use a monopod:

1) Extended to the ground for interviews and "static" shots.

2) Extended to my belt for "human tripod" shots. I can easily pan, tilt and track motion with this method. I can also crane up/down to some degree. I'd like to get a flag carrier or sling for improved support.

3) Collapsed and held just below the camera for walking shots. This is similar to a SteadyTracker solution, which is like a Steadicam without the vest/arm and with your hand/wrist acting as a gimbal. Hold at the balance point and it adds distributed mass. If I were to attach "wings" to the bottom with weights at the ends of the wings, it would help rotational stability as well.

For the first two setups, I use a loupe. I remove it for setup #3.

BTW, I can also include a rig. I skip the rig when I want to be fast and light. For the full setup, I attach Redrock's The Event and follow focus between monopod and camera. With the belt method, I now have two handles, the loupe, the chest pad, and the monopod in the belt for stability. Most importantly, the monopod takes the forward leaning weight off my back. It's a much better and more stable solution than putting yet more weight over the shoulder. To go from this mode to walking with setup #3, I just lift the camera off my belt and pop off the Zacuto loupe. Pop the loupe back on, put the pod in the belt, and grab the handles and you're back to the stable/standing method.

Anyway, the "adjusting the height constantly" hasn't been a concern. When in interview mode (#1), It's generally adjusted so I can stand comfortably and I just lift and set as I move around. One length covers modes 2 & 3. The only exception is when kneeling or sitting in a chair with the pod on the ground, but the length change is quick anyway: hold the camera where you want it, unclamp the leg and extend to the floor, clamp, shoot.

Jon Fairhurst April 26th, 2013 11:49 AM

Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?
 
...and then there's the Dougmon. Dougmon Camera Support System

I met Doug at NAB and he loaned us their stabilizer for a day. It includes a sling so it can do the belt mode. It extends the mass, so it can be used in a SteadyTracker kind of mode. It can also flip upside down so you can "walk the dog". It does something the monopod can't: it provides a handle and forearm support for shooting from the belt.

My son really liked it - especially the forearm method. Adjustment is super fast. Doug would put it on and as fast as you say "one, two, three" he would have the three adjustments done. (True!) Doug uses it for reality show shooting.

It wasn't as ideal for me. I had the following personal shortcomings at NAB:
* Wearing a sport coat, reading glasses, lanyard and badge - and a bit claustrophobic
* Old eyes that don't close focus
* A bad back
* Tall
* My 5D2 lacks a fold-out screen

With the sport coat and junk, the sling was a bit too much. Also, it didn't allow me to put the forearm piece on quickly or comfortably. And with bad eyes and no foldout screen, the forearm method wasn't right for me. I reallly depend on a loupe! And because I'm tall, I wasn't able to extend the unit with sling quite long enough to be fully comfortable. And if I'm not standing up straight, my back hurts.

But the problems were mainly due to my shortcomings and the lack of a foldout screen. In a t-shirt, thermals, or a dress shirt (as my son wore), it would have been a completely different experience. And oh I wish my eyes were 20 years younger!

Compared to a monopod, the advantage of the Dougmon is that it adjusts to a variety of configurations and angles super fast and it offers the forearm setup for waist level shooting. The advantage of the monopod is that it can stand on the floor for semi-static shots. If you want more movement and more angles, the Dougmon and a camera with a foldout screen are the way to go. For a straighter shooting method with your eye on the loupe, the monopod is my preferred solution.

As always, know your goals and choose your weapons to fit. :)

Alex DeJesus April 26th, 2013 06:16 PM

Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?
 
Well, I finally got the camera last Friday and what a beauty it is! I bought the kit with the 24-105 lens, since I had no lenses at all. Now, I just have to figure out how it works. It's my first DSLR, and all I've ever used has been traditional video camcorders. I was hoping it would be a little lighter. This thing is a monster with the kit lens it came with. I will be adding the L70-200 IS soon. And a 50 mm if I really need to go light.

After having it a week, I don't see how I can hand-carry this camera for video. Only for stills. Not even with a monopod. It's too fidgety. There are way too many unfamiliar buttons and controls all over the place. I can tell it's going to take a while before I can use it proficiently. I may have to take a photography course or something.

I am not understanding how the autofocus talks between the camera and the lens. Viewfinder mode AF seems a lot easier to use than Live view (with the stock 24-105 lens). I live, I can't tell if AF is even working, mainly because my vision is getting worse - and because it does not beep letting you know it's in focus. I understand the mirror is flipping up, blanking the screen. I thought there was some kid of focus assist.

I'm ranting only because I'm obviously not a photographer and don't know my way around a DSLR. I will def keep reading here for tips

John Wiley May 1st, 2013 05:34 AM

Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex DeJesus (Post 1792773)
After having it a week, I don't see how I can hand-carry this camera for video. Only for stills. Not even with a monopod. It's too fidgety. There are way too many unfamiliar buttons and controls all over the place. I can tell it's going to take a while before I can use it proficiently. I may have to take a photography course or something.

One of the hardest things I find when using the mkIII compared to the the mkII or 7D or 60D (or any other Canon DSLR) is that they changed the button for focus assist zoom from the AF point buttons which sit right under your thumb on the other cameras, to the playback zoom button, located on the left hand side of the camera. This means operation of mkIII is a lot harder and requires a second hand on the camera body far more often. I've heard that you can assign this function to the set button but the times I've rented one I could never figure out how.

If you can figure out how to re-assign this function, operation becomes very simple - one hand on the lens, one on the body. Index finger sits on the top wheel to adjust shutter speed and ISO (you'll quickly get used to finding the ridged ISO button without looking), while your right thumb hovers over the record button, aperture wheel and zoom button. Practice makes perfect though!

Jon Fairhurst May 1st, 2013 10:54 AM

Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?
 
Alex,

You're exactly on the right track. Study photography, whether from a class, books, the web, friends, whatever. The 5D3 is one of the great DSLRs, so learning to understand it from a photography perspective will help you appreciate its design.

I also recommend that you get a 50/1.8 lens (it's cheap!), if not a 50/1.4. My first lens on the 5D2 was an f/4-5.6 zoom and I quickly learned that I much preferred fast primes. For only a small additional cost, you'll then be able to experience both worlds. (Just be aware that the focus ring on the EF 50/1.8 is as bad as there is. There are much better, though more expensive, options.)

You mention that a monopod wouldn't be stable enough, even though you have an IS lens. One thing to consider is context and object tracking. Regarding context, one might not always want a totally stable shot. Robert Zemeckis is known to label camera shake in the script with numbers from 1-10, depending on the feel of the scene. Regarding object tracking, when shooting a static scene, like a statue in a park, every micro-vibration is noticeable and annoying. Track a runner in that same park and a monopod will seem as stable as can be. It's a common mistake to shoot a static scene in one's home for a test and to make decisions from that. If your target footage is of people, do your tests with people in typical scenes.

I've shot standing interviews with tripods and monopods. The monopod gives a feel that there is a human behind the camera, but the shake isn't bad or annoying. I like it at a tradeshow as it gives the feel that "we went to the tradeshow", as compared to "here is a marketing presentation". In drama, a bit of camera movement adds tension and a feeling that the actor isn't alone. But there's a reason that people rent Fisher dollies for Hollywood work. When you want super-smooth motion in a relatively static scene, it really does need to be as close to perfect as possible.

Mark Von Lanken May 2nd, 2013 05:15 PM

Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by John Wiley (Post 1793556)
One of the hardest things I find when using the mkIII compared to the the mkII or 7D or 60D (or any other Canon DSLR) is that they changed the button for focus assist zoom from the AF point buttons which sit right under your thumb on the other cameras, to the playback zoom button, located on the left hand side of the camera. This means operation of mkIII is a lot harder and requires a second hand on the camera body far more often. I've heard that you can assign this function to the set button but the times I've rented one I could never figure out how.

If you can figure out how to re-assign this function, operation becomes very simple - one hand on the lens, one on the body. Index finger sits on the top wheel to adjust shutter speed and ISO (you'll quickly get used to finding the ridged ISO button without looking), while your right thumb hovers over the record button, aperture wheel and zoom button. Practice makes perfect though!

I totally agree. It only makes sense to focus assist on the right side to shoot video...but remember, they keep telling us this is a still camera that just happens to shoot video as well. ;-)

In the menu, select the orange camera icon, between the wrench and star. At the bottom of the second screen is Custom Controls. Hit SET and in the second column you will see SET. Select SET and choose the magnifying glass. Now you can focus with your left hand while using focus assist on your right hand. I just wish this feature worked with Magic Lantern. ML still requires the magnifier on the left side, but at least with ML you can use a zoom in feature while recording.

Bill Zens June 27th, 2013 09:57 AM

Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?
 
Filters? Audio?
Thanks for starting this thread; it has been very helpful to me, and is re-shaping what I have been thinking is necessary.
What about filters, or filter sets. I am currently looking at a ND set of 1.2, 3, 6, and 9, and a UV filter. How necessary is a Polarizer?
For Audio, I am looking at ta Zoom H4n, or the Tascan D60. I like the Tascan because of the way it "fits" the 5dIII, but like the Mic setup on the Zoom.
I am looking at buying by this weekend so any responses are helpful.

Markus Nord June 27th, 2013 11:33 AM

Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?
 
Get a variable ND filter with 82mm size and then use step rings. That size will fit most lenses you will be using.
Zoom is out with a new recorder, I think it's called H6 and you can mount different mics to the recorder. It looks nice (don't know how good it is).

Jon Fairhurst June 27th, 2013 12:44 PM

Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?
 
A polarizer is great when shooting around glass when you want to ditch the reflections. It can make the sky more dramatic, but the effect isn't uniform with wide lenses. You can also use a polarizer as a faux ND.

UV filters are nice to have per lens, simply as a protection device. When stopping down for that money shot, I'll often remove the UV filter to have one less piece of glass in the stack.

Regarding ND filters, the low ISO range of the 5D (2 or 3) is so good that I start with an ND 0.9 and don't bother with 1 or 2 stop filters. You can use a polarizer for about 2 stops, except in the rare case that polarization harms the shot. An additional 1.2 or 1.8 ND is handy if you do timelapse photography. That allows you to shoot very long shutter times to get the classic 180 degree motion blur, rather than stutter motion.

Another consideration is diffusion. I use a Glimmerglass 1 for a very subtle effect. GG3 is a bit too severe for my tastes. GG2 is only available in a 4x4 format. It's nice for adding a bit of dreaminess and making people look attractive. You can also add diffusion in post, but when you know that it's right for the shot, it's easy to add.

Finally, if you shoot B&W, a yellow, orange, or red filter can give you a classic, vintage look. On the 5D2, there are digital filters, but there's a problem with the pixel order for monochrome video in that cam. Maybe the 5D3 does it right. Either way, filtering before the lens limits the spectrum and reduces chromatic aberration. Recording monochrome gives far superior results compared to filtering the color in post. (All the bits go to luma. It's all at the full 4:x:x sample rate. Filtering chroma back into your image would mean mixing low bandwidth x:2:0 data back into the scene.)

The minimum kit, for me, is the ND 0.9 and circular polarizer. They solve common problems of too much light and reflections. I keep the UV filters on at (almost) all times. I like having the GG1 filter, but could do this in post. I can use the GG3 filter if I ever want an intentional, angelic bloom from a backlight. My color filters are specialty items for B&W only.

For NDs I'd either go for the small fixed set (like 0.9 & 1.2 or 1.8) + polarizer or a variable ND, if you want quick setups and run & gun. I wouldn't get a finely spaced fixed set.

Rhea Gavry October 2nd, 2013 02:40 PM

Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?
 
Thank you for the Kudos on the Dougmon System! We would love to have more DSLR users try the Dougmon - even with the suit and tie :) The arm is actually made to adjust from bare arms to artic wear so would have fit, and with the sling you could have raised it up and fit to your eye with a view finder back as well. We offer the Dougmon for a 30 day trial and you get your money back if not fully satisfied with the return of the system in new condition. Also have dropped the price. B&H has it in stock! Thanks again.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst (Post 1792699)
...and then there's the Dougmon. Dougmon Camera Support System

I met Doug at NAB and he loaned us their stabilizer for a day. It includes a sling so it can do the belt mode. It extends the mass, so it can be used in a SteadyTracker kind of mode. It can also flip upside down so you can "walk the dog". It does something the monopod can't: it provides a handle and forearm support for shooting from the belt.

My son really liked it - especially the forearm method. Adjustment is super fast. Doug would put it on and as fast as you say "one, two, three" he would have the three adjustments done. (True!) Doug uses it for reality show shooting.

It wasn't as ideal for me. I had the following personal shortcomings at NAB:
* Wearing a sport coat, reading glasses, lanyard and badge - and a bit claustrophobic
* Old eyes that don't close focus
* A bad back
* Tall
* My 5D2 lacks a fold-out screen

With the sport coat and junk, the sling was a bit too much. Also, it didn't allow me to put the forearm piece on quickly or comfortably. And with bad eyes and no foldout screen, the forearm method wasn't right for me. I reallly depend on a loupe! And because I'm tall, I wasn't able to extend the unit with sling quite long enough to be fully comfortable. And if I'm not standing up straight, my back hurts.

But the problems were mainly due to my shortcomings and the lack of a foldout screen. In a t-shirt, thermals, or a dress shirt (as my son wore), it would have been a completely different experience. And oh I wish my eyes were 20 years younger!

Compared to a monopod, the advantage of the Dougmon is that it adjusts to a variety of configurations and angles super fast and it offers the forearm setup for waist level shooting. The advantage of the monopod is that it can stand on the floor for semi-static shots. If you want more movement and more angles, the Dougmon and a camera with a foldout screen are the way to go. For a straighter shooting method with your eye on the loupe, the monopod is my preferred solution.

As always, know your goals and choose your weapons to fit. :)


Jerry Mennenga October 23rd, 2013 06:38 PM

Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?
 
I have a 5D MarkIII and a c100. I like using the 24-105 because it has a nice range. But I also have a 28 f/1.8 and an 85 f/1.8 primes that I shot with. The 28 is wide enough and the 85 makes for nice interviews. At times I will use a zoom 4hn and do sound slides or marry the sound up video via Plural Eyes.

Jerry

Ger Griffin October 24th, 2013 05:03 PM

Re: 5D Mark iii Accessories - which are essential?
 
Anyone using 5D3 for pro work should avail of the clean HDMI out to get a backup recording of what they are doing. The extra bulk could be worth it some day. If you must run a hdmi cable from the camera to to a ninja or a blackmagic shuttle in your pocket. Ive attached my ninja with a camera flash bracket and its fine. The monitor on it is good for zebras. A bit heavy after a while but I always have a monopod nearby (on my back like a sword).


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