I am not that experience, but I have the passion to want to learn. When making this big of a purchase, I was really struggling, whether to get a 5D Mark 3 or 6D or 7D II or A7s. I looked at reviews about these cameras and asked the POTN peeps to guide me in my decision. And, I went out to my local camera shop to try them out with some glass. When taking it out for wildlife and street photography, it seemed like the A7s and 6D was better for portability wise. While when I took the 5D Mark 3 and 7D II, it felt a lot of robust and confidence when aiming for my shots. Both the 7D II and 5D Mark 3 was accurate and very quick in responsive. So, after a week of using talking with other photographers and local film makers, I narrowed my selection between the 5D mark 3, 7DII, and A7s. I had to sell my t3i to off-set some of the cost of my new camera body and before my trip to Hong Kong. I was looking at my photos that I had taken and looking at each body side by side trying to feel what I liked about each one of them. In addition, my girlfriend was also in the market for a new camera since she wanted to upgrade from her t2i. So, I let her play around with the cameras that I thought were great contenders for a few days. (Not trying to hate on Nikon, but when I was looking at the photo and when I tried a d810 and d4s, it seems very artificial color not like the actual colors.) I narrowed my selections down to 5D Mark 3 and A7s and my girlfriend agreed with me. Unfortunately, I had to fly to Hong Kong. But, while I was flying I was deciding, which would make me the most content. So, I asked around a few shops in the local areas and I asked a few Hong Kong photographers. I decided to pick up a 5D Mark 3 and my girlfriend wanted the same thing. So, we were enjoying our new cameras and taking lots of pictures in Hong Kong and Macau. Unfortunately, two days later my girlfriend felt like the camera was too heavy for her to carry on her own. So, I sold the 5D Mark 3 when I got back to the states and bought her an A7s with an EF mount.
Here is my actual review, sorry for the long background.
Overall, the build top notch. Going from a poly carbonated body to a magnesium body is totally different. I felt like I need to work out a bit more on my wrist to hold it up. The feeling of the 5D Mark 3 is fantastic whether is the push of the button change the iso or scrolling to change the stops, it all felt like it was hand crafted for enthusiast that wanted to refine their technique and wanted a game that felt like it would last you a lifetime. In addition, I liked the mechanical sound when the shutter clicks, it sounds very much like hearing a short shift clutch on a manual car. It just felt right in the hands when shooting photos.
Back then when I took my t3i and I went everywhere to "capture the moment" or shooting around places, I love my t3i. It was great when it came to nature, street photography, and portraits at times. But not at sport; however, it gave me more of a lot of creative ways to get the right timing my shots when it came to sports. After a few years of using my t3i, I thought, I might need an upgrade, so I asked a friend to let me see his new camera. So I tried out his 6D with his lenses. When I transfer over to look at the files, it looks amazing. I can crop the photo to where I wanted instead of taking multiple shot to find the right place. Testing out the different cameras and playing around with different apertures and iso settings made it slowly clearer what my heart wanted in the end. So when I traveled to Hong Kong and bought my 5D Mark, I was in love with it came out the pictures came out great. Whether, I took it out in the street of San Francisco, Hong Kong, and Macau or when I go up in the Berkeley Hills or Santa Cruz. I always can capture the moment that I wanted without much hassle or think too much if I got the shot. It is one hell of a camera and I do not regret buying it.
• The amazing build quality
• No hindering of performance, still a great camera even today (2015)
• Weather sealing really helps when you needed.
• Well worth your money in the long run.
• Dual card slot
• The weight is a issue.
• The cost is a lot to take in when planning to purchase the camera.
• You might want a lighter camera when you do not need it or want to travel light.
• Sony A7s
Do not get me wrong the A7s is an amazing camera and I love using it when I do not need to carry my camera when it comes to like social gatherings or when I do not need to bring my camera along. My girlfriend loves taking photos with it, but sometimes she still uses my 5D Mark 3 when she feels like it. The A7s compared to my 5D Mark 3 is not going to convince me to convert myself to mirror-less, how tempting it is to change over and have the same lenses on my A7s. I still feel like the 5D Mark 3 is something I must learn and master. The A7s is not easy to take pictures with, but it is fast and easy to capture wildlife and much more convenient on camping trips. But I feel like, when I am holding the A7s, that I am following this new trend or bandwagon with the new kids instead of following my roots with mirrored camera. It is still first generation and I think mirror-less would be a great addition to any camera enthusiast camera collection.
• Canon 6D
For people that are having a hard time with this decision. It is very subjective and the 6D gives you a glimpse of what the professional cameras can offer. In my personal opinion, I disregarded this camera, because it is like a new car. What I mean by that is that with all of these bells and whistles ( GPS, Wif), Canon is using these for more average consumers appeal instead of a more "getting to the point" camera that focus fast, multiple points, weather sealing, etc. The 5D Mark 3, I feel like it is the last camera before the next generation of cameras. I am a simple kind of guy, as long as the features fit what I need then the camera justifies me spending the money to get it. I thought hard and long about whether or not these features would benefit me. The 6D is right in the middle of what professional had for years and what the newer generation want in a camera. Get the 6D if you do not mind not having dual card slots, weather sealing, dual sensors, and more focus points. Get the 5D Mark 3, if you do not need wifi, gps, and only having 1 cross focus point. However, the 6D does have a better low light performance compare to the 5D Mark 3, but to me that did not matter much, because I can work for my shot to get similar results. You cannot go wrong with either one; it is whatever you feel more comfortable with.
In the end
Overall, the 5D Mark 3 is the camera for me, because it does everything that I want and it makes me want improve the way that I want my shots to be. The build quality is superb and very pleasing to feel in my hands. It does take a little more effort to get use to the camera and adjusting the right settings for different scenarios. It is very versatile in most situations; expect in large crowd situation, you cannot hold it properly with all of its beastly weight. That is where I would use an A7s to these kinds of social activities. In conclusion, if you have the money to buy this camera, I would highly recommend it. And pick up a few lenses that would accommodate it, if you are coming from a crop sensor camera or mirror-less or compact camera. I love this camera and I do not have any regrets buying it. This camera is going to last me many years of memories. I hope if you do pick one up that you also can have great photos with this camera.
I hope this review help you with your decision.
Fill feel to leave comments if I left anything out or PM for question regarding the camera.