Yesterday (and for the final time this year) I was the wedding photographer at Penshurst Place to photograph the wedding of Nikki and Mark. It must have been a strange one for Nikki in particular, as she works there as part of the Banqueting & Events team, normally overseeing everything to do with other people’s weddings. On this day, the boot was on the other foot.
For me, I’d been really looking forward to the wedding not only because I know Nikki from Penshurst Place and we normally see each other while working on other weddings, but also it was going to be a great test for my new camera. With it being a late Autumn/early Winter wedding with low light levels, I’d be able to give my new Canon 5DmkIII a proper run out. In the guise of my alter ego The Dog Snapper, I’d carried out extensive testing in the previous week, mainly using my dog Barney as the model while he whizzed about in the woods (a good place to replicate the low light levels).
For the past three years, I’ve had two Canon 5DmkIIs which I use together at every wedding I photograph. I’d got to a point where I’d found a camera that produced lovely, large, punchy images and was full frame so I could shoot with no magnification on the prime lenses. The individual files the mkII produced were spot on. However, I think Canon have come up with some improvements that warranted the upgrade. For me personally, the 5DmkIII has three significant improvements/features that were lacking in the mkIIs. Firstly, there’s a vastly improved 61 point auto focus system. The mkII’s AF was a tad ropey and I really noticed the difference yesterday. Secondly, for me, the ability to get around three more stops of light out of the new camera is going to make my life a lot easier. If I can help it, I don’t normally go over ISO 3200 with the mkII but would happily go to ISO 16000 or even ISO 25600 at a push if needed with the mkIII (as in the image below from before the ceremony). The ability to go into very dark rooms and still shoot available light with good prime lenses wide open and still produce stunningly sharp, punchy images is a fantastic feature to have. Anyone that’s worked in the cavernous Baron’s Hall at Penshurst Place will know it’s not the lightest room to work in, even in Summer. Yesterday’s 4pm ceremony in the Baron’s Hall was lit mostly by a lovely, cosy, centrally-located open fire with the guests gathered round and a few wall uplighters and candles. The last improvement that I’m going to really appreciate is the facility to shoot in silent mode. It really does dampen the click of the shutter which is great news for photographing quiet ceremonies and remaining unobtrusive. Of course, there are lots of other features on the 5DmkIII that will be appreciated, e.g. better build quality and waterproofing, better grip, dual card shooting, 6 frames/sec shooting, etc etc but for now I’m happy to crow about the three main points mentioned here.
They’ll be more to come from Nikki and Mark’s wedding once I’ve done the main edit but a few more have been put up on my Facebook Page.