|Comparing the Canon
5DmkIII with the 1DmkIV
As you will have gathered by my first article, I have long been
concerned about the harshness of the mirrorslap on modern cameras,
particularly my Canon 1 series which produces easily felt vibration.
It is generally accepted wisdom that when shooting around 1/10 sec
on a tripod with a cable release you need to use mirror lock up.
I now feel that MLU is beneficial from as high as 1/60th sec.
Having now added the 5D mkIII to my arsenal, it occured to me
that the vibration seems much reduced and in the 3fps and single
shot "silent shooting modes" it feels virtually non-existent.
I wondered if this would be the case if put to the test.
I used a banknote as a target, 300mm f2.8 lens, gitzo tripod,
cable release and zero noise reduction or sharpening in ACR where
I processed all RAWs in a batch conversion. I moved the tripod
back a bit for the 1D4 to compensate for the crop factor. I shot
the 5D3 normally, in silent mode and with MLU and the 1D4 just
normally and with MLU.(I didn't include the MLU results in the
100% crop results below as they were all identical and the same
as the cameras shooting at 1/250 sec.)
The results are best viewed at a larger size than I can reproduce
on this web page, so please click
here to see the larger view.
The 1D4 was clearly showing signs of image softening by 1/60 sec,
so when shooting below 1/125 sec I would not shoot without using
The 5D3 is also showing a little degradation by 1/60 but not to
the same extent as the 1D4,and once below 1/15 sec, the vibration
has pretty well become benign again, unlike the 1D4 that is still
soft at 1/8 sec.
However, with the 5D3 shooting in Silent mode there is negligible
mirrorslap at any shutterspeed ! From these results,
using MLU (or liveview) on the 5D3 appears to be pretty well unnecessary
for reasons of vibration control.
Shooting with a tripod and cable release is different to shooting
handheld or when gripping the camera/lens on a tripod as the hands
will absorb vibration, so I am not suggesting that you cannot
shoot the 1DIV without having to resort to MLU at less than 1/125
sec under those circumstances.
Finally, the 1DIV can also shoot single frames in silent mode
(but not a burst like the 5D3) and I later tested this as before
but unfortuntely it did not improve the mirror slap vibration
at all despite the reduced shutter noise.
The 5D mkIII in 3fps Silent mode has a distinct benefit. Provided
that the full frame rate of 6 fps is not required, 5D mkIII users
can enjoy shooting very quietly at 3fps with the knowledge that
they can totally disregard mirror slap as something that softens
images at low shutterspeeds.