Kristof, a friend, showed me his 5D MkIII today.  All good – a 7D with all its advantages including functional focus, plus a lot of 1-series features, like double memory cards and great high ISO performance.

The User Interface was not quite as good as in the 7D – it has been “improved” (i.e. dumbed down) to the point that in some cases, it makes little sense. The nice “small wheel for left/right, large wheel for up/down” navigation is now replaced with multiple menus within each menu, meaning the user base will now find Canon menus as confusing as they do the Nikon menus. Also, some UI features are ridiculous – like the remote flash setting, which is only recognizable by the word “OFF” – until you turn it on, the camera does not mention what exactly it is that is “off”. Who makes these poor design decisions? A committee, I dare say!

But overall the camera is great. Except mainly for things you can change – like some of the default settings, which are, just like on the 7D, wrong. Like default “fix bad photos dynamic range” settings which are ON; focus point setting by joystick which defaults to OFF, and a few others.

In a future article I will give you all the settings you should change from the default to a better setting.

For now, for a starter, find the custom interface settings via the Quick menu and set the default meaning of the joystick while shooting from nothing (OFF) to “Change focus point”. That way you can quickly move the focus point just by using the joystick alone, without first having to press other buttons.

Now I start saving for a 5D3 – it is usable as a pro camera now. It misses some 1-series features, of course, but enough is there to make it a viable contender.

More soon!