Chris Crisman Photography

Tech Post: Canon 5D Mark III, 5Ds, and PhaseOne IQ160 Head-to-Head

crisman_5Ds

Hi everyone!

So we just recently received a new Canon 5Ds. It’s been a long wait since we pre-ordered, but it’s finally here so we decided to see how it looked side by side with our trusty 5D Mark III and our somewhat finicky IQ 160 Phase One back. Below are some comparisons of Chris’ pearly blues from ISO ranges 100-800.

This is just our quick look at the cameras side by side to get a idea of what the new canon is all about. It’s by no means an in depth technical review… We’re not exactly the most technical photo crew on the planet and we’re not hoping to be so either.

What we’ve noticed between the cameras is that the 5Ds files have a bit more contrast than the 5D3. The 5D3 handles higher ISO’s a little better than the 5Ds but that was expected with the cramming of more pixels into the sensor. The 5Ds is very close in sharpness to the IQ160 but we feel the IQ160 beats it just barely. In terms of ISO, the IQ160 is really not great above ISO 200, and even though we rarely shoot above 800, the 5Ds will be able to cover us in that department as well as having an actually functioning auto focus system.

I’m sorry medium format cameras, but you guys just cant keep up against massive multi-point AF arrays. I can see us moving away from the IQ160 for these reasons alone, but then again it could open the door for buying an even larger medium format back in the future.

Take a look at the images below.  We’d love to hear your take on all of this as well – let us know in the comments!

-Jared

Click the images to see them at 100%.

ISO 100 test between Canon 5d Mark III, Canon 5DS, and PhaseOne IQ160.

ISO 100 test between Canon 5d Mark III, Canon 5DS, and PhaseOne IQ160.

ISO 200 test between Canon 5d Mark III, Canon 5DS, and PhaseOne IQ160.

ISO 200 test between Canon 5d Mark III, Canon 5DS, and PhaseOne IQ160.

ISO 400 test between Canon 5d Mark III, Canon 5DS, and PhaseOne IQ160.

ISO 400 test between Canon 5d Mark III, Canon 5DS, and PhaseOne IQ160.

ISO 800 test between Canon 5d Mark III, Canon 5DS, and PhaseOne IQ160.

ISO 800 test between Canon 5d Mark III, Canon 5DS, and PhaseOne IQ160.

16 comments
  1. Leigh Smith says: June 16, 20152:25 pm

    No mention of dynamic range, which the IQ160 definitely wins with.

  2. frederick says: June 16, 20154:56 pm

    I love that you are honest about not wanting to be hardware zin masters. It makes your insight all that much more useful. The facts, as you see them, are clear. However, what readers like me want to know is how these facts will change what is in the equipment cabinet of a studio like yours.

    “the 5Ds will be able to cover us in that department as well as having an actually functioning auto focus system.” causes me to think you are going to be happy clams if you have the 5Ds and maybe keep the PhaseOne as a stand in for those high synch speed, outside shoots that the Canon can’t cover.

    Feel about right?

  3. Robert Luessen says: June 16, 20155:01 pm

    Hey Frederick,

    Your response is on point. We’ll keep the Phase system for when we need it.

    thanks!
    -robert

  4. Robert Luessen says: June 16, 20155:03 pm

    Hey Leigh,

    Definitely true that the IQ160 has a few more stops of dynamic range than any 35mm equivalent. Specific to our situation and the way Chris shoots, we’re almost always in control (via lighting or exposure bracketing etc) of what dynamic range we capture.

    -robert

  5. Natalie says: June 16, 20156:14 pm

    curious — which lenses did you use?

  6. Sorry may I am wrong, but can you tell me the different positions and size of the reflection of softbox in the eye , from Phase One and 5Ds , in all cases ? says: June 16, 201511:36 pm
  7. Peter Karp says: June 17, 20159:23 am

    Aside from the differences between the 5Ds and 5D Mklll, it is interesting to note how much warmer the IQ 160 files are. I am invariably often having to warm up the Canon files, being so red, particularly with men’s skin tones.

  8. Robert Luessen says: June 17, 201510:08 am

    Hi Natalie,
    We used the 24-70 2.8 II @ 50mm for the canons and the HC 50-110 @ 75mm for the Hasselblad/IQ160 combo.

  9. Robert Luessen says: June 17, 201510:09 am

    Yes, Peter that’s definitely the case. The Canon files have much more red in the skin tones compared to the IQ160 files.

  10. Robert Luessen says: June 17, 201510:12 am

    Hi! We used a Chimera XS softbox with a grid about 30 degrees to right of camera. It was positioned about two feet away and one foot above subject.

  11. Action Shots says: June 17, 20152:57 pm

    I’m curious why you guys care about autofocus… Looking at most of the work it seems like background plates with people shot in the studio composited in. And the all location stuff is pretty “low activity” (I.e people standing and posing). Not much need for AF there… Maybe all that’s needed are some new glasses.

  12. Robert Luessen says: June 17, 20153:09 pm

    Hey Action Shots!
    Yes a lot of our work is how you described but not all of it. Have you ever used the auto focus on the Hasselblad system? It’s horrendous.

  13. Action Shots says: June 17, 20153:45 pm

    I’ll do you one better… My main system is a Contax 645. But that’s irrelevant since I never use AF on any of my cameras, even my backup cameras (which is a Sony A7R now but has always been the “latest” Canon until recently)

  14. Action Shots says: June 17, 20153:51 pm

    Sorry, accidentally tapped submit…

    I shoot mostly people who stand around posing as well. Hell, I’ve even shot action cyclists and running with Contax+Phase all manual focus. It’s not fun, but it’s doable. I guess I don’t see the need to base gear choices on features that don’t get used too often, even though they are far superior.

    Give me a big slow medium format camera any day.

  15. Doug says: July 2, 201510:35 pm

    The skin tones in the P1 are so much better in every example. All the Canon files I’ve ever seen seem to skew super red.

  16. skt says: September 7, 201511:40 am

    wow nice creation.

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