The Canon 5D Mark III turns 10 this month and Lensrentals is celebrating the anniversary by comparing the classic Canon DSLR against a modern, top-of-the-line camera to see just how far cameras have come in the last decade. The competition? The Fujifilm GFX 100S.
There's no question which camera is better. New cameras come out with better image sensors, faster shooting speeds and more powerful chips every year. The GFX 100S ticks all these boxes and then some. However, is performance really that important? Does the GFX 100S, with its larger 102MP sensor, phase-detection autofocus, in-body image stabilization and other advantages make you a better photographer? Further, without pixel peeping, can you even tell the difference?
Photographer Zach Sutton captured five different photos with the Canon 5D Mark III and the Fujifilm GFX 100S. The question is, 'Can you really tell the difference between the state-of-the-art camera, to a ten-year-old system?' Each Canon 5D Mark III photo was captured using a Canon 100mm F2.8L Macro IS lens, and each GFX 100S shot was captured with a Fujinon GF 120mm F4 IS Macro. The images were retouched and edited in Capture One Pro and Adobe Photoshop.

Which image was shot with the Canon 5D Mark III and which was shot with the GFX 100S? Image credit: Zach Sutton

You can see a couple of the photos in this article, but if you want to take the quiz, you've got to head over to Lensrentals. It's a fun game. Obviously, you could easily tell the difference when viewing full-size files – the difference in resolution would be immediately apparently. However, that's not how most people view photos. It's certainly not how anyone aside from the photographer sees their work. If you're presenting your work on the web, is 10 years of camera technology progress immediately noticeable?
The quiz is tricky. As of a couple of days ago, 39 people had taken the quiz, and nobody had scored 100%. While that's likely changed by now, the average score at that time was right around 50%. Might as well flip a coin. Zach Sutton commented, 'I always tell people to find the weakest link in your workflow chain and upgrade that first. For some people it's lenses, some it's lighting, for others it's monitors. But it's almost never the camera - especially if you're using something from the last few years.'

Can you pick out the 'modern' shot? Image credit: Zach Sutton

It's great advice. There are many parts to a photographer's workflow and most cameras, even if they are as old as the Canon 5D Mark III, are very good. Have we reached the point of diminishing returns with image quality? Maybe. However, there are many ways cameras continually improve in meaningful ways beyond image quality. There's also no doubt that optical quality has also improved dramatically.
Sutton made some interesting observations when working with the Canon 5D Mark III alongside his GFX 100S. To read about what he found, head over to Lensrentals. And if you decided to take the quiz, let us know how you did in the comments below.

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