James, I'm using this active USB extention in addition to the cable supplied with the MKIII. No problems and the speed is exactly the same as using only the factory supplied cable.
I use DSLR remote pro as the frontend and then set a hot folder in either Capture One V4, or Lihgtroom. I prefer C1.
DSLR remote pro can be used as a standalone as it delivers a full screen preview. Speed is 4 seconds from shutter close to high res preview in DSLR remote and add 2 more seconds to get the preview in C1 or LR.
Since I shoot mainly static objects I have no clue about the buffer depth....I'm going into the shop today and I'll check it out.
I have to admit I'm not too wild about diving into the windows world just to tether a camera.
We can work it and keep a PC for checking downloads to certain clients in Asia, but overall it's not something anyone in my studio is expert at, or really plans to be, but if I could tether a MarkIII quickly and with stability, then I'd load it and try it.
It's interesting, that the mfd backs do not produce a useable jpeg for preview and for web galleries.
I think it's kind of funny. On one older laptop I have a screen saver which has images from a shoot I did years ago in all kind of mixed light, window, daylight, tungsten shot with the 1ds and these are just jpegs out of camera. The color and tone is stunning and way better than any contact sheet I previously provided in the film days. That type of workflow took hours instead of days and at the time made digital capture easy, even compared to film.
Now I shoot so much with mfd backs we know that we are starring at a lot of work on the backend, just to get the first set of web gallleries up.
I don't plan on selling my phase backs and buying only Mark III's but in all honesty the one thing that kept me from this is the tethering of a dslr. I really hate tethering the MKII and when the III came out the idea of USB just made no sense to me.
I know that backend software for medium format has gotten better and even faster, but I've asked a lot of people in the medium format business why the backs won't/can't produce a good jpeg and never received an answer I understand.
I won't deny that in some ways medium format really is a professional way to work, but in other ways it's almost a full time job keeping up with it, especially when they change software.
I love it when I'm traveling and in some studio next to me a photographer is shooting away with a Canon and if you talk and ask him/her about the camera, the post work the response is usually, "huh, I don't know, we just make a web gallery or the tech gives the client a disk of jpegs".
In other words there knowledge of digital is limited, but on the other hand they are also not burden with the thought of driver updates, software changes processing times, etc. etc.
Now me and my studios business model is obviously different as I have over 60 something (probably a lot more) terabytes of data stored for my clients that we manage the images, the retouching, down to the final delivery and most of that will not go away just because I change cameras, though it would be great if the lcd on a medium format back match the computer and the back produced a large enough jpeg to get to a web gallery without any processing.
I've said this for years, but if a camera maker really wants to understand what we do, don't just come to the set and look at the computer, come into the hotel room our our studios at midnight and watch us crunch out jpegs.
Better yet, come on set when there are about 9 clients and watch the requests and comments, like
"does that image have moire (no it's the preview), does that skin tone match the other girl (no but we will adjust it in post), can you put selects from the last 4 sessions online now because we have a designer that needs to drop them into the layout (yes, but it will take us a few minutes to process, correct etc.).
There are a lot of advantages to using a medium format back, frame dimensions, recovering exposure, detail and up to now the ability to tether with stability.
Still, I'm not unique that at this stage in my career I like a lot of other photographers are closed to being overburdened not just with digital capture, but with the work in general and anything that saves hours, or days is worth looking at.
When I step back and look at all of this my love is not digital imaging, my love is the photograph, my reasoning is to move forward and produce a profit.
Cameras, lenses, computers are all just a means to an end.
All of us examine these files in microscopic detail and a lot of us have just learned to accept the workflow and effort that is handed us, but once again when I look back at the ease of working with the first 1ds, it makes me wonder sometimes if we've really come that far forward in 5 years.