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The 5D Mark III is aimed at the semi-pro and professional photographers who desire a lightweight, weather-proof construction, outstanding image quality and impressive levels of speed. A newly designed 22.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor and powerful DIGIC 5+ processor deliver rich, full-resolution images at a lightning fast frame rate of 6fps, whilst the 61-point AF system (41 cross-types) and an expandable ISO range from 50-102,400 ensure both static and fast moving subjects can be captured, even in dimly lit environments. In addition to the above, the 5D Mark III can also record Full HD 1080p movies with stereo sound, which can be monitored via the 3.5mm mic and headphone socket. More
- I am a full time professional wedding photographer. I shoot with a combination of cameras, notably the Fuji X-Pro1 and the 5D range of cameras from Canon. The 5D2 was the first full frame body I owned and I ended up working my way through three of them. So, when the 5D3 was announced I was really quite excited about it.
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We caught up with David Parry at Focus 2012 to find out a little more on the Canon 5D Mark III.
22.3 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor
The EOS 5D Mark III features a newly developed Canon full-frame 22.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor that's designed from the ground up to create high resolution, perfectly detailed images with unprecedented speed and clarity. Colours are bright but natural, and fine detail is preserved even in dark shadow areas and bright highlights.
A full 24 x 36mm, the sensor captures 5784 x 3861 large individual 6.25 µm pixels and has a much-improved S/N ratio resulting in better images from the start. A new photodiode structure with an increased photoelectric conversion rate increases the sensor's sensitivity by approximately 2 stops over previous models, meaning higher ISOs with the lowest noise of any EOS digital camera. And a 2-line 8-channel simultaneous signal readout means speeds of up to 6.0 fps (RAW + JPEG) are possible.
14-bit A/D conversion, wide range ISO setting 100-25600 (L: 50, H1: 51200, H2: 102400)
The EOS 5D Mark III not only offers 14-bit signal processing for excellent image gradation, it delivers higher standard and expanded ISOs, and a score of new options to enhance shooting in varied and fast-changing lighting situations. With a standard range of ISO 100-25600, the EOS 5D Mark III represents a 2-stop increase in sensitivity over previous cameras.
The EOS 5D Mark III delivers superb picture quality whatever the lighting conditions. Keep shooting hand-held even after the sun goes down, thanks to an ISO 100–25,600 sensitivity range (extendable to ISO 102,400). Beyond the obvious advantages of its wide ISO range, the EOS 5D Mark III has automatic ISO settings, found on the dedicated ISO menu. Minimum and maximum ISO settings can be specified, as can a user-defined range, plus full auto and manual.
DIGIC 5+ Image Processor for enhanced noise reduction and blazing processing speed
For a whole new level of performance, the EOS 5D Mark III uses a DIGIC 5+ Image Processor. Working with two 4-channel A/D converter front-end processing circuits, and delivering speeds of up to 6.0 fps (RAW + JPEG), and the DIGIC 5+ Image Processor improves data processing performance and features new algorithms that promote greater noise reduction at higher ISOs. In addition to conventional image processing functions the DIGIC 5+ Image Processor offers real-time compensation for chromatic aberration in both still and motion images. With the power of this processor, speed improvements are noticeable from the instant the camera is turned on and the stunning results speak for themselves.
61-point wide-area autofocus
Focus quickly and accurately, even on off-centre subjects, with a 61 point wide-area autofocus system. 41 cross-type points (five of which are extra sensitive double-cross type) ensure highly accurate tracking of moving objects.
The newly designed 61-Point High Density Reticular AF features an Offset Array Sensor (with staggering AF point arrangement) to deliver greater accuracy, no matter the situation. It offers multi-zone wide-area AF for better tracking, has 5 central dual cross-type points (f/2.8 diagonal), 21 central cross-type points (f/5.6 horizontal & vertical) and 20 outer cross-type points (f/4.0 horizontal), and is sensitive in extremely low-light situations (EV-2 for a central point with a f/2.8 lens). With the new firmware update installed, cross-type autofocusing with the center AF point is possible even when the maximum aperture of a Canon EF lens/extender combination becomes as small as f/8. If AF point expansion is selected with an f/8 maximum aperture lens/extender combination, the four AF points surrounding the center point will act as AF assist points. AF points above and below the center will be sensitive to vertical contrast, while points to the left and right will be sensitive to horizontal contrast.
The EOS 5D Mark III has a dedicated AF menu tab, so AF can be controlled without having to go through custom function menus. It also has 6 AF point selection methods (Spot, Single Point, Single + Adjacent 4 Points, Single + Adjacent 8 Points, Zone Selection, and Automatic AF Point Selection), plus a dedicated AF configuration tool for control of AI Servo AF III tracking parameters (tracking sensitivity, acceleration/deceleration tracking, and AF point auto switching.
iFCL Metering with 63-zone dual-layering metering sensor
The EOS 5D Mark III features Canon's multi-layer 63-zone iFCL (intelligent Focus Color Luminance) Metering System that integrates the cameras AF system into its readings. By taking into account the colour and luminosity surrounding the chosen AF point(s), this new system delivers an entirely new level of accuracy, especially in situations where the light changes quickly. The metering sensor enables evaluative, center weighted, partial and spot metering, plus offers 5-step exposure compensation for perfectly exposed images, every time.
Full-HD video with manual control
Enjoy high quality Full HD video at 1080p resolution. An uncompressed HDMI output allows recording of 1920x1080 footage at 8bits 4.2.2 to external recorders to suit different workflows. Use manual controls and Canon’s comprehensive EF lens range to achieve cinematic visual effects.
Addressing the requests of the pros and building on the unprecedented success of its namesake, the EOS 5D Mark III captures HD video with a level of sophistication on par with professional movie cameras offering phenomenal performance on a DSLR. It offers both All-I and IPB compression, supports H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile, and automatically splits files greater than 4GB (FAT specifications) for extended recording without interruption. It offers the option of timecoding during recording only (Rec Run) or at all times (Free Run), useful for multi-camera shoots.
Great quality sound
Give your video footage the soundtrack it deserves. The EOS 5D Mark III records digital stereo sound at 48KHz and offers manual control over audio level. A standard 3.5mm mic socket enables the use of third-party microphones; a headphone socket permits audio monitoring while recording.
High-Speed Continuous Shooting
Keep up with the action at 6fps, recording up to 16,270 continuous JPEG images to a UDMA mode 7 card in a single burst.
The EOS 5D Mark III combines fast 8-channel data readout from its 22.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor and the supercharged processing capabilities of its DIGIC 5+ Image Processor with a speedier shutter and mirror system to raise the performance bar for all digital cameras, capturing full-frame images and recording them fast to UDMA or SD cards stored in the camera's dual card slots. Ideal for fixed focus situations, the EOS 5D Mark III can shoot up to 6.0 fps (RAW + JPEG).
Built to go anywhere
For professionals who demand nothing less than the best, the EOS 5D Mark III is designed to perform superbly, even in the most treacherous environments, every time. The body is constructed of rigid, high-strength magnesium alloy for rugged performance and features a new grip design for easier finger placement and reduced hand fatigue. Its newly redesigned shutter has lightweight and carbon-fiber blades, and is rated to maintain up to 6.0 fps performance without compromise, for up to 150,000 cycles. The EOS 5D Mark III and accessories like the new Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7A and GPS Receiver GP-E2 have extensive gasketing for improved dust and water resistance, even at their connection points.
Self Cleaning Sensor Unit
The Self Cleaning Sensor Unit featured in the EOS 5D Mark II has been optimized for the new EOS 5D Mark III to deliver even greater dust removal for clearer images. To prevent dust accumulation, the system removes particles adhered to the surface of the infrared absorbing/ultraviolet-blocking glass in a frontward direction by vibrating the glass with ultrasound. The particles are then absorbed by an adsorbent at the bottom of the unit; the unit itself is completely sealed for protection against external contaminants, and its front face of the low-pass filter 1 is treated with an anti-dust fluorine coating making it easier to remove damp or sticky dust particles.
Intelligent Viewfinder with Superimposed LCD
The EOS 5D Mark III's Intelligent Viewfinder offers a sharp, bright approximately 100% field of view with an approximate magnification of .71x, a viewing angle of 34.1° and a 21mm eye-point. With a new construction featuring aspherical lens elements, the viewfinder displays less distortions and color aberrations than previous models. It uses a transparent LCD to superimpose a customizable combination of focus points and gridlines directly over the image. The AF status indicator can even be directed to display within or outside of the viewfinders image area. With the intelligent viewfinder, unlike with other cameras, the photographer has the choice of seeing shooting information or looking only at the scene in front of the camera. The ability to effectively erase all shooting data and turn it back on with the touch of a button gives the photographer the opportunity to concentrate simply on looking and composing the photograph without distraction, a great advantage in numerous shooting situations.
3.2" TFT LCD Monitor
The EOS 5D Mark III's 3.2" TFT LCD monitor has 1,040,000 dots, anti-reflective construction and features Canon's Clear View II technology for bright, sharp display in any number of shooting situations. It's ideal for reviewing settings and images, as well as for shooting in Live View mode. In Live View, grid lines can be displayed in 9 sections, 24 sections, or 9 sections with diagonals, as can the dual-axis electronic level, which helps ensure accurate level by displaying both roll and pitch. For image review, the EOS 5D Mark III has a new, dedicated Magnify/Reduce button. While pressing the button, zooming in or out (up to 10x) is achieved simply by turning the Main Dial. Images can be protected or erased quickly, individually or in batches, and slideshows can be created with some or all images and can be sequenced by date, folders, movies, stills or rating. A feature guide can be accessed for the selected menu, providing detailed reference information whenever needed.
New High Dynamic Range (HDR)
With its new High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode, the EOS 5D Mark III can merge 3 images of varying exposure, in camera, capturing a broad range of shadow and highlight detail and delivering an image with stunning tonal range. Adjustable to cover a range of ±3 stops, and with 5 different effect settings, HDR recording truly expands the parameters of the light and dark detail a camera can actually record, surprising viewers with the range of tones a photograph can accurately recreate.
Multiple Exposure Control
The EOS 5D Mark III offers a new multiple exposure mode for film-like image creation with the convenience of in-camera processing. It offers 4 different compositing methods for proper exposure and composition: additive, average, bright and dark. Multiple exposure shots can be taken in both RAW and JPEG shooting modes, previously captured RAW images can be used as a starting point, and cumulative results can be observed and corrected in real time on the camera's LCD screen. For multiple exposure captures of quickly moving subjects, the EOS 5D Mark III even has a specific continuous shooting multiple exposure mode.
Improved handling with addition of new customisable controls
Reconceived based on the experience and feedback of professional users, the EOS 5D Mark III's new ergonomic design is more comfortable and intuitive than ever. With a refined and intelligent layout of all control buttons and dials, shooting settings can be made with just the right hand, and quick image check and image processing operations with just the left. The grip has been redesigned for easy holding both when shooting and when carrying the camera. The rubber skin coating is designed for all day comfort in the hand, and coats the cameras card slot cover as well.
For added convenience, flexibility and limitless, uninterrupted storage capacity, the EOS 5D Mark III has dual card slots, accommodating both a Compact Flash and an SDXC card. It has three recording modes perfect for a diverse collection of workflows. When set to Auto switch media, the camera switches cards as soon as one card is filled, a perfect setting for long shoots. The camera can be set to record separately, saving different file sizes or types to each card. And for extra security, the camera can be set to create an automatic backup by recording the same file to both cards simultaneously.
The EOS 5D Mark III features a dual-axis electronic level indicator that displays both vertical and horizontal tilt on the LCD monitor either alone or during Live View shooting, and can also be displayed in the cameras intelligent viewfinder.
Without the Canon 600EX-RT flashgun (or E3-RT Transmitter) installed on the camera you can’t wirelessly control another flash. To control a slave from the 5D Mark III, or any other EOS camera for that matter, you will need a master of some sort on the hot shoe (either a 600EX-RT or a ST-E3). Full support of the 600EX with the 5D MK III means that you get full control of the flash using the LCD. And full support of AF assist – the 600EX has support for all the focus points of the 5D MK III. The 5D MK III does not feature a built-in flash.
The Canon Sample images can be found here on the Canon website.
Radball - Behind the scenes with the Canon EOS 5D MkIII
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(based on 134 reviews)
of respondents would recommend this to a friend.
Reviewed by 134 customers
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Really worth the money
About Me Semi-pro Photographer
Comments about Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera Body:
Easy to handle, great image quality and was well worth waiting to upgrade to
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
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By Jee Jay
About Me Pro Photographer
I bought this for my partner as a replacement for her 6D. It has to be one of the best upgrades I've ever made. The image quality is exceptional and the 61 point autofocus means you have no excuse for ever taking a shot that's not only in focus but focused on the spot you intend. Images are crystal clear colours and since we use only 'L' series lenses image sharpness is truly outstanding.It's light (even with a 70-200mm lens attached) and the controls are exactly where you would expect to locate them. All in all a perfect addition to the family!
Images shared by Jee Jay
The Palladian Bridge, Stowe Country Park
Tags: Made with Product
Top of the class...
By Front of House Photography
I will start with my one negative about the Mark III and that is it's age; the processor and features are starting to look a little dated. If you are shooting in RAW onto SD then you do not get much of a buffer and then a wait as it catches up, although you could just shoot onto CF and then it's not a problem. I upgraded from a 70D which admittedly had some 'novelty' features that I missed for about a week before realising that I really didn't need a swivel screen or built in wi-fi. When this is updated (ignoring the recent 5Ds/r) all these issues will probably be addressed and them some. So what was my main reason for upgrading? The quality of full frame is the most significant. I have no doubt that I can see the improved quality and detail in the images. It is obvious why this is a favourite of wedding photographers or portrait photographers. I am mainly using this for theatre photography which usually means low light/high contrast scenarios. This camera deals with them exceptionally well, I always judge on when I want black to look black and when next to someone in spotlight with a dark background that background is rendered very well. I have no fear shooting up to iso 3200 before worrying about noise, even up from that things are still perfectly usable.I love how full frame has returned my lenses back to the original sizes, I feel like I have got all my wide angles back! I haven't actually noticed a significant change in my 200mm either coming back from the 1.6x crop. This close to an assumed product upgrade is a risky time to buy but the part exchange and cash back options actually made the decision very easy. I have no doubt that this will be a workhorse camera for years to come and will not be disappointed if the next iteration has the novelty items of the rest of the product range.
Images shared by Front of House Photography
About Me Photo Enthusiast
I owned the 6D for 2 years and thought that was a fantastic camera that I was completely happy with but decided to part-ex at wex for a big holiday coming up. Apart from better focus which I was looking forward to, I wasn't expecting too much difference in the images to the 6D but I have to say I have been really impressed by what I have taken so far with the mk3. Depth and quality of colours and more accurate white balance really stand out to me. Wish I'd upgraded a year ago
This is the camera I have waited for all my life. A good, all-round camera suitable for any pro' shoot.
(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)
Should have upgraded sooner
The canon 5D3 is excellent build quality, packed full of features - probably more than I would ever bother learning to use. I favour portrait shots and more recently Macro, but am also finding I'm doing more landscape shots because of the results I'm getting with the 5D3.It's a heavy unit, but oozes quality. The controls are firm and I know they will take every press, turn and movement I throw at them over the next few years.I found the auto-focus to be very rapid, whatever the mode or lens I have tried. However, I do feel the focus adjustment is over complicated and probably not something I'm going to be able to master without having to look (unlike previous DSLRs I've owned).Generally, the menu options are complicated and I don't think I'll bother to master them. If you really have a need to then, I think you'll be struggling for a while, unless you've upgraded from a similar menu system.The feel of the body is good and its buttons are well placed. The custom button options are also a benefit to suit my style.The resulting images are great and capture the colours well. The noise reduction in higher ISO shots is excellent, giving me confidence to shoot people in lower light with faster shutter speeds, while maintaining a reasonable depth of field and no flash.Battery life is good, so far. Having two card slots gives great flexibility.The screen is ample size and brightness and the display options are reasonable.On a disappointing note, I found that I really have to get my eye tightly onto the viewfinder to see the information for shutter speed, aperture and exposure at the bottom, because it's so small.I've played briefly with the video recording, but its not a feature I'm going to use often, if at all. That said, the quality is excellent as is the colour reproduction.I'm sure that there are other great options out there for people, but I'm really pleased with this camera and wanted to go to a full frame sensor rather than a cropped sensor.I do feel that Canon have missed an opportunity for including certain features within the software, that require accessories to perform otherwise. For example, interval/timed shooting.I give this a thumbs up and am sure I'll get many years happy shooting.
Seems to attract dirt on the mirror very easily
Sadly I've had to return this to Wex as there is dirt on the mirror and a smudge / scratch on the focus plate. It's back to Canon for a clean/fix then back to me. With the 500 or so shots I did I was very impressed. Luckily I didn't sell my 60d before buying this one.. That has never had any problems with dirt etc in two year's of use.
Perfect in everyway!!
An amazing step forward from the mk2. Just a great camera.
(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)
Upgraded from a 7D and the difference is amazing. Focusing is spot on, noise is very well controlled - especially at higher iso and image quality is fantastic. It does like good glass, but why would you spend this much and use cheap kit lenses!. Some of the menus take a bit of working through but that's what the handbook is for! Overall, I'm very pleased.
(5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)
2 years in review
I've been a long term Canon shooter and still have my 1D2n, 5D mkI and 7D. I never felt the the MkII was enough of a step up from the Mk1 but the MkIII ticked all the boxes.There's no point rehashing functions and features so I'll focus on what it's been like to use these past 2 years.On my first day of ownership I put 13,000 frames on it shooting a local marathon. Since then I've done other high volume sports shoots and the body is now heading towards 200K frames.It's taken quite a lot of pasting without any issues, including being covered in mud, and most recently out in -15'C and colder temps without additional protection.I was regularly wet cleaning the sensor on my older bodies but have never had to with this or the 6D. - It has been cleaned at CPN when I had an issue with my 70-200 f2.8.It's not a sports body but I've never had an issue with the frame rate for the running and cycling events I tend to focus on. The AF has been fantastic and I've found it superior to the 7D mk I in every respect.I also have a 6D which is much more suited to a slower style of shooting. If you were doing pure landscape work with manual focus, I'd say there wasn't any significant difference between the two cameras.The new 5Ds introduces a new dimension to high res shooting and I don't see any reason why this won't be the go to camera for the absolute best image quality.If on the other hand you want a top end, high quality, versatile, easy to use, robust and cost effective camera then the 5D mkIII has to feature very highly on your list.
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Included Accessories: Eyecup Eg, Wide strap EW-EOS EOS 5D Mark III, interface cable IFC-200U, Stereo AV cable AVC-DC400ST, Battery Pack LP-E6, Battery charger LC-E6, instruction book, Warranty card
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