The Canon 5D Mark 3 22.3MP Digital SLR Camera Body (lens required and sold separately) with supercharged EOS performance and full frame, high-resolution image capture is designed to perform. Special optical technologies like 61-Point High Density Reticular AF and extended ISO range of 100-25600 make this it ideal for shooting weddings in the studio, out in the field and great for still photography. Professional-level high definition video capabilities includes a host of industry-standard recording protocols and enhanced performance that make it possible to capture beautiful cinematic movies in EOS HD quality. A 22.3 Megapixel full-frame Canon CMOS sensor, Canon DIGIC 5+ Image Processor, and shooting performance up to 6.0fps provide exceptional clarity and sharpness when capturing rapidly-unfolding scenes. Additional technological advancements include an Intelligent Viewfinder, Canon’s advanced iFCL metering system, High Dynamic Range (HDR), and Multiple Exposure.
|Reasons to buy· High resolution and detail in Raw files
· Strong video features and control set
· Sophisticated AF system
· Very responsive and snappy operation
· Excellent weather-sealed, magnesium alloy
What’s in the Box
- EOS 5D Mark III DSLR Body
- Eyecup Eg (not shown)
- Battery Pack LP-E6
- Battery Charger LC-E6
- Wide Neck Strap EW-EOS 5D Mark III
- Stereo AV Cable AVC-DC400ST
- USB Interface Cable IFC-200U
- EOS Digital Solution Disc
- Software Instruction Manual
- 1-Year Canon U.S.A. Limited Warranty
Check out what these satisfied customers had to say!
A home run for the 5D series, finally!
By J. Howell
I didn’t rush to make a review of this camera, as I wanted to really put it through it’s paces first. I won’t try to list every feature or go over every bullet point (the above description does a fine job), but instead try to go over a few things which make a big difference to me as a 5D Mark II owner. For some background, I bought an original 5D in 2007, a 5DII in 2008 and have been working with these bodies ever since then. I also have experience with all of the Canon 1-series up through the 1DIII and 1DsIII. I currently log about 60,000 photos per year with the 5D Mark IIs as a professional wedding and portrait photographer. I shoot almost exclusively with fast L prime lenses in my work. So after a week of solid shooting with the camera, here are the areas which are of note relative to previous 5D bodies:
AF is the elephant in the room here so I’ll address it first. Good news, we now have a focusing system worth of it’s price point. The AF system here is identical to that in the 1Dx and is THE most sophisticated AF system EVER put in any Canon body. It is superior to that in the 1DV and all bodies before it. Just to see how far I could push it, I took my most difficult to focus lens (24/1.4 II), put it on the 5DIII, and tried to focus on my black lab in my dimly lit apartment. At a distance of about 2 feet I would able to lock focus on the dog’s eye with the far left AF point at F1.4, 1/40, ISO4000. Think about that. I was able to focus on a black eye on a black dog in a dimly lit apartment at F1.4. The 5DII would have hunted all day long trying to do this, even with it’s center AF point. I could sit here and write a book on how happy this performance makes me. For what I do, if this were the only upgrade from the 5D Mark II, it alone would be worth of the $3500 price tag. That said, there is more…
It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what changed, but the Canon 5D Mark 3 just feels more substantial. It feels like a chopped down 1-series instead of a buffed up 10 series. The contour of the body has changed to fit your hand better. The rubber is also a new compound which is much grippier than before. The 5DIII feels much better to hold and use than the previous 5D bodies.
I wasn’t expecting a big improvement here, but the screen is drop dead gorgeous. The height is about the same, but it’s wider than that in the 5DII and fits the aspect of horizontal images perfectly now. The screen itself has better coatings which allow you to see it easier outside. The contrast, viewing angle, color, and saturation have all improved noticeably. It has a very similar look to a high end smartphone screen. This is a substantial upgrade from the 5DII’s screen.
JPEG quality has improved much more though. The JPEG engine in this camera is staggeringly good and a solid 2 stops better at controlling noise at high ISO than the 5DII. It strikes the best balance of detail and noise control of any camera on the market right now. Note though that default NR in JPEG mode is fairly strong and that you will generally attain a better “look” from your files with the “low” NR setting.
I don’t have any hard data on this, but I’m fully convinced the metering of the 5DIII is better than that of the 5DII. I find myself correcting with exposure compensation MUCH less now with the new body than with the mark II. Shooting with the two side the newfound metering accuracy of the mark III is very obvious. I found the 5DII metering very similar to the original 5D. The new 5DIII is much improved here.
**SPEED AND STORAGE**
Dual memory card slots mean you can now either backup your data to a 2nd slot *OR* you can “span” cards. Spanning means that once one card is full it will automatically swtich to the second card. SUCH a nice feature. I can’t tell you how many times my card has filled up at the most inopportune moments and shooting stopped. No more. Shooting speed is either 3fps or 6fps and the buffer is about 18 frames deep in RAW only with a fast CF card. You can shoot almost indefinitely in JPEG mode without hitting the buffer. For RAW I would recommend a 60MB/s CF card to take full advantage of the CF slot speed. The SD slot is slower, but still capable of about 30MB/s write speed.
The 5D Mark II had a slight magenta color cast. This was easily correctable in post processing and wasn’t a huge deal most of the time. I now report that color cast is gone and that the 5DIII’s color is much more neutral. Skin tones in general look better due to the more neutral tone. Additionally I have found auto white balance to be improved over previous 5D models. I’ve noticed that while post processing I’m having to correct color less with the 5DIII files than the 5DII files. This is very exciting, as it will save me a fair amount of time in post processing. Per usual, all of the cameras struggle under tungsten lighting. However, AWB is able to get color surprisingly close with anything that contains natural lighting.
I would strongly advise reading the manual because there are a lot of new settings and options which won’t be familar to 5DII users. There are also a LOT of different ways to set up your AF system, so a little experimentation is needed. In general, the menu system is more complicated that before, but this also allows a much greater degree of customization of the camera. In that regard, the 5DIII is much closer to a 1-series than before. Take the time to learn it and set it up correctly.
You now have the option to one-click zoom to 100% at your AF point. This means you can instantly check focusing with one button push. This saves a lot of time and frustration while shooting. There is also a “silent” shutter mode which only makes about 1/2 the noise as the standard shutter. You can do one-shot or 3FPS in silent shutter mode. 6FPS continuous is only available with the standard shutter mode. Another brand new feature that’s exciting is the ability to re-map buttons on the camera to perform other functions. The options are very extensive. One in particular I’m excited about is the ability to toggle one-shot with AI-Servo by clicking the DOF preview button (which is now on the right hand side of the camera, in perfect reach of your middle or ring finger). If you are shooting a still subject in one-shot and they start to move, simply push the DOF preview button and you’re instantly in AI Servo mode. There is no need to move your hand, or even look away from the viewfinder. When you are done, simply release the button and you’re back in one-shot mode.
Canon finally woke up with the 5D Mark III. The completeness of this refresh is hard to overstate, as there is no part of this camera that was left untouched from the Mark II. The overall experience of using the camera has been transformed to an entirely different level. You will be faster, better, and more efficient with a 5D Mark III relative to its predecessors. The improvements here will most cater to those who shoot in demanding environments which require high ISO and fast, accurate autofocus. Canon basically fixed most every complaint anyone ever had with the 5DII while maintaining the things which made the 5DII great (resolution, image quality, small body).
By Coronet Blue
Some quick observations on the 5D3. Before I go further I should explain I’ll be comparing vs. the 5D2 and second, if you need to know about video, I can’t be of any help there. Received camera body from Amazon on 3/23. Lots of new features (5D2 manual is 259 pages; 5D3 manual is 403 pages). For the work I do, I was looking for two improvements over the 5D2: Ability to bracket more than 3 shots and much lower noise. The first wish was granted. As you probably know, the 5D3 does 7 exposures. Nikons do 9, but 7 is almost always enough. Those who need more will probably have a Promote remote anyway. Noise? Well, the 5D3 images are cleaner but I wouldn’t say dramatically so. With the default noise settings and long exp NR set on, I’d say it’s 1 to 1.5 stops better than the 5D2. Now, with a little Noiseware or other NR, you can get very clean images at 12800 with very little loss of detail so I don’t consider this a problem. I guess it was unrealistic to expect the 5D3 to match the very low noise of my D700 but it would have been nice. It’s true that nearly every feature on the 5D3 is an upgrade over the 5D2. Not all of these will result in better images but it’s fair to say that the entire “feel” of the 5D3, the layout, viewfinder, displays are all nicer than the 5D2. The two things that may be game changers, IMO, are the shutter and the AF. If you haven’t heard and felt the shutter on the 5D3, you’re in for a treat. It isn’t just quieter; there is much less kick from the mirror. Add the “silent” mode and, wow. I would not be surprised to see signs in the future that say “Please set your camera to silent mode”. As for AF, I never had a problem with the AF on the 5D2 so I’m less impressed here. But if you shoot moving subjects, the 5D3 has it all–predictive, wrap around, sequential, selective. The manual devotes 45 pages to setting autofocus. A small thing that I’ve been waiting for, a dual axis electronic level is wonderful. For some time, digital SLRs have had an “artificial horizon” that tells you if you are tilting the camera to the left or right. That’s nice but in almost all imaging software, rotating an image takes just a second. What these left/right levelers don’t tell you is if you are tipping the camera up or down which can be a real pain with a super wide lens. Well, problem solved with the 5D3. The in-camera HDR is a mixed bag. Output is jpeg only and even at that, it takes awhile for the 5D3 to register the images. (This could be my cards which are Lexar UDMA 400x & Sandisk Extreme IV). Anyhow, it’s a fun feature. This brings me to yet another interesting feature. Since the 5D3 has two cards (CF + SD) you can record different file types to each card. In other words, you could have a RAW-only card and a JPEG-only card. I haven’t tried this but I presume this would mean that you could shoot everything RAW except in-camera HDRs which, being jpegs, would end up on the other card. I get requests for jpegs so now I can put them on one card while keeping an all-RAW card for myself. You can also have redundant cards for backup, sequential for extra capacity, etc. As with the autofocus options, the possibilities are endless! So, to summarize. Pros: Better AF, 100% viewfinder with electronic grid (no more screens), better LCD, faster drive and processor, fabulous shutter/mirror, 7-stop bracketing, 2-axis level, somewhat lower noise and thus somewhat cleaner images vs. 5D2, two card slots, uses same batteries as 5D2. Cons: Still no built-in flash (yes, it’s very handy), in-camera HDR so-so, mode knob still feels flimsy (and it locks now, so be careful). All in all, this is a very nice, refined camera and anybody trading up from a 5D2 will be happy. And if you do get a 5D3, the person getting your 5D2 will be happy as well.
Just a footnote. One thing that comes through loud and clear from these reviews is how very different people’s needs are and how differently they use a camera. I can only explain how a product meets or fails to meet my needs. I would not dream of saying you do/don’t need this feature or “read and decide” as if I was some sort of oracle. You know what is or is not important to you and how much you’re willing to pay for it. The web has made everybody a professional and an expert but when it’s your money, the only expert is you.