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Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLRs
The Canon EOS 5D Mark III is a 22.3-megapixel full-frame digital SLR designed for advanced amateurs and pro wedding, sports, studio and commercial photographers. It fits between the EOS 5D Mark II and the EOS-1D X in Canon's digital SLR line. It has full HD video with selectable frame rates, including 720p at 60 FPS, so it's also suitable for professional video applications. It has the same 61-point auto focus system as the 1D X and it can shoot bursts at 6 FPS. It has a 3.2-inch LCD display and sensitivity to ISO 25,600, expandable to ISO 102,400.
The Canon EOS 5D Mark III is a 22.3-megapixel full-frame digital SLR with full HD video and a state-of-the-art auto focus system. As the follow-up to the hugely popular Canon EOS 5D Mark II, expectations for the Mark III were huge. The Mark II set the standard for HD DSLR video and arguably revolutionized the video business, delivering cinema quality video in a compact, relatively affordable camera... Continue reading →
Submitted by David Terry a Professional
Date Reviewed: March 15, 2013
Strengths: Fast and flexible focus system, excellent low light / high ISO performance, high resolution and excellent quality images.
Weaknesses: The auto focus points in the viewfinder are difficult to see in the dark. Sometimes the new flexibility of being able to positing your focus point just about anywhere is a weakness instead of a strength as you can't remember where you placed it and can't see well enough in the dark to know where it is and until you get the focus point over something that it can grab focus on, the focus confirmation won't light up to reveal where it is hiding.
Having owned the 5D Mark II and the classic 5D before it, I can say that Canon has remained true to the 5D ideals of full frame and high quality images at an affordable price (for the professional). The 5D Mark III will instantly feel familiar in the hands of one who has used the 5D or 5D Mark II. And yet it brings with it new advanced features such as the fast and flexible 61-point focus system (which is bested only by the much more expensive Canon 1Dx), as well as stratospheric ISOs reaching up to 102,400.
Years ago when I was more into sports photography I purchased the Canon 1D Mark III. The high points of that camera were the 10 fps and the fast and flexible focus system it had. As I transitioned more and more of my work over to weddings, I kept using the 1D Mark III for fast moving subjects such as the bouquet toss and cake cutting while using the 5D and later 5D Mark II for portraits.
However, the 5D Mark III essentially replaces both of those cameras by taking over the best features of both and improving on them even further. The Mark III is a little higher resolution than the Mark II (22mp vs 21mp - vs 10mp for the 1D Mark III), but the frame rate is much faster (6fps vs 3.5fps - closer to the 10fps for the 1D Mark III) and the focus system is more flexible (61 points vs 9 points and more than the 1D Mark III had) and much more sophisticated with better controls for determining how the camera should track a moving subject and high ISO performance that practically lets you shoot in the dark.
The other thing that I like that is carried over from the 1D Mark III is the second memory card slot (an SD slot). I like having both a CF card and an SD card in my camera at all times. Sometimes it allows me to simply carry more memory (two cards instead of one), sometimes it gives me the assurance of knowing that my images are safe by writing the same image to both cards at once, but more often than not, it lets me use my CF card for my raw files and the Eye-fi card in the SD card slot so that I can transfer images immediately to my cell phone (while on the go) or to my computer (in studio or at wedding receptions). I love being able to immediately show my customers the images I've captured on a much larger screen and having two memory card slots lets me do just that.
The major weakness for me I've already mentioned up above is the inability to see the AF points in the dark. When necessary I reset my selected AF point to the center just so that I can remember where it is. I'm hoping a future firmware update might make the AF points more visible.
The other weakness for me is that while the camera can practically see in the dark, it can't focus in the dark. The only cure for this is to put a Canon flash in the hot shoe with the AF assist beam turned on. This is disappointing to me as I am using the new Canon 600EX-RT flashes with the Canon ST-E3-RT remote which does NOT include AF assist.
Some things I could wish for:
- a lower price (compare the price of the Canon 5D Mark III to the new Nikon D800 - this is the reason I gave it a 4 Star rating for value)
- AF assist built into the camera body - I shouldn't have to stick a flash on top of my camera to get AF assist!
Type of photography: People
Submitted by Bob Scott a Professional
Date Reviewed: August 1, 2012
Strengths: Fast autofocus. Better audio controls in video mode, better low light video, 720p 60 frame per second(FINALLY!) and all around images look better.
Weaknesses: wish 60fps was full 1080p
I happen to be one of those professional photographers waiting for the Mark 3 to come out... and I have to say, I love it. I've been shooting with Mark 2 up until last week when the Mark 3 arrived at my door. After taking out of the box and adding on my 70-200mm f 2.8 to test I noticed right away how much better image quality improved with this camera. Part of that quality sensation was seeing the image preview on the brighter, bigger, better quality back screen. I noticed the faster autofocus especially when using my 70-200mm f 2.8. The manual audio controls and headphone plug was definitely huge missing part of the previous Mark 2 and I'm really happy to see both added into the Mark 3. The low light quality in video mode is definitely a true step up in quality which I will be testing in the days to come. Same goes for the 60fps in video mode. I was always bummed that the lower end 7D had 60 fps and now I can quit my b*tching. Though I wish this could work in full 1080p mode but it's the least of my worries. If I really needed to slow things down there are bigger badder cameras I could rent for such a need. I also really like the ease of access to control for video mode start/stop.
I like the way the camera feels. I added the optional battery grip to the bottom the camera and it has a nice feel similar to my Mark 2 setup. Everything seems to be a step up in the right direction, the way I was expecting it. Look forward to sharing images and videos as I spend more time with this amazing new camera.
Price Paid: $3499.00
Purchased At: BH Photo
Similar Products Used: Canon 5D Mark 2
Type of photography: People
Submitted by Jeremy Hall a Expert
Date Reviewed: July 26, 2012
Strengths: Much improved focusing system over the Mark II. Owners of the 7D will find the options of the focusing system very familiar with perhaps even better precision. My favorite option is the 9 point region unless even more precise selection within the 61-points is needed. I can actually rely on the outer points to catch focus.
Low light performance is excellent, with very usable detail even with grain at ISO 6400 and up. The silent shutter was a surprise how quiet it becomes, perfect for performances or other situations where a louder shutter is a distraction. Though there are some slight button changes, the body layout is familiar and once again improved in how solid it feels while in your hands.
Two memory slots was a welcome addition for me. Though two CF slots would have been nice from a backup or space standpoint, I have been using the Eye-Fi card for wireless tethering and enjoying what that offers.
Customization of buttons and options throughout the menus is expanded, which makes personalizing the way your camera performs even more available.
The image detail and quality of the full frame continues to be improved with the added features helping you to maximize your output. I only use mine for video work periodically, but it is still a strong performer building on what the Mark II had to offer.
Weaknesses: It's not cheap. Of course if you are using this body professionally it is worth the investment for sure. If you use the SD slot, it has been revealed that your overall write speed is limited as a result. I don't typically use this camera for fast action, but it is something to be aware of. Periodically I get an "Error 80" that requires removing the battery to reset. This error is a result of an issue with the Eye-Fi and seems to happen when the camera has gone to sleep between what you are shooting.
As a long time Canon owner, I’ve enjoyed using my Canon 5D Mark II for 3.5 years now, and it is an amazing camera. I love it’s beautiful clear images, smooth bokeh and tremendous file quality. That said, I have been looking forward to the next generation for some time now for some specific improvements. Most notably I was hoping for an improved auto focus system, quieter shutter sound, faster frames per second (FPS) and even better high ISO performance. On all these counts the Canon 5D Mark III has delivered!
You can read some of my impressions and sample photos from the first night I received the camera here:
The low light performance, both in the image quality and ability to focus, makes this camera a much better tool than it's predecessor.
Price Paid: $3499.00
Purchased At: B&H
Similar Products Used: Canon 5D Mark II, 40D, 20D, 10D
Type of photography: People
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