Canon EOS 5D Mark III Review
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex)
Amazon - $3099; BuyDig.com - $2799; B&H Photo-Video - $3099; Crutchfield - 3099$ (prices might differ from retailer to retailer, so make sure you check with the ones listed above or with the brick and mortar retailers in your city);
Release date: March 5th, 2012;
Sensor resolution: 22.3 Megapixel;
Optical sensor: 24x366 mm;
Optical sensor type: CMOS
Maximum resolution: 8688x5792;
ISO: Auto, 100-6400;
Screen size: 3.2 inches;
Screen dots: 1,040,000;
Storage types: SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS-I compatible), CompactFlash;
Weight (with battery): 930 grams;
Image stabilization: no;
Focus: auto, manual;
Connectivity: USB 3.0, HDMI, microphone port, remote control
Weather proofed: Yes (dust and water-resistant)
Battery life (number of photos): 700
large viewfinder, great photo quality, powerful 61-point AF system
As said before, the camera we’re reviewing today isn’t the latest one. But it sure is one that we would recommend you if you need one that gives you a bit more control over the photos you take than your usual point-and-shoot. The Canon EOS 5D Mark III was announced on the 25th anniversary of the EOS system that Canon is now using for its cameras. This is basically an updated 5D Mark II, but it isn’t necessarily the same camera.
Yes, it might look pretty much like its older brother, but that’s just on the outside. On the inside, there were a series of technologies and features implemented which make the 5D Mark III more advanced than its predecessor. You can say that Canon took one camera that already was more than decent and turned it into something even better, with a lot more capabilities and even better performance.
The Canon EOS 5D Mark III has a different sensor than the 1DX model, but it borrows almost the same technology used in the 1DX. This consists in gapless microlenses, better on-chip noise reduction and faster data readout. Taking all these facts into account, we shouldn’t be surprised that the EOS 5D Mark III can churn out some excellent photos. If we are to compare the photos taken with the newer model with the ones taken with Mark II, we can immediately see that the photos taken with the Mark III have much less color noise and look a bit cleaner, too.
At lower-to-middle resolution, however, the JPEG photos taken with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II seem to look a little better than the ones from the Mark III. They have less processing artifacts and better, more defined and natural details. But that doesn’t mean the newer Mark III is bad. Quite the opposite, the photos it takes look pretty good up to ISO 1600 and, depending on the scenes your photographing or on your needs, they can also look good even at ISO 6400.
If you want raw images, these will look much better at ISO 1600. Colors are reproduced very well and, even though the camera’s Standard Picture Style can boost the saturation and contrast levels a bit more than needed sometimes, this can be easily fixed by switching to neutral. Video quality is excellent, too, no matter if you use the camera in bright or low light.
As for performance, it should be noted that the EOS 5D Mark III can perform almost as well as the Nikon D800 on nonburst shooting. Even though it isn’t as fast as the older Mark II, it has a better and faster autofocus in low light and better burst performance as well. When shooting in bright light, it takes about 0.2 seconds to focus and shoot, while in low light, the time can increase to 0.4 seconds.
This camera may not be good for those of you who would like to use it for sports, action or bird-tracking, but it sure is good enough and fast enough for someone who does not want to carry around with him a 1D. The 61-point AF (autofocus) system is much better than the one found on the Mark II. It has six preset configurations you can choose from: general, obstacle-insensitive, objects moving into a specific range of AF areas, acceleration sensitive, erratic speed and erratic speed and direction.
Speaking of design, we don’t see many changes here. In fact, just as I mentioned earlier, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is very similar with the Mark II. The exception is its slightly tackier grip. There are a few other changes here and there, such as the controls’layout. The mode dial and power switch buttons are on the left side (left shoulder). The location of the power button might not be an issue for most of you, but we should say that it can routinely flip from on to off when moving the camera in and out of your bag.
And while it won’t affect the battery life, it might be annoying for some people. Situated on the right side (right shoulder), we have the controls for metering, white balance, autofocus mode, drive mode, ISO sensitivity, flash compensation and one backlight for the status LCD. Any settings you make when playing around with those buttons, can be saved on one of the three custom slots on the dial mode.
For some, three slots might be enough. But in my opinion, there should be at least 5.
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great photo and video quality, powerful 61-point AF system, large viewfinder, good ergonomics;
does not have built-in flash or wireless controller, no built-in WiFi or GPS, which are both expensive when bought separately, no articulated screen.